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Old 13-07-2017, 09:46   #1
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Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

100-amp Delco alternator on Yanmar 3QM30.
3/8-inch single v-belt = fraying belts and a lot of black dust. Fine for day sails but ugly when the batteries get down a bit.

I have a custom serpentine belt kit on the way, but it will not get here before a coming cruise over a few days with visiting family and my wife is sooo anxious that our engine/electrical will not behave while they are here.

In the meantime, I have a Balmar MC-614 regulator. Friend told me he thinks the regulator can be set so the current demands from the alternator will be reduced. The 100-amp alternator will be told to act as a 70-amp alternator (or whatever current flow you prefer) and it will do that, no more black dust and fraying belts.

Is my friend correct? Sounds too easy, but would be the trick if it worked. I can't find anything in the Balmar literature, though might be looking in the wrong place.

My wife wants me to run out and buy a new 70-amp Balmar to get us through until the serpentine kit arrives! This could get expensive.
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Old 13-07-2017, 09:52   #2
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Yes, I believe it's called Belt Manager. Allows you to reduce output by a specified percentage.
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Old 13-07-2017, 10:15   #3
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

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Yes, I believe it's called Belt Manager. Allows you to reduce output by a specified percentage.
Of course, I googled that and reams of information came up. Thanks.
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Old 13-07-2017, 12:50   #4
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Yes, also Small Engine mode.
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Old 13-07-2017, 12:58   #5
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Make a jumper to connect the two alternator temperature terminals (614 regulator). The alternator output will be reduced 50%, about all that 3/8" will handle. This is the small engine mode.
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Old 14-07-2017, 09:40   #6
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Have you checked the alignment between the drive pulley and the alternator pulley? Alignment and belt tension had been the source of my problems.

I had an auto-electric shop shim out the pulley on the alternator to improve the alignment and I check the belt tension daily... same time I check the engine oil. Things are better now.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:04   #7
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

@Seighlor

Spent a lot of time with the alignment, but still worried about it. Had an marine electrician look at it and he said it was fine. Still check it a couple times a day. Hope the custom serpentine belt kit solves the problem, but it is not coming before the kiddies.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:06   #8
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foojin View Post
100-amp Delco alternator on Yanmar 3QM30.
3/8-inch single v-belt = fraying belts and a lot of black dust. Fine for day sails but ugly when the batteries get down a bit.

I have a custom serpentine belt kit on the way, but it will not get here before a coming cruise over a few days with visiting family and my wife is sooo anxious that our engine/electrical will not behave while they are here.

In the meantime, I have a Balmar MC-614 regulator. Friend told me he thinks the regulator can be set so the current demands from the alternator will be reduced. The 100-amp alternator will be told to act as a 70-amp alternator (or whatever current flow you prefer) and it will do that, no more black dust and fraying belts.

Is my friend correct? Sounds too easy, but would be the trick if it worked. I can't find anything in the Balmar literature, though might be looking in the wrong place.

My wife wants me to run out and buy a new 70-amp Balmar to get us through until the serpentine kit arrives! This could get expensive.
Or you could just turn off all the AC and DC save for lights and fridge. Tell the family that it's a boat and not a condo and is more like camping than a condo. If you are getting that much belt wear, I would also check your tension, too, even though the move to serpentine is a good one. The Belt Manager tactic holds promise, however.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:08   #9
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

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@Seighlor

Spent a lot of time with the alignment, but still worried about it. Had an marine electrician look at it and he said it was fine. Still check it a couple times a day. Hope the custom serpentine belt kit solves the problem, but it is not coming before the kiddies.
Google will show you a "one-handed" method of tensioning the belt using a small turnbuckle that is really the cat's ass in this necessary task (as opposed to growing a third arm). A rule of thumb for smaller alts and belts is "a dime's thickness of deflection"...that worked on my Atomic 4 with the comparatively tiny Delco 35 A alt.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:09   #10
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

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Make a jumper to connect the two alternator temperature terminals (614 regulator). The alternator output will be reduced 50%, about all that 3/8" will handle. This is the small engine mode.
Sounds like an interesting alternative. Gates belts hold up pretty well, but they are not invincible.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:17   #11
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

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Or you could just turn off all the AC and DC save for lights and fridge. Tell the family that it's a boat and not a condo and is more like camping than a condo.
Had to laugh. Lights are all LEDs inside and out and the fridge is on the lowest setting my wife will allow. What else is there on a boat?

The solar panels arrived a couple days ago. Won't have time to install them before September.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:26   #12
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Yes.. too good a regulator on a single belt 100 amp can be problematic. I had a 100 amp on a Yanmar, I had two regulators available. The Next Step regulator would eat belts super fast.. too fast to use. The Balmar mk4 wouldn't so I had to use it, but it didn't fill the batteries near as fast. Have at least one backup belt. Green Stripe or Dayco Cog are good.
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Old 14-07-2017, 10:57   #13
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seighlor View Post
Have you checked the alignment between the drive pulley and the alternator pulley? Alignment and belt tension had been the source of my problems.

I had an auto-electric shop shim out the pulley on the alternator to improve the alignment and I check the belt tension daily... same time I check the engine oil. Things are better now.
I'm glad you didn't buy into all of the electrical solutions, "crap". I'd bet you can forget the serpentine belt conversion.
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Old 14-07-2017, 11:40   #14
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

If you are actually producing anywhere like 100A for any period of time a single vee belt simply won't cut it, no matter if Gates, nor however well tensioned and aligned.

It's just not designed for that level of torque.

Serpentine, 6-8 groove is better than just doubling up on the vee style.
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Old 14-07-2017, 11:59   #15
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Re: Grandchildren, fraying v-belts... MC-614 to the rescue?

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
If you are actually producing anywhere like 100A for any period of time a single vee belt simply won't cut it, no matter if Gates, nor however well tensioned and aligned.

It's just not designed for that level of torque.

Serpentine, 6-8 groove is better than just doubling up on the vee style.
It would seem you are speaking of a Gilmore belt?
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