OT - Survey request

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - Survey request
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daryl W. Becker on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 11:54 am:

SURVEY REQUEST;;
anyone who actually owns a T with an alternator installed;;;
please share with us what your amperage meter readings are during operations:::
and if any extra accessories are added to your T.
Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 03:23 pm:

.

My '15 Touring has a belt-driven alternator feeding a 12-volt, Optima battery. At normal idle the ammeter shows a discharge of 2-amps. It takes a fast idle to center the needle, so something's not right. Over the course of six to eight weeks, the battery runs down enough that I need to hook up a charger.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 04:41 pm:

My 1920 engine had a belt driven Becker alternator and it draws about 2 amps at slow idle and then goes to 0 at fast idle as stated above. My 25 T uses a Becker gear driven alternator and operates nearly the same. My 27 has a Texas T Delco gear driven alternator and operates nearly at the same levels. Normal charge rate is about 2-5 amps depending on battery condition. With the lights on driving at 30 MPH, all charge at about 5 amps. All three have distributors. The 20 and 25 are six volt and the 27 is 12 volt. All three have had these set ups for at least 4 years and the batteries all stay charged up, driving the cars from April through November. This answer your question?
All three have LED turn signals front and rear. I used a GPS when touring. We also have cell phones in use and charge them via a cigarette plug in when needed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daryl W. Becker on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 06:10 pm:

Thank you for the reply's , The question looking to be answered is:::
Because of the ability of the alternators to produce more than the 20 amps your meter is max at , do you think you need a ammeter to have a larger scale on it? I think this has been answered by practicality, TY


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daryl W. Becker on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 06:14 pm:

I agree BOB that is not right, That you should have to charger your battery after 6 to 8 wks , something is definitely incorrect, have you inquired to T's about that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 07:05 pm:

Daryl:

This will be the fourth year of my Becker 6 volt alternator on the '26 Runabout.

After starting the engine, the ammeter will show a alternator charge with a little increased speed, and will continue to charge for a minute or so till the battery's charge is replenished after using the electric starter.

The ammeter never has registered more than 8 amps for a brief moment, even after starting the engine after leaving the headlights on. Have checked the charging voltage and never registered
more that 7 volts, about 6.3 volts at idle. Night driving with lights, ammeter registers -2 to 0 amps.

Same 6 volt Interstate battery for the last 4 years.

Using the 32-50cp. headlight bulbs, dual tail/stop lights. Original headlight bulbs were 21-21cp.

All electrical connections clean and tight, all wires in harness insulated and proper guage.

My experience with a quality built alternator.

Bob Jablonski


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Milton,WA on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 07:28 pm:

I run a voltmeter in my Racer - 12 volt system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Bamford, Edmonton AB on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 07:32 pm:

Daryl:

Suppose the lights were left on, say by driver error or a mischievous car show spectator, and the battery was drained low enough to need a boost to start the engine.

If the demand on the alternator from that low battery caused it to charge at 25-30-35+ amps for even a short period, would this current damage Ford-standard gauge wiring and/or a 20 amp ammeter?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 08:11 pm:

Chris:

May I add my experience.... The battery I had when the alternator was installed was about 5 years old and frequently was at a low charge.

Had to hand crank engine, battery had enough energy to provide coils for spark, engine started and noticed ammeter charging about 10 amps, stayed at that charge for about 5 minutes before settling back to "0".

A few months later, replaced with a fresh Interstate 6 volt battery, haven't had to use the charger yet. I do use my car year-round.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 11:17 pm:

The best way to check if the alternator is working is to have the motor running, the ammeter will probably read close to zero. Turn on the lights. The ammeter will show a discharge and if the alternator is working will then return to close to zero. Obviously if the alternator does not work, the ammeter will continue to show a discharge. Contact Daryl, you need a new one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 07:55 am:

I'm thinking the same thing, Chris. I don't know what the max output of one of these alternators is, but I don't see what would keep it from putting out the max current, if the load (Dead battery) required it.

If I were going to run an alternator capable of producing, just for discussion's sake, say... 40 amps of current, I would make sure the wire between it and the battery was capable of withstanding 40 amps.

I'm not sure I understand what anyone's normal operating ammeter reading has to do with it. Under normal circumstances, no, the draw is not going to be in excess of the wiring or meter's capacity. It is the abnormal circumstances that have the potential of melting that 12 or 14 ga. wire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 08:14 am:

Daryl I am running a gear driven Texas "T" on my 27 roadster no problems, I would look for a circuit that may be shorted and causing a battery drain.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 10:14 am:

Hal and Chris have the correct understanding of the issue I have been trying to present and it is exactly why I tell folks not to install their new ammeter (or any T ammeter) on their car along with the alternator by simply connecting the alternator in place of the generator. The stock wiring in a T is not heavy enough either when using a typical alternator. The alternator needs its own totally separate path directly to the battery and a voltmeter probably works better to keep tabs on the battery voltage rather than trying to use an ammeter which can be damaged. A 40 amp breaker will not protect 20 amp wiring but its worse than that because typically el cheapo 40 amp breaker will handle 100% overload for awhile before it trips and that can be long enough to due some pretty good damage. Be safe guys.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grady L Puryear on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 10:38 am:

