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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   charging system (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=7397)

birdbrain 09-20-2009 07:39 PM

charging system
 
Hello everyone. I went to a car show today and as I was parking I saw the generator light come on slightly. I reved the motor and it went out. When I was ready to leave I started the car and drove home(68 miles) when I got home I stopped the car and the generator light came on bright. I tightened the belt and it went out again. I charged the battery up for a while then took a reading on my multi tester. It read 12.80 then 12.59 I let it run for a while and it never went up or down however the light would come on and stay on, if I reved the motor the light would dim and almost go out. My question to the forum is how can I tell if the voltage regulator is going bad or the generator it self? Is there a test I can perform? Thanks in advance. Rodney

byersmtrco 09-20-2009 07:42 PM

Usually V/reg is on or off. It sounds as if the gen is just putting out @ low voltage. Do you have a local Starter Generator shop? Sometimes they can just throw a set of brushes in em and they're good for another 10 years.

JohnG 09-20-2009 08:05 PM

They would also clean up the brush holder area which gets crapped up with carbon over time. The brushes need to be free to move against the commutator. You might try just doing some cleaning first. I am not sure if you can do this with the generator still in the car or not. It only involves taking the cover off the end. I can provide a photo as I have a spare generator.

If you do take it to a shop, take the Regulator with you and they can test them as a pair for you.

john

bird 60 09-21-2009 03:15 AM

Hi Rodney,

There's a chance that one of the brush wires are broken & not making a good contact. Or it could be one or both brushes are pretty well worn down. I don't know how long since the Genny was last repaired, but if it hasn't for a few years I would take it out. (1) Give it a good clean. (2) Get new brushes. (3) If the Commutator is out of round or slightly concave get it turned. (4) Get the Commutator grooves (Mica) cleaned 1/32" below the copper & then with #00 or #000 sandpaper remove any rough edges. (5) Check the bearings for slop & change them if required. (6) If the rest of it is O.K. it should last you for the next ten years or around 20,000 miles. Or if you're not a Purist now is the time to change over to an Alternator.

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

simplyconnected 09-21-2009 10:49 AM

Previous posts are correct about brushes. They're cheap (~$8/set of 4) but the idea is to change them before they fail. Do not run your generator if you are not sure the brushes are ok. If they stick or are worn out, they arc and burn the copper commutator segments.





You can test the generator by forcing it to produce full voltage (around 15-volts). Take the field wire off your regulator and connect it to BATT. The ARM voltage will increase to full volts. You can run this for up to two minutes, which should be plenty of time to troubleshoot. Either keep your lights off, during this test, or don't rev the engine real fast. Your meter should show when you approach 13.5-volts (nominal charging voltage).

Turn the headlights on for a while to drain the battery. If the regulator isn't sending armature current to a battery that is partially drained, you will know.

Your GEN light only comes on when the battery voltage is higher than your generator is putting out (like when you first turn the key on before starting your engine, or if you throw a belt).

All the current to charge your battery goes through the generator brushes. They should last for about 50,000 miles.
By contrast, an alternator has two brushes, but they only pass about one amp (to excite the field). Those brushes are much smaller and should last 100,000 miles. The whole brush holder w/brushes cost about $15. On Ford alternators, they are accessible from the back without removing the end-plate.

Hope this helps. - Dave

vernz 09-21-2009 07:55 PM

simplyconnected - I have a question about the procedure you discussed. My generator is putting out about 1 volt. I pulled it and found that a brush spring was broken and the arm that pushed down on the brush was loose inside the generator. I saw no damage to anything so I replaced the spring and put it together after cleaning up the commutator. I decided to try polarizing the generator by removing the field wire at theregulator and touching it to the battery connection at the regulator. It instantly became too hot to hold.....a lot of current flowing. In your answer below you talk about the same connection being made for up to two minutes. Does this indicate I have a shorted filed winding?

Vern

tbirds8 09-21-2009 08:01 PM

Gen
 
On our cars moisture gets to the bottom brush and it gets stuck in the holder. I've cleaned the holder and spring up a couple times and I'm startin to lean to an alternator. We don't drive these like we used to. (well everyday for me back in the day) You will need snow tires and chains!! .............Bill

simplyconnected 09-21-2009 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vernz (Post 37440)
simplyconnected - I have a question about the procedure you discussed. My generator is putting out about 1 volt. I pulled it and found that a brush spring was broken and the arm that pushed down on the brush was loose inside the generator. I saw no damage to anything so I replaced the spring and put it together after cleaning up the commutator. I decided to try polarizing the generator by removing the field wire at theregulator and touching it to the battery connection at the regulator. It instantly became too hot to hold.....a lot of current flowing. In your answer below you talk about the same connection being made for up to two minutes. Does this indicate I have a shorted filed winding?

