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oil light and generator light

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  • oil light and generator light

    I have a 62 t-bird The far left gauge have two rectangular slots. The one to the far left is it the oil presure and the one to thefar right is that the generator light. The problem is that the one to the far right the light stays on. What do I need to check whether a fuse or a loose connection. Need some help. Larry

  • #2
    Hey Larry,
    Not sure on '62. But on '60 I would check voltage coming out of generator. Also check voltage regulator. Check and make sure grounds are grounding. These old cars have a bad tendency to get rust under terminals and body or motor. Let us know what you find out!
    The best way to do this, and I know you don't want to hear this is to remove both and take them to automotive alternator, generator rebuild shop.
    I know on a '60 you have power from ignition switch when you turn car on, light will glow because it get some ground from generator, because there is no power there. Once car starts you have 12 volts against 12 volts, no ground light goes out!
    Richard D. Hord
    Last edited by Richard D. Hord; July 4th, 2009, 12:30 PM.
    sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
    Registry #33436

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    • #3
      When your GEN light stays on, it usually means your system isn't charging. That can happen if you throw a belt, but it can also happen if you change your generator or voltage regulator and the generator hasn't been polarized.

      Why a GEN light? Your key switch provides power through the light, it continues to the "A" terminal on your regulator, and it goes to the generator armature. The purpose is two-fold; this small amount of power actually creates a little magnetism in your armature to kick-start the charging process, AND this is the means by which the regulator knows your key is ON; two important functions of your charging system.

      If your GEN light were (constantly) connected to your battery, the generator field would eventually drain the battery even though the key is off. I hope this is not what you mean by "the right GEN light is on all the time." I hope it only comes on when your key is on.

      Continuing; when the generator turns (in normal operation), the armature will produce more voltage than your battery, the GEN light fades off and the battery charges.

      Ok, so how do you polarize your Ford generator? It's simple and fast. With the key OFF, DISCONNECT the (F) FIELD wire from the regulator and strike it onto the (B) BATT terminal on the regulator for about a quarter second. When you see 'soft' sparks you are done. Reconnect the field wire. Your GEN light should go off when the engine starts, now.

      A word of caution: Do not jumper F and B on the regulator. Disconnect F and strike the wire to B.



      (I assume all grounds are solid on the voltage regulator, generator, and engine-body-battery. Check them to be sure!)
      Hope this helps. - Dave
      Last edited by simplyconnected; July 4th, 2009, 12:43 PM.
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

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      • #4
        polarized the regulator

        Hi Dave. Disconnected the f terminal struck it against the battery post saw a spark reconnected still the generator light is on. Checked the regulator have 12.65 volts from the battery terminal. Any other suggestions please. Larry

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        • #5
          Hey Larry,
          Check F post on regulator, coming from generator!
          I ran Christine out of gas one Sunday. Got gas, got her started and Generator light on, stayed on. After some checking figured out generator not putting out what it should. Order new (or rebuilt) generator from Thunderbird Headquarters. Got it put it on, bad. Sent it back they sent me another one, put it on, bad. They would not sell me another one. So I went to a one wire alternator. Have not had any trouble since.
          Richard D. Hord
          Last edited by Richard D. Hord; July 4th, 2009, 06:14 PM.
          sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
          Registry #33436

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          • #6
            Larry, I didn't hear anything about your grounds. Did you check them? All three components have their own ground wires (regulator, generator, and body-to-battery). Please make sure they are solid grounds. Also, pull a battery cable off and ring the wires from your regulator to your generator. There is a lot of vibration in an engine. One of those wires could be broken inside the insulation. It's an easy thing to check with your meter. I don't take anything for granted and I use my senses. Pull on the wires, one at a time. Copper doesn't stretch but plastic insulation does. Then check resistance. If they're all good re-connect the battery post wire.

            First, let's see if your gen is putting out:

            Mark your wires as to where they came from on your voltage regulator. If you're not sure, you can trace all three back to your generator. Put a volt meter across your battery on both posts.

            Take that same (F)ield wire AND the (A)rmature wire off the regulator and put both of them on the (B)att terminal. Now, all three wires are on Batt. You can leave the small GEN light wire where it was, or let it hang.

            Start your engine but don't rev it too high. Just above idle to about 1,500rpm, you should see your battery slowly charging. When it gets to 13.5-volts, shut your engine off; your battery is fully charged and we know the generator works. If the battery never gets to 13.5, let the rpms go a little faster to about 2,000 rpm. If the battery still doesn't charge to 13.5 the generator is shot. You could have brush issues or commutator segment issues on the armature. The small spark you detected from the field wire proved that your field windings are still good.

            Let me know if your gen is good. If it is, we will look at the regulator. I don't believe in throwing money at parts unless they are really bad. I also believe a one-wire alternator would be my LAST choice. I much prefer a discarded Mustang alternator. They're cheap, produce 75-amps, and they work the way you would expect, even down to the GEN light. A one-wire can't be used with remote start because it doesn't produce any power until it reaches ~2.500 rpm. Remote start keeps cranking until it sees 13.5-volts being produced by the alt. That's how it knows the engine started.
            - Dave
            My latest project:
            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
            --Lee Iacocca

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