If you haven’t seen Part 1 yet, go watch it here! https://youtu.be/1TYFzuiCfW8
Our diesel engine, Mr. Beke, is getting some serious upgrades. In Part 1, we installed a new heat exchanger, water pump and crank shaft pulley. Now, with some DIY hardware fabrication and wiring modifications, our Westerbeke 40 will have a new 120A alternator — as long as Kirk doesn’t electrocute himself first.
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Lauren & Kirk
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– Boom shakalaka. This thing’s not going anywhere. This was Lauren’s brilliant idea.
[Lauren] I’m gonna do this.
I’m gonna do this now.
Yay, good job.
Big steps, big steps.
[Lauren] In part one of this two part episode, we dove into a bunch of repairs and upgrades to our diesel engine, a Westerbeke 40 whom we affectionately refer to as Mr Beke. If you haven’t seen part one, we recommend watching that first. We installed a new heat exchanger, after a debacle with the old one. And then started making progress with our alternator upgrade. Which requires replacing the belt, water pump and crank shaft pulley. Now all that was left was to finish all the wiring, and figuring out the correct alignment of the alternator.
We’re getting close. Okay, you just stay there for a second. It’s not gonna wanna stay like that, without having the–
The bottom bracket but, damn. That’s some boat bling. More power .
[Lauren] Is that bracket gonna work?
Well here’s what I’m gonna do. We’re gonna use it for now, and then I’m gonna get a thing called a Hyme connector. Which actually works like a turn buckle, where you can make it longer, or make it shorter so we can put tension onto the alternator and then thread these bolts down tight and then it’s locked.
Hmm, sounds perfect.
Yeah, yeah it does. So this is the old style alternator bracket which was mounted here. You could tension by pushing out the alternator and then cranking this down real fast. But what would happen is, when you’d go to tighten this invariably it would slip in a little bit and you’d have to have someone to help kinda push against the alternator and then quickly tighten this down and so having this Hyme connector is really, really cool. To just one-handed make adjustments to the belt tension and then it stays there. This was maybe a little bit flimsy for the much larger alternator as well. You know Ty made this for for us?
Before we bought the boat, actually like right after we bought the boat. We didn’t even know, our neighbor made us a new alternator bracket ’cause.
The other one was cracked.
Apparently he was on the boat with the old owners and saw that it was cracked and so he took it upon himself and just got on our boat and fixed it for us.
Put a new bracket in for us.
With out us even knowing.
What, I mean what a freaking baller.
So yeah. I think what it means right now is I need to go get a straight edge. Well we’re gonna make sure that it touches both this side of the pulley, this side of the pulley this side of the pulley and that side of the pulley. Then we’re gonna make sure it touches this side of the pulley, this… No rocking there, and there’s no rocking there.
[Kirk] But, there is definitely rocking there. So that’s back.
Right, so that needs to come a quarter inch forward.
[Lauren] You gotta say what happened.
[Kirk] We have a number of little bushings that I’ve made here of various sizes to get both the bottom and the top of the alternator in alignment to both pulleys. This way, this way and this way. In a three dimensional space, it was tough ’cause we only have two mounting points. There’s the tiniest bit, and here there’s none. That’s pretty freaking good. what you whipping up?
Taco salads. We’re digging in to the canned food right now.
[Kirk] And we’re not even at sea.
Actually there’s a lot of fresh stuff in here. Had to eat up a little bit of butter lettuce, and some cabbage and then the rest of it was from the cabinet. Kirk are you gonna be able to eat this without all of this stuff falling off the sides of the plate?
[Kirk] Probably not.
[Lauren] Kirk’s in his favorite position. What are you doing now?
I’m slightly changing the way that this is gonna be wired. Our big thick battery cable, this is coming from our batteries, used to go to the solenoid and then jumped over to the alternator via that much thinner gauge of battery cable. This is a 1AWG and that was like a number two I think. And so now, what I wanna see is, if I can connect this directly to the alternator and then jump back to here via that thinner gauge cable which then runs to our starter. And because it’s such a short cable run, it won’t have very much voltage drop. But it’s also for such a short period of time, that it won’t be an issue. Whereas we’re running the alternator for a very long period of time if that current’s constantly going through that little cable it will heat up which will cause resistance, which will cause it to heat up more. When we’re starting the engine it’s only being electrified at a high current for 20 seconds at most. And it won’t have as much resistance. So we just pulled this off the engine. This is the external regulator for our old alternator. And this is all of the wiring that we’re cleaning up. And then this, is the new Max Charge MC-614 from Balmar. A regulator which we’re actually gonna mount right up in here. Balmar recommends that it not actually be right in the engine bay. They want it a little bit cooler. So we figured out here will keep the temperature down but also, the other thing is we have to program this every once in a while when we wanna make changes. And this little red dot, you have to hold a magnet and it like cycles through a whole bunch of things and it’s like real slow so. We’ll actually have a long enough wiring harness that we’ll be able to pull it out here, be able to see the display and do the programing and then put it back up here and not have to be like all crouched and twisted. It makes it a little more comfortable.
