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Thread: Voltage regulator issues

  1. #1
    Champion Member
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    Voltage regulator issues

    Hello! I posted earlier about my 54 Commander (original 6 volt system) having charging issues. The previous owner replaced an 8 volt battery with a 6 volt, and dialed down the voltage regulator too much. Upon noticing this issue, I attempted to correct the voltage regulator. It puts out a hair over 7 volts (per the service manual) and a quick idle.

    After fixing this, I was driving a bit, keeping an eye on the ammeter. At first it charged as it should, far to the right after starting, then just a hair to the right as I drove and used brake lights, blinkers, etc. However, after about a mile of driving, it went right back to sitting in the middle, not at all on the charging side. Only once did it briefly show that it was charging again (maybe for a half mile). Using electronics would show a discharge, and it would never return to the charging side. I went back home and parked it.

    Starting it today, it did the same thing, only the ammeter quit showing charging after a shorter period of time. It ran just fine, but I was hesitant to take it far and see if the battery would actually deplete itself. I inspected the voltage regulator, and it looks very clean. None of the coils are burnt - I believe it to be a newer unit. What could be causing it to be intermittent like this? I do believe the gauge to be accurate, because even it is not charging, the ammeter responds to headlights, blinkers, etc. being used. Any thoughts?

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    What happens when you turn on the lights at fast idle?
    The generator should keep the ammeter near the middle or very slightly to the right (charge side). When I bought my 50 Champion almost 4 years ago the seller had just put in a new regulator, rebuilt generator, and 8 volt battery. As soon as I got the car home I removed and sold the 8 volt battery, bought an original Autolite regulator from a junkyard, and restored it. Everything was then working fine, but it didn't charge at quite as low an RPM as I like, so I bought an original generator off a Champion in the French Lake junkyard, and restored that. Now it will maintain 0 at idle with the headlights on, and show a very slight charge at faster engine speed.

    If you have a new low quality regulator, I'd look for an original part to install. You might get lucky with polishing the contacts and adjusting the coils in the regulator, but I prefer original quality parts.

    Your's being a Commander should have Delco parts.

  3. #3
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,
    Did you check that your voltage regulator is the right one, the one that is supposed to work with your generator? You can only do this by checking the references of the parts. I don't have the shop manual or parts catalog for 54 models but I can have a look at my old Motor's manual if you need.
    Edit: I found the informations on Bob Johnstone's Site:
    Your generator should be an Autolite GGW-4801E or a Delco-Remy 1102778. The regulators are VBE-6101A and 118950, respectively.
    More details here: http://www.studebaker-info.org/Tech/...4/mm60stu.html
    Nice day to all.
    Last edited by christophe; 12-07-2017 at 03:52 AM.

  4. #4
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    Paul310;
    To me it sounds like your Generator is not continuing to put put voltage. As for why; as they say that is the question. Since it is intermittent
    I would guess a bad connection someplace is causing the generator to fail to deliver a voltage.
    The trick is to bring the car to someone that is able to trouble shoot the problem while the generator is not charging.
    Guessing and replacing parts , only ends up costing unnecessary expense.
    Good luck in finding someone that can trouble shoot without a computer telling him what to try next. They are a dying breed. The son of the man I worked for as a teenager is now 80+
    Ron

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    What happens when you turn on the lights at fast idle?
    The generator should keep the ammeter near the middle or very slightly to the right (charge side). When I bought my 50 Champion almost 4 years ago the seller had just put in a new regulator, rebuilt generator, and 8 volt battery. As soon as I got the car home I removed and sold the 8 volt battery, bought an original Autolite regulator from a junkyard, and restored it. Everything was then working fine, but it didn't charge at quite as low an RPM as I like, so I bought an original generator off a Champion in the French Lake junkyard, and restored that. Now it will maintain 0 at idle with the headlights on, and show a very slight charge at faster engine speed.

    If you have a new low quality regulator, I'd look for an original part to install. You might get lucky with polishing the contacts and adjusting the coils in the regulator, but I prefer original quality parts.

    Your's being a Commander should have Delco parts.
    The generator and regulator are indeed correct for the vehicle and each other. At idle, it shows a slight discharge with the lights on. Any touch of the throttle brings it to even/slightly charging, however. It does idle quite low, as a recent valve job allows it to do so smoothly.

    I suppose the next step would be cleaning all the connections, perhaps the heat/movement of the vehicle once it gets going is causing one to fail sporadically. The regulator itself is spotless, if that were to be the issue it must be because it is a lower quality remake.

  6. #6
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    You have to check if your car is equipped with a circuit A or B, then test it accordingly.
    Here is the corresponding page of the 59-64 manual. This should be similar to what you'll find in the 1954 shop manual but you'd better check this first.
    Nice day to all.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Except for my 63 Lark, my newest Studebaker is my 1952 Land Cruiser and 52 Champion, and all my 1950-52 Commanders used Delco electrics, while my 1949-52 Champions all used Autolite.
    Did this practice end by 1954, or does anyone know when it ended? Thanks, Tom

  8. #8
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    Delco-Remy are all "A" circuit connected.
    Frank DuVal

    50 Commander 4 door

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