I've found them on "Macs" & "Langs" (Postage varies heaps from these two for overseas) and today I found "Texas T's" site who claim there Alternator is a better unit. Any advice guys?
If you must install a alternator I strongly suggest you get the belt driven unit with a cooling fan. The alternator creates a lot of heat in the stator and the gear driven unit has no cooling fan, little air flow and connected directly to the hot engine whereas the belt driven unit does/is not.
Ron the Coilman
One of the claims from Texas T is their Alternator has an inbuilt fan? How good it performs I dont know. This would be a concern but I dont like the idea of a belt driven unit as far as looks.
The new Texas T alternator, a Delco, has a internal fan and larger vents.
Kevin and Frank
Take a look at any modern car with an alternator and see where it is mounted. It is NOT bolted to the side of the hot engine block. Alternators with the fan removed and internal fans with holes in the case are not designed for that kind of environment.
Ron the Coilman
I for one haven't heard any complaints of alternators used on Model Ts failing from overheat.
Buy one from Daryl Becker. You will save about $75 and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
I am far from being an expert but I have a Texas T alternator on my car and it has been trouble free for years.
The one I bought from Larry Becker(Deceased) I've had no problem with at all for the last 4 years.
I've had three of them quit working.
Maybe it's me...or heat...dunno, but I do know Daryl Becker is a stand-up guy whose warranty is good as gold.
(only one was from Daryl)
Alternators and generators only generate lots of heat when they are putting out lots of amps. Since a T has very little amperage draw I would think that no cooling fan would be OK. If in doubt buy the one with a cooling fan. The only time they would be charging at a high rate is if the battery was low or immediatly after starting.
Generators on antique farm tractors did not usually have cooling fans and caused little trouble but most charged 10 amps max.
I used a couple different bolt in alternators several years ago. Good for a year max before cooking the circuits. These were not from Texas T's or Becker so maybe I just had a bad source but heat was a definite enemy on the ones I tried. I use a belt driven version now and it works great (but is ugly on a T even if it is a speedster). I'd certainly want a unit with a fan if I were to venture down that path again.
I purchased on about 10 years ago and have not had a single problem with it. But then it is still in the box on the shelf. Dewey
Hmm so many varied replys....I can understand that being bolted to the engine will be hotter but the orinal generator is also bolted there where in later cars they are also remote mounted.
They just look so out of place remote mounted.
Dewey do you want to sell your shelf unit lol.
I can see that post start up the Alternator might run hotter to replenish the battery but extended night running with lights on would probably be the most concern, Ronald & Will you say you have had years of trouble free running does much of this include night time or extended heavier draw running?
Ted Dumas...How do I contact "Daryl Becker", an email is best if possible, Thanks
Great stuff... thanks guys
I find it amusing that a bolt on alternator looks ok, but a belt drive alternator doesn't look right on a T.
I am still running a decades year old alternator purchased from Texas T's before Ben Hardeman bought it. I know it has to be 30 to 35 years old and is a Japanese alternator with no cooling fan or vent holes. I don't drive it on long tours. The farthest it has been from home is fifty miles. I is still going strong with no maintenance required.
Should have said, "It is still going strong".
My recommendation is drive that coupe 5,000 miles and then revisit the question.
If its for the car on your profile, why? I must be missing something discussed previously on another thread. Your car seems to have spiffy reflectors.
I drove my '35 Ford 6-volt generator equipped car to work three times this week in the dark. I have owned that cabriolet for 40 years and cannot think of a single reason to put an alternator on it or my '25 touring.
I don't go out of my way to drive the '14, '25 or '35 at night but just because it is dark does not end the driving day. I have been driving the '14 with gas lights since the first of the year. Talk about a set of halogens!
In all cases be even more careful at night or twilight. Modern drivers are used to seeing headlights in the daytime.
What kind of fun is a halogen? I have an Expedition for that.
Ken in Texas
I've had a Daryl Becker 12v alternator for two years now. No Problems, great service when purchased. PK
Ask the vendor you are getting the alternator from if the gear is threaded on or held with a role pin. You want it to be threaded. Pined gear alternators had pin failures.
I have been using a Texas T alternator since 2008
after having the outside voltage regulator alternator burn out.
