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Old 11-14-2014, 10:53 PM   #1
Hster
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Default Generator Voltage

I have a "new to me" (~running) 30 Tudor that I have been trying to make reliable.
I have come across several problems that thanks to you Ford Barn Gurus have been easy to fix.

My latest problem happened when I want to install the Fun Project regulator.
When I was adjusting the third brush for the proper amperage I also checked the voltage. When the throttle was raised to show a charge I checked the voltage it was ~9 volts the lights were very bright and when I used the horn it screamed.

My question is what determines the generator VOLTAGE output, and how it can change?
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

whats a fun project regulator?
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
whats a fun project regulator?
A regulator that replaces the cutout.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Okay did not know that.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hster View Post

My question is what determines the generator VOLTAGE output, and how it can change?
The regulator you just bought.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

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The Model A and several other early cars had unregulated generators. Moving the third brush will set the amps to a constant amp output, but if the battery is out of the circuit the voltage can go as high as 40 volts. That's why electronic voltage regulators are such a good thing. With an EVR the voltage is regulated to about 7.2 to 7.5 volts, so even if the charging circuit has a poor connection or blown fuse, the generator will still maintain a safe output and not blow all the lights.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Thanks Tom,
Interesting, so in my case the generator is not recognizing the full voltage from the battery so it is producing a higher voltage? Would that mean, for example, if there were a 12 volt battery the generator would charge at 13 volts?

I have a nearly new 6 volt battery (3 Cells). The starter sounds like it is has plenty of current. I'm don't know why the generator is not seeing 6.6 volts.



So putting a voltage regulator in a charging system that is producing a higher than normal voltage is OK as long as the amperage is below 10A at full charge?
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Is the regulator installed now?

With the car not running what is the voltage at the battery?
With the car not running what is the voltage at the generator?
With the car running what is the voltage at the battery?
With the car running what is the voltage at the generator?
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

FWIW:

If you do "not" have the Fun Projects Voltage Regulator Written Instructions, or if you "do", & have a few questions, please call Electrical Engineer Mr. John Regan, President of Fun Projects, at (630) 584-1471 who designed this regulator -- absolutely no doubt he can help.

I bought mine many years ago & I called him to ask a simple question prior to installing mine much later & this gentleman went into exacting details to explain prior checks to perform using my Wal-Mart GE analog multi-meter.

Just be prepared to follow explicit orders like they are coming from the notorious U. S. Army General George Patton -- he is an experienced absolutely no B.S. gentleman -- most fun I ever had in my entire life was listening to his "orders" of what to do next.

He has a wonderful product that can make batteries last a lot longer.

He said even if you ruined your regulator, do "not" throw it away -- he can repair it.

Just sincerely hope this helps -- may God bless Mr. John Regan & his wonderful family.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Hster, If your third brush is set for full output, or if your battery is too small or worn out, you can get the 9 volts you were showing. Have you tried setting the third brush to a lower output? I had a worn out battery in my 29 Tudor when I bought the car, and the powerhouse was charging it at 16 volts at fast idle. That's why I made an electronic voltage regulator for it.

Yes, if you change to a 12 volt battery, then the stock generator would charge it at the set amps, unless you installed a voltage regulator, then the voltage would be regulated and the amps output would change depending on demand.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

If I am not mistaken the "Fun Projects Regulator" comes in more than one configuration. If I remember right they offer 6 and 12 V versions in + & - ground configurations. Is there a chance that you received the wrong one for your application?
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

And 8 volts if I am not mistaken
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctlikon0712 View Post
If I am not mistaken the "Fun Projects Regulator" comes in more than one configuration. If I remember right they offer 6 and 12 V versions in + & - ground configurations. Is there a chance that you received the wrong one for your application?
Quote:
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And 8 volts if I am not mistaken

Not mistaken.

Fun Projects
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Is the regulator installed now? Not yet

With the car not running what is the voltage at the battery? 6.6A
With the car not running what is the voltage at the generator? 0
With the car running what is the voltage at the battery? Idle 6.6A Under throttle 9A
With the car running what is the voltage at the generator? Idle 0 Under throttle 9A
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Thanks H.L.

