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The Mistress came home on the hook. Electrics again

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The Mistress came home on the hook. Electrics again

Old April 27th, 2018, 01:31 AM
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The Mistress came home on the hook. Electrics again

On the way back from Cool April Nights my voltage regulator (I think anyway) took a dump. It is about a 200 mile round trip jaunt and I was lucky to get within 25 miles from home before the battery drained and she would not start.
Rather embarrassing setting in the Walmart parking lot waiting for a tow truck while people walked around and complement my car. What do you say to someone... Yea she is a pretty Old Girl but she won't run till the tow truck comes

This has become a serious issue as most of you know I travel big miles in this car and for years it has been stone reliable . Just get in and go but the quality of the electrical parts lately have been crap and starting to give me the nerves shakes when getting far from home. I have replaced 4 generators and 3 voltage regulators in the last 6 years, some were bad on arrival, new in the box so no miles or tows were involved, but they were junk parts from the get go.

Today I went over the electrics and have just about narrowed it down to the voltage regulator again I think. That regulator is no more than a year old and looks like it's new for what that's worth. It appears that it some how looses it's polarity and stops allowing the juice to charge the battery. If I put a charger on the battery and bring it to a full charge put a load on the battery the regulator will start to work again for a while but can't be trusted to continue. Generator appears to be putting out 14 volts at a high idle all the time so I think it's OK.

Other than just replacing the voltage regulator and hoping that I get a good one I don't know what else to do. It would be nice to know why this is happening rather than just throw a part at it and worry if this will happen again down the road somewhere distant. Any ideas... Tedd
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Old April 27th, 2018, 08:41 AM
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Tedd:

I know you are big on keeping your car all original. I have a one wire alternator on my 54 and it has performed for several years. What you might consider is on of those companies that makes alternators that look like generators. The advertise in Hemmings. Just a thought.

One of the things I tell people when I am in one of these situations (and we have all been there and will be again) is that the old gal has had some cosmetic surgery and my look brand new but underneath she is still 64 years old. They usually chuckle.

Last edited by redoldsman; April 27th, 2018 at 08:44 AM.
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Old April 27th, 2018, 09:33 AM
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These are kind of expensive, one of these might be worth considering. The picture is of a 6v PN 82057.
https://www.summitracing.com/search/.../submodel/base


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Old April 27th, 2018, 09:52 AM
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For the purist, it is something I would consider. The reviews look good on most of them.
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Old April 27th, 2018, 10:06 AM
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I'm not trying to teach grandma to suck eggs, but you did polarize the regulator before you fitted it?.

Roger.
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Old April 27th, 2018, 11:53 AM
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Tedd ,sorry for your bad luck, but this crap gets old quickly.I know you love originality, but the unit above gives the original look and most of all reliability. Those tow bills don't come cheap anymore, go for it, and leave your aggrevation behind. Larry
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Old April 27th, 2018, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rustyroger View Post
I'm not trying to teach grandma to suck eggs, but you did polarize the regulator before you fitted it?.

Roger.
Yep Roger, I don't think it would even work if not polarized or at least it would have a fifty fifty chance that it wouldn't work.This regulator may have acted up a few thousand miles ago and I thought it was a bad battery don't know now, I didn't pursue long enough to get it straight in my head, thought I had it fixed.

I'll find a good regulator this can't be rocket science but I'm sure curious why this is happening on two different regulators., has me wondering if I looking at the wrong part for problems..... I keep you posted when I get it figured out.... Tedd
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Old April 27th, 2018, 07:16 PM
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Maybe try this one Tedd ,
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-1961-C...Naytlx&vxp=mtr
Kinda pricey , but , you can be sure it will work right .
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Old April 28th, 2018, 02:07 PM
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Are you getting aftermarket regulators? Certainly it could be several issues but I have pretty well stopped buying foreign "new" parts due to these problems. Clearly a 60 year old nos part can be bad as well but unless it looks like it's been stored in a wet basement, I've found ponying up for a GM original works well. Some have crazy prices from left field but if you are patient, you will find cost effective parts. Although even at some of the prices on eBay, look at what dealer part prices are for modern cars and folks bitch but pony up without hesitating so go figure. Those parts are readily available and expensive, but obsolete 30-70 year old parts that are difficult to find that actually help keep these cars on the road are expected to be nickels.
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Old April 28th, 2018, 05:20 PM
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Tedd, maybe you have room for a spare generator, voltage regulator and one of those "jump in a box" things like this?