P.S. I have always used fiber gears with no gear failures
I bought a rebuilt generator from Ron Patterson, it's better than it was brand new I'm sure. I don't know much about these new retrofitted alternators but the looks of them are a turn off.
Yes its the car in my Profile and its my first choice every day driver. I've only owned it a short time so still working out whats best. As purchased it runs 12v battery and has a disconnected non working 6v generator fitted. Hence every few days battery needs charged plus can only drive a short time with lights on. I brought a new 6v Battery but it winds pathetic and wont start. Yes you have missed previous threads about how to address this after which I have now decided to leave 12v bulbs in and have a perfect starter. Its Autumn here and I want to drive it thru winter so I need a 12v charge system. I have decided Alternator even though it isn't period looking but i dont want a belt driven hang out the side version. But what brand and who from? How do I contact "Daryl Becker"?
This might help. Good Luck. Tom
Thanks Tom that tells me more about him and even shows a phone number, not sure if there is some digits missing to get the correct state etc but I'll try it after the weekend.
Further to above. Do you really need to go to an
alternator? I've been using a 6 volt generator to charge a 12 volt battery for more than 20 years.
Last battery lasted 8 years. Night time driving is fine as long as you are not running a lot of extra electrical equipment. If you get a Fun Projects regulator, this setup works fine. If you really need more amps, get your defunct generator rebuilt for 12 volts and get a F P regulator to suit. Some of the alternator conversions don't work with right hand drive and depending on amps output you may also have problems with the amp meter. I really reckon you should get your generator rebuilt 6v or 12v with appropriate regulator. And check/fix all electrical connections. 6 volts should spin the starter adequately. And get an inline fuse. my 2 cents FYI Tom
Kevin Just found this It says alternator business has moved http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/374794.html?1375902668 good luck Tom
Daryl Becker.... 419 577 2341
6 volt & 12 volt alternators
Tom, my car is left hand drive so that makes it easier. I'm guessing by the time I get my genny overhauled locally and then a 12v Reg sent over the costs wont be that much different than buying a new 12v Alt & bigger amp meter and having them posted. Problem solved in one go and night time driving sorted...the trade off is non original look once bonnet is up.
Considering I'll be ringing from New Zealand do I need more numbers to get to the correct state when ringing 419 577 2341?
From NZ its 00 1 419 577 2341
Hope it all works for you, Tom
Has anybody had sucess with a "Magneto Voltage Regulator" as in this link?
This is clearly a cheaper option and keeps the standard dead genny in place but does it cut the mustard?
I use one for my 6v battery, only used fore starting and the horn. It disables my buzztack is what I don't like about it.
A few years ago we helped a fellow with that particular magneto voltage regulator. We discovered the internal circuitry does not work as described and will disable your magneto in a way that the coils do not work.
The attendant literature was subsequently revised to take this fact into account.
Ron the Coilman
I'm running a 6V bittner mag charger for several years, first up I had no coil problems on mag but some time later I had the coils checked and set, that's when it wouldn't run properly on mag so just ran on battery, now running on a E timer, as for your original idea for lights, well they are no more than a trickle charger, I don't drive this T at night, others I have for night driving are gennys and one with an belt alternator.
You wont be sorry to put that Texas T on and 12 volt lights if you plan on a lot of night driving.
Good advice, thanks guys I thought I'd ask and I think I wont go there.
Back to the Alternator option....
Daryl Becker phone is 336-601-7786
First tried ringing the 419 number, it didn't dial I just got "The wireless customer you rang is not available" ?
So I then rang the 336 number and it actually dialed then a lady's recorded voice said leave a message but then it said I can't because "the message box is full".
An email address would be so helpfull.
Here is an email address for Daryl Becker that was posted in the 2014 forum:
Specious claims of doom and gloom without solid substantiating data can lead to ill informed decisions.
I have no such data to share on alternator reliability, however, I did characterize the operation of the magneto "Voltage Regulator" cited and found the one I tested simply shorts the negative magneto output pulses to ground which I consider a very inefficient and rather crude way to limit magneto voltage excursions and would not classify as regulating the magneto output voltage.
This also explains why the installation of the device on the magneto output CAN disable stock coil operation. Magneto coils wired to actuate coils on the negative voltage pulse would not function as they are shorted to ground by the device. Magneto coils wired to actuate coils on the positive voltage pulse would function normally provided the load applied to the device is not excessive.
