12 July 2011

how to - 6-volt trouble shooting

For some reason I'm keeping the roadster pickup "chief" 6-volt.
It has gone many miles with this system,
and only since the rebuild has it had a backup battery.

double 6-volt optima batteries

2 weeks ago finally hooked up the drivers side.
Each has a separate battery switch.
The idea is if the generator or something burns up,
there will be a reserve battery to at least get to civilization with.
(I'll do an "ancient history" post of a cool dead battery fiasco)

tucked away

Anyway it was a good thing I had hooked up that battery.
Little did I know the system wasn't charging!
Since it has only been driven locally lately,
and also only in the day time ( no lights),
I've basically been milking the battery little by little.
The 6-volt starter had always been slow.

So what the heck.
Was it ever charging?
First I did the "polarizing the generator" trick.

handy regulator placement

Basically take the FIELD wire off regulator and touch it to the BATTERY wire.
Just a spark.

polarizing the generator

The voltmeter still had no reading at the generator.
(The ammeter isn't hooked up yet)

Well time to take it apart.
Yes it is a real generator,
not one of those overpriced-fake-generator alternators.

electrical work bench

This made me want to start a totally different project.
Remember all those speakers on the workbench?

perich brothers (and sister): Happy Father's Day... to me - Klipsch KG4's

temporary workbench priority

I need to figure this out first.
On the back of the old ford generators is a little oil fill cap.

generator oil fill

Basically this is the root of most early generator problems.
Too much oil and the brushes and armature will get coated.
Too little oil and the bushing wears out and starts hitting the magnets.

glazed commutator

The copper part - the commutator is the most important,
if its glazed over the electrical current is blocked.
Clean up with some sandpaper or steel wool.
All that spray electronic cleaners for the stereo's work bitchin too.

clean brushes

I was too greasy to take a before pic,
but this was coated with dirt and oil.
One of the brushes was also stuck a little bit.
How long was I driving like this!

generator pre-test

All back together.
Easy to do on a 2-brush system,
a little harder with the 3-brush starters.

With the voltmeter attached to the generator,
a couple spins and the thing should show a charge.
(it didn't before)

Oh what's that over there?
This thing is one of the handiest tools.

trippy box end wrench
made in germany

It's like 10 tools box-end wrenches in one.
Unfortunately its metric but its close enough.
Being made of pot metal you can't really crank on it too much anyway.
I grabbed this from papa's garage,
have no idea if it was made before the east/west wall was made or taken down.
Any info leave a comment!

alternators are for girls

So finally the old hot rod can probably make it out of city limits.

Yes I had to cover up the generator!
I've been making those things for a while now.
If anyone wants some email me!

workbench is back

And yes I did spend way too much time getting some bench space back.


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