1923 T, full electrix. I have set the third brush in the gene so that it charges just sufficient to swing the needle into the plus side of ammeter. Problem I have is that the gene will not begin charging at any engine speed, until I physically 'push down' on the cutout contacts to enable charging to commence. I have backed off the spring tension on the contacts so that it requires absolute minimum of pressure to close the contacts. Seems to me that the cutout windings cannot produce enough magnetic 'attraction' to allow the cutout to operate as it should, although, once I have physically made the connection, there is enough EMF's to maintain contact. Suggestions appreciated. Thank you.
Get a fun projects voltage regulator, looks the same, you will never regret it. KGB
Probably a bad cutout (shorted or open windings). You can get another cutout or get the Fun Projects regulator. If you're going to spend the money for a new cutout, why not spend a little more and get the FP regulator? Your generator will thank you.
It is possible that the residual magnetism in the generator field is weak. When you push down on the contact, you are connecting the battery to the field and in doing so you magnetize the field. If you drive the car for a while and then turn it off and restart, does it work ok. If so it is the residual magnetism. If it still has the same problem after you drive it a while, you might need a new cutout.
You are caught in the classic generator/cutout trouble shooting dilemma. The problem could be the cutout or the generator and manually closing the cutout contacts provides no clues where to look.
Do this; start the engine and set the throttle at a fast idle where you would normally expect the generator to be charging. Using a short piece of wire short between the generator terminal bolt and yellow wire connected to the other side of the cutout without touching the cutout contacts. If the generator fails to show charging on the ammeter the problem is you have a cutout with a faulty voltage winding. On the other hand if the generator starts to show charging on the ammeter the trouble is with the generator.
That is another discussion we can have after you report back your results.
A FunProjects voltage regulator is not a solution till we know where the problems lies!
A generator that is not working (starting up) correctly is a very complicated discussion we can have after you have reported back on my proposed test.
Ron, Will do. You are the expert here....although what you describe seems to me the wrong way around; I'd have thought using a jumper across the cutout, and the ammeter then indicating a charge would show the cutout to be 'crook', whereas if the ammeter shows no charge, that would mean the gene isn't charging? But I will perform the test and report back. Thank you for taking the time to help me out, Brian
What we are doing is trying to find out if the cutout voltage winding is good OR the generator is not "building up" or starting to charge on its own, which I suspect is your problem and very common with a third brush regulation generator.
The cutout voltage winding should operate at 7.2 volts, but you have changed that by reducing the mechanical tension on the relay. At some point you will have to find a known good (u molested) relay cutout or diode cutout for trouble shooting. A FP VR is no solution for a bad generator.
I think Ron was a little tired when he posted the test with the jumper wire. Brian, you are correct.
Brian: I run my generator just the way you are,and I have a push button under the dash that is connected across the cutout. Most of the time the generator will not build up until I push the button for a few seconds then it charges about 2 amperes. Many days I don't bother to charge the battery at all. There is nothing wrong with your generator, it is just not always able to build up on residual with the third brush set for such a low output. I like mine just the way it is. Brad.
I suspect the cutout is toast.
The cutouts cannot be adjusted or repaired by most owners. There are two coils in a cutout. One is the fine-wire pull-down coil that activates when the generator outputs sufficient voltage and current. The other is the large-wire hold and charge coil. (The one you can see.)
In most cases, the fine-wire pull-down coil (energizer coil) shorts or simply burns out because this coil is connected from the generator output to ground. If a generator is allowed to run without being connected to a battery, the fine-wire coil is the first victim of a run away generator.
A quick test for a burned-out energizer coil is to simply test for continuity between the cutout input and the mounting bracket. (When NOT connected to the generator.) This test will not work if the energizer coil is shorted.
This what is going wrong with this forum.
When someone, who knows more about the solution of a problem, is trying to guide us step by step to find the problem an easy way and not by guessing an trying a lot of unnecessary things.
Others walk in the discussion and think they know better
Just listen and try to understand what he is telling.
Thanks Ron, I hope you will stay on.
I like the discussion. There is nothing wrong with Stephan expressing an opinion, especially when it is correct. While I agree Ron is the undisputed expert, I personally like to read all people's experiences.
Sorry to disagree Andre, so please don't get any hurt feelings.
If I am one that you believe is trying to dispute Ron. I am not. Just go back and reread Ron's telling Brian how to test using a jumper wire and think about it.
Thank you gentlemen, I appreciate everyones input, this is most interesting...I have performed the test as suggested by Ron; start up the old T, increase engine revs to approximate 25-30 MPH down the road, use a jumper between the two posts on the cutout, ammeter indicates charge, and maintains that reading when I remove jumper [with engine still running obviously!
Have removed c/o and performed Stephens test; I get continuity between input post and ground.
