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Generator question for Birdsnest or anyone...

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Rivered

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I have a 1995 59' Sumerset that was one of Wahweap's retired rentals. The generator is a 15kw Westerbeke with ZEEMS fuel injection on it. I'm having a problem with the F.I. and was wondering if Wahweap retrofitted those boats with the ZEEMS system or the previous owner installed it. The date on the F.I. is 2005. If you know anything about these systems or had an experience I 'd like to bend your ear! Thanks
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
I wish I could help you but I had left Wahweap by then and went over to Antelope. I had done some exhaust changes to get the exhaust away from the water and to the top deck and was involved in the early catalytic converter conversions but as I recall, all the 12.5 and 15 kw westerbekes (mitsubishi) were carbureted when I left. It was not uncommon to have to swap out a westerbeke and that could be a newer model. I think Wahweap sold about 15 Sumersets in that period but am not aware of any efi set ups being sold to the public. Sorry I'm not more help.
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
Zeems has pretty good tech support. Try mike farmer. mfarmer@zenithfuelsystems.com

What is your issue? If your problem goes away after placing a towel on your fuel cell and then placing a bag of ice on top of the towel, you need to move your fuel cell away from your engine 12"-18" as the fuel cell is getting too hot. If you ran the tank empty and the fuel pump spun dry its probably toast but it is a third party pump and you can buy exact replacements on amazon or napa or zeems. Zeems has a $300 - $500 factory inspection service where they will bench test entire system but you have to remove the cell and injector plate and this will take 30-60 minutes. If your gen engine is cycling or swinging hi/low rpm shut down engine and restart to break sync with invert charger. You can reduce charge rate on inverter battery charger to 50% or lower depending on load to reduce engine chasing inverter charge loads, goal is to keep freq needle steady right at 60. Do not allow engine rpm to swing as gen diodes will soon fail and that gets spendy.
 

Rivered

New Member
Thanks very much for the help guys. The problem started last month with the gen shutting down after about 45 mins. whether it was a light load or heavy load on the system. After a few checks we realized it was the ECU- on accident. We started putting ice rags on the ECU itself and it would keep running as long as they were cold otherwise it would shut down. We also kept a fan blowing on the gen just to keep air moving around it. I ordered a new ECU ( Mike Farmer has been extremely helpful by the way), drove to Page yesterday and installed the unit. Everything was perfect for an hour & 45 mins. I had the air conditioning unit running so it would have a good load on it. The gen started to die out- didn't completely die but really slowed down and then started to pick up & drop RPM or "hunt" as someone referred to it years ago. I shut the A/C off as quick s I could and the gen settled down. It never did overspeed or anything like that. While there was no load, it would fluctuate rpm very slightly. I flipped the breaker on for the stove and ran that and it started to falter again. I turned the gen off and went to talk to a mechanic. They wanted $115.00 just to talk to me! I'm not going to say where the boat is, but I'm sure you can guess. After 15 mins. I restarted the gen and turned on the A/C again. It went good for about 20 mins. and then the same thing started again. If I turned off the heavy loads or had a light load it was fine- it never did die, it would settle down and keep going. I'm now leaning towards a fuel cell issue. I've done new inline fuel filters this year and coast guard rated fuel line last year. Mike had mentioned adjusting the fuel pressure screw an 1/8 turn to see if anything changed and it didn't. This is our 3rd year owning this boat and it's been perfect until now. The ECU fixed one problem but another has started- I'm hoping it will be the fuel cell and I can be done with it. I plan on installing an inline fuel pressure gauge to help trouble shoot and leave it permanently installed. Any opinions or suggestions? Again, thanks for alot of knowledge and experience from the "wordlings" on this site- and not just about fishing!
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
with a good meter you should be able to check/adjust the hertz cycle on the governor, any thing other than 60 hertz will give you a "hunt" condition. This adjustment is very touchy . Once we had the hertz setting we would quickly pull and release the governor arm to simulate loads and check for hunt condition for further adjustment.
 

Rivered

New Member
Thanks Birdsnest for the help. I was involved in timeshare boats for years and the Westerbeke's on those were carbureted models- I liked the fact that they were easier to troubleshoot than the ZEEMS EFI. I know their good systems but just more complicated. I miss the old fashioned mechanical governor. I guess I need to step it up and learn this newer stuff! The generator was tested last winter for hertz, amps & voltage for each leg- all was ok at that point in time. The stator housing was new in 2014- it has about 550 hrs. on it. The engine was rebuilt in 2006 & has about 1800 hrs. I remember seeing the work orders from the previous owners but never saw anything about the ZEEMS system so not sure who installed it.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I'm with ya, the older Westerbekes just ran till they were worn out. You could troubleshoot and replace just the component that needed replacing. Now it seems as if we have a generation of parts changers. Just keep replacing stuff till it starts working. Temps are so much more critical now with the electronic stuff, particularly the boards. Makes me glad I'm retired. I used to be a plumber also and we would rebuild valves from the 1930s, they were more like artwork especially the tub/shower valves, then cartridges came in and people just started throwing stuff away. Such a shame that we don't fix stuff like we used to. Just replaced a leaking cork seal on my 1951 Lincoln glass fuel pump bowl and it was easy, try that with any newer car. Of course there are trade offs, my Lincoln has a 337 cubic inch engine that is lucky to squeeze out 150 hp. Sorry, I'm getting on a tangent.
 
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