Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-05-2020, 11:14   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 16
Alternator/tachometer help needed

I’m hoping that someone can give good advice regarding my alternator/tachometer problem…

This issue came up because of my own lack of experience while doing some engine work. When removing the alternator to get access to an area of the engine behind the alternator, I made the dumb mistake of not shutting off the power first. As a result, there was a very brief arc between a stud on the back of the alternator and the engine block. DOH! I won’t make that mistake again!

After doing the engine work and putting everything back together I checked to see if the engine would start, it started right up! Good. However, I noticed that my tach was not working. Damn. That made me also wonder if the alternator is generating power. There is no amp meter gauge so no way for me to easily tell. However, I think there must be a way I can check this using my voltmeter/amp meter? Suggestions on how to do that would be appreciated. That is the first issue.

The other issue is getting the tach to work. I know from past experience that on some diesel engines the engine rpm is measured using the alternator rotation and I suspect that is the case with this engine. Maybe a fuse has blown or maybe a small component needs to be replaced? The stud that arced to the engine block has a small wire leading from it to a small rectangular component screwed to the back of the alternator (see photo) that component then leads to the wiring harness. Could this small rectangular component have been damaged and might it be part of the tach circuit? –a total guess about that on my part; if anyone can suggest what I can do to determine why the tach is not working and how I might repair that, I would very much appreciate it!

For background, the engine is a BETA 38. The alternator is an ISKRA AAK4513. I have attached a photo of the back of the alternator and some specs. The stud that arced is the unlabeled stud with the black wire that leads to the silver rectangular component that is bolted to the stud marked B-.

Any knowledgeable advice on how to test my alternator for output and fix the tach would be VERY MUCH appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Iskra photo.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	322.5 KB
ID:	215770   Click image for larger version

Name:	specs.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	102.7 KB
ID:	215771  

__________________

NWSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2020, 13:03   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area (Boat in La Paz)
Boat: Valiant V40
Posts: 738
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

Probably the easiest way to diagnose the alternator is with a clamp-on ammeter. Readily available at most hardware stores or on Amazon, many less than $30. Many have multiple functions like a VOM. Good tool to have on board in any event.
__________________

jamhass is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2020, 13:41   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 14,705
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

If you have just a voltmeter on board you can at least confirm if the alternator is completely blown or not.

- Turn off battery charger, solar or any other charging source and turn off any devices using battery power.
- check voltage at the battery terminals. If charged up and had a few minutes to rest after disconnecting charging sources you should see 12.5-12.6 V.
- Crank engine and check voltage at the battery. Should see much higher. Depending on what kind of regulator and the battery state of charge probably in the 13.5-14.2V range.

If no change in voltage then something is broke, not connected or blown up. If you do see higher voltage you are probably ok but you should check amps to confirm.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2020, 23:06   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
Posts: 1,554
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

What skipmac said for testing
Does the charge light stay on for a start? if it stays on it aint charging. Does it have a terminal marked AC? If it does & the charge light goes out when engine running you can set your meter to ac volts & touch the case & that terminal & see if you have any output.
The square thing on the back is the voltage regulator, some chance you've blown it shorting it out but I'm not an electrical expert. Also it's possible to blow the diodes I THINK. Been learning alternators myself. There are videos on youtube to tell you how to test diodes. Hopefully there will be someone who knows about tach repair.
First check is charge light.
Compass790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-05-2020, 23:58   #5
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 11,048
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

NWSail, the arc might have blown a fuse in the engine loom / instrument panel which would prevent the alternator from charging.

It seems from a google search that Beta often (always?) uses the alternator for the tacho sensing so first step is to confirm the alternator is working (as described upthread by others).

Do you have the Beta Operators Manual - it gives guidance on fault finding. If not, this one may be of assistance http://www.betamarinenw.com/Engines/...13%23D8ECC.pdf
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2020, 00:00   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Langley, WA
Boat: Nordic 44
Posts: 1,216
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

I have the same alternator on my Beta 50. Odds are that you blew the the voltage regulator. You already have the directions on how to test the alternator but there is an easier way to see if the voltage regulator is blown. Switch on the engine without starting it. Touch a steel screwdriver to the alternator shaft. If the regulator is working the shaft will be magnetic. Regulators are available. Also that alternator is not expensive. Iskra has changed it's name but the same alternator is available. You may have blown the tachometer tap or the diode to it. In that case a good auto electric shop should be able to help you.

