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Corvair charging system questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BAILEIGH INC, May 18, 2010.

  1. BAILEIGH INC
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,411

    BAILEIGH INC
    Alliance Vendor

    AHHHHH! :confused:

    Shane from Baileigh needs your help....again. :eek:

    Check this out.....

    1960 Corvair, good battery, runs great, no issues except slung belts every now and then. This morning, get in, turn key...no dice. I jumped it and went down to Auto Zone to see what was going on.

    The kid there tested it with a meter while it was running and said:

    battery is good 12.25 volts
    Generator voltage is good at 13.3
    Amps are low, less than 30

    I don't think he knew too much about my car.

    What is the difference between a generator and an alternator? Is there a voltage regulator that could be bad?

    Any help guys would be cool. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  2. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,853

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    That's all you get with that generator is 30 amps. When power requirement went above 40 amps that's when alternators made the scene. Have the battery load tested out of the car. If good check for a parasitic draw that is running your battery down over night and double check all terminals grounds etc. The running readings you got are right in the ballpark.
     
  3. BAILEIGH INC
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,411

    BAILEIGH INC
    Alliance Vendor


    parasitic draw = short?
     
  4. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 1,078

    flatford39
    Member

    John is right on. You need to look for a shorted wire. The mechanical components are delivering as designed.
     
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  5. BAILEIGH INC
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,411

    BAILEIGH INC
    Alliance Vendor

    Where / how do I look for a short?
     
  6. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,853

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Not nesscessarly a short but something like a trunk light that doesn't shut off etc. Disconect one battery cable and hook up a test light between the batt terminal and cable. If no draws the light will not light. A battery can have a internal problem and go dead over night also. That's why I sugested a load test out of the car ,internal problems normaly show up that way.
     
  7. BAILEIGH INC
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,411

    BAILEIGH INC
    Alliance Vendor


    Thanks John! Shoot me a PM with your address and I will hook you up with a Baileigh hat and some stickers. :D
     
  8. CShroom
    Joined: Mar 25, 2009
    Posts: 127

    CShroom
    Member

    Shane,

    Not sure what killed the battery but a couple thoughts. I have killed batteries overnight doing all sorts of things.

    The AM in mine was direct wired, if you still have the stock one, make sure it is turned off and not turned all the way down.

    Courtesy light - maybe the door wasn't shut all the way?

    Running lights

    Glove box light - Mine used to give me all sorts of grief like that. I finally yanked the bulb.

    It may not be anything actually wrong, instead something simple.

    There is a regulator.. It is on the firewall side of the engine compartment, hanging just below the lip of the deck lid. Just look up from where you are. It's a black box hanging free with two bolts holding it to the bracket.

    I know you have a 60, but any way you can ditch that metal fan and convert it to magnesium? It is a bit lighter weight and may help with the belt issues. You will have to pick up lower shrouds and such, but it isn't impossible to do.
     
  9. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 371

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Shane, I know you are spinning that gen. the right direction if it is charging, but something don't look right to me. The fan behind the pulley looks to be made to turn cw looking at it from the front like most cars, but I was thinking the generator on the Corvair turned the opposite direction from conventional vehicles. Could be the right gen. with the wrong fan.I could be wrong, it has been about 40 yrs. since I worked on one of those.
     
  10. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,735

    tommy
    Member

    If the battery checks out on a load test, don't over look the simple stuff. Check and clean the battery cable ends and terminals both at the battery and at the other ends for a clean, shiny and tight connection. It may not fix the problem but it might and it's just good maintenance that doesn't get done anymore. I've seen too many wild goose chases turn out to be dirty battery terminals.

    Back when these cars were new and tune ups were recommended every 10,000 miles this service was included in a good tune up at a quality shop. Side post batteries have reduced but not eliminated the problem.

    I learned the hard way replacing a perfectly good starter motor only to find out it was dirty battery cable ends.

    A battery post cleaning tool is cheap and works a lot easier than a pen knife and a wire brush.

    If you are checking for a draw with a test light remember to close the doors. The courtesy/dome light will show a draw with a door open.
     
  11. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,174

    Hellfish
    Member

    The pulleys look right.

    Is your voltage regulator working properly?

    If you keep throwing belts then you have a problem somewhere. Corvair belts are supposed to be kinda loose (way looser than a water pumper) and they tighten as they heat up. So, you may be tossing belts because your belt is too tight. Also, once you toss a belt, you'll be more likely to do it again as it can affect the rubber. Clark's sells the proper belt, but you can get a good one from NAPA (can't remember the brand though)

    You mentioned an alternator. You can convert to an alternator, but it requires changing the oil fill/filter/generator-mount bracket, getting a Corvair alternator (or at least a Corvair alternator cooling fan) from a 65-69 Corvair, a 65-69 Corvair voltage regulator (or an internally regulated alternator), and changing some wiring.

    If you need to replace your generator, I have good spares, and I have a good voltage regulator.
     

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