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Old April 28th, 2018, 07:11 PM
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Koda,Funny you should suggest a jump box, I just ordered one from Amazon not a hour ago. Big trunk, will carry many tools..... Tedd
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Old April 28th, 2018, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
Koda,Funny you should suggest a jump box, I just ordered one from Amazon not a hour ago. Big trunk, will carry many tools..... Tedd
Tedd, sorry for your troubles. About a year ago, I feared I might be headed down your road. I replaced a generator, then a voltage regulator right away. Got a bad regulator. But the replacement and combination all seem to be working, for now.
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Old April 28th, 2018, 11:22 PM
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I know I'm a little frustrated now, I also know this will work it's self out shortly.I just hate to lose my confidence in my car to the point I don't take it far out of town. The Old girl has been a lot worse shape than this..... Tedd
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Old April 29th, 2018, 12:01 AM
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If it "must" be original, getting quality parts should be your route. On my '55 slow speed driving on a hot summer's night with A/C, lights, etc. running, the battery kept losing ground as far as charge level went. The solution was the alternator. It's not original, but works better. Of course alternators are not without the possibility of failure. After many years of use, a diode can fail. So far, mine hasn't.
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Old April 29th, 2018, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
If it "must" be original, getting quality parts should be your route. On my '55 slow speed driving on a hot summer's night with A/C, lights, etc. running, the battery kept losing ground as far as charge level went. The solution was the alternator. It's not original, but works better. Of course alternators are not without the possibility of failure. After many years of use, a diode can fail. So far, mine hasn't.
I do plan on another Concourse this year if all goes well (I know I'm a glutton for punishment) and I plan on getting as much done on the car as I can afford and what my body will allow. I have ordered a new regulator and It's should be here Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully that will the end of the problem, it worked before it will work again. I have two old used regulators in a box somewhere in my junk but I'm afraid to use them Although they could be better than something new who knows?

And Ozzie what are you doing up so late or is it very early where you are? Us old people need our beauty sleep you know.... Tedd
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Old April 29th, 2018, 04:38 PM
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Bad kitty

TEDD
IF IT HAS **** / TIRES

Buy an extra regulator and the boost box gizmo too
Hope you evade TOJO for a long while

april is almost over
I hope the rest of the year is fun
all the best
brian
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Old April 29th, 2018, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
I do plan on another Concourse this year if all goes well (I know I'm a glutton for punishment) and I plan on getting as much done on the car as I can afford and what my body will allow. I have ordered a new regulator and It's should be here Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully that will the end of the problem, it worked before it will work again. I have two old used regulators in a box somewhere in my junk but I'm afraid to use them Although they could be better than something new who knows?

And Ozzie what are you doing up so late or is it very early where you are? Us old people need our beauty sleep you know.... Tedd
The '55 Olds shop manual has some information on the regulator on pages 13-13 through 13-21. I'm wondering if it might reveal something about your situation.

And I wish that I could get some regular good sleep. I'm two hours ahead of you, but I have some irregular sleeping habits. This is another gift I got with old age. So, instead of just lying there inspecting the ceiling, I'd rather get up and read the forum or something else. Then I might be a bit useful.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 04:22 AM
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Perhaps you could get the old regulators refurbished?. If they are the correct part for the model year then it won't hurt your concours chances.
Back in the day millions of cars all over the world clocked up plenty of miles with a dynamo and regulator taking care of the electrical demands.

Roger.
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Old April 30th, 2018, 04:05 PM
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Tedd although my 64 F-85 is not even close to original(Pro-touring build). I feel your pain, I'm having new parts fail and the car is not in the street yet! Just ordered another brake light-cruise control switch-determined no brake lights. Just had the Power Master 90 amp alternator rebuilt few weeks ago-
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Old April 30th, 2018, 05:08 PM
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I'm on my fifth or sixth regulator. Ever since Reno, the system works OK for two or three months, then zilch. Just pulled gen and reg for trip to repair shop for last time, then I'm going with those fancy gen looking alternators.
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Old May 1st, 2018, 02:41 PM
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You still see NOS Delco regulators on eBay, would they be any better? Or even an older NORS like a Borg Warner?


This one is suppose to fit 55-56 with A/C. NFI


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-1961-C...Naytlx&vxp=mtr
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Old May 1st, 2018, 08:08 PM
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No luck but bad luck

