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Old 08-07-2020, 01:02 AM   #1
Certimafied
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Default Noisy generator

Hello out there in model a land! Iím slowly waking up my 28 fordor and have found my generator brushes make noise when the generator is spinning. The armature and brushes look good no corrosion.
Anybody ever run into this? I think Iíll try changing them I just have never had such noisy brushes In a generator Before, and I have revived some rusty heaps from their decades long slumber.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:35 AM   #2
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Noisy generator

The brushes are making noise ? Not the bearings/bushing ?
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Noisy generator

I have! https://youtu.be/8qqG_4AZUA4

Those were used Ford brushes on a freshly cobbled together generator. Once it ran in for a while they quieted down.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Noisy generator

Are you sure you have the proper springs in there? Starter springs look the same but have much more tension.
What kind of noise?
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Noisy generator

I had that squeal. Took a while to figure out where the noise was coming from since the sound does not change much from idle to cruising rpms. Finally took off the fan belt and noise went away. Took the generator apart,. Cleaned up/slightly sanded the commutator contacts, cleaned up and slight lubed the spring assemblies (were not floating/springing the brushes down freely, and sanded/resurfaced the brush ends where the ends contact the commutator. Helped a lot, and after a few miles of the brushes/wearing in the noise completely disappeared.
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Noisy generator

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Yes the brushes if I pull them up and rotate the gen it’s quiet. It makes a loud squealing singing kind of noise That can be heard over the engine very easily.

Good thought on lubing the springs, I’m sure the pivot points on the brush holders could benefit from a little attention.

Never thought about it, maybe it does have the wrong springs in it. I guess I could try a “tension test” comparing the starter and generator springs to tell if they seem the same.

Glad to hear I’m not the only one, it’s the weirdest most annoying sound to me lol! I got a fair amount of run time in today straightening out some cooling system issues. I’ll have to say the generator began to quiet down some.. maybe they just need to “reseat”
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Noisy generator

I would be surprised if it has the wrong springs. It most likely needs a little attention since it is 90 years old. If you are newer to the Model A hobby, a few pointers.

If you are not comfortable with working on a generator, for a few bucks rebuilt ones are available from the Model A Parts vendors, I like Berts Model A Parts especially for rebuilt parts. Getting the knack of getting it back together can be exasperating because of the brushes/springs. I will not take one apart again, would rather pay for a rebuilt.

If you are not aware of it, after you have the generator back together and is quiet, most models of generators have 2 oiling points that lubricate the bearings bushings, one each end of the generator. I have no experience with the early Power House generator if that is what you have. One or 2 drops of oil each, do not over oil. Some add a couple of drops from the end of the motor oil dip stick. Every 500 miles/oil change is enough.

Also do not forget the distributor, another source of a nasty very annoying/loud noise/squeal if the bushings go bad. At the base of the distributor there is a small shaft sticking out, with a cup on the end of the shaft. Fill the shaft/cup completely full of oil. By filling completely full oil will migrate up into the upper bushing. Add every 500-2000 miles/oil change.

Also wipe off/lube the distributor cam with cam grease every 500-2000 miles.

Some when resuscitating an A some like to pull the distributor out, and add some grease to the distributor shafts and the shaft cavity. Helps keep the shafts from rusting in the cavity . Mine originally had a huge amount of rust and it was quite a job to get the distributor out. It did not help that mine was the aftermarket shaft design one piece/long distributor shaft.

When greasing the water pump only a partial pump of grease on the zerk closest to the motor. Adding more than that can cause excess grease past the water pump into the cooling system, and can clog your radiator.

I had to replace both the distributor and generator after a while when I was a newbie, was ignorant and did not know about these lube points.

Last edited by 30 Closed Cab PU; 08-09-2020 at 08:20 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Noisy generator

You may have the wrong brushes in there. There is different composition and/or hardness of brushes. It might be prudent to put in new brushes to be sure you have the correct ones.
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Old 10-01-2020, 12:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Noisy generator

Thanks for the pointers you guys. First thing I did when resurrecting the “a” was print off an owners manual to follow the lubrication needs. After playing with many pre war cars I’ve found grease and lube points can hide on you fairly easily. I can still remember the Packard 426 whose dizzy perished due to my lack of info. I love manuals, may be my main source if reading material! The more you know, haha.

Haven’t had much run time since my last post. Had lots to do to get the engine happy again. Flush rad change water pump fix crack in block above side outlet head gasket. Small list lol!
Finally got my first test drive(s) in last weekend, can’t wait to go again! Hoping to make the 100 years of progression show in it with some friends in Carthage nc November. Wish me luck!
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