Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SF - South Bay
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Wetserbeke alternator woes
I have a Westerbeke 30b in my Pearson 323. A few weeks ago, screeching noise from the engine - no problem I thought, belt slipping. But as I adjusted the belt, I noticed sparks coming from the back of the alternator (the PO had upgraded to a BALMAR 60-70-SR-IG). O-oh. Turned out that clearance at the back of the alternator was so tight that the live cable, which comes out of the rear of the alternator, had rubbed through it's insulation and was grounding on the engine block. (Actually clearance all around is very tight!)
Okay, thinks I, move the alternator forwards a bit to provide clearance. The belt would still run true. Just a couple of washers....
Then I notice that the alternator has two feet, but the W30B only has one mounting lug cast on the block. And the alternator was installed with a solid tube - maybe 1" diameter - between the two feet; a single bolt going through the alternator foot, the engine mounting, through the steel tube, and through the second foot of the alternator and clamping it all together.
So I can't move the alternator forwards without changing something.
So as I see it my choices are:
- Cut/shorten the steel tube, allowing the alternator to move maybe 1/8" (3-4 washers) forwards. Big chunk of metal to cut by hand. But what benefit did this tube give? Spreading the load somewhat to the two feet?
- Ignore the steel tube. Rely on only one foot for the alternator. I wonder if that single foot would be strong enough?
- Spend $700 on the correct alternator!
Thoughts ideas would be very welcome.