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Old 12-04-2015, 10:20   #1
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Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

Hi guys,

I'm wondering if there is a generator/alternator (not sure what the correct term is) for charging the batteries on the MD7A?

Buying a sailboat and the owner says he is only using a batterycharger for the batteries, but seems like it should also be able to charge them by running the engine?
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:25   #2
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

As far as I know that engine was standard with an alternator. Maybe it died and the PO didn't want or need to spend the money to fix it?

If I recall, some of the older Volvos had a starter that was also the generator. Was a motor to crank the engine and once the engine was running it would spin the same starter motor to generate electricity. However don't think they used this on the MS7A.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:25   #3
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

By the way, can't you just look at the engine and see if there is an alternator attached?
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:29   #4
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

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By the way, can't you just look at the engine and see if there is an alternator attached?
I'm no engine expert. But if someone would have a look and see if they spot it, that'd be great! Image of engine attached
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:12   #5
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

Well it appears to me that that big thing in the top right of the photo with the pulley on the front and the large red battery cables running to it would be the alternator.

The biggest wheel on the lower front is the flywheel. The starter is attached to the top right corner of the flywheel.

To the left of the flywheel looks like the water pump">raw water pump.
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Old 13-04-2015, 06:32   #6
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

One more thing about this engine. The round hole in the middle of the block, just above and slightly to the right of the large flywheel is a place to put a handle to manually crank the engine if the batteries are dead.
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Old 13-04-2015, 06:34   #7
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

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One more thing about this engine. The round hole in the middle of the block, just above and slightly to the right of the large flywheel is a place to put a handle to manually crank the engine if the batteries are dead.
Nice to know!

Oh I can't wait for next month to pick her up.
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Old 13-04-2015, 07:09   #8
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

The MD7A originally came with a SEV Marchel A14/35 Alternator, which is out of production.
See ➥ Alternator for Volvo MD7A 13hp
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:03   #9
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

As others have said, the alternator is that thing on the upper right.

There should be a red wire that goes from the back of the alternator to the starter motor. From the starter motor there should be a big red wire to the start battery. The wire from the alternator will charge whatever battery is connected to the starter, usually the start battery or both batteries if the switch is set to both.

It may be that the alternator diodes or the regulator are not working. If that is the case, then the batteries won't charge from the alternator. It is easy to test, with the engine running, you should get about 14.2 V DC at the battery. Take the alternator to any decent automotive electrical shop. They can rebuild the alternator, replace diodes, and check the regulator. Not a terribly expensive repair and much cheaper than a replacement alternator.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:07   #10
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

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As others have said, the alternator is that thing on the upper right.

There should be a red wire that goes from the back of the alternator to the starter motor. From the starter motor there should be a big red wire to the start battery. The wire from the alternator will charge whatever battery is connected to the starter, usually the start battery or both batteries if the switch is set to both.

It may be that the alternator diodes or the regulator are not working. If that is the case, then the batteries won't charge from the alternator. It is easy to test, with the engine running, you should get about 14.2 V DC at the battery. Take the alternator to any decent automotive electrical shop. They can rebuild the alternator, replace diodes, and check the regulator. Not a terribly expensive repair and much cheaper than a replacement alternator.
Hi Dave,

Thank you so much.

I know a bunch of auto-mechanics myself, so if they should be able to rebuild a broken alternator, then I should have no problem getting that done. Very nice to know.

I know the boat has 2 batteries, I can only assume one is starter and the other one for radio/lights etc.. If only the starterbattery is hooked up (which I suspect), what kind of wiring would needed to be done to charge both batteries from the alternator? I suppose just adding a wire from the other battery isn't enough?
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:49   #11
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

You need to get the right size alternator pulley. A small pulley will spin the hell out of the alternator.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:05   #12
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

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Originally Posted by Nicks View Post
Hi guys,

I'm wondering if there is a generator/alternator (not sure what the correct term is) for charging the batteries on the MD7A?

Buying a sailboat and the owner says he is only using a batterycharger for the batteries, but seems like it should also be able to charge them by running the engine?
maybe he means he just leaves the charger keeping them up at the dock? How do you know the alternator doesn't work? That engine looks clean.

If you plan to run refrigeration, then don't rebuild that alternator... they don't put out much. Find a 75-100 amp one to install. A whole new bunch of details related to all that though...
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Old 13-04-2015, 17:26   #13
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Re: Albin Vega MD7A Alternator/Generator?

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Originally Posted by Nicks View Post
Hi Dave,

Thank you so much.

I know a bunch of auto-mechanics myself, so if they should be able to rebuild a broken alternator, then I should have no problem getting that done. Very nice to know.

I know the boat has 2 batteries, I can only assume one is starter and the other one for radio/lights etc.. If only the starterbattery is hooked up (which I suspect), what kind of wiring would needed to be done to charge both batteries from the alternator? I suppose just adding a wire from the other battery isn't enough?
Balmar sells a Duo charge, I think others make similar gizmos. It charges the house battery, then when that is sufficiently charged sends charge current to the start battery.

See this pic? Your alternator is the one in the middle, Paris Rohn. You don't need the tach wire, the tach connection is on the engine, behind and above the alternator.

PM me if you want a Users or Engine manual.
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