#1 2022-02-23 11:55:04

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi All,
I installed a new Beta Marine 16 HP on my Frances 26, , while she was hauled out for that reason, and other major upgrades. I followed all of the info and recommendations from various members on the Beta installation, up sized the cooling water intake, fitted a siphon break with a tell tale, and ordered the cross over injection bend. This has an id of 50 mm, so on the advice of the yard, I installed a 50mm to 40 mm reducer, and used the existing Vetus water lock muffler and exhaust system.
The  yard would not let me test run the engine, as the boat was in a hangar. On launch day, the engine started easily, but due to the current in the slot, I had to leave immediately. All went well, and I motored for 3,1 hours and docked at the marina. As I was single handing, and have a very tight berth, two friends came to help take my dock lines. The engine was idling a bit fast at about 1000rpm and it suddenly stopped, no alarms or other noises. I made a joke, and said that it’s the newest feature, “as soon as the dock lines are tied, the engine stops automatically”. The problem was, that it would then not start again! I checked all the usual things, had two marine diesel mechanics check everything, but still no luck. Today, the Malaysian Beta Marine distributor sent another two mechanics, who initially said it has to be a fuel problem, but checked everything and eventually found a lack of compression. They then detected oil and seawater, in the air intake manifold. This negates the Beta warranty, and I am faced with having to do a major overhaul on an engine with 3,1 hours on the clock.

Their conclusion is that this is because of me reducing the exhaust from 50 to 40 mm id. I have a 50mm exhaust system on my Beta 50 HP, and assumed that 40mm would be adequate for a 16 HP. They were also critical of the anti siphon break unit, which is in the electrical panel, where it has always been. My question for those who have done Beta 14 or 16 installations , is did you up size the exhaust, and did you raise the anti siphon break?

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#2 2022-02-23 21:58:08

Jonathan_Hopper
Member
Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 132

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Bill - that awful, and all sounds stressful.   

To start, Francesca (14hp) has the original 38mm exhaust and wetbox, though it was re-routed to the port side.   No high rise exhaust.   Anti-syphon between heat exchanger and the injection bend is sited in the electrical distribution zone as high as it would go (if it worked ok here with the Yanmar why would it not work with the Beta?).   It is a similar one to the original (Halyard Marine), but bigger - ie has no tell-tale.   The vent pipe drops towards the bilge in front of the engine.    When brand new the engine ran for maybe 30s and cut out, then repeated a few times, and was away - I guess fuel priming.   Never missed a beat since.

Can you confirm, from your description, that your engine ran once, and once only?

If so, it is hard to see that the exhaust system has caused a hydrolock which then shut the engine down.   With the engine running the anti-syphon is irrelevant.  It is only after the engine has run can water syphon to the exhaust.  If you look at the installation manual it talks about I think 12l of exhaust water per minute across several different engines - in which case it may well be the same water pump as the 14?    It is difficult to see a running engine backfilling due to this diameter change.    Did you notice any problems with water out the back?    There are reports of delamination in exhaust hose causing restrictions, but not come across it  - I wonder if this could cause a back pressure?      BTW - where is your anti-syphon feed and take-off?   The Beta manual talks of risks from syphoning when the water pump is worn, so presumably when new they are pretty watertight.

As an aside, the 38mm exhaust is considerably bigger than the water intake.   In addition, if you 'upgrade' to a 50mm pipe, you need a significantly bigger wetbox capacity.

So it could be you have 2 puzzles - what stopped the engine, and why are you detecting sea water in the intake (presumably for no compression the engineers are assuming hydrolocked?)?   Did they take the injectors out and check the cylinders?   What does the oil look like - ie level and whether fluffy?   

If the engine ran once (apart from stopping at the end of it), how much re-starting did you try, and did you/the engineers turn off the raw water inlet first?   If not, it is possible the exhaust/engine got filled with water through multiple attempts to re-start?   

I suppose there is another place you can get sea water into the engine and that is through the back of the water pump.   Pretty unlikely I would have thought.

Edit. - presumably you don't have a T in the raw water to feed the stern gland?

When it first stopped, did you open the bleed valve and operate the lift pump again, and if so was there fuel?   After a longish run I have heard of the tank vent pipe being blocked causing a vacuum in the tank and therefore no fuel, but you would expect this to be alleviated after a while.   Might be worth blowing down the vent pipe just to eliminate it.

It would be tempting to give a description of the installation and events to Beta UK and ask them for their comments.

