A4 alternator? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 32 Old 07-11-2010
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That is just such a bad idea when a safe one cost so little money

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post #12 of 32 Old 07-11-2010 Thread Starter
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$350 is so little money to you?

It's no worse than the old one since that one didn't have a spark arrestor screen.
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post #13 of 32 Old 07-11-2010
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FWIW, a "rebuilt" alternator means "we fixed it". A "remanufactured" alternator is literally torn down to the frame and every part of it is tested and replaced to meet or exceed the new OEM specs, so a commercially remanufactured alternator will be the better choice when available.

When a local shop "rebuilds" they usually just replace a bearing, or regulator, or diode frame, whatever failed or looks like it is about to fail. And if they've merrily repainted the entire alternator shiny silver? Make sure they didn't get any paint on the diode frame itself (inside the vents) because even one coat of paint will cause the diodes to overheat and fail down the line.

I'd also be leary of putting an automotive alternator near a marine gasoline engine. Consider, at least, retrofitting or adding metal (aluminum or better copper or brass) window screening material in a way that emulates the original screening, the purpose of which is to interrupt a flame front and give you a little fire resistance.

While many Delco and AC/Delco alternators can be swapped, they have different specs. Most available from their web sites or with a phone call. Some of them develop power at somewhat different shaft rpm ranges, so if you are swapping one "Delco" for another, check to see if you also want to *change* the pulley size to keep the alternator running in the best rpm range. (too slwo = slow charging; too fast = burns it out.)

Last edited by hellosailor; 07-11-2010 at 07:19 PM.
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post #14 of 32 Old 07-12-2010
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Use the power of the internet they can be found for much less you could get a brand like ARCO for 1/2 of that

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post #15 of 32 Old 07-16-2010
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I've herd that if stopped by the Coast Guard and inspected the fine for non marine equipment is quite expensive. Is the cost saved on the non shielded alternator worth your boat and maybe your life. It is an Atomic 4 gasoline engine that hasn't been produced for a number of years because of the fuel. I personally like the A4 but am cautious with automotive and marine parts.
Just a thought.
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post #16 of 32 Old 07-16-2010
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"I've herd that if stopped by the Coast Guard and inspected the fine for non marine equipment is quite expensive. "
There is no USCG "fine for non-marine equipment". There are fines for specific violations of specific regulations, and conformation to USCG and other certifications is usually required only on COMMERCIAL VESSELS.
As a pleasure boat owner, the USCG mainly requires that you stay sober and try not to bother the SAR crews. Especially on weekends and holidays.
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post #17 of 32 Old 07-16-2010
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Well

At least here if you get boared by and ambitious crew they will bee looking for oil and other sighs and do look for flame arrestors at least on powerboats that have caught there attention

The A-4 powered C&C 35 Gandalf that burned and sunk while returning from the Port-Huron to Mackinac race caught there attention and they raised it to try and find the root cause


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post #18 of 32 Old 07-16-2010
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"and do look for flame arrestors "
One could make the case that a gasoline engine (powerboat) without a flame arrestor on the air intake, especially on a carbureted engine which was originally fitted with one, was "manifestly unsafe" and the USCG can and does order those vessels back to port. Whether an alternator not having a spark shield could be called the same...seems like a much grayer line to me.
But surely, you're aware of what the Suffolk County PD have to say about these matters? "Your Constitutional Rights stop at the Nassau border." They don't apply within Suffolk. (Of course the NCPD say the same thing about the Queens County line.)

Electricity, indoor plumbing, horseless carriages...I tell ya, the world is going to hell in handbasket, and a terribly shoddy handbasket at that. Look, the wicker is breaking apart!
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post #19 of 32 Old 09-10-2010
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Just a thought I have about the necessity of having a spark sheilded alternator. We are talking here about a Gasoline engine that has an ignition coil, breaker points, spark plug wires, a distributor cap and rotor. My point is that within the whole ignition system, sooner or later, you will have some sparks exposed in your bilge. Wheter is a faulty spark plug wire, or a cracked distributor cap. On the flip side, there must be a reason why they make spark sheilded alternator... So I bit the bullet and paid $280 to have the voltage regulator replaced mine. I just sleep better at night that way

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post #20 of 32 Old 09-10-2010
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"On the flip side, there must be a reason why they make spark sheilded alternator"
Yes. Because the breaker points, cap and rotor are theoretically o-ring sealed and will not spark into the "atmosphere". The plug wires, likewise, do not normally spark externally. But the alternator is *always* sucking the outside air through itself for cooling, and the contacts in it are routinely expected to make sparks whenever there is dirt or wear, i.e. in normal operation.
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