I am about ready to toss my third Balmar series 95 alternator into the drink. The first one was DOA, the second one was dead after 7 months, and finally the current one is dieing after 3 very short months. This is a 210a model and it seems Balmar has the market cornered and I can't find an alternative. It is a J180 style mount.
Surprisingly, the competitors have seem to fallen off the face of the earth. AmplePower, I hear is down to a slim staff, not good. Neece Leville seems to be shotgunning their solutions across as many verticals as possible, they seem very thin in the marine industry.
Any ideas, Maine Sail?
This leaves more questions than answers. A brush failure is quite rare in that short of a time frame. The first one being DOA is even more rare with Balmar. (never had an alternator from Balmar DOA likely because they hot test them and give a performance chart).. This third failure is very odd.
*What is it this time that caused the failure?
*Has it been opened up yet?
*What is it doing /not doing?
These alts are quite robust and Balmar is a very good company to deal with. Please call Rick, Rich or Dale and discuss it with them. I am a Balmar dealer but also have my own line of custom alternators that I offer but sell Balmar's most often. I also sell Electromaax. Properly installed all of these alternators are very, very reliable.
You've already invested some good money in this one so I would not recommend buying another. The main difference between Balmar or other high performance marine alts, and truck or ambulance versions of this alternator case, is the way the stator and rotor are wound for low RPM performance. The diodes are also more robust as are the bearings and other items..
One needs to be careful using any old alternator re-build shop with HO alternators as the stators and rotors they often get are "off the shelf". I have seen numerous examples of alternators re-builds with horrendous low RPM performance compared to the original and this is because an off the shelf part was used in-place of the high performance part. Most of these failures were due to a lack of an alternator temp sensor when AGM banks were added and the alt simply cooked itself.
*How much air clearance around that alt when the engine cover is on?
*Where is the alternator temp sensor located, and where is it bolted on to the alternator?
*What are you charging for batteries in type such as AGM or GEL or Wet. How many Ah's..?
*Is the alternator mount bolted to the engine stringer or bolted directly to the engine?
*What are your engine compartment temps averaging?
*Are there any signs of belt dust?
*What regulator are you using?
*Where is the voltage being sensed?