Last edited by Jonathan_Hopper (2022-02-23 22:16:59)

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#3 2022-02-25 10:17:07

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi Jonathan,
Yes the engine started instantly once I relaunched. Idling was a bit high at 1000rpm due to the cable adjustment, and maximum rpm was 2500, at which time I was doing around 6 knots! The new 3 bladed MaxProp is over pitched, at the idling speed of 1000rpm, she was doing well over 2 knots. Other than that, it ran flawlessly for 3,1 hrs, and suddenly stopped shortly after I had docked. Water flow out of both the exhaust, and the anti siphon break tell tale on the Starboard side were normal. I have the full instrument panel in the cockpit, and I was monitoring oil pressure, temperature, rpm and speed every 10 minutes for the whole trip. I have a new PSS shaft seal with a breather pipe ending next to the anti siphon unit in the electrical panel, so no feed to the stern gland. The oil in the engine is absolutely clean, and on the mark, as one would expect after just 3 hours.
The mechanics removed both injectors to check the spray pattern. No water was evident when the engine was cranked with the injectors removed. They found the oil and seawater gunk in the inlet manifold, when they checked that for a possible blockage.

I initially assumed a fuel problem, so I checked the fuel system first. I have an outboard motor squeeze bulb pump in the fuel line between the tank and the Racor fuel filter/water separator. When I squeeze the pump, I can hear the fuel returning into the tank. Once I had established that there was no fuel problems, I tried once or twice to start the engine with the inlet seacock open. After that it has remained closed, and all 3 of the mechanics also kept it closed.
I have been in contact with Beta from the beginning. They immediately blamed the installation for the fault, and also suggested that I had done something to the fuel pump. They requested a compression test, which was very difficult, as no one on the island had a tester, but once they had that info. They said it was hydrolocked, therefore not covered by warranty, and basically wiped their hands on the problem. I was totally unimpressed by the level of customer service. I had similar lack of communication from Beta UK 10 years ago when I fitted the Beta 50 into my Ebbtide. I know there are other Ebbtides with the same engine in the UK and asked questions, but got no replies. Eventually I contacted Beta in the USA, who were most helpful. The Beta installation manual calls for the water injection point on the exhaust outlet to be at least 300mm above the water line. Impossible on a Frances. It also calls for the siphon break to be 500mm above the water level, not possible in the electrical panel, but achievable if the hoses are taken through to the locker behind the toilet and the siphon break mounted there.
My major concern is that after the rebuild, the same thing happens again. Everyone that I have spoken too, agrees that there is nothing wrong with my installation, and that an engine cannot stop and be hydrolocked while it is running.

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#4 2022-02-26 20:57:52

Kevin_Misselbrook
Member
Registered: 2017-05-26
Posts: 41

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi Bill,
I'm very sorry to hear of your experience - which must be infuriating.
My F26 came with a relatively new BETA 16 and again the anti-syphon is as high up in the electrical panel as possible (pretty standard). 
The anti-syphon I have is not supposed to stream water (it has a one way valve) but there is a vent pipe to let air in when the engine stops.  However, I know that Vetus also do the AirVentH with a hose and a hull skin fitting which I'm guessing is what you have.
One question ... is there any way that when coming into dock the anti-syphon hose end was submerged (perhaps if the boat heeled by your weight?)    If this were the case then there is a danger that a syphon occurred as there would be no air being brought up to release the syphon pressure.  Worth checking that the hose hull fitting is as high as possible. 
However that doesn't explain why the engine stopped as the danger of syphon only happens as the engine is stopped. 
On the question of 40mm vs 50mm I'm assuming that Beta think that there is too much back-pressure if you're coming off the exhaust manifold with a 40mm exhaust into a water-lock, that on the F26, has to sit relatively high. Looking on the internet I note that a 50mm exhaust has 12.5cm2 whilst a 40mm exhaust is 7cm2 (56% of the 50mm).  Beta seem to be pretty explicit about their demands for a 50mm exhaust system.   There is also the danger that cranking an engine that doesn't start, with the water inlet open, could cause issues as there is no exhaust pressure to clear the water out and you just fill up the water lock and then the exhaust pipe. 
All of these considerations still don't explain why the engine stalled and stopped - which has to be a different matter altogether.
I'm sorry I can't offer more encouraging input but hopefully this provides you with more information to make the installation bullet-proof.

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#5 2022-02-27 00:26:38

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi Kevin,
Thanks for your input, both you, and Jonathan, have been most helpful during the Beta 16 installation on Inyoni and the subsequent problem. I am very grateful to both of you.

Yes my anti siphon unit is exactly where the original one was, and it is the type with a tell tale hose to a small skin fitting, which is high up on the Starboard side of the hull, above the bilge pump outlet. It was never close to being under water. No one agrees that the reduction of the exhaust hose diameter from 50 to 40 mm should cause problems on a 16 HP engine.

