I have a 1924 Model T - well it's just a chassis and motor built into a stripped down speedster configuration. The car has no magneto and I've been running it off a 12 volt battery. The original wiring was gone when I purchased it so the generator was never connected - I discovered only moments ago - that a T generator shouldn't be run without being connected to a battery. The motor hasn't been run for more than an hour at most since I've purchased it - and hasn't been driven.
Can I simply connect the generator to the battery? I know there are issues with the cut out not functioning properly and frying batteries - but that seems to be with 6 volt batteries - mine is a 12 volt modern battery. I'm hoping with more amps/volts it will be able to handle what the generator throws at it. Not sure if this info sheds more light but the generator is cranking out 12-19 volts at the terminal before the cut out. Also, not necessarily interested in then voltage regulator set up.
I make the Voltage Regulators but they are not for everyone and I am fine with that. What you don't want to do is just burn out the generator. Unfortunately the generator can be easily and quickly damaged if you spin it up without any "load" on it. It can be destroyed in as little as 100 yards of straight ahead driving or the equal of that in running the motor while standing still. Oddly enough you can run the car on just a fully charged battery and not hurt the generator if you simply put a short wire from the GENERATOR POST directly to ground. The assumption I am making is that you have a cutout on the generator which may be questionable. All it takes to harm the generator is to have that cutout operate when the engine starts spinning but the cutout does not make contact. The points inside get crusty and in general the mechanical cutouts destroy more generators than any other way by doing just that. They close mechanically but NOT electrically. If you would spend a small amount for a diode type cutout then you could use the generator to charge the battery while you are driving. The generator is NOT really a 6V generator but rather is just a source of current and it can charge a 6, 8, or 12V battery whichever you choose. Mechanical cutouts have an operating voltage that must match the battery but diode cutouts do not have that limitation. If you are not going to put at least a good diode type cutout on the generator then strap the generator output to ground by connecting the generator post to a wire that goes to one of the cutout mounting screws. That will save the generator since with the post grounded there is ZERO field current and with zero field current there is zero armature current. The T when new was shipped with a wire mounted that way and it had a red tag on it with black lettering that warned you NOT to remove the wire until a cutout and battery were properly installed. Save the generator from damage and you can drive all day on a charged up 12V battery alone when running coils and timer. Just put the battery on your charger when you get home. A warning - the YELLOW/BLACK wire that normally is connected to the cutout output connection goes through the ammeter to the battery and is thus HOT all the time - ALL THE TIME so don't hook it to ground. Just hook the generator post alone to ground and the generator will just spin on its bearings and wait for someone to eventually restore the car and place it properly in service again.
Thanks for the thoughtful response and advice.
I recognize your name from some of the other posts I've read - to be clear I meant no disrespect to your product - you have a lot of dedicated followers and they always recommend your product when these questions arise! My T project is on a very tight budget - and my concern is only to get her running and driving - I am considering an investment in your regulator.
The internals on the cut out seems to be in good shape - the points are clean and free of crustiness, as well as everything else under the cap. If i understand what you are saying the potential issues occur if those points DO NOT close when the generator is running.
There was no wiring on the car when I purchased her - and from the wiring diagrams I've found online - I assume I can run a wire from the output side of the cut out - straight to the positive post on the battery?
How can I determine if the generator is cooked? No current output?
You can't do that Wesley. You need a cutout of some sort. For now just short it to ground to prevent further damage like John said. It is likely ruined already, nearly 100% of them are bad when the car was parked years ago by the last owner.
Thanks for the concern and advice.
I have a cut out. The cut out is not an original - It's NEWER aftermarket from the looks of the case and the internals.
IF it's not functioning the generator is probably already toast and all of this is moot...
- I simply wanna know how WOULD I test the generator to determine if it is bad.
- How would I test the cut out to see if it is functioning? Ammeter?
- And is it as simple as running the wire from the output side of the cut out to the battery?
Remove the cutout to remove it from testing.
Place DC meter on generator terminal, and measure with engine running briefly, that will tell you the generator gens.
The cutout protects the battery to prevent it draining back to the gen, that is why its a "cut out"
If you have a cut-out installed, then yes, you can run a wire from the cut-out output terminal to the battery. It's nice to have an ammeter installed in that line, but not imperative. The ammeter will tell you whether you are charging or not and by how much.
You may or may not have cooked your generator. I did the same thing as you when I got my first antique, a Model A. I didn't even know what a cutout was. And in case you don't, it closes the circuit to the battery when the generator starts to 'gen', but it opens the circuit when you shut the car off. If it doesn't, current will flow from the battery to the generator the whole time the car is turned off. This will run down your battery and could do damage to the generator too. If it doesn't close when you start the car, the generator will run 'unloaded' (Because it can't see the battery), and it will burn itself out. I lucked out in that my brush plate insulators were cracked and the brushes grounded out. It wasn't trying to charge, so no damage. I was able to rebuild the brush plates and had no armature damage, so I was lucky.
Not to start any crap, but I just saw a prime opportunity for someone to post an infomercial, but instead, the gentleman even suggested using a competitor's product without pushing his own. The mark of a gentleman, indeed, in my opinion. I'm sure some are not interested in my opinion, so ignore it if you aren't. Merely stating an observation. I hope I was not the only one to notice.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice. I think you are all indeed gentleman.
Apologies if I did not make it clear or came across as a jerk - I thoroughly appreciated John's advice - and to Hal's point - he could've easily pushed his product and didn't.
I'm new to T's and to message boards.
Thanks, to everyone!
And here's my girl...
I just added the "A" wheels with new shoes a few weeks ago...
Doesn't look like it posted my pict
You did not come across as a jerk. Not at all.
Welcome to the hobby!
I have always found John's advice to be in the best interest of the car & its owner.
Private message (PM) sent.