Vern

It sure looks like it, Vern. To make sure, you are talking about the FIELD wire getting too hot, not the armature wire, right?

A shorted field winding will play hell with a regulator. Use a resistance check for your Field windings. Under full load, the FIELD should pull about an amp or two. The field and armature are both internally grounded at the end of the coil. That's why you should have a separate ground wire going to your regulator (just to be sure).

Here's another check that most people are unaware of: The field is an inductive coil. With all wires disconnected from your generator, (bench-testing) connect a continuity light (with two AA batteries) to ground. If you 'scrape' the other continuity light lead to the Field terminal, you should see a pretty blue spark. If it's shorted, no spark, but the continuity light will shine bright.

Just a thought; make sure you didn't ground your field wires inside the case, when you put it together. It's easy to pinch a wire, there isn't a lot of room.

The ARMATURE current will be around 35-45-amps. Replace that wire with at least a #10-AWG.

Sounds like your field wire may have got cooked. No biggie, it goes from your regulator to your generator and nowhere else, and it hangs in free air. That wire is skinny because only one or two amps go through it. Remember, the voltage regulator turns your field on and off. Then the field magnetism controls the armature output.

You should be able to tie the armature and field wires together, run that wire to Battery, and watch the generator put out like gangbusters. Remember, it's un-regulated. Be careful you don't put out too much voltage by reving too high. I like to use an old headlight for the load. You can see it go from dim to bright with rpm changes.

Field wires are connected in series. You can buy field windings. Use a crimp connector (not solder) when connecting inside.

Hope this helps, Vern. If I'm foggy on a point, please re-ask. - Dave

birdbrain 09-21-2009 09:24 PM

charging woe's
 
Thanks for the info, I have copied it and will study it. I dropped the generator and the VR off a the repair shop. They asked me about converting to a solid state VR have any of you used one of these? With all the talk about the "bushes" it seems that they are the only thing I would want to change to last longer. The generator is kind of difficult to remove unlike the other generator cars I have, How difficult is a alternator conversion?

simplyconnected 09-22-2009 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by birdbrain (Post 37447)
...How difficult is a alternator conversion?

Serious talk? There's a host of reasons why EVERY OEM dropped generators and voltage regulators, in favor of alternators. Where do I begin?

The numbers: The smallest of alternators (70-amp) outputs twice the power of your generator (35-amp), and they charge your battery at idle speeds. Now, you can safely run all your accessories (including electric fan) without any worry about an under-charged battery.

They are all self-regulating, and last far longer. Parts are available everywhere, cheaper. Boneyards throw them out daily. Shaft sizes are the same as the old days, and pulleys are normally piled high at alternator shops.

Years ago, I converted my '55 Y-Block to a Mustang alternator. It uses the original belt/brackets and fits with room to spare. I did fabricate a "Z" bracket in my garage, to complete the installation. I made everything I needed for the conversion.

For me, the conversion was from 6-volt POS ground to 12-volt NEG ground. It was the best move I ever did. Don't waste your money on a solid state regulator, it's already included in modern alternators.

Check out the electrical schematic on my site. It shows two plugs that go into the side of the Ford alternator. All the large wires go to the battery, and one skinny wire goes to your GEN light. It's that easy. It also works the way you would expect, with no surprises. That little GEN wire senses when your ignition is on, AND it shines if you threw a belt. It also shines when you first turn the key on, and goes out when the engine rotates. - Dave

birdbrain 09-22-2009 08:00 PM

generator apart
 
The shop was to busy to look at my charging system so I went and got it. I removed the two long screws and pulled the back off the generator. The brushes were very dirty lots of what appeared to be carbon, I took emery cloth and cleaned the thing that the brushes ride on, then I cleaned the large cylinder with the cloth. The "field " that is the thing inside of the generator case was dirty also with black soot or something, I cleaned that as well. I scrapped all the black paint like stuff off that. I hope I did not hurt anything as this is the first time I have been inside of a generator. The brushes and springs were ok as they moved freely and I cleaned the contact area with the emery cloth as well. My question is did I mess up anything or miss anything? When it comes to the two studs "field" and "Arm" the plastic at the base of these studs was a bit brittle should I be concerned about that? I'm I ready to put this generator back on my car now? any thoughts ?

