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Old 05-12-2013, 15:44   #1
Jd1
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Balmer 6 Series Alternator - Who Makes It?

I have been looking into upgrading my electrical system. The easies part of that, to get my feet wet so to speak, is the alternator upgrade. I have a 2004/5 Catalina 36 mark ii with a Universal M35B engine. I eventually anticipate going to Lithium batteries and expect to also change my 3/8 " v-belt to a serpentine setup. I would like to install a large capacity alternator (around 150 amps) and throttle it to half power until the belt system is upgraded using a Balmar 614 external regulator.
The 6 series Balmar alternator, which is available up to 160A in a small case, seems to fit the available space but I am choking on the $900 area price tag.
I would ideally like to purchase the alternator before it receives the fancy Balmar paint job and price tag. I am hoping to get the manufacturer name and model if I can. If it makes a difference, the current alternnator has a 2"spool foot.
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Old 05-12-2013, 15:58   #2
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

How much hp will that alternator suck out of your engine? I think it's overkill to put such a large alternator on a 30+ hp engine. A 100 amp small case alternator would be plenty. What is the size of your battery bank? In addition relying on the engine to charge the battery bank is shortsighted if you intend to go cruising. Spend the $ on solar.
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Old 05-12-2013, 17:28   #3
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
I have been looking into upgrading my electrical system. The easies part of that, to get my feet wet so to speak, is the alternator upgrade. I have a 2004/5 Catalina 36 mark ii with a Universal M35B engine. I eventually anticipate going to Lithium batteries and expect to also change my 3/8 " v-belt to a serpentine setup. I would like to install a large capacity alternator (around 150 amps) and throttle it to half power until the belt system is upgraded using a Balmar 614 external regulator.
The 6 series Balmar alternator, which is available up to 160A in a small case, seems to fit the available space but I am choking on the $900 area price tag.
I would ideally like to purchase the alternator before it receives the fancy Balmar paint job and price tag. I am hoping to get the manufacturer name and model if I can. If it makes a difference, the current alternnator has a 2"spool foot.
Balmar, Electromaax and Mark Grasser all produce marine HO alts based on the Delco 130D case. The important thing here is "based on" the 130D. These alts are then drastically tweaked from the automotive versions to produce better low RPM output, top quality magnet wire, tighter tolerances, high copper content brushes, better heat dissipation, heavy duty diodes, bigger and better bearings, the ability to run either internal or external regulation, isolated ground etc. etc.. Balmar makes their own alts, Electromaax makes thier own alts and Mark makes his own too. These are not "off the shelf"...

These alts are anything but "painted white".... Problem is if you eventually want to go serpentine then a 130D is what those kits are all based on. A typical 10DN or Motorola case alt won't work with a serp kit without some serious modification...

If you eventually want to go Li then the only small case alt I would recommend is the Balmar AT 165 which has been designed, offset & shaft wise, for the serp kits..

I have an alt that stared life as an Electromaax 140A that has been tweaked up and re-worked to 160A. it is STILL NOT a Balmar AT series. I have to run my 160A alt, which has been fully tweaked even beyond where E-Maax built it, at just 120A - 130A with the Li bank. Li can eat alternators for lunch! With an AT 165 you should be capable of 130A - 140A hot...

I have plenty of 100A+ alts running on engines from 18HP to 45 HP with no complaints from owners about power. Under 30HP I usually install an alt cut switch for an event where you might need more power.

In my experience when you install ANY small case alt, that is driving a large load, you are always best to up-size the alt and then derate it via belt manger. This helps it run cooler, last longer and saves your belt too. Running a 120A alt wide open won't net you 120A.... Running a 150A alt derated to 120A will yield close to 120A all day long for years and years....

If going Li and you want the most out of a small case alt then I would suggest a Balmar AT series.. If you want to derate it to belt manager 4 or 5 then a Balmar 6, Electromaax or Mark Grasser alt will be an excellent choice provided you size it with enough head room..

After July of 2011 the temp compensation for the alternator, in the MC-614's, got significantly smarter than it had been previously.

It now dials back and forth trying to find the optimum level of field output to match the temp limit and keep the alt a tad below that.. I still use belt manager though with temp compensation as an insurance policy.
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Old 05-12-2013, 18:14   #4
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Balmar, Electromaax and Mark Grasser all produce marine HO alts based on the Delco 130D case. The important thing here is "based on" the 130D. These alts are then drastically tweaked from the automotive versions to produce better low RPM output, top quality magnet wire, tighter tolerances, high copper content brushes, better heat dissipation, heavy duty diodes, bigger and better bearings, the ability to run either internal or external regulation, isolated ground etc. etc.. Balmar makes their own alts, Electromaax makes thier own alts and Mark makes his own too. These are not "off the shelf"...

