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Checking voltage regulator

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JOB
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I just had the generator on one of my stationary engines rebuilt. (brushes and bearings) The amp. gauge still reads zero. How would you test the voltage regulator to see if it is working?
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

JOB wrote:
(quoted from post at 19:59:10 10/23/13) I just had the generator on one of my stationary engines rebuilt. (brushes and bearings) The amp. gauge still reads zero. How would you test the voltage regulator to see if it is working?
insufficient details.
 
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mgriff543
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:05 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Photos of the generator and regulator would be helpful.
 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:35 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I kind of thought that generators were pretty much
all the same.

This is on a 1965 Ford power unit. The generator
has the Field, ground and the armature terminals
on it. the regulator is behind the sheet metal so
it is not real visible. It does have four
terminals on it. Armature, field and ground, the
fourth terminal going to the amp gauge. From the
amp gauge to the starter solenoid where the
positive connects. I was guessing this is the same
as all the older tractors.
 
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Bob
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:39 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

"I was guessing this is the same
as all the older tractors."

WRONG guess. Troubleshooting procedure will depend upon whether it is a "A" system or a "B" system.

Terminal markings on gen and reg are the same, functionality is NOT.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

In the event the Generator and VR are Class A circuits, my Troubleshooting Procedure below in Para 5 tells you how to effectively by pass the VR function by dead grounding the gennys FLD post to see if she charges then to determine if non charging is the genny itself fault or a VR or another problem.

If its a Class B system (some Fords and some Masseys I believe) its a different test by which you full field the genny DONT USE MY A METHOD FOR CLASS B SYSTEM

John T
John Ts Class A Troubleshooting

 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I learn something new everyday. I thought it might be as simple as putting a meter from this wire to that one and checking the current going through.
 
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Butch(OH)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As John said most Fords (Autolite) will be a B circuit system while most Delco units will be A circuit. Personalty I have never seen different but every time I use an absolute I get shot down, LOL.
The difference between an A and B type is basically which end of the field (F) circuit is grounded and which end is fed voltage from the battery. The A type is grounded by the regulator and fed internally while the B type is grounded. internally and fed from the regulator. Important to know because a basic system test is to give the field full voltage. Good trouble shooting guides are as easy as searching you topic heading but add "generator"
Some things you can check. Does the ammeter even work? Put a volt meter on the battery and check voltage while running. Should be mid 13s-14 if 12V and 7s if 6V. Check grounds. The genny, and regulator both must have good grounding. Did you polarize it after you installed? It should be OK if they ran it on a machine but have seen it not be.
 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:55 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What side of the ampere gauge do you connect the wire from the regulator? - or +. I always thought the + was the battery side of the amp gauge?

The sheet metal of the engine house was painted this past summer, that is what the voltage regulator is bolted to. There is a ground wire from one of the mounting bolts. Where that ground wire goes to ground I do not know.

I thought it would be a simpler fix that this I will need to find out where wires go instead of relying on the way it was wired when I got the engine. Electrical is not one of my strong points.
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

JOB wrote:
(quoted from post at 12:55:45 10/24/13) What side of the ampere gauge do you connect the wire from the regulator? - or +. I always thought the + was the battery side of the amp gauge?

The sheet metal of the engine house was painted this past summer, that is what the voltage regulator is bolted to. There is a ground wire from one of the mounting bolts. Where that ground wire goes to ground I do not know.

I thought it would be a simpler fix that this I will need to find out where wires go instead of relying on the way it was wired when I got the engine. Electrical is not one of my strong points.
1965? Should then be 12volt negative ground. In that case, Battery+ goes to Ammeter Negative terminal and ALL loads/gen/VR output(BATT) go to ammeter Positive terminal.
VR ground should connect to generator ground.
 
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John T
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It depends on if its Pos or Neg ground. If an ammeter registers bass ackwards, all you do is reverse the leads. If on a tractor etc that has a correct wired ammeter if you turn lights or ign etc on when she's not running, the ammeter should swing over to the - discharge side but then if running and the genny works it will swing to the + charge side and if it does opposite of that simply reverse the leads. The ammeter is just an in line series passive device to register current flowing INTO/charging the battery or out of discharging.

Regardless and to standardize things REGARDLESS OF POLARITY I tell people theres ONLY ONE wire on the SUPPLY SIDE of the ammeter and it wires to the hot UNGROUNDED battery post. On the other LOAD SIDE theres often TWO WIRES, one to loads like lights and ignition, the other to the BAT terminal on a Voltage Regulator.

To work BOTH the gennys case frame and the VR case frame must be grounded i.e. connected to the frame grounded battery post or frame ground connection.

On some trucks/cars/tractor wiring diagrams I've seen on NEG ground systems the ammeters + wires to battery + and loads and gennys output (BAT on VR) wire to the - of ammeter.

If its an A system my Troubleshooting Procedure in Para 5 will tell if non charging is a genny versus VR or other problem.

John T
Troubleshooting

 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I currently have the amp gauge wired backwards, I
will change. If I read your post right the voltage
regulator itself (not one of the terminals on the
regulator) grounds to the ground terminal on the
generator???
 
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Somewhere I saw "is the amp gauge good?" Do they go bad and is there a way to test it to find out?
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I wouldn't worry about re-wiring ammeter unless you see a load indicating charge (instead of discharge). Just connect a headlight bulb or any substantial load to the non- battery side of the ammeter & watch indication.
Yes, on your VR ground question, ground is the case.

If you are interested, I can't tell you how to test the regulator without more equipment that about 99.44% of tractor owners are likely to have available, but by process of elimination, I can tell you how to make it charge without VR, thus proving generator is good (just re-built, so I guess you know it is good) and that problem would then be VR or wiring.

And my procedure does not matter whether it is "A"-ckt or "B"=ckt.
 


Last edited by JMOR on Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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JOB
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Checking voltage regulator Reply to specific post Reply with quote

When I picked up the generator from the shop, I was told the brushes were stuck away from the commutator (I think that is the right term) and the bearings were shot. He said it looked like the generator had been out in the weather for awhile. So that is why I am wondering about the regulator. Maybe the inside of that is all corroded up?????

It is easy to change the wires around on the amp gauge. When I was running it I did not see a charge going backwards through the amp gauge.
 
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