Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Home Port: Rock Hall, MD
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It sounds like a regulator problem, however, I'm not sure what make or model the "Max Charge Smart" you're referring to is. Over the years, we have replaced two solid state regulators-- Balmar Max Charge -- after they have apparently been "cooked" by the heat in the engine compartment. In our case, the engine rpm fluctuations began only after the temperature in the engine compartment got hot enough to start affecting some part of the regulator that was beginning to fail. This made the problem somewhat maddening to solve because the system charged normally when it was started up, and would only start to fluctuate after about 20 minutes at cruising rpms.
Since the regulators are solid state -- black boxes to me -- I'm not sure there's any way to check them or repair individual parts. Each time, I've replaced the whole unit, a simple process -- it mounts on the engine compartment wall and has a fairly simple wiring harness. A mechanic with more electronic knowledge may be able to tell you some way to check the unit before replacing it.
JUNO -- PSC 40 -- #46