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Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Old 05-12-2019, 11:22 PM
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Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Had the second one of these fail. I got a replacement from Summit the first time (3 months - just died). Now I'm just angry and sick of my battery dying so time for a tear down to expose their shoddy manufacturing. This one was always very noisy from day one. High pitched whine when in operation. And then it started not shutting off and draining the battery overnight at about 9 months of use.

First the brushes. Extremely uneven wear:



Next we see the commutator. You can see the aggressive wear to the lower ring. I don't think it's a coincidence that insulation below the ring around the copper bar connected to the winding is broken. There appears to be a manufacturing defect with this commutator ring and its connection. Possibly leading to the excessive brush wear on that ring. And yes that is the winding connected to the lower ring. I checked it with a meter.



Here is the other side leading to the upper ring. Looks undamaged:



The other issue I found is an issue with this "Transpo" adjustable regulator:



First the cover was not secured on one side. It was "lifted" and loose and this was obviously from it being glued down poorly from the Transpo assembler. More on that guy below..... the upper circuit board inside the regulator had a cold solder joint on one of the leads where it was attached to the body terminal:





I was able to simply lift this lead off the solder pad with my probe. I would say this was probably the source of my random battery drain overnight.

I was unimpressed with the overall fit, finish, and most importantly attention to detail with this product. Not only did some assembler at Transpo leave a cold solder joint and a poorly attached cover - the Powemaster assembler didn't even notice the cover was lifted and used it anyway. Not to mention the armature being cracked and the whole unit making high pitched whining noises when in operation.

The good:

Nice NTN bearings.

The Transpo heavy duty diode bridge seems in good shape. No bad diodes. Pretty simple and big assembly so I guess the blind assemblers can see it or at least had their coffee that morning.

This is the alternator in question:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pwm-578618/

GD

Last edited by GeneralDisorder; 05-12-2019 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:12 AM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Those commutator rings look like they've got 100K miles on them.

And a cold solder joint? That should have never got past the assembly line.


Just SMH @ some of the junk on the market in this day and age.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:15 AM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Those brushes and rings look like running with the belt as tight as the boston strangler
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:16 AM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by Twin_Turbo View Post
Those brushes and rings look like running with the belt as tight as the boston strangler
Front and rear armature bearing was in good shape - NTN makes a high quality bearing. No complaints there. It was not an armature alignment problem.

My car has the serpentine system with a factory original spring tensioner. AC Delco belt and the tension indicator is centered.

The Made in China AC Delco alternator never complained when I ran that for quite some time prior to the Powermaster.

GD

Last edited by GeneralDisorder; 05-13-2019 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:17 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Quite a mess. It's almost like their brush material is too hard, and wearing the copper rings.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:24 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Despite the picture, the upper ring and brush seemed in alright shape. But the lower ring and the much more worn brush is a concern. And I don't understand why the severe difference in wear. Might it be related to the broken plastic immediately below the ring where the bus bar should be covered? I don't know enough about the construction of the armature to know. I just know when things look like $hit and smell like $hit that it usually means they are, in fact, $hit.

They should know, though I'm quite sure they don't care, that some of us will take their "high performance, made in USA" garbage apart and see for ourselves. And us consumers aren't all idiots.

GD
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:24 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Well, I just read this and now I am a bit worried how long my Powermaster alternator will last... I bought it from Hawks last September but drove the car just about 100 miles or so since then. I have the Powermaster 47861 in my 88 GTA. I just wanted a slightly stronger CS130 than the factory 105A and that seemed to be a good choice. Car ist bone stock and I just didn't want to modify for a CS144 or something else... Any other direct fit 140A alternators on the market that are "good quality" that won't cost about 500 $ or more?
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:29 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by J.C. Denton View Post
Any other direct fit 140A alternators on the market that are "good quality" that won't cost about 500 $ or more?
Not that I'm aware of. We currently use DC Power Engineering in CA for our performance alternator needs. But yeah they are about $470 for a 180 amp. I don't know if they offer a 140.

Same with starters - two Powermaster starters on my car..... determined they are junk. Went to the Meziere TS400DP - again $550 though.

The quality remains long after the price is forgotten.

GD

Last edited by GeneralDisorder; 05-14-2019 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:33 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by J.C. Denton View Post
Well, I just read this and now I am a bit worried how long my Powermaster alternator will last... I bought it from Hawks last September but drove the car just about 100 miles or so since then. I have the Powermaster 47861 in my 88 GTA. I just wanted a slightly stronger CS130 than the factory 105A and that seemed to be a good choice. Car ist bone stock and I just didn't want to modify for a CS144 or something else... Any other direct fit 140A alternators on the market that are "good quality" that won't cost about 500 $ or more?
I bought a CS144 from these people years ago, I had no problems with it. I had gone on looking for a CS130 with the upgraded rear case for the larger bearing, but they talked me out of it and said the CS144 is more reliable over time. But if you want something under $500 and higher amperage. https://alternatorparts.com/cs130-cs...ternators.html I plan on going with something from them in the future to put on my 6BT Cummins since I don't want an external regulator, and I will be running a lot of electric use devices in the Suburban
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:51 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by scooter View Post
I bought a CS144 from these people years ago, I had no problems with it. I had gone on looking for a CS130 with the upgraded rear case for the larger bearing, but they talked me out of it and said the CS144 is more reliable over time. But if you want something under $500 and higher amperage. https://alternatorparts.com/cs130-cs...ternators.html I plan on going with something from them in the future to put on my 6BT Cummins since I don't want an external regulator, and I will be running a lot of electric use devices in the Suburban
That's funny - that place was the first one that came up when I started searching the part numbers for the Transpo adjustable regulator, and the heavy duty diode bridge that's in the Powermaster.

