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Juliet got sick!

Discussion in 'Trip Experiences' started by Richard Wyeroski, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    I was flying Juliet on a short trip when I noticed the volt meter was fluctuating. It never did that before? On every flight I noticed the meter was fluctuating between 14 and 12 volts. Then on one flight I noticed the gauge was on zero. That is not good because it meant that the alternator was oFf line. I immediately reset the circuit breaker and the alternator came back on line. On another flight the same thing happened. A reset of the breaker and back came the alternator.

    This is not good. A intermittent alternator could be a problem as the battery could lose all it power and no electrical system could be dangerous.

    I asked a few other mechanics what they thought and I got everything from it was the alternator itself, a short, lose wire, bad regulator, lose alternator belt or corrosion on the connections.:eek:

    I priced alternators and regulators and each was $400 dollars plus time to install them.

    Someone told me to call the alternator manufacturer, but be careful because they want to sell alternators!

    I hate changing parts without being sure what’s the problem actually is. I knew of horror stories where shops changed every part and still did not solve the problem.

    Well I called the manufacturer and I got a nice fellow named mike that was very helpful. He asked me a few questions and I mentioned that the circuit breaker never popped, but the alternator went off line? He said it could be the “Field” 5 amp circuit breaker, but also it could be the regulator too? He said change the breaker and 90% of the time it fixes the problem.

    Now the breaker looked normal and I had to reset it often to put the alternator back on line? Well the breaker delivered was $26.13 cents. So I ordered it and installed it after some small problems like it was under the panel, a little hard to get at and I could not disconnect on side of it because of a stripped screw!:mad:.....I finally had to cut the wire and crimp a new connector on the wire under the panel while standing on my head:mad:......three hours later it was done and I started the engine with my fingers crossed and it worked!......that was the problem. A little old circuit breaker that failed internally..........

    So there you have it......took Juliet up and all was normal.....no fluctuating meter and no other problems....:)

    5 AMP alternator field circuit breaker.......
    1F9E1319-7A07-4399-8FAF-CC481DEAF005.jpeg




    Definitely a positive attitude always helps when problems occur with no clear path to fixing them

    Just keep smiling
    78B4C600-46FB-45D8-8F0F-F405769B7D1A.jpeg
     
  2. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member IV

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    Glad you had a honest tech on the other end of the phone. It's a common problem in aging aircraft. As the newer aircraft age, they will be at a greater risk because of their reliance on electrical power. Engineers and designers don't have to worry about the consequences as long as they can get past the 18 year mark. If I had my option, I would stick with flying a Jurassic aircraft any day.
     
  3. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member VI

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    Used to have the same problem in C-402's occasionally. The C/B for the alternator field circuit was a traditional glass cylinder type and located near the Captain's arm rest. I'd pull it out, lick the corrosion off the tips, and put it back in. Problem solved.
     
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  4. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    The thing that throws everyone off is the field breaker does not trip. It is confusing since if a breaker keeps tripping there is a short somewhere, a lose wire or corrosion on one of the many connections. I initially uninstalled my new battery, thinking maybe that was the problem since the volt meter started to fluctuate right after the change.....I think?Ahhhh.....

    Fun but a lesson learned in the electrical department
     
  5. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    BTW what do you guys think of Freddy the Frog:D
     
  6. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Glad ya got it fixed for cheap Rich! Pepe rules! Q

    Feels_good_man.jpg

     
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  7. Everett 757

    Everett 757 Hangar Silver Member VII

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    He’s definitely smiling! Looks happy! :)
     

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