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Old 08-06-2020, 09:55 AM   #1
Bob NH
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Default Generator or alternator ?

Just finally got the "powergen" alternator checked out and as suspected, no good and can not be repaired ! This came on the vehicle and why anyone would spend that much is beyond me. My question is, Joe's antique has a nice kit for not huge dollars, would it make sense to go with it or should I be looking for an original generator someplace ? Not a show vehicle , just want to have fun driving it without troubles!
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:13 AM   #2
38bill
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Powermasters can't/won't fix it?

http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/tech_help_a.html
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:17 AM   #3
19Fordy
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

I use a one wire GM alternator. Works fine. Cost around $100.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

The one wire units are usually converted from a GM alternator. I installed one in my '47 years ago, and it has been trouble free. You should know that it required a smaller drive pulley on the alternator to rev it up so it would come on as soon as the car is started.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
Just finally got the "powergen" alternator checked out and as suspected, no good and can not be repaired ! This came on the vehicle and why anyone would spend that much is beyond me. My question is, Joe's antique has a nice kit for not huge dollars, would it make sense to go with it or should I be looking for an original generator someplace ? Not a show vehicle , just want to have fun driving it without troubles!

Go with a single wire GM alternator. They are available in both wide and narrow belt configs. The y bracket bolts onto the stock manifold. That's what I did when I converted to 12 volts. Easy and worth it IMO. Alternators are available everywhere in case you need a replacement in the future.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:03 PM   #6
19Fordy
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

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Just a bit of "FYI" info.

I used a "fusible link" in the power wire running from the + terminal of solenoid to the alternator. My car is 12V negative ground.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

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Agreed, despite the one year warranty on their website I had a problem with a powermaster I've had for many years, they had me send it in and mailed it back to me all fixed. They never even questioned how old it was. I think I paid the shipping to them.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:23 PM   #8
tubman
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

For a 6 volt system, a stock generator is fine. I have been running one on my '51 for 33 years without a single problem. Well OK, I had to replace the regulator once, but the generator was (and is) fine.
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:56 PM   #9
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

My reliability experience--- generator 50 years no problem, alternator 3 times failed in 35 years
The rebuilding shop I used to get parts from said the 10 si gm alternator was the best ever made, easy to fix, parts are cheap and they lasted just long enough that you got repeat business, but lasted long enough that customers weren't pissed off about the repeat failure
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

My generator "look alike" alternator (12v) from PowerGen gave out with maybe 4,000 miles on it. I took it to an old school generator/alternator shop and they figured out that it is just a small Japanese alternator stuck inside that "look alike" case. The figured out a replacement, which has been working okay for about a year now.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

I had a powermaster gen/alt on my coupe for a while
It gave me no end of trouble and cost me lots of money
I sent it back to them and they said that it had a short in the field windings that had been there since new
So much for quality control
I went back to a generator
I would never use anything powermaster sells
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

GM alternators work great. Just have a 24 volt stator
installed and it will charge at idle with a small stock
Ford pulley. G.M.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Bob you viewed my 39 peeekup @ the BonneyEagle show a few years ago, I have a FORD one wire alt and went with that for obvious reasons.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:48 PM   #14
Bob NH
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

39portlander, I remember you and the nice little ride you have. I sent an email to powergen yesterday and spoke with a rep today. He told me they have a 144,000 square ft. manufacturing plant and make everything "in house" for these units including the outside cases. It is on the way to Il. at this time. He told me they would check it and call me before doing any work. That will be interesting ! Thanks to all who have responded.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:00 AM   #15
19Fordy
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Bob, be sure to let us know how it turns out.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:17 PM   #16
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

I think the Alternator is the way to go. On Robs engine we installed a small aulT in front of 3 Stromburgs, fit like a glove. that was 5 years ago. Looks nice too.
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Old 08-12-2020, 01:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiesteve View Post
So much for quality control
I went back to a generator
I would never use anything powermaster sells
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob NH View Post
I sent an email to powergen yesterday and spoke with a rep today. He told me they have a 144,000 square ft. manufacturing plant and make everything "in house" for these units including the outside cases. It is on the way to Il. at this time. He told me they would check it and call me before doing any work. That will be interesting ! Thanks to all who have responded.

I think it's funny, I've heard a lot of people quick to shit on Powermaster, but it's probably one of the few new alternators you can even buy that's still made in the USA and offers that kind of customer service. Good luck and keep us posted on the findings.
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:27 PM   #18
Bob NH
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Only update I can offer u guys at the moment is they called me day before yesterday and I was not here to take the call, no message and no email so far ? I would like to think it is being repaired and on its way back home soon. I'll let y'all know when I hear sumpin !
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

When I went through the evaluation of Alternator/Generator look-a-like vs real original Ford Generator -

I decided to go original Ford Generator for my 12V conversion.

I have been very happy with the performance and capabilities ... the generator provides reliable charging and lighting power performance. I'm very happy with preserving the original look of an early ford generator (mine is a 1939) and the performance!
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Old 08-12-2020, 03:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Generator or alternator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC View Post
When I went through the evaluation of Alternator/Generator look-a-like vs real original Ford Generator -

I decided to go original Ford Generator for my 12V conversion.

I have been very happy with the performance and capabilities ... the generator provides reliable charging and lighting power performance. I'm very happy with preserving the original look of an early ford generator (mine is a 1939) and the performance!
I like to retain the original look as well, but cheat with a E J Whitney.
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