Well, I've managed to ruin another generator. No matter how hard I try I either have the 3 rd brush adjusted too low and the battery doesn't charge or I have it set to a max charge of 8 amps and the generator burns up. I'm using my stock OEM Ford amp gage in the dash to measure current. I tried hooking up my small battery charger to the output terminal on the generator cut out with the engine off and checked the amp gage against the gage on the battery charger, they were within 2amps of one another. I'm considering dropping the $250 for a 6V generator with built in regulator. My T is a driver not a show car but I still don't like looking at the alternator. I also don't want to spend $250 and have problems with the alternator too. I can rebuild my generator a whole lot cheaper. What is the consensus on the 6V generator?
Sorry, I meant 6V alternator
I have 6 volt alternator I bought through Snyder's in the 1980's and still working. Had to replace one voltage regulator $48.00 again at Snyder's and it is still working. I did buy an extra regulator for stand-by and it is still in the box. I to got tired of the generator dropping out. There is an alternator that is called a Genernator that has the shell of the Generator with the core of an alternator. They make them for earlier Ford and Chevy's 1940 through the '50's for original show. Called one source that makes them about three-years-ago and at that time he quoted a price of around $750 for my T.
Joe R. Independence, Mo.
Chester, a 1 wire, negative ground, 6v GM alternator is fairly cheap and very easy to make brackets for. I mounted mine on the drivers side above the radiator inlet pipe and I use the adjustability of the fan arm to set the tension for the belt. It didn't take but half a Saturday to make the brackets and get it hooked up to my T. I did buy a Fun Projects Voltage Meter and wired it up with an on/off switch so it doesn't drain the battery when not running.
Odd, 8 amps shouldn't be a problem for a good generator? Did it melt the solder so you know it's burned from running too hot?
Maybe the connection to the battery was broken, letting the voltage and amperes run high? (A Fun Projects regulator would have saved the generator in such a case)
have had one for years works well. Paid 145. as I remember.
The generator on the coupe was bought at a Swap meet in 1977. I installed new brushes and it still puts out 8 amps today. I am not sure what you did putting a battery chargers on the generator output?
When you say it fails, what fails?
Does the rotor melt and all the solder fall out?
Is the stator shorting to the case?
Has the insulation on the moveable third brush failed?
I strongly suggest you I spend $10 on the MTFCA Electrical book and read it. Then carefully look at the failed generator and find the problem. Most failures can be diagnosed with a $5 meter from Harbor Frieght.
Once you have read the book and done your diagnosis, if there is no one locally who can help, get back with us on the forum and the actual problem will be discovered and solved... JMHO
The first generator failure included a melting of the solder in the armature. I haven't pulled this recent one apart to see what died but it exhibited the same symptoms of intermittent out put just before failure and when I stopped to check under the hood, the generator was too hot to touch and I could smell a slight acrid electrical smell coming from the generator, same as happened during the last failure. Hooking up the battery charger to the cut out output terminal with the engine off tests the amp gage to make sure there isn't an open or shorted circuit there. I also tested the output terminal of the generator with the car running at high idle and there was no voltage, but had 5.4 volts on the cut out output terminal(low battery voltage). So, I don't think I have a cut out or amp gage issue. I also checked the wiring on the back of the amp gage and at the terminal strip for loose connections and didn't find anything amiss. I'm bound to be doing something wrong, there are literally thousands of generators out there working just fine. I believe though that a self regulating alternator eliminates some of the "Art" of third brush adjustment. It's possible that the generator was putting out more than 8 amps and my amp gage was under indicating. I don't know but I don't want to continue to spend money on this.
A simple way to test the ammeter is have everything off, note the indication on the ammeter (often the zero is off) and then turn on the headlights. The change in indication will be the current drawn by the lights, if each is a 30 watt bulb, the reading will be 10 amperes (30*2/6).
There are literally thousands of T generators out there running and working fine. Many of them use our Voltage Regulators and they run cool and calm. If you keep doing whatever you are doing it makes sense you will continue to have issues and I suspect an alternator will just bring a new set of repeating failures but you have to do whatever you think is best I guess. It might help if you started by telling us what year of car you have and how you determined that the generator and wiring is all correct since obviously something is radically wrong. As other have stated, 8 amps is not too high of a charge rate for a 6V system but would be about the maximum rate if you have converted your system to 12V. Just not enough info to make any further suggestion. Good luck with whatever you decide.
It is hard to beat an original generator with one of John Regan's Voltage Regulators.No need to get that GREAT GM feeling.
It would appear that you have a problem that is destroying the generator. I would find that first before replacing or changing anything or you will find yourself more out of pocket and still none the wiser. With so few electrics on the "T" a correctly set up generator works well and no need to modify anything.
Maybe your ammeter is intermittent causing an intermittent open circuit for the generator.
Cutout not working?
John pretty much wrapped it up but I'd like to mention that your problem sounds like an intermittent battery circuit failure. You mentioned checking the wiring to the terminal block but the battery circuit doesn't end there. You could have poor battery connections or a poor ground-to-frame. Or the wire from the terminal block to the starter switch is loose.
A generator that self destructs, indicates a loss of battery voltage at the generator terminal. Perhaps a bad cutout or bad wiring. Voltage loss on the battery circuit can destroy a generator in seconds, unless protected. An open-circuit generator will output in excess of 50A (pegged my test meter). It doesn't take long to heat things up at 50A+.
Don't know if this is helpful, but I had a problem with the generator spiking intermittently a while back. I'd be driving along and all of a sudden the ammeter would go right to max output. I have FP regular and good generator, so I was mystified. All I could do was turn the lights on to bleed off all that excess voltage. Upon inspecting the wiring, I found a dirty ground connection to the from the battery negative lead. Once cleaned and re-attached tightly, then coated to help prevent future corrosion, the system ran fine and still does to this day.
I'm using a standard 6 volt generator with one of Johns cutouts on it, and all I can say is I'm happy. Never a problem.
Yeah I agree with the guys that say you have a problem beyond the generator getting fried. That's a result not the actual problem. As in something else is causing it to happen. No sense spending $ on an alternator or a new generator because it'll happen again. As John stated check all wiring + grounds and the cutout relay. I'd add have the battery checked out also. You're looking for something amiss before the generator.
Alternators look like CRAP under the hood of a Model T. (A's, too for that matter), Even when painted black.
The Fun Projects voltage regulator is one of the best investments you can make, as it is very reliable and if it were to fail, it won't cause your generator to fry like a failed cut-out does. With one, your generator will never work any harder than you set the 3rd brush, and most of the time, it will charge at a much lower rate, which is better for your generator and your battery.
Sunny days are better than rainy day for outdoor activities,