Cruisers Forum
 


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 13-04-2024, 11:20   #1
Registered User
 
Indolent58's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2021
Boat: Beneteau 46
Posts: 58
Minor Balmar Rant

A few months ago I replaced the stock 80amp alternator on my Yanmar 4JH4-TE with a Balmar XT 250amp alternator and MC618 regulator. Notwithstanding the absurdly obsolete user interface of the MC618 the setup works well enough and is a major improvement over what I had before. But two things really got my attention and being a cranky white male I have decided to share.

1. Balmar decided that the best place for the positive output terminal was on the side of the alternator case rather than the back where it is typically located. If your alternator is located on the port side as mine is this puts the positive terminal perilously close to the engine block. Why do this? Itís frankly stupid and negligent. I have placed insulation between the terminal and engine block to prevent a catastrophic short if the tensioning arm gets loose somehow. When I have access to materials and tools I will get a longer tensioning arm and belt to move the alternator further away from the engine, but if the positive terminal was in a safer location this would be unnecessary.

2. Balmar high output alternators have 16 poles rather than the standard 12. If your diesel engine takes its tach input from the alternator rather than a flywheel pickup as mine does your tachometer will be incorrect unless it can be adjusted. As you might guess my Yanmar supplied tachometer is not adjustable. I was advised that in my situation I should get the Balmar 15-TSS Signal Stabilizer. When I installed it I couldnít get any reading at all from the tach at all no matter how it was adjusted. After a bit of back and forth with Balmar technical support one of the reps said that the device was originally designed for the now discontinued Balmar AT series alternators and he didnít think it would work with current XT alternators. So why do they still sell it? Whatever. The solution seems to be that I will have to buy a tach with an adjustment range compatible with the XT, but when I asked Balmar which tachs and/or what specs I should be looking for I was told that they really hadnít looked into that and had no advice. Really?


OK thatís it, and while weíre at it get off my lawn.
Indolent58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2024, 11:37   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 1,643
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

Doesn't the 4JH4-TE have standard a tach sensor that counts flywheel teeth? Some Yanmars do, and I am 98% sure this is one of them...

It does not need the alternator at all... If you just disconnected the existing tach and connected it to an output from the alternator regulator it will never work...
SailingHarmonie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2024, 12:06   #3
Registered User
 
Indolent58's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2021
Boat: Beneteau 46
Posts: 58
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingHarmonie View Post
Doesn't the 4JH4-TE have standard a tach sensor that counts flywheel teeth? Some Yanmars do, and I am 98% sure this is one of them...

It does not need the alternator at all... If you just disconnected the existing tach and connected it to an output from the alternator regulator it will never work...
Yanmar changes things up from time to time and not all 4JH4-TEs are the same. The tach was connected to the tach out of my old alternator and I can’t find any evidence that my engine has a flywheel pickup. I’ve looked for it on the engine and in the parts catalog for my model with no success
Indolent58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2024, 13:10   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NYC
Boat: Adams 45
Posts: 271
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

I also have a Yanmar 4JH4-TE. I don't know if I have the original tach, but my VDO tach that's part of the Yanmar instrument panel is adjustable. On the back of the tach there's a small button for calibration, centered horizontally and near the bottom vertically. I had to recalibrate after installing a Balmar serpentine belt kit- the pulley diameters changed from the stock v-belt setup. I can send you calibration instructions if you do have a programmable VDO tach.
pjShap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2024, 13:49   #5
Registered User
 
Indolent58's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2021
Boat: Beneteau 46
Posts: 58
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjShap View Post
I also have a Yanmar 4JH4-TE. I don't know if I have the original tach, but my VDO tach that's part of the Yanmar instrument panel is adjustable. On the back of the tach there's a small button for calibration, centered horizontally and near the bottom vertically. I had to recalibrate after installing a Balmar serpentine belt kit- the pulley diameters changed from the stock v-belt setup. I can send you calibration instructions if you do have a programmable VDO tach.
I think Iíve seen those instructions, but my tachometer neither has the button, nor an LCD engine hour display, both of which are needed to adjust it. Do you happen to know the model number?
Indolent58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-04-2024, 14:18   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NYC
Boat: Adams 45
Posts: 271
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

I don't know the VDO tach model, but it does have the LCD engine hour display. If I did the file attachment correctly, the attached YanmarVdoProgrammableTach.pdf has the instructions.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf YanmarVdoProgrammableTach.pdf (1.03 MB, 21 views)
pjShap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2024, 14:46   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2024
Location: NZ
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 55
Posts: 2
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indolent58 View Post
A few months ago I replaced the stock 80amp alternator on my Yanmar 4JH4-TE with a Balmar XT 250amp alternator and MC618 regulator. Notwithstanding the absurdly obsolete user interface of the MC618 the setup works well enough and is a major improvement over what I had before. But two things really got my attention and being a cranky white male I have decided to share.

