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1948 Chevy Stylemaster 6V Regulator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chevy48, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    My Regulator is not working properly. I'm now waiting to receive my third factory-new one to try. Had two separate suppliers with the same symptom. It registers a discharge under all conditions. The original regulator does show a positive reading on my gauge, so I'm assuming the new-regulators are faulty.

    My question is: Are these regulators already adjusted. or do I need to do that myself?

    I have a shop manual, and my head is spinning. They talk in odd terms as in, "Make sure the switch on the test meter is all the way to the left". Not a problem if I had an old-test meter. But I don't! So, my efforts to learn to adjust the regulator from the shop-manual itself has been thwarted.

    What to do? What to do?

    Thanks! :confused:
  2. Panama Red
    Joined: Jan 4, 2011
    Posts: 46

    Panama Red

    You may need to polarize the generator.
  3. Here's a Delco-Remy service bulletin from 1953 that outlines the procedure for adjusting both two-unit and three-unit mechanical voltage regulators. It's really a bit of an ordeal and I only barely ever got involved with them in tech school 30 some years ago.

    A new regulator just might work mostly OK right out of the box. But to get the most out of your battery and generator it might really be worth going thru this procedure on your specific vehicle. The adjustments can be affected by operating temperatures and even whether the cover is installed or not. Might be worth trying to learn how to do it yourself or find an old-timer that can do it for you. Or maybe someone makes a solid-state replacement unit that will work with your setup.
  4. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Yes thank you Panama Red, I polarized it by momentarily shorting out the battery and generator terminals before starting.

    Now Claymart! That is exactly what I was looking for. Outstanding! Clear graphics and no specialized volt/amp meter needed. (My shop manual looks like a photo of a photo and everything is either washed out or to dark. Not to mention some odd terminology used.)

    I can't wait to chew into this bulletin!

    Thank you gentlemen!
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  5. Well you're certainly a brave soul! :rolleyes: And I'm only assuming that this 1953 info applies to the way your '48 is laid out. :D
  6. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Yes! Figure 4 is the exact layout, and physical locations of adjustments are identical.

    Well, I certainly know enough about electronics, let's say...enough to be dangerous. I have fried more than a few things in my time.:D

    If it wasn't to late in the evening, and were not having a torrential thunder storm, I would go try a few things right now. But, best to study it better, find a couple high-watt resistors (and maybe find a variable-one rated high enough) and attack it in the morning.

    Like a wild animal! :)

    If my old one is far to worn out, I believe I may be able to adjust a new one to perfection.

    Thanks again!
  7. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Tuned to perfection eh?…lol.

    Low and behold, turns out it has an 8 volt battery! Impossible to make the cutoff voltage 7.2-7.4. At first I couldn’t figure out when applying load to lower voltage (to set the limit), the engine would die!

    Through all the forest and the trees, I took a moment to ponder why my battery has 4 cells? Let’s see 6 volts divided by 4 cells = 1.5 volts per cell. Possible I suppose, but just in case, I looked up the NAPA part number and realized that I have wasted untold hours.

    I got an 8 volta! :eek:

    But! Since I actually took the time to try and learn how a regulator works, I was able to adjust it to do it’s job, but TUNED TO PERFECTION?…it is not. I could set the closing voltage to about 9.5 volts and limit the charging current so at least the battery is no longer boiling.

    The regulator doesn’t really like it, One of the adjustments has to be set so far out, and is near the limit of the screw. You must adjust carefully to avoid gauge-chatter. (It never totally went away, as mine still chatters a bit with no load - without headlight, radio, heater-fans.) until the battery is fully charged.

    Speaking of electrical accessories, I’m pretty sure I’m making them work harder. If I blow a headlight or a tail light, no biggie really, but if I fry my radio and/or heater-fans cook….I will really be bummed. However, I do beleive the starter can take it. (one of my first observations, when I bought the car was how remarkably bright the headlights were and how it cranked over so nice. My 52’ Pontiac with a 6V system was truly lame by comparison.)

    So what to do?

    I have to admit, I like the benefits of brighter lights and cranking power, so I would like to keep it. They sell some nifty 6V 3-terminal regulators that will handle up to 5 amps or so, and perhaps I can use them to limit the voltage on each electrical device separately. The radio does draw a lot of current, and it may be a good idea to use one there. Perhaps there is a market for (Shop) modifying 6 volt regulators to properly regulate 8 volts with tap-off terminals to safely hook up 6 volt devices?

    Well I could just go buy a 6V battery, or even move up to a 12V alternator?

    Eyes closed, clicking heels 3 times, “I want to try and keep it original….I want to try and keep it original…”.
  8. monkeyspunk79
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 553


    Never had problems with a good charging system and a 6 volt battery. The 8 volts are nice to crank with...but a good regulator, generator and wiring will work just fine with the OEM 6 volt job. Never left anyone I know stranded...and even if it did just push start that beast :)
  9. There's a discussion on this topic at the following link.

    As common as the upgrade to an 8 volt battery is I'm surprised that somewhere there isn't a specific regulator made for the job. But as mentioned in the CarJunky forum, I wonder how many 8 volt batteries get installed as a "band-aid" fix for a worn out starter or generator, old wiring that's not up to snuff and the lack of a good, sharp tune-up? :confused:

    Maybe the 6 volt battery gets changed in the first place because the new regulator just got installed out of the box with no further adjustments or because the starter or generator need rebuilt.

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