View Full Version : Old Ford Generators and Regulators : I'm not a rocket scientist!


Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 01:24 PM
I’ve been beating my head against the wall over my generator and regulator.

Excuse my rambling and unorganized information, but I don’t know enough about it to put it down in a logical fashion

I NEED SOME HELP!!

I’ve search the net, Fordbarn, here and the MSN tech site. I went to our local starter, alternator, generator rebuilder. These guys have a name and are known for being experts. Long story short, they didn’t seem to know…..I think they know how to fix them and make them work but not explain how/why (that or they didn’t want to share their knowledge- I know some people don’t)

Here are some “facts” that I’ve gathered from places…please add to, correct, etc…

There are two different kind of regulator circuits:
A circuit regulators the field is grounded (according to "experts" this one is for generators that motor)
B circuit regulators the field is energized (add 12v???)

I have checked all of my generators to see if they “motor.” This is where you put 12v on the generator and see if spins- generators are just motors…the ones with 3 posts (BAT, G, F) do, but I didnt check the one with two wires coming out of it. The expert said the two wire one takes a B circuit regulator.

Originally Posted by Flat Ernie
The regulator cares about positive ground, but the generator doesn't.

I was grounding the housing of my regulator to negative. I couldn’t get it to charge. As soon as I read the above statement, I grounded the regulator housing to positive and it worked. However, I’m VERY worried about something falling into the regulator and causing a short.
So, I switched to a positive ground and couldn’t get it to charge at all (probably something I’m doing).

I’ve read where the generator doesn’t care whether or not you have a positive or negative ground.

The “expert” said that some of the older regulators ground internally and some ground through the housing. He also said that most of the new regulators can have a positive or negative ground. Lastly, he claimed that once you polarize the gen and reg that EVEN the regulator doesn't care about a pos or neg ground??? I'm getting a lot of conflicting info here.....

To polarize the generator, I’ve read to momentarily use a jumper and short between A and BAT…..some say with the car running, some say turned off, and some say not to use a jumper but to take the A off the terminal and touch it to the BAT…..and some say to touch other terminals......some say to do this at the generator???? WOW!

I’m LOST!!! I really don’t even know what to ask. I’ve spent the last 4 days or so studying this and cannot seem to get anywhere. I did get it charging when using a positive ground to the regulator housing (rest of system is negative ground) but I’m scared to death I’m gonna burn the thing down…..I’m going to mount the reg under the seat and I plan on storing tools, etc. under there. I could wrap it with black tape, make some inner tube insulators but that would look like crap and would make it hard to service.

Any ideas?

Right now, I'm negative ground, a generator that has GEN, BAT and G....I have two older regulators to play with. One says negative ground on the housing, the other doesn't say anything. I have the generator G grounded to the intake (I've had it on the regulator too)......uh, i have an amp meter in between the BAT of the reg and the actual battery...

Bruce Lancaster
06-07-2007, 01:39 PM
I do not begin to understand regulators, but...some of the statements apply to multiple types, not your particular one!

Be sure you have a Ford gnerator, which with a flathead is pretty easy since nothing else bolts on, and proper matching regulator. Gen and reg get grounded together with direct wire, unlike some other flavors of regulator, and that ground wire can be improved a bit by a jumper from one end to known well grounded part. Remember, you have ground problems everywhere on newly painted stuff...
Polarize by the book and all should be happy.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 01:45 PM
I had a G wire from the gen running to the housing of the regulator.......then i took a jumper to the neg of the batter.....no go...

so, i ran the G on the generator to a ground....then, i isolated the regualator housing (so it couldn't short out) and ran a jumper from the positive side of the battery to the generator housing.....started charging when I revved it up...


gotta go the kids are hollering....:o

I do not begin to understand regulators, but...some of the statements apply to multiple types, not your particular one!

Be sure you have a Ford gnerator, which with a flathead is pretty easy since nothing else bolts on, and proper matching regulator. Gen and reg get grounded together with direct wire, unlike some other flavors of regulator, and that ground wire can be improved a bit by a jumper from one end to known well grounded part. Remember, you have ground problems everywhere on newly painted stuff...
Polarize by the book and all should be happy.

tommy
06-07-2007, 01:46 PM
http://fototime.com/%7B5316692B-81C7-4A56-9BC6-7678FA58D0AD%7D/picture.JPG

I'm not much on theory. I'm into practical application. Wire it like this to a VR for 56-64 Ford. Just ask for a VR for 57 Ford. It's always worked for me. I too ran the ground wire from the G terminal on the housing to the fuel pump stand bolt on the intake. For me the VR grounds just fine through it's mounting bolts on the firewall.

PS Take your hot wire that feeds the whole system off between the generator and the ammeter. I usually use the ammeter terminal on the generator side. That way if anything is left on like the lights or a sticky brake light switch, you will notice it in the ammeter. If the brake lights are stuck on the gauge will show a discharge. You probably don't need a fuseable link in the batt. wire for a generator but I use one any way. A quick glance at the ammeter will immediately tell you if something is left on. I turn the key off and check the ammeter before I get out. Just a habit but it has saved a few dead batteries from my stupidity.

