I'm into a little project tonight after finding cracked brush plates in my generator. I have the Fun Projects plate kit. Bummer that it doesn't include new rivets. Is it acceptable to use aluminum pop rivets to hold them?
Sigh - Did you ask John Regan, the supplier of the kit?
Sorry for the snappy quip, but this touches a nerve.
Our suppliers are real people, not computers, committees, or corporations - you can email them or talk to them on the phone, and they will provide real, quality advice from a fellow T enthusiast! I have spoken to many of them when I had a question about their product and have always been impressed with their friendly attitude, knowledge, and support, a big thankyou to all of our suppliers!
(Message edited by cudaman on July 11, 2016)
I too, would check with John, I think "pop" rivets might put too much pressure on the plates.
I have used aluminum pop rivets along with washers on many generators . In fact the rebuilding directions says to use these.
Dave, I bought small steel semi tubular rivets from the local Ace Hardware store for the generator and starter brush plates that I've rebuilt.
I had no idea that Ace Hardware would carry steel rivets. Thanks. I'll try to find them tomorrow. I was also considering just peening over some heavy copper wire to make my own rivets.
Ace often has tubular rivets in the Sharon Fastener boxes, if you can't find the right pop rivets.
Here is a thread with some details on the process, copper pop rivets are used:
Further directions can be found in the MTFCA's "The Electrical System" manual and for the visual learner, the DVD 4-2 Brush Plate Restoration shows it too
I have used aluminum in the past but I have changed to copper pop rivets. I use a small brass shim washer to pull the rivet against. I do not let the rivet mandrel break off as intended. I gently pull the rivet gun until it's tight and bulging out the rivet. I then drive out the mandrel. Otherwise there is a small piece of the mandrel left float around in the generator if it come loose. You can them peen over the bulged head and flatten it out. I do several generators yearly and this works great for me.
The Coil Doctor
Thanks guys. What about the brush holder? Would I need to tap the casting for screws?
Dave, tap the holders for a 6-32 flat head screw. I use 3/8" in length. After mounting the holder take a drop of super glue and apply it to the threads as they protrude through the brush holder.
Thanks , Brent. I got it done yesterday and used brass slotted 6-32 screws with blue Locktite. I couldn't get the copper rivets on short order, so I used the aluminum ones, with #4 brass washers and just did a light pull with the pop rivet tool. Then drove the pins out of the rivet and peened the heads down with a punch like you recommended. It was a breeze.
A story about those insulators.
I was researching the cutout housing and base and found some generator stuff at the HFM (the old Henry Ford Museum) archives a fairly long time ago. I ran across some generator parts and the drawings were rather simple so I printed the drawings for the 4 small parts not knowing exactly what they were. I simply tossed them into a file and filed them under generator. I promptly forgot about them. I was watching my friend Ron Patterson carefully trimming what appeared to be a sort of cardboard round circle thingee with slots in it and it was a painstaking job he was doing. I asked him about them and he said they were brush plate insulators but only one was sold and you have to make the other one by cutting it out of another of the only thing available. In other words you bought 2 cardboard insulators and trimmed one to make it into the one that you could not buy. I promised Ron that the next time I was at the archives I would see if Ford had a drawing on that and perhaps I could make them for him. He said it would save him a lot of time. I went back home and got out my generator file to put a note in there to research the cardboard thing and lo and behold right there in front of my eyes was the factory drawing for it. I had copied it without any regard for what it was used for. I quickly determined that since the originals easily broke I needed to make it out of something better and found a material that I could make them out of that was tough yet flexible and just about impossible to crack or break. It also did not absorb moisture and ignored any oil. I called Ron and told him it would not be a few months away but rather a few hours away and I would have some samples of BOTH parts that he was looking for. Ron said he had purchased a supply of the cardboard ones so was covered for his immediate needs. I made the first few pair of those insulators and sent them to Ron. Based on his reaction clearly I should have extracted way more $$$ from him since he said he wanted a hundred sets but would use up his others first. About an hour later he called back and said he tossed away ALL of the cardboard ones since it was just a total waste of time. So what you are seeing in those insulators was a part made exactly to Ford drawing that I grabbed a copy of only out of curiosity while I was at HFM one afternoon. I have personally NEVER rebuilt a generator nor a brushplate but you guys think I am the hero of the day for making those things. Kinda funny. I have no clue how to rebuild a brush plate by myself but could probably do it by following the pictures that Ron sent me. I DID know that one must drill and tap some 6-32 holes and that Ron used copper pop rivets but I don't know what length they are. I am NOT the go-to guy on this. Brent or Ron or perhaps others have built those brush plates but not me ha ha. I just believe in those 60,000 strong Ford Blue prints and have no fear in making a few hundred of something for Ron since I know they will fit the job he is doing. My electrical background helped me pick out the best material but the drawings provide all of the dimensional info needed and no I didn't raise the price from what the very first ones where.
We still love ya man! Thank you for making the right stuff.