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Old 10-02-2019, 04:50 AM   #41
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I dug up an applications sheet for that coil commander. It can be found here:
-- https://micromax.com.au/sites/defaul...document_6.pdf

More specs on page 37 of this one:
-- http://www.drakecontrols.com/wp-cont...-36585_NEW.pdf

The 5 part numbers shown are only different in the shape of the connectors (or having bare leads, instead). I can't tell which one you have without seeing the connector.

This note was particularly interesting:

"Note: Coil Commanders will reduce the available pull coil voltage by approximately 1/2 to 1 volt."

So, 10.7V is low -- but not super, crazy low. According to that troubleshooting manual, the solenoid will operate down to 10V. So, I suspect you'll be fine.

And, even if the voltage turns out to be the problem -- you can still clean the other end of the wires...the distant end of the wires from the solenoid controller. If cleaning four connectors gave you a 2.2V gain, I wouldn't be surprised if cleaning one more gave you a little more. The coil might still drop a little out of spec, but you may get the output in spec.

And, I wouldn't be surprise if, using a meter, you got some contact resistance or some dirt on your meter probes that affected things. The real voltage could be higher than you are recording by a little bit. I just don't know.

The bottom line is I don't have any reason to suspect your "commander", yet. But, cleaning it was the right thing to do. It could have fixed thing -- but I guess it didn't.

If you really want to replace that commander, generics seem to be ~$25-$40
-- https://www.amazon.com/Friday-Part-C.../dp/B073S4GS36
-- https://www.ebay.com/i/272770291365
-- and tons and tons more places.

I guess you'd have to hunt down a woodward distributor for a brand name.

Here is the thing. If it were me, I'd test the existing solenoid. But, if you aren't willing to do that, just replace it. You've bought the part already and it just takes a very few minutes to do the splices and alignment. It'll work or it won't.

If it works, you are done. If not, you'll have the incentive to dive deeper.

Just don't throw the old part(s) out until everything is working and proven reliable. They are good references if you need to track down spares from truth.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:19 PM   #42
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I still can't get back to the boat until tomorrow morning, but just for clarification, when mounting the new solenoid it states to hold the rack in full closed position and screw in the solenoid until the rod on the solenoid just touches the plate on the rack, then back it off a 1/4 turn and lock it in.

If I remember correctly, there is a spring that holds the rack already in the full forward position when the solenoid is off and the solenoid rod is in the forward position.

When powered, my understanding is the solenoid pulls backward, but the rod on the solenoid is not physically attached to the rack, merely pushing against the plate that moves the rack to the forward position. I am not sure what moves the rack backwards.

I still am not clear on which direction is Off and which direction is ON. Is full forward position the "off" position?

With the old solenoid, it appeared that the solenoid pulled backward very briefly when powered then snapped forward and stayed forward throughout the starting sequence, so my guess is forward is off, but if I need to pull the rack back and hold it while installing the solenoid, then the range of motion will be very different so I want to get it right.

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Old 10-02-2019, 04:50 PM   #43
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Going back to post 9 and reading forward I would conclude that your pull open coil is working but either your coil commander or hold open coil is not working therefore the engine does not start and run.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:37 PM   #44
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Hi Brad,

I'm not seeing that in the procedure. Are you looking at page 37 of the service manual?

--https://www.westerbeke.com/technical%20manual/38673_5bcd_bcda_bcdb_technical_manual.pdf

Or am I looking in the wrong place?

Thanks!
-Greg
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:42 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Hi Brad,

I'm not seeing that in the procedure. Are you looking at page 37 of the service manual?

--https://www.westerbeke.com/technical%20manual/38673_5bcd_bcda_bcdb_technical_manual.pdf

Or am I looking in the wrong place?

Thanks!
-Greg

Hi Greg-

Iím certain you are correct. I could have sworn I read that somewhere but at this point, who knows. I did figure out from the way the manual is written that off is = rack forward, something you also were correct about in reading through your previous replies and I missed the first time.

I installed the new solenoid this morning and put it in as indicated on page 37. When the solenoid is off, the rack is held forward. The spring on the rack moves the rack rearward when the plunger is pulled into the solenoid under power. I replaced the connectors on each end of all wires to ensure they are good. No improvement in voltage through the hold wire, still at 10.77 through the commander.

