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Old 11-11-2019, 06:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DDW View Post
There are several auxiliary power busses on the ER bulkhead - one of the reasons why the AT is a big strange. Was the bus you connected it to on the house side or the engine side?

It needs to be on the engine side. You will find many explanations recommending the house side, correct from the point of view of regulating the charge into the house battery, but incorrect and potentially damaging for the transient condition just after startup (and some other conditions). There are a number of places to sense the voltage, some will work and some won't, and among those that work there are advantages and disadvantages.

Which Delco alternator did you use? A high output alternator will overload the charge cables and the combiner, unless they are upgraded. It can all be made to work, but there turn out to be quite a few nuances in the installation.

However you have it installed, as long as it was done to the Balmar instructions almost all the problems will go away if you switch on the manual (emergency) combiner connecting the house and engine batteries. I'd recommend doing that if you want to try it again. Not a good long term solution but it can prove that everything is basically working.

The main issue is that the alternator is driving the engine start battery and the current path to the house is light wire, a light combiner relay, and is intermittently connected. The Balmar will drive the engine side up to very high voltage if the sensing is on the house side - I saw 17V on mine momentarily. If the combiner is open (and it is for a time delay immediately after start) they are disconnected, even when connected there can be a 2V drop between them under some circumstances. Switching the manual combiner switch locks them together.
I finally got back to the boat today. I moved the sense wire to the start battery positive, and switched the emergency combiner to the on position. The engine fired, and immediately dies. Not sure what to do next, or who to phone for tech help.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:32 PM   #22
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I spent the morning working on the alt/reg issue. The situation did not improve, so I decided to bail. I was able to return the alternator to Whatcom Electric for a full refund. I will see if I can find a buyer for the Balmar MC614 regulator on Craigslist.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:08 PM   #23
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I guess it's too late now, but did you try firing the engine with the 614 turned off (IG wire pulled)? Something pretty strange about what you are seeing, too bad I wasn't up there to help - season is over for me.

I presume going back to the old alternator made everything work again?
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:35 PM   #24
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Yup the engine will run with the 614 off. Put all back to original, and unlike the prior trial install, the engine ran extremely rough. Panic time. A suggestion was to replace the fuel pressure sensor, which I did, and now with the original alt., we are back to normal operation.
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