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  #11  
Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

stone-
These days it is hard to find anyone who understands that V-belts come in different profiles, not just different sizes. So once you confirm that you've got the right profile, and size, you also need the right length. Usually if the belt number is something like XYZ36 that part of the belt number would indicate it is 36" long, and (duh!) the XYZ35 is then one inch shorter. XYZ34 is two inches shorter. Finding any v-belt at all in stock anywhere, not so easy.
And if someone at some time had the alternator repaired or replaced, and used a different pulley size? The stock belt length could be wrong now. Best bet is to take a good piece of string, wrap it around, measure it. If it seems like the belt you have is an inch too long, compare that to what the string measures. In the worst case you try two new belts, one an inch shorter, the other two inches shorter. Half-inch increments would be nice but at least get in the ballpark.
You may also be able to find a belt tension gauge and a belt tensioner/spreader to make the job easier. The gauge actually tells you how much tension is on the belt (hard to find these days, but they exist!) while the spreader is a turnbuckle-type gizmo that fits between the two pulleys and forces them apart, so you can tighten the alternator down in a leisurely manner while the tension is being held by the spreader.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

The Universal engines are not the only ones that have improperly sized pivot bolts. Many factory engines including Yanmar, Volvo/Perkins and Universal often ship with the wrong sized bolt for the alternator to pivot on. With a 35A alt this is rarely a problem but when you go to 80A+ it quickly becomes belt dust bonanza..

Universal also shipped a number of engines where the Motorola alts had SAE holes and yet others with metric, go figure. The alt bracket upgrade, IMHO, is a rube Goldberg fix and rather poorly engineered, but still far better than the original.

Please be aware that the long alternator 3/8" bolt that comes with the kit is most often the WRONG size. It is much to sloppy a fit in the bracket. The hole in the bracket works MUCH better with a metric bolt. I replace it with a metric bolt and occasionally need to then drill the alt to the proper fit. The problem is the Motorola alts shipped in both metric and US sizes over the years. The upgrade bracket is drilled for metric but Westerbeke ships a 3/8" bolt.. Belt issues with the new bracket are often due to the sloppy incorrect bolt Westerbeke supplies. It allows the alternator to "twist off" and create uneven belt wear and creates wear on the alternator foot mount.

Also the new bracket has oval holes for a reason, but every one I have seen installed has never taken advantage of them. You may not need to but you really should align the bracket fore/aft on the motor so the belt is in proper alignment.. This may mean spacer washers under the thermostat end of the mount. The one I just did required two metric washers to shim it forward..

Sloppy Fitting Westerbeke Bolt


A much better fit:


New bolt on left, Westerbeke supplied "sloppy" bolt on right:


Forward Align


If you forward align place shim washers in the space:


Aft Align:



On the adjusting arm bolts I also go one step further.

I get a real long bolt, split washer and nyloc nut. I then adjust the arm and tighten the bolts hard. Once tight I install the "locking" nuts. I've yet to have one vibrate loose after this fix..

Alternator Ear End (gets both split washer and nylock nut. If the alt over heats it could melt the nyloc feature.)

Slotted end of adjusting arm: (this should never get hot enough to melt the nyloc if it does you have bigger issues.)
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

You know, that sounds like a tool I bought from Harbor Freight. Came with two different cap screws (allen bolts) to hold the handle on, and I looked at them and said, okay, that ain't gonna work. And if I wanted a correct screw, they could ship one from China in about 2-3 months. Honest.

Or the mars lander that crashed a couple of years ago, supposedly one design group was using metric specs while the other used fractional? Why should we expect any better from Universal or Volvo. (sigh) Of course Westerbleak [sic] doesn't surprise me, ordering parts from the lowest bidder is what it is.

Jeez, really, none of these folks know how to spec a round peg to fit a round hole ?! That kind of qc problem is, frankly, frightening.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You know, that sounds like a tool I bought from Harbor Freight. Came with two different cap screws (allen bolts) to hold the handle on, and I looked at them and said, okay, that ain't gonna work. And if I wanted a correct screw, they could ship one from China in about 2-3 months. Honest.

