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Old 03-13-2012, 01:19 AM   #1
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Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Just bought the Californian.* No instructions, no lessons.* The generator has low hours (500) EW 4200B generator.* It is clean and relatively new looking.* It turns over but doesn't start.* A manual would be wonderful, but I don't have one.* I am mechanical and do understand mechanical/electrical principles.* Is there a simple missing procedure for start up that I am missing or any suggestions?
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:41 AM   #2
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

http://www.managemylife.com/

Look in the section that puts manuals in line , you might get lucky.

Or google the mfg and unit ID and see if a manual can be downloaded.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:18 AM   #3
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

I learned that my Westerbeke took more cranking to get the oil pressure up before it would stay on line. Symptoms were it would start but as soon as I released the start switch it would quit. Had to hold it there a little longer. It sounds as if yours doesn't fire off at all, but just in case it acts like mine I offer my 2cents.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:39 AM   #4
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Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

the 2 quick things that come to mind ...

Are you preheating?* If not...it's important to get operators manual and fnid out if any cautions about duration of preheat..

Low oil pressure shutdown...you arent holding the start switch long enough for the pressure to build to over 10-20 psi (or close...not sure when they kick in).


-- Edited by psneeld on Tuesday 13th of March 2012 06:40:34 AM
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:19 AM   #5
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

On my start switch at the helm, there is no "pre heat" button/switch. I assume that the generator's engine should have one? I turn the engine over 15 seconds at a time or so and it doesn't sound like it wants to pop at all. Also, I have googled on line and have NOT found a manual. I will keep searching and working on this. Thank you.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

http://www.entecwest.com/operators.htm
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #7
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Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Is it a gsas or diesel gen set?* If you can tell*in more detail of how you go about starting the gen and what it does it will help.* **

It sounds like there is no pre heat, many older gen. sets do not.***It is turning/cranking over so*it has power.*When you flip/push the start do you hear/see the fuel solenoid move/click.* Its the fuel solenoid that shuts down the engine, and or allows fuel to the engine.* If you see/hear the fuel solenoid open and still does not start then the engine might need bleeding to get air out of the lines.***

Also make sure there is no AC electric load on the gen set so turn the AC off, usually at the main panel as the gen set has to turn fast enough to start and pump fuel.**

If you have to bleed or prime the engine let us know.*

PS.* I installed a start swtich on the gen set so usually start the enigne in the engine room so I can hear/feel and see what is happening.

*


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Tuesday 13th of March 2012 04:01:53 PM
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

My generator has an emergency on-off switch on the engine. If that ever gets shut off inadvertently the start switch on the panel will not work.

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Old 03-13-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Thanks all. I will research more tonight. It is a diesel pot. I do NOT see any pre heat buttons anywhere. There are three different leavers on the front of the motor. Interestingly, the motor is white and someone, perhaps the PO, painted these bright red?
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Google says EW 4200B is an Entech West genset.* Their online manuals indicate no preheat and that there is a NO oil pressure switch in the run circuit.* The starter needs to crank long enough*to build sufficient oil pressure to close that switch before fuel will flow.* Figure out where the run solenoid is - if its not activating while you are cranking the engine then your problem is somewhere in that circuit.

Diesels are fundamentally simple machines - they need to turn over and have fuel - if those conditions are met they will run.* Unfortunately engineers get in the way of that simplicity.

*
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:11 AM   #11
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Perfect. Just found the manual and copied it over. I see that I can hand crank it too. I found the hand crank and wondered what the heck it was for. It's starting to come together now. Thanks all. I'm leaving got Mississippi tomorrow but will work on starting generator upon my return.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:27 AM   #12
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

One simple cheat , even in FL is to use a magnetic block heater that will lower the cranking time .

These are usually only 800w so will take 3 -4 hours to heat up a small block. Stick on cylinder if you can.

IF you can see the injection pipes a proper wrench (not a box wrench) can be used to loosen the nut on the injector.

A single 1/2 or full turn is usually enough to see if fuel is being delivered to the injector.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:46 AM   #13
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RE: Low hour generator/new owner with no experience

Have you closed the thru-hull for the raw water sytem on the generater as you are trying to start it?* This from the owners manual:
CAUTION
Whenever the engine is cranked, the Raw Water Pump continues to pump water through the raw water system. With continued cranking, it is possible to fill the Exhaust Percolating Muffler, the Exhaust Hose, the Exhaust Elbow, and if the Exhaust Valve is open, the engine combustion chamber, with raw water. If the raw water is sea water, the damage to the engine can be severe. If this ever happens, corrective action must be taken at once. If the engine will not start within 7 to 10 seconds, stop cranking!

*
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:06 PM   #14
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Ha, four years later.... Got Gen set running well four years ago. Took an old school diesel mechanic to tell me remedy. Had carbon buildup on valves. Told to either remove them and clean or....use Pam oven spray. Pam worked great. Started right up. Then years later (last night) wouldn't start. So I cranked it for 30 seconds. Unfortunately I didn't remember warning about over cranking and filled crankcase with water. I am in the hopes that I didn't bend the rod. Ebgine does turn by hand without noise? We will soon see.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:50 PM   #15
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Get the water out fast or damage may be beyond a quick repair.

Pull injectors, SEAWATer Off and crank engine to blow any water out, SPRAY wd40 or similar into cylinders and crank to spread around. Change engine oil and filter as water may have gotten down. Reinstall injectors, bleed and get started soonest. Once running ensure water gets turned on again immediately. Let run with a good load to fully heat it up for several hours to dry out any remaining water.
Change oil/filter again and run again.

Hopefully you save it. But quick action is essential as rusting of the cylinders and rings won't wait.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:05 PM   #16
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Ok. Drained oil and refilled tonight (twice) after cranking a bit. . Bled lines, good fuel flow. Cranked with sea water off. Blew out water. Going on 4 hr voyage tomorrow. Will wait until engine room and generator is good and warm. Will begin the starting process. I had tried tonight, but no love. Cranks well, no noise, but wondering if rod did bend and thus low compression? Will know more tomorrow. Thank you for the advice. I will reply with results tomorrow. She was always a hard starter.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:07 PM   #17
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Water was blowing out of intake which was the first notice of a problem (water all around generator). May be too late?
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