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Frequently Asked Questions - Maintenance / Use

The following are the recommendations for exercising Westerbeke diesel generators during extended periods of non-use. If the generator is going to be stored for extended periods without being exercised, please refer to the Lay-Up and Recommissioning section of the Operator’s Manual for the generator. Following the procedures on lay-up will help insure trouble free operation when the generator is brought back into service. Westerbeke recommends the following exercise program be performed monthly for diesel generators: Before starting the generator, refer to the Operator’s Manual for The Daily Routine and Maintenance Schedule. Perform all recommended procedures and checks. Next, start and run the generator until fully warmed up. This normally takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but can vary depending on the size of the generator and ambient conditions. Once the generator has reached a stable operating temperature, apply load at 70-85% of the generators rated capacity. Run the generator at this load for 1 hour. After one hour, remove the load. Run the generator for 5-10 minutes at no load or a very light load to allow the engine to cool and stabilize the temperature. This step is especially important for turbocharged engines. After the cool down period, the generator can be shut down. D-Net generators should power down the DC circuit breaker and NMEA-2000 network power to prevent battery drain when being stored for extended periods. Westerbeke recommends that generators not being used regularly be exercised a minimum of once per month.
Use a well-known brand and try to use the same brand each time you change the oil. Avoid mixing brands of oil. Different manufacturers use different additives, and mixing brands may cause a problem if additives are not compatible. More important is to use the correct A.P.I. (American Petroleum Institute) and S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers) ratings. For Westerbeke and Universal DIESEL models use A.P.I. code CF or CG-4, S.A.E. #30, 15W-40, 10W-30 or 5W-40. For Westerbeke GASOLINE models, use A.P.I. code SJ, S.A.E. #30, 15W-40, 10W-30 or 5W-40.
Pitting damage is also known as cavitation erosion. It is caused by air bubbles forming in the antifreeze. When the air bubbles contact a very hot surface such as a cylinder liner or a coolant passage in the exhaust area of a cylinder head, the bubbles burst and cause erosion of the metal. Good quality antifreeze has additives in it to prevent the formation of air bubbles and prevent cavitation erosion. Therefore, an additional coolant additive is not necessary. The antifreeze mixture should be changed at least every 5 years.
Westerbeke recommends using a good quality fuel additive with both gasoline and diesel fuel. The additive should stabilize the fuel. "STA-BIL" brand is a good choice. Another consideration is fuel boosters - cetane booster for diesel fuel to improve fuel burn efficiency and reduce "transom soot", and octane booster for gasoline to improve performance and cleaner fuel burn. Additives to reduce algae in diesel fuel tanks is recommended as well. ALWAYS follow the manufacturers' directions and recommendations when using fuel additives. More is not always better.
Consult your Operator's Manual or sales literature to confirm the oil capacity for your particular model. Westerbeke recommends the oil and filter are changed every 100 hours of operation or once every season, whichever occurs first.
A coolant additive is not needed. Use a good quality antifreeze, mixed 50/50 with distilled water, change the coolant mixture at least every 5 years, and your cooling system should stay healthy.
A good quality antifreeze - 1) Helps transfer heat 2) Prevents rust and scale build-up inside the engine cooling passage ways. 3) Protects against freezing. 4) Lubricates the fresh water circulating pump's shaft and seal. 5) Increases the boiling point of the coolant mixture when used in a pressurized cooling system, and 6) Reduces evaporation of the coolant mixture - the water used in the coolant mixture may evaporate to a small degree, but the antifreeze itself does not. A mixture of 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water is recommended. This concentration should provide freeze protection down to approximately -40 degrees F. Check the mixture chart provided by the antifreeze manufacturer to confirm the protection temperature. Do not mix brands of antifreeze.
Many owners rely on their boat yards to winterize their engines or generators for them, while some owners prefer to accomplish this task themselves. Below is a checklist of items to be performed on your diesel engine or your generator for winter lay-up.

Fresh Water Cooling System
The use of a 50-50 solution of antifreeze and fresh water is recommended for use in the fresh water cooling system year round. This solution may require a higher concentration of antifreeze, depending on the area's winter climate. This solution should be checked to insure proper freeze protection.
Should more antifreeze be needed, drain an appropriate amount from the engine block and add a more concentrated mixture. Operate the engine to insure complete circulation throughout the system. Recheck.

Lubrication System
With the engine warm, drain ALL the lubricating oil from the oil sump. Remove and replace the oil filter; place some paper towels and a plastic bag around the filter to catch the oil while removing it.

