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Old 27-12-2014, 19:22   #1
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Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

Hello all. Have a question before I pull the trigger on a new alternator.

I am looking to upgrade the 55 amp alt on my Westerbeke 33 to power an upcoming bank of 105s or L16Hs. The current alternator appears to be a saddle / two food style with a tad over 2 inches of space between the feet. (See somewhat helpful picture.)

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The Balmar 6 series come in either a 3.15 inch saddle or a 1 (or 2) inch single foot.

I figured I could use the 3.15 inch saddle version with an aluminum spacer to fill the gap. It looks like I have plenty of clearance on the back side of the alternator to accompany the extended second foot.

Anyone see any issues with this?


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Old 27-12-2014, 20:02   #2
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

The Balmars are nice.

I'm considering a Delco Remy 28SI off a school bus and using a Balmar controller to down rate the 180 amp version about 20% to keep temps down and make it a little easier on the belt drive. These are available with short hinge, long hinge and pad mounts.

I don't know what the price on these is after the sale is over but here is a reasonably
priced source.

http://www.truckcentersinc.com/speci...-Sept-2014.pdf
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Old 27-12-2014, 20:28   #3
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

I would suggest you read this article by Maine Sail as it points out the possible alignment problems of using an alternator that isn't a direct match.
Universal Diesel M-25 Alternator Upgrade Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 27-12-2014, 20:47   #4
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

As Phil says you can't go wrong following MaineSail's advice.
Belt style and alignment is critical. By far the most expensive part of the project for me would be a ribbed belt conversion. I can build the mount and adjustment devices myself but am still scratching my head over the cost / machine time involved for the drive, driven and idler pulleys.
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Old 27-12-2014, 21:33   #5
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

I haven't seen anyone do a spring tensioned idler, just replace existing pulleys with ribbed ones, the spring tensioned idler would be ideal though, they can carry the load and done right they give the small alt pulley a lot more belt wrap.
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Old 28-12-2014, 08:41   #6
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

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Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
As Phil says you can't go wrong following MaineSail's advice.
Belt style and alignment is critical. By far the most expensive part of the project for me would be a ribbed belt conversion. I can build the mount and adjustment devices myself but am still scratching my head over the cost / machine time involved for the drive, driven and idler pulleys.

Why do you say I'd need a "ribbed belt conversion"? For what it is worth, the stock belt is half an inch.

I am going to send an email to Balmar to get their throughs as well. Really don't want to be stuck with the stock alt!


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Old 28-12-2014, 09:30   #7
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

Belt style is dependent on the size of alternator. You don't say how big your house bank is going to be so we are just guessing at what you need. You have to address your house bank/charging system as a system. It all should match if you are going to be happy with the upgrade. Mismatch components of the system and it will cause you much grief. A 1/2in. belt is good for about 100 amp alternator especially if it is dialed back to about 80 amp output with the Balmar regulator.
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Old 28-12-2014, 10:05   #8
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

some here seem to be hooked on 'balmar' products! i tried their regulators/alternators for 5 yrs, and they had to replace them every year! went back to 'ample power' [ample power makes alternators too] and never looked back...as to alternators, i`ve used 'leece nevelle' for over 30 years...with a small alternator, ie, 50/60 amps, with internal regulation, not much output!...external regulation is the only way!...clyde
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Old 28-12-2014, 11:37   #9
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Re: Style / Size For Alternator Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Belt style is dependent on the size of alternator. You don't say how big your house bank is going to be so we are just guessing at what you need. You have to address your house bank/charging system as a system. It all should match if you are going to be happy with the upgrade. Mismatch components of the system and it will cause you much grief. A 1/2in. belt is good for about 100 amp alternator especially if it is dialed back to about 80 amp output with the Balmar regulator.

DeepFrz, I understand you on the system aspect. The house bank will be somewhere between 600 and 800 amp hours of flooded lead acids from Trojan (or other respectable deep cycles). Feel like I have a good plan, which I'll probably post before the final execution, I am just trying to find/buy the parts!

Got a few more names of places to ask to see if anyone makes a proper high out put alternator for my W33.


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