Well I replaced the regulator yesterday and the amp gauge showed a nice + charge, Thought everything was a done deal, then I started smelling a burnt rubber smell.The generator is toast.The lead in the armature has melted and there is now a internal short. Geeees, no luck but bad luck. I probably bought a 120.$ regulator that I didn't need. New armature will be in the generator shop tomorrow, hopefully I'll have it back in the car that evening or the day after for a Saturday car show...... Or I'll take the Miata it always runs..... Tedd
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Old May 1st, 2018, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
Well I replaced the regulator yesterday and the amp gauge showed a nice + charge, Thought everything was a done deal, then I started smelling a burnt rubber smell.The generator is toast.The lead in the armature has melted and there is now a internal short. Geeees, no luck but bad luck. I probably bought a 120.$ regulator that I didn't need. New armature will be in the generator shop tomorrow, hopefully I'll have it back in the car that evening or the day after for a Saturday car show...... Or I'll take the Miata it always runs..... Tedd
Tedd ,
Check you wiring carefully . Usually generators will not "melt down" like that unless there was a direct short to ground .
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 06:10 AM
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Replacement parts are garbage. I carry a container of spare parts in the trunk, hoses, regulator, alternator, starter, ignition module, coil or the whole distributor and tools. I will probably get burnt eventually when a part fails and I put on a new replacement part that doesn't work. I know replacement parts for my 70 and 88 are always order parts, I can't imagine finding parts for a 50's car. Hope some luck comes your way.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 07:37 AM
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Charlie that is the main concern now. This is the second generator in a row that went up in smoke and I always ether blamed a poor rebuild on a Willson generator (which there has been two that were dead on arrival) or a bad regulator. This has been a expensive learning experience.

As far as parts go I have a good old world generator/ starter re builder shop in Hamelton City that I use if I can't get something locally. It a bit of a hike for me to use but he does a lot of old world cars and tractors and carries around 350 armatures in stock. He didn't have one for my generator but he got one over night through one of his sources. I'll pick it up today and with luck get it together tonight and chase down where my problem is, I think I'm getting closer... Tedd
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
Charlie that is the main concern now. This is the second generator in a row that went up in smoke and I always ether blamed a poor rebuild on a Willson generator (which there has been two that were dead on arrival) or a bad regulator. This has been a expensive learning experience.

As far as parts go I have a good old world generator/ starter re builder shop in Hamelton City that I use if I can't get something locally. It a bit of a hike for me to use but he does a lot of old world cars and tractors and carries around 350 armatures in stock. He didn't have one for my generator but he got one over night through one of his sources. I'll pick it up today and with luck get it together tonight and chase down where my problem is, I think I'm getting closer... Tedd


Tedd,


I know this is an obvious question, but have you checked the grounds? Specifically the ground from the block to the firewall at the back? I had a bit of corrosion under the connector where the cable bolted on. Hidden. Like you, but not as bad, I was frustrated, and cleaned and checked every connection on the car. It might not be one thing, but a combination.
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Old May 2nd, 2018, 08:25 PM
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DFitz, I added a extra ground from the regulator # one post to the firewall a couple years ago because of regulator / generator problems at that time. This time I removed all the paint on the attachment parts of the generator in the hopes of eliminating any bad ground issues that might be hiding there. I also gave the wiring a good going over and can't see any breaks, rough spots or burnt areas. The regulator is wired and bolted in and I believe it's ready to go.
The last Item is the generator and if my legs hadn't pooped out I would have been ready for a test run tonight. Very close to being done I think.

By the way the brand new regulator needed adjusting before it would continue to charge. John Larkin (generator shop owner) ran a test on all the components together and caught this before I installed the new parts or it would have been a bad news day again. Sticky points that wouldn't make contact unless they were touched. He ran the generator and regulator on his test bench many times till he was satisfied everything was up to snuff. I recommend him highly..... Tedd

Larkin Automotive and Electric 530-826- 0250
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
DFitz, I added a extra ground from the regulator # one post to the firewall a couple years ago because of regulator / generator problems at that time. This time I removed all the paint on the attachment parts of the generator in the hopes of eliminating any bad ground issues that might be hiding there. I also gave the wiring a good going over and can't see any breaks, rough spots or burnt areas. The regulator is wired and bolted in and I believe it's ready to go.
The last Item is the generator and if my legs hadn't pooped out I would have been ready for a test run tonight. Very close to being done I think.

By the way the brand new regulator needed adjusting before it would continue to charge. John Larkin (generator shop owner) ran a test on all the components together and caught this before I installed the new parts or it would have been a bad news day again. Sticky points that wouldn't make contact unless they were touched. He ran the generator and regulator on his test bench many times till he was satisfied everything was up to snuff. I recommend him highly..... Tedd

Larkin Automotive and Electric 530-826- 0250
Good news and good luck. I was pretty sure you had all the bases covered, but you never know.


Dave
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 07:42 PM
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Done deal, car is back on the road. I should have had the old generator and regulator checked before I started swapping parts.That could have probably saved me the price of a regulator and having to take it out a few times. Kinda a problem I've had that goes along with lack of patience.Thanks for the advice it all helps when I'm trying to noodle a problem out.... Tedd
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Old May 4th, 2018, 08:26 AM
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Good stuff. At least you have a spare regulator now. I'd make a power kit for the old bird with your jumper and regulator and generator and tools and a good flashlight and be ready for the next time.
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