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Date: 5 February 2018. Alternator Bracket Pattern (how to)


If I had a dollar for every Good Idea that has ever crossed my mind, I would be rich. When it comes to alternators I've had more than my fair share of ideas. Some worked well and others didn't. One success I had was with the pattern I created for my new, larger alternator. Here's how I did it for less than a dollar.

First of all, "everyone" says get a bigger alternator. So I did.

My friend Rich over on the east coast sent me a 55 amp alternator. It replaced the dinky one that came with my 18hp Kubota. You met Rich in the
Time Stopped article. He is a right nice boater.


The problem was that when I upsized to the 55 amp alternator, the rinky-dink original bracket broke. Then I went by Lizotte's Welding shop (phone 727-343-7690) where I discussed the problem with Todd.

This is Todd

Rather than pay to have a whole new arched alternator bracket made from scratch, it was suggested I buy one. Then with a pattern Lizotte's Welding shop could alter the store-bought version to fit my engine.

That's when I headed over to the Napa (phone: 727-545-3327) auto parts store. This is Chip from Napa.

Chip at Napa had what I needed in stock.

To make a pattern I needed a stiff material. I have used cardboard. It bends.
Fortunately I had in my Stash of Stuff a spare package of flexible chopping mats.


Flexible cutting boards aka chopping mats should be a part of your spare parts inventory. A set contains two. For just a buck at the Dollar Tree, this item fits my budget. Having a spare package is a Good Idea.

First I got out the alternator bracket I bought from Napa.

I traced the bracket onto one chopping mat.

Then I cut out the arch.

I also traced the ATTACHMENT POINT on the engine block at one end of my pattern.

Old bracket, new pattern:

A quick trip to Lizotte's Welding netted me a custom sized BRACKET that will fit my 55 amp alternator.

The welder at Lizotte's was impressed with my pattern. It was stiff with precise edges. Best of all, the chopping mat was very easy for me to handle and resize. I could easily cut it. When the first iteration was not-so-good, I had plenty of material so made a second one.

The plastic pattern and Napa store bracket was dropped off at the welding shop. The following day the customized piece was ready for pick-up. I am not sure now how much I paid Lizotte's to have this piece welded to my specifications.

It works so that is what counts most of all. I wanted a way to
rapidly charge my battery bank even while using high draw items.


Now, I haveit.

Side Note: If you have been wondering, I completely uploaded my website to a new server. Thank goodness I had the bandwidth for all those pictures. There are over 5500 files, so having a Verizon tablet with wifi was a true blessing.

I'm going to recover from the mind-numbing verifications (confirming file locations, etc.) and the day after tomorrow will hopefully have finished the Rest of the Story. That part is not pretty. Sigh.

To you and yours, happy boating. This part of the alternator project worked perfectly.

When making patterns, what material do you use?
And, have you successfully upsized your alternator?

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A favorite aphorism:  We are the pattern of our atoms, not the atoms per se. When my pattern is gone, so too shall I be. The universe, with its sparking stars goes on, unmoved, unknowing. Unbearable beauty, unimaginable vistas, lost to my eyes forever and ever. Mike Darwin of CCM-L.

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