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Kenneth K

Mariah Part I: Alternator Bracket Replacement, Exhaust Riser Rebuild and More........

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The beginnings of this project came out of this post: (a Catalina 34 forum, but applicable to Universal M25/25XP engines)

This post helped me realized that my hoped-for, turn-key, Ericson 32 wasn’t going to be quite so simple to own and operate as I had hoped, at least not initially. The applicable upgrades, for me, were the 1991 service bulletin for replacement of the alternator mounting bracket, and dealing with the electrical “trailer connectors” used to connect the engine wiring harness to the engine instrument panel.

My project began with tackling the alternator bracket. While there are several great sources of info about this project, probably none is better than this from’s MaineSail:

I used this posting to carry me through the job. Not much I can add, but for small details:

1. As MaineSail states, the hose below the water pump is a good place to drain the coolant (and, you’ll be replacing this hose as part of the job anyway). Due to the tilted mounting of the M25 in the E32, however, I found the coolant had to be drained from a lower position on the engine, as well. If you don’t, coolant will drain from the manifold stud holes when you remove them. Most M25s have a coolant drain petcock on the lower stbd engine block. I drained all the coolant from this petcock, as I was planning on refilling with all new coolant anyway.

2. While MaineSail (a far better mechanic than me) was able to remove the exhaust flange from the manifold before pulling the manifold, I was unable to remove the lower flange nut, so I had to pull the manifold with the flange and exhaust riser/elbow still attached. See Exhaust Riser/Elbow below for more details.

3. The alternator bracket replacement kit (I got mine from Catalina Direct) is STILL shipping with the wrong size alternator bolt (something MaineSail elaborates on). You’ll need to purchase a 10 mm bolt from a hardware store to get proper alternator alignment. If you’re re-using the original Motorola 55A alternator, as I did, you’ll also have to drill out the bolt holes on the alternator housing to allow it to accept the larger bolt. I stressed about drilling these by hand for fear I’d mis-align the hole, so I took the alternator back to the shop where I had it re-built. The tech popped it into a vice and promptly drilled it out with a hand-held drill—said he has to do that one a lot. Guess I could have done that on myself and saved a second trip.

4. While you have the alternator, bracket, manifold, and hoses removed, it makes a lot of sense to keep going and pull the starter and heat exchanger as well, and perform a little engine cleanup. I had a radiator shop boil-out both the manifold and heat exchanger, probably at a discount versus having them done separately. Similarly, I had another shop rebuild both the starter and the alternator. With the engine stripped down to this level, it also seemed the perfect time to strip the peeling paint, de-grease the coated parts, and repaint the rest of the engine. This added on two additional afternoons of labor, but I’m really happy with the results. I found many areas of the engine where the Universal-gold paint hadn’t adhered well to the smooth Kubota-blue below it. In these areas, I roughed-up the original blue paint with a Scotch-Bright cloth. I used a can-and-a-half of the $34/can Universal factory paint to repaint the block, manifold, starter, alternator, and heat exchanger.

While that was the gist of my alternator bracket replacement (again, huge thanks to MaineSail), I let mission-creep take over and kept going with add-on jobs. Ultimately, that included:

1. Replacement of the Universal Exhaust Riser/Elbow (R/E)
2. Relocating the lift-muffler and starting battery
3. Installing a self-bleed return line on the diesel injector pump
4. Building an oil pressure manifold to provide additional capability for oil pressure monitoring
5. Installing a ground bus bar and relocating the engine mounted battery ground points
6. Evaluating and modifying the engine wiring harness and trailer connectors

The rest of my blog will cover details of those projects and add a few pictures. I Hope it can help someone else out there.
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Updated 08-12-2017 at 12:40 PM by Kenneth K (Reformatted the photos)

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Maintenance and Mechanical