I can provide the data and voltage waveforms to substantiate my observations if interested. A question I have is: what happens to a magneto if the output is shorted to ground? Does it damage the coil or insulation due to heating? Does it change the level of magnetic charge on the permanent magnets? I rather not find out by taking data on this one!
Thanks Mike, I wont be going down that road.
I intend to fit an Alternator. The problem is getting people to sell me one -
1. Langs ... good to deal with, their international postage is shown as you order but is very expensive. They respond quickly to emails.
2. Macs... good site and respond quickly to emails and their postage is shown as you order plus international postage is almost half the price of Langs.
3. Texas T ..I like the sound of their Alternator but postage is not shown, they ask to email them for a quote...7 days and 2 emails later still no reply. They obviously dont want my business
4. Daryl Becker...sounds great option but are impossible to contact. I have phoned both the numbers provided above plus emailed them with no contact...still hoping for some response from them.
We lose daylight saving in a week and a half so lights on driving is going to be more common.
Kevin -- Texas T Parts no longer exists. Ben sold that business to Birdhaven Antique Auto Supply. They now handle all of the parts made by Texas T. Here is their contact info:
Address: 3515 W 88th St N, Colfax, IA 50054
I haven't been able to find an email address for them, but here's a toll-free (from the US anyway) phone number from their ad in the latest Model T Times magazine: 866-302-3673
I've been running a Becker 6 volt alternator the past 6 years or so, charging rate on the ammeter never showed above 8 amps, even with a low charged battery or extended use of the starter.
Daryl Becker has a Facebook account...... do a search.
Though the question was not asked. It costs not even 2 extra dollars to ship a voltage Regulator from Fun Projects to Australia or New Zealand since it can ship First Class Mail International and we do it all the time. Maybe the rates went way up when I wasn't looking but I don't think so. I hear a lot about 12V being necessary to start up a T. I had a 1955 Ford convertible when I was in high school in 1960 and it had a hopped up 312 CU IN thunderbird V8 motor in it. It started on the coldest day of winter here and it had a 6V system. I find it hard to believe all of the troubles you guys have that I don't have with my 6V system in my Model T. I have to admit I love original cars so I tend to only consider how to properly repair or restore things rather than modify and replace with modern. To each his own.
Look closer since the problem with that magneto regulator is even worse. I bought one early on to use on my son's 16 roadster since it was stated that it provided full wave power out of the magneto - it does not. The other half cycle of the magneto (the positive going one) will forward bias the only power diode in there thus half wave power only in spite of the claims. That diode has no current limiting provision at all and connects the magneto post directly to the positive battery post and there is little or no heat sinking of that diode and no fuse. If that diode fails due to excess heat or a voltage spike it will short and when it does the 12V battery will provide full current back through that shorted diode into the 1/4 ohm resistance of the mag winding and that will put over 40 amps or more into that mag ring on a permanent basis until the battery is dead. I was in an awkward spot since I really don't feel comfortable talking negative about something I didn't design yet the danger was obvious and the results could be catastrophic for someone. There are pictures that have been posted here of what happens in the motor when the magneto windings come off the mag ring. Of course when that diode shorts the battery would instantly discharge the magnets and kill the magneto but that is nothing compared to cooking the mag ring which is what would then instantly commence. Most people thought I was just trying to make trouble and there was no real danger but there is. A fuse in that thing is a must and you were wise not to check it out too much further since the lack of a fuse might not seem that important at first glance. When functioning as designed I think the output of the thing would be about the same to the battery with or without shorting out the magneto during the negative half cycle via the SCR that is in there but I never installed it to find out since I didn't like it either.
From the Land of Lincoln comes the voice of sanity. A properly tuned and adjusted vehicle that was designed to start and run on six volts will do so. If a Model T is hard starting, fix that and you won't have to bother with the twelve volt superstition. I am not an electrical expert, but I do know that I start a truck, a tractor, and a couple of automobiles on six volts with no trouble at all.
A mechanic i know thinks everyone should convert to 12 volts. But he does not know how to make 6 volt work properly. i think he is strange, he thinks i am strange.
