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310 Voltage Regulator Location

Mar 16, 2018
21
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Hello Friends. My 2002 310's voltmeter is pegged on the high side and I'm worried about cooking my 4 AGM 6 volt batteries. A fellow 310 owner has a 2001 and he replaced his Voltage Regulator with a Balmar Max Charge MC614 Multi-Stage Regulator. So I bought one ($$$) with the intention of replacing what's on my 310 now and.... can't find the existing regulator. I'd appreciate any help.
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,095
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Going out on s limb here with a SWAG, you likely have an alternator with an internal voltage regulator.
We can clear it up if you take a picture of the Alternator and identify where the wires from the alternator go.

Or you might find the MaineSail article about the new regulator and how it is connected to your boat informative.
https://marinehowto.com/programming-a-balmar-voltage-regulator/
 
May 20, 2016
2,908
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
@jssailem is spot on - I don’t know of any stock motor coming with an externally regulated alternator. Unfortunately not all alternators have a kit like the shown in the article John references. Additionally the kit described is no longer made. You may be able to get them from Maine Sail as he bought all he could find.

Your options are but an alternator from a Balmar distributor, buy a Compass Marine Alternator (@Maine Sail) or research and find a alternator without an internal regulator.

I did the Kit route for the alternator currently on my Boat AND have a Compass Marine as a spare.

Les

BTW Balmar is the only one I know of that has an internal regulator as a hot standby for an external regulator. The rest of the internally regulated alternators are not compatible with external regulators.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,188
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
If you have the stock alternator it is internally regulated. A stock alt would need some surgery to set it up for external regulation. A photo of the actual alternator would help. If it’s a Leece-Neville we have a kit for it that is an easy DIY external regulation conversion.
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,779
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
This weekend I noticed my gage on my C310 was only showing a bit below 13 on the alternator gage. I thought this was low, my 2003 is stock original alternator so this has not been upgraded by POs.
 
Mar 16, 2018
21
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Thank you Maine Sail. I'll take a photo later this week and post it.
 
Nov 16, 2012
897
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
Hello Friends. My 2002 310's voltmeter is pegged on the high side and I'm worried about cooking my 4 AGM 6 volt batteries. A fellow 310 owner has a 2001 and he replaced his Voltage Regulator with a Balmar Max Charge MC614 Multi-Stage Regulator. So I bought one ($$$) with the intention of replacing what's on my 310 now and.... can't find the existing regulator. I'd appreciate any help.
Check with a voltmeter to be sure it’s the regulator, and not the voltmeter. If it is the voltmeter I think you can still get them. I wish there was a digital version that fits the spot...
 
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Oct 22, 2014
12,095
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
I wish there was a digital version that fits the spot...
What does the spot look like? There are all sorts of digital volt meters. And there are pieces of plastic that can alter a "spot" to let them fit.
 
Nov 16, 2012
897
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
What does the spot look like? There are all sorts of digital volt meters. And there are pieces of plastic that can alter a "spot" to let them fit.
It's the standard Seaward Catalina panel. Rectangular cutout. I spent some time searching and never found a direct fit. Anything much smaller would start to be hard to read, at least for my eyes.

Of course it also should have 2 decimal places of resolution, ideally...

Dennis Igarashi (626-374-6422. Whittier CA digarashi@earthlink.net) was the guy I talked to about replacing our whole panel. Pretty sure he also sold the meters, if you only wanted to do that.

IMG_0910.JPG
 
Nov 16, 2012
897
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
What does the spot look like? There are all sorts of digital volt meters. And there are pieces of plastic that can alter a "spot" to let them fit.
The rectangular cut out looks to be 1-3/4” x 3/4”. I remember looking before we replaced our panel (the old meter was dead), but I never found anything close.

I did buy a nice round volt meter from Blue Seas that has 0.01 V resolution, but my plan with that is to mount it on the steering pedestal instrument pod, to be able to keep an eye on the house voltage.
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
698
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
I mounted a USB charger in the pedestal pod. It has a digital LED (red) voltage readout.
 
Mar 16, 2018
21
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Thanks for all the help, but I'm not there yet. Attached are pictures of my alternator and voltmeter. I believe the alternator has an internal regulator. Does anyone know? I'm not sure which lead is which for testing the voltage output, so any help there is welcome as well. Anyone know the manufacturer so I can see what I can find a schematic on line?

A couple other data points:
  • When the engine key is on and the engine is not running, the voltage is pegged (picture attached) and it remains there when the engine is running.
  • With the engine running, the voltage is ~14 volts across the battery charging cable and ground.
Does this point to the gauge being suspect as bad?

Thank you all for your help!
 

Attachments

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,779
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
I'm pretty sure you have a bad gauge or connection if you are seeing ~14V at the battery with a good meter. You could also pull the gauge and check it with your meter there to start with to see if there is ~14v going to the gauge.
 
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Nov 16, 2012
897
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
I agree with JRT. How could that gauge read that high compared to a (presumably) good voltmeter. Does it drop to 0 when you turn the key off?

There's probably an information plate on the back side of your alternator. You may have to take the belt off and swing all the way to port to read it. Here's a picture of mine. Looks pretty similar to yours. Also some schematics of the engine wiring, with diagrams of three of the alternators used on the C310.
IMG_0554.JPG
 

Attachments

Mar 16, 2018
21
Catalina 310 202 Carlyle, IL
Marchem,

Thanks. The voltmeter goes to ~12 volts when the key is off. Any issues with checking the voltage at the leads to the Voltmeter vs. at the alternator?
 
Nov 16, 2012
897
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
Marchem,

Thanks. The voltmeter goes to ~12 volts when the key is off. Any issues with checking the voltage at the leads to the Voltmeter vs. at the alternator?
When the key is off there should be 0 volts at the panel meter, unless a PO did some funny wiring. Measuring the voltage at multiple places can sometimes give you a lot of information, mostly about voltage drop. But in your case I’m pretty certain the panel meter is shot. I actually replaced mine with an oil pressure gauge (had to also install sensor at engine). The volt meter doesn’t have much resolution and I didn’t think the information it provided was of much value.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,188
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
That is an internally regulated Korean made Mando alternator. It's an inexpensive knock-off of the Leece-Neville 8MR alternators that were originally used by Universal/Westerbeke and still are for their "optional" sizes...
 

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,779
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Marchem,

Thanks. The voltmeter goes to ~12 volts when the key is off. Any issues with checking the voltage at the leads to the Voltmeter vs. at the alternator?
Do you mean the installed gauge reads ~12v or are you reading ~12v with a meter on the wires into the meter?