Monday, November 18, 2013


Today was a frustrating day of searching for parts. If nothing else, Tim's desire to replace this Wester-"beast" engine, as some people call it (Tim has another name), makes sense if only to replace it with something that has spare parts available. Nearly every single item I've looked for has been NLA (no longer available in parts speak). This seems to stem from the fact that our particular Westerbeke is one of the ones using a British Leyland block, and many of the parts are only available in the UK. Glow plugs for instance. Common part, used on nearly every older diesel engine and available anywhere. But ours? NLA. The only place we could find them was under a cross-referenced number guessed it...the UK. Engine overtemp alarm switch? NLA. Engine coolant temp sensor? NLA.The most frustrating thing is that I know most of these parts have a generic part number and could be bought for a song at the local tractor store if I could just get a cross reference number, but they don't seem to exist anywhere. The only success I've had was with the glow plug relay, found on amazon for $21. Wanna know how I found that one? I searched Google images until I found one similar to ours and then fine-tuned till I got the exact model.

So in the mean time we're getting some smaller projects done. Tim fixed a broken piece of teak in the cockpit today and re-mounted a piece of fiberglass framing around a shelving insert in the cockpit so the mounting screws actually went into the fiberglass instead of into air like it was from the factory. I've been working on some modifications to the dodger to make it better. Now that we've used it awhile there were a couple things we needed to add. We've been doing our daily walkabout and a few bicycle rides to the post office to pick up parts, some bread baking, and cooking and lots of reading. The weather has been fantastic. Except for a few days of thirties in the morning, we've been doing a pretty good job at meeting our goal of chasing 70° and missing the snow that some of you have had already. That's one thing I'm glad is NLA.

Coffee Meter: 10
What's on the menu today


KAR said...

The other people that you've met that have the same boat , are they having the same problems with their engine?

TJ said...

As soon as I mention "Westerbeke" anyone who has tangled with one of these things they nod and says, "Worse customer service I have ever seen." And that's before I say anything else. I don't know how or when or if we can swing it, but getting a new engigne in Kintala is climbing very high on my list of things I may have to figure out how to do.

Unknown said...

British Leyland...ugh reminds me of my Triumph

And, Everytime I see the word Westerbeke, I'm reminded of the funny assistant to the professor from the Muppets. A Freudian reflection of the quality???

Unknown said...

what keeps you from ordering the parts in the good ole UK ? Sure it might take a couple days longer, but better than to substitute with lawnmover parts, which might or might not work. Did you get your Outboard goin ?
I would see this as an opportunity ... buy some extra plugs and / or parts which break and are not available over here, and than sell them to cover your postage :-)

Best Thor

Unknown said...

Hello from Southern Illinois, I'm now an avid Retirement Project follower! Cameron Marine is rooting for you.

Unknown said...

Tim, I take it that you tried

Deb said...

@Gerry - Hi Gerry! We need all the support we can get :)

@Ray - Yes, we have tried all the online sources. None of them have the parts in stock and they all have to order them from the factory. If we're going to order from the factory then it makes sense to order from the local distributor here who can then ship them to us in one day ground.

@Thorsten - we did order the parts from the UK. Three days till shipping, and then an undetermined time for them to arrive through customs. My guess is it will be at least a week or maybe two. We can't afford to pay premium freight prices right now and the standard Air Mail takes time.

@John - too funny. I'd forgotten about that. Thanks - I needed the laugh.