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Old 12-07-2020, 21:38   #1
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Help troubleshooting alternator

This morning my alternator, a one year old 120A Iskra, started causing an alarm on my engine panel.


It is controlled by a Balmar 614 regulator.


I checked the field voltage and it looked okay, about 8 volts.


A clamp-type ammeter on the B+ line to the batteries shows zero current even though the battery voltage is more than a volt below what the Balmar is telling the alternator to output.


Also a volt meter on the B+ terminal shows battery voltage when the engine is off, and doesn't increase when the alternator is running.


What I think is odd is that even though there's no output, the alternator heats up fairly quickly. I can also feel it kick in because the engine RPMs change a little when the Balmar tells the alternator to start.


I've searched this forum, and reread the section in the Calder book about alternators, but didn't find anything about an alternator that has no output, but still heats up and bogs down the engine.


Any ideas on what the problem could be?
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Old 12-07-2020, 21:46   #2
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

The heat is probably from the field current.


Remove the feild wire from the alt. And connect 12v direct. This bypasses the balmar. If the alt puts out no current it is dead.

If the alt puts out current. Don’t leave it for long as you have no voltage control. If it works. Then the issue is probably the balmar. Though if the balmar is putting out its 8v Feild It’s more liky the alt.

You can also remove the feild wire and measure the ohms from alt feild post to ground. It should. Like 2-3 ohms. If it’s high something is wrong in alt. I’m seen them read open. So the feild wire or coil has broken loose.

The engine bogging does not make sense though. Unless the actual b+ is shorting. And the alt is producing internal current that never leaves. Could also explain the heat.
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Old 12-07-2020, 21:47   #3
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

Alternator should put out around 13 -14V not 8. ..... Even at idle- especially if the batts are that low. I'd still say its the regulator most likely or the belt is super loose but then you might hear it squealing . ......To test just hook the lead to the Postive term on the batt like you did if it inst charging it inst charging. swap that bad boy out. Alternators or their components are known for failing all of a sudden no matter the age.
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Old 12-07-2020, 21:56   #4
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

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Alternator should put out around 13 -14V not 8. .....
8v external field Voltage is totally normal.
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Old 12-07-2020, 22:29   #5
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

ahh yeah I was talking about to the Battery measured at the battery. Thanks
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Old 13-07-2020, 08:10   #6
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
The heat is probably from the field current.


Remove the feild wire from the alt. And connect 12v direct. This bypasses the balmar. If the alt puts out no current it is dead.

If the alt puts out current. Donít leave it for long as you have no voltage control. If it works. Then the issue is probably the balmar. Though if the balmar is putting out its 8v Feild Itís more liky the alt.

You can also remove the feild wire and measure the ohms from alt feild post to ground. It should. Like 2-3 ohms. If itís high something is wrong in alt. Iím seen them read open. So the feild wire or coil has broken loose.

The engine bogging does not make sense though. Unless the actual b+ is shorting. And the alt is producing internal current that never leaves. Could also explain the heat.

Applying 12 volts doesn't product any output so it does seem something is wrong with the alternator.


Also, it's 2.7 Ohms from the field terminal to ground.


I'll try to find an alternator shop close and get it bench-tested.
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Old 16-07-2020, 03:38   #7
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

If the bearings in the alternator Are seizing up that would explain case heat and engine drag, though I would expect that to also squeal.
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Old 16-07-2020, 05:34   #8
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Re: Help troubleshooting alternator

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If the bearings in the alternator Are seizing up that would explain case heat and engine drag, though I would expect that to also squeal.
I took it to an alternator shop and they said there was AC on the output so I assume that means I blew he rectifier.

They're looking at it today so I should know soon if something else if wrong with it.
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