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Polarizing a generator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rodknocker, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    rodknocker

    Just trying to figure out when is polarizing a generator necessary, and the proper way to do it. I've watched a few videos on YouTube to get a basic understanding. Also does it make a difference if the vehicle is positive ground. I'm helping out a friend who has a 53 Plymouth original 6v straight 6. He's having issues with the charging system, and we're wondering how much of an impact polarizing has.
     
  2. 63comet
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 508

    63comet
    Member

    Only time I've ever done it was when converting from positive ground to negative ground.
     
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,213

    F&J
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Polarize is done when it is not charging. So, if the car does charge somewhat, it does not need it, and you should do tests on the generator capacity, as well as the regulator.

    Also, if a generator sits forever dormant, it can lose it's "residual magnetism", and then you'd polarize it, to get it back,... or you can "motor it" which does the same task, by running it as a motor.


    generators are not all the same as far as methods. You need to look it up in a Motors/Chiltons, for the type of system you have.
     
  4. fatabone
    Joined: Nov 3, 2003
    Posts: 1,419

    fatabone
    Member

    6v positive ground put a wire from the negative side of the battery and touch it to the A on the generator.
     
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  5. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    A generator has to have magnetism in its field coils to work. This is no problem when it is running because they are magnetized by a coil of wire. But how do they get started, there must be a little bit of magnetism in the coil for it to start working.

    Polarizing magnetizes the coils by giving the electromagnet a shot of electricity.

    Another thing. A generator will work either + ground or - ground depending how it is polarized.

    So, if you want to be sure the generator is working it must be polarized

    If you want to be sure it is working in the right way (+ or - ground) it must be polarized.

    Sometimes a generator will lose its magentism if it sets around for years and years. Or, if it is taken apart for a rebuild.

    Basically you are remagntizing the field coils with a shot of juice.

    Once this is done the generator will work indefinitely or until it is taken apart or sits around for years.

    Your + ground Plymouth may have been setting around, or someone may have put the battery in wrong way round. Why not polarize it and be sure, it costs nothing and only takes a few seconds to do.
     
  6. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 870

    fsae0607
    Member

    I thought you also had to do it every time you disconnect your battery? :confused:
     
  7. rustrustler
    Joined: Mar 18, 2005
    Posts: 281

    rustrustler
    Member

    take the A lead (armature) off the voltage regulator and touch it to B (battery). Done.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Not at all. The generator retains enough magnetism to start working a lot longer than that. I have revived cars that were off the road (battery removed) for 30 years that did not require it. On the other hand, have seen cars that were out of commission for a year or 2 that did.

    It's easy to do, costs nothing and only takes a minute. So if the generator is not working why not give it a try.
     
  9. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    rodknocker

  10. Spanish Fly
    Joined: Nov 21, 2007
    Posts: 381

    Spanish Fly
    Member

    :cool:thanks rodknocker for the info
     
  11. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,079

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    as I read Motors manuals and polarize generators in different makes of cars, the method is different.

    If memory serves me, it is important to follow the instructions for the particular application.
     
  12. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 870

    fsae0607
    Member


    Makes sense. It's been a while since I looked in my 61's shop manual, IIRC I think it said to polarize everytime you disconnected the battery. Oh well I always seem to have a beer buzz whenever I'm wrenching on my stuff. That's why I had trouble removing the front wheel hubs without removing the castle nut because I didn't RTFM!!! :eek::D
     

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