Bruce Lancaster
06-07-2007, 01:52 PM
Polarization and testing differ between brands, Delco-Ford-Autolite. I don't do this stuff without looking it up to be sure, but I think proper Ford way is remove field wire from reg, touch it to Bat terminal for a second. The way that uses a jumper wire is for other brands grounded differently...
There is also a simple way to bypass regulator to show whether generator is capable of charging; I need to look that up too, but likely there's someone here with better memory...

chuckspeed
06-07-2007, 02:04 PM
I love you, man! I just paid $30 for a Dykes Automobile Encyclopaedia to get that diagram...and it was in your head all along!



http://fototime.com/%7B5316692B-81C7-4A56-9BC6-7678FA58D0AD%7D/picture.JPG

I'm not much on theory. I'm into practical application. Wire it like this to a VR for 56-64 Ford. Just ask for a VR for 57 Ford. It's always worked for me. I too ran the ground wire from the G terminal on the housing to the fuel pump stand bolt on the intake. For me the VR grounds just fine through it's mounting bolts on the firewall.

J'st Wandering
06-07-2007, 02:10 PM
First figure out if the problem is your generator or regulator.

For a ford system. To bypass the regulator. Unhook the generator from the regulator. Hook a wire from the field to the armature and on to the battery. Do not hook the wire to the battery up until after you get the engine running. The generator should put out it's max amperage. Stick an amp meter in line to make it simple to know if it is charging.

As far as I know, putting power to any generator will motor it. I have done this to the ford generators and it works.

I have just been through all this lately. I am guessing that you have a 12 volt system. I had a most difficult time on getting the generator to charge with the correct polarity. I finally changed the fields and it worked. Before I changed the fields, the generator motored but backwards and would discharge when I bypassed the regulator.

Bruce is correct on the polarizing. Take off the field wire at the regulator off and touch it to the battery wire on the regulator.

Neal

tommy
06-07-2007, 02:10 PM
I love you, man! I just paid $30 for a Dykes Automobile Encyclopaedia to get that diagram...and it was in your head all along!

It's been here on the Hamb (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58743) for 2 years.:D

chuckspeed
06-07-2007, 02:15 PM
It's been here on the Hamb (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58743) for 2 years.:D

Remember - I'm currently the king of stupid car tricks, so the fact I didn't find it is no surprise. If you look up dumbass in the dictionary - you see my pic....

Petejoe
06-07-2007, 02:15 PM
Youngin"
I think your problem may be the old regulators your using.
I have both mine setup with aftermarket regulators and ford generators.
The aftermarkets ground through the housing. I always attach an extra wire from the ground terminal on the regulator to the mounted bolt just to be sure. You polarize the generator on all applications. BUT>>>>> it can be done at the regulator side of the wiring.
In fact the aftermarkets tell you exactly how to polarize it.
A few bucks..... get yourself a new regulator and try it before you drive yourself and us nuts. :)

Bruce Lancaster
06-07-2007, 02:26 PM
A factoid: Something inscrutable forms on electrical contact points, new or otherwise, when they sit for a long time. I recently tried to test timing on a flathead distributor I put new points into about 1974 and was unable to use a continuity light on the thing till I polished the points.
Get a contact burnisher (not just a file) and clean up anything suspect a bit.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 02:27 PM
yeah, i used your diagram as the gospel for wiring mine....that's a good thread....

http://fototime.com/%7B5316692B-81C7-4A56-9BC6-7678FA58D0AD%7D/picture.JPG

I'm not much on theory. I'm into practical application. Wire it like this to a VR for 56-64 Ford. Just ask for a VR for 57 Ford. It's always worked for me. I too ran the ground wire from the G terminal on the housing to the fuel pump stand bolt on the intake. For me the VR grounds just fine through it's mounting bolts on the firewall.

PS Take your hot wire that feeds the whole system off between the generator and the ammeter. I usually use the ammeter terminal on the generator side. That way if anything is left on like the lights or a sticky brake light switch, you will notice it in the ammeter. If the brake lights are stuck on the gauge will show a discharge. You probably don't need a fuseable link in the batt. wire for a generator but I use one any way. A quick glance at the ammeter will immediately tell you if something is left on. I turn the key off and check the ammeter before I get out. Just a habit but it has saved a few dead batteries from my stupidity.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 02:29 PM
hahaha....don't laugh, i found your old thread about generators troubles!!:D:p

you never did do that tech hahaha...go back and look.....;)


.... get yourself a new regulator and try it before you drive yourself and us nuts. :)

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 02:32 PM
i'll give some of these other trouble shooting ideas a go.....i've got to play mr. mom here in a bit so it may be late tonight or tomorrow....

it's kind of hard to concentrate with a baby screaming in your ear...litterally:)

the "expert" is supposed to have an A circuit in tomorrow.....i'll try to go get it and giver her a try if i can't figure it out.....i just need some options to experiment with....these old regs may not be worth a crap! but they both charge if i put their housings to positive....instead of negative

edit: i peaked over his shoulder at his book and i think the # was 12095 or 12096...it may have had two 0's and the catalog had "Ace" on it...i've search all over the internet but can't find anything.....i saw where he had hand written "57 ford" on one but it wasn't the one he said i needed.....

