Did a dumb thing when I replaced the battery in my 22. Not thinking I put it in as positive ground. (I have a 1950 ferguson that is positive ground)
The FP regulator heated up badly and is likely toast.
I replaced the regulator but I am showing no charge at the meter. It indicates a 10 amp discharge when the lights are on but nothing in positive territory in any case.
Did I burn up the generator?
Advancing the third brush does nothing.
With the engine running is there voltage at the generator terminal? What did you replace the FP regulator with? another FP reg or a cutout?
If the regulator burnt out and there was an open connection between the generator and the battery, and you continued to run the engine, your generator would read it as a dead battery. Without a voltage regulator, the generator would increase it's output until it fried. Sometimes when that happens, the commutator on the generator will get hot and the solder will be thrown out. If you are lucky, that's all that happened and you can re solder it, however, if the coils in the generator melted, you will need to rewind the generator.
Mike I haven't checked the voltage. I replaced the regulator with a new identical unit.
Norm I did not have the engine running. Just hooked up the battery and smelled something burning. Regulator was hot.
Disconnected the battery.
Replaced the regulator a week later (today)
My bet is that the generator is OK. The old regulator is toast. What it did was put a dead short on the battery thru your wiring. That is why it got HOT. But the generator field only saw the shorted battery voltage. What Norm is talking about is when the generator is running with an open output the generator will increase its output voltage way beyond 6 volts and the field current can reach a point where the small field wire can't take it and melts open. What I'd be sure of, is your wiring. Check the terminal block connections and the wire to the generator. Mike
Guys it is "possible" that the action of connecting the battery backwards would first blow apart most of the parts on the regulator making it a pile of carbon but then if the path was blown clear which a car battery could easily do then if there was another path from the battery to the generator post that survived it would have polarized the generator backwards. This would have damaged the second regulator but in a different way and the second regulator might be repairable. Unlikely the first one is repairable. I sure wish you guys would call before proceeding since a lot of damage can be done if you install a good VR onto a questionable generator as was done here.
John is correct. The generator would have been polarized backwards and it would try to build up a negative voltage rather than positive. If you have a regular cutout install it and polarize the generator correctly. To do that, take a jumper and flash (momentarily touch) the generator terminal to the cutout output terminal. That should set the magnetic in the generator. Then check the generator of output. Mike
LOL I hear you john but understand your over my head here. Never questioned the generator or had a clue I could reverse polarize it.
Is there a quick test that can be done to determine if the generator is good?
Mike I do have the old cutout. I will give that a try.
Touring the car today, so I removed the gen and plated it. I don't trust the old cutout so I was wondering if I can polarize the generator out side of the car?
If I remove the regulator and motor it with the proper polarity will this work?
John if the regulator is bad as a result of my screw up can I send it to you for possible repair?
These reg units work great. Never had a problem until this self inflicted one.
I believe that motorizing the generator will polarize it also, as long as you place the battery positive on the generator terminal. It is possible that the 2nd FP reg could have been damaged because the generator, being reverse polarized would have tried to build up a negative potential output and the FP reg would then look as a short to that polarity. The generator would then pump current into the reg and could have damaged it much in the same manner as the battery did in the first reg. The only chance is that the generator does not have the power behind it as the battery did. Maybe the 2nd reg survived. I had a FP regulator on my car for a long time and also like it. Mike
Thanks Mike. I appreciate the advice. The battery was fully charged so I am hoping the regulator survived.
It didn't get warm like the first one.
We offer a flat rate repair for repairable regulators. This flat rate applies only to regulators that have not been tampered with (cover removed is tampering). We will repair regulators that can be repaired even if tampered with but not for the current flat rate of $20. We ask that you send the regulator to us with cover still installed, along with $20 (personal check is OK) to Fun Projects, Inc. If the regulator tests good then you get all your money back except return shipping which at this time is $4. If the unit is faulty but repairable then you get it back repaired but we keep the whole $20. If you want an unrepairable unit back then we keep only $4 for return shipping otherwise a totally unrepairable unit is not repaired and we return the whole $20. Most of the regulators sent to us test good.
I should have commented that Mike Z has it right. Motoring the generator with the correct polarity of positive (+) battery connected to the generator post will polarize the generator properly.
Unfortunately Norm is also correct as to what can happen to a generator if it is allowed to spin up when there is no load on the generator which is a possible scenario once a regulator is totally destroyed. Best plan is to have the second regulator tested/repaired so it becomes a known good unit and then install it on a known good generator tested by means other than installing a good VR onto it. If you only prove out one good part of the generator/VR combo you could go around in circles a bit before getting both units known to be good - together.
Thanks John. Fortunately the engine was not running when I crossed the polarity and burned up the first regulator.
I need to trace the wiring as well. It looks good but I dont know for certain.
The gen is a Patterson rebuild. Worked perfect for several years. Hopefully I didn't toast it too.
Ron's work is very high quality. You should NOT have hurt the generator under most circumstances so at the very least, get a good diode type cutout and use it to check up on the health of the generator by seeing if it will start and produce charging OK at what would be the previous max setting of the then existing VR charge current setup. This ussumes you have not yet changed the setting of the third brush from where it was when the smoke happened. If the diode cutout and generator seem to produce about zero charge with the lights on and at high RPM then you "should" be OK once the VR is checked and known good. We turn around VR's with test and return the same day so I sure would feel better if you let me test your VR before you hook things back up. Ron is in Argentina or I would suggest you call him and discuss the generator to prevent any issues of further damage. Your honesty in fessing up to hooking up the battery backwards in truth helps you out since too many folks try to hide simple mistakes and with electrical stuff most of the internal issues are not visible so an accurate track record of what took place and the order that it happened in can end up making the diagnosis very accurate and the repairs as minimal as possible.