I'll give him a call monday . I must say every person I have talked to about Model A stuff has been interesting and more than willing to share their knowledge and information, very refreshing in this day.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Tom,
First let me say I think you are one of the Ford Barn Owls (as in wise not flighty).

Yes, I have moved the third brush to change the generator output it is now set @ 10A.
However I did not check the voltage at different brush settings.

The battery is six moths old. I don't know what the amp hour rating is but it fills the battery box, and turns the starter much faster than my Pickups starter.

After looking at the voltages It sure looks as though the generator is the culprit. Is it possible the field windings could be shorting internally?

I have a FPR on my Pickup and am very happy with it. I installed it without issue.
There has been several issues with the Tudor that I have discovered that indicate whoever did the work had little skill and understanding of the workings of a Model A. I'm not am by no means an accomplished mechanic, but I have been careful to do work that is in keeping
with the Model A's practice. That being said the Tudor has turn internal signals, that is to say, in the cowl lights (two bulbs) and in the tail lights. I am dubious as to wether the wiring is correct after looking at the previous work. For example, the cowl lights are on with the high and low beams on and the lights pull over 15A.

Do you rebuild generators? I have a "spare" that needs work and by the look of it maybe the one thats in the Tudor.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

You should just set the generator output according to the instructions with your regulator, then install the regulator and see how things go.

If the fields were shorted or open, the output would drop.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

I will do that. I just thought everything should be woking properly before installing FPVR.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

The FPVR works Just as it should.

I just don't get how the voltage could have been so high. Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter now as long as it works.

I still have a problem with the lights drawing -10 amps at driving speed. If I turn off the lights I'll get an initial 12amp charge that reduces as the battery is charged, so the charging system is as it should be.

Sorry for the bother
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

If you have sealed beam headlights, you may have to set the third brush to full output to produce the maximum amps. I have an electronic voltage regulator on my generator on a six volt positive ground system and had to move the third brush to max output to keep the battery from discharging on low beam. Hi beams use more amps than the generator produces, so I have about a five amp discharge when using the hi beams! I drive a lot at night and that slight discharge has never run the battery down to where it was noticeable. With the EVR I only show about a one amp charge with normal daytime driving even though the third brush is at full output! Was well worth the money spent on it!
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:43 PM   #21
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Paul,
I have the stock bulb type headlights. Some previous owner installed turn signals in the stock lights (cowl/tail lights). I not sure how he tied into the existing stock wiring, but the cowl lights are on whenever the lights are on. I think there is some issue in the connection that creates such a large draw. Driving the roads here through the woods even during the day headlights help to be seen especially with a dark car. Yes, the EVR is a hugh improvement and worth every penny. I am just leery of amping out the EVR.
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

I've run my EVR with the third brush at max for over four thousand miles with no problems yet! I replaced my generator brushes a year ago and noted no damage to the generator! I would be confident, but would look for a short or something in the turn signal wiring, as that seems to be an excessive amperage draw for that type of setup!
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:16 PM   #23
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Hi Hster,

Per your reply #15, you will be very glad you called Mr. Regan.

This gentleman knows "his" voltage regulators, knows about the terrible new ammeters offered today, bad starter mounted fuses exposed to weather, & some of the cheap cut-off switches a few people rely on.

He is also a collector with 6 Model T's.

I had called him on a Saturday morning for a simple regulator question; however, he took the time to ask me to verify a few voltage & amp readings at the battery, generator, & ammeter with the old cut-out installed, and with & without the generator charging.

Then he asked me to call him on Sunday because he had to go to his son's or daughter's house on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday, after his few more readings requested, he asked me to install the regulator after setting the third brush per his written "and" verbal instructions.

This regulator is still working in an outstanding manner.