Or the mars lander that crashed a couple of years ago, supposedly one design group was using metric specs while the other used fractional? Why should we expect any better from Universal or Volvo. (sigh) Of course Westerbleak [sic] doesn't surprise me, ordering parts from the lowest bidder is what it is.

Jeez, really, none of these folks know how to spec a round peg to fit a round hole ?! That kind of qc problem is, frankly, frightening.
If you guys would smarten up and go metric like THE ENTIRE REST OF THE WORLD these problems would cease to exist. Even the Brits were smart enough to get rid of Witworth.
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

Eh, smarten up better than our Canajian neighbors?

When's the last time you heard a Canajian carpenter measuring lumber in those handy decimeters? Nope, they still use our four by eight (foot) plywood sheets, and our two by four (inch) studs, and they cut fits to the 1/16" of an inch, not the millimeter.

Incidentally, you can't use millimeters for woodworking, because as the humidity changes, the wood changes size and the millimeters turn out to be too precise, they no longer fit.

Last I heard, Canajian plumbers aren't too fond of metric, either.

But it doesn't really matter WHICH scale you measure the parts with, as long as the idiot supplying them and machining them MEETS THE SPEC. Machine parts wear out, too. So the lowest bidder, who pushes his drills and such past their spec, winds up being out of spec every time. But hey, he's still won the bid.

That's the difference between a $1000 Honda genset, and some $500 ShenZhou POS that looks perfectly identical to it. The POS folks are using the worn out parts that someone else already threw out.

None of which really matters if you're building mars landers, of course. We all know that's simply called "The Martians only shot down two out of three!" (VBG) Curiousity's skip-and-jump-shufflebop routine obviously beat the Martian defenses.
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Eh, smarten up better than our Canajian neighbors?

When's the last time you heard a Canajian carpenter measuring lumber in those handy decimeters? Nope, they still use our four by eight (foot) plywood sheets, and our two by four (inch) studs, and they cut fits to the 1/16" of an inch, not the millimeter.

Incidentally, you can't use millimeters for woodworking, because as the humidity changes, the wood changes size and the millimeters turn out to be too precise, they no longer fit.

Last I heard, Canajian plumbers aren't too fond of metric, either.
The fact that the States is still Imperial is the main reason why so much of it still exists here. Most people here under 40 years old don't use Imperial unless they have to since they were never taught it. If the States had converted back when, Imperial wouldn't exist except for restoration of old cars & boats.

P.S. Being an old fart, I still think in Imperial and keep my computerized dashboards set to "English", but I recognize the wisdom of a world standard measurement system. Since our money is "metric" I've never really understood the resistance to changing over. I do take issue with some metric unit sizes but that's a separate issue.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 11-26-2012 at 07:32 PM.
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

"but I recognize the wisdom of a world standard measurement system. "
Right, so you can go to any pub in any country and order a half-liter of beer instead of a proper pint.
And go to any ballpark and order a "three point three decimeter dog" instead of a foot-long frank.
As to money being metric(ish), well, maybe Loonies are, but dollars aren't. We've always had mils (tenths of a cent) but never minted them, and aside from gasoline prices they're not used in ordinary rade, never have been. Much like two dollar bills, which for some reason are easy to find OUTside the US, but no one really believes they're real inside the borders. Besides, who needs metric money when everything can be put on plastic, where computers do the rate conversions automatically, invisibly, and slipping the rounding errors into appropriate pockets?
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Old 11-26-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The Universal engines are not the only ones that have improperly sized pivot bolts. Many factory engines including Yanmar, Volvo/Perkins and Universal often ship with the wrong sized bolt for the alternator to pivot on. With a 35A alt this is rarely a problem but when you go to 80A+ it quickly becomes belt dust bonanza..

Universal also shipped a number of engines where the Motorola alts had SAE holes and yet others with metric, go figure. The alt bracket upgrade, IMHO, is a rube Goldberg fix and rather poorly engineered, but still far better than the original.