When installing the new oil filter, be sure to apply a small amount of oil on the sealing "O" ring at the base of the filter. Fill the sump with the correct amount of oil for your engine model (Ref: Operator's Manual or Technical Manual). Use an oil with an A.P.I. Spec. CC. Run the engine and check for proper oil pressure and insure that there are no leaks.

Do not leave old engine lubricating oil in the sump over the winter lay-up period. Lubricating oil and combustion deposits combine to produce harmful chemicals which can reduce the life of internal engine parts.

Transmission
Drain the lubricant from your transmission and/or V-Drive. Refill with the proper lubricant to the full mark on the transmission dipstick. Run the engine and shift the transmission into forward and reverse one/two times. Stop the engine and check the transmission oil level; add lubricant as needed. Check for leaks.

Fuel System
Top off your fuel tanks with #2 diesel fuel. Fuel additives should be added at this time to control algae and condition the fuel. Care should be taken that additives used are compatible with primary filter/separator used in the system. Change the element in your primary fuel filter/separator if it contains one, and/or clean the separator sediment bowl.

Change the fuel filter elements on the engine and bleed the fuel system, as needed. Start the engine and allow it to run for 5 - 10 minutes to insure that no air is left in the fuel system and check for any leaks that may have been created in the fuel system during this servicing, and correct as needed.

Sea Water Circuit
Close the thru hull seacock. Remove the raw water intake hose from the sea cock. Place the end of this hose into a 5-gallon bucket of clean fresh water. Before starting the engine, check the zinc pencil found in the primary heat exchanger on the engine and clean or replace it, if required. Clean your sea strainer, if one is installed in the inside of the hull.

Start the engine and allow the raw water pump to draw the fresh water through the system. When the bucket empties, stop the engine and refill the bucket with an antifreeze solution slightly stronger than needed for winter freeze protection in your area.

Start the engine and allow all of this mixture to be drawn through the raw water system. Once the bucket empties, stop the engine. This anti-freeze mixture should protect your raw water circuit from freezing during winter lay-up, as well as providing corrosion protection.

Remove the impeller from your raw water pump (some antifreeze mixture will accompany it, so catch it in a bucket). Examine the impeller. Acquire a replacement if needed and a cover gasket. Do not replace the impeller back into the pump until the Spring commissioning.

Intake Manifold
With a clean cloth lightly soaked in oil, place it in the opening of the intake manifold so as to block it closed. DO NOT shove the cloth out of sight into the intake manifold. If you cannot see it next Spring, and you attempt to start your engine, you may need the assistance of a servicing dealer. Take a note to remove this cloth prior to start-up. The exhaust through hull can be closed in this same manner.

Propeller Shaft Coupling
Disconnect the propeller shaft coupling from the transmission. (If the boat remains in the water during winter storage, this need not be done).
This is a good time to check the security of the coupling to the propeller shaft. Insure also that the coupling set screws are tight and wired so as not to loosen. The engine alignment to the propeller shaft should be checked in the Spring when the boat is placed back in the water, and the mast stepped, and the rigging tuned.

Controls and Linkage
Check the security of control connections to the engine and transmission. Lubricate these controls and insure that they move freely. Engines with pull-type shut-off levers should be left in the "RUN" position during winter storage.

Starter Motor
Lubrication and cleaning of the starter drive pinion is advisable ii access to the starter permits its easy removal. Insure that the battery connections are shut off before attempting to remove the starter. Take care to properly replace any electrical connections removed from the starter.

Injectors
You may have noticed in your Westerbeke Technical manuals, that they call for removing the injectors from the cylinder head and squirting some light lube oil down the injector hole into the cylinders.
This is not necessary for the few months the engine is laid up for the winter. However, if you anticipate a longer lay- up period (12 months +), please follow through with this procedure. It will prevent the adhering of the piston rings to the cylinder walls. Insure that you have the proper hardware to replace the sealing washers for the injectors and return line connections.

Spares
This is a good time to look over your engine and see if external items such as belts or hoses may need replacing, come Spring commissioning. Check over your basic spares kit and order items not on hand, or replace those items used during the winter lay-up, such as filters and zincs.

Batteries
If batteries are to be left on board during the winter storage period, insure that they are in a state of full charge and will remain that way, to prevent them from freezing. If not, it would be wise to remove them.
By following these few steps, you should afford your engine protection over the winter lay-up. This will also help familiarize you with the maintenance needs of your engine.

If you have any questions regarding winter lay-up, call your local servicing dealer; he will be more than willing to try and answer any of your questions.