Hit the preheat, held it for 20 seconds, continued to hold it and engage the starter.

But (donít you hate hearing those?), nothing is different than prior to the new solenoid. Same activity throughout the startup sequence. Engine turns over smoothly but has no desire to even sound like it wants to fire up. Lift pump is ticking away. Glow plugs get warm.

The coil commander numbers are worn badly on the label. What I can see appears to be a part number of 46727. It also say ďtype CC 39.Ē There is also a J36 and rubbed out numbers following and the number 351927. It does have a Woodard label.

I guess my next step is contacting them and see if a comparable item is available?

I am leaving in the morning for 10 much needed days out in Kitty Hawk, NC to walk on the beach and not think about my generator so next steps will be delayed.

Ongoing appreciation for sticking with me on this!!

Brad
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:25 PM   #46
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Download the attached manual.
Turn to page 29 <engine trouble shooting>
If needed go to page 32 < schematics and ladder logic >, and follow the schematics line by line on the start and safety circuits, testing the components as you go.


https://www.westerbeke.com/operator&#39;...%20rev%204.pdf
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:12 PM   #47
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Cloud whatever that is, the anti DDOS thing, just ate my reply :-(

To retype it...

I'm sorry you are still having trouble :-(

I wouldn't jump to replacing that coil commander for the same reason I recommended against jumping to replace the solenoid -- it hasn't been proven bad, yet.

I wasn't able to see the original video. Can you reupload it? First thing, I'd like to verify that the mechanical motion is being interpreted correctly and the pull i pulling and hold isn't holding. Getting forum eyes on that might be helpful.

It is rare for a replacement part to be bad in the same way as the original, but it is possible. So, my diagnosis would still start in the same place. Is the hold coil continuously getting power? And, if so, is it >=10V.

I'd normally suspect ground, but the hold and pull coil use the same common ground, so it would be unlikely for it to be bad. Having said that, they are different types of coils, so a marginal ground could affect one more than the other. And, ground problems cause a ton of seemingly impossible situations on boats. So, I'd check that it is a good ground path and looks nice and clean at all connections, terminal buses, etc.

The strange thing to me in this scenario is that the fuel pump is running. According to the wiring diagram, power starts at the run relay, goes to a terminal on a terminal block, and goes from there to the fuel pump. Then, it daisy chains off of the fuel pump to the solenoid hold coil. You've discovered a coil commander along the path.

So, if we take that picture at face value, the hold coil should get power any time the fuel pump does -- but isn't.

So, I'd start to trace back. How many volts is the hold coil getting? How many volts are going into the coil commander for it, noting that the coil commander shouldn't affect the hold wire at all. Do we see the daisy chaining at the fuel pump? Does it look clean? How many volts are there? Do we see the connection at the terminal block? Does it look clean? How many volts are there? Once you find a good connection with good voltage, you can stop going backward. You've found the problem just down stream.

I don't think the coil commander affects the hold wire at all. If it is having a measurable impact, you can try jumpering past it to see what is happening. You'll want to check me, but hold should be red (and pull white). So, leave the pull protection in place and bypass the coil commander for hold.

You might also try disconnecting the ground from the fuel pump. If it is bad, it could be pulling crazy current, and dropping the voltage to the solenoid. Unlikely, but possible.

Regardless, the goal is basically to work back from the observed symptom to the point where out thought experiment doesn't match the real-world experiment. In this way, we'll test a bunch of hypothesis systematically, e.g. the solenoid doesn't have a good ground, the solenoid doesn't have good power to the hold coil, the coil commander is interfering with the hold coil's power, the connection at the fuel pump is bad, the wiring doesn't match the diagram and it is getting power from somewhere other than the fuel pump and there may be other safeties or possibilities, the fuel pump is bad and is pulling all of the current, dropping the voltage, and starving the solenoid, etc.

I hope this helps. I'd do more. But, I don't think I know enough about what the system is doing to be of more help. But, if you have more questions, please ask away!