Please be aware that the long alternator 3/8" bolt that comes with the kit is most often the WRONG size. It is much to sloppy a fit in the bracket. The hole in the bracket works MUCH better with a metric bolt. I replace it with a metric bolt and occasionally need to then drill the alt to the proper fit. The problem is the Motorola alts shipped in both metric and US sizes over the years. The upgrade bracket is drilled for metric but Westerbeke ships a 3/8" bolt.. Belt issues with the new bracket are often due to the sloppy incorrect bolt Westerbeke supplies. It allows the alternator to "twist off" and create uneven belt wear and creates wear on the alternator foot mount.

Also the new bracket has oval holes for a reason, but every one I have seen installed has never taken advantage of them. You may not need to but you really should align the bracket fore/aft on the motor so the belt is in proper alignment.. This may mean spacer washers under the thermostat end of the mount. The one I just did required two metric washers to shim it forward..

Sloppy Fitting Westerbeke Bolt


A much better fit:


New bolt on left, Westerbeke supplied "sloppy" bolt on right:


Forward Align


If you forward align place shim washers in the space:


Aft Align:



On the adjusting arm bolts I also go one step further.

I get a real long bolt, split washer and nyloc nut. I then adjust the arm and tighten the bolts hard. Once tight I install the "locking" nuts. I've yet to have one vibrate loose after this fix..

Alternator Ear End (gets both split washer and nylock nut. If the alt over heats it could melt the nyloc feature.)

Slotted end of adjusting arm: (this should never get hot enough to melt the nyloc if it does you have bigger issues.)
Curious as to the use of coarse thread and not fine? Looks like grade 8 bolts on the replacement, nice.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Eh, smarten up better than our Canajian neighbors?

When's the last time you heard a Canajian carpenter measuring lumber in those handy decimeters? Nope, they still use our four by eight (foot) plywood sheets, and our two by four (inch) studs, and they cut fits to the 1/16" of an inch, not the millimeter.

Incidentally, you can't use millimeters for woodworking, because as the humidity changes, the wood changes size and the millimeters turn out to be too precise, they no longer fit.

Last I heard, Canajian plumbers aren't too fond of metric, either.

But it doesn't really matter WHICH scale you measure the parts with, as long as the idiot supplying them and machining them MEETS THE SPEC. Machine parts wear out, too. So the lowest bidder, who pushes his drills and such past their spec, winds up being out of spec every time. But hey, he's still won the bid.

That's the difference between a $1000 Honda genset, and some $500 ShenZhou POS that looks perfectly identical to it. The POS folks are using the worn out parts that someone else already threw out.

None of which really matters if you're building mars landers, of course. We all know that's simply called "The Martians only shot down two out of three!" (VBG) Curiousity's skip-and-jump-shufflebop routine obviously beat the Martian defenses.
Um... being a Canadian carpenter I can tell you that I use Imperial for rough work and metric for finishing. I agree with the previous poster however, everything should just be metric, it would solve a lot of problems. And while we are at it lets change all screw heads to Robertson.

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Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Going thru alternator belts???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"but I recognize the wisdom of a world standard measurement system. "
Right, so you can go to any pub in any country and order a half-liter of beer instead of a proper pint.
New units such as "sleeves" have taken the place of pints of brew

Quote:
And go to any ballpark and order a "three point three decimeter dog" instead of a foot-long frank
.

Just order a dog or a "lip" - what my friends and I have called them since we were kids. A friends mother said they were "nothing but lips & noses" and they instantly and forevermore became "lips" to us.

Quote:
As to money being metric(ish), well, maybe Loonies are, but dollars aren't.
They certainly ARE - our common "dollar" currency system is base 10 - what is that if not "metric"

Quote:
computers do the rate conversions automatically, invisibly, and slipping the rounding errors into appropriate pockets?
Were you aware that was the first known instance of computer embezzlement? Back in the 60's a bank computer programmer realized that during the myriad calculations of interest each day there were endless occurrences of calculations ending in fractions of a cent. He set up the program to divert those fractions to his account and ended up rich in no time. He was caught of course.
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