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Old 11-05-2010, 11:16   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 154
Ganked My Alternator Bracket

Hey all,

We have a 100 amp Balmar alternator on our engine (which we now know was not properly supported). The bolt holding the adjustment arm for the alternator sheared off. This in turn torqued the alternator pivot mount bolt on the engine block which then elongated the mounting hole in the block. We don't really care about the alternator, our solar panels do just fine keeping up the batteries. But that belt was also running the fresh water pump on our Yanmar. I put a hillbilly hack in to get the engine running. I tied dyneema cord around the crank pulley and water pump pully using a truckers hitch, then wrapped it all in self-amalgamating tape to ward off chafe. That got us into the anchorage here in La Paz, MX.

Now that we're here, I'd like to get a more robust temporary fix until we ship the boat back to the US and I can re-mount an alternator on the engine. (FWIW, we will mount the 55 amp alternator back onto the engine. We don't need the output of the 100 amp alternator and I haven't come up with a good way to support the bracket.) Since both the crank pulley and water pump pulley are fixed in place, I see two options to get this up and running sans alternator:

a.) Put in a dummy pully in another mounting spot on the engine block. There's a mount there which I could use. In an English speaking country, this sounds appealing. In Mexico, it sounds like a galactic pain in the ass.

b.) Buy an adjustable V-belt. If I can find one, this seems to be the easiest fix and won't require me to learn the Spanish words for bushing, bolt, spacer, etc. Has anyone ever used one of these belts? Were you able to get a reasonable degree of tension? The water pump spins with little resistance, unlike the alternator so it seems to me that I wouldn't need a massive amount of tension. As long as it was made out of a reasonably grippy rubber material I think it would turn the pump.

Thanks all!

s/v Hello World
Caliber 40 hull #55
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:56   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,256
My Balmar sheered the same bolt on my Yanmar. Amazing.

I now carry a spare.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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