Thanks Guys I'll get a friend to search facebook for Daryl Beckers contact plus I'll try Birdhavens site.
Yes I realise the 6v verse 12v issue and I've tried everything except removing the starter and overhauling it or checking to see if it hasn't had a 12v modification because the new 6v battery hardly turns the motor over and often doesn't turn over at all...plus the motor is difficult to start via the crank but instant on the starter with 12v.
Anyway 12v is the way I'm going and all I need is a new gear driven Alternator. I'll still have the stock Genny if i feel the need to go back in the future.
When I first got my T, I almost fell for the 12 volts is better line of thought. There were conversion parts in the Mac's catalog so 12 volts must be better right? Somehow I decided to stick with the correct 6 volt system and fix everything. Glad I did. 6 volts is a real T system and can work perfectly all the time.
Maybe on yours but not on mine
You are of course free to change your car as you see fit, but the advice given here is just trying to help
I don't use no starter since Ford equipped every Model T with a crank so it isn't really needed, but if you want your starter to last you should consider taking it apart and check it out - it hints that it has some troubles inside since it needs 12 v to crank properly. The trouble will show eventually - maybe faster when it's fed 12 volts. Giving a tired starter double voltage is a bit like what horse traders did back in the day when they fed a small dose of arsenic to an old horse to make it look like it fattened up and regained a lot of energy - though it didn't last long..
I just removed the alternator from my T and put the generator back on. I ran it for 5 months and could not get the gears to mesh properly, hence polluting my oil with aluminum filings as it chewed into my nice timing gear. After maybe 6 oil changes and dropping the oil pan multiple times, I had enough and put it on the shelf. Now, to try to contact the seller.... Yeah, my lights were bright.
What brand of Alternator did you use Dave?
Roger you may well prove to be correct only time can tell. The car has been running 12v since 2009 but how many miles before I owned it I dont know. I use it every day so I guess I'll do more starts and probably more miles in a month than most T owners will do in a year so if my Alternator fails it will do so much quicker.
There is a several reasons why 12v is my option.
I'm not worried about a new alternator failing, it's your starter that won't work with 6V that probably needs some service. And as has been written elsewhere, you can get 12v from a generator if you like - it'll work if you don't drive with halogen lights on all the time.
By the way, if you think you need 12v for charging a phone or GPS - try charging it from 6v first, it just may work? Most batteries in electronic devices charges at 5 volts, so there's a good chance 6 volts is enough
(Message edited by Roger K on April 01, 2015)
If a generator or alternator "chews" up a timing gear, it should have had extra gaskets at the generator mounting bracket where it bolts onto the block. Have to check gear mesh & clearance before running with either unit.
"I've tried everything except removing the starter and overhauling it..."
So why not get the MTFCA Electrical system book and just do it? A car that starts by hand crank should do so on just a touch of the starter button. Does your car start easily with the hand crank? If all the stock parts of the system are in proper order, the stock voltage is more than enough. If a faucet is partially clogged, increasing the water pressure may cause it to squirt farther, but it won't increase the flow.
The hazard of a failed diode in the magneto charger was discussed in previous threads as I recall so did not elaborate on that aspect but definitely worth reviewing that serious consideration. I too like to avoid criticizing designs of others but in the case of the unit I tested, felt the approach violated sound engineering practice in normal operation. Shorting half the magneto output cycle to ground wastes energy and puts an un-necessary load on the engine but wondered what other adverse effects could be imposed upon the magneto having half its output cycle shorted to ground. Will a Model T magneto survive without degradation if the mag post is accidently shorted to ground during normal operation? I don't know the answer to that so would not put that magneto charger I tested on my car.
I have designed a Magneto to 12VDC +/-5% power converter but never pursued it because I thought it already existed. Not! My design does provide true full wave rectification of the magneto output into an isolated boost/buck switching converter that provides up to 1A of continuous load current with better than 85% efficiency. Perhaps there may be a future for it after all.
Funny but I too designed and built a prototype of a device like that but I never pursued it beyond that since I came to the conclusion that you really could get enough charging current with a much simpler setup and it wasn't worth pursuing for the most part. The charge current needed generally is enough to recharge the battery after a startup with a typical T starter and that really only takes a matter of minutes even with a small half wave charger but one must be careful not to pull too much current off or the coil operation can be influenced which is what happens of course with the magneto regulator being mentioned.