tommy
06-07-2007, 02:38 PM
i'll give some of these other trouble shooting ideas a go.....i've got to play mr. mom here in a bit so it may be late tonight or tomorrow....

it's kind of hard to concentrate with a baby screaming in your ear...litterally:)

the "expert" is supposed to have an A circuit in tomorrow.....i'll try to go get it and giver her a try if i can't figure it out.....i just need some options to experiment with....these old regs may not be worth a crap! but they both charge if i put their housings to positive....instead of negative

The VR has to be matched to the generator. You need a 12V N ground Ford VR. Trying to theorize and use anything else is a waste of time IMHO.:D

Bruce Lancaster
06-07-2007, 02:47 PM
"A circuit"?? What do you mean by that?? Some manuals label that way, using A for Delco and B for one that might actually work for you...
Part numbers from strange suppliers: Type them in on the NAPA site. Many will come up with corresponding NAPA number, and you can then figgerout what they are. For 12, '56-63 Ford base level model, for 6 '41-55 Ford will be what you want. Other kinds generally make grounding arrangements incompatible with way generator is wired on Fords.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 02:48 PM
well, i finished fixing the "heart shaped sandwich" and remember this:

oh crap, i forgot something VERY important!

the "expert" (i keep calling him this but they are a VERY busy place and really do know their stuff) said that a 6v generator will keep up with an old hot rod/tractor because you only have light, ignition and brake lights......grandpa always told me that the 6v generators would keep up with it a "little bit"......this guy swears it will......he said to use the ford 6v generator with the 12v regulator....says they do it all the time on tractors......that's what i'm doing!



The VR has to be matched to the generator. You need a 12V N ground Ford VR. Trying to theorize and use anything else is a waste of time IMHO.:D

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 02:50 PM
i don't know, that what he told me and i wrote it down

"A" circuit and a "B" circuit....

i tried the # in the napa site but nothing....that was the first thing i did when i got home because he didn't have it in stock and i was going to run out to napa..

edit: he said my two wire generator (one with the cut out on top, removed) take the B circuit.....he didn't have it either...

i told him about my other generators that had GEN, BAT and G and he said if i could make them motor, they needed the "A" circuit regulator.....i told him i already had made them motor.....so he looked up in a book and 12095 or 12096 is what i saw him looking at...


"A circuit"?? What do you mean by that?? Some manuals label that way, using A for Delco and B for one that might actually work for you...
Part numbers from strange suppliers: Type them in on the NAPA site. Many will come up with corresponding NAPA number, and you can then figgerout what they are. For 12, '56-63 Ford base level model, for 6 '41-55 Ford will be what you want. Other kinds generally make grounding arrangements incompatible with way generator is wired on Fords.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 03:00 PM
wait, i was just rereading this....one of the regulators i'm using is an autolite......hmmmm.....don't know about the other one.....they look alike except on is black and green the other is black and red....:D:rolleyes:

Polarization and testing differ between brands, Delco-Ford-Autolite. I don't do this stuff without looking it up to be sure, but I think proper Ford way is remove field wire from reg, touch it to Bat terminal for a second. The way that uses a jumper wire is for other brands grounded differently...
There is also a simple way to bypass regulator to show whether generator is capable of charging; I need to look that up too, but likely there's someone here with better memory...

NoSurf
06-07-2007, 03:03 PM
I follwed Tommy's diagram and polorization technique on my converted 6 to 12 volt generator, and my system works fine. Even hoodless for 655 miles in the rain down to Austin TX.

That said- Tuck swears by the method he used to convert his shoebox. He got a certain year voltage regulator and used it with his 6 volt generator, to create a 12 volt system.

Flathead Youngin'
06-07-2007, 03:07 PM
this is what i'm trying to do......suggested by the guy at the repair shop...

i''ve followed tommy's thread but i can't run a 49-53 generator because i need to run a fan......guess I could weld an adapter on it...like grandpa used to ......


edit: beside, i think you cheated with an electric fan!:D :p

He got a certain year voltage regulator and used it with his 6 volt generator, to create a 12 volt system.

J'st Wandering
06-07-2007, 03:11 PM
i told him about my other generators that had GEN, BAT and G and he said if i could make them motor, they needed the "A" circuit regulator.....i told him i already had made them motor.....so he looked up in a book and 12095 or 12096 is what i saw him looking at...

Really, I am not B.S. you, a ford generator will motor. I did it to two different generators a week ago. They were both ford. Your "expert" is full of it. I am under the assumption that when you are talking about A and B circuits is where A circuit is a gounded field and B is the ford style.

I put a 12 volt field on a 6 volt generator and it worked for me. I have heard from others that a 6 volt generator will work on a 12 volt system but have never done it.

Forget about using your expert and read over the information posted on this thread and you will get it working.