Good luck!
-Greg
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:02 PM   #48
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My 8k westerbek requires that I hold down the pre heat button while holding the start button. Dont know if this is correct, BUT IT WORKS. My volvo main engine only requires 15 seconds of pre heat and then start without holding down the heater button. Again, that is what works, not necessarily the correct procedure.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:07 PM   #49
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Westerbeke 5KW Genset Diagnostic Question

I had a similar problem last year with my 4.4 KW Westerbeke generator that drove me nuts for weeks. It turned out to be the fuel shutoff solenoid, which was simply sticking. A few spritzes of silicone lube spray (NOT WD-40) on the plunger and repeated cycling of the starter switch by another person while I sprayed cleared it up. I might have given it a gentle tap or two with a hammer, too.

I planned to replace the thing but haven't gotten around to it, and it still works fine. Like yours, the genset had worked perfectly the year before, but apparently it gummed up or something while at rest for a long time.

Do be sure to hold down the preheat and start switches until the oil pressure comes up enough to close the circuit and keep the solenoid activated, else it will start and then shut down immediately when you release the switches.

-- Tom
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:48 PM   #50
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Do be sure to hold down the preheat and start switches until the oil pressure comes up enough to close the circuit and keep the solenoid activated, else it will start and then shut down immediately when you release the switches.

-- Tom

Yep. been there done that. But once started and running at speed its fine.
I just started my 8K for the first time in 18 months just two weeks ago and it took BOTH buttons till it was running, not just hitting every so often.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:58 PM   #51
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I did not read all the post so don't yell at me if I say something already mentioned, just a little info on solenoids. many diesel engine solenoids are three wire units, one ground wire,one high energy pull circuit wire and a low energy hold circuit wire . typically when the engine start circuit is turned on the pull circuit will turn on momentarily and the hold circuit will energize and stay on holding the pin retracted in the sol., the pull circuit drops out as it is only used to pull the pin back then the hold circuit keeps it there! if hold stays on it will burn up the sol. either circuit can open up separately, (fail). If it pulls when cranking and drops out when not cranking it could be the sol circuit or a bad engine oil pressure switch that is bypassed during cranking, oil pressure should make the NO circuit close and hold the sol energized, if switch is bad sol drops to off position to protect engine
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:23 AM   #52
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So, back from vacation and back at it. Following from the fuel solenoid back I may have discovered the problem.

The new solenoid has nice big labels on the wires coming off it and I was wrong about which wire wasnít getting voltage.

The hold is getting 11.7-12. The pull is getting 6.7-8 on both sides of the coil commander (I bought a more expensive and more accurate voltmeter too).

Tracking back, the pull wire comes off the starter solenoid. The connection at the starter is also showing about 7 volts when the preheat is engaged.

It does note appear there are any serviceable parts on the solenoid so guessing I need a new one of those and now I have a spare fuel solenoid to hang onto.

-Brad
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:14 PM   #53
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Hi Brad,

Something sounds off here. The solenoid behavior is pulling but not holding? If that is the case, even if not tonspec, pull is getting enough juice.

It is pulling all the way? Or no?
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:51 AM   #54
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Hi Brad,

Something sounds off here. The solenoid behavior is pulling but not holding? If that is the case, even if not tonspec, pull is getting enough juice.

It is pulling all the way? Or no?

Hi Greg,
When the starter is engaged, the solenoid pulls very briefly, and releases. I do not know if it pulls all the way, as it happens quickly.

On the back of the starter solenoid, there is a single wire coming off and going directly to the coil commander and then through to the fuel solenoid attaching to the PULL wire. This wire has no voltage until the preheat is engaged, and then it shows 6.7-7volts at all connections from the starter to the fuel solenoid.

I've checked the HOLD wire from the point of the oil pressure switch, through the fuel pump and to the fuel solenoid and it shows 12+ (dropping to 11.7 after the coil commander) volts when the preheat is engaged. Fuel pump runs as previously indicated throughout the preheat and start process. Based on this my assumption is that the water temp and exhaust temp switches are also fine.

Looking at the wiring diagram brings me to the conclusion (from my limited knowledge and experience here of course...) that there is something within the starter solenoid amiss, creating the low voltage, perhaps enough to make the fuel solenoid PULL "jump" with the initial voltage, but not enough to pull it in to the point the HOLD can take over?

I did pull every connection on the PULL wire from the starter to the solenoid to clean and inspect and all look good, so voltage drop does not appear to be a result of conduction.

Thoughts?

Brad
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:25 PM   #55
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Hi Brad,

Something still sounds off here.

