Date: 30 December 2020. New
As detailed in
Website Woes Resolved, I had completed a new
article when my writing system went kaflooey.
Today I have to the best of my ability recreated what was lost.
Let us step back in time to the summer, when Seaweed was at Salt
Creek boatyard. In addition to the normal boatyard items, I wanted
to permanently resolve an issue with the alternator portion of my
I told you about my experiences at the yard in the
Salt Creek Boatyard
But I digress...
"Everybody" says to get a larger/high capacity alternator for
more power and faster charging. Now that is probably a great idea
for many of the boaters I know. For me however, there were a series
of ways to do it wrong. I managed to hit most of them. Learn from my
errors in the
Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake
In one of the debacles along the
way to Failure, I snapped the end off the bracket that holds my alternator in
When I put the larger alternator on the engine, the
torque broke the end of my original bracket.
The engine alternator on Seaweed
charges my battery bank. It is also a part of the cooling system.
The v-belt (aka fan belt) that spins the alternator also turns the
raw water pump. That is an important component of my cooling system.
After my original bracket broke I stabilized it by securing a nut and
bolt at the open end. Of course this was not ideal, however it did
Temporary repairs often are utilized
FAR LONGER than anticipated at inception.
This older photo shows the
alternator bracket before the end snapped off.
While in the boatyard I was not
idle. I wanted to purchase a new alternator bracket. Seaweed has
a marinized Kubota tractor engine. I thought it would be simple to
buy a new bracket for my engine. Ha. Every project is generally a
bit more complicated than I imagine at inception...
First I had to find a
company that sells alternator brackets for the Kubota. There were
none local to the St. Petersburg area. From there the hunt was
on. One kind gent
MG Industrial Engines. I spoke with
Mike at MG [813/622-8763] who asked for the engine serial number.
first got Betsy (my new engine) I diligently wrote down every
number I could find on her. These were recorded in the engine
manuals. I had
numbers, lots of them, however they were not the one specific
serial number I needed.
Fortunately Mike worked
with me. He was patient. I provided photos. You'll see that
I was careful to lay out a ruler so he could see the size of
both the bolt pattern and the armature.
→ and ↓
MG Industrial Engines tractor parts [813/622-8763]
received photos via email. He believed he had what I required.
To double check he suggested I find the elusive serial number
on my engine.
Now one would think so
important a number
would be prominent, large and easily found. Ha!
Said serial number is under the
injectors, above the raw water pump, near a battery bank, and, well,
in a dang near impossible spot to see. I took a picture as getting
my head in there upside down would not have been pretty. This was
not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
I can best be
described as physically phfitt, and I'm not getting any younger.
I scraped off the white paint to reveal a number that
was sort-of what was needed.
Engines went above and beyond what one would expect when dealing
with a potential sale of a $10 item. The company representative knew
his stuff and was great! Mike called Kubota and though we
were looking at the number, it didn't match anything Kubota had in
their records either. Argh.
Nevertheless, Mike believed he had the part I needed in stock. I
ordered, along with spares. All were delivered within a few days.
ALTERNATOR BRACKET ↓
is installed. It fits. The BOLT
At the bottom you'll probably note the oil pressure
sending unit hose
that came off when my Seaweed overheated. I'll tell you about that
About Spares: There are two schools of
thought regarding spare parts. One states that if a part can be
obtained quickly, save your money and only order when necessary. The
other says if an item is essential have a working spare aboard. I am
of the latter philosophy. As I am able, I purchase extras so I can
swap things out on the fly.
Aboard our 40'er, we eventually had spares for
everything. All those decades ago boaters were really on our own. We
had to have or be able to make-do with whatever was on our home. Being
able to figure out a way to manage was essential.
Lane: Decades ago on our 40'er we blew a
head gasket. We limped into port with a filthy boat. The
interior was covered in an oily residue. That was dreadful. Our
head gasket was copper and we did not have a spare.
Daddy knew what to do. We
headed to a strip shopping center. He always said *some
electricians were the filthiest people on earth. We scoured
behind the stores and came up with lots of copper wire left on
the ground. That we stripped out until we had sufficient
copper to facilitate the weld/repair.
most captains, my Daddy did not lack for opinions.
Next we headed to a welding
shop. The owner did not believe the job could be done.
Daddy convinced the gent to allow us to
rent his gear. After patching the thin copper head gasket, the
shop owner refused to take payment. He said just watching and
learning was worth more than the price of the rental.
Daddy following my
duo up the dock...
This is the knife we used:
That was yet another day when I
I had smart Daddy. He could do anything.
In the extremely unlikely event that
my ALTERNATOR BRACKET
↓ should fail, I have another ready to install.
Truly I am blessed to live
aboard Seaweed. She is my home, my shelter, and my joy. I am
indeed fortunate. I wish you and yours the same happiness I get to experience
each day. Happy New Year to you all.
Thank you for being a part of my world. I am so pleased you chose to
share your time with me. Happiness always to you and yours...
I'd love to hear what criteria you find Absolutely
And, have you picked out one particular brand and size that suits you?
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found at the end of every article:
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In the Bilges,
Christmas Memories ~
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