Hello everyone. I'm fairly new to using the forum and was unable to easily find an answer to a question. I am in need of a new generator for my 1927 Touring. I typically buy parts from Lang's, but the lead time was too long for me on this part. Any suggestions where I could buy a high quality rebuilt generator without such a long lead time? I have a rebuildable core to provide (it was working up until 2 weeks ago). I also plan to purchase a Fun Projects regulator, based on many recommendations I've seen on the forum.
Thanks for any recommendations!
Ship your generator to Ron Patterson. It will be back before too long.
I agree Ron does great work. I am lucky to have a great rebuild shop 2 miles away here in Indiana
I purchased a rebuilt generator on ebay back in January, 2012 from seller with the username ah6144. When I installed it, it not only looked great, having been painted in a gloss black, it worked perfectly, registering just the right readings on the ammeter, as the third brush was adjusted when it arrived. The seller's name is Allan Hall and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I checked his auctions and he has some up on ebay that are available and you will have one in a matter of days, if you purchase from him. Needless to say, I was very pleased with my purchase and the quality of the generator I received. Jim Patrick
+ 1 Ron Patterson
I keep starters, generators and coils in stock that Ron Patterson rebuilds also, also John Regan's products email@example.com
There is a guy in our club in St. Pete that rebuilds starters, generators and coils. Scott Conger 727-239-3662
Are you sure it isn't your cutout?
We used to have several rebuilt shops in Houston, but I do not know of any now.
I am not a "Purist" and have gone to the reproduction Alternators and Starters. They may not look original, but they do work and cost about half as much as a rebuilt.
It might be just your third brush and or cutout. On the original third brush there is a brown insulation that gets brittle with age and has a tendency to break whenever the third brush is adjusted and re-tightened. This creates a short against the generator housing. Ron Patterson, firstname.lastname@example.org, has a great third brush made of fiberglass which will not break when adjusting the third brush. You should also get a new electronic cutout from funprojects. www.funprojects.com. Jim Patrick
Oh, I forgot on my last post, Becker has a good deal on alternators and starters. There was a posting about them yesterday on this forum, just scroll down and you will see it.
Looks like John Danuser would be the quickest, assuming he can ship overnight. He has them in stock and are a Ron Patterson rebuild.
a correction to Richard Wolf's response:
the phone # is 727-551-0001
I can ship till 3 p.m., or first thing in the a.m. 573-642-2473 MTFCA member # 2088
John. Just for our information, how much is one of your rebuilt generators? Does it include one of Ron's fiberglass third brush? Will it come with the third brush adjusted? Does the buyer need to send you the core? $, with core? $ without core?
I don't want to slight any of the members here but, but as Jim Patrick suggested, I have purchased 2 rebuilt and 1 "tuned up" generators from Allan Hall on ebay and have been very pleased.
The first time I purchased I asked if he was interested in the core and he refunded something like $31 to cover USPS Medium Box Flat Rate shipping and a little extra.......
There's a guy in Texas who sell rebuilts on ebay too but, holy crap, he's expensive.
Sorry about that Scott.
Wow, what a great response from everyone! Thank you so much. I was unable to check the forum during the day today, so I am pleasantly surprised to see so many great recommendations.
To John Aldrich, I could not say for sure that it's not the cutout. Following some instructions I found in the forum I have done the following, limited diagnostic work. Removed the cutout, started the engine and used a screwdriver to short between the post and the body of the generator. There was no spark. I then tried to trace the wire back to the ammeter looking for a break in the insulation (did not see anything obvious). Perhaps I should start by purchasing a regulator to confirm(?).
To Jim Patrick, if it is the third brush needing an adjustment or tightening, perhaps I should start there. Although, I will be the first to admit it would be a first for me. I inherited this T from my dad earlier this year. I've been around it for about 12 years, but these past few months have been my first at doing the maintenance and troubleshooting issues that come up. Luckily, overall it's in great shape. Let me do some reading on adjusting/tightening the third brush and see if that's something that (1) I feel comfortable doing and (2) fixes the problem.
Great advice everyone. Really appreciate it and I look forward to learning a lot more about the workings of my new, favorite hobby.
Also make sure the commutator is clean. A little garnet sandpaper while the engine is running to clean it up maybe all it needs.
Ken Kopsky, one of our Forum regulars, has rebuilt several starters and generators for me. They come back all adjusted, tested, and ready to go. His email is: email@example.com
I won't add any names to the recommendations above, but I'll add a note of caution. The local guy everybody in your town recommends may not be aware of Model T parts sources, and may return your "repaired" generator to you with a broken insulator. VOE.