Neal

side_valve
06-07-2007, 03:14 PM
I had a lot of trouble with my 12-volt generator and regulator until an old timer told me, “Make sure your regulator is isolated – meaning it’s not touching metal where ever you mount it.” That’s what the LRF support is for - come with the regulator. (LRF = little rubber feet)

J'st Wandering
06-07-2007, 03:18 PM
this is what i'm trying to do......suggested by the guy at the repair shop...

i''ve followed tommy's thread but i can't run a 49-53 generator because i need to run a fan......guess I could weld an adapter on it...like grandpa used to ......


edit: beside, i think you cheated with an electric fan!:D :p

That is why I used the 6 volt generator and only changed the fields to 12 volt. Go find a 12 volt ford generator and take the outside housing with the fields in it and put that onto the 6 volt generator. Nothing to adapt. But out of curosity, I would go with the 6 volt generator and see how long it will last. I probably switched to the 12 volt fields for nothing.

Neal

CB_Chief
06-07-2007, 03:22 PM
Very early in your post you mentioned something most people haven't seen. A starter/generator. These were used quite often on older small tractors and lawn mowers. I had a lawn tractor that had one of these, it charged the battery while the engine was running and acted as a starter turning the engine over when you engaged the start circuit via the key. It had a hole in the case for an alignment pin and looked just like the one on my flathead.

I went nuts looking for the starter until I traced out the wiring. It worked good on the tractor but ican't see one turning over a car engine. For all I know all generators may be able to do this.

Bruce Lancaster
06-07-2007, 03:28 PM
Early Dodges, I think circal early twenties, used a belt drive starter/generator. It was HUGE, and ran with a 12 volt system usung two 6-V batteries, so had tremendous reserve. An old, old geezer told me that when he was a kid, he could crawl out his window at night and go for a highly unauthorized run in his Father's Dodge...he motored out and back in silently on the gigantic starter, and only ran the engine when he was out of earshot of his sleeping parents.

DrDano
06-07-2007, 05:49 PM
That is why I used the 6 volt generator and only changed the fields to 12 volt. Go find a 12 volt ford generator and take the outside housing with the fields in it and put that onto the 6 volt generator. Nothing to adapt. But out of curosity, I would go with the 6 volt generator and see how long it will last. I probably switched to the 12 volt fields for nothing.

Neal

Running a 6v generator with a 12v regulator is a BAD idea, you'll overpower the armature to where it runs so hot it will desolder the windings and then you're looking at a pretty costly rebuild.

You can use the 6v armature and just upgrade to 12v fields to achieve roughly 80-90% of the full potential output of the generator. In most cases this is acceptable because most people upgrade to fire modern 12v electrics and have the better 12v lights...not to mention smaller wiring needed for 12v.

The "cheapest" way to convert it over is to go to a boneyard and find a late 50's - early 60's generator and rob the 12v fields out of it. Popping the case open and swapping them is easy enough, though I'd suggest an impact driver to loosen the field retaining shoe bolts.

MilesM
06-07-2007, 06:06 PM
No expert but I was told a B regulator had to go with a B generator and a A must go with an A type.

I just had a early euro Ford generator (small one) rebuilt and the old guy said it was a B type and I needed a Lucus B type regulator which he set me up with leaving me to believe that a normal US flathead type generator was a A type. These two types seem to not be voltage specific.

Flat Ernie
06-07-2007, 10:54 PM
A circuits have one side of the field tied to the Armature internally & the other end goes to the VR. The voltage regulator will have a strap between the Field & Arm. Easy to identify with the cover off.

B circuits, which the early Ford is, have the field grounded on one side (generator case on early single-post generators, extra wire back to VR on later two-post generators) & the regulated end of the field goes to the FLD terminal on the VR. Other than the tiny bleeder resistor, there should be no contact between the Arm & Field internally to the VR.

You have to match the VR to the generator. A circuit VR to A circuit generator & B to B.

Ford generators DO motor if you put 12V to the ARM terminal & ground the case. Don't do this long, but it will verify all is working properly with the brushes & commutator.

For the conversion - there are a couple ways to do this. Yes, you can use the 6V field coils if they ohm out below about 4 ohms. If they're higher than that & you pull max current through them at 12V, you MIGHT lose some solder from the commutator & it MIGHT destroy your armature. But I've converted many from 6V to 12V simply by using a 12V VR - use the lower rated VR (see below).

You can swap in 12V field coils or the entire 12V case in most instances. Some of the later (61-64) 12V generators have longer cases & the fields are too big, but the majority will bolt right in.

I used NOS '56 field coils in my recent conversion on my '40 & a '56-64 35A voltage regulator. The 12V VRs come in 35A & 45A - I wouldn't run a 45A regulator on a 6V armature, but that's just me. If you decide to run 6V fields & they're right at 4 ohms or higher, I definitely wouldn't run a 45A regulator.

Wire it per the diagram above & you should be good to go.

Generator & VR don't care about polarity - hook up your battery how you want it (neg ground I assume) & disconnect the FLD terminal on the VR & touch it to the BAT terminal - you should see a small spark - don't hold it longer than a second, maybe two - you can burn fields with too much juice. Hook it back up & you should be G-T-G.

