That is one question l have been trying to locate an answer for a little while, l'm done playing with the old fiddly and P.I.T.A T generator and want to move to the easy install 12 volt alternator for my wife's 26 Tudor .. BUT .. l want an alternator that doesn't look like one !!! but more resembles the original generator .
I have searched and searched and the best l can find is this.
Anyone got a better idea on one that still looks more like the original ??
12 v 90 amp internal reg generator style housing.
Unfortunately not a cheap item to purchase..
slight nose mod required to fit into the hole.
My car has the 12 volt GM generator like used in the early 60's along with the regulator. It looks very close to the T generator and has been reliable. They used to be available in the magazines and reasonable on the $.
Daryl Becker was working on an alternator in a T generator case.
Might check with him and see how it's coming.
I called on one that looked liked that once but it must have been made of gold. The guy wanted a small fortune for it, Plus it's not made for the slow rpm of the t engine
Daryl are you out there ???
How are you coming along with that alternator/generator ??
Gary - do you have a pic of what yours looks like installed and what work was required to install it.
Randy Johnson, Lincoln, Ca makes the 12 v generator. I have two and over 25 years and no trouble ever. The ones I have use a early '60's autolite generator
You could have a problem if you use that one. See the fan? It is made to be belt driven and in order to place the gear to drive it, you would need to remove the fan. That might cause overheating.
I don't have a picture of it but it is an RJ Johnson unit. As to the lack of a fan, it hasn't been a problem. The generator only puts out for a few minutes after engine start then tapers off to near zero. Also, it was on the car when I bought it 11 years ago.
That's almost the best reference anyone could give..
What's wrong with your correct and original generator? Mine never gives me trouble. Have you tried a Fun Projects voltage regulator on it or are the problems worse than that?
They are called Powergens in the catalogs and they are pricey, however they give amps at low RPMs as an alternator does, but does not knock of the points in judging. Best of both worlds. Speedway motors and Classic industries have them. I wanted one for my T, but the price sobered me up.
P.s. I have also heard them called Genernators.
Maybe you could take one of Darryl Becker's alternators, turn some off of it and slip a generator housing from the junkyard over it
I am using an external mounted 12 volt Alternator from a garden tractor. It is very small and with some work may fit inside a model T generator housing. The 12 volt generator that has been available for several years was used on late 50's & early 60's Fords. A 1959 Ford P/U that I once owned has a generator like the one presently being offered for sale. However, it is 12 volt....not 6.
Darryl Becker's is the person to contact.
Generators have worn bearings, worn brushes, rough commutators, hardened and cracked insulation on their wires, cracked insulators on their brush rings, loose solder connections on their output terminals, and broken output terminal insulators. Not to mention a lot of the same problems with their old cut outs. Everyone knows a brand new alternator is much better...... It will solve all of your generator problems. As a matter of fact, swapping to an alternator will guarantee you will never have another generator problem.
Now that we have that solved, which of these V-8's looks most like the original T engine?
HA HA !! a twin 4 cyl, that will work for them thar hills... thank you all for your assistance, now l know where my destination is.
( l was going to say .. now l know where to go .. but that just leaves it wide open .. )
Is the generator that's giving you problems now original? I would pay to have the generator rebuilt by a reputable person on this forum before I buy an alternator.
I'm looking for an alternator fan that is meant to turn clock-wise. I have a normal alternator up where the Texas T mount is, except my fan is going the wrong way. Anybody know where I can get a correct fan?
What Gary said is only partially true. During the day without lights, it only puts out very little, but with lights on it will put out over 10 amps. The lights actually run off the generator or alternator, with the battery only producing backup.
I drive a fair bit at night without issue as well. I'm guessing that is about a 30 amp unit. I'm asking it to put out about 8 amps. There is a heat seat cooling effect that folks tend to forget about. I'm guessing based on my experience (and the fact that this is a common generator that we aren't hearing about failures on) that the heat sink effect is enough. In other words, we aren't asking it to produce at peak output. Do you suppose it is getting any less air than a stock T generator?
I have to chuckle at people complaining about original Model T generators. The real problem is lack of adequate maintenance, owner abuse and exceeding its design limits.
If you buy a properly re-manufactured (like new, not poorly patched up junk) generator and treat it fairly it will last a very long time.
I know some cannot live without a 12 volt battery, halogen headlamps, cell phone phone and GPS charger, foot warmer and toaster oven, but don't blame the original generator when you are abusing it in doing so?
Ron the Coilman
So, if you're looking at the car from the front, I need a fan that turns clockwise. Anybody.
Seth, how did you end up with a fan that is anti-clock wise?
My generator has new carbons in it, works sometimes, mostly not, BUT it is only 6 volts and l need a 12 volt replacement for all that other stuff we use whilst out touring... if l didn't have those things l'd stick with the orig 6 volt thing..... and put up with that deaD BATTERY SOUND DURING START UP !!