https://store.alternatorparts.com/partnod411sea.aspx

https://store.alternatorparts.com/dr...ternators.aspx

Hopefully they actually look at the parts before they put them in their built units and then test them properly.

GD
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:38 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Oops , I'm kinda late to the thread here , but I 100% agree with General Disorder , with that kind of wear to such a low time use unit that slip ring was doomed from it's first rotation . I believe the manufacturing defect was that it was likely dropped during the manufacturing process and picked up off of the floor and installed without getting a look over for damage . The broken plastic near the winding connection is a dead giveaway that it was subject to some kind of moderate to extreme shock/impact , and that force could very well have put the slip ring out of round if it hit the floor at the right (or should that be wrong) angle .

And there is flat out no excuse for the cold solder joint , poor manufacturing plain & simple with a likely possible cause being that the EPA has gotten rid of our good old fashioned leaded solder (that actually worked well at joining wires , cancer be damned) and replaced it with the silver based stuff that is a bit trickier to get a perfect & proper connection with .
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:35 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by OrangeBird View Post

And there is flat out no excuse for the cold solder joint , poor manufacturing plain & simple with a likely possible cause being that the EPA has gotten rid of our good old fashioned leaded solder (that actually worked well at joining wires , cancer be damned) and replaced it with the silver based stuff that is a bit trickier to get a perfect & proper connection with .
Yeah, because some kid is gonna have nothing better to do that rip apart an alternator because he wants to suck on the solder joints.
The further we advance, the dumber things get. Or is it just Washington?
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:27 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Well I was cleaning off the healing bench and ran across a commutator resurfacing stone..... thinking I'll repair the solder joint, throw in a new brush set, and see what I've got:



What do you think boys?

I threw it on the old lathe, trued them up and smoothed them out. Might throw it on the newly acquired Formula when I get it operational.

GD
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:33 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Oh and when I get an opportunity I'm going to tear down the Chinese AC delco unit (my working spare) and see what the Chinese school girls build - for comparison.

GD
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Old Yesterday, 04:32 AM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Mechman makes one. They make a 170 amp version that makes 120 amp at idle. Powermaster quoted me 80 amps at idle. Price is right around 500.


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Old Yesterday, 11:06 AM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

I have a wholesale account with DC Power Engineering for my shop. Theirs is similar but a 180 amp unit. Price is similar before my discount. I ordered one anodized Orange to match my scheme.

GD

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Old Yesterday, 12:29 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by GeneralDisorder View Post
I have a wholesale account with DC Power Engineering for my shop. Theirs is similar but a 180 amp unit. Price is similar before my discount. I ordered one anodized Orange to match my scheme.

GD
Is it billet front half? Send me a PM with pricing. I'm ready to pull the trigger soon and I've talked to Mechman and Us altenators already.
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Old Yesterday, 01:02 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Yeah it's a billet front. It would be this one:

https://www.dcpowerinc.com/collectio...o-1990-5-0l-v8

They are $469. There's an upcharge for anodizing and additional wait time.

GD
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Old Yesterday, 02:05 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

There's absolutely no reason to go aftermarket anymore to get higher output. Just get a GM AD244 and adapt it in... so freaking easy and you get factory stuff. Mind you, some of the guts are probably Chinese in origin (even on the Delco units), but the overall size and internals are designed for the higher output.
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Old Yesterday, 02:15 PM
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Re: Powermaster XS Volt alternator teardown *UGLY*

Originally Posted by ULTM8Z View Post
There's absolutely no reason to go aftermarket anymore to get higher output. Just get a GM AD244 and adapt it in... so freaking easy and you get factory stuff. Mind you, some of the guts are probably Chinese in origin (even on the Delco units), but the overall size and internals are designed for the higher output.
The reason is to have an anodized billet alternator that's a bolt-in. Sure you can put in an AD244 and have a Chinese, bulbous, ugly-as-a-stump-fence engine bay wart..... and it will probably be pretty cheap like the AC Delco Chinese CS130 for $75 Amazon Prime.

A high performance AD244 that's US made and looks cool like the upgraded CS130 isn't going to cost any less is my point. I don't personally need more than 180 amps, so the additional output of the AD244 isn't really worth the additional work. If I had a customer that wanted the AD244 output I would still get one from DC Power Engineering and it would be similarly priced.

I guess the point is that I didn't go aftermarket to get more output. The AC Delco 105 Amp runs my car just fine. I went aftermarket to get a higher quality part that's going to last longer and look better doing it. The stock AD244 conversion doesn't fit my needs.

GD
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