Alternator mounting bracket mod

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
What is it? I've seen it mentioned in several places. Is it something I should do on my M-18? I understand that the stock belt will not fit with this mod.
 

Shadowfax

Member III
The bracket that runs from the engine block to the top alternator that is also an adjusting bracket, needs to be modified, or replaced when using a different alternator, as the new one is usually a different size and the stock bracket can't be used.
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
Follwing the link in the leaking water pump thread to the Catalina forum regarding Critical Upgrades I came across the alternator bracket mod for the M25 and M18 engines again. It seems the mod was intended for the stock alternator as well.

I have an M18 with the original "over the top" bracket. I have inspected the bracket; it seems to be fine and I have never noticed any problems. How "critical" is this upgrade? My engine has over 2500 hrs on the meter (don't know how accurate that is); seems like if it was going to it would have done so by now. Has anyone here experienced catastrophic failure or know how many instances of such have been documented?
 

Stu Jackson

C34IA Secretary
What part of CATASTROPHIC failure is it that seems OK?

It's a casting - that's what the old brackets were made of. When Universal improved the M25 to the M25XP they gave it three things, and pretty much three things only: a larger 3 inch HX (which I did for my M25), 2 more HP, and the RIGHT bracket. They never did admit failure.

I wrote the C34 article. It happened to me. There's even pictures, so I kinda fail to see why you're still questioning this, unless a PO already did the mod. Look at the pictures to see if you already have the upgrade. If not, remember what they say about ostriches.

The article was written about 12 years ago. Just tryin' to help.

That's why we call them CRITICAL Upgrades. http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.0.html

What's your engine worth to ya?

http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=M-25_Alternator_Mount_Conversion_Kit_"B/M_256891"
 
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Stu Jackson

C34IA Secretary
The bracket that runs from the engine block to the top alternator that is also an adjusting bracket, needs to be modified, or replaced when using a different alternator, as the new one is usually a different size and the stock bracket can't be used.
Nope. It's for the OEM alternator, too.
 

Stu Jackson

C34IA Secretary
What is it? I've seen it mentioned in several places. Is it something I should do on my M-18? I understand that the stock belt will not fit with this mod.
Just buy a slightly longer belt. Once you figure out the right length, buy two more and you'll be fine for six years or more.

Buy the belt tensioner, too. Loose belts are the major cause of alternator failure.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I'm sensing some Tension here...

Just buy a slightly longer belt. Once you figure out the right length, buy two more and you'll be fine for six years or more.

Buy the belt tensioner, too. Loose belts are the major cause of alternator failure.
As is often the case, Stu is right on... but even then, you have to be sure that you have enough room on the port side of the engine to "lean" the alternator out further.
Our particular installation does not seem to have room for a little bit of extra belt length, but we sure wish it did. Of course, with a production run of 39 boats, we are not much of an example to cite! :rolleyes:

At present, I have the heavy duty belt referenced here in an earlier thread, and it sheds very little dust, However, to install it I did have to remove the pivot bolt to slightly tilt the Moto alternator to get that belt over the pully.

Boat chores are baffling, interesting, tedious, and once in a while... fun.
:cool:

It's good to have sites like this for "advice and consent" too!
:egrin:

LB
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
Jeez...just asking a question. I didn't question the veracity of your story; I just asked if anyone else had the same experience or knew how many cases had been reported.

Maybe it was a problem that only manifested itself on the M25 engine, but since the M18 used the same bracket, Universal recommended the change for the M18 as well.

You yourself even cite a failure of the new bracket in a July 2008 post on the Catalina forum:

"I just (literally last night) heard of a new style bracket failure on a friend's M25XP (1988) boat, which dropped his alternator out of the loop by failing at the top of the bracket."

How many failures of the "new bracket" have been reported? Seems like just about any bracket in that application is "prone to failure."
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Mark,
As I recall, there was a problem for the M25 and maybe some of the M25XP engines, but do not recall hearing about a similar situation for the other Universal models.
:confused:
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
I have seen the bracket retrofit mentioned for both the M25 and the M18 on both the Marine Diesel Direct and the Catalina Direct sites. The two engines look to be almost identical, at least the pulley systems. I went ahead and ordered the bracket kit...hope I'm not just trading one potential failure for another. (Especially at almost $200!) I guess part of the reason for replacement was not just the potential for the bracket to fail but for the front engine cover to crack even if the bracket remained intact.

The part that bothers me about both brackets is the routing of the coolant hose to the heat exchanger; there just doesn't seem to be enough space in there without it rubbing on something...
 

CSMcKillip

Moderator
Moderator
We have the old bracket installed, it looks rusty and ready to change out. I have read all of the post on the subject, one question, will the new bracket move the alternator back to tge centerline of the boat? Ours right now kinda sits on the port moter bulkhead, even if it did break its so jammed in there it would just come loose.
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
My understanding is that it may pivot the alternator out a little further to port. (I am guessing maybe not more than an inch?) The belt needed with the new bracket is a little longer.
 
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Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Does anyone know if this upgrade is also required on the Universal 5416
16 hp diesel engine? The alternator bracket arcs over the alternator, to starboard of the engine.

Frank
 

Stu Jackson

C34IA Secretary
Jeez...just asking a question. I didn't question the veracity of your story; I just asked if anyone else had the same experience or knew how many cases had been reported.

