Re: [OMC-Boats] I'd like to bail.....

From: BLDFW <bldfw@...>
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 15:59:54 -0700 (PDT)

Thanks Lee.

I wasn't pointing fingers on how I got in touch with Barsanco.  They were good to deal with and accepted the returned alternator for repairs at no charge.  After my attempting to open the case and thus breaking the screw off, I don't feel I can now go back to them and expect them to do anything more.  Looking at it from their perspective they have no way of knowing I didn't cause the latest problems myself.  If it were me, I'd be skeptical and not inclined to accept further responsibility.   I'm chalking it up to a lesson learned and moving on.

Back to the boat, as I'd like to thrown the boat out with the bathwater, I'm not giving up that easily.  Just walking away for a bit.  I actually just completed taking a blowup of one of the wiring diagrams you sent me awhile back that most exactly matches my boat wiring and color coded it via MS Paint so I can better track this stuff down.  I'll also look into getting better metering equip so I'm not guessing.

I'm attaching a photo of the back side of the alternator.  There's a larger post and two smaller posts.  When I sent the alt back to Baransco, I ran the nuts all the way down on the two smaller posts but when it came back, one of the nuts was back almost all the way up.  Neither post is marked as to what it is ("-" or "FLD") but it's the same post I had the blue wire on the voltage regulator attached (which matches the wiring diagram) so it would suggest I had that right originally.  In comparing with my old alt, the other post would be a ground post but the post was not present on the old on, just the hole for it.  None of the diagrams reflect a grounding post.    Just for grins, you got an opinion as to which is which  just from looking at the pic?  You have a ground wire attached to yours?

Anyway, I've started to review the pics I took of the of the back side of the old instrumentsion so I can begin tracking from the front to the rear to make sure I wired it correct.  I'm pretty sure I did but who knows.  Since I only interacted with the instruments, that's the only place I feel I needs to revalidate for now.  Then I'll start checking the rear wiring to see what's up with that, if anything.  I'm reasonably sure whatever is going on is in the back somewhere.

Dallas, TX
1970 Evinrude Explorer - 155 Buick V6 - OMC Sterndrive

--- On Sat, 10/3/09, Lee Shuster <lks@...> wrote:

From: Lee Shuster <lks@...>
Subject: Re: [OMC-Boats] I'd like to bail.....
To: "Evinrude & Johnson Boats of the 1960's and 70's" <>
Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009, 5:04 PM

Sorry to hear you are continuing to have electrical issues.
Since I'm the one who recommended Baransco to you, I'm sure they will be reasonable if you point out what's happened.
I have good success using them for spare Prestolite ALK parts like brushes and diodes and using those parts to do my own Prestolite rebuilds. I've never used them for rebuilding entire alternators, but rather just as a reliable source of very hard-to-locate obsolete Prestolite parts.
Since your boat, as I remember, may have had some prior owner modifications, I'd urge you to spend the off-season cross checking every wire, every connector, against an original OMC diagram. I'd even go so far as to suggest wiring in a direct reading (non-shunting) ammeter so you'll know for sure what's happening with respect to charge/discharge status. Voltmeters are useful instruments, but I'd like to understand better what is "pulling" down a fully charged battery so quickly?
Only something that's drawing a lot of AMPERAGE (high current) (as in a short) can do that. The "whiff of hot wiring and a physically hot alternator case" could be bad wiring/connector in the boat or a defective alternator or regulator. You need to breakdown your troubleshooting into logical steps, and get positive verification/measurement of the COMPLETE electrical system, including ALL wiring.
As an aside, my boat will run all day (several hours) with no functioning alternator, but I do have the advantage of dual batteries. Even on one battery, the ignition coil, and gear case shift coil don't even pull 4-5 amps at most. That takes literally days to pull down a fully charged, healthy Group 24 battery. So, it's very telling that you see such a quick dramatic drop in your battery potential.
Keep after it, and don't get discouraged, now's the best time to methodically track it down!

On Oct 3, 2009, at 2:03 PM, BLDFW wrote:
or so I feel like it at the moment....

Still having charging problems.  A while ago I was told my old prestolite was toast so I put out the word and was directed to Barsanco as a source.  They offered a good price for a new alternator so I ordered a new one from them and installed it.  Still no charging.  I eventually took the alternator and the voltage regulator to a local shop and was told the alternator was bad, the voltage regulator was good.  So, I sent the alternator back to Barsacno to be fixed.  Supposedly they "fixed" it.  I installed it the other day and then went out to test it out today. 

First thing I encountered was that the alternator would not rotate.  It was rotating fine when I reinstalled the fins and the pulley.  I take it off again and found that it would turn in my hand but not easily and felt like it was rubbing against something.  I got to looking at the case and the screws holding it together and it looked like one was not straight.  I started to remove the screw only to find someone at Barsanco had crossed threaded it.  Needless to say, it broke off.  Another screw felt the same way so I didn't press my luck.  The two remaining screws came out easily.  In the process of loosening the screws, suddenly the shaft was turning freely again.  It would appear the casing got wracked in the shoddy repair process. 

I reinstalled the screws and sure enough, because it wasn't put together the right way, when tightening the screws even mildly, the shaft, while it would turn, would encounter some off sided rubbing somewhere inside.  I backed the screws out just enough for the resistance to go away and reinstalled it.   Then I found that by tightening the upper bolt that the alternator hangs from, it apparently also wracks the case because the shaft would no longer rotate.  I finally had to loosen that bolt enough to not put pressure on the casing.

And then finally, I start it up only to detect no charging on the volt meter.  While the volt meter started at 12+ when I first turned the key on, over a short period of time it fell down to about 10v.  As it was running, after about a minute or so, it was very subtle but I detected a shift in the tonal quality of the idling sound.  It was enough to make me look and wonder if something was going on with the alternator.  Then I got the barest whiff of hot wiring and shut it down.  The casing on the alternator was hot.  At that point, in disgust, I decided to bail on it.

It's debatable as to whether the alternator was or was not good when I first got it.  It simply did not register charging.  It's debatable as to whether I did something to cause it to not charge.  But what's not debatable is that what I got back was LESS than what I returned to Barsanco for repairs.  I can't prove anything as to the condition of the product so I'm out the cost of a new alternator.  I'm going to take the old one and the new one to the local alternator shop and see if they can rebuild the old one with whatever is usable off the new one.

And that folks, signifies the end of the season for good this year.  It's disheartening that something so simple as a boat project could be so problematic as to rob you of the fun of it all.....  Oh woe is me!

Dallas, TX
1970 Evinrude Explorer - 155 Buick V6 - OMC Sterndrive

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