Mr. Regan is so very much like so many other Model A owners we meet on Forums & in Clubs, & Model A Vendors who are always so willing to help others with Model A concerns.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 11-15-2014 at 09:18 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

H.L., I did talk to John Regan. You were correct in your description of him. However, by the time he had returned my call I had taken Tom's advice and installed it as per the written instructions, it works perfectly. I told John my concern about the high voltage and felt a bit foolish because it was a voltage regulator I was installing DUH! I was just concerned about there being some parameters as to the voltages it would function. John was indeed very helpful. I also told him about the hugh draw when the lights are on (stock bulbs). Obviously not normal and his suggestion was to check the wiring since the cowl lights are on with the headlights. He thought I should put in a new wiring harness and get it back to stock and the worry about the turn signal setup later. Their has been several issues with the previous owners work like reverse polarity on the coil, headlight wiring etc. so a new wiring harness will be in the works. John also said I could call him if I needed help with any electrical problems. Incredible! He is an amazing man he must really love what he does. It is a delight to know there a people in the world like him.
Thank you for the suggestion to contact him
Herb
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:39 PM   #25
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Being that I want to learn. Over clocking the generator and keeping the regulator set to an managable voltage output will help when extra amps are needed. Correct?
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Being that I want to learn. Over clocking the generator and keeping the regulator set to an managable voltage output will help when extra amps are needed. Correct?
here are the instuctions for the regulator being discussed. it goes over where to set the output of the 3rd brush etc
http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/10505R6.PDF

the regulator itself works electronically providing the amps needed for the load
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:52 PM   #27
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Amps are on a need only bases. So if you set your gen to output more volts/ hence amps at idle but was governed by a voltage regulator to keep things inline, would there be more amps at high demand?
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:04 PM   #28
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He thought I should put in a new wiring harness and get it back to stock and the worry about the turn signal setup later.
If you are going to install a new harness, may I suggest that you look for a harness that already has the directional wires in the harness. This way you can remove all the "stuff" the last guy installed (i'm sure he knew exactly where everything went) and get a nice clean install.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Amps are on a need only bases. So if you set your gen to output more volts/ hence amps at idle but was governed by a voltage regulator to keep things inline, would there be more amps at high demand?

That's true. But the Fun Projects regulator is only good for 15 amps. When I put mine on I set the third brush for 10. That's enough to handle my stock lights.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #30
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Thanks John. Sorry for the dumb question. So here's another. How is amperage set on a generator alone? With out load?
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

Also... How many amps can a power gen effectively generate. 20? 30?
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:02 AM   #32
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Default Re: Generator Voltage

The fact that a Model A generator doesn't have a fan limits how much power you can get out of it without it overheating. I'm not sure but I think an early powerhouse can hit over 20 amps. Tom W. will know the answer for sure.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:07 AM   #33
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20 amps seems plenty in its intended design. Rpms being a nominal factory and the limitations of its components considered. Thank you.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:22 AM   #34
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The fact that a Model A generator doesn't have a fan limits how much power you can get out of it without it overheating. I'm not sure but I think an early powerhouse can hit over 20 amps. Tom W. will know the answer for sure.
While I'm not Tom, the powerhouse generator has a safe maximum output of 15 amps, while the later long generator has 12 amps safe output.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:33 AM   #35
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Mike at what rpm would that be at?
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:08 AM   #36
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Mike at what rpm would that be at?
That would be about 1200 to 2000 generator RPM. The amps are determined by the load, and as Mike said, the powerhouse should be limited to about 15 amps continuous and the Autolite style about 12 amps safely. When you demand too much of the generator the commutator will overheat and throw solder and/or the windings will burn up.

The old Motor's Manuals, such as from the 30's, 40's and 50's have a lot of good generator information. They even tell me the Autolite number for my 1950 Champion generator.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:41 AM   #37
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If you are going to install a new harness, may I suggest that you look for a harness that already has the directional wires in the harness. This way you can remove all the "stuff" the last guy installed (i'm sure he knew exactly where everything went) and get a nice clean install.
Great suggestion I've ordered a turn signal harness.
Thanks
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