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#1432312 Sat Dec 04 2021 03:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 311
L
LeeD Offline OP
'Bolter
Hello all,
The 2 year old regulator is starting to become intermittent (mostly on the inop side!). I tested the generator output and it is stable at about 13 volts, and I show only battery voltage on the regulator output terminal. The other night driving home it was inop (with headlights) until about halfway there it started working and charged until I decelerated for a turn and it quit after that. I thought that maybe it was voltage related, but it sometimes works with a charged battery, and sometimes it does not.
My question is what can I check/test inside the unit and get it working again before I buy another. It could be it has been doing it for a while, but didn’t notice it until the days got shorter and I’ve had to drive in the dark.

Thanks, Lee.


1956 Chevy 3200, 235 w/3 speed
LeeD #1432319 Sat Dec 04 2021 04:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,901
J
'Bolter
Hi Lee,
There are 2 words you need to know regarding voltage regulators...Delco Remy. Another possibility is Standard Parts Co. Both of those were well-made. Find voltage regulators made in America (means you'll either need to get a new old stock or find a good used one dating back to the early 1980s or prior). These things generally last a long time. Somewhere I kept a Standard Parts Co regulator, but I'd have to look for it. I bought it new around 1978 and it was working fine when I switched to an alternator. New one you buy today will be made either in China...or there may still be some around that were made in Brazil. All are junk in my opinion.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
LeeD #1432321 Sat Dec 04 2021 04:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,575
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
First- - - - -disconnect a battery cable! Never do anything under the cover of a regulator with the battery connected unless you're making an adjustment that requires the engine to be running.

Next- - - -use a piece of clean card stock like a strip cut from an index card, or maybe a business card, to burnish the contact points. Two of the point sets will be spring loaded closed, the current and voltage regulators. The third set, the cutout relay, will be "normally open" and will only close when the generator armature voltage exceeds the battery terminal voltage. NEVER, EVER, USE A FILE OR SANDPAPER ON REGULATOR POINTS! They open and close with a slight wiping action, and even microscopic scratches will make them stick.

BTW, the voltage regulator setting AGAINST A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY should be around 14.5-14.7 volts. Do not attempt to adjust voltage unless you are sure the battery is fully charged.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
LeeD #1432328 Sat Dec 04 2021 04:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 311
L
LeeD Offline OP
'Bolter
Here are a couple of photos of the regulator; it says “made in USA” on it, but I can find no company name. Unlike the original that I replaced, this one has no adjustment screws. All the contactors look clean; the battery contactor (cutout relay maybe?), has a slight bend in it so the contactors do not meet up square. But the contactors are convex anyway, so I don’t think that would matter much. I’ll clean them up just to make sure that is not the issue, and run the truck with the cover off to try to see which one is not working correct.

Attached Images
74CAA2F6-08EA-4475-A260-67CAB3CAB1E3.jpeg (273.14 KB, 171 downloads)
65D4D0E9-EB61-4131-9BEF-C878DEA45F0F.jpeg (222.72 KB, 167 downloads)

1956 Chevy 3200, 235 w/3 speed
LeeD #1432335 Sat Dec 04 2021 05:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,575
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
That's somebody's aftermarket clone of a Delco-Remy (NOT AC-DELCO) with some manufacturing shortcuts that are very obvious. I've never been able to see a few ohms of resistance across a set of points, no matter how closely I look. There is a specific checking procedure used to evaluate the performance of a regulator that only one person that I can remember on this forum has been willing to follow in the past 20-something years. He fixed the problem, BTW. The field current passes through both sets of spring-closed points, so a tiny bit of resistance on either one will keep the generator from charging. The regulator in the photo is adjusted by bending the lower spring anchor up and down GENTLY to change the voltage or current flow where they start to open and close. You cannot see the two spring-closed points operate- - - -they open a few thousandths of an inch and close again- - - -several times a second. I have monitored regulator point operation at times, with an oscilloscope.

There are two types of regulators for GM vehicles- - - -Delco-Remy, and "WRONG"!
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
LeeD #1432336 Sat Dec 04 2021 05:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,145
'Bolter
Did Delco Remy make 12 volt regulator without adjustment screws?

LeeD #1432341 Sat Dec 04 2021 06:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,575
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
I don't recall ever seeing one like that. The cutout relay adjusting screw has a left hand thread, so "clockwise" increases the setting, just like the voltage and current regulator screws. Ford and MOPAR regulators usually had the "bend the tab" type adjustments. Either one works OK, as long as the guy with the pliers is careful with his spring tension tweaking.

There are places inside all regulators where carelessly creating a short with an adjusting tool will result in an instantaneous "smoke test"!
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,901
J
'Bolter
Originally Posted by truckernix
Did Delco Remy make 12 volt regulator without adjustment screws?

I'm with Jerry. I've never seen a Delco Remy without adjustment screws. And I've seen people get into a real mess trying to adjust them. As I said before, a good one generally lasts a long time. When I say a long time, I've seen some of them last 30 or more years. A substandard one might last a short while and a Chinese one might never work from the moment you unpack it. Good luck.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Jon G #1432429 Sun Dec 05 2021 09:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,575
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Originally Posted by Jon G
I've seen people get into a real mess trying to adjust them.

Those people probably don't have any business working with anything more technical than a ball peen hammer. Adjusting a regulator isn't "rocket surgery", but using the right equipment is necessary, and the correct sequence of operations must be followed. Analog ammeters and voltmeters (not digital) are an absolute necessity. A digital meter responds too quickly to the vibrating points, and the readout will be nothing but gibberish.
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
LeeD #1432516 Mon Dec 06 2021 02:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 311
L
LeeD Offline OP
'Bolter
I bought this one from the local electric motor service company that I have used for repairing starters, generators, and alternators since I moved here thinking that they would sell the best available. I cleaned the contactors as suggested and will see how it does the next time I drive. Thanks for all the help.

Lee.


1956 Chevy 3200, 235 w/3 speed
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