1. Balmar decided that the best place for the positive output terminal was on the side of the alternator case rather than the back where it is typically located. If your alternator is located on the port side as mine is this puts the positive terminal perilously close to the engine block. Why do this? Itís frankly stupid and negligent. I have placed insulation between the terminal and engine block to prevent a catastrophic short if the tensioning arm gets loose somehow. When I have access to materials and tools I will get a longer tensioning arm and belt to move the alternator further away from the engine, but if the positive terminal was in a safer location this would be unnecessary.

2. Balmar high output alternators have 16 poles rather than the standard 12. If your diesel engine takes its tach input from the alternator rather than a flywheel pickup as mine does your tachometer will be incorrect unless it can be adjusted. As you might guess my Yanmar supplied tachometer is not adjustable. I was advised that in my situation I should get the Balmar 15-TSS Signal Stabilizer. When I installed it I couldnít get any reading at all from the tach at all no matter how it was adjusted. After a bit of back and forth with Balmar technical support one of the reps said that the device was originally designed for the now discontinued Balmar AT series alternators and he didnít think it would work with current XT alternators. So why do they still sell it? Whatever. The solution seems to be that I will have to buy a tach with an adjustment range compatible with the XT, but when I asked Balmar which tachs and/or what specs I should be looking for I was told that they really hadnít looked into that and had no advice. Really?


OK thatís it, and while weíre at it get off my lawn.
Hi and thanks for the rant. Very helpful! May I ask… did you use a K6 or J10 belt? I’m considering the same alternator but with a K6 belt. It might be pushing it a bit given the belt wrap is roughly a third of the alternator pulley. Getting a decent amperage output?
Stevopilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2024, 15:09   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: NYC
Boat: Adams 45
Posts: 271
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

I also bought a Balmar XT 250-amp alternator for my Yanmar 4JH4-TE. After installing it and looking at the 12V output terminal so close to the engine block, I removed it and replaced it with a Balmar XT-175. I hadn't thought about it when I bought the 250 amp, but I would have also needed to replace all the wiring from the alternator to the ACR and the two battery banks with seriously larger wire. The combination of the poor terminal location and needing to upsize the wire made the extra 75 amps look very unnecessary, especially since the alternator would probably output full current briefly if at all.

If you have a Yanmar tach with the digital hour meter, it might be adjustable for the change in pole count. The Yanmar serpentine kit already required a change because the pulley ratio increased. My tach is adjustable.

For the previous poster, I have a J10 belt.
pjShap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2024, 15:55   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2024
Location: NZ
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 55
Posts: 2
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

Thanks. Iím diving into my tacho detail to check on adjustability.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0754.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	402.1 KB
ID:	289971   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0753.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	383.2 KB
ID:	289972  

Stevopilk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2024, 07:10   #10
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 1,556
Re: Minor Balmar Rant

OP: Borrowed from RC at “Marine How To”

A very smart addition is to install a keyed battery switch, labeled “Alternator Maintenance”, in the B+ output from the alternator. Lock the switch open and zip tie the key to the switch for normal operation. When performing any maintenance on the alternator, turn the switch off thus isolating the alternator B+ from battery B+.

Of course, you must remember to turn the switch back on when the maintenance is complete.
__________________
Charlie Johnson
ABYC Master Technician
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
balmar

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
RANT Canadian vessel name RANT madprops General Sailing Forum 107 17-02-2021 06:31
Balmar 614 regulator / Balmar Alternator help Strait Shooter Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 25-08-2015 13:08
Minor Rant About Current Marina Situation, Opinions? CaptainTurtles Liveaboard's Forum 49 02-09-2012 14:11
WANTED: 34-40 ft boat in need of minor-major -repair/refit for cruising the Caribbean dustinp Classifieds Archive 6 28-10-2007 20:31
Logon Issues - Minor markpj23 Forum Tech Support & Site Help 8 31-07-2006 05:51

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.