bird 60 09-22-2009 09:37 PM

Hi Rodney,

It's pretty hard to tell without seeing it. You say the brushes looked O.K. I haven't done a Genny for a long, long time but the Brushes should be about 3/4" from memory.
Even though they might look O.K. but are down quite a lot it would be best to change them. For peace of mind get a Buddy of yours who's Machenically / Electrically inclined to have a look. When Dave gets on he'll be able to go one further.

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

simplyconnected 09-22-2009 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bird 60 (Post 37510)
...When Dave gets on he'll be able to go one further...

Thanks, Chris.

Quote:

Originally Posted by birdbrain (Post 37496)
I'm I ready to put this generator back on my car now? any thoughts ?

Rod, you probably did as well as the shop would. Just a few thoughts, if I may give a little background:
Generators are nearly bulletproof. There isn't much you can do to damage one. Cleaning the inside is a VERY good thing as carbon dust loves to conduct electricity to the grounded case, causing a short.

There are a few cautions. The copper commutator should not be sanded (at all) unless the shape is distorted (egg-shaped, tapered, oval, severly scratched, etc). Those brushes you removed conform perfectly to the commutator, and if they still have good length left, they should be put back in (**more on this in a moment).

Bearings need grease, but as you witnessed, too much grease will spread all over the inside of the case and all the carbon dust will stick to it. So, grease the bearings before re-assembly but don't go overboard.

Carbon (graphite) is a natural lubricant and it conducts with resistance. It also withstands lots of heat because we pump ~40-amps through it. Your brushes need to freely slide in their holders so proper spring tension can push each brush against the commutator. A buildup of heated dirty grease will cause the brush to hang. That's when trouble starts. Current wants to pass, but an air gap between the brush and copper segments will cause burning.

Two things need to happen before you button it up: Grab the brush by that braided wire, and pull straight up. Feel it slide in the holder without obstruction, all the way down. If your spring is pushing the brush way down the hole, replace the brush. When finished, leave the braided wire such that it can freely extend to take up brush wear, but it won't touch any metal parts around it.

**I have changed many brushes on huge DC motors. We never change them all at once. They need to wear-in to conform to the commutator with decent surface area. Your generator only has two brushes. If you get new FLAT-ended brushes, find a cylinder about the same diameter as your commutator, put fine sandpaper on the surface, and arc the new brush's contact surface to conform to the commutator. Being carbon, they sand easy. A flat-ended brush will only conduct at a line of contact passing too much current over a small surface until it wears-in.

INSULATORS: One of your brush holders is insulated on the back plate, and the other is GROUNDED to the back plate. So, power is produced in the armature; Positive goes out the insulated brush to the stud, and Negative goes through the grounded brush to the case. You can see how important that back plate is to your system's ground. The two studs you mentioned should be well-insulated and tight. Plastic can be brittle as long as it is not broken (and shorting the stud to ground). Fiber washers and sleeves work well if you need more insulation.

You can check each component with a meter during the whole rebuild process. While the generator is still on your bench, check for shorted field or shorted armature windings using the technique I described below. You can do this as well as anyone else, for a whole lot less money.

Hope this helps. - Dave

Dutchbird 09-23-2009 07:58 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Hi Rodney,

I've problems at this very moment wit my GEN also, and far from being a mechenic.
I've never had a generator apart. However I took the shot and removed it to look (and clean) and it's just the way Dave describes.............

Here are some pics.......(and please experts, are these brushes OK?)

Richard D. Hord 09-23-2009 08:44 PM

Hey Guys,
I got rid of my generator and went with a alternator. Never had generator apart but if it were me and the trouble it is to take off and put back on, would it not be best to replace brushes:confused:
Richard D. Hord

bird 60 09-23-2009 09:23 PM

Hi Marco, to me the Brushes look O.K. but what was the problem? Also could you send additional Photos so that we can see the condition of the Armature & Commutator.

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

simplyconnected 09-23-2009 09:26 PM

Marco, God Bless you for taking the bull by the horns, and doing it yourself. I have lots of respect for guys like you. We all started out the exact same way. I assume you got your pulley off. Nice cleanup job, too.

