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I was planning to use an alternator that I had purchased from Mark L, an RV-4 builder. Mark modifies automotive ND alternators to allow them to be used with an external regulator. But, I've reconsidered that plan, as I've seen too many reports from people who have experienced alternator failure. This is one of the most common failures. An alternator failure wouldn't be a safety issue, as I have an 8 amp standby alternator that will allow me to power the essential items indefinitely. But, I plan to do a lot of travelling with the aircraft, and an alternator failure while on the road would be a major hassle. It wouldn't be easy to purchase a drop-in replacement alternator, as a standard automotive alternator is designed to use its internal voltage regulation, and my wiring system is setup for an external voltage regulator. And I can't count on getting an identical unit from Mark L., as he basically modifies whatever ND alternators he can find.

B&C Specialty also sells modified automotive alternators. But they do things like install better quality bearings, and balance the rotating components. They have sold thousands of alternators, and the failure rate is supposedly pretty close to zero. And, if I ever do need a new one, I can get it shipped the same day. Their alternators are much more expensive than the one I already had, but I figure it is worth it to get better reliability, and a quicker replacement, if I ever need it.

MY 60 amp B&C Specialty alternator arrived last week. I'll work on installing it soon.

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