Another air leak thread

Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Been having an issue with the first season of my new Beta 35. It starts up so quick, you can’t push the button fast enough. Runs for 15-20 sec and it either stutters/recovers or it dies. Quick push of the starter button and it starts and is good for the rest of the day or trip. If used every day, no problems. I’ve cleaned out all the Racor 500 seal grooves, changed seals yadda yadda to no avail. Loctite thread seal was used on all fittings that include a shutoff valve. All hose is a year old. Beta suggested a lift pump which did help a bit. I am right at the edge of the mech pump lift specs..So now, I’m getting serious. I put a one foot section of clear 5/16 hose between the fuel line and the engine right where it connects on engine. I made it into a big loop (highest point in system) which I orientated vertically and ran the engine. For some reason, the engine didn’t even notice the air in the clear tubing. It just kept on running. Huh?? Ran for about 20minutes looking at the clear tubing with a flashlight and no noticeable air. Shut down and left it for 4 days. Went back to the boat and there was an air bubble at the top of the loop. I flicked the loop with my finger and another bubble rose up from the boat side of the loop. So, this tells me my leak is somewhere upstream of the engine. I’d like to reloate the Racor, so I thought about ripping the whole system out and re plumbing etc. But I’d like to know whats leaking. So, I think I will disconnect from engine and plug the ships line and pressurize with a bicycle pump at the tank end and see what happens. I’m suspecting the shutoff valve..
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,225
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
The stem packing on the shutoff may bear some investigation.. sometimes, a drop of oil on the stem at the packing will stop the leak.. and then tighten the nut that holds the packing in a flat or so.. If the valve has an o-ring, that may have aged and developed a crack..
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Went to the boat today with a bicycle pump and fittings. I was just starting to hook things up when I noticed a bubble just barely sticking out of the barb on the engine. I took the clear tube and bent it down and the bubble entered the tube and rose up when I straightened things out again. A big bubble..this is from the engine. I started trying to turn hose clamps (which aren’t really clamps) and every hose connection on lift pump, filter, and inj pump turned very easily. These clamps are not the usual screw type. They are bands put on by a machine. Think of it as a zip tie..Amazing!! Shame on Beta for using these. They are not reuseable if they had to be removed. This is one of the stupidest designs I’ve ever seen. They probably did this as its fast and they dont have to stock different size hose clamps for engine builds. Beta in UK and both places in US are going to receive an interesting email. With new clamps, the engine sounds very steady where as before, there would be minute audible engine changes. Still going to relocate the Racor and replumb the boat side.
 
Nov 6, 2006
9,225
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Good detective work, Mark.. that should ease your concerns..
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
That is a real disappointment Mark. Good news that you discovered it before it became an issue out in the water or up in the Broughton Archipelago.
It will be interesting to see their reply. Especially with the cost of the engine.
 
May 20, 2016
2,992
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
Sorry this happened to you. Good that you have the skill to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
 
Dec 25, 2000
5,048
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Mark, our new go to guy. What a reputation for finding trouble and fixing it. Some would just throw up their hands and cry uncle.:poke:
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,170
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
Now we have a heads guy and an air leak guy. All bases covered!
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
I also have this issue with the new saildrive of oil puking out the vent after an oil change. I’m not going to call their clamp design stupid until after that gets resolved....
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
So, everything is back together and was pressurized to 15psi. So I went to lunch and back an hr later and we were at 11psi. I have a spray bottle of 409 and started spraying all connection points looking for bubbles..nothing. I had pulled the fuel line off the mechanical lift pump as I didn’t want to stress it and capped it. Sprayed and bubbles! So I declared victory and hooked every thing up and put power to the electric pump with the fuel line into a jug and filled the ships fuel system. Reconnected and bled the onboard filter and injector pump and it fired right up. No leaks and ran fine until oil runs out the saildrive vent which I expected. Now for the rest of the story which drifts a bit. Received a phone call from Beta West saying to expect a pkg from either the UK or Italy containg parts and procedure for fixing the saildrive. What the hell? They expect me to fix a saildrive that is only a year old and under warranty? Told them I was not comfortable with that even though I probably could. The Beta guys that installed the engine/saildrive are also not comfortable doing it as they are not mechanics. So, we’ll see where things go from here..
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,087
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Sometimes it feels like the warranty process is more difficult than the installation.
 
May 20, 2016
2,992
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
This thread has me rethinking the beta as a potential repower for my Universal

Mark hope the fix isn’t too involved.
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,170
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
This thread has me rethinking the beta as a potential repower for my Universal
This sounds more like installer problems then motor problems. Not all mechanics are created equal. I believe they are both Kubotas at heart?
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Les, don’t let this sway your thinking about Beta. It is a sweet engine. Starts right up, runs smooth, and is a cinch to bleed (with electric lift pump. I did ask Beta about their hose clamp design and he said its designed to hold a constant pressure. Whatever that means. I stated that I changed their design because of air issues. No comments. What I really don’t like about it is field serviceability. If you have to remove a hose for whatever reason, better have some clamps available. As for the saildrive, Beta doesn’t make that. Twin Disc does. Beta just offers it as part of a pkg.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Went to the boat yesterday after six days and started it. Ran it for 10 min with no dying, sputtering, coughing, etc. saildrive parts are on their way and a mechanic is lined up. Probably happen after 1st of the year. Things are looking up!
 
  • Like
Likes: Michael Davis
Aug 28, 2006
493
Bavaria 35E seattle
The entirety of boat warranties is a wacky subject. Can you imagine that your year old Ford has a strut problem? The dealer says "yes we sold the car as a package, but we didn't make the strut....Monroe did - go to them." Or you buy an HP laptop, and the hard-drive fails...."not our problem - call Western Digital." I believe the Beta dealer should be working on the saildrive problem regardless.
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Perhaps I wasn’t clear..Beta worked all the logistics to get the properly trained technician to perform the task on the saildrive. Beta is handling all the warranty issues from my end even though they did not manufacture the saildrive. With the current situation, what more can I reasonably ask?