Avoid Transpo voltage regulators

CobraRGuy

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Hi All,
I wanted to share some experience with you that may help others avoid the problems I've seen.
The 1995 Cobra R came with an under-drive (larger) alternator pulley since Ford thought saving a little drag might help the Cobra R be more competitive. They figured these cars would not be sitting in traffic idling at night with the lights on and the cooling fans turning on and off.
In my case, that's what I ended up having to do at times. After adding the MSD ignition and big Mallory fuel pump, one evening my alternator fried at night in traffic. I decided I needed an upgraded alternator, so I bought a Powermaster unit. I transferred the pulley from the old alternator to the new. Unfortunately that Powermaster alternator fried also. Hmm. I was told that putting a heavy load on the alternator while spinning it too slowly will do that. I bought another Powermaster and a stock sized pulley. Things were fine for a while but I was getting some fluctuations in voltage. The headlights would dim and brighten randomly. I traced that issue to a loose ground wire. With that fixed, I decided to go ahead and replace the voltage regulator with the exact same brand and part number that Powermaster used.
I took the car to Sonoma for an event and the car died during an open track session. The car was completely lifeless, no gauges, no lights, no starter, no nothing. It turns out that Transpo had been acquired by a large corporation, and their bean counters decided they could increase their profits by moving their production from the USA to China. The new voltage regulator I had just installed had failed into a completely unregulated mode.
This really screwed my car up and took it out of commission for a couple of years. Upon speaking to Powermaster, they informed me that they no longer use Transpo for that very reason. Their regulators were failing all over the place and damaging people's cars like mine. Friggin' bean counters...
The MSD HVC ignition box, the MSD distributor pickup, the fuel pump, lots of fuses and a bunch of wiring were all fried. I called Transpo and complained to them and they hung up on me. Clearly I was NOT the first person to complain about their failing regulators. For these reasons, I suggest that people avoid them.
I don't have the alternator here, so I can't tell you what brand Powermaster is using now, but once I have that back I'll provide an update.
Thanks, CobraRGuy
 

ttocs

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I have read that track cars can kill alts from overspinning them just as fast as a car with an underdrive sitting at a light can. I have heard of people putting the underdrive pullies on their track cars to prevent this and it is really the only time I endorse underdrive pullies myself. It seems like your in the middle of a track/street car and not sure what to recommend really.
 
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CobraRGuy

CobraRGuy

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I have read that track cars can kill alts from overspinning them just as fast as a car with an underdrive sitting at a light can. I have heard of people putting the underdrive pullies on their track cars to prevent this and it is really the only time I endorse underdrive pullies myself. It seems like your in the middle of a track/street car and not sure what to recommend really.
Thanks I had not heard that. I was fortunate enough to speak by phone with Steve Anderson who was the program manager for the '95 Cobra R for over an hour just prior to him retiring. That was very educational. He said they did it to save drag on the engine. I'm going to ask Ray Miller who is an amazing mechanic if he has heard that. Ray has done huge amounts of racing including as crew chief for a couple of race teams. His ex-wife is the only woman in history to win back-to-back NASCAR championships (Pro4 Truck Series). Ray was the one who got her there. Since I put the stock pulley on this alternator it has not failed on the track. I shift by around 6200 rpm. The damage to the alternator itself was definitely due to massive over-voltage caused by the failed Transpo part.
 

96blak54

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Dang companies and china! Its sad you had to discover the failure in the way you did. Their have been so many stories just like yours but with other components. Like ARP head studs, MSD ignition boxes, Walbro fuel pumps. Come to find out, china was copying their product and selling it through online auctions. I remember when mustang magazines were the most up to date info and seeing an article about china copy big name products. The article gave a breakdown on how to recognize the said name brand china copies. The ARP studs were breaking on relatively low hp engines, MSD products were failing in mass amounts along with Walbro fuel pumps and these companies were taking the heat, most times honouring replacements untill they caught onto the copy not being exactly copied. And thats what the article was about in detail, how to recognize copies and to NOT purchase any name brand product off line unless it was a reputable company such as Summitt or Jegs.
 

cobrajeff96

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Well.... that sucks. Currently using the V1300 in my car now. It's been rock steady for a year, but I guess I'll have to keep my eye on the voltage output from time to time.
 

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