New brushes measure .9" long. I would discard them at about 5/8" (.63"). Marco's pictures tell a lot, not from the length of the brushes, but by the contour at the ends.

I would love to see pictures of the copper commutator segments. That's the real business-end of a generator.

tee-bird.com (in Pennsylvania) sells all the parts for your generator, at a reasonable price:
Brush set (set of two) - US$6.50 (Part #10069B)
Spring, generator brush - US$2.75 (Part #10057A)
Kit, generator repair, including two brushes, two springs, and both bearings - US$$26.90 (Part #10001A)
(Call or visit their site to confirm prices.)

After you are familiar with your generator, the starter motor works nearly exactly the same. It has four brushes instead of two. You can either buy the whole remanufactured starter for US$130 + exchange, OR you can check your brushes and save a ton of money. A set of four starter brushes at tee-bird sells for US$7 (part #11057A).

I sincerely hope everyone performs preventive maintenance on their Thunderbird. These parts NEVER get any attention, and they are so inexpensive to maintain. If the thought of removing these parts makes you cringe, then you will most likely look for parts at the most inconvenient time and place, because of catastrophic failure. - Dave

birdbrain 09-23-2009 09:29 PM

wiring at the generator
 
I put everything back together and it's not charging. I think my problem doesen't have anything to do with the generator. I think I have had my generator wired wrong. Question, The yellow wire, red wire and black /white wire. These all go to the generator. Where do they go? I have been using the yellow wire as a ground wire, it's connected to the back of the generator...right? Red wire is "arm" black/white is "field"

Today I was told that the yellow is the "arm" the red is ground and the Black/white wire is "field" if this is true I have had my charging system wired wrong for some time now. Since I drive my car once a month and never at night this could be my problem.

Please advize What is the correct wiring for my T-Bird. Nothing is burned or sparking I guess it just dosen't chrarge.

Dutchbird 09-23-2009 09:50 PM

Chris and Dave (in random order)

I'll take and upload some more pics, but not be able to work on it until upcoming weekend again.
Keep you informed..........

Richard D. Hord 09-23-2009 09:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hey Rodney,
See if this helps! Lower picture.
Richard D. Hord

simplyconnected 09-24-2009 01:27 AM

Birdbrain, you need to follow the steps outlined at the beginning. First, make sure your generator is putting out. If a wire gets hot, stop. If it puts out ok, THEN address the wiring. It's ok to run your generator when it is disconnected. Make sure you tape any dangling wires so they don't touch ground or get caught on anything.

There are only three wires going from your generator to your regulator. Two should be big (Armature & Neg/Ground), the other should be small (Field). These wires COULD be the same color; it doesn't matter. To be correct, you can use colored electrical tape on the ends as markers. Disconnect a battery cable, then disconnect the wire harness from the regulator AND the generator. Ring your three wires with your meter using the ohm scale.

Richard, I hope you don't mind, I used your diagram and labeled the components:

Notice two things: This generator only has two wires (A & F). They assume chassis is ground. There are two #10 Yellow wires. (Alright, one is yellow w/black band.) But they both go to the regulator as "A" & "B". This can be confusing.

On our Ford cars, the generator has a ground wire that attaches to the side of the regulator (normally with a condensor).

The ground wire is equally important as the power wire. They should be the same size copper, #10-AWG. It can make the difference between the system working or not. To put it another way, if NEG never gets to the battery, then the generator will never put out. Which begs another question... Birdbrain, did you clean the battery connections REAL WELL? Is your engine and chassis BOTH grounded?

birdbrain 09-24-2009 07:25 PM

Thanks all for the photos and diagrahms
 
I guess my last question is, does the "armature" wire connect to the back of the generator? Does the "field" and ground wirs connect at the two terminals on top. This is a very simple question I have looked at the diagrahm however when you look at the real life generator on your 1958-60 generator no matter what color the wires are do they connect the why I have described? thanks, Rodney

Richard D. Hord 09-24-2009 07:39 PM

Hey Rodney,
The armature wire will connect to the back of the generator and to the A on the voltage regulator. The F (field) on the generator will connect to the F on the voltage regulator. G (ground) to ground.
Richard D. Hord

simplyconnected 09-25-2009 04:11 AM

You should have two insulated posts:
One is small (#10 screw); it is the Field post.
The other is larger (1/4" or larger); it is the Armature post.
The Ground wire goes to the case with NO insulation.