Bruce Lancaster
06-08-2007, 08:43 AM
But--your A-B decision has to be figgered out, since I now gather you are using a 3-brush gen never made for regulator, and regulating it...somewhere around here I have basic circuit diagrams for both flavors. Sounds like your parts guy already looked it over and figured out a way to wire it as an A type??

Flathead Youngin'
06-08-2007, 09:13 AM
good, good stuff!!!! i'll get on this in about 2 hours....

like bruce said, i'll figure out what all i'm dealing with:
-I'll open my regulators to determine if they have a strap between F and A (GEN??) ......the parts guy mentioned this to me about a resistor or something between the two contacts.....so maybe he wasn't too far off....
-i have an old style generator that HAD a cut-out on top, however, those contacts were removed and two wires were run down into the case- one to the A and one to the F.......no ground...i assume it grounds through the case
-I have about 3-4 of the later style generators (not 8ba, earlier), they have a lug at the rear (A), and two lugs on the side (F) and (G)......I think i should stick with these.....seems to be more "normal"

this is good info, i think i'm on the right track......

A circuits have one side of the field tied to the Armature internally & the other end goes to the VR. The voltage regulator will have a strap between the Field & Arm. Easy to identify with the cover off.

B circuits, which the early Ford is, have the field grounded on one side (generator case on early single-post generators, extra wire back to VR on later two-post generators) & the regulated end of the field goes to the FLD terminal on the VR. Other than the tiny bleeder resistor, there should be no contact between the Arm & Field internally to the VR.

You have to match the VR to the generator. A circuit VR to A circuit generator & B to B.

Ford generators DO motor if you put 12V to the ARM terminal & ground the case. Don't do this long, but it will verify all is working properly with the brushes & commutator.

For the conversion - there are a couple ways to do this. Yes, you can use the 6V field coils if they ohm out below about 4 ohms. If they're higher than that & you pull max current through them at 12V, you MIGHT lose some solder from the commutator & it MIGHT destroy your armature. But I've converted many from 6V to 12V simply by using a 12V VR - use the lower rated VR (see below).

You can swap in 12V field coils or the entire 12V case in most instances. Some of the later (61-64) 12V generators have longer cases & the fields are too big, but the majority will bolt right in.

I used NOS '56 field coils in my recent conversion on my '40 & a '56-64 35A voltage regulator. The 12V VRs come in 35A & 45A - I wouldn't run a 45A regulator on a 6V armature, but that's just me. If you decide to run 6V fields & they're right at 4 ohms or higher, I definitely wouldn't run a 45A regulator.

Wire it per the diagram above & you should be good to go.

Generator & VR don't care about polarity - hook up your battery how you want it (neg ground I assume) & disconnect the FLD terminal on the VR & touch it to the BAT terminal - you should see a small spark - don't hold it longer than a second, maybe two - you can burn fields with too much juice. Hook it back up & you should be G-T-G.

Flathead Youngin'
06-08-2007, 09:24 AM
looked up a 57 ford regulator on napa and found this # MPEVR412SB my local napa doesn't have it but will have it tomorrow for $21....it can't hurt to have an extra so i told them to get it for me....i asked them to look up other ford 56-64 and they were all coming up the same #



in the mean time, i'll play around with what i've got....

Bruce Lancaster
06-08-2007, 09:32 AM
Normal...hah...generators are jus plain confusing.
Roughly 1941-62 is normal, 3 terminals, matches known regulators...
'38-40 2 brushers had several variants, used at least 2 odd regulators...
The ones for 2 brush plus fan were based on 78 3 brush basic parts, changes not yet figured out...
I am chronically stuck in the middle of a heap consisting of right pulleys for 2 brush with fan (several exist...), '46-48 type case, 12V 1956 armature and fields...head hurts.
An easy way out of the jungle is any '33-38 3 brusher with one of several aftermarkey add-on regulators, turning them into low amp regulated gens with no serious mods...some regs come in 12V even, but don't put out much amperage.
Consider kerosene lights and magnet; the hand crank is right in your toolkit.

Flathead Youngin'
06-11-2007, 09:39 AM
i've been running a 3 post 6v generator, 12v regulator (still has the reg housing to positive, i just insulated it temporarily) and an optima red top......has been keeping up for 3 days.....only using brake lights and ignition right now....no headlights.....

keep ya'll updated!

DrDano
06-11-2007, 09:56 AM
i've been running a 3 post 6v generator, 12v regulator (still has the reg housing to positive, i just insulated it temporarily) and an optima red top......has been keeping up for 3 days.....only using brake lights and ignition right now....now headlights.....

keep ya'll updated!


I'm interested to see how this turns out, do keep us posted.

Flathead Youngin'
06-12-2007, 03:36 PM
ok (Petjoe!) i got my new regulator today.....i haven't had a chance to install it yet, though.....it's from a 57 ford, 12v and says neg or pos ground to the housing........

i'll keep you all posted as i drive it more......drove it for over 2 hours yesterday and it seemed to keep up.......the red top REALLY spins the the flatty 6v starter HARD/FAST.......much harder than the other 12v batt i had and it was pretty big....

