Had generated tested by a local guy. He said there was some output. Not charging in the car. When the cutout is jumped the engine is loaded and rpm is pulled down - way down. It seems like a very heavy load for a generator to have. Trying to run the engine backwards like an electric motor? Cutout does not seem to be "turning on". Only jumping across it creates this drag on the engine. Unfortunately new amp meter is no good so really don't know the charge rate. Have a 25 amp fuse in the battery circuit that never blew so I am pretty sure the load never got to 25 amps.
How do I test this?
Get the MTFCA Electrical book and follow the instructions for setting up the alternator or sent it to Patterson.
Jumpering the cutout forces current from the battery into the field windings of the generator so it is not a valid test of whether the generator can operate and make its own field current via the third brush inside the generator. I know of no modern shops around here that know anything at all about how a T generator works so taking the generator to a modern shop generally just wastes money with nothing learned or fixed. The generator was equipped with a VR rather than a cutout then you will damage the VR when you jumper it. Thus it is not a good idea to jumper the cutout since it can do some damage and is not a valid test of anything although it is often used to increase the final repair bill by doing it.
Lew, Look around for an outfit that deals with old farm tractors and see if they can test it. Forget modern auto electrical shops. They won't have a clue. Some of those old tractors have generator systems similar to the Model T generators and they would have a god idea how they function. Have them look at the cutout, or better yet get a Fun Projects regulator.
Thanks for the help and advice. I'll seek out a place that is used to working on generators. The guy who looked at this one for me and "tested" it didn't ask for any payment. That was a clue he didn't or couldn't do much I guess. I gave him a few bucks regardless as thanks. How's that saying go "you get what you pay for.........."
I think the advice and help with anything "t" posted on this site is great. Just wanted to let you all know your input is truly appreciated.
I strongly echo John's advice above - have gone the route of visiting the local VERY experienced generator repair shop. Oh yes, they have good, skilled people who know a lot about "modern" generators, but could not understand how to fix my third brush Model T generator!
Find a Model T generator repair person - you may have to pay postage (both ways), but considering your time hunting for a "local" shop, gas and other wear & tear on your vehicle, I do believe that you'd be much happier with a T person.
I'll suggest two possible solutions.
1 Send it to Ron Patterson;
2 Use the MTFCA book and fix it yourself.
Being cheap, I chose the second approach. But first I tried the worst choice—a local "expert". This gentleman is no kid, and has worked on lots of old tractors and vehicles. But he left the broken insulator in my generator because he didn't know where to get a new one. I bought a new insulator from Lang's, used the book, and fixed the thing myself. I'm with John and Dave. Skip the local shop where nobody knows how to deal with a Model T.
Here is a simple phone call script you can read to your prospective MODERN generator shop that will save you a lot of money and time. When he answers the phone say this:
"Hi - my name is Bob and I have a generator that came off a Model T Ford - I think. It has 3 brushes in it and some adjustments. I know it is a complete unit because it was all together when I got it. I took it apart about 4 years ago to clean it up and get all of the dirt and oil out of it. I am absolutely positive that I have all of the pieces but for the life of me I can't remember now where any part of it goes. I was very careful to keep all of the parts in this box so I wondered if I could bring it in box and all and have you put it back together and test it for me?"
Now if the guy says yes he can put it back together then you have found a rare shop but what you are likely to hear is his lamenting that he does not work on them mainly because nobody makes parts for them anymore and they are obsolete...never worked very long anyway...every body ends up converting to an alternator...yadda yadda yadda...he will be off of you and the phone very quickly. I have actually called modern shops for people and learned some really creative BS about T generators. One guy told me that all T's had 8V systems and that 8V generators were just not standard and thus not repairable..?? Not one guy said he had no clue. They all knew all about them but also knew they couldn't be fixed.
What fun! We have a large steam and gas tractor club near my home. I have seen some T's on display along with Fordson tractors so am hoping they have a good electrical guy who is familiar with 3 brush generators. If not, then I guess I'll be going the long distance route. Again, the input is appreciated!
Anything you need for your T is as near as the nearest UPS truck or Post office delivery. Most of us ship things every day and when you figure in the tax and cost of fuel, the shipping costs are in fact not over the top except for UPS latest "oversize" surcharge that begins at 36" That is outrageous.