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Old 09-15-2014, 12:09 PM   #1
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Gen set shutdown

My westerbeak keeps shutting down after an hour or so of running time. Is there a way to find out what is causing it? I'm thinking it is overheating. Just from a visual, the sea strainer looks clean. But the amount of water coming out of the exhaust doesn't look like it is enough. Other than that it seems to be running just fine right until shut down.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:04 PM   #2
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My westerbeak keeps shutting down after an hour or so of running time. Is there a way to find out what is causing it? I'm thinking it is overheating. Just from a visual, the sea strainer looks clean. But the amount of water coming out of the exhaust doesn't look like it is enough. Other than that it seems to be running just fine right until shut down.

Do you have a gauge or anything to tell you that it's over heating?Is there a water valve that could not be open all the way?Is the water pump impeller in good condition?Is there something blocking the sea strainer thru hull under the boat?It could be marine growth in the thru hull not allowing enough flow.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:31 PM   #3
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Since you mention that it doesn't seem to be exhausting enough water, when was the last time you changed the raw water pump impeller?
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #4
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Three things that are sensed that will shut it down. Water temp, exhaust elbow temp and oil pressure. The unit has two water temp sensors. One is a temp sensor switch that will trip if water temp gets to high. your temp gauge comes from a different temp sensor so even if your water temp is showing good this sensor could be defective. In series with the temp switch is the oil pressure switch. Same as above, it is a different sensor than the one going to your gauge. Also in series with this is a temp switch mounted to the exhaust elbow. If any of these three are intermittent it will shut you down by removing power from your fuel pump.
Of course if your temp gauge is showing that it is getting hot the sensor is doing what it should by shutting you down. If this is the case then Ben's suggestions are spot on. If your exhaust water flow is down from before I would be thinking impeller and then check the heat exchanger also if impeller is missing parts. Easy to do by pulling the ends off. Just make sure you have O rings/gasket for the heat exchanger if you open it up.
Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:21 PM   #5
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The generator does not have any instrumentation on it. I just bought the boat in July so I really don't have any history on it. We hauled the boat out today for bottom paint and zincs and it looked like the thru hull/screen was a little plugged up. So I will clean it out and I will also go ahead and replace the impeller.
I do have a repair kit and I'll check to see if I have a spare impeller.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:06 PM   #6
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There are several more steps you need to take to determine what is going on and why. You might want to hirer a good mechanic to walk you through it this first time.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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She starts right up. Runs for an hour or two. Yes I did put some load on it. She purrs like a kitten and the just shuts down. But yes I'll check with a mechanic at the yard tomorrow. Happy boating all!!
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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She starts right up. Runs for an hour or two. Yes I did put some load on it. She purrs like a kitten and the just shuts down. But yes I'll check with a mechanic at the yard tomorrow. Happy boating all!!
Go pick up a infrared temp gun ( h.dep or Lowes)and shoot the genset as it operates to monitor temps ( you should have one aboard as part of your boat tools anyway).. they are pretty cheap and a good to have aboard. Water temps at the expansion tank above 180 and the thing is getting too hot.
HOLLYWOOD
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:42 AM   #9
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I have on and I checked it over. Most temps were in the 150+ temps. But I think I saw a 180ish temp. I'll check it over again once I get back in the water.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:43 AM   #10
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Do you have contact with the previous owner, he might know a "fix".
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #11
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Fuel filter needs changing.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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I had a a sailboat that had similar problem . It had two small Monel saddle tanks and it wound up being a cob web in the vent for one of the tanks . It was wound tight like a Q tip . I found it after reading Nigle Calder diesel repair book .
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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I'm gas. Runs off the main tanks. But it does have it's own fuel filter.
Thanks for the help guys!!
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #14
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Assuming your shutdown is temperature related'....If your impeller looks good, you may want to check your raw water heat exchanger as it may be fouled and not cooling properly.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:20 PM   #15
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Thanks Bligh!! I will do just that!
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:42 AM   #16
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I'm gas. Runs off the main tanks. But it does have it's own fuel filter.
Thanks for the help guys!!
We had controller issues on the Sea Ray we sold last year.. it would run great then for no reason crap out and die. One day I was standing by the panel and I noticed the voltage climbed to about 125v then the unit shut down. I figured out that unless it was loaded fairly heavy when the voltage hit a high set point it would shut down. Most of the time this coincided with the big charger switching from bulk to float charging.

I had never had a gas genset in a boat before and I sure do miss how quiet and smooth the little 4 banger ran.. not at all like the clattering beast that is my current Onan 7.5

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Old 09-17-2014, 05:52 AM   #17
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If you are going to live with a Westerbeke generator (likely any generator) but mine is Westerbeke, you need to know how to determine whether you are overheating. The instrument panel is a must as it shows the water temperature level. As a Westerbeke approaches 200 degrees F it shuts down (assuming all is working correctly). Then check the exhaust elbow where there is another temperature gauge. If either of these are overheating there is a problem in the cooling system, from the impeller to the heat exchanger or the thermstat.

Next you need to check if you have a slow air leak. The way you do that is when the unit shuts down open the bleed value and start the genset up. Fuel should pour out. If bubbles you have a small air leak in the fuel delivery which after an hour or so shuts down the genset. Usually you can tell this if it take a couple of cranks to start the genset after a shut down. This is a sign the self bleeding function is getting rid of the air.

If after the genset shuts down and cools for an hour or so it starts up immediately it is more likely the cooling system or one of the sensors on the cooling system. The sensors are cheap.

Another test you can do is when the genset shuts down try and start it immediately, if t runs as long as you hold down the start button then it is one of the sensors sensing something is wrong. The start button overrides the sensors.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:40 PM   #18
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Checked the seastrainer today while I'm on the hard for bottom paint. yep, it was plugged!! Now we'll see how she runs once I'm back in the water.
Thanks for all your help folks!!!!!
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:33 PM   #19
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Here is what I found
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:34 PM   #20
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Oh drat! There were supposed to be pictures in that post.
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