VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

- POSTING RULES
- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics


Go Back   VAF Forums > Avionics / Interiors / Fiberglass > Electrical Systems
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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. 109 25.89%
I have used an automotive alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 24 5.70%
I have used a Plane Power alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 130 30.88%
I have used a Plane Power alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 49 11.64%
I have used a B&C alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 106 25.18%
I have used a B&C that failed within the first 250 hours. 3 0.71%
Voters: 421. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #71  
Old 08-29-2016, 07:31 PM
JimWoo50 JimWoo50 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicago sw suburbs
Posts: 374
Default 14184

35a so far so good at 365 hrs and almost 5 years.
__________________
Jim Woolard C56
N9855J RV-6 Donated 2017
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 08-29-2016, 09:13 PM
Captain_John's Avatar
Captain_John Captain_John is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KPYM
Posts: 2,597
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hgerhardt View Post
It seems to me that most of us on this board look at alternators as a monolithic entity, when really they are an assembly of fairly simple parts.

Plane Power and B&C both start out as Denso alternators. PP makes a mod to the internal reg to have absolute control over field current + adding an overvoltage module, while B&C uses a version similar to what older Chryslers had with an external regulator.

It sure would make this poll more useful if all the people who responded that they had a failure would just disassemble their units and diagnose what actually failed. Maybe we can find a pattern of similarly failed parts and come up with fixes to improve reliability. If you don't know about the inner workings of an alternator, go find someone who does know.

So far, this poll is nothing but a Ford vs. Chevy battle. Let's improve it!

Heinrich

Generic Denso alternator:


Plane Power:


B&C:


Notice how they all pretty much look the same?
This proves that looks can be deceiving.

In all instances where those that I know have returned their PP alternators for repair (there are more than a few) they simply get another unit as a replacement and no description of what had actually failed.

In one instance the pilot knew it was bearing failure, as the rotor shaft was clearly wobbling.

This thread is just a collection of empirical data graphing the failure of each brand of alternator. Sure, you could do the same with Ford and Chevy, but this is much more specific than that.

Great topic! Great data!

What would make it even better is if you could go out to 500, 1,000 and more hours!

CJ
__________________
RV-7 Flying - 1,000 Hours in 4 Years!
TMX-IO-360, G3i ignition & G3X with VP-X
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 08-29-2016, 11:01 PM
hgerhardt's Avatar
hgerhardt hgerhardt is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: torrance, ca
Posts: 433
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_John View Post
This proves that looks can be deceiving.

In all instances where those that I know have returned their PP alternators for repair (there are more than a few) they simply get another unit as a replacement and no description of what had actually failed...
Exactly! And that's the problem with this poll. If people would just (carefully) take apart their alternators and diagnose what actually went wrong before returning them, that would be a nice benefit for us.
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 08-30-2016, 05:08 AM
Captain_John's Avatar
Captain_John Captain_John is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KPYM
Posts: 2,597
Default

Well, then according to this poll we would have exactly one B and C alternator to examine but many, many, many, more Plane Power units to look at.

CJ
__________________
RV-7 Flying - 1,000 Hours in 4 Years!
TMX-IO-360, G3i ignition & G3X with VP-X
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 09-28-2016, 05:45 PM
jeff1779 jeff1779 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Broomfield CO
Posts: 5
Default

My Plane Power voltage regulator failed going to high voltage and then shutting down. Recycling the alternator made no difference the unit would not come back on line. I was stranded in Montrose Colorado(a great place to be stranded), on my way back to Denver from California with 12 months since my maiden flight and only 77 hours on the Hobbs. The failure occured immediately after startup, so I decided to fix the problem and not push a two hour flight over the continental divide on just battery power. Given the challenge of rewiring the plane to handle a separate voltage regulator, with limited tools, I decided to have Vans drop ship me a new one overnight. Vans did a great job in getting the part out the door. I replaced the AL12-EI60/V which now has a new Hartzell model number 99-1012. With the new alternator installed everything was good for a beautiful flight home.

Now that I am back home I called Plane Power( Hartzell.aero) to find out about their warranty. They said that the two years starts when the unit is sold out the door. Since I got the alternator as part of my firewall forward kit I do not make the two year cut off. Needless to say I expressed some frustration over this response.
They also said they do not fix the alternators but there is a repair kit available from Aircraft Spruce- part number 07-17968 ($79). He also directed me to the web site for the instructions.
http://www.plane-power.com/ICA.php
This looks like an easy field repair and might be an part to consider carrying if your are running a Plane-Power Alternator. Does anyone have experience with this repair?

Jeff Jones
Broomfield Colorado
RV-7A IO-360 A1B6
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 09-28-2016, 07:05 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 1,915
Default bad/weak plug contacts

Some fraction of the plane-power alternator 'failures' are high voltage symptoms because the contacts inside the plug for the field circuit don't stay tight. This happened to me and many others I bet. Thanks to Dan H and a few others that pointed this out. Pinching the contacts and potting the back of the plug with RTV seems to have solved it for me.
__________________
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet"
Hobbs 515 in 9 years (would have flown more this year if not for fire smoke)
also LS-6-15/18 sailplane
VAF donation Dec 2017
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 09-28-2016, 07:31 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 4,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff1779 View Post
. . .
This looks like an easy field repair and might be an part to consider carrying if your are running a Plane-Power Alternator. Does anyone have experience with this repair?

Jeff Jones
Broomfield Colorado
RV-7A IO-360 A1B6
If that is what failed, no problem. It might be prudent to take it to an alternator shop and have it tested first.
__________________
Bill

RV-7
1st Flight 1-27-18
Phase II 8-3-18

Last edited by BillL : 09-28-2016 at 09:23 PM. Reason: saving space
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 09-28-2016, 07:38 PM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 7,934
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_John View Post
Well, then according to this poll we would have exactly one B and C alternator to examine but many, many, many, more Plane Power units to look at. CJ
Careful, a PP owner will surely declare your conclusion statistically invalid
__________________
Dan Horton
RV-8 SS
Barrett IO-390
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 09-28-2016, 07:54 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 1,915
Default

I'm guessing that the B&C, utilizing an external regulator, probably has a different connector that is less troublesome. Be a shame if otherwise perfectly serviceable PP alternators are bad-mouthed because of a bad connector.

The proverbial $0.50 spring.
__________________
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet"
Hobbs 515 in 9 years (would have flown more this year if not for fire smoke)
also LS-6-15/18 sailplane
VAF donation Dec 2017
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 09-28-2016, 09:18 PM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 4,529
Default and . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
I'm guessing that the B&C, utilizing an external regulator, probably has a different connector that is less troublesome. Be a shame if otherwise perfectly serviceable PP alternators are bad-mouthed because of a bad connector.

The proverbial $0.50 spring.
Maybe the rotors are better balanced. Maybe the wire is not as stiff. Maybe they have better (any) strain relief (wire to connector).
__________________
Bill

RV-7
1st Flight 1-27-18
Phase II 8-3-18
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:27 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.