Tony, Me too I like discussions but I am able to wait for the results of the tests that were proposed to do, before I go in the discussion.
Jim, I am not telling you are trying to dispute Ron.
What Ron is doing by jumping the cutout is testing the field coils condition and the residual magnetism. If it is weak and the field coils are good, by connecting the generator directly to the battery the field will be polarized and recharged again. Probably the generator will work again.
Thank's Andre, When I read the first question I thought Brian was just trying to determine if the cut out was bad or the generator. This made me think that the simple test was wrong for this.
Interesting discussion. I have a cutout off a 35 V8 that has been modified with a diode to suit neg earth. I have fitted it to the T, start up the T, no charge! This seems to suggest that the generator does not have sufficient 'omph' to begin charging by itself??
The next step I make is stopping the engine and start it back up after two or three minutes. If the generator get charging again you have probably a working one. Take a Volt meter and a good Ampere meter (I made a test box for it)to test the real output of your generator. As Ron said you need 7.2V to make the cutout working. The current setting should be about 5Amp.
The 7.2V will built up, you first will have the 6V battery tension, this will increase during some time.
IF and Only IF all this is right you can switch to a diode cutout or a FP RV.
If your generator do not charge again after the stop and restart and need a again a cutout jump to get it charging, your generator needs a rebuild.
For that I know only one man over there to do it right, this is Ron.
Here in Europe I know only Toon Boer in the Netherlands to do it right.
They are both experts to do it.
I am still learning and have a long way to know what they do.
Now you know also the reason why I was a little upset when others came in this discussion I was willing to learn.
Forgot to tell: As I test a generator I always do it without the cutout on the generator and connect my test box between the generator and the battery.
And I'm in New Zealand!!
From your report above the cutout is doing its job, but know this; relay type cutouts are nothing but long term trouble. When the cause of the generator not starting up on its own is repaired you should consider a diode replacement cutout or FunProjects voltage regulator.
The generator is not starting to charge on its own. (called building up). There are several possible reasons for this; dirty commutator, poor brush seating, low brush spring tension, badly worn brushes, very dirty brush plate/brush holders contaminated with a mixture of oil and brush carbon or a high resistance short bleeding off the low voltage required to fuel the startup.
Contact me directly to continue with my help at modeltcoils(at)windstream(dot)net
Try cleaning the commutator surface with a narrow strip of #600 sandpaper with engine idling and spray contact cleaner over the entire brush plate to rid it of carbon dust. Failing that you can dive inside the generator, but that is a slippery slope so try to find some knowledgeable help.
Thank you Ron, email sent, Brian
Just a follow up if anyone is interested; I used a scriber and cleaned out every groove on the commutator, sprayed it all with brakeclean, fire up the T, it immediately shows a charge! Obviously, as Ron mentioned above, dirty commutator. Thank you all who responded, much appreciated.
Following on...Once I'd cleaned up the commutator and got the generator charging, with the third brush moved as far against armature movement as possible,[the setting for minimum charge], that generator was still pumping out 6 -8 amps! This indicated that the brush plate lead was incorrectly set. Ron Patterson kindly sent me the following information;
If the generator is in good shape and charging excessively or not at all with the third brush fully retarded it is caused the brushplate “neutral” not being set correctly. This is a common problem with newly rebuilt/repaired generators. Setting the brushplate “neutral” can be very tricky. You can follow the standard procedure, but getting it in just the correct spot for proper generator operation is sometimes very elusive.
I have used this procedure for years to correct the brush plate not being in the correct "neutral" position on running Model T’s. You will need a helper to watch the ammeter.
Install a known good relay type cutout (not a VR) on the generator. Remove the generator cover band. Adjust the third brush to the fully
retarded position (all the way CCW when viewed from the gear end of the generator). Start the engine and run at a speed where the generator should be charging.
Loosen the four #6-32 screws on the brushplate end cap 1-1 1/2 (only) turns. With your fingers reach inside the generator case and rotate the entire brushplate to a point where the ammeter is reading 1-2 amps charge. Tighten the four #6-32 screws. Now reset the third brush to the desired charging rate. Given the way Model T’s are driven today this should normally be no more than 5-6 amps. This is also very easy on the poor generator and it will thank you for it.
If everything else is working correctly, this procedure will set the brushplate "neutral" to the proper position.
This worked! Incidently...the nut that locks down the third brush adjustment is now located under a 'window' in the generator case. Before I started on this mission, it was up at about the 12 oclock position and damn hard to access, particularly with my heap being RHD.Thank you to all who participated in this discussion, particularly Ron and Andre, I think some valuable information has been brought forth, Brian
And...I am now running a neg ground diode instead of the old relay style cutout.
Thank you Brian an Ron,
I learned something new that will be a great help in my generator adventure.