I hope the tachometer is not blown. Depending on the age of your engine that tach may not be available. Beta will sell you a slightly smaller tach that will fit your panel. It will be programmed for your engine. You can also buy the tach from places like Defender for far less money and program it for the Beta yourself. An email to Beta UK will get you the programming specs. Not sure if Beta USA is willing to share that data.

I know this because I had the tach fail on my engine a couple of years ago. If failed in a strange way - the tach stopped reading above a certain RPM. A tach repair shop tested the tach and pronounced it good so I replaced the regulator and then replaced the whole alternator before getting a second opinion that it was the tach after all. So now I have a spare regulator and a spare alternator.
stormalong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2020, 11:36   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 16
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

These are all pretty helpful replies, thanks to everyone! I will follow the several suggestions that were given and hope for the best! Really appreciate the time people took to give me advice. I will be more careful in the future to disconnect power before working on the engine!
NWSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2020, 19:02   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
Posts: 1,554
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSail View Post
These are all pretty helpful replies, thanks to everyone! I will follow the several suggestions that were given and hope for the best! Really appreciate the time people took to give me advice. I will be more careful in the future to disconnect power before working on the engine!
Let us know what you discover please as it adds to some of the hives education.
Compass790 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2020, 14:52   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 15
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

I have a Alternator/Tacho problem

Catamaran, 2 x Yanmar 3JH4E, 2 Balmar Alternators, Yanmar Type B Instrument panel, Balmar MC-614 Regulators, Lithium Bank.

The port engine was becoming hard to start. I got somebody to take a look. He took off the starter motor, opened it up and lots of carbon inside. Cleaned it up showed me it was working in the workshop, refitted onto engine.
The following morning, off I go on a 20 mile trip. Stared fine and I reach my destination. The morning after, start the engine and will not start.

I had a spare Starter Motor and fitted that. When I come to fit the connections I notice that he had left the earth cable from the Alternator (Balmar 60 Series 120 Amp) off, it was just sitting on the floor of the engine bay. Fitted everything back on making sure I had a clean earth connection on the engine. The wiring onto the Control Panel looked good, also onto the Battery Switch. The motor started straight away when i turn ignition, but no tacho reading. There are readings scrolling on the MC-614 Regulator, so that seems ok, I read good voltage across the starter battery, so thats ok. The Alternotor is not putting in any current (amps on Victron Battery Monitor) I have done a few short trips with the engine and although hot does not give off any burning smell

I do have a Clamp meter on board, but not very experienced with boat electrics.
The questions I have:
Could leaving that earth strap off the Alternator have caused this?
What tests can I do to try and solve the problem? (in layman terms please)

I am in a very remote area with no access to any experienced tradesmen.

Thanks
Redfred1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2020, 17:57   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Langley, WA
Boat: Nordic 44
Posts: 1,216
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfred1 View Post
I have a Alternator/Tacho problem

Catamaran, 2 x Yanmar 3JH4E, 2 Balmar Alternators, Yanmar Type B Instrument panel, Balmar MC-614 Regulators, Lithium Bank.

The port engine was becoming hard to start. I got somebody to take a look. He took off the starter motor, opened it up and lots of carbon inside. Cleaned it up showed me it was working in the workshop, refitted onto engine.
The following morning, off I go on a 20 mile trip. Stared fine and I reach my destination. The morning after, start the engine and will not start.

I had a spare Starter Motor and fitted that. When I come to fit the connections I notice that he had left the earth cable from the Alternator (Balmar 60 Series 120 Amp) off, it was just sitting on the floor of the engine bay. Fitted everything back on making sure I had a clean earth connection on the engine. The wiring onto the Control Panel looked good, also onto the Battery Switch. The motor started straight away when i turn ignition, but no tacho reading. There are readings scrolling on the MC-614 Regulator, so that seems ok, I read good voltage across the starter battery, so thats ok. The Alternotor is not putting in any current (amps on Victron Battery Monitor) I have done a few short trips with the engine and although hot does not give off any burning smell

I do have a Clamp meter on board, but not very experienced with boat electrics.
The questions I have:
Could leaving that earth strap off the Alternator have caused this?
What tests can I do to try and solve the problem? (in layman terms please)

I am in a very remote area with no access to any experienced tradesmen.

