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Old 06-04-2015, 03:49 PM   #1
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Diesel Starting Problem Solved.

My Westerbeke BT 8.0 generator ran fine last year, this year when getting ready to put it back in service I replaced a gasket on the outlet end of the exhaust. After finishing this I filled the system with coolant, checked the oil, opened the thruhull and tried to start it. It would crank but not even try to fire off, I thought it may be spinning slower than it should so checked battery voltage, cleaned all cable connections. Then checked voltage at glow plugs and that they were not shorted, all checked good. Then I checked the fuel system, the electric lift pump was operating, had fuel at the injectors. I was beginning to wonder if I had a more serious problem, so checked the valves and valve lash, all was good. I changed fuel filters just because I then knew thay couldn't be the source of the problem. I still thought that it wasn't spinning as fast as it used to so was trying to decide on checking how many amps the starter was drawing or just pull it and take to the shop. Decided to try one last thing, a mechanic friend suggested that the cylinders may of dried out during the winter layup, no oil to aid compression. I have never in over 30 years of repairing excavating and paving equipment ever run into this but figured what have I got to lose. I pulled the glow plugs and gave each cylinder a squirt of oil. After replacing them I bumped the engine over 3 or 4 times to coat the cylinder walls and rings before trying to start it. I then let it set for a few minutes before trying to start, I warmed the glow plugs up for 10 seconds cranked the starter, she started out spinning the same but after a few turns started to spin faster and then started. It runs fine steady coolant temp and good oil pressure under moderate load. I hope my experience here may help some other TF member in the future, I was beginning to imagine pulling the head and maybe a rebuild.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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Good news and great idea.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:58 PM   #3
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Digital pyrometer kits from the bidding site were about 30 bucks shipped a few years ago.

I wanted to know my exhaust temps on an old project car I was building so I could more accurately track my burn without computer.
It was an easy install and they were responsive.

Ill prob put them on the list for the Tuesday while its mentioned. Just for GP.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:21 PM   #4
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Gear reduction starters on the 8BTD have a rather slow cranking rpm even with everything right. I've had a few cases of them being stubborn. Other brands have starters that whistle them over like a Honda Civic engine.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Gear reduction starters on the 8BTD have a rather slow cranking rpm even with everything right. I've had a few cases of them being stubborn. Other brands have starters that whistle them over like a Honda Civic engine.

Ski if I remember right the motor rpm should be 3000 + rpm. I didn't find a spec for the engine cranking rpm. I've only had 2 previous problems with it, 1st was slow cranking speed cleaned all the cable connections, 2nd was the preheat switch intermittently energized the glow plugs. I replaced the glow plug solenoid before finally locating the switch as the culprit. What puzzled me was it wouldn't do anything even with a sniff of ether, I've seen well used Detroits that would just spin but about a half can of ether and they would fire and take off. I'am just happy to have it running again.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:47 PM   #6
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I just revived a Perkins 4-236 that had been sitting a year. The fuel pump was bad so previous owner wasn't able to get it running. It had been spun over a lot trying to get it to start. I replaced the fuel pump. and bled it. Engine didn't want to start even with a shot of ether. I poured a little ATF into the intake ports of 3 of the cylinders. ( front cylinder was high so couldn't get oil to go uphill). Spun her over and soon the engine caught and ran like a top. Don't use much oil, you just want to get the rings to seal and not hydraulic lock the piston. Bad things can happen then.

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Old 06-10-2015, 06:24 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for this post.

Makes me realize that I better start the gen, also a Westerbeke 8kw, and I have not started it since October
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