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Old 01-21-2019, 10:11 AM   #1
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Westerbeke 8kw fuel solenoid issue...

Hello all. The other day our generator didnít start. It cranked just wouldnít fire. So I went to the engine room and tried to start it from the controls on the generator and they were dead. No life at all, which is odd because I know they worked. So I had my dad hit the preheat from the lower helm and I noticed the fuel shut off solenoid didnít wack open like itís supposed to, it moved much slower and not to its full travel. When he hit the starter the engage but the solenoid slowly moved towards the off position. I had him try it again this time I pushed it to the open position, basically helped it. Once itís open position it clicked into place and the genny started and ran all night. I had to help it again to get it to start the next time.

So before I order a new one, it bothers me that the controls on the generator donít seem to be getting power. I feel like they are related.

Iím not on the boat, but will he going soon. Does anyone have any idea what could have happened? Maybe a wired got knocked off or something?

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like it’s just getting weak or a loose connection. I had to replace mine. You might can take it apart, clean it up and it be ok. It’s worth a try.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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Measure the voltage at the solenoid - could be loose wire or poor ground anywhere along the system. Checking from the Genset batt forward at all convenient locations will help narrow it down quicker.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:37 AM   #4
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Had the same issue last summer on my 12.5 WMD. As the solenoids age the coils will weaken and not pull in completely, or release. You can try shifting the coil slightly forward in the bracket to see if that helps, but in all probability, after you've checked all the contacts, the solenoid will need replacing.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:49 AM   #5
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Some of the solenoids have a high amp pull-in coil and a lower amp hold coil. A failure of the pull in coil would explain your behavior.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiropaul View Post
Had the same issue last summer on my 12.5 WMD. As the solenoids age the coils will weaken and not pull in completely, or release. You can try shifting the coil slightly forward in the bracket to see if that helps, but in all probability, after you've checked all the contacts, the solenoid will need replacing.

He also posted this...
"So before I order a new one, it bothers me that the controls on the generator donít seem to be getting power. I feel like they are related."
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsholz View Post
Some of the solenoids have a high amp pull-in coil and a lower amp hold coil. A failure of the pull in coil would explain your behavior.
Correct... The 8 KW Westerbekes use a solenoid with two coils and an internal switch. When it gets out of adjustment one of the coils burn up.

From your description the pull-in coil is burned up. Once started the hold in coil will let the engine run until it is stopped and the the problem repeats.

I recommend you buy a new solenoid and pay particular attention to the sliding adjustment so you don't burn up the new one.

Good Luck
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiropaul View Post
Had the same issue last summer on my 12.5 WMD. As the solenoids age the coils will weaken and not pull in completely, or release. You can try shifting the coil slightly forward in the bracket to see if that helps, but in all probability, after you've checked all the contacts, the solenoid will need replacing.
Getting the adjustment wrong is the quickest way to burn up one of the coils.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty477 View Post
He also posted this...
"So before I order a new one, it bothers me that the controls on the generator donít seem to be getting power. I feel like they are related."
I think youíre the only one who read that. Common sense tells me itís just too much of a coincidence. I just donít know what Iím supposed to check other than broken wires.

And if that switch panel was actually dead would it effect the operation or the generator?
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:22 PM   #10
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I think youíre the only one who read that. Common sense tells me itís just too much of a coincidence. I just donít know what Iím supposed to check other than broken wires.

And if that switch panel was actually dead would it effect the operation or the generator?
"Measure the voltage at the solenoid - could be loose wire or poor ground anywhere along the system. Checking from the Genset batt forward at all convenient locations will help narrow it down quicker."

Do you have 12+ volts at the solenoid when energized? (or at least high 11's)
Do you have 12+ volts at some point between the battery and the solenoid when the solenoid is energized?

A poor connection can be anywhere along the positive or the grounds.
Grounds at batt, grounds at engine , etc.
Power at batt switch, power at genset controls, power at genset junction ,etc.

If you do have 12+ volts at the solenoid while energized then its like everyone says----corrosion on the solenoid and/or a poor solenoid.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:36 PM   #11
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Here is a link to some troubleshooting info: http://www.westerbeke.com/service%20bulletin/sb_127.pdf
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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When I bought my 97 in 2006 the westerbeke coil would not pull open but would hold when running.
For me I found that the linkage was all corroded for the pull down and binding making it hard to open.
I got all new linkage and keep it greased now and all is well.
I did not have to replace the coil but I did clean it well inside.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:28 PM   #13
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Thanks guys, headed to the boat tomorrow. I’ll let you guys know what I find!
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:23 PM   #14
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If the pull in coil fails but the hold coil works,an inconvenient but useful solution is holding the plunger across while operating the starter.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:19 PM   #15
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Westerbeke 8kw fuel solenoid issue...

This worked for me



http://www.westerbeke.com/tservice%2...tin/sb_175.pdf
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:53 PM   #16
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Run a totally separate wire from solenoid to battery or if easily removed, take solenoid to battery..
Quickly touch terminals and see if it is still a slow pull or resounding whack.

This is what I did when told I had a dud solenoid that needed replacing.
Solenoid was fine.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:11 PM   #17
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Run a totally separate wire from solenoid to battery or if easily removed, take solenoid to battery..
Quickly touch terminals and see if it is still a slow pull or resounding whack.

This is what I did when told I had a dud solenoid that needed replacing.
Solenoid was fine.
Great idea. I have a feeling the solenoids are fine. It used to whack open with authority not many starts ago.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:27 PM   #18
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I agree with obthomas regarding the throw of the plunger. However, after the issue on my gnerator was determined by a local marine generator company, the problem re-occurred almost immediately. If that plunger does not pull in fully, there will be arcing that destroys the solenoid. By moving the solenoid you can make sure the plunger bottoms out when the coil pulls in. Just my experience.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:43 PM   #19
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If you need to replace one check online. They are built to a standard size. 1/2 the price of OEM
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:04 PM   #20
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1- there is a wiring diagram in the generator manual to help find why the local panel is dead.
2- there is another service bulletin (service bulletin 175) for improving the voltage to the solenoid with a simple wiring mod. Your gen may already have it. Look for a small rectangular circuit breaker affixed to the preheat relay.
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