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Author Topic: Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up  (Read 1561 times)

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John Langford

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Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up
« on: December 15, 2003, 10:07:49 PM »

One final issue from the survey I have just completed on the 1999 C-34 "Calypso" on which members might have advice.
 
 The Heart "in-charge" three stage regulator seems to be charging in an irregular manner, with the voltage and tach needles oscillating up and down and the red charging light on the regulator glowing brighter and then less bright. The cycle of this activity is faster at higher rpms and slower at lower rpms. Also, the belt seems to wiggle around more when the irregularity is most pronounced. I can turn the fan on the alternator by hand (it is a Gates 1015 and seems loose), but the alternator adjustment arm has reached the end of its throw and the belt can't be tightened.
 
 Has anyone ever seen this phenomenon? It is happening on an M-35 with a Leece-Neville alternator. I have searched the archives and the Q&As but I haven't found this particular situation described. I would be delighted if it was a belt problem rather than brain in the regulator. Any thoughts?
 
 Cheers,
 John Langford
 almost owner of Calypso
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John
"Surprise”
Ranger Tug, 29S

Ken Juul

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Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2003, 04:44:04 AM »

I would venture a guess that the irregular charging is due to the loose belt.  You should not be able to turn the pulley by hand.  If it cannot be tightened, then a shorter belt is required.  Remove the belt, any good auto parts store should be able to get one that is slightly smaller that will match the pulley width.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
Luna Loca #1090
Chesapeake Bay
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Mike Smith

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Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2003, 06:21:55 AM »

John -
 
 I agree with Ken, it's the belt. My advice is to remove the belt, set the alterantor a little left of center in its adjustment bracket, and  measure the distance around the triangle formed by the flywheel, water pump and alternator pulleys with a tape measure. That distance is the belt length you need. Gates brand belts are reputedly the best. The new belt should go on easily without prying. Apply tension using the the alternator adjustment bracket and run the engine for 15 - 20 minutes. Check the tension and readjust if necessary, but never over tension the belt - you could damage the water pump bearings by causing too much side pressure. The belt should not be bar tight, but should not be as loose as the previous one you described. I use a deflection of about 1/2 - 3/4" between pulleys. I would take the alternator and engine pulley specs to wherever you buy the belt to make sure the width of the new belt is correct. Whoever installed the old belt incorrectly can't be trusted to have used the correct belt width either. Congrats on the new boat!
 
 Mike and Jan Smith
 S/V Breezer WCX8545
 www.mikejansmith.com
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Mike and Theresa Vaccaro

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Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2003, 06:36:48 AM »

John,
 
 I agree the belt is the right place to start (always fix the easiest thing first!).  Measure carefully, but you can use your current belt as a starting point.  If you take the belt into an automotive shop, your gut instinct will probably be to select a belt that's too small.  It doesn't take much belt length reduction to make a significant difference.  If you're sure about proper belt width, recommend you buy the next two or three smaller sizes than the belt you have (it is ALMOST the right size, after all).  Trial fit the belts in accordance with Mike's instructions and take the belts back that are too small (this will save you trips to the store).  After you've got the proper size, buy a spare and store it onboard.
 
 Cheers,
 
 Mike
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John Langford

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Heart "in-charge" regulator acting up
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2003, 12:08:35 PM »

Thanks folks, it was the belt. Just sent off my cheque for the boat so I should be a happy owner by early next week.
 
 I really appreciate the support at this nervous-making moment! I will be joining the association momentarily.
 
 Cheers,
 John
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John
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