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Technical What's this waxy sh*t dripping out of my generator

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Detonator, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. This is the original GM generator that came with my Nailhead, I've had it rebuilt a couple of times over the years. I've started to get a drip or three of this yellowish, waxy stuff on the frame rail just below the generator. It's mounted outboard of my grille shell, and this usually occurs after a long, hard run. Have you ever seen anything like this?

  2. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,400


    sounds like you have overheated it and the varnish has softened
  3. Is it a dripless grease? No matter what it is, it comes out just before the smoke! time to pull it and get it checked out. It gets more expensive when they have to put new smoke in.
  4. Wolfcreek-Steve is right. Grey smoke is whats inside all kinds of electronics, dynamoes and generators. When it comes out, they are ruined,

  5. I've had serveral generators rebuilt that a little melty wax comes out of. Still charging!
  6. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,449


    Smoking the field coils will do that every time, some have the coating on them, some have them wrapped and sprayed with glyptal
  7. Thanks for the response. I'm gonna go with Chris... it still charging fine, and it seemed to occur after long runs in warm weather, so I'm hoping it's just shedding some unseemly fat. No grey smoke, yet.
  8. Why take a chance?! Either take it apart and check it out or have a professional look at it. Beats being stranded or burning something up. Just sayin'.
  9. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    I use Ford generators converted to 12V on my flatheads as well as GM generators on my 283. I rebuild them myself and have yet to have any problems...knock on wood...but, since I'm a paranoid old fart who doesn't want to be stuck on the side of the road, I carry a spare generator and matching regulator on long trips for each car;):)

    I'd keep a close eye on the drips. Might even open the case up to see what's dripping....That would only take an hour or so and then you'd know.
  10. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    I'm a semi-paranoid old fart myself and the above advice seems good to me.
    Nothing like being caught out 1-200 miles from home and trying to find a generator in this day and age. You can buy an alternator a any drug store these days...................not so with a generator.

  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,568


    Every spring I spend hours opening up parts that AREN'T dripping just to see why they are dry. I'd think you could check out this generator pretty easily.
  12. visor
    Joined: Aug 11, 2002
    Posts: 513

    from Missouri

    Sounds like you are melting the shit off the field coils from overcharging due to
    the regulator not kicking out at full charge.
    Keep it up and you will be a FORD.
  13. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 576


    Gotta Go With Will be.
  14. I agree this is probably an over worked generator from a regulator malfunction. I worked at a motor repair place and most of the time, a little preventative maintenance would have saved the customer most of what he spent, getting the smoke put back in. It's your decision!!!!!!
  15. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,862


    I agree with Wolfcreek on this. Check out your regulator and have your generator checked to be safe. Once you start melting your varnish on the windings you run the risk of letting out the magic smoke. Ounce the smoke is out it gets more expensive to fix.
  16. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    from No. Cal

    Have the voltage regulator checked. It's probably the cause of this problem
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  17. kuhn1941
    Joined: Feb 15, 2013
    Posts: 194


    I rebuilt my voltage regulator in my 41 buick to 40's plymouth repair book . That made the generator charge max had to tone it down a little bit on the limit .testing while running and after shut off testing should give ideas if it is maxing out the charging abilities - that is what I had to do.

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  18. Hey, thanks for the additional response. I'll go back in and take it apart, and check the regulator output, too.
  19. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Runnit til it drips, then hop out and lay your hand along the side of the generator. If you hear screaming and smell burning bacon, the fields are hot.
  20. dont let the smoke out!
  21. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 871


    Go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap IR temp gun. Save your hands! :eek:
  22. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,862


    So what was the verdict on this?
  23. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    He made my suggested test but forgot to let go. No longer has enough fingers to post result.
  24. mike16
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 36

    from bisbee

    hit it with a hammer. if that does not fix it, it was an electrical problem

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