Whether it is on the back or side, look at it this way; when you had it apart, one post wire went straight to a brush. That must be the Armature post. The smaller Field post just connects to the windings inside and doesn't get a brush.

So, here we are, working on cars that are fifty years old. Some things change; wire colors, generator brands and configurations, voltage regulators, etc. Electricity is an exact physical science that never changes. If you follow my suggestions without skipping steps, I can help you find the solution to your charging problems, using sound troubleshooting techniques. I am patient and don't mind helping. In fact, if you need to send me a picture, here's my email address:
simplyconnected@aol.com - Dave

birdbrain 09-25-2009 12:01 PM

second guessing is not science
 
Thanks for the info, you are right the armature terminal is connected to one of the brushes and it is on the back plate of my generator. I did not think I had the wires crossed on my generator all those years. It never left me on the side of the road so it could not have been wrong. I quess the voltage reg was the weak link as I have sent for one and then I will know if that's all that's wrong with my system. In my case the ground is on top of the generator next to the field terminal.

Dutchbird 09-26-2009 06:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bird 60 (Post 37550)
Hi Marco, to me the Brushes look O.K. but what was the problem? Also could you send additional Photos so that we can see the condition of the Armature & Commutator.

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

Chris, thanks for your review on my brushes. Here's a picture:

Dutchbird 09-26-2009 07:15 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 37551)
Marco, God Bless you for taking the bull by the horns.....I assume you got your pulley off.
I would love to see pictures of the copper commutator segments. That's the real business-end of a generator. - Dave

Dave, the pulley finally went off so I can proceed with my "learning-on-the-job."
Here are the latest pics I took today for everyone to judge:

simplyconnected 09-27-2009 02:50 AM

Marco, this is the business end of your Armature:



It looks nearly brand new, but it also looks like it hasn't been run in a while. We are looking for obvious defects, but I don't see any.

Defects would include burned segments, deep grooves, solder melting out of the joints, taper, etc.

The segments are made of soft copper, separated by micarta wafers. Yours looks great, but we need to run some tests.

The brushes ride on opposite segments. Put your meter on the OHM scale and measure the resistance of opposing segments. Your resistance should be the same as you rotate and measure each pair of segments. Next, put your meter prod on the iron in the middle, and go around the segments with the other prod. Your reading should show infinity (LOTS of resistance, or Mega-OHMS).

If all this checks ok, clean the commutator segments with something no more abrasive than a pencil eraser. If there is any varnish on the surface, you just want to clean that off. It doesn't need to be shiny. What you are looking at is little bits of carbon embedded in the copper segments, which is a good thing.

Set your armature aside for a moment, and perform the same resistance checks on your Field coils, then check them to ground as well.

I would like to see a picture of the inside, where the post attaches to the field. There is a reason your generator stopped producing power, but I don't see a problem, yet. Marco, you are doing a good job of cleaning. While you're in there, check the bearings for slop. When they go bad they make lots of noise. When they're REAL bad, your armature steel will start scraping the field coils.

Dutchbird 09-27-2009 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 37601)
I would like to see a picture of the inside, where the post attaches to the field. There is a reason your generator stopped producing power, but I don't see a problem, yet.

Thanks a lot so far Dave!
(And sorry Rodney for jumping in your thread, but you started it the right time....)


I'll try to make and post a picture of your question tomorrow after work.
(Do you mean where the very small wire is attached on the inside of the "housing"?)
Also thanks for your kind words, I'll do my best to follow all the tips/suggestions made by everyone in this thread in the near future. I'm doing my best as a rookie on this but don't want to rush anything.
Maybe exept all the cleaning, I'll do a little paintjob as well as it is off the car now.
According to the number of tests described in this thread; it also takes a little time for me to translate English properly so I know what I'm doing..................when I'll run them.

simplyconnected 09-28-2009 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dutchbird (Post 37606)
...I'll do a little paintjob as well as it is off the car now.
...it also takes a little time for me to translate...

Marco, if you really want to paint, there is special paint we use inside motors, transformers, and generators. General Electric makes GLYPTOL, a NON-conductive (dielectric) paint that you can brush-on. The color looks like rust (dark red). Before Glyptol, we used shellac, or anything to keep moisture away from copper wires and bare steel.