Matt, no matter how the third brush is adjusted, the generator will still work. It will just be too weak or too strong, but a wrongly adjusted third brush will not cause the generator to stop working altogether. You might want to start by removing the end of the generator and taking off the third brush and check the insulation behind it. If the insulation is broken that is probably your problem. Do you have any books on Model T maintenance? If not, one book you should start with is the T-1 Model T Service Manual. It has good explanations and pictures to show you how to do this and just bout everything else you need to do. BTW. Beautiful T you have there. Jim Patrick
To add to what Steve Jelf posted, a compromised insulator under the third brush will short that brush to ground will prevent the generator from "gennin' ".
Along with the Ford manual Jim recommended, it's very helpful to have The Electrical System from MTFCA.
I got a chuckle out of the "holy crap - he's expensive" line!
I don't know who that person is that Craig was referring to, or what he charges, but it isn't important for the purpose of my response. A quick check of the cost of parts including armature, field coils, and sundry parts, and any T owner will see that he/she can do the job themselves for about $230-$250 and hope for the best.
Don't begrudge the laborer a little money for his time, expertise, and test equipment! If the generator is less than $300, it may seem expensive, but in my opinion, it is not over valued.
Other advice offered by others regarding going to the guy in town is true...odds are high that an inexpensive repair will likely turn out to not be inexpensive or a repair.
And a final note to anyone who has not gone down this road yet: from what I see advertised, the major suppliers do not sell repaired generators...they sell remanufactured generators, and there's a big difference!
Larry, looks like you pointed out the simple solution that turned out to be just what my T needed! Cleaned the commutator with some sand paper while the engine was running. The ammeter is now showing a positive charge (back to normal)!!
Wow, am I ever glad that the generator I ordered had such a long lead time. I now know how valuable this forum is and will definitely be seeking everyone's advice when the next issue comes up.
Until then, I'll be enjoying my T and hope you enjoy yours too. Thanks to everyone for your recommendations.
Just a notation on the "local generator repair shop" that most everyone seems to try and use. To date about 95% of the blown apart regulators were sent along with a generator to the repair shop when nothing worked right. Since these are hard times, not a single local shop is likely to turn you away because they lack the tools or experience. They all seem to find some brushes to fit the holders or make some fit. They all generally will put the armature on the growler and check it for shorts. They may even be able to turn the commutator but may or may not cut back the mica. They generally have no clue and know nothing about setting the main brush assembly to neutral. The will try to cobble up a third brush broken insulator enough to get the thing to charge. They were very very careful to make a wiring diagram when they took it apart but have no idea how an adjustable third brush generator should be wired or what is involved with testing it completely. They will always then paint it nice and call it rebuilt. It will still have the problems you sent it in there for most likely and they will charge you anywhere from $200 and up and basically you got a clean up and a paint job. If you sent along a regulator it will be blown up because they will spin up the generator with the regulator installed but without a battery. The VR will be holding the generator OFF since there is no battery so nothing will be coming out and the VR thinks it is in a vehicle whose battery is not connected. They short across the regulator and see output so they tell the customer that the regulator doesn't work. Since shorting across it can damage the regulator it is now in need of repair and you paid $200 to have them toast it. If you answered my phone this is where they call me up and chew me out for selling them something that does not work and their generator shop just showed them that at his shop but no output is normal when there is no battery.
Here is how to avoid this whole issue. NEVER send your VR along with your generator to anyone. Ron Patterson, Brent Mize, Scott Conger and others will tell you they don't need it since there is nothing they need it for in order to rebuild your generator. Others who are skilled with these generators will tell you the same and I don't mean to slight anyone here that knows how to rebuild T generators. I always advise folks to look to the T hobby and forums for advise on selecting a local generator guy they might have used. The hobby quickly knows who is good. Many have been named in this thread.
What I tell customers who want to send their generator to the local guy is first to call them up and tell them this story "I have this model T generator which has a strange adjustable brush mechanism in it which incorporates an extra 3rd brush. I got it from a guy about 2 years ago who said it was totally complete. I took it apart when I got it to clean it up and it seemed to have all the parts but I put it aside and now I don't remember how it was wired or what goes where. I am sure it is complete - Can I bring it in there in a box and can you put it all back together for me, rebuild it and adjust it?"
The local shop will generally tell you they are way too busy, can't get parts... but if they say "yes we can reassemble it correctly since we have the data and can get parts in a reasonable time..." then you have found likely a rare shop that actually does know what these things are. Most of the you are going to hear the biggest BS story of your life but the BS story was free and you still have your $200.
Glad to help.
Do you have a copy of the Ford shop manual? If not get one and some of the other handbooks. They have lots of good info in them like this trick for the generator and other troubleshooting. Steve usually has his photos of the books I'm talking about that he posts.
I don't have the manual and other handbooks yet. I have seen the pictures on other posts, though. Will need to pick up a copy of each.
John's comment on the local shop is an example of why I love this forum. A classic bit of writing.
I hope he found a generator, I had to go to the hospital thursday afternoon, and just got out today, 3 more units of blood, hope it holds better then last time
^ I think all of us do John........