Register now to get rid of these ads!

Sparks from Generator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boozer, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Boozer
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 95

    Boozer
    Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm not 100% sure if my generator/regulator/amp gauge is working correctly, but I wanted to run it by everyone before taking it to a local automotive electrical shop and dropping some $$$.

    The suspect is my 54' chevy 3100 truck, stock drivetrain original 6v system. The system seems to be charging fine, but there are a few things that give me cause for concern:

    1. I happened to be working on it in the evening (getting darker fast), and noticed that there was a signifigant amount of light coming out of the back of the generator. Assumedly this is coming from the sparks put off by the brushes. I couldn't see any sparks actually spitting out of the generator, but it still seemed excessive/strange... Is this normal? This is my first old car, so I have no experience to compare to another vehicle that was operating properly.

    2. My understanding of how the amp gauge works is that it measures/shows that actual flow of electricity. So a running vehicle with a fully charged battery, and no headlights or other large power draw operating, should be roughly in the middle (neither charging or discharging). The reason I say this is because mine seems to always be related to engine speed, even with a fully charged battery, and headlights off. If you rev the engine, the ammeter nearly pegs to the charging side...

    I have opened up the regulator, and must admit that it looked incredibly clean. I couldn't see any burnt contacts or anything else that would lead me to believe that it may need anything more than an adjustment.

    Does this raise any red flags for anyone?

    Thanks,
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  2. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    The ammeter shouldn't peg like that with the battery charged up. Check for stuck points in the reg. or wired wrong.
     
  3. hucks 48
    Joined: Aug 21, 2008
    Posts: 347

    hucks 48
    Member

    Sounds like you need to maybe adj. The reg,i got tired of mine not charging correctly and installed a new 6 volt alternator with internal regulator.fixed problem. They sell the mounts and alternater on ebay
     
  4. hucks 48
    Joined: Aug 21, 2008
    Posts: 347

    hucks 48
    Member

    kansasselectproducts.com THIS IS A GOOD PLACE
     

  5. Boozer
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 95

    Boozer
    Member

    I'm not really interested in switching to an alternator, trying to keep it all original with the exception of some vintage speed parts as $$ allows.

    thanks for the replies so far....
     
  6. Boozer
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 95

    Boozer
    Member

  7. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    When you start the truck the ammeter should show a heavy charge as it brings the battery back to fully charged after the starter motor put a big draw on the battery. It should die back to just off the center on the charge side with nothing running but the ignition. Pull the head lights on and the needle will twitch to a higher reading.

    It's normal to see some light sparking where the brushes rub on the commutator. You usually only see that at night. It's not a heavy sparking. Electrons are jumping between the commutator and the carbon brushes.

    The ammeter shows the direction of the electron flow. If the needle is on the + side then it is replacing the juice used by the engine and any accessories. At night with the lights, radio and heater blasting away it's common to have the ammeter go negative at idle. The truck is using more current than the generator is replacing at idle speed. The juice is flowing out of the battery. No biggie. If you sit like that for a few minutes then when you take off again the ammeter will show a heavier charge as it replaces the juice that was used but it should come right back down.

    If it shows excessive charging then you might need a voltage regulator. If the regulator is not working correctly you can boil all the water out of the battery if it is over charging.

    Before you panic make sure that the battery level is up to the split rings and it is fully charged. You are supposed to use distilled water but I've always just used tap water.

    Don't let the sissies talk you into an alternator and always check the ammeter when you get out of the truck if it shows a discharge you left something on or there is a problem. One quick look can save you from a dead battery if you left the lights on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
    Stogy likes this.
  8. yeah i have some sparks coming from my generator on my 283.
    It always has done that and i figured it was fine but im not totally sure....
     
  9. Boozer
    Joined: Sep 25, 2009
    Posts: 95

    Boozer
    Member

    Is it possible that my amp gauge is "off" or "touchy"? I'm not sure how bulletproof those things are...

    It is reassuring that I'm not the only one with sparks 'o' the generator. sounds like it's a pretty normal thing.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.