Most of my terms are technical. If you are not sure what I mean, please ask me again.

The pictures you took are excellent. They are in focus and up-close. They are so good, I enlarged one of yours to show just the commutator segments.

Now, I would like to see a picture of the inside of the generator housing where the posts come through. Show me where the Field wires attach to the post, and where they attach to each other.

The Field wires are connected in series. They start at the post, attach from one coil to the other, and the last connection is to ground. All Field connections are inside the housing. - Dave Dare

Dutchbird 09-28-2009 07:15 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 37609)
Now, I would like to see a picture of the inside of the generator housing where the posts come through. Show me where the Field wires attach to the post, and where they attach to each other.

I hope I provide the right pictures, are these what you mean?
(Didn't cleaned it yet, just wiped off some carbon at the wires)

birdbrain 09-28-2009 11:36 PM

The picture is very clear
 
Hey Fellas, it's very clear now. all parts in the generator are now identified. I sent my generator to Mr. Wilson because after looking at it my fields were bad. The coil wires were unraveling. When he got my Generator he said the field coil was toast. I got a new generator with all new parts. It's funny, now I know everything about the generators inside workings I am ready to repair one. It just so happens I have a spare generator in my garage. My question to the group is where do we get the repair parts. I want to thank all the guy's for sending in pic's and for excellent explaination of the various parts inside the generator it self( no one high jacked the thread) We are learning as we go. Great job guy's this is really great! thanks so much. You have removed all the fear and doubt.

simplyconnected 09-29-2009 12:30 AM

Marco, your pictures are excellent. You could use them to write a manual about, "maintaining the typical Ford generator." They show how one wire comes out of the Field post, goes through the first coil, and you have pulled back the sleeve which reveals the crimped splice between both field coils. The bare wire is the 'return' wire from the last coil, which attaches to the ground post. A perfect pictorial of both field windings connected in series. It is simple, now that you can see everything. It is easy to understand why these parts are still available.

Everything looks very good so far. Be careful as you prod around those solid wires. Try not to flex them too much. It is time to take your resistance meter readings before you re-assemble.

As a side note: Ever wonder how they reverse the polarity fo a generator or starter? (My 1955 Ford had Positive Ground.)

The direction of generator shaft rotation has nothing to do with the output. (Same goes for the starter motor. If you switched your battery wires, the starter still goes in the same direction.) Polarity is a magnetic relationship between the field, and the armature. If you switch either the Field wires OR the Armature wires, the polarity will reverse because the magnetism polarity reverses.

Now that we can see inside the gen case, if the two wires on the Field and Ground posts were switched, the generator would put out Negative 12 volts and the ground would be Positive. It's that simple. - Dave

Parts can be purchased in a HOST of places. All generator repair shops sell parts, so do;
tee-bird.com
macsautoparts.com
dennis-carpenter.com
Obsolete and Classic Auto Parts

I'm sure many exclusive Thunderbird stores have generator and starter parts as well.

Dutchbird 09-29-2009 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by birdbrain (Post 37619)
Hey Fellas, it's very clear now. all parts in the generator are now identified. You have removed all the fear and doubt.

Rodney, great to read your thoughts!
In my belief all credits go to Dave on this, he's the one who just wrote the manual he referred to below.......
(Good luck on repairing your spare one, take your time and enjoy it)

Quote:

Originally Posted by simplyconnected (Post 37620)
You could use them to write a manual about, "maintaining the typical Ford generator." It is simple, now that you can see everything.

Dave, thanks for your comments and knowledge so far!
It's time to create an overview and translate it in Dutch. Although I've a little spare time the upcoming period, I will take it step-by-step with your suggestions to re-assemble it. To be continued..............

simplyconnected 09-30-2009 02:51 AM

Birdbrain, Dutchbird, and everyone who gleans knowledge from this thread,
We Ford Car restorers cannot have enough friends who freely help each other in their ‘labor of love’. The real kudos do not go to me, but to my mentors and journeymen. They offered mechanical and electrical genius. I am only a messenger on their behalf; none of these ideas are mine.

Personally and as a Ford Car restorer, I know how hard it is to work on our 50+ year-old cars here, in the USA. But, to see Dutchbird translate and apply this thread to restoring and understanding his generator in the Netherlands, humbles me greatly. We Americans can learn much from Marco's perseverance and persistence. He did all the bull-work and shared fabulous pictures with all of us. I appreciate and respect everyone who personally works on their car, even as a hobby. A part of the restorer is truly in his restoration.