[Lauren] Who’s brilliant idea was that?
This was Lauren’s brilliant idea. By the way, may I add. Yeah, so once we get everything all wired up which will probably not happen tonight at this point.
[Laughter] It’s only four 30.
Yeah, I’m just gonna be moving slow you know check my work twice.
[Lauren] ‘Cause what happened earlier?
I ruined a screwdriver when I touched the screwdriver from a hot wired termination screw to the side of the engine which was grounded. ‘Cause I liked the song that I was listening to and didn’t want to turn off the electricity. Even though I knew I needed to turn off the electricity.
[Lauren] Man, we all wanna know what song that was.
I don’t even remember to be honest. I was just grooving, I saw that this screw right here, was a little bit loose and I was like “Oh, I can just, I’ll just twist that and make that tight.” and then I was like “Hmm, I should just check these other ones right here “while I’m at it.” And then I was like “Kirk, wait! “you still haven’t turned off the power. “Don’t do this you’re an idiot.” And then I was like “Hmm, I’m grooving.” And then, well yeah. I shorted it out. Anyhow, it’s time for me to get back to work, okay?
So it’s about seven 30 and I just got back from a run. Kirk’s been working on this alternator wiring for a couple of hours. We’re in the dark because our DC is turned off, so that he doesn’t electrocute himself.
[Kirk] And if I wasn’t a cheap ass we could have just installed an engine disconnect like we were supposed to. And then we’d still have power.
Yeah but it doesn’t really matter ’cause we’re connected to AC. So right now, it doesn’t matter.
[Kirk] Yeah, it’s more like if we needed to do engine work while we were at anchor or something in would be smarter.
Anyway, bigger problems are at hand. Such as the state of the top of the fridge, and I’m supposed to be making cocktails. Right love?
Everything’s a little better with a gin and tonic. We got pretzels and battery cable, cold pack from when both Kirk and I burned ourselves on the heat gun earlier today.
[Kirk] Well that one’s ready.
Oh no. ♪ Don’t point your finger at me. ♪ ♪ Don’t you know it’s you why you’re suffering ♪ ♪ I’ve got my mind set at ease ♪ ♪ Don’t you know it’s you why you’re suffering. ♪
It’s a nice reflection of the ceiling. Cheers.
Cheers. Oh that’s good.
[Lauren] All right lets crimp some battery cable.
[Kirk] All right? ♪ Love is my religion ♪ ♪ Love is my religion ♪ ♪ Love is my religion ♪
Check it out, now we’re gonna put on the belt, hold on, like dis. The alternator. Oh yeah. We can set our belt tension just by cranking this guy out, there we go. Now we’re staring to get a little tighter.
[Lauren] How tight are you supposed to have it?
[Kirk] So it’s supposed to deflect I forget, like a half inch or something. Not a half inch, much smaller than that. But with 25 pounds of pressure, but it’s basically, probably a little tighter than that. So I’m gonna back it off for now because I actually gotta take this bolt out and put some thread lock. ‘Cause I don’t have a lock washer there. Okay so once you got your belt tensioned to where you want it, you can just go and thread these guys up and lock it in. And then this thing’s not going anywhere.
[Lauren] Cool, so besides getting a new bolt there and taking that out and putting some thread lock on that what else we gotta do?
We just gotta finish the wiring of the regulator.
[Lauren] And then we get to fire this puppy up?
Well almost, I have to fix a wire back there, the connector was coming off of that I noticed just doing an inspection of the engine. And then yeah, we can go to fire it up.
Yeah, good job.
Big steps, big steps.
Oh man, elbows.
[Lauren] I’m gonna do this.
I’m gonna do this now. Oh you wanna know what I’m gonna do? I’m going to finish wiring the alternator so that we can get the engine started. To make sure that cooling system that we mucked around with when we replaced the heat exchanger is not leaking, so we can fill up with more coolant, to make sure our new water pump is working and not leaking, to make sure all the wiring is right on the alternator and that the engine runs.
[Lauren] Okay, break.
Back to work.
Allright guy, we got this.
[Lauren] You ready for me to go?
[Kirk] Yeah. So this is the first thing we need to see. Is that this is gonna start. The next thing I wanna make sure is that our belt and everything is not freaking out. I wanna check our power over here and then I’m gonna have to go around behind the engine on both sides and make sure that we don’t have any leaks and that we don’t have any leaks coming outta here, the engine isn’t making any weird noises or anything like that. Are you gonna do 15 seconds?
[Lauren] One, two, three, four, five.
My heart’s racing. Six, seven, eight, nine, 10.
Try it again?
[Kirk] Yeah. give it throttle. Throttle back. Is water coming out? Water? Okay. Our regulator’s starting up. Mr Beke, ha ha.
[Lauren] And now we get to rip out our fuel tank.
Yay. This is the issue right here, a little bit of fuel. Oh yeah, look at that.