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Rebuild My 6 Volt Generator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stokesjosh, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. I have 6 Volts in my 1950 Merc my Generator is not working well I Have tested all the Wires now it has come down to this (I do not want to go from 6 to 12 ) REBUILD I know I can do it myself but what would be the Best way like I said it is a 1950 Flathead Merc 6 Volts, When she is runing she is good I have no Probs with anything but that right now so any one have a good way of Rebuilding ?????

    Piston Hounds Car Club.:cool:

    Attached Files:

  2. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    The first thing you need is an old fashioned "Growler" which is a tool that uses electro-magnetism and you place your armature on the top and turn it on and it checks the armature for shorts and uses a blade like a hacksaw blade along the armature and it vibrates very fast if there are any problems making a growl like sound hence the name. Or you can do it the slower way and using your handy dandy new fangled multi-meter to check each and every copper section for continuity and if they are shorted to other copper sections. If it passes all those tests....

    Then you need a lathe assuming the generator has been run for awhile. Normally the brushes wear "Tracks" in the armature and using the lathe you turn down the small end of the armature where the brushes were running until it is true for it's entire length. Now the fun part..... in between all the "Sections" of the armature there are mica separators that show up as white sections running along the long axis of the armature (kinda like the spaces between your teeth) these need to be "trimmed down" so they are lower than the copper sections of the armature.

    If you are lucky the lathe you use is an old one that has an attachment that uses a section of hacksaw blade clamped in that you then run back and forth in a straight line over the mica without scarring the copper sections like using a toothpick between your teeth until the mica has been lowered about a 1/16 or so ( you may be able to see how low you have to go by looking at the copper sections that haven't been worn by the brushes before you turn it down).

    IF you have a real steady hand it is possible to use a section of hacksaw in one of those handles that slip over the blade and only leave a short section hanging out but you will need to work slowly or the blade will also cut the copper which you do not want to happen.

    Next physically check the wire wrapping or lacquer on the exposed coil (fields) wires making sure the wires aren't close to coming into contact where they shouldn't

    Now that the hard part is out of the way it's the same as any other rebuild like finding new brushes, tension springs, and bearings and putting them in.

    Or you can save yourself some work and send it out depends on how much you love to DIY and how much free time you have.

    After you get it rebuilt either way don't forget to "flash your fields" before running the engine. For your ford that is with the key on take the F or field lead at the regulator and simply MOMENTARILY touch that lead to the batt terminal on the regulator. this gets the electricity all flowing in the proper direction it's "FM".
  3. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,847


    All respect to Claymore, I think its easier to find a Starter/Alternator shop and have them rebuild it. On the other hand, there's plenty of replacement units on the market which cost about the same as rebuilding your old one.
  4. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,106

    from Kansas

    Both previous posts are viable. I myself would take the generator to a "good" automotive electrical shop and have it "dressed up" and tested. That way you have a generator with a warranty. But don't forget to put a new regulator and polarize it.

    If you have someone rebuild it, make sure of the conditional warranty. It may stipulate having a new regulator, polarizing the generator, and even the possibility of a qualified automotive electrical technician installing in the car.

  5. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,997

    from central NY

    Is your generator working now??? If so you can probably refresh it new brushes and new bushings. I did my 6 v with new brushes and bearing bushings about 5 years ago andits still working fine. The bushings wear uneven due to the pressure the fan belt exerts. makes them oval and this allows the brushes to wear uneven also. I would think that in 80 % of the cases replacing thse items would extend the life and operation of the generator. Same with starters. The bushing wear, and allow the armeture to drag on the field coils slowing the rotation of the starter.
  6. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    Read the entire post: "Or you can save yourself some work and send it out depends on how much you love to DIY and how much free time you have."
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    This thread contains simple and advanced testing, including old school dangerous tests.

    You have two things to think about:
    First, the generator is basically 3 big wads of copper, parts that don't wear but have to be properly connected and isolated. If you can verify that these are not shorting out via the electrical tests shown in this, you are fairly safe in ignoring them and moving on to the cheap and easy stuff, which is just replacing the bearings/bushings for a mecnaical repair, replacing brushes and cleaning commutater to improve contact reliability.
    You also need good wiring (WITH ATTENTION TO GROUND PATH!! READ THAT TWICE!!) and you need to follow the instructions on the simple tests in the thread to discover whether you have regulator troubles or gen troubles.

    When it is all over, you will need to polarize, and many people are going to give you the Delco method, which does not work on Ford syste, and repeatedly insist it is correct! This thread covers polarization, Ford and GM, and look at all the people in it insisting that the GM instructions are right for Fords! The two systems are grounded differently, and what's sauce for the goose is gonna fry the gander.


    Read closely...there are two systems, and at least half the world is happily recommending the wrong damn one.
  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    On any Ford system, make sure you have (or add ) a wire from ground terminal on gen right to base plate of regulator. Grounding each separately to engine and firewall will almost certainly add resistance here and make everything else you check or adjust WRONG.
  9. Thank you all for the good info
  10. hardlucktattoo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2013
    Posts: 136


    Who sells rebuilt ones I'm looking one for my 1950 Chrysler Windsor

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