In addition to the easy repairs, like new carbons, all you have to do is repair the other five or six major (difficult) areas to make it a reliable Model T charging system. If you do so it will still keep a 12 volt battery adequately charged..........and .........Whrrrrr......Whrrrrr.......whrrrrr goes the starter.
Ron the Coilman
I have had the same generator/VR on my 1923 T since the late 80's. I have not touched it since that time and I rack up a ton of miles on my T. I had to redo the motor about 10 years ago due simply from too many miles but the generator was not touched and is still going strong. There just isn't that much to one of them to cause them to be unreliable. I did not rebuild my generator myself but it did get all new stuff since unlike an alternator, my T generator is more than 90 years old as is the rest of the car. I do have to tell you that most of the "rebuilders" available nearby don't have a clue and contribute greatly to the troubles that people have. Most folks would be able to spot a poor restoration of a car and would not judge the motor to be fine if they see it spinning at idle but some folks assume that a generator is totally ok if it charges at all since the ability to charge proves its totally good.
I can not think of a car that has an alternator that turns counter clockwise when you look at it from the front.
I have seen old cars with generators that ran backwards.
Corvair and Fiat 850 come to mind.
Take the alternator to a rebuilder and he should be able to give you the correct fan for it.
I'm betting that if everybody had 90 year old alternators with the problems associated with 90 year old worn out stuff, and compared it with a newly rebuilt generator, there would be a flock of folks converting to generators.
I have never understood the mentality of folks who want an antique car, then want to change everything on it to make it more like a new car. Maybe someone will come up with a combination alternator/power steering pump/air conditioning compressor that looks like a generator.
"I'm betting that if everybody had 90 year old alternators with the problems associated with 90 year old worn out stuff, and compared it with a newly rebuilt generator, there would be a flock of folks converting to generators."
You would likely lose that bet. For many people who don't show their car its about keeping it operational for the lowest $. I do my own T generators so cost wise, I can do one assuming the armature is good for less than the cost of an alternator.
Assume for a moment that I couldn't do my own. A rebuilt T gen is about $250, add another $60 for a regulator, and $20 for a gear and by the time you tack on shipping you will be into it for $350. This is double the cost of an alternator. When the hood is closed and its going down the road nobody gives a crap. Spending money to keep purist happy doesn't fit into my budget.
Would you rebuild and engine and use iron pistons for double the cost of aluminum? I'm betting not.
Actually, with the hood closed, at least on the later cars, you can easily see the unsightly GM alternator through the hood louvers which instantly destroys the whole vintage feeling you get when looking at the car. I just don't understand what the motivation is for wanting to drive a genuine, antique car that has been modded to so much that it is no longer an antique. What do you say to people when they ask you if it is an original Model T?
My car came to me with a 6V, negative ground, one-wire alternator. If it ever fails, I'll replace it with the best rebuilt generator and voltage regulator I can buy.
But in the meantime, when someone asks me if my Model T is original, I'm honest about it and point out the non-original features and explain that it was that way when I bought it.
Generator rebuilding cost has gotten very expensive. If it needs total rewinding the choice to spend $400 or put on an alternator for less than half that cost is simple.
Keep the hood closed with that alternator covered up.
I used to have some friends in the starter/generator business and they would do all my work. The place is still there but they no longer want to see anything as old as a T generator plus the rewinding shop that they used is also "History" as they say (Gone).
I do have two brass cars that I try to keep original and even that is getting expensive. That crack arm bone and sprained wrist doing the manual start was costly.
I have had pretty good luck with old generators I get at swap meets. They are cheap and if it doesn't work, I swap a few parts until I get one which works. Since I mainly drive only in the daytime, if it quits on a tour, so what. It will still start on the crank.
You may want to shop around for rebuilt generators rather then rewinding yours. Looks like around $200 is the going price.
Hey Dave - I have a 6V 1 wire alternator on my '14 speedster so that I can have headlights, taillights, and a brake light, and it toots my ahooga horn. With my high-tension magneto ignition on a pre-generator block, I have no other way of creating juice for my lights . . . which are pretty critical since I don't have any 1920's roads to drive on. Now, I've painted that alternator black so it doesn't stand out, but the electrical system is my only really modern concession to an otherwise period correct speedster (well, except for my brass thrust washers and Fun Projects Pinion Bearing kit). Would it be better if I bolted up a T generator right there with a pulley for the belt?
Now granted, maybe a few parts wouldn't have been available in the teens - I have 5 to 1 gears in my steering wheel case and demountable rims, but who buys a new car and then turns it into a speedster? Nobody. You take a car that is older, wrecked, or been replaced by a newer car and then turn it into a speedster. At least that's my granddad did when the old family Touring's top and body were pretty beat up and there were newer daily driver's anyway.
"What do you say to people when they ask you if it is an original Model T?"
I would say it is every bit as original as many other cars claiming originality (many of those are equipped with modern pinion bearing, Kevlar bands, Coils with modern capacitors, plastic coil box wood kit, voltage regulator that looks like a cut out, .280 grind cam shaft, sealed bearing fan hub, Z head, aluminum pistons, aluminum or bronze cam gear, anderson timer, new day timer, etc.).
