I'm taking a 22 depot hack out of moth balls. Hooked up the battery and the generator got hotter than a pistol before the engine was even running. Can't believe this is normal. Any advice.
Your cutout is stuck closed. Disconnect the cutout and either repair it or replace it. Short the generator output to ground. Hopefully you didn't fry the windings, but probably did. Check it out.
Did you hook up the battery with the POSITIVE to the frame (ground)? If you did then your car might have a diode type cutout and it would have put a lot of juice into the generator. Model T's are NEGATIVE GROUND and must have the battery wired with the negative post to the frame.
sounds like the cutout shorting to me.
I removed the generator and bench tested. It ran with about 3-4 amps draw. The cut out is fried. Do you think I lucked out and a diode type cut out replacement will work?
Depends. Was the battery hooked up backwards? The item in your picture is a diode cutout. If you hook the battery up backwards it won't work.
Nope. I am admittedly a novice but, I did not hook the battery up backwards. I've only had possession of this car for a couple of days and can't say that this has never happened. I did notice, as I examined the cutout, that there was a point marked "BAT" and that the lead, from the battery, was not attached to this point. Rather the lead was attached to a point on the opposite side of the cutout. This arrangement would seem to bypass any function as a cutout. That may have been the problem.
Could be a Model A diode. They, Model A's and V8's, were positive ground. It would not be the first time nor maybe the last that a Model T was hooked up with positive ground. I would replace it as an unknown. Till it's replaced and if you want to run your car do as suggested, run a lead from the generator output terminal to ground.
Sure. If the battery lead was connected directly to the generator terminal, the battery will try to motor the generator. Since the generator can not turn the engine over, the current in the generator will just heat it up. The cutout has to be wired in properly, so that the battery will not do this. The cutout will have a spade type lug on one end (which attaches to the generator) and a machine screw terminal on the other (which the battery lead goes to). The contact on the cutout should be open when the engine is not running.
If you look at the cut out it has two coils, one with fine wire which will close the cutout contact once the generator is producing voltage and a heavy wire coil which will tend to keep the contact closed once the generator is providing current to the battery or will open the contact should the battery start to provide current to the generator, hence cutout the circuit.
A diode cutout works, but a better solution is to use a regulator, Take a look at the 'Fun Projects' website. John Regan sells a good one (the only one?). I have used it on my car for a few years and have gotten good service.
Good luck Mike
Dang, I just ordered a diode cutout. I think I'll send it back and get the regulator. Thanks for the help.
Rule #1 for a Model T - NEVER connect a battery if you get a spark when connecting the terminals. There should be ZERO current draw on a parked Model T. If you get a spark, if indicates something is wrong. It means the ignition is on, lights on or you have a short!
You would have had a spark when connecting your battery. Be more observant.
Rule #2 - NEVER disconnect the battery while the engine is running. This can destroy a generator in short order.
If you have one of our voltage regulators(VR) in place then your RULE #1 is not true and you will be sending someone off on a wild goose chase. With our VR in place you will in fact get a momentary spark when you first connect the battery because there is a rather large filter capacitor inside the VR that has to charge up. Rule #1 should be that if you see a spark you need to make sure you are seeing only a momentary spark caused by your voltage regulator. Otherwise I agree with you. The momentary spark when you have a VR will not repeat if you remove and reconnect the cable within a minute or so.
Somehow I just knew I would see a string of if, if, ifs after that post.
The spark won't continue if you have a VR and nothing else is wrong. The VR is indeed unique but the general rule stands for most.
A spark when you attach the battery cable usually causes no harm, however, it has the potential to cause the battery to explode. If you have the VR described above it might be good practice to remove it from the circuit when replacing the battery.
Actually the VR instructions call for the VR Battery wire connection to be installed last and warns of the spark that will occur at that terminal at that time which is well away from the battery. I think this really makes a strong case in favor of having a "main fuse" added to the wiring harness. The safest thing to do when changing the battery is to then remove that one main fuse that hopefully you have installed in the heavy yellow wire down stream from the starter foot switch. That way any sparks caused by anything will occur at the fuse and not at the battery.
So from this can I conclude that since I have a small spark when I connect my battery, and when my battery is connected but the engine is not running, and my generator case gets warm, that my original cut-out is bad and needs to be replaced? All other wiring seems to be correct and functioning as it should. Thanks.
Dave, one more item to look at if you have an original 6V cutout is the length of the screw connecting the generator output wire. Sometimes this may either get replaced by a slightly longer screw or the cutout screw receptacle gets bent down and that screw touches the generator body shorting out a lot of wiring, ammeter and may cause your generator to 'get hot'.
Actually George while I agree that a longer screw is a problem at that location, such an event as the screw then shorting to the generator case would be harmless to the generator and not result in it getting hot. The wiring however would be very hot and your main fuse should blow if you have one. Otherwise your ammeter will get toasted along with your wiring but the generator is bypassed by this screw short and thus none of the current will go through the generator wiring nor harm the generator in that event.
Thanks John and George. The output connecting screw is the correct length, and does not come close to touching the generator case. Also, my FP ammeter properly shows a discharge when the battery is connected and the ignition is on, but it also shows a discharge after I switch the ignition off. This, and the warm generator case, lead me to think my cutout is stuck closed.
there is but no doubt that the cutout is stuck closed...a diode has failed or the points are stuck. Your generator is trying to "motor" and will become quite warm. Battery won't last too long, either.
Be thankful it did not fail "open" and ruin your generator.
Install a VR from Fun Projects and be done with it.
Thanks, that's my plan. Appreciate the advise.
One other question - Could the cutout problem described cause an engine to quit? I've been attempting to get my engine running, but have only been able to start it for a few seconds. It will start and run for 5 - 6 seconds and then quit. I have been thinking it's a fuel problem, but could the stuck cutout cause this? Thanks!
Depends only on the size of the battery. If you have a full size battery and are using it for turning the engine over for starting then there is no way that such a battery would turn over the engine and then go dead in 5 or 6 seconds once the car started. I agree it sounds more like you are starting it and it is running about long enough to empty the float bowl.
John - that's exactly the case. New 6v auto battery. Thanks.