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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   voltage regulator recommendation? (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=21998)

JohnG 09-23-2017 08:22 PM

voltage regulator recommendation?
hi everyone

I need to get a voltage regulator for my '58. I am still using the factory generator/regulator set up.

Is there anyplace I might find a Ford NOS one?? I would rather that, or something close, than a recent repro.



jopizz 09-23-2017 09:13 PM

Here's one but they're not going to be cheap.


YellowRose 09-24-2017 12:08 AM

voltage regulator recommendation?
JohnG, have you considered contacting Carl Heller ~ partsetal for a used one off one of his Squarebird parts cars?

jopizz 09-24-2017 11:15 AM


Originally Posted by YellowRose (Post 111219)
JohnG, have you considered contacting Carl Heller ~ partsetal for a used one off one of his Squarebird parts cars?

He indicated that he wanted a NOS (New Old Stock) one. He can use an old one and repaint the top and add the repro sticker to make it look original. That's certainly a cheaper alternative.


YellowRose 09-24-2017 01:27 PM

voltage regulator recommendation?
I understand that he is wanting to buy a NOS VR, but he is not likely to find one that easily. Your suggestion of going with an old one is a good one, John and Carl may have one. JohnG, you might call the Bird Nest and ask Don if they have any, or some of the other Tbird parts houses. IF you know the Ford Part #, there are a number of NOS/OEM parts houses that specialize in selling OEM or NOS parts, listed in the Advertisements Forum that you can call. But you will have to know the part # for the VR. If they look that up, and do not have it in stock, most of them can tell you what other companies across the nation DOES have one in their stock. If they do have it in stock, of course they will tell you how many arms and legs they are asking for it...

JohnG 09-24-2017 05:00 PM

I have nothing at all against used, nor repainting the cover and adding a decal. I just want it to function properly.

I have a brand new repro that has been on the shelf for some time and it appears to be dead on arrival, even with polishing the points and so on.

jopizz 09-24-2017 06:24 PM

What brand is your new voltage regulator. I've never had an issue with ones made by Standard Motor Parts, AC Delco or Motorcraft. I would trust a new one by a reputable company before I trust one that's 50+ years old.


JohnG 09-24-2017 07:55 PM

not a mark on it. Only info is "Made in U.S.A" and "10-74"

I do recall trying it once and it worked fine for a few days and that was it. I had forgotten about it.

Pristine - clean as a whistle. Just doesn't cause any charging to
occur. makes a good spare until you actually need it!

jopizz 09-24-2017 08:21 PM


Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 111240)
not a mark on it. Only info is "Made in U.S.A" and "10-74"

If "10-74" is the date then it's obviously been sitting for awhile. It's probably not a good idea to depend on a 43 year old electronic part.


simplyconnected 09-24-2017 09:38 PM


Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 111240)
...Just doesn't cause any charging to

..and it won't, until you flash the armature. Follow the polarizing chapter in your Shop Manual. In mine, it's chapter 12 (Charging System).

Most Shop Manuals have the procedure you're looking for. As long as the system is connected and polarized, residual magnetism normally kicks in upon each startup. When the components are disconnected, you gotta start over.

These "OLD" generators and associated components have NO electronics or solid state components. The entire system consists of coils, resistors and contacts. Those things never go bad over time, when not used.

Sure, contacts can become 'dirty' but that usually happens after being used, then years of neglect.

JohnG 09-24-2017 11:19 PM

I did polarize it. Worked fine for a week then ceased. Been
on the shelf for about 10 years. Sometime I will dig into it and see what failed.

Points on new units still need to be cleaned, just as ignition points do. A business card usually does the trick.

simplyconnected 09-25-2017 05:34 AM


Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 111248)
...Points on new units still need to be cleaned, just as ignition points do. A business card usually does the trick.

I'm a little more aggressive with the abrasive. I use 170-200 grit to knock down any peaks and to make the contacts conform to each other. All it takes is a few swipes, up and down for both sides of the contacts.

I'm posting the regulator that Marcelo sent to me from his '60 T-bird. I went through the contacts. This one is made by Echlin, a very good name in automotive electrics (and made in USA).

John, to 'prove' the generator, pull the field wire off the regulator and apply +12 to that wire. You should have a volt meter on your battery so you can see the voltage climb. Bump the rpms up to 1,200 or so. Your generator should have no problem outputting 13.5-14 volts, shown on the meter. When you get there, re-connect the field wire back to the regulator. If you don't get 14 volts, your generator is suspect. - Dave

JohnG 09-25-2017 08:59 AM

thanks . . . good test . . .

have seen the generator put out 14.2 volts so not worried about that at this point in time.

business cards: new points only. Gets any sheen or oxidation off.

Joe Johnston 09-25-2017 09:24 AM

As an option (and with no intent to sidetrack this thread), I have seen these original voltage regulators modified with new electronic internals. Use the old cover and it looks original. I have not done this as my 63 still has the original style regulator and alt.

JohnG 09-30-2017 03:11 PM

I spent some time today with the charging system (raining).

My original problem was voltage too low at road speed with high beams on. Down around 12.2.

I adjusted the point gap by the "Arm" post after cleaning. Basically closed the gap a little.

Trial and error, for anyone trying this. A little change produces significant changes in voltage levels. Easy to overshoot the mark.

One other thing: take voltage readings with the cover ON. Removing it changes the readings significantly, due perhaps to a magnetic field associated with the cover.

Bottom line: I now have 13.4 volts at road speed with the high beams on, 14.2 or so with them off. Much better situation. I live in the country on a wooded road so headlights are important.

That done, checked out the Brand X new 1974 regulator mentioned earlier. Dead in spite of all efforts at revival. Go figure.


JohnG 11-12-2017 12:50 PM

Am reporting back on two non functioning regulators.

#1: a member generously sent me an older , used one which I hoped to have as a backup. Unfortunately it was DOA.

But, along with the information provided in this thread, it provided a test case to figure out just what was wrong with it.

The diagram earlier reveals only 5 components: 2 resistors and 3 relays. Not bad to check out. They all checked out correctly.

Next: the connections between components. The connection between the Alternator post and the lead to the activation relay occurs at a copper piece rivetted on one side and soldered on the other side.

The rivet showed some resistance inspite of metal to metal appearance. I soldered the two pieces together and installed it. Seems to work fine now. Could use some fine tuning but I got over 13.5 volts with the engine revved up a bit. Had nothing before.

#2: This was the Brand X regulator I bought years ago and which functioned for a couple days once. Made 1974. Took the cover off and took a careful look at the points associated with each relay. The ones associated with the activiation relay were almost totally misaligned. In other words the upper point beside the lower one rather than above it. Perhaps able to touch just a tiny bit with some luck. ( I have photos of both regulators but my files are too big to upload here). So it was simply never assembled properly, or looked at once it was assembled. I am also guilty of assuming it was put together properly. Don't take simple things for granted! The goal is to bend things into place and get it to work correctly.

Overall moral: these things are pretty simple and with the diagram earlier and a multimeter (and eyes) one can probably debug them and save them from getting tossed.

John G

simplyconnected 11-12-2017 10:22 PM

Good man, John. #1 and #2 both work as they should thanks to your troubleshooting and repair! Glad it all worked out for you. - Dave

Dan Leavens 11-13-2017 08:19 AM

Look at you go Mr. G:D

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