Blog

Alternator problems on Narrowboat with Lister Alpha LPWS.

Call-out to Bollington to look at problems with a 4 cylinder Lister Alpha. Newly purchased narrowboat where the previous owner fitted the best equipment which looks good on paper. Smartgauge, Victron BMV, 2 large Victron AGM batteries, 24V 150A Mastervolt Alternator, Victron Multiplus etc.. Problem was with the ridiculously over spec’d Mastervolt alternator (like using a power station to supply a house). Mounting system was complicated and engine vibrations causing all the engine mounts and engine brackets to continuously work loose. This had been an ongoing problem. My solution was to fit a standard 60 amp 24V alternator with a smaller custom 65mm XPA pulley and single Gates Quadpower belt; Remove the 16mm charge leads (150A alternator!) and increase to 35mm due to lack of intelligent charging. Charging system is great and a match for the 220AH 24V battery bank. Engine runs smoothly and transforms the boat. Customers delighted.listeralpha

Vetus M4.14 Alternator and Charging Upgrade on the South Coast.

Travelled to Chichester Marina to work on a beautiful and superbly restored classic 1960’s wooden racing yacht Blue Saluki. Re-engined with a Vetus M4.14 6/7 years ago and the charging system has never been good. Customer couldn’t find a local engineer who was used to working with Adverc systems.

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The charging setup on this generation of Vetus engine has been badly thought out: The original factory fitted alternators have low output right across the engine rpm range. Alternator spec according to Vetus ranges from 40-60 amp (optimistic figures), alternator pulley size is large, crank pulley small and output at tickover pathetic. The replacement cost of this poor performing alternator from Vetus is extortionate.

My brief was to sort out the charging system. An Adverc system was already fitted with 1-2-Both switch. I fit a 160amp split charge diode; 90 amp Marine Alternator with custom smaller high speed pulley and Gates Automaster belt. Domestic charging cables increased to 35mm (some of original circuit was as small as 6mm). Rewire all batteries (3 domestic, 1 start) with new HD post terminals and marine spec 35mm cable. New Blue Sea isolator switches.

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With jobs like this I tend to load my van with a range of different alternators/pulleys/belts etc… There seem to be some differences in the front timing cover & raw water pump of these Mitsubishi engines and it isn’t always possible to fit the one I intended. Have to play around with pulley sizes as Gates Automaster sizes are limited. Clearance between wet manifold and alternator stud terminals was incredibly tight. I had to grind terminals down slightly and fit all cables before I fitted the alternator. Access particularly poor – pretty sure some fitters would insist the engine lifted out to do a job like this.

Charging performance has been transformed and customer is delighted.