This is the directions on the regulator

Polarize the generator:
Attach leads to the "A" and "B" terminals. DO NOT ATTACH THE "F" LEAD TO THE "F" TERMINAL. Momentarily touch the "F" lead to the "B" terminal. Then attach the "F" lead to the "F" terminal. (Read enclosed instructions)

The instructions say

Important Notice: Test the battery to verify that it is fully charged before installing the new regulator. An undercharged battery can cause a good regulator to appear defective.

- Disconnect negative batery cable.
- Remove wires from terminals noting the location of each wire.
- Remove old regulator by removing mounting screws.
- Install new regulator and reinstall mounting screws
-Re-attach wires to the same terminals as original unit.
-Reconnect negative battery cable.

Polarize Regulator- Caution: Follow these instructions exactly.
- Disconnect the wire at the regulator terminal marked FLD
-Momentairly (no llonger than 2 seconds) tough the wire to the BAT terminal. There may be a brief spark: this is normal
-Start vehicle and check chargin system for proper operation

Bruce Lancaster
06-12-2007, 03:41 PM
I smell smoke...

Flathead Youngin'
06-12-2007, 03:54 PM
QUICK reach down between the seat and turn the disconnect..........hahah, that's what I've been telling people when i take them for a ride!:eek::D

I smell smoke...

Petejoe
06-12-2007, 04:10 PM
I smell smoke...

Bruce....you crack me up.
Youngin,
Thats the exact regulator I buy for mine. Be sure to paint it black!
That holds the smoke inside.
I had a run of bad regulators one time. Other than that once I found a good one, I have run them for lots of miles.
Nice thing about them... they can be found at any parts store in the US.

DrDano
06-12-2007, 05:09 PM
I smell smoke...

Would that be the field smoldering the windings together or the armature de-soldering itself? :eek: :D

Flat Ernie
06-12-2007, 07:21 PM
Bruce,

Didn't you post some 12V conversion destructions for Model-A starters about re-wiring the fields & brushes or something on one of the banger posts?

I'm sorely tempted to get an extra starter & try it on a V8 starter - they aren't that different (if at all) internally....

Might help slow it down & keep from hitting so hard. I've got a barrel starter drive & like it so far. But it still hits hard...

Flathead Youngin'
06-12-2007, 07:27 PM
Ok, just hooked the new regulator up and used negative ground (reg housing)......SHE WORKS!

I turned right around and hooked the old regulator back up, using negative ground and following the new regulators directions (it says negative ground right on it) and it still didn't work.......either it's bad or it's so old that it possibly used a positive ground or something (even though I tried that too) Ironically, I have another "old" regulator and it does this exact thing.

The thing I noticed about the new regulator vs. the old one, is that when idling, both of them show 0 amps. Ok that's right. On the new one, when I rev it up slowly, the amp gauge slowly comes up with the rpms. On the old one, the amp gauge didn't show any charge until you revved it up, and pretty hard....and THEN it went straight to about 32 amps....when i let off, it went right back to 0....like it was on or off.......

now, for the long haul test and using headlights for a long period of time.....this test will take a while because we are getting ready to go on vacation....

i'll update once i feel comfortable that it can keep up when using headlights, taillights, etc, all at once...

Petejoe
06-13-2007, 06:08 AM
Great!
Glad you didnt have to fill the trunk with batteries to get to the Cinematic.

tommy
06-13-2007, 06:21 AM
Ok, just hooked the new regulator up and used negative ground (reg housing)......SHE WORKS!

I turned right around and hooked the old regulator back up, using negative ground and following the new regulators directions (it says negative ground right on it) and it still didn't work.......either it's bad or it's so old that it possibly used a positive ground or something (even though I tried that too) Ironically, I have another "old" regulator and it does this exact thing.

The thing I noticed about the new regulator vs. the old one, is that when idling, both of them show 0 amps. Ok that's right. On the new one, when I rev it up slowly, the amp gauge slowly comes up with the rpms. On the old one, the amp gauge didn't show any charge until you revved it up, and pretty hard....and THEN it went straight to about 32 amps....when i let off, it went right back to 0....like it was on or off.......

now, for the long haul test and using headlights for a long period of time.....this test will take a while because we are getting ready to go on vacation....

i'll update once i feel comfortable that it can keep up when using headlights, taillights, etc, all at once...

Forgive this old man but can you tell me exactly what you ended up with...that works. There were a lot of side issues that had me scratching my head. What generator did you end up with? 2 brush, 3 brush? Is it wired like my ugly sketch? Did you keep those extra wires you were running?

I'm happy that you got it working but I had a hard time following it. I'm just too old maybe.

Flathead Youngin'
06-13-2007, 07:11 AM
Yeah, I was wondering if it got lost in the translation too...

I'm using a 3 post ford generator (40 and up??), 12v regulator for a 57 Ford Thunderbird (according to NAPA, same for trucks etc.), and a red top Optima (not that this has anything to do with it).......

Basically, I'm just using a 12v batt and a 12v regulator on a 6v system.....

Yes, wired like your diagram......regulator housing grounded to negative (with the old regulators, I could only get it to work if I run the regulator housing to positive)

Forgive this old man but can you tell me exactly what you ended up with...that works. There were a lot of side issues that had me scratching my head. What generator did you end up with? 2 brush, 3 brush? Is it wired like my ugly sketch? Did you keep those extra wires you were running?

