On March 16th, 2016 – RAM Aircraft, LP announces the availability of an alternator drive coupler spanner wrench that will enable a mechanic to properly service or install the gear driven alternator drive coupler found on many 520/550 Continental Motors engines. The alternator drive coupler is sometimes referred to as an alternator clutch.
Continental Service Bulletin SB11-3, Alternator and Drive Coupling Installation, provides general instructions but does not mention a method of holding the drive coupler while proper torque is applied. That installation and proper torque application is critical to the engine. RAM Aircraft has produced the necessary spanner wrench required for this job. RAM currently provides one at no charge with the purchase of a replacement clutch and/or alternator. The alternator drive coupler spanner wrench is also available for purchase through RAM Aircraft parts department.
RAM also recommends that the gear driven alternator clutch be inspected annually, never re-use the thrust washer when reinstalling a drive coupler on an alternator (always use a new thrust washer), follow the instructions of Continental Motors SB11-3, and use the spanner wrench to hold the drive coupler while properly applying the required torque during installation of the clutch to the alternator.