If it isn't yours and you aren't writing the checks why should or would it matter?
The vast majority of the alternator "justifications" I have heard are based on the "reliability" argument rather than cost. I'm also gonna go out on a limb and say I bet a good number of those folks don't even have any generator experience, only what they've heard. Of the ones who have personally had a bad experience with a generator, I'm going out on another limb and say they are basing it on an old worn out original generator.
If someone wants an alternator I suppose that is their business, but I'll bet the majority of folks with one are basing their decision on a blurred vision of reality.
I completely agree Hal. A generator with new bearings, brushes, brush holder insulators, field windings, armature is every bit as reliable as an alternator. The weakness in the unit is the cutout. Install a FP regulator and that to is taken care of.
The reliability argument isn't valid, we agree.
Hey Kerry, look at the picture at the top of this thread, if you spin that pulley clockwise, the way a normal T motor spins, that fan is pushing air out instead of pulling it into and through the alternator.
Seth, I wasn't talking about speedsters. Ford never made speedsters so originality doesn't really matter I think. Mark, I do applaud your effort to at least paint your alternator black. It looks ok in what is a very nice looking engine compartment.
I would think the air flow would be in the vent holes at the back, out the vent holes in the front and 'slung' out 360 degrees radially by the fan. It would probably work no matter which way it is turned, but clockwise would probably be more efficient.
Seth, geny picture looks right to me, same as an alternator with a external fan, all engines turn clock wise from the front and cooling is done by pulling air from the back of the alt/gen through to the front of it.
But it's competing directly with air coming through the radiator, either from the radiator fan or regular incoming air at higher speeds. It's not critical to me but just seems like a sucking air in and pushing it through when the dominant airflow is already that way would make more sense. I can't find a single fan that will do what I'm looking for and it hasn't burnt up on me yet. I just figured if one was out there for $5-$10 then I'd get it.
Perhaps it would have been better to put the fan on the rear, but all I've ever seen are in the front. The fan is a crude example of a centrifugal fan. Like it's name implies, it draws air in from its center and throws it outward. Most centrifugal fans are in housings with a single outlet. They can have forward inclined blades, straight blades, or rearward inclined blades (Like this one), depending on what's more important, pressure, volume, quietness, etc. This one has no housing, but the front side is blocked off so no air can be drawn in from that direction. The rear side is open so it can draw air from inside the alternator housing.
That's true Seth, but if it was reversed it has 2 problems, dirt, road crud and anything else the belt train can bring up, would go through the alternator chewing out the brushes, also would push out any stray sparks out the back as well.
Many years ago, early 70's one of my jobs was testing the air flow on alts for that very reason, the sparks, so work vehicles could go do designated sites in a gas plant.
If I understand you correctly, you are thinking that if the fan wheel were made with the blades in the opposite direction, they would "Scoop" air as it went around and force it toward the center?
I don't believe it would. I believe it would "Sling" air toward the outside either way. I just believe that it would sling more air the way it is.
The alternators I have seen don't have brushes. They use slip rings to pass the smaller field current to the rotating field. No brushes to chew up. Some of the 6V alternators simply don't work at all. The ones I am talking about are the ones with external VR's that plug into the back of the alternator. The problem is that these alternators cannot put out much current at all unless the field current can reach 2 amps. Since the field winding resistance internally is 6 ohms the full fielding of these units delivers the 2 amps when the unit is operated at 12V but you cannot get 2 amps into the field when using it with a 6V battery. You can only get 1 amp and very little output comes out. I had one on a bench trying to help a local guy and he was told it all works fine but it simply could not and it was not a point I was going to argue with him about. Ohm's law is just that - a law. Watch out for these setups when you purchase your alternator. It is not true that half the field current will produce half the charge current when there are also diode voltage drops that were not considered either by the guy who designed the external 6V VR for these things. Unbelievable that they are widely sold yet simply don't work and can't work at 6V with at least some of the alternators that they plug into.
Hey Hal, that was my thinking, it'd sort of grab the air and pull it in, almost like a jet engine. It's staying like it is for now. I'm definitely not wasting any time making a fan, and I was only going to buy one if it was $10 or less. Thank ya'll for the input though.
Has anybody heard from Daryl Becker? I've seen where a few different folks have been trying to get in touch with him - wondering if anyone has been successful.
"The alternators I have seen don't have brushes. They use slip rings"
And what are them black, look like brushes, things that ride against the slip rings? As far as I know they're called brushes.
1964-72 GM Alternator Rebuild Kit Brushes & Springs OEM NOS
The few I have been inside of had brushes, but had slip rings instead of commutators. You gotta use a toothpick or something similar to hold the brushes in place when reassembling. Once it's assembled, you can pull them out and the brushes snap down against the slip ring.
Although I have not seen one yet, I'm thinking this is a similar procedure to what folks are talking about with the new brush type timer.
Hey, I emailed Daryl and he's just been busy and not on the forum. Y'all can get him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Johnson - your email box is over quota - we cant get thru to you.....