Speaking to another very experienced engineer and sailor yesterday, he said that as the engine was easy to turn over after it stopped while running, it could not possibly have water in it. That was born out by the fact that no water came out when the injectors were removed and the engine cranked for the compression test. The theory now is that somehow the camshaft timing has shifted, so that the valve openings are not in sync with the pistons. This would explain why the engine stopped, why there is a 75% drop in compression, and also why there is oily seawater in the air intake manifold, which should be subject to suction only. He also stated that an engine which has supposedly had sea water in the cylinders for 3 months would be rusted up, and impossible, or very difficult to turn, which mine is not.

My next step will be to check if the valves are closed at top dead center, and then remove the cylinder head for a visual inspection of the pistons and bores. Beta are unfortunately not being co operative at all, rejecting any comments, and insisting that it is an installation fault.

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#6 2022-02-28 13:18:29

Hugo_Motamelo
Member
Registered: 2016-12-24
Posts: 9

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

1646078561_p10102211.jpgHi Bill,

I am very sorry to hear of your bad experience.
I have a Yanmar 2GM20F (1988) in my Frances 26 Boreas K since, I guess, the boat was built in 1988. Just for you to know, the hose that goes from the mixing elbow to the water muffler is 50/1mm ID and the hose that goes from the water muffler to the exit of the boat is 45mmID; I have a vetus water muffler without access at all so I guess it is there since the boat was built!
The anti siphon valve is still the brass/ bronze original one( from volvo?) and is as usual in the electrical compartment as high as possible. The small hose ( telltale?) that is connected to the valve instead of going into the bilge goes along the companionway so I have access to it. Before switching the engine off or right after I blow into that hose and only stop blowing when I feel that air is going into the anti siphon valve. Doing this I am almost certain that a siphonic flow will not be possible to happen.
I am sorry to hear that Beta company is not being co operative at all.

Last edited by Hugo_Motamelo (2022-02-28 21:03:13)

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#7 2022-03-05 01:55:14

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

As can be seen from the photos below, I have a a disaster on my hands here with the Beta Marine 16 on Inyoni, my Frances 26. The engine has got water in to it. No one knows how, and also no one knows why it stopped while idling at 1000rpm. I will be taking this virtually new engine out for an overhaul after only 3.1 hours of running. The big worry is still what happened, and why. The cylinder head has been sent to the mainland for pressure testing. This is a huge setback, both financially and time wise, but I just have to go ahead step by step and rectify it.
1646441200_img_2022-3-3-210734.jpg
1646441276_img_2022-3-3-211140.jpg
1646441321_img_2022-3-3-211443.jpg
1646441352_img_2022-3-3-211540.jpg
1646441638_img_2022-3-5-085301.jpg

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#8 2022-05-10 07:11:35

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Well finally,  I have received the necessary spare parts to begin rebuilding the Beta Marine 16 HP.
The belief that Kubota parts are easy to find, is a myth. I tried Beta UK, and USA, Kubota in 4 different countries and eventually had success with an Australian company who sources parts from Hong Kong. Very good service and very reasonably priced.

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#9 2022-05-11 21:12:05

Hugo_Motamelo
Member
Registered: 2016-12-24
Posts: 9

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi Bill,

Did you find the reason of your engine's problem?

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#10 2022-05-12 01:30:20

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Hi Hugo,
Unfortunately not. There is still no logical explanation as to why the engine stopped while at a fast idle. What happened after that is another matter. My first priority now is to rebuild the motor, and bench test it.

I am making some changes to the installation, the first being to raise the anti siphon valve by placing it in the locker aft of the toilet. I will also relocate the tell tale outlet from this valve, to a position just under the deck level. The second modification is to fabricate a higher cross over exhaust outlet. I will first have to re install the engine so that I can maximize this height. I will also be replacing the exhaust hose, but staying with 40mm diameter, as there is no space for a larger capacity muffler.

Personally, I am not very convinced that any of these are required, as none of the other Frances 26, Beta powered boats have problems. It is just that I now have the opportunity to do so relatively easily.

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#11 2022-05-26 10:46:11

Bill_Robinson
Member
From: Langkawi, Malaysia
Registered: 2021-06-14
Posts: 48

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

The engine has been rebuilt, and bench tested today. Still has to be re installed in Inyoni.
I tried to upload a short video, but could not do it.

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#12 2022-05-26 20:15:09

Jonathan_Hopper
Member
Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 132

Re: Beta Marine 16 problem.

Best of luck.   Let us know how it goes, and if you ever come up with any working theories.    What damage was there to the engine?

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