These alts are anything but "painted white".... Problem is if you eventually want to go serpentine then a 130D is what those kits are all based on. A typical 10DN or Motorola case alt won't work with a serp kit without some serious modification...

If you eventually want to go Li then the only small case alt I would recommend is the Balmar AT 165 which has been designed, offset & shaft wise, for the serp kits..

I have an alt that stared life as an Electromaax 140A that has been tweaked up and re-worked to 160A. it is STILL NOT a Balmar AT series. I have to run my 160A alt, which has been fully tweaked even beyond where E-Maax built it, at just 120A - 130A with the Li bank. Li can eat alternators for lunch! With an AT 165 you should be capable of 130A - 140A hot...

I have plenty of 100A+ alts running on engines from 18HP to 45 HP with no complaints from owners about power. Under 30HP I usually install an alt cut switch for an event where you might need more power.

In my experience when you install ANY small case alt, that is driving a large load, you are always best to up-size the alt and then derate it via belt manger. This helps it run cooler, last longer and saves your belt too. Running a 120A alt wide open won't net you 120A.... Running a 150A alt derated to 120A will yield close to 120A all day long for years and years....

If going Li and you want the most out of a small case alt then I would suggest a Balmar AT series.. If you want to derate it to belt manager 4 or 5 then a Balmar 6, Electromaax or Mark Grasser alt will be an excellent choice provided you size it with enough head room..

After July of 2011 the temp compensation for the alternator, in the MC-614's, got significantly smarter than it had been previously.

It now dials back and forth trying to find the optimum level of field output to match the temp limit and keep the alt a tad below that.. I still use belt manager though with temp compensation as an insurance policy.
Very interesting, all that goes into a Balmar, prompted me to look into mine. I have a Hehr Powerline 23-109 (I think) rated at 100 A. It is derated to 70 A with the belt manager in the Balmar ARS-5. This alternator came with the boat -- mounted on a 3HM35F. I think it is at least ten years old. It cranks out 70 A for short periods when it needs to. Runs cool.

I see them priced closer to the $500 mark, but they are not as plentiful out there on the marine market. I don't see them at any of the bigger chandleries. Mine is what looks like anodized aluminum, but it is corrosion free. I can't be certain mine is a marine specific model, but the install was done by a FL marine electronics outfit per records of PO. I see others on the web that are powder coated now. They have lots of good things to say about their brushes and other components, and claim that it meets USCG Title 33 CFR 183.410 for diesel engines only. They are $450 here (I know nothing of this company):

Powerline 23HD Series Alternators - Alternators - Alternators - Electrical - Downwind Marine

Maine Sail -- have you seen many of these installed or know about their reliability? Anyone else out there have one installed? So far so good on this one, and I guess it would rebuild nicely. The price is right.
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Old 05-12-2013, 18:26   #5
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

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Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
Very interesting, all that goes into a Balmar, prompted me to look into mine. I have a Hehr Powerline 23-109 (I think) rated at 100 A. It is derated to 70 A with the belt manager in the Balmar ARS-5. This alternator came with the boat -- mounted on a 3HM35F. I think it is at least ten years old. It cranks out 70 A for short periods when it needs to. Runs cool.

I see them priced closer to the $500 mark, but they are not as plentiful out there on the marine market. I don't see them at any of the bigger chandleries. Mine is what looks like anodized aluminum, but it is corrosion free. I can't be certain mine is a marine specific model, but the install was done by a FL marine electronics outfit per records of PO. I see others on the web that are powder coated now. They have lots of good things to say about their brushes and other components, and claim that it meets USCG Title 33 CFR 183.410 for diesel engines only. They are $450 here (I know nothing of this company):

Powerline 23HD Series Alternators - Alternators - Alternators - Electrical - Downwind Marine

Maine Sail -- have you seen many of these installed or know about their reliability? Anyone else out there have one installed? So far so good on this one, and I guess it would rebuild nicely. The price is right.
Powerlines are decent alts often based on the 10DN frame but they make other case sizes too. Interestingly enough the founder of Powerline Dale E. now works at Balmar... Today they cater more to the ambulance, bus and rescue vehicle market.. I suspect their Series 23 is a very similar build to my own brand. Does the one or the right look like yours?

