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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. 130 26.05%
I have used an automotive alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 28 5.61%
I have used a Plane Power alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 152 30.46%
I have used a Plane Power alternator that failed within the first 250 hours. 68 13.63%
I have used a B&C alternator and had no failures in its first 250 hours. 118 23.65%
I have used a B&C that failed within the first 250 hours. 3 0.60%
Voters: 499. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-11-2016, 03:15 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,760
Default Alternator Reliability Poll

Since I'm temporarily grounded waiting for new alternator parts, figured I'd satisfy my curiosity with a poll on alternator reliability during the initial 250 hours.

Poll caveats/criteria:
1. This is created with the recognition that quality of installation matters, regardless of alternator type.
2. I know some alternators wait until hour 251 to fail, but I had to make the cutoff somewhere. 250 seemed reasonable. I think most would agree that fewer than 250 hours represents premature failure.
3. Depending on hours (especially if you have flown less than 250 hours on the alternator and have not had a failure), you may not be able to reply to the poll.
4. I don't know how make the poll work for multiple installations/multiple aircraft, thus the poll only applies to current aircraft. Please use the poll to document the reliability of your initial alternator installation (unless you did not have it on long enough for it to fail or to otherwise reach the 250 hour mark before replacing it).
5. First hand experience only.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

Donation reminder: Jun. 2023

Last edited by alpinelakespilot2000 : 06-11-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:00 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,678
Default Interesting survey

Please post your hours at failure too, please. Like - PP 60A, 249 hrs. Regulator.

OR B&C, 595 hrs, brushes. While engine or airframe, or cooling might matter, we won't get enough information for a statistically valid conclusion.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:01 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,548

Good poll Steve. B&C (alt and reg) working flawlessly after first 2,500 hours. Standard installation no cooling hose and still on original belt. Bought new in 2007, flying since 2011.
Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 06-11-2016, 07:09 PM
Caveman's Avatar
Caveman Caveman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 692
Default I'm on my second Plane Power

My first plane power failed at around 240 hours while leaving Oshkosh a few years ago. (Bearings went out). I took a chance and replaced it with the same thing and it has been doing fine for about 260 hours but I have my fingers crossed based on the seemingly high reported failure rate. I placed a blast tube aimed at the back of the second one but had trouble with it melting and staying in place because of its proximity to the exhaust. I removed it before last Oshkosh and it's still working a year later. I have doubts that the tube helped.

The reasons I went for the second one was because of the good service I got from PP and I didn't want the hassle of tracking down brackets, pulleys, etc to change it to a Honda Civic model. I'm not sure what I'll do for the next one. I keep hoping you guys will find the perfect ND bolt in replacement. I tried and came close but didn't get an exact match. PP has since sold out and both B&C are awfully pricey for me. Rumor has it PP's service isn't what it used to be.
In the interest of fairness I must say that I have wondered if perhaps I got some aluminum dust in the 1st PP while using a die grinder to trim the baffles. I had wrapped it loosely in plastic but it is possible some found its way inside.
Joe Schneider
RV-7, IO-360, BA Hartzell, N847CR
Flying since 2008
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:11 PM
GalinHdz's Avatar
GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
Posts: 2,349

B&C alternator with no failures with 1,100hrs in 15yrs of flying on a Lycoming O-360 A4M.
FCC Radiotelephone (PG) with Radar Endorsement
2022 Donation made

Last edited by GalinHdz : 06-11-2016 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:27 PM
Larco's Avatar
Larco Larco is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 1,296

PP 1062 hrs. doing well. We plan to do the recommended brush inspection the next time the cowling comes off. Larry
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:56 PM
Tracer 10 Tracer 10 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 175
Default Alternator Reliability.

Vans RV-6. 160 HP Constant Speed Prop.
Automotive Alternator: 2 Failures in first 200 hours.
B & C 40 Amp Alternator & Regular: No failures in 300 hours.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:07 PM
bhester's Avatar
bhester bhester is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hopkinsville, KY
Posts: 1,069
Thumbs up Still going!

I have a Van's 60amp internal regulated alternator that is my original Feb. 2007 alternator. 850 hrs and still going. No blast tube.
Bobby Hester - Builder/Pilot/A&P
Surfing the web from Hopkinsville, KY
N857BH RV7A XP-O360 - Garmin G3X ADS-B IN/OUT 2020 Compliant
Web site:
Dec. 2021 VAF donator - alot better than any magazine subscription
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:12 PM
airtractor8 airtractor8 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Dardanup. Western Australia
Posts: 172

"Vans" 35amp alternator from the late 90's & Motorola M5-150A external regulator. Blast tube installed. No failures in 400hrs.

160HP RV6

Last edited by airtractor8 : 06-11-2016 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:43 AM
stevemcgirr stevemcgirr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 159

PP 60A alternator failure at 100 hours. Broken wire on stator.
Steve McGirr
RV7 N1991M
First Flight: May 18, 2013
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