With regard to damaging the magneto - Ford published some early numbers on the amount of current that they could get when shorting the output of the magneto directly to ground with an AC ammeter. It was kind of a silly test but that data is around somewhere in one of the service bulletins or Murray Fahnstock books. The amount of output power would depend on how careful the magneto was setup and would likely vary over a wide range if you started comparing various Model T's today.
Thanks for the additional information John, so no damage to the magneto due to shorting the output to ground, good to know. I thought it would put a heavier load on the engine but just did a quick calculation converting electrical power to mechanical horse power. 200W (the frequently cited capability of the Model T magneto according to Ron P) is equivalent to about 0.27HP so a shorted magneto would not present a heavy load ignoring other losses.
Yep, have to agree; it makes little sense to pursue a sophisticated power converter to serve as a magneto battery charger when simplicity coupled with DIY approach works well. You can't get much simpler than the time proven method of using a diode and 1156 bulb that gets the job done just fine with built in fault protection. Not very efficient but a heck of a lot less expensive.
The alternator that I ran was bought from Be...r, but I don't recall which brother, and turmoil was occurring within the company at the time. I messed around with the gear mesh clearance a considerable amount, both adding and removing gaskets until it seemed best. It's as if the steel gear of the alternator was machined incorrectly. I'm pretty pissed as my newly rebuilt engine now has about 5,000 miles on it, and it's impossible to judge how much damage was done to the babbit by the nice shimmering silver oil. I'll stick with dimmer headlights.
Steve Jelf, to answer your questions.
My 27 running Vaporizer is very stubborn on the crank.
I attempt to crank start every time which is 8 to 20 times every day as I drive it everyday.
I have tried lots of peoples suggestions on how to crank but none have improved it reliably.
From cold - I can usually start it in about 8 1/4 turns. More than most but I can live with that.
From Hot - Normally takes about 30 1/4 turns....yes not 3 but 30 attempts but often I will give up after 10 -15 and get in.
However as soon as I get in and hit the button it fires via 12v.
The car needs a quicker spin to start than both handcrank and 6v can provide, why I dont know and I realise this isn't normal but its the way it is.
I purchased a new 6v battery but its pathetic and slow winding and often cant even turn the engineover, yes Ive tried boosting the leads and things another forum suggested.
Yes I agree the starter should be removed and overhauled and this would improve the slow wind over but I'm betting the car still wont start. I'm strong and fit and the car gets a bloody good spin on each crank! I believe the car still wont fire on a 6v wind over after I have spent money on a starter rebuild and then I'll be brassed off.
After giving up or if I'm in a hurry I hit the starter as the 1st option it fires straight up.
Simple....on 12v its an instant starter anything else its an act.
The ONLY way I will consider going to 6v as if I can address the starting issue. If its not the vapourizer perhaps its the timing settings/spark or something else. The coils have been tested and set although I purchased 4 rebuilt units which are being checked now so I might try them when I get them back.
To add to the puzzle every now and again it will start 1st crank when hot, I learnt a trick from another forum last week and for one day it started 1st crank when hot but not since. This implies coils/timing etc isn't the issue unless its intermittent.
In conclusion until the car hand cranks easily like all your cars do I wont consider 6v.
I have also noticed it never free starts (accept once), I now try this on every start, the coils buzz when the retard is about 10 notches from the top usually but no start.
Some ten years past I bought a Becker six volt alternator. Playing with the new item I could see the screw on gear was wobbling. Stuck a Allen wrench in the shaft and unscrewed the gear stuck it in a lathe and checked the run out at the rear of the gear, it was twenty thou. Turned the gear true and no more wobbling. Called Mr.Becker and explained the issue. Mr. Becker said he would talk to the maker as the gear had been cut off not turned off. The Alternator has worked perfectly for years.
Good info Paul, I'll check that out before I fit one.
Maybe the vaporizer can be improved?
Many guys loose their patience with vaposizers and swaps to a NH or an even better accessory carb, but maybe the hard starting issue is something easily fixable like a minor vacuum leak at the hot plate?
I'm sure it is the vapourizer and so was the previous owner who provided me with both manifolds to suit the previous carb system. I would need a carb and then do the linkage mods.
