[C38] Universal 5424 Charging problems

empty empty1 at ntlworld.com
Sun Oct 9 14:05:05 EDT 2005

The Goose has the original universal deisel, and her alternator was in need
of replacement in October 2004 after being laid up in St Pete. The one the
boat yard used to replace it is rated at 70amps and cost about $90. A friend
has a C&C 40 with a universal deisel. When his alternator failed in Michigan
he took it to the local NAPA auto part store. The found the equivalent
compatible replacement in their catalogue and delivered it to the boat next
day. I seem to remember it cost about $100 or so. He then sent away the
failed one for rebuilding, which he now keeps as a spare.
If you have a NAPA or similar nearby, that might be a good starting point.
I'm afraid adding the word 'maritime' to a piece of equipment is a notorious
way of hiking the price.Volvo in the UK are famous for this. I once had to
replace my alternator- the 'genuine' volvo part was £140. The local auto
parts supplier looked it up and found all the Volvo alternators were made by
Bosch and Seimens.He supplied it for £48. In other words I would have paid
£92 for a blue cardboard box with Volvo in white letters written on it.
Look forward to seeing you at end of April when we bring The Goose up to
Solomon's Island.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rob Cornelsen" <robcornelsen at yahoo.com>
To: <Listserve at catalina38.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 09, 2005 3:39 PM
Subject: [C38] Universal 5424 Charging problems

Last weekend we decided to use the autopilot to steer
as we powered from the far side of the Bay back into
Solomon's Island.  As we entered the Patuxent River,
we switched on our running lights as it was getting
dark.  By the time, we returned to our slip, the
battery was completely drained.

Our Catalina 38 has the original universal 5424
engine.  I checked the ammeter on the engine panel and
the alternator appears to be putting out zero to two
amps.  This is well below the 51 amps that it is rated

I checked on line at Torresen Marine and a new
alternator is about $500.00 with freight.   This was
quite a shock since auto parts stores sell alternators
in the $50.00 price range.

Does anyone know if an auto alternator is compatible
with the Universal 5424?  In addition, is there
anything else that I need to check before replacing
the alternator?


Rob Cornelsen
Catalina 38 #223

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