ALAN IN HOUSTON.
I would like it if I could drive at night and have all my lights working and the alternator or generator would kick in high and take up the full load and keep the battery charged.
I have a 6 V system, have replaced the cutout, and then replaced the generator with an alternator and after 5 minutes my lights are dim and the coils are dying.
If the 6V alternator and voltage regulator you installed are working properly, it should be able to keep up with the drain from the lights and coils.
Does your ammeter show discharge while the lights are on? Does it move over to charge when you rev up the engine?
I have a 6V alternator on my car, and the engine has to be revved up for a moment to get the alternator to "cut in". Once the alternator cuts in and starts charging, then it will continue to charge, even at lower engine speeds.
Well, something isn't right - maybe the modern alternator doesn't work right.
I have an original generator feeding the 6V lights full time with the third brush adjusted to just about one ampeere to the plus side with the lights on. Works fine, but I haven't got any starter and my ignition comes from a high tension magneto so the lights is the only load for my generator. Let's see how long it'll work
Wow! that is one clean looking engine compartment. Can't say what's wrong with your charging system, but someone one the forum knows a lot more than I do will help you.
Warren, that is my engine compartment, not Alan's, thanks for the compliment!
My Becker 6V alternator/regulator setup works great.
As for looks, let's just say that at least the previous owner painted it black so that it doesn't stand out as much.
Does everything work properly when the lights are off? Does it run correctly on battery and magneto? Does the starter work correctly? If you have electric turn signals and/or brake lights, what about them? How old is the battery (although a bad battery shouldn't cause this particular problem).
The alternator is a precision voltage sensitive device. To determine what is not working requires accurate voltage measurements, some device that has been banged around the workshop for twenty years will not suffice. You must be able to read the voltage to within 0.1 volts on a 10 volt range, preferably to 0.01 volts. If you have means to do this then you can determine where the fault lies, otherwise you are just guessing.
(Message edited by Tony_bowker on December 08, 2015)
Well, my engine room looks just as clean or cleaner, except for the oil can.
I have brake and running lights on the back, I have original 6V headlights on the front. I have not hooked up the turn signals yet. The alternator does take a little umpf to get it to start charging. The amp meter goes way over to discharge with the lights on and then pops back to the middle of the gauge. With the lights off the amp meter shows about 8 amps charge.
The battery came with the car one year ago so to the best of my knowledge it is at least one year old. It was sold to me as with a new battery and looks new. When running with the lights on, the engine starts to miss after a short time. Switching to magneto works OK but at high RPM only. It will not idle well on mag. The amp gauge never goes over the 10 amp mark.
Attached picture is old, still has the generator installed.
I would check your 3rd brush setting first,then if necessary check the armature paying close attention to the commutator for shorts. Me oh my I do love blue
How many "filler holes" on the top of the battery - 3 or 4?
Headlight draw is way too much if it buries the ammeter since that means over 20 amps. You might have a short in the lighting, some additional item drawing way too much or a very inaccurate ammeter. The later 26/27 ammeters are notoriously inaccurate. Those are easy to spot because they are about 1" in diameter and in an earlier T they would be mounted with a larger round adapter plate. Some alternator setups don't actually work too well at 6V. I am mainly talking about the kind that uses an EXTERNAL voltage regulator that is mounted outside the alternator at the rear of its housing. If you could show a picture of ammeter and alternator it might help.
3 filler holes.
Picture of dashboard attached
Sometimes the lights get wired wrong. Each light bulb has 2 filaments. Sometimes it turns out that all 4 filaments come on at once. Not always easy to notice unless you're looking for it. Anyway, that will definitely drag your battery down.
This information if for use of a 6 volt T generator. Depending on how much you drive at night would make a difference in how you adjust things. If doing most of the driving in daylight adjust for 5 amps max charge. If most of the driving is at night adjust the 3rd brush to just show a very slight charge at operating speed with the lights on. If you still drive in daylight and at night with the generator adjusted this way, you should do most of the driving during the daytime with the lights on. Maybe drive a short distance after starting to restore the battery charge and then switch the lights on.
A simple fix would be to install a Fun Projects voltage regulator and adjust according to their specs. That way the generator would charge just enough to keep the battery charged regardless of whether or not the lights are on or off.
I think the whole problem is likely that blue engine paint!!
EGADS!!! Ya need dark glass when you lift the hood off that puppy!
David it might be a FOPAR HENRI
This was posted on Fordbarn talking about alternator when used in Model A. While the Model A is positive ground the info should/might be the same.
I went with 6v LED lights on mine and they are MUCH brighter with a fraction of the drain.
Ten amps is as much as a Model T's generator can produce without melting down. I wonder if you have wiring issues that are causing the problem. An ammeter does not really tell you what an alternator is doing. You should connect a volt meter to the battery and then start the car.
A 6 volt alternator should produce something like 6.6 - 7.2 volts at the battery if the alternator is functioning properly in order to charge the battery.
You also need to accomplish an in - car recharge of the magneto. A Model T runs a lot better on MAG than it ever will on 6 volt DC powered coils.
I'm curious as to how to do an ''in - car recharge of the magneto.''
Don, where did you find the 6v LED bulbs? Dave
Finally, after a bit of smoke appeared from under the dash, I figured out I had a short.
It happens when I turn the lights on.
I managed to isolate the terminals of the DIM connectors on the firewall and the headlights work with the light switch to the right. There is a thick green wire from terminal 4 that is grounded. It is disconnected now and I am going to have to trace it to find where the short id. it is supposed to be the rear running lights.
Some years ago a poster on this forum (I can't remember who, sorry) referred to electricity as smoke and recommended that none be let to escape!
Glad to hear you're closing in on the problem.
In the dim distant past I remember a story about English Lucas electrics. Basically electricity was really smoke and the gremlins in the Lucas equipment let it loose...
Has ANYONE ever heard anything GOOD about Lucas?
They had cool looking headlights that the custom car builders used back in the '50's and '60's, don't know if they worked though! Dave
Once upon a time I owned a MGB. I have a history with Lucas electric. It is sort of the electrical system that would be mandated by our wonderful lawmakers if they found some sort way they could pocket money off of them. "Battery systems are bad for you unless they are installed in electrically inefficient hybrid government approved vehicles." "Current demands be damned, make the wires smaller with environmentally friendly insulation" Oh, wait, they have already made the insulation biodegradable and rodent friendly! Those of you that live outside of a large city may have already experienced that reality! We wouldn't want the insulation on wires be made of something like plastic that would last for years and not be attractive to pests with sharp teeth. LOL