I'm happy that you got it working but I had a hard time following it. I'm just too old maybe.

Bruce Lancaster
06-13-2007, 08:08 AM
Here are some Model A bits, stolen from the MAFCA site:

What does it involve to change my 6V system to a 12V system?

Answer:
You'll need an external resistor for your 6V coil, 12V battery, 12V alternator, 12 volt filament bulbs, 1 ohm resistor for your horn. Remember you are changing from 6V positive ground to 12V negative ground so be sure and switch the amp meter wires. Your starter motor will be wired for 6V and will work on 12V, BUT you run the risk of breaking your starter Bendix bolts. No problem just have a spare set....Years ago I did mine and went for 2 years before breaking one...

It would be best to convert the starter to 12V...You can do it yourself or have a local shop do it... Just remember it will take two Model A starter motors to make the change. The original motors have a right and left hand field connect in parallel. You must remove the fields from BOTH starter motors and reassemble with one motor having two left field and the other having the two right fields...both sets connected in series. Or just buy the 12V fields from the parts dealer. -- Lyle Meek, 1997 Technical Director

Question:
I would like to know how to rewire a Model A Sparton Horn from 6 volt to 12 volt. What size wire? Number of turns?

Answer:
To change the Model A horn from 6 volts to 12 volts, you must rewind the two field coils. Leave the armature as it is. First disassemble the horn to remove the brushes and the armature. Unsolder the two wires at the connector clip ( one from each field coil.) Note the direction of winding on the coils. The two coils are wound in opposite directions. The rule of thumb is that when you double the voltage, you use 1/2 the wire size and double the turns. So going from 6v to 12v use 24 gauge wire (original wire is 20 gauge, 1/2 that size is 23 gauge, but almost impossible to find 23 gauge so I have always used 24 gauge readily available at Radio Shack). Six volt coils have 45 turns and I have been using 100 turns with 24 gauge wire with great success. Be sure to use coated wire, normally used to wind RF radio coils or speaker coils. After winding the horn coils I usually brush a coat of light varnish to help insulate. The windings do not need to be real tight or in neat rows. In fact I found that if I wrapped just tight enough to form the wire around the core, and laid about 6 or 7 turns per layer, without being too careful how straight each wind was, I got better results on horn operation. In looking at a lot of original horns, some were manufactured with very precise and straight windings and some were wound very haphazardly.

Other odd stuff for the olde 3 brush generators: Several sources offer regulators that attach with simple wiring changes. Some are housed in the cut-out can, some are in a block of solid state mysteries affixed to the strap that covers the brush area. Some are made to convert the things to a low amp 12-V setup.
Brattons offers rather inexpensive windings for generator and the starter conversion windings mentioned above.
Generators are very adaptable apparently--I have a 1930's book on converting a variety of old Ford and Dodge generators for other purposes, including 110 volt use and a 32 volt system I think was for farms with a battery electric system...
The first ford fully regulated generators in 1938-39 seem to have used the model 78 three brush windings and armatures with matching pulley and stuff to run the fan...I assume field wires just have to be segregated and then they can be wired as needed A-B by connecting as needed to ground and regulator??

Bruce Lancaster
06-13-2007, 08:12 AM
Look around here on this site:

http://www.funprojects.com/search.cfm?querystr=1934&querytype=year

And here on Vince's wonderful Model B site:

http://idisk.mac.com/forever4/Public/pages/generator.htm

Bruce Lancaster
06-13-2007, 08:14 AM
Originally Posted by Bruce Lancaster
I smell smoke...

Would that be the field smoldering the windings together or the armature de-soldering itself?
__________________

The short answer would be "Yes"...but the bacon-like quality to the smoke comes from your face, now covered with bits of molten solder as you peered into the smoking slot on the side of the spinning generator...

Flat Ernie
06-13-2007, 11:43 AM
Thanks, Bruce! It's saved now...

tommy
06-13-2007, 11:52 AM
Yeah, I was wondering if it got lost in the translation too...

I'm using a 3 post ford generator (40 and up??), 12v regulator for a 57 Ford Thunderbird (according to NAPA, same for trucks etc.), and a red top Optima (not that this has anything to do with it).......

Basically, I'm just using a 12v batt and a 12v regulator on a 6v system.....

Yes, wired like your diagram......regulator housing grounded to negative (with the old regulators, I could only get it to work if I run the regulator housing to positive)

OK so if I've got this right you are using a 6V generator that still has it's 6V field windings to charge what is now a 12V system. (the only thing 6V is the generator) It will be interesting to see if your way will supply enough amps for the headlights. interesting.

Flathead Youngin'
06-13-2007, 11:55 AM
oops, yeah! 6v generator.....stock, no exchange of fields...

if this'll work, that's a BIG headache out of the way for MANY traditional hot rodders.....

