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Screwed up something ! 12V (+) ground to (-) ground smoking generator..!

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  • Electrical: Screwed up something ! 12V (+) ground to (-) ground smoking generator..!

    1953 2R6 : OK.... so I am wanting to change (+) ground to (-). Truck was changed successfully from 6V to 12V (+) ground. Where did I screw up: 1) swapped in new battery cables(changed polarity). 2) swapped wires on the coil. 3) swapped ammeter wires. 4) I did add a circuit breaker in replacing a 15amp fuse for lights. Tried headlights = good. Tried blower motor = good. Polarized regulator (did not change wires). Started engine: ammeter pegged full discharge, stayed there. Noticed smoke from back of generator. Shut down. As an aside, I did remove the regulator due to some intermittent discharging and opened it up, dragged fine sand paper, then business card through 3 sets of points. Good ground on unit.

  • #2
    Did you change the generator and regulator to 12 volt units?

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    • #3
      Your voltage regulator might have went from intermittent to a solid failure. First thing I would do is replace it with a new one. When I was working at a gas station I saw a lot of cars that had there batteries in backwards and the people drove them that way never realizing it. When alternators and transistor powered radios came along that was a different story. You seemed to have done your wiring changes ok. When you jump the battery terminal to the field terminal of the regulator you're actually polarizing the field coils of the generator.
      Last edited by graylark; 04-13-2017, 07:10 PM.

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      • #4
        Ok... just to add, in summary: I did get a good spark when polarizing the regulator (generator). A short, brief history..... last year I experienced a temporary discharge on my amp gage while on an extended trip. Shut the car down (@ Moody's diner-overrated) for about 1 hour. Started up and amp gage showed a good charge. This temporary action has repeated itself several times over the past year. Being a CASO by heart, I was reluctant to seek out a new regulator, but now I will buy at least 1, then a backup (like pumps, belts ign. parts). So... I have a good, rebuilt, fine working 12V Delco Remy generator in the truck right now: DR #1102333. I believe it is late 50's GM, maybe a Stude (?) unit form a later vehicle? I don't know. How do I best match up a new regulator. The regulator in the truck now has no part number, just 3 digits/letters in ink on the underside (BTW-no arcing or discoloration in the unit inside or out.

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        • #5
          If you have a voltmeter you can do some basic trouble shooting while searching for a regulator. Re-check your generator to regulator wiring. If you're satisfied that the wiring is ok remove the battery wire from the terminal on the regulator and the armature wire from its terminal on regulator. Do this carefully and keep the wires away from touching anything, the battery wire is hot. Start it up and check ammeter for excessive current draw and for smoke. If things look stable read to see if there is any voltage on the disconnected armature wire. Negative lead on voltmeter to ground and positive lead to armature wire. You should get a positive voltage reading. There is residual magnetism in the field coil pole pieces that is present from your action of polarizing the generator that produces a voltage that "wakes" up the regulator so it can connect the battery and make some serious current. If you can read this voltage it is an indication that your generator is trying to do right. I was hoping you had a good spare regulator laying around that you could have put on and you wouldn't have to read all this confusing technical b/s. I would think a regulator from a Studebaker that has a 12 volt generator would work.

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          • #6
            This is where a Motor's Shop Manual or Flat Rate/Parts Manual comes in handy. The shop manual will list the generator and regulator numbers in the tune up section for each make, and the Flat Rate manual will list the numbers in the parts list section for each make. Be sure you use a Delco regulator with a Delco generator, and an Autolite regulator with an Autolite generator. And of course each must have matching voltage specs.

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            • #7
              By chance I have a Motor Manual for these years.... Unfortunately, tho I know this generator is a Cadillac unit.... it is not listed. I'm inclined to think that any DR regulator from the late 50's should work...???

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jackb View Post
                By chance I have a Motor Manual for these years.... Unfortunately, tho I know this generator is a Cadillac unit.... it is not listed. I'm inclined to think that any DR regulator from the late 50's should work...???
                I think you are right. I checked a few wiring diagrams on Studebaker parts web site and they were wired the same. I remember seeing the amperage rating stamped on generators, it is meant for the regulator to have the rating to match the generator. However when I was young and we were all driving our jalopies around we would just grab anything that looked similar from the junkyard if we needed a regulator. It would usually work.

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                • #9
                  Nice day update: I had a spare generator & regulator from a 59' wagon. That generator listed correctly for 59' Stude. BTW, my Motors Manual did show my current generator to be a Rambler unit. So I have 2, however the regulator had a "bad" note , but I installed it anyway after opening up to find everything good except very little point material left on the cutout coil.
                  Nonetheless, not only did it fail to create a "charge" on the dash gage, it also failed to spark when I tried to polarize it. So once again, I opened up the original unit and cleaned and installed it, started the truck and got no charge on the dash. Definite discharge with lights, and at least no smoking at the back end of the generator. I may still have some time to attempt Graylark's #5 generator checks before I order a new regulator.... I may even buy a used one to test & to have as a spare.....

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                  • #10
                    Jackb, That's a bad omen when you didn't get any spark when you tried to polarize the generator. The only reason you polarize the generator at the voltage regulator is because it is a convenient place to jump the battery voltage to the generator's field coil, hence the condition of the voltage regulator shouldn't stop you from drawing an arc when you attempt to polarize the generator. Makes me wonder if the smoke you saw was from the field coil burning open. Do you have a meter to test the continuity of the field coil?

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                    • #11
                      Put your voltmeter on the generator output stud, then use a clip lead to ground the field terminal, and you should have max output at fast idle.
                      Don't do this for more than a few seconds, but this should let you know your generator is good.
                      More test after I hear the results of this one.

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                      • #12
                        Just saw in a service manual that Studebaker used two generators, Autolite and Delco. The internal field connections are different between the two generators so a Delco regulator won't interchange with an Autolite.
                        You must make sure the manufacturer of the generator is the same one for the regulator.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks.....clarification: the 59' Lark regulator had my "note" on the box that suggested it was bad. It was in a box labeled V 22, a standard part number and inside box a receipt from Then & Now stating 1996 purchase. Probably the replacement I bought for the Lark. When I replaced that "bad" regulator with my original regulator (the friend of the smoking generator), I definitely got a spark on polarzing. Next I found my multimeter non-functioning (1993), so was unable to test anything. I'm still getting a replacement regulator this week, then on to further testing.....

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                          • #14
                            You can test the generator for output with no tools. Just start the car, turn the lights on at night, run at fast idle, then turn off the engine.
                            If the lights dim a little as the engine dies, then it was putting out.

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                            • #15
                              just went out and grounded the "field" post and got good charging at gage..... regulator time...thx

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