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Polarizing a Regulator or Generator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 51ChevPU, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. 51ChevPU
    Joined: Jan 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,076

    from Arizona

    I have a 1951 Hudson Hornet with the stock 5 volt system. I typically unplug the battery when its not in use. I've been told that if I do that, I need to polarize the generator and/or the regulator. It would be appreciated if I could get some comments to help me understand the polarization process and why its done. Then, perhaps some comments on whether these items need to be polarized when the battery has been unhooked from the leads. Thanks.
  2. dave s
    Joined: Aug 2, 2005
    Posts: 354

    dave s

    im interested in the actual mechanics of this as well...

    i know to polarize a regulator you take a jumper wire, attach it to the "fld" terminal, and quickly brush the other end against the "batt" terminal... it sparks and your done...

    but i have no clue what it actually does other than what i can infer...
  3. Adam F
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 323

    Adam F

    Hey 51CHEVPU

    I am really interested to know about this too. On my roadtster I have a 12v system with a generator. I have a kill switch between the gen and the battery. Same question applies - do I have to repolarize after every disconnect?

    Adam F
  4. Wheelie
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 234

    from Dallas

  5. greg32
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,064

    from Indiana

    Great explanation, thanks.
  6. Trubble
    Joined: Aug 31, 2006
    Posts: 66

    from Kent Wash.

    You do not have to repolarize your components if you only disconnect and reconnect
    your battery.Only if you are replacing them,or changing polarity.You know possitive or negitive ground.....
  7. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,846


    by polarizing a generator you induce a permanant magnetism in the generator field shoes kinda like wrapping a wire around a paperclip and hook up a battery you can magetize it
  8. So if I am reading this right you only have to repolarize the parts that you change out like the regulator or the generator itself? I am running a 12volt gen out of a 58 chevy and just put a new battery in the car. If you do have to repolorize the parts how do you do it. I think it has something to do with making a jumper wire and touch some terminal on the generator to the regulator?
  9. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    When reconnecting or replacing a battery you do NOT need to re-polarize . When replacing a generator and/or regulator polarizing should done. Ford systems are done differently than Delco ,wrong way and you fry the regulator . Do a search as the correct way has been covered many times here. Things like this is why I keep saying BUY a old Motor's or Chilton manual that covers the era vehicle you have.
  10. Merc Ryan
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 29

    Merc Ryan
    from Phoenix

    Hi 51ChevPU!
    I just put a new Napa VR25 regulator in a 1954 Hudson 308, Positive ground 6V. I understand there were different generators and regulators used through these years, which would mean there could be different methods of polarizing.
    The new Napa VR's instructions for polarizing are to connect a jumper wire from the BAT to the ARM briefly until spark.
    I have a VR for an old ford here with instructions on the cap to disconnect the Field and touch the Field wire to the BAT wire briefly.
    These are both 6v Positive ground systems and VR's.
  11. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The two different methods of polarization are for systems with differeing ground paths... using the wrong one is potentially damaging to regulator.
    The types are oft classified as delco--Ford, type A or B, or light duty circuit versus heavy duty.
    MOST but not all non-Ford use the type with jumper. Ford '38--64 uses the one with disconnected field. Ground direction or voltage is not the issue, issue is how fields ground:

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