Rodney, now is a perfect time to bust out that old generator and fix it. If you enjoy working on this stuff, the final result is very rewarding.

As simple as the generator is, what’s happening inside is still magical. We understand how magnetism is related to electricity, but after 200 years nobody is able to explain the science of why it happens. - Dave

birdbrain 09-30-2009 11:22 PM

It's a good say in Birdland!
 
Well fella's, I have everything back on and hooked up and the big red light came on....Oh forgot to Polarize ...puff the light went out. The lights are bright, the radio plays and the heater blows. It's good to be back in my bird. Thanks again for all your help. There is an all Ford meet here in maryland this Saturday, I just might roll in and make an appearance, At this time of the year there are alot of shows here as most of the charitable organizations are raising money for next year. I try to help as much as I can because these cars draw people like fly's. I know you guy's see what I mean as the T-bird is one of the finest design's known to man.

One of the greatest things I get to enjoy is night driving. When you drive one of these cars at night with the dash glowing...the radio playing and that 352 humming there is nothing like it! The air flowing though a true hard top and with no worries, it's to good to be true...happy motoring!

JohnG 10-01-2009 06:48 PM

A great thread and great collection of supporting posts!!

If someone likes the idea of being self sufficient in terms of keeping their charging system going, consider getting a back up generator and regulator. You can buy generators on Ebay for next to nothing. You might have to do some work to get them in working condition but it's at your own leisure; then if your field or armature shorts out (non-repairable failure) you can have the system repaired as quickly as you want. Murphy's Law says these kinds of failures only happen on the Thursday before a holiday weekend when you really wanted to use the TBird.

I bought two on Ebay for under $20 plus shipping (probably near as much...tried to forget about it). The first one needed brushes but worked. The second one had a broken + post (repairable) but had inside it a brand-new field and a good armature.

I'm kind of old-school like some of you.I would rather keep the generator intact and as Ford sold it. I have no added electrical needs save a few light bulbs so it gets the job done fine. The AM radio and dash lights on at night put me back in 1958...

What I would like to do is set up a rig where I could bench test a generator and regular to check the output. I figure a washing machine motor (1800 RPM?), appropriate size pulley and some brackets ought to do it. Anyone done such a thing?? 1800 RPM is representative of the engine speed these cars run, I believe.

Dave, you mentioned 55 Fords with positive ground... the 55 TBirds are, I believe, 6 volt positive ground. Polarity aside, how would their generator compare to ours?

thanks!
john

simplyconnected 10-01-2009 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnG (Post 37691)
Dave, you mentioned 55 Fords with positive ground... the 55 TBirds are, I believe, 6 volt positive ground. Polarity aside, how would their generator compare to ours?

Good question, John. The 6-volt gen had 6-volt field coils. 12-volt gen's are identical in current (35-40 amps) to 6-volt generators. There is no distinction between brushes, springs, posts, etc. Little birds had the exact same power demand as Ford Cars, so the electrical is no different.

The big difference is in power delivery between 6 and 12-volts. Power (in watts) equals volts times amps.

6-volts times 40-amps equals 240-watts. That's all you get with the car running at 40-mph. In perspective, that's nearly FIVE 50-watt light bulbs.
12-volts times 40-amps equals 480-watts; over NINE 50-watt light bulbs. So, for the same physical sized generator the 12-volt puts out twice as much.

I converterted my '55 Customline to 12-v, neg ground alternator, but I have used the original 6-v starter on 12-volts for years. My Y-Block cranks faster and starts easier, using 12-volts.

Hope this answers your question. - Dave

vernz 10-17-2009 07:41 PM

I followed the guidance in this string of posts and got the generator in my 60 working today! It turned out to be worn insulation on the internal field wire just after the terminal. It was grounded out on the long generator bolt. I also had a bad voltage regulator. It is so nice to see the generator light off when she's running. Now to get all the lights working. Thanks for all the information on this post.

Vern

Dutchbird 10-18-2009 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vernz (Post 38193)
I followed the guidance in this string of posts and got the generator in my 60 working today! It is so nice to see the generator light off when she's running. Thanks for all the information on this post.

Congrats on your job!!!

Very nice to read another Bird is flying as meant to!
(Mine is unfortunately still in progress, but family first.......)


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