Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vic's DC Electric Service: Alternator or Starter Repair

We were on our way down the ICW, just a few days from jumping off from Ft. Pierce to go to Marsh Harbor, Abaco, Bahamas, when the alternator on the port engine died. (Its death is another story...) I ordered a replacement from Marine Parts Express, a reputable Volvo Penta dealer that we've used before. I requested express shipping, which they said they could do directly from Volvo Penta, to be delivered to Ft. Pierce, where we were to arrive in 3 days.
When we arrive at HarborTown Marina in Ft. Pierce, there was no package there. A quick call to MPE and they found that the alternator was still sitting at Volvo. Not even a shipping label on it. We've heard that this is a common occurrence. Someone at Volvo Penta should pay attention to customer service.

Time for Plan B. I called one of the local marine service companies and asked about alternator service companies. I was given the name of Vic's DC Electric Service in Stuart, FL, south of Ft. Pierce. I called Vic and talked with him a bit. He had a Volvo alternator on the shelf, left over from another customer's repair. It was possible that we could buy it and he would be open til 5pm. Off to the car rental place, then to Vic's.

Vic's place is a single bay in an industrial building. There are hundreds of old alternators and starters throughout the space. A small space is reserved for "current projects". Vic was very helpful. The owner of the Volvo 60A alternator hadn't returned Vic's call, so he couldn't sell it to us. Parts were no longer available for the 90A Leece Neville alternator we had. After rummaging around in his stock, he came up with all the new parts needed to make a new 90A alternator. It would be ready about noon the next day. And the price was less than half of what MPE wanted for the 60A Volvo alternator. Yea! I had to pick up Tom & Linda at West Palm Beach, just south of Stuart, so it worked out. I cancelled the order with MPE.

Tom, Linda, and I arrive at Vic's about 1pm the next day and there is the new alternator, complete with the pulley removed from the old alternator, which means that the tachometer will indicate the correct RPM. Vic goes over the connections, we pay him for the work, and we head back to LUX. The installation goes smoothly and the new alternator works great.

If you're in Florida and need an alternator or starter serviced, Vic is the person to see. He also does work for racing cars and boats. He is friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt. He doesn't take credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash for his service.   772-220-8952 Stuart, FL


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