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Old     (kraig)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-07-2005, 6:01 PM Reply   
There is a problem coming to light here on WW about after market alternators. Primarily the ones purchased from The Battery Shack in Florida. If you have read the thread "Where do I buy a High Output Alternator" then you know something about what is happening. Grant brought up a great idea to post this thread and I am doing just that. So I give credit where credit is due!

The problem is the proper Marinizing of an alternator. Which makes it a marine alternator. Keep in mind I am NOT an expert on alternators, which is why I was taken by people selling a non-marinized alternator. I now know enough to know what a marinized alternator is and what makes it safe. Also, I am not posting this thread to roast the company I purchased my alternator from, but unfortunately they are the company that has brought this problem to light through their own errors. And they are the ones I have a problem with. We should look at the alternator from everyone who makes HO alternators.

I purchased a High Output alternator last spring to power my new system, just like alot of us on here, in the wakeboarding community and everyone else out there in the boating world. I decided to purchase from The Battery Shack. I kept having problems with their alternator, I blew the same alternator twice. I finally found out that it wasn't a marinized alternator. In fact, it was for a diesel engine, not even the proper alternator for my engine. Even after I discussed what engine I have when I was having problems. I thought honest mistake (To an extent...)and didn't think too much of it. I just received the correct alternator, properly marinized with screens in all openings and over the entire back of it. Now I havn't used it we'll see how it does. Then to my surprise, Grant had the same problem and the same excuse. Then another person posted on here with that same problem and I think the same excuse. Grant has heard it from five different people. How many more are there?!?

Why is this such a problem?
As we all know, your engine compartment is sealed. Hence why we have blowers on our engines, to exhaust any gas fumes that may build up in the engine compartment. A spark can ignite these fumes and BOOM! The screens on the alternator is a spark arrestor to prevent a spark that could come from the alternator and ignite these fumes. Like I said, I understand an honest mistake, but we are seeing this happening over and over with the EXACT same excuse. Coincidence?!? I'll let you decide.
This is dangerous and I would like to hear from an alternator expert who might bring to light that marinizing is expensive. Maybe not, I don't know. But why is this happening.

Also, the Coast Guard requires this! Along with a spark arrestor on your air filters. If you get caught by any on the water police or coast guard and they do a safety inspection, your days on the water are over until the problem is rectified along with a hefty fine! This isn't about fines, tickets or days off the water. It's about safety!! Let's all get educated and prevent this from happening.

Please Please Please Check your alternator and pass on the information!!

(Message edited by kraig on March 07, 2005)

(Message edited by kraig on March 07, 2005)
Old     (jlembas)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-07-2005, 6:25 PM Reply   
Nice info.

I think Dave should make this post a permanent sticky note (or whatever they call it) so everyone can see for an extended time.
Old    sculpter            03-07-2005, 11:46 PM Reply   
Great information this helps alot 0f people. Now Im curious and want to go look at my alternator. Thanks again.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       03-08-2005, 6:03 AM Reply   
FYI, Incase anyone is in doubt, Grant posted a picture of what the screens should look like in the thread (Where do I buy a high outpu Alt.) referred to in the first post.
Old    jzwake            03-08-2005, 6:56 AM Reply   
Very good post, way to take the time for the WW community.
Old    whitechocolate            03-08-2005, 9:08 AM Reply   
Here is what your alternator should look like

Check out this thread
I posted photos of my new alternator and
after that a few people in that thread came forward and said they had talked with the people at the Battery shack, Look at there comments in that thread pretty intresting.

I dont know how common it is for and engine explosion due to this type of thing, but In my opinion its way worth the time to check and see
if your ok. I was runnning without screens for quite some time and had no problems, but I conciderd myself lucky.
Please take the time and check. The peice of mind is worth it. It would be a good idea for Dave W to make a post so that people can be aware of this danger,
Old     (sam8)      Join Date: Dec 2004       03-08-2005, 12:32 PM Reply   
Thanks for the post, this is good info that we should all be paying attention to.
I for one, am going to be shopping for an H.O. alternator for our Sanger next fall, and will make certain that it is the right one.

Grant, I've never seen an engine explosion or fire due to the alternator failing either, but I have seen an alternator in the process of failing on a motorhome.
It was at night, and as the engine was running, sparks could be seen coming out of the alt. housing. The brushes in the unit had worn to the point of shorting out, and the bushings in the housing were wasted to the point that the back of the case (a "Delcotron") was glowing.
Before the days of self-adjusting serpentine belts, one of the most common problems with alternators was people running the belt too tight. Easy way to predict certain premature bushing failure.
Scary stuff, for sure. I was following the other thread,and I will be touching base with your source in Campbell when I'm ready.

Old     (kraig)      Join Date: Dec 2002       03-17-2005, 6:14 PM Reply   
Just wanted to get this thread back at the top to give it some more exposure. It seems like it fell out of main discussion pretty fast. I hope everyone is reading it.
Old    walt            03-17-2005, 6:34 PM Reply   
Great post ! I'll check mine soon.
Old     (wakeshoe)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-19-2005, 7:34 AM Reply   
In one of these threads on alternators, someone posted that newer, brushless alternators do not require the screens. Can anyone verify this? I would hate to lump all alternators into needing the screens if they in fact do not.


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