Thanks
I am not familiar with the Yanmar setup. Most Balmar small case alternators have a two wire connector on the back end. One wire is the alternator field, the other is the tachometer output. The alternator has two 1/4 inch push on (spade type) terminals. Sometime you think they are connected but they actually are next to, instead of on the terninals. Be sure that connector is properly in place. The small alternator ground to the alternator is a secondary connection. The primary ground is either through the engine block or a heavy wire.

If the alternator is not producing power either the field connection is not connected or there is a problem with the voltage regulator. If the alternator is putting out power the problem is with the tachometer output.
stormalong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2020, 19:22   #11
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: C.L.O.D.
Posts: 11,048
Re: Alternator/tachometer help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfred1 View Post
I have a Alternator/Tacho problem

Catamaran, 2 x Yanmar 3JH4E, 2 Balmar Alternators, Yanmar Type B Instrument panel, Balmar MC-614 Regulators, Lithium Bank.

The port engine was becoming hard to start. I got somebody to take a look. He took off the starter motor, opened it up and lots of carbon inside. Cleaned it up showed me it was working in the workshop, refitted onto engine.
The following morning, off I go on a 20 mile trip. Stared fine and I reach my destination. The morning after, start the engine and will not start.

I had a spare Starter Motor and fitted that. When I come to fit the connections I notice that he had left the earth cable from the Alternator (Balmar 60 Series 120 Amp) off, it was just sitting on the floor of the engine bay. Fitted everything back on making sure I had a clean earth connection on the engine. The wiring onto the Control Panel looked good, also onto the Battery Switch. The motor started straight away when i turn ignition, but no tacho reading. There are readings scrolling on the MC-614 Regulator, so that seems ok, I read good voltage across the starter battery, so thats ok. The Alternotor is not putting in any current (amps on Victron Battery Monitor) I have done a few short trips with the engine and although hot does not give off any burning smell

I do have a Clamp meter on board, but not very experienced with boat electrics.
The questions I have:
Could leaving that earth strap off the Alternator have caused this?
What tests can I do to try and solve the problem? (in layman terms please)

I am in a very remote area with no access to any experienced tradesmen.

Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
I am not familiar with the Yanmar setup. Most Balmar small case alternators have a two wire connector on the back end. One wire is the alternator field, the other is the tachometer output. The alternator has two 1/4 inch push on (spade type) terminals. Sometime you think they are connected but they actually are next to, instead of on the terninals. Be sure that connector is properly in place. The small alternator ground to the alternator is a secondary connection. The primary ground is either through the engine block or a heavy wire.

If the alternator is not producing power either the field connection is not connected or there is a problem with the voltage regulator. If the alternator is putting out power the problem is with the tachometer output.
I'm not familiar with the Balmar alternator but I am somewhat familiar with the original Yanmar setup.

Redfred1, by using stormalong's post and the info below, you should have a good chance in resolving the issue. By the way, you have posted great detail and background to the problem which is VERY helpful when trying to provide advice from a distance.

First thing to remember is that you presumably have a good working system on the starboard engine with which to compare - that helps a lot when fault finding.

The original 3JH4E wiring uses alternator sensing for the tacho (unlike many other Yanmar engines). The sense wire from the tacho and all the way though the loom is coloured ORANGE and is connected to the original alternator with a bullet style connector to an YELLOW flying lead that comes out of the side/rear of the case of the alternator. Of course, you now have the Balmar alternator but the Balmar tacho sense output still has to be connected to this ORANGE wire with some sort of connector. Use the information provided by stormalong to discover how it should be connected. Ideally who ever fitted the Blamers used the same method on the other engine so that is a good starting point.

BTW, the alternator tacho sense output is often (but not always) designated with the letter W. I don't know how (or if) Balmar uses this designation.

Report back with whatever you find and we will see if we can provide more advice.
__________________

__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Choosing correct COdE value for VDO tachometer after alternator replacement jonase Engines and Propulsion Systems 7 01-09-2019 13:28
How to get Tachometer with Alternator off? SailorGerry Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 30 03-03-2016 18:08
Alternator signal to tachometer (lack of) George Da Porge Engines and Propulsion Systems 0 29-01-2016 05:26
Leece Neville alternator and tachometer problem Rustic Charm Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 22-07-2012 19:54
Tachometer Help! dmatsey Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 08-01-2012 08:56

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:13.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.