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  #1  
Old 01-21-2012, 06:11 PM
GalinHdz's Avatar
GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
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Default Car Alternator for Lycoming O-360?

Has anyone used a car alternator on a Lycoming O-360 engine? If so, which one did you use?
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2012, 06:34 PM
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John Clark John Clark is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 1,324
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Actually, the Van's supplied alternator is a 60A unit from a Suzuki Samari, made by Nippon Denso.

John Clark ATP, CFI
FAAST Team Representative
EAA Flight Advisor
RV8 N18U "Sunshine"
KSBA
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2012, 06:43 PM
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GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
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Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
Actually, the Van's supplied alternator is a 60A unit from a Suzuki Samari, made by Nippon Denso.

John Clark ATP, CFI
FAAST Team Representative
EAA Flight Advisor
RV8 N18U "Sunshine"
KSBA
Hmmmmmmmm I wonder if they have a 70+ amp version?
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2012, 07:29 PM
chaskuss chaskuss is offline
 
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Location: SE Florida
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Default yes, they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalinHdz View Post
Hmmmmmmmm I wonder if they have a 70+ amp version?
Yes,
Nippon Denso makes two styles of alternators. The "small" units go from 30 amps to up to 60 amps. The "large" units go from 60 amps up to over 100 amps.
You want to use one out of a Honda. This is because auto engines rotate counterclockwise, except for Honda 4 cylinder engines [up to 2000]. Hondas and Lycomings rotate clockwise [viewed from driver's seat] Most newer Honda Accords with A/C have 70+ amp alternators.
Proper rotation ensures you will get maximum performance from the two internal fans in the large style alternator. That said, even with the fans running backwards, I doubt that you would have any issues, other than perhaps a shorter life span of the alternator.
Modern cars use serpentine belts to drive the alternator. You will need to buy a Vee belt pulley with a 15mm shaft hole to adapt a car alternator to a Lycoming. These are available at most automotive "speed" shops for a reasonable price. A 4" diameter pulley will work the best. Smaller pulleys will spin the alternator much faster than it does in a car, because the Lycoming flywheel pulley is much larger. Excessive speed will reduce the life of the rotor bearings.
The link below shows a B&C modified "small" style ND alternator.

http://www.bandc.biz/ProductImages/L40.jpg

The steel bracket and spacer tube on the alternator pivot is one of the "improvements" that B&C performs on their "small" style units. That spacer and bracket do not come on the stock ND small alternators.

The link below shows what a large ND alternator looks like

http://www.bandc.biz/alternator60amp...mebuilt-1.aspx

Notice the much "beefier" pivot point on the large ND unit. The stock automotive ND alternators look like this. The physically larger size and the bigger pivot point are the easiest ways to differentiate a "small" from a "large" ND alternator. FYI, the rectifier diodes on the large units are much more durable. Hope this helps you.
Charlie
PS Chevy Corvair engines also rotated clockwise, but they used Delco Remy alternators, not Nippon Denso.

Last edited by chaskuss : 12-21-2012 at 09:32 AM. Reason: clarified which Honda engines rotate clockwise. Added PS
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2012, 07:29 PM
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LifeofReiley LifeofReiley is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalinHdz View Post
Hmmmmmmmm I wonder if they have a 70+ amp version?
70 Amp is overkill for todays electronics... you should not need it.
__________________
Reiley
Retired N622DR - Serial #V7A1467
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2012, 07:35 PM
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Ron Lee Ron Lee is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeofReiley View Post
70 Amp is overkill for todays electronics... you should not need it.
I typically run around 3 amps in flight (not counting radio transmission). Six pack instruments and one Lightspeed ignition.
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2012, 08:12 PM
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GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
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Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaskuss View Post
Yes,
Nippon Denso makes two styles of alternators. The "small" units go from 30 amps to up to 60 amps. The "large" units go from 60 amps up to over 100 amps.
You want to use one out of a Honda. This is because auto engines rotate counterclockwise, except for Hondas. Hondas and Lycomings rotate clockwise [viewed from driver's seat] Most newer Honda Accords with A/C have 70+ amp alternators.
Proper rotation ensures you will get maximum performance from the two internal fans in the large style alternator. That said, even with the fans running backwards, I doubt that you would have any issues, other than perhaps a shorter life span of the alternator.
Modern cars use serpentine belts to drive the alternator. You will need to buy a Vee belt pulley with a 15mm shaft hole to adapt a car alternator to a Lycoming. These are available at most automotive "speed" shops for a reasonable price. A 4" diameter pulley will work the best. Smaller pulleys will spin the alternator much faster than it does in a car, because the Lycoming flywheel pulley is much larger. Excessive speed will reduce the life of the rotor bearings.
The link below shows a B&C modified "small" style ND alternator.

http://www.bandc.biz/ProductImages/L40.jpg

The steel bracket and spacer tube on the alternator pivot is one of the "improvements" that B&C performs on their "small" style units. That spacer and bracket do not come on the stock ND small alternators.

The link below shows what a large ND alternator looks like

http://www.bandc.biz/alternator60amp...mebuilt-1.aspx

Notice the much "beefier" pivot point on the large ND unit. The stock automotive ND alternators look like this. The physically larger size and the bigger pivot point are the easiest ways to differentiate a "small" from a "large" ND alternator. FYI, the rectifier diodes on the large units are much more durable. Hope this helps you.
Charlie
THANKS for the info. Do these Honda alternators use an internal or external voltage regulator?
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2012, 08:12 PM
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pkill pkill is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Central Oregon
Posts: 106
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Hello Galin,

Dick talks about using automobile alternators in this EAA Video…
http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=62452525001

And while at EAA, might want to check out this EAA Alternator Webinar…
http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=994908438001

pk
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:19 PM
chaskuss chaskuss is offline
 
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Location: SE Florida
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Default Both

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalinHdz View Post
THANKS for the info. Do these Honda alternators use an internal or external voltage regulator?
Both,
ND alternators were externally regulated up to model year 1983. The internally regulated alternators started in 1984. FYI, Chrysler switched to ND alternators over 15 years ago. They wanted to let the PCM [Powertrain Control Module aka engine computer] act as the voltage regulator in 1995. Because of this, it is possible [actually easy] to switch a late model "large" ND alternator to external regulation, using stock ND parts. Cost is about $15 for the parts. The conversion can be done without splitting the alternator cases, in less than 20 minutes.
Unless you plan on having electrically heated seats, high amp lighting or air conditioning, you won't "need" the larger style alternator. The larger style alternators will add 2.4 pounds of weight, compared to the smaller versions. What are you planning, that you feel you need the extra power?
Charlie
PS Info with photos of the mod to convert an ND internally regulated alternator to external regulation, available upon request. Send email or PM with return email info.

Last edited by chaskuss : 12-21-2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: corrected 2 to 3 pounds to 2.4 pounds
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:26 PM
chaskuss chaskuss is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 1,579
Default Do you really need that extra power?

Galin,
IF you really need the extra amps, I would suggest you read the two threads linked below.

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ght=alternator

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...nso+alternator

Charlie
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