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Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 12:05 pm
by VolNavy91
So last weekend the first mate and I anchored out for the first time in our new to us 1997 400 CMY (diesel). Everything went fine during the daylight hours, our 4.3 kw Westerbeke fired up like its supposed to and every few hours we ran the AC and charged the batteries. Then it gets dark. Around 11:30 FM ask to run the AC to cool down the cabin for bed time. I go out on deck to check the anchor light and I can smell the exhaust and what appears to be bluish smoke is coming out of the exhaust. We shut the generator down and go to sleep. Then around 3:30 I wake up hot and decide to run the AC one more time and make sure the batteries are topped off since the surveyor had said he suspected they were weak. The generator is cranking but will not start! I check the volt meters for the batteries and they read around 9.5 and the engines will not start. Open up the sound proof housing and let the gen rest for a few minutes. After a short prayer, it starts (still smoking. It's around 4:30 and still dark so I let it run to charge the batteries. Around 5ish the generator dies (low oil pressure light, later check the oil level and its flooded so some kind of failed seal has allowed intrusion). Run up to the helm and the engines start with no issue. We head back to the marine with a great story but with a few maintenance issues. First off the batteries, my house/starting set up is two 8D on a Pro Mariner charger. Any recommendations for batteries? I've looked at the RV/Marine Diehard and the NAPA 8D gel. I'm open to your suggestions and experiences. Thanks!

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 12:31 pm
by km1125
Can't speak to the batteries, but get that oil out of the genset ASAP and fill with good. You might have an oil cooler going bad that's allowing water to get into the oil, but you need to get that junk out of the crankcase before it causes any damage.

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 12:42 pm
by bud37
I agree, get the genny sorted out before building your new battery bank...are you sure its a 4.3kw.....good luck man..

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 1:05 pm
by VolNavy91
Thanks for the advice, I'll pump it out as soon as I can get back to the boat this weekend. Yeah its a 4.2 kw BCDT 60hz, looks like an after market installation by a previous owner.

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 1:49 pm
by km1125
I would see if you can figure out if it is the oil cooler and just bypass it so you can run the genset for a while with new oil and then change it again. Need to get that thing up to operating temp and run for a while to get that moisture out of the inside. Doesn't really need to run a load, but that might help get it up to temp. Bring extra oil to exhange.

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 14th, 2018, 11:41 pm
by Viper
I don't know that that generator has an oil cooler. Have you lost any coolant? Stick a cooling system pressure tester on your exhaust manifold at the fill port (rad cap) and see if it'll maintain a constant pressure. This will test the entire system from manifold to block and heat exchanger. I agree you need to get rid of the oil but before replacing the oil and contaminating the fresh oil again because of a leak, you need to find out what the problem is first.

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 15th, 2018, 10:05 am
by feeez
I am thinking that the genny is one of the most neglected pieces of equipment on our boats. When I first got our 350 we went out and ran the genny, is was belching a kinds of crap out and sputtering every time a load went on it. I got back to home base had the impeller done, changed the oil, put two new plugs in, and cleaned and lubed every linkage I could find. Ran like a dream after. Since then I run it for 15 to 20 minutes every time I am at the boat whether I am going out or not.

Cheers
Fraser

Re: Battery Recomendations

Posted: June 23rd, 2018, 11:15 am
by Nharrison5
feeez wrote:Source of the post I am thinking that the genny is one of the most neglected pieces of equipment on our boats. When I first got our 350 we went out and ran the genny, is was belching a kinds of crap out and sputtering every time a load went on it. I got back to home base had the impeller done, changed the oil, put two new plugs in, and cleaned and lubed every linkage I could find. Ran like a dream after. Since then I run it for 15 to 20 minutes every time I am at the boat whether I am going out or not.

Cheers
Fraser



I found the same thing. The gennie very much likes being run. I try to run it once a week except for the winter when I have antifreeze in the raw water system.