Alternator starting from scratch

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by TollyWally, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    I'm helping my friend with some various wiring problems on his classic old woody. He has an old flathead recently converted from positive ground.

    The boat currently has a fairly new 1 wire alternator that is quite unreliable. LOL of course it runs perfectly at the repair shop. All the connections have been cleaned and remade. We got it working a few weeks ago but it has failed again. I suspect some kind of intermittant failure with the internal regulator.

    At this point it is time to start anew. I would appreciate suggestions for a new alternator and regulator set up. This boat does not need a real robust system. What is the good, reliable, cheap easy to service, universally available alternator of my dreams? :) I believe I would prefer an externally mounted regulator for future service. Thanks!

    A side question, what is the difference between marine and automotive alternators? Is it just screening?
     
  2. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    I would look for a new alternator like the one you have,
    the newer internal regulated one are very reliable for the
    most part. The external regulators are just more wiring
    to deal with and more chance of problems later.

    I do not know if there is a difference in auto and marine
    units. Sparks are the big concern with marine electronic.
    and alternators have a continues stator ring and should
    not produce sparks if the brushes and their springs are
    in good shape. Some may require an external cooling
    duct?

    I would also recheck all the connections as the alternator
    may not be the problem?

    The very early internal alternators did have some problems
    with bad connections of the field windings, you can see
    it is burnt if you take it apart.

    What brand is the alternator?
     
  3. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Any loose wire will harm the alts. I would only use copper washers and nuts for all connections.

    Clean and check the ground , then wire in a SECOND ground path , wire is really cheap insurance.

    FF
     
  4. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Gentlemen,
    Thanks for the reply. I've already done the basics, all terminals have been throughly cleaned, new fat wire and new wire connections from the battery, alternator, main switch, and the main bus. A secondary ground wire was added at the start of this puzzling fiasco. Ground was checked out with an ohm meter.

    I'm no rocket scientist when it comes to the intricacies of alternator minutia but I think I've covered the basics. At the alternator shop it has always worked perfectly when they run it up on the test bench. The test setup really spins it fast.

    I haven't done the math on the pulley sizes yet but I can't imagine they are so far off that it isn't spinning fast enough to turn the internal regulator on. He has revved the motor higher than is comfortable trying to get it to kick. It worked after the intial recabling etc. but has failed again.

    My guess is that the internal regulator on this one wire alternator has some sort of intermittant glitch. When the boat comes back I will go through the connections one more time and double check the belt tension but...

    This just shouldn't be so difficult. My friend is frusterated and I am sick of fooling with it. Unless I find something obvious it is time to move on.

    So again I make the plea for suggestions, what is the good, reliable, cheap easy to service, universally available alternator of my dreams? I believe I would prefer an externally mounted regulator for future service.

    The electrical system on this boat is compact with quite comfortable access so I'm not scared to do a little rework for another system.

    On a completely different note

    Fred,
    I received the amp hour meter I mentioned a while ago, http://www.rc-electronics-usa.com and am going to begin playing with it, checking out it's capabilities etc. before mounting it permently( if it works!)
     
  5. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    As far as I am concerned the dream alternator is the mid
    80's Delco single wire internal regulated 80 amp!

    They come as small as a 55 amp, but cost is the same!

    They are cheap, long lasting and easy to install and repair!

    As for pulley size, just don't spin it too fast, it will work
    at low rpm, 3000 is fine, 1.5 above engine rpm! I use one
    with a B&S 3.5 HP at 3000 rpm and get about 50 amps!
     
  6. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    10SI can either be 1 or 2 wire,, most common everywhere and cheap as hell.. i can give you NUMEROUS numbers and prices ;)
    ^^ owns alternator and starter shop :D
     
  7. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Hey 1,
    I think I get what ^^ means, LOL but I didn't savvy 10SI. common everywhere and cheap as hell sounds perfect. Any more details on 1 wire or 2?
    Thanks
     
  8. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    10SI is just a a "general" alt. they use on EVERYTHING,, if you have a 1 wire, all you do is change the regulator $5 to a 2 prong reg.,,if you walk into ANY parts store ask them about a 10si ,, they'll just stare at ya, and point ya to the computer to show you the thousands of applications its used for,,hehe. their on everything from gm and other cars,, to forklifts,tractors,bobcats,,,,,,,so on, and on, and on, and on.
    If ANY of the usa guys ( cause i dont know bout shipping over seas) wants a alt.,, call me and i can usually find a GOOD 1 a whole lot cheaper then most.
    you can get 10si from 42 or so amps up to i think 80 or 100 amps,, maybe more,,,, you can even go to a 21 or 22si and their just as common, but handle a bigger "load".and theeir just as cheap ( close) as the 10si.

    EDIT: you can also change the 10si from a 2 to a 1
     
  9. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Location: usa

    BHOFM Senior Member

    Much, is that the one I speak of? I have seen it on just
    about everything that moves and some that don't.
     
  10. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    yup i imagine it is,, bout the size of a cantaloupe,and just a little longer then 1.i got the regs now to switch from 2 ta 1 wire.
     
  11. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    i can get 22si 145amps for $100 ,,can even get them moterolla "load handlers" 130 amps for $130.,,,,so that means in a store the 22si would be around $190 ,, and the load handler round $250
     
  12. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Hey 1,

    Thanks for the great info. That is exactly what I wanted to know. I'll check around here and see about local availability. Maybe I'll take you up on your offer if the numbers are too high. Any idea what shipping might be up to Washington State? I wonder what one of those suckers weighs? More than a cantalope I bet! :)
     
  13. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    you can ship crap pretty heavy in 2 ta 4 days i think for round $40 ,,,least thats what it costs me when i buy from ebay,,haha ( man i love my hotdog steamer :p )
     

  14. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: maine

    the1much hippie dreams

    oh,,hehe,, your welcome man ,, but dont start asking "technical" ca-ca ,,cause i dont know,,haha,, dont wanna know,,;) i can fix em, and rebuild em,, other then that,, dont know how, why,or anything like that bout them,,hahaha :D:D;)
     
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