A new tool could help mechanics more safely install and inspect alternator drive couplings on Continental Aerospace Technologies piston engines.
Approach Aviation announced “a zinc-coated coupling spanner wrench and unique coupling gear socket” on April 12. “Together, these tools allow the coupling to be held in place (mounted on the alternator or free-standing) while the coupling gear slippage is checked with a calibrated 3/8” torque wrench (as specified in the engine maintenance manual),” the company said.
Approach Aviation also said that without having specialized tools, it was difficult for shops to inspect and diagnose coupling failures, leading to inaccurate assumptions that the alternator had failed.
The coupling on these engines shouldbe inspected every 500 hours or whenever the alternator is removed from the aircraft, according to Approach Aviation.