Alternator v Generator

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Alternator v Generator
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 06:14 pm:

Question - getting my non working 6v generator rebuilt and then buying a 12v regulator verse buying a new 12v Alternator. Obviously the Alternator doesnt look period but the costs wont be too far apart.
Car is a everyday driver and with winter approaching everynight hopefully.
How much better is the performance going to be from the Alternator, if I fit high power headlights and drive around 30 mph will the generator & 12v upgrade perform good enough? Thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 06:38 pm:

Even with halogen bulbs, the original six volt generator works great especially when fitted with a Fun Projects voltage regulator. It is a daily driver reliable setup and will be a totally correct looking.

(Message edited by 404 not found on March 25, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Will Copeland - Melbourne Florida on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 06:45 pm:

After spending countless $$$$$ on generators I put in a Becker alternator. Haven't been sorry yet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 07:15 pm:

Kevin -- If your car has air conditioning, a 300-watt stereo, and power everything, you probably need an alternator. Otherwise, a Model T generator works fine on a Model T. I have had several rebuilt by Ken Kopsky, and they all were very well-done. I've never had to send one back for any reason. His email address is: ccwken@wireweb.net


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 07:35 pm:

Thanks guys. I'm in new Zealand so Ken Kopsky option would be too expensive. I have a local auto sparkie who specialises in vintage cars who can do the rebuild but I din't want to go thru the exercise and cost to find out for a bit more outlay i could have done it right first time.
Biggest current draw if everything I can ever imagine was turned on at once would be Halogen lights, phone charger, GPS and one spotlight.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 08:00 pm:

Sorry, Kevin -- I didn't see your location. But I'm sure there are several capable rebuilders in your neck of the woods. And in my opinion, rebuilding your generator IS doing it right the first time. Lovely T on your profile page, BTW.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 08:07 pm:

Kevin, lucky it's LHD, I don't think anyone is making alternators to clear the steering for the RHDs anymore.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 08:07 pm:

I can't speak for the 12 volt variety, but I have 6 volt generator pushing 25 watt halogen headlights with Uvira coated reflectors, LED tails/stops, and electronic coils using about the same watts as conventional coils. When cruising down the road I am able to meet those electrical needs and still charge 2 amps back to the battery with the Fun Projects regulator. My only concern with pushing 12 volt Halogen headlights is that most I have seen are 35 watts. That puts you deep into your generator. You might consider just going with 12 volt 25 watt headlights. My halogen headlights are plenty bright enough for any night time driving I'll ever do. They are amazingly close to sealed beams in their performance. Good luck!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 08:18 pm:

Good advice, thanks guys.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 08:39 pm:

I guess it all depends on what you want. If you want 12 volts, the alternator might be the best choice. They are not, however, without problems. If you use 6 volts, the generator works just fine and looks correct. If you are running everything stock on the T, 6 volts works fine. If you are trying to run coils on battery, 12 volts might be better. I have run a 12 volt battery on a 6 volt generator. In that case, without a voltage regulator, the battery acts as its own voltage regulator. Don't adjust the generator too high or it might overheat.

This is what I do. And since the Model T s are only used for day tours most of the time, if the generator quits, no big problem. I look for used generators at swap meets and if the price isn't too high, I buy them. Usually I can make them work. If not, sometimes by swapping parts I can get one to work, so have never bought a rebuilt one in 25 years of Model T'ing. If you have a daily driver and are going to do much night driving, you might want to get a rebuilt or an alternator. Anyway, it's your car and you can do what you want with it.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 10:12 pm:

Norm I agree, at the moment the genny isn't even connected so it just needs a recharge every fee days. The car has been like this for several yrs by the previous owner. However I want to be able to drive at night so I need to do something.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 11:01 pm:

I put a 12v alternator on my '26 roadster as it had been converted to 12v already mostly for ignition reasons. I drive after dark on state highways and the best lights for the rear are 12v model A lights. Tail and turn signals. Being seen from the rear is the most important thing as far as I'm concerned. My '25 TT is 6v with generator but I put a Fun Projects voltage regulator on it when the cut out died. It works great. How well do you want to be seen?. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 11:27 pm:

Pat the lights currently on the car seems to be more than bright enough, even the one tailight (which is on the wrong side over here as we are right hand drive) The one tailight is mounted above a white reflector number plates and this combo really shines up.
In saying that I also purchased a push bike clip on battery powered red flasher light as an extra if needed for the right hand side.
I want to have 12v charging to eliminate using a battery charger but mostly so I can drive extended distance in the dark without running out of lights.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 12:48 am:

If you stay with 6 volt system and don't add too much, the T generator will be be OK. However if yo go to 12 volts, for whatever reasons, then you need an alternator. The T generator can put out about 60 watts (6 volts @ 10 amps), once you go to 12 volts then you must readjust to put out about 5 amps, which is just no enough. If you demand more current, therefore greater power, it will overheat and fail....
I am currently working on a higher power version with an internal fan and I think Bob Berstahl is working on an alternator in a T generator housing, but it is not easy or cheap....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 07:45 am:

Tony, I'm already there...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson, Dunbarton, NH on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 08:28 am:

In 2010 I had my very good friend / expert Model T mechanic Dick Welch rebuild my original 6 volt generator and it has worked great ever since!!!! He has also rebuilt all my coils and they work perfectly.

