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View Poll Results: On your current airplane, how reliable is/was your alternator
I have used an automotive alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 111 25.87%
I have used an automotive alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 24 5.59%
I have used a Plane Power alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 133 31.00%
I have used a Plane Power alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 51 11.89%
I have used a B&C alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 107 24.94%
I have used a B&C that failed within the first 250 hours. 3 0.70%
Voters: 429. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-12-2016, 05:39 AM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,431

My automotive alternator has not failed in over 700 hours but have had one belt failure at 540 hours and a completely cracked through attachment bracket at 680 hours.
Both failures make we suspect misalignment issues so spent more time ensure true planar drive off the engine when I replaced the bracket. Bearings in alternator still seem good.
RV-6A - 12 years over 850 hours
Cessna 140 - 68 years over 3400 hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007

Last edited by plehrke : 06-12-2016 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:00 AM
Captain_John's Avatar
Captain_John Captain_John is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KPYM
Posts: 2,612

400 hours on my B and C 60 ampere. Zero failures.

I wish that I could vote twice because the RV-6 that I fly lost it's automotive alternator at 60 hours.

That is what convinced me into going with the B and C for the -7!

I just installed their starter. I love it too!

RV-7 Flying - 1,000 Hours in 4 Years!
TMX-IO-360, G3i ignition & G3X with VP-X
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:06 AM
carlrai's Avatar
carlrai carlrai is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 447
Default ND failure

ND Alternator, supplied in Van's FF kit.
Voltage regulator showing signs of failure after 7 years with 460 hours. Was displaying up to 16 volts on GRT EIS.
Installed on O-320 with blast tube.

Replacing with PP but now questioning that decision based on comments in this thread and others.

Comments on the latter welcome.
Carl Raichle
Lutz, FL
RV-9A N194CR
Based at KZPH
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:17 AM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,458

B&C 40A. No failures. 15 years/1000+ hours.

No blast tube.
Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:40 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,385
Default B&C

After having tried automotive alternators on my RV-4 in the early 80's and having too many failures I have only used B&C on subsequent airplanes, with no failures. That's lover 4000 RV hours that I know of, with 1100 on the current RV-10.

Vic Syracuse

Built RV-4, RV-6, 2-RV-10's, RV-7A, RV-8, Prescott Pusher, Kitfox Model II, Kitfox Speedster, Kitfox 7 Super Sport, Just Superstol, DAR, A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor, CFII-ASMEL/ASES
EAA Homebuilt Council Chair/member EAA BOD
Van's East Coast Representative
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:53 AM
turbo's Avatar
turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,001

my plane was born with a 87 suzuki samuri alternator and still lives with one. i have a spare one on hand that travels with me, also a starter too, and the warranty is still in effect. at times a have had one or the other rebuilt for $100 but that is the way it is. each to his own.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2018
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,000+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle 320 hrs, gyro sold,35,000 miles flown in 2015
Stuart, Fl / S WINDSOR,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI
RV HOTEL LOCATION oct thru may.
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue= your answer to all your aches and pains. 'suffering is optional"
addicted pickle ball player
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:45 AM
scard's Avatar
scard scard is online now
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 2,846

B&C 60A 1800hrs. Added water to the voltage regulator which it didn't like but worked after dried out. At about 1500hrs, mystery field wire issue, never found root cause. Replaced entire field wire and connector for resolution. Claiming no alternator failures.
Scott Card
CQ Headset by Card Machine Works
RV-9A N4822C flying 1900+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
RV8 Building - fuselage / showplanes canopy (Done!)

Last edited by scard : 06-12-2016 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:39 AM
9GT's Avatar
9GT 9GT is online now
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 1,537

I had a brand new internal regulated Nippondenso for the Suzuki Samuri fail at 79 hours. Had a cooling blast tube and never flown in rain. Replaced with B&C external regulated.
David C.
Howell, MI

RV-9A: Under Construction. N161RV (Reserved)
RV-10: N959RV Completed 12/29/2013 SOLD 08/23/2016

"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2019
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:51 AM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,001

I realized last night that the PP 60A alternator in my plane has been the least reliable component in the plane. Not what I would have expected.
Two failures in 450 hours. (I do have a cooling blast tube on the regulator)

First failed at 85 hours.
Second failed at 365 hours.

Called PP today and they DO NOT repair their alternators. They direct you to buy another at one of their vendors...
Going to try try the local repair shop, or bust it open myself. Nothing to lose.
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....tail kit done, slow-build wing done, slow-build fuselage started.

Last edited by fl-mike : 06-13-2016 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:08 PM
Lionclaw's Avatar
Lionclaw Lionclaw is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 652

87 Suzuki Samurai alternator in my -9A with no failures in the ~400 hours that I flew it.
Andy Compton
RV-10 - N432AC (building)
RV-9A - N643AC (built,flying,sold,missed)
My blood and sweat, the Wifey's tears
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