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Old 14-09-2020, 23:05   #1
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Alternator identification

Am trying to diagnose the charging system on an unfamiliar boat. Anybody know what this large frame alternator is, its reputation?







With 35 amps of load it was incapable of making more than 25 amps. The other detroit diesel has a very similar looking alternator but for there is a lack of that little metal box with green yellow and red wires attached to the casing. that one outputs nothing.

I can't get better pics until the next time I am there
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:16   #2
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Re: Alternator identification

The closest match I can find is a Delco 15SI, but there are some differences in the design of back cover, and the footings.

The alternator in question appears to have a Dual foot saddle mount but every pic I find of the 15SI has a single foot.

https://alternatorparts.com/fit-delc...ternators.html



Boat Owner says underway charging has been an issue for a long time, and I can pretty much seek ideal replacement products, and will be doubling house battery capacity to around 800AH of Lifeline AGM
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:28   #3
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Re: Alternator identification

Why not take them to a good alternator shop and get them rebuilt. Low output probably means blown diodes. No output could be the same or the stator needs to be rewound. Either way a good rebuilder could make them like new.
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:37   #4
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Re: Alternator identification

Owner wants maximum capability.

This desire eliminates internally regulated alternators, and I'd like to approach or exceed lifeline's 20% minimum bulk charge rate for 800+ Ah of house battery capacity.

105 amps and internal regulation, which seems to be the max rating of this 15SI design, is woefully inadequate in that regard, for 800Ah+ of well depleted battery capacity.

$$ spent for top quality does not seem to be a factor.
Am trying to determine best/Ideal at this point.
Present options to him, make my best recommendation, and wire everything up well beyond ABYC specs.
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:47   #5
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Re: Alternator identification

I use GM CS-144 alternators on my Detroits. Stock, they're 140 amps and easy to ad an external regulator. Very common, about $75 on ebay for professional rebuilt, and up to 300 amp for about $400. Also internal regulators for single wire hook up are available.
They're cheap, so I carry a spare and converted one to 48v.
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Old 15-09-2020, 15:43   #6
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Re: Alternator identification

I have had great success taking dead or poor performing alternators to an old fashioned alternator, battery, starter shop. Usually less than $80 for new diodes and full load testing. My favorite place happens to be In Grand Rapids, Michigan but I found a similarly dirty ole’ hole in New Jersey on our sail out, another in Antigua. Look for the place with a compacted grease and dirt composite floor over busted concrete, stuff piled to the windows, and an old guy missing teeth.

If you want to trouble shoot yourself first, go to Balmar charge controllers and download their trouble shooting guide that is part of the install manual for a 612 or 624 regulator. Very basic stuff.
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Old 15-09-2020, 15:44   #7
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Re: Alternator identification

Thanks Lepke.

I wish I took some better dimensions of the existing alternator brackets when I was on the boat. Its a 40 minute drive away, without traffic, and I'm in research mode.

Can't say I know anything about Detroit Diesels, but owner says they were fitted in the 70's hull, sometime in the mid 90's, and balmar's site presents 4 alternator options provided with the 1988 on DD's with the delco 15SI appearing to be the closest match, but not an exact match of what is in there now regarding the back cover and the footings.

Is this semi clone delco 15SI pictured above, a J-180 Saddle mount, and if so with 4 inch spacing or 3.15 inch spacing? I didn't investigate this when I was there yesterday, having achieved success having gotten teh magnum charging all three battery banks, which was the goal of the day's efforts.

Is the CS-144 a J-180 mount? Is the 15SI for that matter?

The owner is fairly clueless about all things battery and charging thereof, and will admit it, shamelessly, just knows that the underway charging always seemed inadequate and the boat has basically been a Port Princess for too long, and he want that to change. He wants to anchor out and not HAVE to run the genset overnight, and I have been invited along on these future outings as both guest and employee Jack of all, master of none

I'm seeking to figure out 'Ideal', money no object at this point, and can use the work. I am very interested in this topic and want to set up an alternator charging system that MaineSail and other highly experienced professionals would not shake their head at. I've no issue recabling as required and its a perfect excuse to finally get the proper FTZ crimper.

I've seen lots of hammer crimps done by the 'professionals' he has hired in the past, to do some battery related work, so it seem the bar is low.

I think the existing line, regarding ideal, is upgrading to serpentine pulleys, though perhaps that is not off the table. I need to figure out and present all the options. See just where he wants to draw the line regarding capability and expenditure.

I Need to figure out/ know all the options in order to present them to the owner so he can make the most informed choice for his intended purposes.
I've done some other somewhat related electrical tasks for him before, and he wants ME to take on this task, and it's not because I can do it for less labor charges than a pro.
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Old 15-09-2020, 16:30   #8
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Re: Alternator identification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I have had great success taking dead or poor performing alternators to an old fashioned alternator, battery, starter shop. Usually less than $80 for new diodes and full load testing. My favorite place happens to be In Grand Rapids, Michigan but I found a similarly dirty ole’ hole in New Jersey on our sail out, another in Antigua. Look for the place with a compacted grease and dirt composite floor over busted concrete, stuff piled to the windows, and an old guy missing teeth.

If you want to trouble shoot yourself first, go to Balmar charge controllers and download their trouble shooting guide that is part of the install manual for a 612 or 624 regulator. Very basic stuff.

Thanks, but returning these existing internally regulated alternators to service is of little no interest to the owner, and I hear the old rebuilders are fewer and farther in between these days as price talks and quality walks, and new alternators from Asia are cheap.

