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Old 28-08-2009, 09:53   #1
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The Balmar Decision?

As I go thru my electrical system, I am upgrading components. My house bank is 550amp @24v (lead acid), and the alternator is a 70amp. I want to change to either a Balmar 140amp ($1250) or the 220amp ($2500). Both of these will be used with the Altmount.com brackets and serpentine belt.

Opinions requested please.
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:16   #2
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If you are willing to look at other alternator names, you might save some $$. I recall some threads in this section discussing other alternators.
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:52   #3
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I don't see why a standard 24v truck alt with balmars smart regualtor would not work and save many $
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:53   #4
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Your acceptance rate on the batteries will limit charging current to less than 140 amps except for the brief period when you first start charging, so save your money and get the 140 amp alternator.
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Old 28-08-2009, 11:42   #5
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WAAAAAAAAY too much money

If you do a little internet searching, you can find lots of 125 to 140 Amp alternators at about 1/10 the price. Older Cadillacs had I think 110 amp. on them. Lots of trucks have 125 amp alternators. A brand new one, from almost any popular auto supply will probably cost you less than 200 bucks, and will come with a lifetime warranty. No questions asked, if fails you get a new one. What is the warranty on a Balmar. There is nothing super trick about the Balmars, and they are built on the exact same frame as one for a truck. The marine label on an alternator for a diesel is totally unnecessary. The difference between a marine alternator and a non marine, is a little screen in the vent openings, to keep sparks from getting out. That is the ONLY difference. Check that out with your local alternator shop if you doubt it. The acceptance rate of your house bank will make anything over 125 - 140amps. pretty useless. IMHO most of the Balmar stuff is way overpriced, and does not do nearly as much as Balmar wants you to believe. Maybe not pure snake oil, but not too far from it. I have a 425ah house bank, a 70 amp alternator, with built in regulator, and 300 watts of solar. I run all the standard stuff, including refigeration, but no AC, and have no problems keeping batteries charged. I would spend my money on solar panels, which don't require fuel, don't make noise, are guaranteed for 25 years, and are not going to be much more expensive, if at all, to what you are considering.
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Old 28-08-2009, 12:01   #6
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Thanks, solar is the next move (2 210w Kyocera panels and an Outback MPPT controller).

Are the truck alternators 24v? I will run a search.
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Old 28-08-2009, 12:06   #7
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I cant comment on any other alternatives ...I went with the Balmar 220 for my 900amp bank of AGMs..CharlieJ just helped me install it...actually he did all the smart stuff and I was the grunt, we had no difficulty installing it and it worked as expected when we fired her up.
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Old 28-08-2009, 12:17   #8
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I agree with nice&easy, check out a truck alt, ebay may be a good start The balmar reg is a good idea. The power from you alt is free when the motor is running
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Old 28-08-2009, 12:39   #9
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The smaller alternator (140 Amps) AND a good quality external regulator (since you go for Balmar you can get a good a good regulator from them too).

You can have a good quality alternator at with this power cheaper from Bosch or Hitachi. I believe others will tell you more on this subject.
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Old 28-08-2009, 12:42   #10
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What about Ample Power alternators?
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Old 28-08-2009, 13:40   #11
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Ample don't know - marinized? Let's wait and see what others say.
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:42   #12
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Balmar and Ample have used Lestek, Hehr Powerline and a few others....they don't make alternators they merely relable them. For diesel engines there is no such thing or need for "marinizing" them. There are several good brands of alternators, most of which are not too difficult to convert from internal regulation to external field control.
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:48   #13
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Leece Neville also makes excellent alternators relabled by Balmar.
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Old 28-08-2009, 20:42   #14
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Assuming you have an external regulator, doesn't that affect which alternator you buy as some are internally regulated and some or not? Can anyone shed light on this?
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:21   #15
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What's the value of your boat? What do you think the value would be if you listed a Balmar package instead of a Pep Boy's combo? If you don't have the experience to make this decision yourself, are you getting the message that a lot of others may not either? Quality stuff costs more, and commands more attention when it is being evaluated. You get to make the decision as to value. Some folks can probably build their own systems. Others can make money quicker than they can become electrical experts. Money talks, bullshit can walk on water (possibly, you get to choose).
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