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smoking generator

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  • smoking generator

    I drove my mother-in-law home the other night after she had babysat out 4 yr old. It's about a 30 mile round trip, a littlev longer than I normally drive my Lark (259, auto) without stopping. It was running a little hot, about 3/4 on the gage, just over half seems to be 'normal'. When I got home and turned it off the amp light stayed on shen the key was in the off position where no lights should be on but went out when I switched to the run position (w/out starting) where I can't take the key out. I was thinking it had either shorted or the key mechanism had spun in its hole, so I turned it back and forth and restarted, turned it back off, etc. All to no avail so I got out and opened the hood. My generator was smoking! After standing around with the fire extinguisher in my hands for about half an hour it quit. Left the car with the warning light still glowing. In the morning the dome light came on and the warning light was off so sometime in the night things had returned to normal. My mechanic is out of town and I haven't tried to start it since. Would forgetting to lube my generator cause this? (and can I use 3 in 1 oil instead of sae 20 as the manual calls for) Or is it some underlying problem causing the overheating and a heat induced short? Any and all help welcomed ifv not nec'ly followed.... Oh, to get back to a previous post, I decided that Lonnie Mack's Wham of That Memphis Man is the perfect music for my car and I actually had the AM radio working breifly after Chuck hooked up an antena, then it died.

  • #2
    They always told us at G.M. school not to let the smoke out. If the bearings in you generator haven't been lubed in a while it could be smoking. If they were hot enough to smoke they are probably bad. Take the fan belt off the gen. pully and spin it. That shoud tell you something about the condition of the bearings. You could also have stuck points in the regulator but probably not, that would have the regulater smoking. Sounds like its more like gen. bearings. Try some 20W oil and if that don't help pull the gen. apart and check the bearings.

    GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

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    • #3
      I doubt that lubing your generator would have made a difference. If that light stayed on and the generator was smoking, I'd bet a buck to a cop's donut that the regulator was stuck and the generator was trying to spin like a motor (which it will do if voltage is applied to it!). Of course, it's not strong enough to spin the engine over, so it just sat there trying and smoldering. You should have disconnected one of the battery leads but it may be too late for that now. If it eventually quit smoking, it probably burnt thru a winding and quit conducting current.[V]
      The regulator might have gotten wqarm or hot, but it wouldn't necessarily have been smoking

      And as to your question - yes, 3-in-1 is great for general lubing including the generator, distributor, door hinges, latches, etc, etc..

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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      • #4
        How ironical that while worrying about the effects of one bit of owner negligence I committed another...didn't occur to me to unhook the battery but it makes perfect sense. Oh well, when Chuck gets back we'll see what the damage is and try to figure out what the underlying problem is. Thanks all.

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        • #5
          If you still have the battery cables connected, I suggest you disconnect the positive cable NOW. The same thing happened to my Lark, but before I could get the battery cable off, the wires from the generator started glowing, I could see the wires burning all of the way through the firewall and into the wiring harness inside, my bolt cutters were close at hand so I cut the battery cable and proceeded to extinguish the fire under the dash. I now have a new wiring harness as well as an inline fuse in the wire that goes into the ampmeter, which is the wire that was feeding into the car. The generator windings had shorted and had gone to ground.


          Studebaker Fever
          60 Lark
          51 Champion
          Phil
          Arnold, Missouri

          Studebaker Fever
          60 Lark
          56 Power Hawk
          Phil Hendrickson
          Arnold, Missouri

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          • #6
            Phil,

            OK, I disconected the pos side battery cable, but where to set it (it's resting on top of the battery now)? It seems unlikely that anything's going to change now nearly a week afterwards...

            Dana

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            • #7
              Most likely nothing else would change, but with defective electrical components anything can happen if the power supply is still intact, but as long as the positive cable is not in contact with the positive battery post nothing more can happen. Better safe than sorry, good luck.


              Studebaker Fever
              60 Lark
              51 Champion
              Phil
              Arnold, Missouri

              Studebaker Fever
              60 Lark
              56 Power Hawk
              Phil Hendrickson
              Arnold, Missouri

              Comment


              • #8
                My dad had a beater '47 chevy truck on the farm when I was growing up. Every couple years he had to replace the voltage reg when it would finally refuse to unstick itself even with some "careful" whacks with the back side of a wrench. I was always taught to watch the ammeter when turning off the ign and if it went to the discharge side, get out in a hurry with the wrench and open the hood.... The battery in those old trucks was under the passenger side floor mat with a trap door so it was not real easy to get at in a emergency.

                Jeff in ND

                '53 Champion Hardtop

                Jeff in ND

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