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Old 03-03-2006, 14:41   #1
JJ
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Advice on Tachs and Hour meters Volvo 2030

Engine installation is 2x volvo 2030's on a Catamaran. I'm having chronic problems with tachs and hour meters going out. Right now the tachs work okay but the hour meters are both out (one is intermittant). Changing alternators has cured the problem in the past but it has come back repeatedly on both diesels.

Anyone out ther with experience or advice on how to cure this once and for all?
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Old 04-03-2006, 00:49   #2
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No answer I'm afraid. On my 2 X 2040... sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

But... I think they do continue to count it is just the display that doesn't always work on mine. Been happening for the last year or so.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:16   #3
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JJ,

Most likely the hour meters are working, but not displaying. This happens on and off to me also. The Volvo tach displays are notorious for this. What happens is that when the batteries are charged and the alternator field voltage drops, the meters (and often the tachs) go out or read gibberish. If you turn on an electrical load, they will come back on as the alternator kicks back in.

So, you have three choices: 1. live with it as is. 2. turn on a load while underway. 3. install an aftermarket hour meter.

As a consolation, you now know which of your alternators is the dominant one, since the tach of the "weaker" alternator will cut out first!

BTW, what cat do you own? I have a Manta 40.

Mark
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:08   #4
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colemj once whispered in the wind:
JJ,

Most likely the hour meters are working, but not displaying. This happens on and off to me also. The Volvo tach displays are notorious for this. What happens is that when the batteries are charged and the alternator field voltage drops, the meters (and often the tachs) go out or read gibberish. If you turn on an electrical load, they will come back on as the alternator kicks back in.

So, you have three choices: 1. live with it as is. 2. turn on a load while underway. 3. install an aftermarket hour meter.

As a consolation, you now know which of your alternators is the dominant one, since the tach of the "weaker" alternator will cut out first!

BTW, what cat do you own? I have a Manta 40.

Mark
Yep, that's it. You can add mechanical hour meters activated by the key switch if you would like to have more reliable clocks.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:54   #5
JJ
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Thanks for the input everyone. You are correct the hour meter does continue to count. Every so often when it kicks back on the hours represented are about what they should be.

Aftermarket instruments is probably the best advice but as an alternative I wonder if there is an aftermarket alternator like a Balmar that would fix the problem and have side benefit of added charging capacity. Any adice on that?

Mark, my boat is also a Manta 40, hull #23. Located in Monterey Ca. Anytime you want to chat about it I'm available.

Jim
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Old 06-03-2006, 13:53   #6
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It's not a mater of what alternator. The alternator needs to see a load to have output for the tach to work. The tach is counting the sine wave output of the alternator and creating a refrence indication based on the count and pully ratio. If you leave a light or stereo or some 12v appliance on while motoring the tach should stay working.
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Old 06-03-2006, 16:01   #7
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Thanks Pat, I understand now.

BTW I apologise for giving you sh** on the Latiutudes Board about Catamarans... you probably remember. I now see how much effort you put into helping people out with diesel info on the various boards and wanted to know it is appreciated.

jim
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Old 06-03-2006, 17:17   #8
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Jim,
No wories. As much as I complained about cat's i'm leaving in the morning to spend 2 weeks on one doing a delivery. Mabey my mind will change.
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Old 04-07-2006, 15:20   #9
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JJ,
Just clicked. You must be Savanah? Per Dan & the gang the new Balmar Inverter/Charger/Regulator thingy should help, but there may still be some times where nothing's drawing and might get no kick on the Volvo tachs. If I find a definite answer, will let you know - but thanks for this thread as it was a source of interesting discussion for us and the Manta folks, and nice to know it's not a big problem, and certainly not one specific to Manta....
Cheers!
Phil
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