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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. 98 24.81%
I have used an automotive alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 22 5.57%
I have used a Plane Power alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 121 30.63%
I have used a Plane Power alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 47 11.90%
I have used a B&C alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 104 26.33%
I have used a B&C that failed within the first 250 hours. 3 0.76%
Voters: 395. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 06-12-2016, 03:09 PM
8 ball 8 ball is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: hilltop lakes' Texas
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Default Alternator poll

Automotive alternator no failure 300 plus hrs.
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  #22  
Old 06-12-2016, 04:02 PM
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roadrunner20 roadrunner20 is offline
 
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Location: Bay Pines, FL (based @ KCLW)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhester View Post
I have a Van's 60amp internal regulated alternator that is my original Feb. 2007 alternator. 850 hrs and still going. No blast tube.
Same as Bobby.
Fying 10 years & approaching 900 hours. I use a blast tube.


Update: My voltage regulator failed at 961 hours / 10.5 years.
I just replaced it with a 1990 Suzuki Samurai alternator. Cost $67.45 with discount
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Last edited by roadrunner20 : 03-14-2017 at 09:11 AM. Reason: added failure update
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  #23  
Old 06-12-2016, 05:25 PM
Chkaharyer99 Chkaharyer99 is offline
 
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Plane Power with blast tube. Almost 600 hours.
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  #24  
Old 06-13-2016, 09:04 AM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
 
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I thought maybe the bar had been set too low by only looking at failures below 250 hours, but even with that, and as of this point in the poll, more than one in four Plane Powers are failing before 250 hours! (12 out of 45) Interesting!

B&C numbers really confirming their reputation too!
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Last edited by alpinelakespilot2000 : 06-13-2016 at 09:07 AM.
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  #25  
Old 06-13-2016, 11:31 AM
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Captain_John Captain_John is offline
 
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Location: KPYM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinelakespilot2000 View Post
I thought maybe the bar had been set too low by only looking at failures below 250 hours, but even with that, and as of this point in the poll, more than one in four Plane Powers are failing before 250 hours! (12 out of 45) Interesting!

B&C numbers really confirming their reputation too!
Looks like all that chest pounding by B and C users is justified!

Seems like almost everyone I know with a Plane Power unit has had some type of malfunction. The connector breaks, bad bearings or noise. Some have no output and come back from service with no mention of what was wrong.or repaired. Just odd...

At least the Van's and automotive ones are inexpensive and easily had at any auto parts stores.

No doubt, the B and C ones cost more. I am fine with that so long as quality and reliability come with it. It sure does here!

CJ
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  #26  
Old 06-13-2016, 12:23 PM
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Low Pass Low Pass is offline
 
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Location: Houston
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In 16 yrs and 1810 hrs, I've always used automotive (Van's first then Suzuki/Nipon). Never had a failure, but I also have proactively replaced after ~4 years/~400 hrs.

200 hrs ago installed a Bosch remanufactured AL430X (N14684) Suzuki Samurai alternator. Hoping the good reviews are indicative of a moderately priced alternator that will carry me far. We'll see.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2016, 03:48 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Location: Central IL
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Default Weibull Plot - And Good news

I took the failures listed here and in the archives for the PP. In the plot, it was a dual population plot. There was clearly two different groups indicative of a specific product problem area.

I sent a note, and called, PP regarding this thread this morning. The Director (Hartzell) sent me an email indicating they indeed are recognizing an early hour failure problem and are working the issue. Understandably, he did not elaborate on the cause, process, timeline, or solution.

Some assumptions here, but if the auto alternator (like the bosch above) do last , what would PP and B&C have to match (in life) to be cost competitive?

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  #28  
Old 06-13-2016, 03:58 PM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Nice job on the comparison costs but is it including any downtime/repair costs for the units that have early failures. As an example, if an automotive alternator has to be replaced 3-4 times during the same period of a B&C, it would seem to me that the costs are higher, to say nothing of an inopportune failure while on a trip away from home.
Although an advantage would be to spread the costs out over time rather than an initial high dollar investment upfront. Perhaps it depends upon the mission and equipment---- all glass cockpits flown regularly in IMC conditions probably warrant a high end alternator and even a backup one. VFR aircraft with steam gauges probably do OK with automotice alternators.

Different strokes.....


Vic
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  #29  
Old 06-13-2016, 04:36 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
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Location: Central IL
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Default Different Strokes Indeed . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vic syracuse View Post
Different strokes....
Vic
Yes, the analysis (admittedly rough as a cob) just used the 400hrs as a baseline of the poster that had several Bosch Reman alternators that were replaced by hours, not condition, with no failures. No heavy brain work invested here.

To effectively use a such a chart, we would need to know the real statistical life of each product. Like B10 life, meaning that 90% of the units would meet or exceed that number. It is unlikely that we will find this publicly.

I am not sure what the RV community's consensus target would be, but if all the numbers listed were B10, then they would be pretty good. Maybe some aero industry members know what a good number would be, B5, B2 maybe?

Like you point out - if you have a 9/10 chance of getting that life, are you statistically worse off rolling those dice multiple times instead of 1?

This is a fantastic poll, and probably will have a positive impact on the products.
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Last edited by BillL : 06-13-2016 at 04:39 PM.
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  #30  
Old 06-13-2016, 05:57 PM
jlisler jlisler is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Donalsonville, GA.
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Default Alternator Reliability Poll

While I have not had an alternator failure within 250 hours, I have had two fail right about the 300 hour mark. The first one at 300 hours was due to bad bearings. The alternator locked up in flight and burned the belt off. Obviously I did not know what was going on other than it quit charging. The second one was due to worn out brushes at about 320 hours of use. It also quit charging. Both of these failures were during trips to the Sun-N-Fun. I scrubbed the first trip and continued with the second one since I was only a few minutes from the S-N-F. The PC-680 kept the essentials powered up for 120 minutes with no charge and still cranked the engine after the alternator was replaced. With all this said, the alternators are the 35 amp externally regulated jobs that Vans sold (Autozone part number 14184).
The problem with auto parts store remanufactored alternators is twofold. First they use cheap Chinese made bearings. These bearings are going to fail no doubt about it. US or Japanese made bearings cost many times more but they will last much longer. The second problem is most rebuilders will only replace what is absolutely required. For example if there is enough life left in the brushes to make it past the warranty period, the brushes will not be replaced. That is how they can sell you a rebuilt alternator $50.00.
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