Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-26-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Powerhouse Generator Problems



I posted this a few years ago, but it might be lost in Shelly's old Fordbarn. Right now I'm trying to help a guy out east that is having a problem with his charging system. He has a 5 brush powerhouse and I think I've covered about everything I can think of through back and forth emails. Yesterday I remembered a rare problem I found on a customer's powerhouse generator I was restoring for him about 5 years ago.

Even though the spring holder posts are tighly riveted to the steel mounting frame they can sometimes have a poor connection to ground. If you clip a volt meter to the ground brush wire and the other meter lead to a good ground, you should get 0 volts or close to it with current flowing. So if the powerhouse has an EVR installed, you'd want to turn on the lights to make the most current flow through the ground brush post to ground. A generator without an electronic voltage regulator will have a set current flow depending on where the adjustable brush is set, so turning on the lights shouldn't make any difference in current flow.

I've only twice found a problem where the post to frame had a poor connection, but it's worth checking out. The fix is easy. Just use an Exacto knife to scrape the area clean near the base of the post and frame, then use a good size soldering iron or gun to heat it as quickly as possible to make a good solder joint. A cold solder joint is no solder joint! I use my Wen 250 soldering gun and rosin core solder to make these repairs. The bakelite ring is very fragile, so you want to heat the metal as quickly as possible without letting too much heat get to the bakelite. The 5 brush powerhouse will have 2 ground brush posts to solder, while the 3 brush powerhouse will only have one.

Electrical problems on the Model A should be quite easy to diagnose in person, but become harder to find over the internet, or if the problem is intermittent, or if you have 2 problems in the same circuit at the same time.

BTW, speaking of cold solder joints, there was some junk foreign solder on the market several years ago and it was like trying to solder using an old dirty tire weight. Be sure to buy quality solder!
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
Dan/Kzo
Member
 
Dan/Kzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 78
Default Re: Powerhouse Generator Problems

I had to solder at the same point per your suggestion to correct charging issues on one of my powerhouse generators in the past. Lots of good night time driving since then
Dan/Kzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 08-31-2016, 11:14 AM   #3
Terry Strieter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1
Default Re: Powerhouse Generator Problems

I have just installed a rebuilt engine in my e'28 roadster. I am using the same five brush Powerhouse generator that was on the old engine. The problem I am having is the generator is putting out too much power, about 15-20 amps and I am afraid I will burn-up the generator. I have reduced the output of the adjustable brush as much as possible but still there are too many amps. I do not have the headlights on the car yet so I cannot turn them on to reduce the flow of current. Is there any way I can reduce the Amps so I can break-in the engine? Thanks. Terry Strieter, Murray, KY
Terry Strieter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2016, 01:20 PM   #4
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Re: Powerhouse Generator Problems

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
I had the same problem with my first Model A with a 5 brush powerhouse generator. One reason for my problem was the battery was very weak and needed to be replaced, but it still charged more than I liked, so I started making electronic voltage regulators to fit inside the case and control the voltage going to the field windings. The EVR also helps battery life, and I'm still using the same 6 volt battery I bought from the metal recycling yard 14 years ago.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg EVR 5 Brush Powerhouse.jpg (156.7 KB, 37 views)
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:45 AM.