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Old 09-10-2012, 15:47   #1
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Alternator Belt Residue

I have a Balmar alternator on my Perkins engine, the belt is not a perfect fit and results in belt wear at a higher that normal rate, the problem is the residue from the belt gets all over the engine and the engine bed.

I have had little success in cleaning this stuff off the fiberglass, would anybody have a proven method to clean this stuff.


Thanks

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Old 09-10-2012, 17:08   #2
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

I've used CLR in the motor room. Works for lot's of stuff. And yeah, I've had similar probs with V-belt dust when the proper size spare just isn't to be found.

CLR = Calcium/Lime/Rust cleaner. Sometimes that's the brand name,sometimes just a knock-off product. Both seem to work.
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Old 09-10-2012, 17:35   #3
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

I hate to say this but the best thing I have found is soap, water and diesel fuel. Sounds wicked but it works great if your close enough to open water or it's dark enough to let it go.
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Old 10-10-2012, 21:42   #4
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Great. Instead of correcting what is probably a misalignment problem, the OP gets advice to pollute the ocean. Superb.
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Old 10-10-2012, 22:07   #5
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Why is the belt not a perfect fit...one belt I assume ?..the standard balmar pulley takes an A-section belt either 3/8 or 1/2"..if your engine pulleys and belt are not A section, you need a different pully on the alternator...one to match...
Or is it that the alternator is out of alignment ?...if so, then fix it ...
That's my advice for what it's worth
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Old 10-10-2012, 22:23   #6
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

If the problem is that the belt is not a good fit, REPLACE THE BELT.

There are all sorts of v-belt profiles and you can find charts of them online, showing the belt profile and dimensions. From there is is a simple matter to measure your pulleys and look for the oldest guy in the auto parts store to order the new belt for you.

The newbs have never seen a v-belt, you need the oldest person in the store.

I'm taking you at your word that the belt is wrong, rather than the pulleys being out of alignment.
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Old 10-10-2012, 23:35   #7
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Kerosene might work. Its wonderful on many oil based stain, Road Tar and numerous nigly cleaning jobs..
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:03   #8
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat View Post
I hate to say this but the best thing I have found is soap, water and diesel fuel. Sounds wicked but it works great if your close enough to open water or it's dark enough to let it go.
Had a similar problem on my Yanmar.
Alignment checked out ok. Cleaned some rust, rough surface spots from the pully groves, helped but still belts were wearing. Has to re-tension after any lengthy run.
Eventually got the right belt from a Yanmar supplier. Lasted this season and still sitting proud of the engine pully rim.
Cleaned up with soap and water and brought the cloths home for the bin.
Dumping dirty waste into the sea is Not the answer
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Old 11-10-2012, 00:41   #9
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Sticking with my original comment: "And yeah, I've had similar probs with V-belt dust when the proper size spare just isn't to be found." Or the "proper" alternator for that matter.

Sometimes, when cruising the world, ya' just gotta make do with what you can find. The Admiral will NOT be happy to swing on the hook for six weeks awaiting just-the-right-part when hurricane season is closing in and the local autoparts store has something that'll get us through.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:21   #10
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

Glass Plus works fine for me. I have the same setup. Make sure your alignment is exact and that you adjust the belt tight enough that you can not turn the Balmar fan blades by hand...careful not to over tension. This worked for 7000 hrs for me. I also use a Balmar regulator that allows a "soft" or ramped start up.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:35   #11
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

I was waiting for someone else to suggest getting the right belt, but hesitated because perhaps where the skipper is he can't find one.

We use Simple Green, sometime full strength, sometime diluted.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:14   #12
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

I've had good luck with Castrol Super Clean, available just about anywhere auto stuff is sold. I use it to clean really greasy crud off my motorcycle and cars. Spray it on, then hose it off--in your case, maybe wipe down with a very wet rag or paper towels.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:49   #13
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

I've never had a high output Alternator/Reg setup that didnt create that dust, but all mine were single V belts.
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:55   #14
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Re: Alternator Belt Residue

My contribution is based on a my own experience. Even my well stocked local chandlers couldn,t get it right first time. And yes, I kept the slightly chewed belt for emergency use as any belt that fits is better than none.
Thought I,d highlight the need to ensure the pully,s are rust free and smooth on the drive faces and of course the pollution issue.
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:28   #15
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Upgrade to a serpentine pulley system and say goodbye to the belt dust. I am running a 160 amp alt with no more belt ware since changing to the serpentine system.

I just used a brush on everything and then vacuumed up all the belt dust. The engine looked like new under all that old rubber dust
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