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6v ammeter reading ?
#1362166 Wed May 27 2020 02:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
N
Nielsen Offline OP
New Guy
All right guys, I've been having some issues, I have a 53 GMC 100 5 window with the 228 inline 6. As far as I know it's orignal I'm the 3rd owner , 2nd to have it on the road. The truck has a Delco Remy 1102793 generator well I had a melt down , lost the armature had it rebuilt , then had the voltage regulator melt down. So fried everything , had it rebuilt again, bought a ac Delco 45amp voltage regulator now I'm charging 6.8 ish volts I can watch the ammeter click on as I rev the truck up but it is only pulling 5ish amps according to the gauge. I'm not sure if this is correct or not? Before (for the last 7 years) it would read 25 to 30 amps on the gauge can anyone tell me what I should be pulling here. I understand it's not a voltmeter. But even running the heater and lights it will pull it down to 0 maybe a little under. Is it just not drawing the battery down enough to excite the voltage regulator I'm not sure and I'm getting tired of burning up that generator

Last edited by Nielsen; Wed May 27 2020 03:16 AM.

Josh
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362172 Wed May 27 2020 03:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,612
H
Boltergeist
A dash ammeter is about as accurate as sticking your finger out the window for a speedometer. It's just a glorified charge/no charge indicator. Does the needle sit in the middle of its range with the engine off, and does it deflect in the (-) direction when things like high beam headlights and the heater blower are operated with the engine not running? How was the regulator adjusted when it was replaced? There are three mandatory adjustments that need to be made- - - -closing voltage, current regulator setting, and voltage regulator setting. Just buying a regulator and bolting it on has about a 10% chance of working properly. The shop that rebuilt your generator should have been able to match the output of the generator to the voltage regulator, if they know anything at all about the old charging systems. That's the way I've done it since the early 1960's.

With a fully charged battery, you should see 7.5 volts at the battery posts with the engine at 1500 RPM or so. Your 6.8 volts is WAY low unless you have a seriously discharged battery.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362215 Wed May 27 2020 01:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 400
D
Shop Shark
Jerry, THANK you, for over 50 years I have wondered about 6 volt amp gauges. I always put a meter on the generator and then looked at the dash meter and by looking at the needle position at various positions at different RPM's to get an idea. Back when we bought new regulators what was the trick to get it to work properly? Was it putting the base on the negative battery poll and just wiping a wire on the positive mark on new regulator? Or is that now done at the factory? Dad taught me that the trick on a new a new regulator had to be polarized or it would ruin the generator or not work at all. I remember doing this procedure in the day but have forgotten how. Ed


Currently making 1954 3100 better than new
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362220 Wed May 27 2020 02:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,612
H
Boltergeist
Regulators do not have to be polarized. Generators do, by connecting a jumper wire momentarily from the BAT to ARM terminals after all the connections are made. In fact, making any sort of connection before the regulator is bolted to the body and properly grounded is risky business. The only thing any regulator does is control the output of the source of charging current, whether it's a DC generator, an alternator, or even the single phase "stator" that I'm currently having issues with on my Harley bike. That one uses a bunch of coils under a spinning permanent magnet on the engine crankshaft, and a solid state rectifier/regulator unit to turn the AC current it produces into regulated DC to keep the battery charged.

The only surefire way to check a new regulator is with an accurate volt/ampere tester like the Snap-On unit that I use, and remove the cover and make the adjustments I described by adjusting the spring tension on the points if anything is out of specification. Just bolting a regulator on without adjusting it is roughly equivalent to drawing to an inside straight in a poker game- - - -the chance of success on that is 32:1!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362241 Wed May 27 2020 03:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,202
W
Master Gabster
Those old generators are about 30 amps rating. If you have a 45 amp regulator you are putting too much load on the generator & throwing the solder off the armature windings.
The regulator current limiter section could be adjusted to match the gen. but it takes some special equipment & knowhow. The shop that does your gen. should be able to
adjust it correctly.
George


They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

1956 Chevy 1/2-Ton Pickup

Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362245 Wed May 27 2020 04:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 400
D
Shop Shark
Thank you Jerry, now that I have your and George's attention; I put a long Delco generator on my 54-3100 rather than the short one ( had to put longer bracket on). I have had no problems keeping two deep charge batteries under the floor fully charged in series. This way my Lexus/Acura whatever a/c can work directly on 12V. Do you think it is putting too much on the bigger generator? Everything that is six volt still is on six volt (gauges,lights, generator, starter etc.). Ed

Last edited by Doc.Hall; Wed May 27 2020 04:41 PM. Reason: additional info

Currently making 1954 3100 better than new
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362294 Wed May 27 2020 08:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,612
H
Boltergeist
Cadillac, Olds 98, and a few big Pontiacs ran a heavy duty generator with a 45 amp capacity. The best way to identify that one is to look at the rear end frame- - - -it it's got a ball bearing there instead of a bushing it's the heavy duty model. George is correct about the current regulator needing to be adjusted to match the generator capacity. Most of the short housing Chevy 12 volt units were somewhere in the 25-30 amp range. The stepped-frame long ones were in the 35-45 amp category, with maybe a few heavy duty big truck generators going 50+ amps. Those are usually also bigger in diameter, however.


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362401 Thu May 28 2020 11:04 AM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 400
D
Shop Shark
Thanks, It does have a ball bearing in the back plate, it has been on my 54-3100 for 44 years. About 36 years ago I used a hand crank armature lathe and replaced the brushes. It has about 6500 miles on it since so I better check to see how its doing.

Last edited by Doc.Hall; Thu May 28 2020 11:08 AM. Reason: misspelling

Currently making 1954 3100 better than new
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1362594 Fri May 29 2020 02:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,612
H
Boltergeist
Back in the dark ages when those generators were on everything, it was not uncommon for one to last 30K miles or more with only routine maintenance- - - -topping off the oil cups on both ends when the engine oil was changed. At 6500 miles, the brushes will barely have any wear at all.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 6v ammenter reading ?
Nielsen #1364062 Mon Jun 08 2020 10:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 14
M
New Guy
I just rebuilt the generator and went to the manual for the regulator adjustment instructions. I opened up my regulator to discover it resembled the manual photos only vaguely, leaving me to believe someone did some swapping without much thinking. Anyway, in doing some further research on what to look for in the way of a new regulator, I came across this helpful thread that has me a bit confused. The manual appears to say that the base generator is 45 amps. Mine has a bushing in the back and is presumably then the base model, but both George and Hotrod seem to be saying it's 30 amps. I don't want to end up buying a voltage regulator not suited to my generator, advice on what to be shopping for would be much appreciated, I'm not seeing any 30 amp regulators so far.

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