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Old 09-06-2020, 12:45 PM   #1
RTPbee81
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Default Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

So just burned up my generator trying to get the charging system back up and running, (had replaced cutout with one from brattons w/diode) couldn't get any reading on the ammeter.


Just wanting consensus on if now is the time to move to a Nurex alternator, another alternator, or rebuild the gen.


Thoughts??
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

I will go for a alternator.
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

If brighter lights and the possibility to add electrical accessories , the practical choice would be an alternator . If original look is important I would use the generator . The battery controls the voltage and the generator can charge either six or twelve volts . I run an original unmodified model A generator on my twelve volt roadster . I use the Fun Projects voltage regulator .
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:39 PM   #4
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

What is wrong with the generator ? Just because the ammeter doesn't show a charge doesn't mean the generator is bad.

Loosen the belt, Feed power to the generator and see if it motors. If it does then 99.999999999% of the time its good.

Have you tried polarizing the generator ? It takes only a second.

I have no faith in the cutout you used. Some folks do like them though.

Personally I'd recommend keeping the generator.
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Alternator - lifetime of trouble free service.
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Old 09-06-2020, 02:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

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motoring the generator also polarizes it.its a great way to test the generator,takes a second,done....take the belt off to do it
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

The 90-year old generator on my A was rebuilt in the late 60’s shortly after I bought it. I’ve replaced the cutout with a Fun Projects electronic voltage regulator and upgraded all lighting to LED - including headlights. I’ve also added at USB charging port, which Works on 6 volts, so have no plans to replace the generator - it’s going strong and powers everything not he car with no issue.

Jim
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Go with the alternator for now and rebuild your Gen later(maybe).



I have the alternator installed now after a similar generator issue and I do not think I will be rebuilding/reinstalling the gen; all depends on how you feel about "original" or just want to drive your car...
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTPbee81 View Post
So just burned up my generator trying to get the charging system back up and running, (had replaced cutout with one from brattons w/diode) couldn't get any reading on the ammeter.

Just wanting consensus on if now is the time to move to a Nurex alternator, another alternator, or rebuild the gen.

Thoughts??
If you burned up your generator trying to get the battery charging, then it sounds to me like you may have another problem that should be investigated first. I've had multiple model A's and all of them were always original generators and never an issue charging.

In trying to decide on rebuilding the generator vs alternator, consider how you use your vehicle and load on the system The Fun Projects voltage regulator is a great addition (rather than the diode cutout) to control charge rate. Generators have been running these cars for 90 years with incandescent bulbs. Now with LED options there really isn't a compelling reason to change to an alternator in my opinion.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

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Originally Posted by Mulletwagon View Post
Alternator - lifetime of trouble free service.
???

I have personally witnessed that not being the case. Self-exciting regulators have been know to fail since many of them have constant power to them (-that is until the battery goes dead after a few weeks of non-operation.)



Quote:
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Generators have been running these cars for 90 years with incandescent bulbs. Now with LED options there really isn't a compelling reason to change to an alternator in my opinion.
Very true statement
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Well the generator field wires began smoldering, got the generator off, opened up and stopped the glow with water, compressed air only made worse. Wiring was frayed and falling apart...This car only had 300 miles on it it the last 20 years, since I bough last year I've put close to 900 on it.


I'm sure I have other issues with wiring, I've replace the wiring for the terminal to cutout and the dash, also coil wire. Ordered a new ampmeter, but was testing for continuity when the gen. caught fire.



I prefer the generator, have converted all lights to LED so not concerned so much with output. In the mechanics handbook Les Andres suggest sending the generator to a qualified shop if more than general maintenance is needed. I'm mechanically inclined, so would prefer to rebuild myself, is there any gotcha I'm up against, or should I just send in my core and get a rebuilt?


It's the later style gen. with the bushing end plate...
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

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Originally Posted by RTPbee81 View Post
Just wanting consensus on if now is the time to move to a Nurex alternator, another alternator, or rebuild the gen.


Thoughts??
There is no "wrong answer" IMO. All depends on what you want from your car. If you go with an alternator, it technically becomes a "hot rod". Nothing wrong with that (I have 2 hot rod model A's and 1 resto-mod under construction). If you want the "model A experience" stick with the generator (and all the other undated "technology" that make a Model A what it is). I have one that is mechanically all stock and so far, just love it's quirks. I did add second tail light and signals for safety (reluctantly) though. Make the car what makes you happy. JMO
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

The parts, or even rebuilt units, are readily available from any or most of the Model A vendors.

Since the thing is apart I'd recommend an EVR from Tom Wesenberg.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Replaced my cut-out. It was bad, but that didnt fix the generator. So took the generator apart last week. It hadn't worked since I bought the car. Found the wire to the field coils was bare and rubbing on the commutator. Also replaced the bearing which was shot. And found the meter was wired backwards. Its rarely just one problem on my car. But glad I did the repairs. I learned tons.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

Looks like you will have to change the field windings which are tough to bust loose. Save a lot of headache and trade for a rebuilt short nose. Tom W's EVR is a good choice, but with all LED's you probably won't have to fiddle with the 3rd brush much. Also make sure you have the correct polarity diode; you may have gotten the wrong one by mistake, which could explain the smoked gen.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

' wrong one by mistake '
I think that may be what gave me a bad taste for them. Way back when, I bought one from Mac's which lasted a matter of seconds. They of course refused to replace it so like a jerk I bought another which lasted about the same amount of time. They were both marked correctly, but, I think they were marked wrong.
Either way, they didn't work. Installed the original and its still working.
I bought one of Tom's EVRs when he started making them and its been working fine.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

I never understood the alt people.

Please go look up how you have to have the belt on a car with an alternator. The belt is expected to be very very tight and have a 2/3 wrap.

Never can happen on the A.

So how is it supposed to put out a full current?

To get the 60 amps you need a larger diameter pulley. There are charts on the net go look it up. You need something like a 3" diameter pulley to transmit the 1 HP or so of energy into the alt to make the current. (the numbers are not quite right I am working from memory) They put on a small pulley to get the speed needed on the A.

So right off the bat there are a couple of reasons why the alt is just not giving you what you think you are getting. Throw in the smaller pulley apparently lowering the life of the belt and the other problems with electronics failing and power draw when off (some regulators do this) please explain how this is a better solution?

My brothers car has been running with the same gen never touched since he was 15 in 1970. First run the armature flung the solder. He did a 'temp' repair then and has not touched it since. He keeps it cranked up and runs direct replacement halogen bulbs. He will run with the headlamps on during the day to not over charge the battery.

He only gets like 6 to 10 years of life out of the batteries. Not bad considering more then once he put a used battery in the car.

Probably it for some guys using a quality band regulator with a generator is their best solution.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

I have never regretted my change to the alternator especially when I drive at night. I keep the generator in storage just in case I sell to a purist.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: Rebuild generator or move to alternator?

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Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
Since the thing is apart I'd recommend an EVR from Tom Wesenberg.

This is the advice I would give as well. Also, if you prefer the generator like you say I think that seals the deal.


I use a generator with Tom's EVR and have driven quite a bit at night with all incandescent bulbs. No problems whatsoever. I get about 1A of charge going down the road with the high beams on.
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