OT: Generator voltage regulator issues...



From your description it seems like the only thing that was manipulated was the VR. If that's the case then maybe therte's a bad wire that connects to the VR and that the bad spot is most likely between the VR and where the wire enters the wire bundle. Maybe a break in the in the wire inside the insulation right where it is connected the the VR. I've seen that before. Maybe you can put a meter on the battery terminals and wiggle the wires to see if the voltage rises above the battery voltage. Eric
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Coming in late on the subject here, but have you bypassed the regulator to see if it charges? Just ground the feild terminal with the engine running and see if it charges. If it charges when grounded and not when not grounded, the voltage regulator section of the 3 unit regulator is not functioning. If it still doesn't charge it is a generator problem (or primary wiiring between the battery and generator - or the cut-out section of the regulator. or the current regulator section. Isolate this by momentarily jumping from the Gen terminal to the BAT terminal on the regulator. Make sure you do NOT ground anything with the jumper!!! (and ONLY do this with the engine running.) If it charges, the regulator is bad..
Not out of the ordinary on an old working truck to have an intermittent field control resistor (there are generally 3 of them inside the regulator, generally on the back, exposed to the atmosphere.. Also not out of the ordinary for a problem to develop in the cut-out relay - burned points in particular.
Also, at that age, not a stretch to have worn out brushes in the generator, or a glazed commutator or even a broken brush spring - all of which can cause an intermittent charge. On a truck that is only used very intermittently and sits in farm dirt the rest of the time the brushes would be prime suspects (if grounding the field makes it charge, that's where to look!!!)
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    [ ... ]

    You could simply run new wires for the few that matter here, and use nylon cable ties to secure them to the outside of the wiring harness. A lot easier than trying to dig them out of the harness. Just make sure that the gauge of the wire is at least as large as what is being replaced. The generator-to-battery is likely the heaviest one.
    Does the generator have a separate ground lead, or is it depending on the chassis to carry the ground? Perhaps rust where the generator bolts to the engine block might produce an intermittent like what you have.

    Also -- new wires on the outside of the harness would be easier in cold weather.
    I did rebuild a generator in an MGA once, including replacing the bushing at the commutator end. Factory manual advised threading a tap into the bushing to jack the old one out, and then pressing in a replacement. The pulley end had a ball bearing assembly, since the lateral load was greater.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 02:44:52 +0000, DoN. Nichols wrote:

+1.
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Tim Wescott
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On Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:04:21 -0600, Tim Wescott

Y'mean the shotgun didn't work? <giggle> I've seen guys spend hundreds of dollars DIY and still not fix the problem. When they brought it in, there was something simple like a break in the wire AT the terminal but still connected via the plastic cover. Depending on how smug they still were, I'd either do it N/C (humbled) or ding 'em for the minimum 1-hour fee (smug). Other 'magic' included tapping on the regulator housing with a screwdriver handle to verify the problem and free up the stuck points.

Good advice. I'd also check the points in the new regulator. I hope dpb has a point burnisher. My buddy Terry (Baird Gamma Camera repair) had a nice one from way back: http://tinyurl.com/hz9oth5 But you can get one for $11.20 on eBay now: http://tinyurl.com/hx7jgsw
Common problems occur at connections to gen, reg, and ammeter. Heavy leads to the un-shunted ammeter in old vehicles have a tendency to loosen oven time. Eons ago, I used to get people complaining about smelling smoke or burnt wires inside their vehicles, which was usually from loose 12ga terminals on headlight switches, dimmer switches, ammeters, or htr/ac fans.

Yeah, he could do that, but if it ain't broke...oops, that doesn't work here. I prefer simplicity and gen/reg systems usually are.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Didn't some of those old vehicles stop charging if the idiot lamp was bad? I've seen more than one of those bulbs that was intermittent.
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dpb wrote:

Well at the risk of making it a bit more cluttered under the hood. Bypass the entire truck wiring harness. On the generator run a wire from the F terminal on the generator to the field terminal on the regulator.
Same with Gen terminal to A terminal
Then a wire from the Bat terminal to the positive side of the battery through an ammeter.
Run a ground wire from the regulator to the engine block.
The book on regulators and testing. http://www.navioneer.org/riprelay/The%20Navion%20Files/Delco_Remy_Generator_Regulators.pdf
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Maybe your idiot light bulb is burned out? FLD is supposed to be wired through what they call idiot bulb, kind of a silly name.
I have a couple of forklifts of similar vintage with Detroits, always problems with alternators charging.
The easiest I found is to just buy new ones. Delco 10-si replacements made for slow speed operation.
i
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On Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 9:01:21 AM UTC-5, Ignoramus32123 wrote:

I'm guessing you know where it comes from. Competent drivers pay attention to gauges. Idiots rely on lights, which tell you, for example, that your engine just lost its oil pressure and that you just burned it up.
They tend to tell you what just happened, rather than what is happening.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:01:15 -0600, Ignoramus32123

Ig, "idiot lights" got their nickname because by the time they come on, the damage is already done. "Check Engine" lights mean that the engine has been run without oil or water and is now fried.
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I was referring to a bulb that is wired in series with the field winding of the alternator.
i
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:57:31 -0600, Ignoramus32123

It's not in series with the feild - it is generally in the "sense" circuit - between the output of the "trio" diode and the barttery. When charging there is 12-14 volts on both sides of the bulb so it goes out.
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I do not think so, it is for field. That's why you wire it with the key. The sense can be left connected to the battery, it does not use current.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 16:59:28 -0600, Ignoramus32123

Trust me, the bulb won't carry NEAR enough current to run the field. It's on the ignition to put 12 volts on one side of the bulb while the other side is at ground potential through the alternator - when it starts to charge the alternator side is also at 12 volts and the light goes out. I wrenched professionaly since 1969 and I saw a LOT of charge indicator lights. On SOME alternators the voltage through the bulb "kick starts" the field (on externally grounded fields) by supplying a "tickle current" to the alternator to energize the field just enough to get the alternator charging enough to power the field.. On those rare vehicles, a blown indicator bulb can make the alternator not charge untill you get up to a pretty high speed (if at all). Unlike generators, most alternators do not have "residual magnetism" in the field to bootstrap the charge.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:57:31 -0600, Ignoramus32123

Yes, I know, and that's a very rare system which uses that style.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 18:21:27 -0800, Larry Jaques

Also the VAST majority of vehicles with factory ammeters don'y have "idiot lights" for the charging system. Mid 50s Chevys were available both ways - but I don't remember any with both from the factory.
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On Thu, 02 Feb 2017 21:53:56 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Right. Part of that "idiot" moniker was hinting that if you weren't smart enough to read an ammeter, you needed an idiot light to let you know when something went wrong. It fits, what, 85% of drivers? <sigh>
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On 02/02/2017 8:01 AM, Ignoramus32123 wrote:

No bulb, actual ammeter w/ analog needle...this is '58 vintage...

'Tis generator, not alternator, and it's not the problem...it's quite healthy.
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