Westerbeke does not approve or disapprove the use of synthetic oils. If synthetic oils are used, engine break-in must be performed using conventional oil. Oil change intervals must be as listed in the MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE section in the Operator's Manual and not be extended if synthetic oils are used. NOTE: The information above supersedes all previous statements regarding synthetic oil.
API ratings change from time-to-time. The American Petroleum Institute publishes a list of ratings. It includes current and obsolete ratings and informs you which ratings can be used in place of others. Their website address is http://api-ep.api.org/.
Either type will work. Many people use “RV” type anti-freeze because it is more environmentally friendly. The important point is to make sure the product is mixed adequately for the location you are in. Refer to the instructions on the anti-freeze package for more information regarding the correct mix. In any case, do not allow antifreeze solution to spill overboard.
Fuels containing up to 10% ethanol are considered acceptable for use in Westerbeke gasoline engines and generators. Fuels containing higher levels of ethanol are not considered acceptable for use, and the use of fuels containing ethanol higher than 10% can void the warranty.
The following are the recommendations for exercising Westerbeke gasoline generators during extended periods of non-use. If the generator is going to be stored for extended periods without being exercised, please refer to the Lay-Up and Re-commissioning section of the Operator's Manual for the generator. Following the procedures on lay-up will help insure trouble free operation when the generator is brought back into service. Westerbeke recommends the following exercise program be performed monthly for gasoline generators: Before starting the generator, refer to the Operator's Manual for The Daily Routine and Maintenance Schedule. Perform all recommended procedures and checks. Next, start and run the generator until fully warmed up. This normally takes about 5 to 10 minutes, but can vary depending on the size of the generator and ambient conditions. Once the generator has reached a stable operating temperature, apply load at 70-85% of the generators rated capacity. Run the generator at this load for 1 hour. After one hour, remove the load. Run the generator for 5-10 minutes at no load or a very light load to allow the engine to cool and stabilize the temperature. After the cool down period, the generator can be shut down. Westerbeke recommends that generators not being used regularly be exercised a minimum of once per month.

Daily (Before Use) Check

  • Oil sump level
  • Coolant level
  • Fuel supply
  • Primary fuel filter/water separator
  • Panel gauges operation (indicating lights, alarms)
  • Transmission fluid level
  • Loose belts, clamps, fittings, wires

Monthly

  • Check zinc anode in heat exchanger

After 50 Hours Initial Operation

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Replace fuel filter elements
  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Adjust drive belts
  • Check electrical connections
  • Lubricate control cables
  • Change transmission fluid
  • Check idle speed **

After Every 100 Hours

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Adjust drive belts

After Every 250 Hours

  • Replace engine fuel filter(s)
  • Check siphon break operation (if installed)

After Every 500 Hours

  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Drain, flush, refill fresh water coolant
  • Check starter motor drive, lubricate pinion **
  • Check glow plugs
  • Check water injected exhaust elbow condition **
  • Check raw water pump impeller & connections
  • Check Hurth transmission cooler

After Every 800 Hours

  • Remove and check fuel injectors **
  • Check compression pressure **

After Every 1,000 Hours

  • Remove & clean heat exchanger
  • Remove & clean hydraulic transmission cooler

** Should be done by competent mechanic. Refer to Operator's Manual.

Daily (Before Use) Check

  • Oil sump level
  • Coolant level
  • Loose belts, clamps, fittings, wires
  • Fuel supply Primary fuel filter/water separator
  • Panel gauges operation (indicating lights, alarms)

Monthly

  • Check zinc anode in heat exchanger

After 50 Hours Initial Operation

  • Change engine lube oil & filter
  • Replace fuel filter elements
  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Adjust drive belts
  • Check electrical connections
  • Check engine's no-load speed

After Every 100 Hours

  • Change engine lube oil and filter
  • Adjust drive belts

After Every 250 Hours

  • Replace engine fuel filter(s)
  • Lubricate ball joint linkage at fuel solenoid
  • Check siphon break operation (if installed)

After Every 500 Hours

  • Torque cylinder head bolts **
  • Adjust valve clearances **
  • Drain, Rush, refill fresh water coolant
  • Check starter motor drive, lubricate pinion **
  • Check glow plugs
  • Check water injected exhaust elbow condition **
  • Check raw water pump impeller & connections
  • Check electrical connections

After Every 800 Hours

  • Remove and check fuel injectors **
  • Check compression pressure **

After Every 1,000 Hours

  • Remove & clean heat exchanger

** Should be done by competent mechanic. Refer to Operator's Manual.