The pull coil should be attached to the same terminal on the starter solenoid as cranks the starter. It should be the output to the starter, not the input to the solenoid. Preheat shouldn't be involved with this wire.

The hold coil should be powered off of the same circuit as the fuel pump. So, it should always operate as the fuel pump does.

As for that 7V measurement, I'd have to know where you were seeing it for sure. It seems unlikely that 7V would turn the starter over well. Do you know which terminal on the solenoid we are talking about? the one that goes to the starter? The fat one coming from the battery? The one that is doing the switching? Or the one going to ground for the switching?

I'd recommend double checking your observations carefully. Something just seems off.

If things are as you report, I'd carefully compare the wiring on the generator to the schematics below (pgs 32 and 33) to see if anything is different and report back.
-- https://www.westerbeke.com/operator&#39;...%20rev%204.pdf

Since you haven't seen it run, at least one possibility is that the PO messed up some wiring while working on it.

As far as the hold coil is concerned, since the electric fuel pump seems to be doing the right thing, my big question is why isn't the hold coil tracking it. In my view of the situation, that hold coil should be connected to the same circuit that powers that electric fuel pump, maybe even at the pump. Either side of the commander is fine. But, I don't see why it shouldn't be going there and the hold coil tracking the fuel pump.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:41 PM   #56
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The wires run through a tight bundle in two places and the entire harness is encased in a plastic wrap, so I'm trying to visually follow the wiring color when I talk about the starting and ending inspection points. The copy of the schematic that I have is too blurry to read any specifics on color coding.

Reading through your post makes me think perhaps I'm missing something in my diagnostics.

I'm going back out to the boat tomorrow and have schematic in hand to follow. I will also take a couple of pictures to make sure what I am typing and what your are thinkings from my comments are in sync.

If I recall correctly, the PULL wire comes off a single spade terminal on the upper/back of the starter solenoid with no other wires and is about 18ga wire. There are two other posts on the back of the solenoid with larger gauge wires that I assumed are the battery and common cables.

I'll get specifics and pics tomorrow.

Brad
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:45 AM   #57
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Okay. I'm happy to keep doing my best to help.

Getting good, reliable information is often an essential, but big part of the battle!
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:08 AM   #58
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If you can check the whole harness for any PO added crimps, splices or tape. Who knows what kind of job they did. I was having trouble with my main engine stop solenoid working. After some searching I found a lump of tape that I hadn’t seen before. Removed the tape and one wire end popped out of a butt splice crimp. I wish all troubles were that easy to fix.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:23 AM   #59
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Okay. I'm happy to keep doing my best to help.

Getting good, reliable information is often an essential, but big part of the battle!


And I know Iím not helping when I confuse myself trying to remember what Iíve checked and what Iíve done....

Anyway, here is a picture of the back of the starter solenoid and the wires leading to the fuel solenoid (silver in the bottom picture).

The PULL appears to come off the starter solenoid as a single yellow/red stripe wire. It connects to the white PULL wire off the back of the solenoid.

The HOLD wire comes from the fuel lift pump as a purple wire and connects to the red HOLD wire on the back of the fuel solenoid.

When I engage the preheat switch, the fuel pump comes on and 10.7-11.8volts appears on the HOLD wire and remains as long I continue to hold preheat. At this point the PULL wire has no energy indication.

Continuing to hold the preheat momentary switch and then also engaging the start switch begins the engine turning over and the PULL wire at the back of the starter and at the point of connection to the fuel solenoid both show 7-8volts fluctuating.

The engine shows no indication of wanting to fire up.

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Old 10-16-2019, 12:10 PM   #60
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The volts are low at the pull coil because not only is it energized with a fair number of amps, but the starter is rolling the engine over and using gobs of amps. 7-8v at pull coil when cranking sounds about expected. And maybe your batt is a bit weak or long/skinny cable run.

Even at 7-8v the pull coil should pull. Are you sure the plunger is not pulling in, or could it be working fine? Maybe test it with solenoid unscrewed from engine and watch it. Looks like it has a dedicated ground so probably not grounding through threads.

There are many things that can cause this to not start, solenoid is just one of them. Can also try a start with solenoid out, but will need a method to shut it down like a stick in the hole or block air off or it might have a shutdown lever.
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