Maybe it was a problem that only manifested itself on the M25 engine, but since the M18 used the same bracket, Universal recommended the change for the M18 as well.

You yourself even cite a failure of the new bracket in a July 2008 post on the Catalina forum:

"I just (literally last night) heard of a new style bracket failure on a friend's M25XP (1988) boat, which dropped his alternator out of the loop by failing at the top of the bracket."

How many failures of the "new bracket" have been reported? Seems like just about any bracket in that application is "prone to failure."
Hi, Mark

My purpose in writing as much as I have is to help other people out, and did not intend to be other than helpful by passing on this information.

I would appreciate a link to the note you said I made, so I can read it in context. Also, in the 12 or more years I've been doing this I have heard of NO (other?) new bracket failure on M25 engines. None, on our C34 board and the C36 board.

The basic point is and always has been, that as I wrote in that article, the OLD support is a casting. They never exhibit any signs of stress or bending. Castings just SNAP!

I have heard of dozens of these breaking, and even Universal changed it, for good reason. I have hull #224, 1986, a good friend has #214. I convinced him to do this and replace his exhaust riser, before his failed and years after both of mine did. I wanted him to do preventive maintenance, not wait for a failure to have to do it.

For you others listening in here, please, please, please read and perhaps reread that link about the bracket. And look at the pictures. The new bracket connection to the engine doesn't go anywhere near the front of the engine, it's bolted on to the studs through the coolant manifold on the port side.

If the new bracket fails it would be in the underneath support of the alternator and let it slip down, rather than completely crashing down towards the engine and into the oil filter because the old casting held it up from the top.

I'd betcha there are dozens of M25 engine blithely sailing around the world with the old casting. Mine broke but I had the parts to fix it as the story says. Do you? Is it worth it happening to you? I sure hope not.

And now that I've just learned it's on M18s as well, there twice as many engines out there prone to failure that could be avoided.

We, too, have limited room on the port side where the alternator goes. All of us who've corrected the support error have had room for the alternator. You may not. But if you don't you can hook up the new bracket to the engine, which is the main new support in compression, and just get a slightly different adjusting arm from a local machine shop. This will serve the allow you to adjust the alternator as far inboard as it started on the old bracket. Think about it: the geometry of the upper inboard end of the alternator with the through bolt doesn't move much to port, so all you have to change is the "swing" of the alternator. This has always had to be balanced literally "against" that danged hose underneath that goes to the HX.

Just tryin' to help is all I said.

However, I just have to add that this is for your safety, that of your crew and your family. When it happened to me I was at a friend's dock. Coulda happened to me "out there."

I hope it doesn't happen to any of you, even if you choose to ignore the history and the warning, from both the builders of the engine and your fellow boaters.

I was so concerned about this that I helped install the upgrade on our friend's Ericson 32. I musta hassled him so much he bought one! In their case, we spent most of the day removing the shorter studs he had on his engine and replacing them to fit the bracket. My studs were long enough that I was spared that effort. As I recall, and from the picture, the new package has longer studs. Don't take 'em out if ya don't have to. Also have a dockmate with a C36 who didn't know about it.

Since this is a recurring issue, one of our members was kind enough to suggest our Critical Upgrades page and I'm glad he did. All of the worst things that can bite ya, right in one place.

We again invite you to use "our facilities" on our website anytime you wish, and feel free to join us on our board.

I've certainly learned a lot from listening to all of you since I signed up here. Thanks so much.

Stu
 
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tadslc

Member III
I installed my new bracket over the weekend. Fairly easy job, just make sure to have a set of visegrips or a stud extracker. The rubber hose mod does concern me though but the hose routing always has concerned me.

Got a lot of great info on the install on the C34 forum.
 

CSMcKillip

Moderator
Moderator
Thank you Stu, we all thank you for the heads up. We also have a thread here on this site that contributes to the bracket change, and I also think a link to the 34 site.

I have only gotten to start our boat at the dock twice, I have been working on her for a year now, dock mate told me about the bracket update 8 months ago, guess ill change it out when I get to rebuild the water pump.



Freakin boats..........
 

mherrcat

Contributing Partner
I have not seen any mention of a retrofit for the 5416 engine. I think one of the problems with the original bracket on the M18 and M25 was the attachment point on the engine front cover. If your bracket does not attach to that cover maybe it is OK? Someone else may have a better take on the 5416.

I ordered the bracket from Catalina Direct. I just got a call from them that it is a special order item that is not kept in stock and will take 3 to 4 weeks for delivery. (I wonder if they buy it from Marine Diesel Direct?!)
 

Stu Jackson

C34IA Secretary
Mark,

Thanks for the link. As I surmised, the fact occurred, although the context was indeed not about failures of the newer bracket but rather about oversized alternators, and the limited space to port.

I don't doubt that the bracket failure happened, heck, I wrote - it did, but that was quite some time ago and I'm guessing from the text that it was on the old and now archived C36 Message Board. I just don't have the time to find it. I have heard of no other failures of the new bracket, either on retrofits or on M25XP engines where they came standard.

As for continued mention of the front case of the engine, neither of the brackets ever attached there. That front gear case housing, IIRC, is made of aluminum. The brackets attach above that. If you look at one of the pictures in my referenced article ("old bracket still in place), you'll see the old bracket attaches above the gear case housing, which on my boat and in that picture is painted gray in color. The adjusting arm of the new bracket attaches above the gear case housing also.
 
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