Happy motoring,

Warren

1917 Model T Ford Canopy Express Delivery


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:06 am:

The Model T generator is capable of producing 100 Watts of power, but NOT on a continuous basis. In theory that would be 13.8 amps charging a 6 volt battery at 7.2 volts and 7.0 amps charging a 12 volt battery at 14.4 volts. Running the generator at these charging rates continuously will overheat and destroy the generator. If you take care of the generator it will serve you well. Violate this rule at your peril.
A stock Model T only needs 4-5 amps charge rate to keep the battery replenished (unless significant night time driving with headlamps). Under these circumstances if you use a use FunProjects Voltage Regulator you will significantly reduce the load on the generator because it is only charging the low rate for a short time to replenished the battery and happily spinning doing nothing at other times.
In my view Halogen headlamps bulbs )and attendant higher charging rates) will soon be going the way of the Dodo bird with Led bulbs becoming available. The LED bulb current draw is miniscule.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:25 am:

Ron I have Corcoran head lamps on my '14 speedster. Currently they have this nifty kit in place that lets them hold a 6V sealed beam headlamp (it fits incredibly well) from a Jeep. I'd love to convert them back to be basically gas burning lamps again except that instead of a burner they have a 6V LED light. I just haven't seen anything yet that looks like it will work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 10:48 am:

I agree with Ron on the headlight bulbs as my tails/stops are LED and draw virtually nothing (.18 amps combined). But in the mean time until those LED headlights become widely available, for the little night time driving I do, the halogens light up the road pretty well for me and my aging eyes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:53 am:

Who manufactures 6V LED headlight bulbs , what supplier offers ??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:57 am:

This might work:

http://www.ledlight.com/s25-24-led-light-6-volt-dc.aspx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 12:34 pm:

Thank you Mark. Not sure if applicable for headlight useage. Only see single contact bulb offering. Good for tail/stop ??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 01:30 pm:

I have heard via reliable thread of a European grape vine that there are LED headlights in use in the UK. I cannot personally attest to that or to how well they work but they are coming soon and I wouldn't be tossing away your generator too soon and replacing it with problems. Ford was fooled in the Model A era into thinking their battery problems were lack of charge rate so they came out with the "powerhouse" generators which had more than double the power of the typical generator of that era. They quickly discovered they were going the wrong way and discontinued it. Then in 1934 they went the other direction with a 2 stage device that reduced the charge once the battery reached 8V but that was still too high of a voltage. Finally in late 1939 they introduced their first true Voltage regulator. Then they were on the right track. Those early VR's were vibrating reed devices and had some issues but the battery was happy and when the reed vibrator gave way to solid state - the promised land was reached so far as battery overcharge was concerned.

(Message edited by piewagon on March 26, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Money - Braidwood, IL on Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:55 pm:

My Son-in-Law put an LED headlight in his Harley and he lights up the road for both of us with it. I did not expect it to be so bright. It is hard to look at from the front, it can hurt your eyes. They are coming soon.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Friday, March 27, 2015 - 02:30 am:

The biggest problem with LED's is they are a narrow beam of light and it takes a cluster of them pointing in various directions to get a spread of light. This works but there are no standards for this so you end up with no 2 bulb makers being alike. There are regulations with regard to headlight bulbs and aiming so it is going to be slowed down by laws and regulations but they clearly are in the future once we can get everyone to agree on what will be acceptable.

(Message edited by piewagon on March 27, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Friday, March 27, 2015 - 03:12 am:

Thanks guys I think I'll buy a 12v Alternator and upgrade the amp metre and just leave the lights as they are in the meantime. Should cover all my needs. Thanks for your advice

Kevin


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Friday, March 27, 2015 - 05:30 am:

The original Model T charging system is good for 25 amps. You might want to consider upgrading the wiring in your Model T to handle the increased power of a 12 volt alternator.
Ron the Coilman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Friday, March 27, 2015 - 05:40 am:

Good point, would that just be the wire to the amp gauge and then to the battery? or lights and all?
Thanks


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