This is a Balmar AT-165A next to one of my CMI 125A alts both Yanmar/Hitachi mounts. Problem is the 10DN case does not lend well to a serp kit and the OP wants one...

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Old 05-12-2013, 18:28   #6
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Mark Grasser sells his alternators under the name DC Power Solutions and here is a link to his website:
www.markgrasser.com

80A for $499
100A for $529
160A for $799 with others inbetween.

Once you go over 100A...it's time for either serpentine of dual v-pulleys.

We have been distributing Mark's alternators now for about 2 years and have yet to see a failure or unhappy client. Mark's wiring is unique in that it lets you easily go between internal, extranal reg, or a dual situation so that if the external reg fails the internal takes over.

Mark makes and bench tests each alternator at his shop up in Maine.



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Old 05-12-2013, 18:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
I have been looking into upgrading my electrical system. The easies part of that, to get my feet wet so to speak, is the alternator upgrade. I have a 2004/5 Catalina 36 mark ii with a Universal M35B engine. I eventually anticipate going to Lithium batteries and expect to also change my 3/8 " v-belt to a serpentine setup. I would like to install a large capacity alternator (around 150 amps) and throttle it to half power until the belt system is upgraded using a Balmar 614 external regulator. The 6 series Balmar alternator, which is available up to 160A in a small case, seems to fit the available space but I am choking on the $900 area price tag. I would ideally like to purchase the alternator before it receives the fancy Balmar paint job and price tag. I am hoping to get the manufacturer name and model if I can. If it makes a difference, the current alternnator has a 2"spool foot.
Electromaax 160 amp is $756.
Mark Grasser 160 amp is $800

Balmar alts are sold by many vendors, and are sometimes on sale.

My suggestion: go as big as you can afford. The incremental difference isn't that much, and will be quickly forgotten. Your choice will live on, however.

FWIW, I'm in the middle of a 140 amp Electromaax install, with regulator and serpentine kit. On a 15 HP motor.
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Old 05-12-2013, 18:46   #8
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Powerlines are decent alts often based on the 10DN frame but they make other case sizes too. Interestingly enough the founder of Powerline Dale E. now works at Balmar... Today they cater more to the ambulance, bus and rescue vehicle market.. I suspect their Series 23 is a very similar build to my own brand. Does the one or the right look like yours?

This is a Balmar AT-165A next to one of my CMI 125A alts both Yanmar/Hitachi mounts. Problem is the 10DN case does not lend well to a serp kit and the OP wants one...

Interesting. Yes, that looks very much like mine - you are one industrious guy. Very happy with my install, with the Kyocera/Genasun doing most of the heavy lifting. Having one of these quality high-output alternators and a good regulator is a major improvement to a charging system, having run a stock alt on a yanmar, throwing out current in the teens mostly.
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Old 05-12-2013, 18:47   #9
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Mark Grasser sells his alternators under the name DC Power Solutions and here is a link to his website:
www.markgrasser.com

80A for $499
100A for $529
160A for $799 with others inbetween.

Once you go over 100A...it's time for either serpentine of dual v-pulleys.

We have been distributing Mark's alternators now for about 2 years and have yet to see a failure or unhappy client. Mark's wiring is unique in that it lets you easily go between internal, extranal reg, or a dual situation so that if the external reg fails the internal takes over.

Mark makes and bench tests each alternator at his shop up in Maine.



Broken link - FYI
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Old 05-12-2013, 19:04   #10
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Re: Balmer 6 Series Alternator - Who Makes It?

Try this one.
Mark Grasser - DC Power Solutions
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Old 05-12-2013, 21:29   #11
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Re: Balmer 6 Series Alternator - Who Makes It?

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Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
ElectroMaax....
Just good luck in getting customer support form ElectoMaax if things go bad...

SSCA Forum • View topic - any experience with electromaax alternators?

http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic....hilit=aquamaax

I more dishonest company I have not seen in all my years...
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Old 05-12-2013, 22:19   #12
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Just good luck in getting customer support form ElectoMaax if things go bad... SSCA Forum • View topic - any experience with electromaax alternators? http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic....hilit=aquamaax I more dishonest company I have not seen in all my years...
That has not been my experience thus far. In fact, my engine is not one that their belt kit officially fits, so I'm working with them to fabricate the necessary parts. As such I've been on the phone with their staff virtually every day for the last few weeks, plus lots of emails. Great support so far - no complaints from me.
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Old 05-12-2013, 23:57   #13
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Balmar, Electromaax and Mark Grasser all produce marine HO alts based on the Delco 130D case. The important thing here is "based on" the 130D. These alts are then drastically tweaked from the automotive versions to produce better low RPM output, top quality magnet wire, tighter tolerances, high copper content brushes, better heat dissipation, heavy duty diodes, bigger and better bearings, the ability to run either internal or external regulation, isolated ground etc. etc.. Balmar makes their own alts, Electromaax makes thier own alts and Mark makes his own too. These are not "off the shelf"...