Being 99% sure the one is internally regulated, 100% sure the other one is, and explaining the limitations of that to the owner, with the intended size of the future house battery bank, and what lead acid batteries require to not jump off the nearest cliff when cycled deeply often, means it is upgrade time.

Whenever I have suggested 'what you can get away with', he has had no interest in pursuing that direction, seems to stop listening entirely, unless its totally temporary or no other options exists.

I'd be interested in opening them up just to gain experience on my own time, but they might just be donated as cores to a rebuilder. I'll definitely present that rebuilder option, even if it is to have as spares tucked away for emergencies. But I think he has already disposed of them in his mind.

Lots of decisions to still be made by the owner. I need to present all the options as best I can, so he can make the best decision for his needs/wants.
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Old 15-09-2020, 16:52   #9
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Re: Alternator identification

The internal regulators are easily removed or bypassed. You know you will be going external regulation. I have had pretty decent service from my Balmar external controllers. One thing of note. When we switched batteries to Firefly monsters I burned up the Motorola rotor on our first passage. They were not rated for continuous full load output which is simulated by a large AGM. The replacement was smaller since that was all I could get in Antigua. Consequently, I used the Balmar program to limit the output. This had the nice side effect of letting more HP to the shaft.
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Old 15-09-2020, 17:50   #10
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Re: Alternator identification

Nice.
As we know Lifeline AGM'S tech manual basically says more charging amperage, voltage limited to 14.4@77f, is better, when well depleted in deep cycle service, and the owner wants as much Lifeline house battery capacity as he can fit. At least 8 GC-2's, possibly 10.

I've not brought up the Firefly option, but the house battery box is designed around GC-2's, not g-31's, though perhaps there is height for L-16's.

Currently, gravity is all that keeps the batteries in place.....

Fairly sure a balmar voltage regulator is a given, but perhaps two of them? One for each engine's alternator?

Still researching. Opinions welcome. Seeking to define Ideal, $$ no object, for alternator of recharging a huge depleted Lifeline AGM house battery bank via 2 detroit diesels. Want to define 'Ideal' Present it and the 'Not quite' levels below that. My labor costs for installing, not to influence product choices.

What would you do, spending other peoples money to achieve ideal?

The accepted limitations are dual V belt pulleys, and the alternator mounting points. Is the Delco 15SI a J-180 footprint?
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Old 15-09-2020, 18:51   #11
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Re: Alternator identification

Google large frame saddle mount alternator, and NEVER put marine in the search
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Old 15-09-2020, 20:04   #12
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Re: Alternator identification

Try https://www.rareelectrical.com/i-268...67-9l5938.html



It fits an International Trick [sic].

Or another source https://www.obbstartersandalternator...02-p-3403.html

Bill
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Old 15-09-2020, 21:24   #13
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Re: Alternator identification

Thank you, that is the model that's in there, or at least extremely similar looking.

My regular source of obtuse information regarding all things alternator, just got back to me, and said Delco 27SI type 200.

which, when I searched, it revealed this pic

source:
https://www.dbelectrical.com/product...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

He had nothing good to say about this alternator. The little metal wart on the side, he claimed is an obsolete transpo voltage regulator.

He summed up his brief reply, regarding a replacement as
Quote:
DETROIT ENGINE MAX GOVERNED RPM 2600
MARINE USE 1800
SMALL DRIVING PULLEY
CRITICAL TO USE 4800 JA SERIES ALT
Leece Neville 4800 JA series, apparently.

That model as a replacement, was not on my radar, but nothing is yet decided/written in stone.

The DD's double V belt pully driving this alternator, is driving nothing else.
I hadn't yet considered/measured pulley size, and the max rpm of Detroit diesel.

If serpentine pulleys( 10 groove) are easily available to swap on this engine, I'd throw them into the Ideal category. Ideal size drive pulley for 'ideal' is a certainly a consideration, I had also not yet considered.

Ultimately I can present Ideal, but the choice, obviously, is ultimately the owners. But I'd like to figure out Ideal and be allowed to go as far as allowed towards that.
The owner just called me a nerd in a text, and said he loves my enthusiasm in researching this.
Thanks for the input!
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Old 16-09-2020, 05:40   #14
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Re: Alternator identification

The 27SI is listed in 'The 12 Volt Doctor's Alternator Book' on page 140 where the external voltage adjustment square is described.
http://www.devill.net/Infos/Electric...orhandbook.pdf

The 27SI is on pages 34 and 35 of the 'Delco Remy Electrical Specifications and Selection Guide - 2006". It is missing from the 2008 guide.
http://mapris.com.br/catalogos/Delco...6SpecGuide.pdf

The current upgrade list for the 27SI is on page 22 of the Delco Heavy Duty Catalogue.
http://www.delcoremy.com/getmedia/b2...-8-14.pdf.aspx

Bill
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Old 16-09-2020, 10:16   #15
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Re: Alternator identification

Based on what I'm reading about the task and owner, I'd go simple and rugged.

I'd source everything from Pasco Battery.

Delco 28SI 160A J180 mount, short hinge alternator rated to 125° C to produce full rated output. Internally regulated with a 14.5 Vset - $228 new and not knock off. They match the DD's governed speed perfectly.

US Battery 232ah 6v GC2 - $115
Rolls 250ah 6v GC2H - $165

The batteries are more rugged than Lifelines and will take more PSOC abuse. The 28SI alternators are currently the go to rig and they have a battery sense terminal. Kind of hard to beat with nothing else to buy. Of course you could add an external regulator and add complexity but with a large frame, hot rated alternator the value added is miniscule unless the owner is taking the boat to very high lattitudes.

Just my 2 cents.
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