I guess I have been lucky, I put one on several years ago (6 volt) and have not had any fires or etc. It pegs out (+) when first started, then centers out. Seems like it does run a lot on the (+) side, I have never put any kind of volt meter or etc. on it to really see what it does, it keeps the battery up for starting, and I very seldom, if ever, drive at night. My .02˘


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 06:58 pm:

John Regan:

I've had a 20 amp fuse on the #12 guage harness battery wire the past 10 years..... never had to replace a blown fuse.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dean Yoder on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 07:39 pm:

I have run three different alternators over the past 13 years. I do have a 25 amp breaker at the battery. I run 2 six volt batteries in series with ammeter. At low rpm It shows discharge. I have never seen the meter pegged.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 07:54 pm:

I run a 12 volt system on my speedster. Immediately after starting, and for a few minutes (or more if the battery was down), the ammeter will show 15 amps or a little higher. As the battery recharges, the rate goes back to zero or close. This is what I would expect from any normally regulated charging system. Modern wiring and gauge on this car. Original gauge and repro wiring on stock T's with Ford generator and FP regulator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 07:57 pm:

Oops missed the accessories for the speedster with alternator - fuel pump, brake lights, halogen headlights, distributor, tach and occasionally a GPS. I prefer not to drive at night but want to be able to see the road when it happens.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Moorehead on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 09:22 pm:

I forgot to mention that on my '25, it still uses the old amp gauge with no issues over 4 years. I know John Regan does not like for us to use these and he is probably correct. But at the time of alternator installation, that was the gauge that was in the dash and I just never got around to changing it because I never had any issues with over charging.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 10:37 pm:

Daryl,

I have one of your Dad's gear driven Delco alternators in my 24 touring. At idle, it discharges about 10 amps. When first started the ammeter goes way off scale. As the battery becomes fully charged the output drops to 2 or 3 amps or so.
I don't think the output directly correlates with speed.

Ted


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - 12:29 pm:

Ted:

How old is your battery ?... how often do you run the engine ? Curious.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Bamford, Edmonton AB on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 05:16 am:

Hello again Daryl — in case you missed this question from up the thread, I would appreciate your advice on the following…


Suppose the lights were left on, say by driver error or a mischievous car show spectator, and the battery was drained low enough to need a boost to start the engine.

If the demand on the alternator from that low battery caused it to charge at, say, 25-30-35+ amps for even a short period, would this current damage Ford-standard gauge wiring and/or a 20 amp ammeter?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 07:12 am:

I don't own any T's with a charging system. I do work on Model T's for other people and have installed a couple alternators over the years. Many T owners are owner / drivers but not technicians. My observation is the ammeter normally pegs for a while after starting, then as the battery reaches full charge the ammeter comes down to near zero in alternator equipped T's that have been parked overnight or longer, and started with the starter motor.

The ammeter is not really useful in an alternator equipped car. You don't know if the battery is being overcharged. When the ammeter comes back down near zero you may have a battery voltage of 16 or more volts, which means the battery can be boiling its way to an early death. Or it can be less than 13.2 volts, in which case the battery is not being charged enough.

I don't say that alternators are better than generators or vice versa. Each has its problems if the mechanic doesn't know what to do. Installed properly and with good components both give years of reliable service, particularly if the battery is kept fully charged during storage.

There's lots of drama involved when batteries are neglected. We've seen batteries explode on tour a couple times from overcharging both by alternators and generators. It is not the fault of the alternator or generator, it is usually bad wiring or inept maintenance that causes the problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philippe BROST, France on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 12:46 pm:

You should be suspicious when reading these ammeters. There are 80 years old an can be very unreliable. Checking with a "modern" ammeter can give a very different current. I have even seen this kind of ammeter from that period always showing discharge whatever the direction of the current was. If it is the model with a small magnet inside, this one is probably weaker than it was 80 years before giving false reading.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 12:55 pm:

I used a brand new John Deere 30-0-30 amp ammeter on a recent installation for a 1914 T with a 1923 engine. It was pegged. The wire size was #12 AWG, all brand new from the battery to the alternator.

It just occurred to me some of you may be limiting current by having undersize wiring. That's a bad situation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 01:14 pm:

It will really limit the current when it burns in two.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William L Vanderburg on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 02:18 pm:

I've ran a Becker alternator for 2 years now, and I cannot see any noticeable charge on the meter when the car is running, but can definitely tell when the lights are on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stauffacher on Wednesday, January 08, 2014 - 05:24 pm:

I'm running a Texas T Party setup for several year and notice that at idle the ammeter is at zero or just below. However, the moment I increase engine speed just a tad - move the throttle about 1/16 inch - the ammeter jumps up to 10-15 range. Never had my battery die on me.
Second best thing I did to my Model T. (Yes, I do run a 12 volt system)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 09:39 pm:

Bump.....

Anyone want to share their alternator experiences ?


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