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Technical Making your Powergen more like a generator.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by JT1930, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    Sometimes you just need to put a few modern things on the old hotrod. I like to keep everything as traditional as I can but when a generator can’t keep up with brighter headlight bulbs, small fuel pump, electronic ignition and a couple of gauges it gets tiring hooking up the trickle charger every night you take your ride out.

    Not sure if anyone has done or tried this yet but here’s my take on the Flathead Powergen. I already had an early 60s 12v Ford generator from Napa on the car. I think it’s about 25amps running full out. Bolted my front bracket mount to it and bored the fan generator pulley to fit. Now we’re at this point and spent the coin for the Powergen. Looking at it, it was ok in my eyes but needed some details to make it look not so powergen’y. Started by drilling two holes for dummy studs as a Field and Ground. The rear cover got the brand name shaved off also. I had the offy pulley but when I set it up it just looked stupid with the fan behind it. For giggles I popped my original fan mount pulley off the generator to see if it fit. Luckily the shafts are the same size and I put a few spacers behind it and tightened the nut.

    I kept my external regulator on my firewall but just gutted it and put a thick wire inside bridging ARM and BAT terminals.

    Now I know the late 30s pulley is a bit larger than the original that came on the Powergen but I think it will be plenty to keep the battery charged up cruising at night.

    To the untrained eye and folks walking by at a show or where ever, you’d think it’s just another generator. 94DE772C-E16C-489A-B2AF-43B3D2519D68.png
    FAC11466-BF2C-4534-B55C-57E3273D06CF.png 9F8EB222-569F-4F60-8F32-0EA61EE3EE87.png 38345A85-35B6-492F-B1C3-2F6997895E0C.jpeg
    034A2C27-5E31-43B6-9804-0A7AB6326439.jpeg 0B0DAA94-F31F-46E8-B5CF-143C622D56EE.jpeg 7B8A9082-6690-45F7-8783-6932852910FE.jpeg DD751DC1-9AD2-4506-B82B-66D74EC014C2.jpeg
  2. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 321

    Norris McCarty

    Looks good.....great idea
    Stogy and JT1930 like this.
  3. N49racer
    Joined: Aug 26, 2012
    Posts: 40


    don't forget the oil lube fitting on the back for the bearing
    rally1, Jet96, Stogy and 3 others like this.
  4. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @N49racer good idea. I could do that if I ever take it off again. Haha
    Stogy and Baron like this.

  5. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,666


    I love good looking fake parts.
  6. Like in implants? :D
    neatoldclassics, chiro, Jet96 and 6 others like this.
  7. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @Johnny Gee i love implants! When done nicely ! Ahhaha
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
    Illustrious Hector likes this.
  8. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 502


    To most untrained eyes at a show it won't matter. But to people like us here, that's the kind of details that really count (I find there aren't people like here at shows in my area). I find myself sweating the details on my build because I am trying to stay within 1935 and older for the most part----or at least make it look that way. It's hard, but it'll be worth it.

    Good job on it, it looks great!.
    weps, loudbang and JT1930 like this.
  9. Illustrious Hector
    Joined: Jun 15, 2020
    Posts: 134

    Illustrious Hector
    from Alberta

    Until N49racer mentioned the lube fitting, I was fooled, ...not that it takes much. Good job, it looks right at home.
  10. Good job! Might have to borrow that.