What is available in the way of accessory carbs that are reliable?
I havent checked for a vacuum leak yet, whats the best way to attack this?
I had a vaporizer with a bad flapper that was really hard to start.
once you fixed ya flapper was it an easy starter?
You know Kevin, I can't remember. I think I must have Alzheimer's or mad cow or something. I can't remember if I fixed it or replaced it. This happened nearly 40 year's ago.
lol no probs
They should start well when they are repaired.
I'll confess up front that I've had exactly zero experience with a vaporizer because I've never had a 1927. But I have read comments about them by some who have. I think they have a reputation for working well when adjusted perfectly, but being difficult to get right. For that reason a lot of folks replace their vaporizer with something less temperamental, usually a Holley NH. I do have experience with that. It's very simple, easy to rebuild, and functional. Holley made millions of NH carburetors, so they're plentiful and therefore the cheapest Model T carb. You would need the carburetor and the intake manifold to go with it (also plentiful/cheap). I don't know how the 1927 linkage hooks up to it, but I expect you could figure that out. I suspect conversion to an NH would cure your hard starting and let you forget about all the electrical alterations you're contemplating. I hope some folks who have done that will share their experience.
Thanks Steve, One difference is the linkage comes over the top of the engine as the Carby is high, only the fuel bowl is down low.
The guy I picked the car up from who has a lot of experience thought it was the Carby & supplied the two manifolds required to use older system, so its just a Carby and linkages I would need. Frustrating really as the set is original and in very good condition, I suspect recon when the car done.
My preference would be get this one right, wouldn't think there would be much to adjust?
How many miles did you drive that coupe in the last 12 months?
Which alternator you buy depends on your mileage.
Ken in Texas
My experience with the Becker bolt on 12V Alt has been good to this point. It runs 2 blower fans and an electric compressor clutch and sometimes the headlights all at the same time and so far so good. Maybe the next time it'll blow up, who knows. I don't use headlights very much, but the AC is on a lot.
Ken I have just brought the vechicle but I drive it everyday. In saying that I live in a small country town. I would guess 3 to 5 thousand miles per yr if the car stays reliable. What brand do you suugest based on that?
Wow that's a bit to run Hal.
The most it would run is the 12v lights but that might be for 4.5 hours constant running if we go to town and get get held up. It needs to be able to handle that.
Sounds like you have electrical expectations similar to Hal. However, I like the 5119ALT12 that Lang's supplies. You cannot beat the service.
You may want to give some thought to the starter at this time as well.
Whichever you should choose in the end, I do suggest you order a dozen 5022's. It has been my experience that they are normally in short supply wherever 12V T's are driven.
Ken in Texas
I've used Langs for my first order but their freight costa are very high so I will try to use other suppliers if possible.
Due to import duty, taxes & handling charges coming into NZ I need to keep all orders under $295us including shipping to avoid all the above charges... Hence a langs uniti isn't first choice.
What is a 5022? I'm guessing its a bendix for the starter?
You're gaining on it but get some local help too before you change up everything! I assume you are running coils and magneto.....
Maybe give the 6-volt starter another chance,
Be sure the 6-volt cables are sized correct (not 12 volt wire size), all terminals are CLEAN and making good contact, and the 6-volt battery is fully charged.
Since it ran already, don't touch the crank, turn on the fuel valve if you have one, get in the cab, retard the spark*, pull the throttle down about half, turn to bat, hit and hold in the starter while you choke on the dash. I suspect it will start before the sixth "rumpf".
*The retard may be too retarded. If so, it will make the car a real bear to start with the starter and nearly impossible to start with the hand crank because it fires too late. You may ask me how I know.
If it didn't go, let it sit for twenty minutes, move the retard down two clicks and repeat the above.
If it continues to start hard, get the buddy. It may be too retarded and you need someone that knows how to set/check the timing. BE CAREFUL with this one and the forum guys can help with this one if nobody is near you.
Hate to see you change everything over a little housekeeping and settings. Please tell us what happens.
Yes, the 5022's are Bendix springs. The 12-volt Model T's seem to break them on a rather regular basis on tour. Just my experience.
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on April 07, 2015)
Thanks Ken I'll have a play with your ideas and let you know.