OK so if I've got this right you are using a 6V generator that still has it's 6V field windings to charge what is now a 12V system. (the only thing 6V is the generator) It will be interesting to see if your way will supply enough amps for the headlights. interesting.

tommy
06-13-2007, 12:08 PM
oops, yeah! 6v generator.....stock, no exchange of fields...

if this'll work, that's a BIG headache out of the way for MANY traditional hot rodders.....


Remove 2 bolts, slide end plate and 6V housing off, replace 6V housing with a 12V housing, reinstall 6V end plate and 2 bolts....

That's a big headache? I'm not trying to be an ass. It just seems so simple to me. I hope it works for you.

DrDano
06-13-2007, 12:11 PM
The short answer would be "Yes"...but the bacon-like quality to the smoke comes from your face, now covered with bits of molten solder as you peered into the smoking slot on the side of the spinning generator...

Ha ha ha! :D

Reminds me of a question I got when a friend stopped by the shop before we redid his generator -- "Do all old Ford generators kinda smoke and smell funny?" :rolleyes:

Flathead Youngin'
06-24-2007, 09:49 PM
not taken that way....just got back and didn't see this until now...

i thought (see what happens when i do that!) that your conversion only worked on the later 8ba style cases......and that to use the older 3 post case required a rare sheave (that accepts the fan blade and something about tapered vs. threaded sheaves).....

i could be way off here and misunderstood ALL the info I found......

i kept posting ?'s about this and all i ever got from anyone on here and the barn is that your conversion works but try putting a fan on it?? that's where the funky/rare sheave comes in....

grandpa said he used to weld a pulley to the 8ba style stock generator pulley and would cut out the center so he could remove it....this was when he used, say, an 8ba in a 34 ford.....(still 6v though but your conversion should be an easy 12v fix for this too)

let's figure this out...i don't have any late model generators to experiment on....


edit: like i said, i don't have one to experiment with but i don't see why your way won't work on the older 3 post generators...most of the housings are the same (at least this is some of the stuff i read too).....and the sheave thing wouldn't be a problem because i would be using the armature from the 3 post older style.....

ok, this seems too simple but for some reason i've been down this school of thought and can't recall why they said it wouldn't work...

this is where it is good to have stuff to experiment with.....mmmmm that means i get to look for more parts....

Remove 2 bolts, slide end plate and 6V housing off, replace 6V housing with a 12V housing, reinstall 6V end plate and 2 bolts....

That's a big headache? I'm not trying to be an ass. It just seems so simple to me. I hope it works for you.

Flathead Youngin'
07-26-2007, 11:37 AM
Well, I've put about 2k miles on the roadster and I'd guess 500 of them was with the headlights on. So, I'd feel pretty safe in saying that it works......

6v generator
12v regulator
12v battery
red top optima

....seems to keep up great!

chuckspeed
07-26-2007, 12:10 PM
I read this thread a while back and ran into similar probs myself...

turns out the resistor in the field circuit has a BIIG impact on the output of the gennie. I'd bought a swap meet voltage reg and an NOS Ford gennie... no charge when wired and hooked up.

hauled over the chief electrical engineer from one of the larger companies here in detroit to troubleshoot the system...he was excited to work on the car, simply because he'd never troubleshot a system like this B4!

anyway - the system would *barely* charge above 2500 RPM, and sat firmly at zero prior to that. Turns out the gennie was good - and so was the voltage regulator - along with the wiring!

So what gave?

Well...

The gennie is externally excited via the transmission of current thru the field coils. More field current = more output, more or less. The output is regulated by a resistor in the field circuit - looks like a heater coil outta a midget toaster on the backside of the voltage reg. There's a number stamped on the resistor - that corresponds to the resistance, in ohms, of the resistor. Lotsa resistance = minimal current flow = low output from the gennie.

In my case, the field resistor was stamped '29'. I went to my chrysler service manual, and the similarly sized 6V gennie on my '55 used a resistor stamped '12' - less than half of the resistance.

Hmm...

Went to the auto parts store, and bought a voltage reg for a '51 Ford. Flipped it over, and the field resistor was stamped '14'.

AHA!

installed the voltage reg, fired it up, and she charged like a teenager with a credit card.

DrDano
07-26-2007, 12:35 PM
Chuckspeed, isn't the 51 Ford regulator 6v? Or did you buy a 12v unit?

chuckspeed
07-26-2007, 02:10 PM
My whole system is 6v...

having said that, I'm pretty sure (according to my engineer friend) there's not much wrong with runnin' it the way youngin' has - except that the output (in amps) would be down relative to a 12V field coil.

DrDano
07-26-2007, 02:16 PM
Ok, I'm seeing what you did now. An old trick with some of the rebuilders in the past was to put the resistor inside the genny case, probably because this was long before they had much of a selection of regulators with the different resistors built in. Keep us posted on how it performs, I'm interested to see if any issues pop up.

Flat Ernie
07-26-2007, 07:10 PM
having said that, I'm pretty sure (according to my engineer friend) there's not much wrong with runnin' it the way youngin' has - except that the output (in amps) would be down relative to a 12V field coil.

Nope - nothing wrong with it at all. They put out about 85% of the 6V rating w/o overheating. So a 35A 6V generator will put out about 30A. They will put out more, but you run the risk of damaging the armature...