    Heard that PG is coming out with a alt/gen with a stock looking cutout on top.
    JT1930 likes this.
  11. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @hotrodA well the powergen for the 4 banger has a cutout on top of it already. But yes you could just get a cutout and bolt it on.
  12. Nice job ! Thanks for sharing !
    JT1930 likes this.
  13. I used a 28 Model A Powerhouse Gen and put a Kabota PMG inside. Puts out 25 amps and that is enough for my needs.Gives me room for two carbs on my early Roof intake.
    Car runs like a champ! DSCN0191.JPG DSCN0192.JPG DSCN0193.JPG
  14. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @27TV8 very nice. I needed more than 25 amps. When driving at night I was watching the volt gauge drop slowly. Day time driving with lights off it was fine though. My headlights I have wired with low and high beam on at the same time so I can see but aren’t blinding people since the headlights are low to the ground.
    loudbang likes this.
  15. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,778

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I love your idea.
    I guess I am lucky but my flathead pickup is running an actual 60’s Ford 12 volt generator and I have an MSD with a fuel pump and an electric fan and sealed beam lights.
    It’s able to keep up with no issues.
  16. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,783


    Cool tech and thanks for sharing @JT1930 does it run hot? I would love to see @27TV8 tech or more info on the powergen conversion with the tractor alt.
    loudbang and JT1930 like this.
  17. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @Petejoe different patty’s could be pulling different amps. That’s good you could get away with the 60s generator. I wish that was the case for me. Now you got me thinking maybe my external regulator wasn’t staying connected long enough. Too late for that now. Haha

    @continentaljohn been running cool but it is also cool in my area. Around 60-70*
    loudbang and Petejoe like this.
  18. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,041

    from KCMO

    loudbang likes this.
  19. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,363

    from Ioway

    I was going to say a generator in good nic has no problem with halogens and electronic ignition. But I understand trying getting away from them.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,165

    Automotive Stud

    Not to discount what you did here, but if someone is going to spend the coin on a powergen but wants a more authentic look, then just buy a Whitney. They are much more authentic looking, they even use the original front and rear plates.
    ottoman, loudbang and chiro like this.
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,931

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    (.)(.) :D
    Since I’ve never had the opportunity to try, how do they handle in comparison to the un modified versions ? :D:D
    loudbang, Jet96 and JT1930 like this.
  22. ^^^^^ Needs some space bar.
  23. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @Blue One if the coin was spent they handle and feel quite well !!! Hahaha

    @Automotive Stud this is the first I’ve heard about that company mentioned but still only 40amps max they are producing. I’d rather have the 90amp powergen just in case I put more electronics on. All my gauges are electric also with lights for night. But thanks for the site info.
  24. y'sguy
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 402

    from Tulsa, OK

    Nice clean attention to detail. I would not have known, and that's pretty much what you want. My old car has many non- traditional things on it. But, I try within reason to keep it at least so it looks like it came that way. I'm the only one I have to please, so it's workin' out perfectly.
    loudbang, Budget36 and JT1930 like this.
  25. @Ryan , you do realize a few of us HAMBers sent Eric at Powergen originals so the could develop the Powergen? I think I contributed 2 or 3 GM Gennies myself
    Outback, loudbang, Okie Pete and 3 others like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,160


    Taking a different route with mine. Being a Packard guy and always looking to dress things, I'll use the same finish and I also have an old Autolite tag to install. Not looking hide the Powergen, just give a little extra zoot. Same thing on the starter too but not many will notice. Very kool work, and I understand the need. I'll be hiding an amp and sub so output is nice to have when the tunes are thumpin.
    loudbang likes this.
  27. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,516

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    I can spot a powergen from 5'... Easy...

    And that's not a knock really... I think they are great alternators... and would certainly rather see one than your typical gm one-wire.

    I just like the extra detail from JT1930 is all.
    Outback, Petejoe, warbird1 and 2 others like this.
  28. JT1930
    Joined: Jul 1, 2018
    Posts: 201


    @Ryan ugh I hate seeing a GM alternator on a flatty. Horrible looking haha.
    Outback and Muttley like this.
  29. Sculptive Design Co.
    Joined: Jul 23, 2018
    Posts: 77

    Sculptive Design Co.

    The kind of thinking that JT1930 is using, is what makes this genre of the car hobby so good. A lot of the car hobby as a whole is just bolting on parts from the aftermarket. There is a deeper level of thought as well as skill that goes in to traditional hot rodding.
    Truck64 and JT1930 like this.

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