These alts are anything but "painted white".... Problem is if you eventually want to go serpentine then a 130D is what those kits are all based on. A typical 10DN or Motorola case alt won't work with a serp kit without some serious modification...

If you eventually want to go Li then the only small case alt I would recommend is the Balmar AT 165 which has been designed, offset & shaft wise, for the serp kits..

If going Li and you want the most out of a small case alt then I would suggest a Balmar AT series.. If you want to derate it to belt manager 4 or 5 then a Balmar 6, Electromaax or Mark Grasser alt will be an excellent choice provided you size it with enough head room..
Thank you very much for that information. It looks like the AT series will fit although I think it will take a while to get over sticker shock on that one! Holy cow !!! I am looking at $2k for alternator and regulator and I haven't gotten the serpentine pulleys for the engine or water pump at that point!
BTW, anybody know of an off the shelf source for those two pullies for the Universal M35B?
Thank you for explaining why the Balmars are as expensive as they are. I had the feeling that Balmars were overpriced for what they are. Sounds like I am actually getting value for that (huge) cost! I will have to re-think and maybe go for a lower output alternator at a fraction of the cost (maybe the Leece/Neville 8MR series at 90A if it will fit) .....
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:08   #14
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Re: Balmer 6 series alternator - who makes it?

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Thank you very much for that information. It looks like the AT series will fit although I think it will take a while to get over sticker shock on that one! Holy cow !!! I am looking at $2k for alternator and regulator and I haven't gotten the serpentine pulleys for the engine or water pump at that point!
BTW, anybody know of an off the shelf source for those two pullies for the Universal M35B?
Thank you for explaining why the Balmars are as expensive as they are. I had the feeling that Balmars were overpriced for what they are. Sounds like I am actually getting value for that (huge) cost! I will have to re-think and maybe go for a lower output alternator at a fraction of the cost (maybe the Leece/Neville 8MR series at 90A if it will fit) .....
Once again those pulleys are custom made to fit each engine and nothing is off the shelf. E-Maax actually makes most of them and Balmar and E-Maax share regulators for pulley kits. Balmar recently purchased Alt Mount but it was a short product line.

A Leece-Neville 8MR is a decent little alt, for the money, but MUST be belt manager limited by 25-30%, making it a decent 60A alt. If you are at all considering Li in the future best not to cut corners on the charging system now. It may be better to do it incrementally..

Third Day makes some points about E-Maax that I have not totally experienced, to his level. They CAN be flakey and do and have had communication issues, and I have certainly had my share of frustration, but they seem to have been improving. That said I have learned to work with them and still use them as a source.

If you buy from E-Maax stay on top of it and document all conversations in case you slip through a crack. I find email best..

I do think Mark Grasser builds one of the best values in a 130D case alt but he is currently lacking pulley kits. Balmar also has a side mount terminal offering on the 6 series that makes tight fits even easier. Many Universals need the side mount pos & neg terminals..

Balmar and Mark both have tremendous support....



This will give you an idea of why the pulley kits are also not "off the shelf"..

ElectroMaax Serpentine Pulley Kit Upgrade

If you go Leece-Neville 8MR this how to convert to external regulation:

Leece-Neville 8MR External Regulation Conversion

Lots of choices and why I suggested a number of different options...
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:52   #15
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Re: Balmer 6 Series Alternator - Who Makes It?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Just good luck in getting customer support form ElectoMaax if things go bad...

SSCA Forum • View topic - any experience with electromaax alternators?

SSCA Forum • View topic - Request for information on Aquamaax Water makers

I more dishonest company I have not seen in all my years...
Wow Rich, I just read your post on the Aquamaax and that is HORRIFYING STUFF..

To be perfectly honest I have not had any dealings with John to anywhere near that level. My issues have been nit picky details, lack of follow through and poor communications issues, which seem to be becoming the norm today with many companies.. Arghh.

I was not aware when talking to you in Annapolis that your situation was that bad... Holy COW!!!!

That post really gives me a full understanding of what you have been through and gives me pause to re-think.....
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