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HanksB3B

6 Volt Positive Ground Voltage Regulator

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Do any of you guys know about Voltage Regulators. Last night my friend Al and I went for a test drive after finishing the "Clutch Problem".

I have one of those aftermarket directionals and I'll be darned if I can remember to center it after I make a turn. (I must look like a surface street version of one of those dumb people on the freeway that drives me nuts signaling for miles)

I'm not saying I did too much of that as I am getting used to it but with my headlights on and my tailights on, it's rare that I see the amp guage pointing toward "+".

This morning my battery was weak and it didn't start right up. I charged the battery and drove for a couple of miles. While driving I noticed the amp guage was pointing directly to "0" the entire way.

I called Astro Electric in town and he agreed to look at my generator if I took it out, so I did. I hadn't had it serviced since the truck rested between 1985 and 2005. We went straight for the brushes and the technician said they look worn. I guess I had OEM brushes with two wire leads. On one of the brushes one of the wires was broken. The replacements had only one heavy gauge copper wire.

I reinstalled the generator and took the truck for a test drive. This time out I noticed the amp guage pointed just the smallest amount plus of "0" and not as far to positive as it usually did.

Tomorrow I plan to drive the truck to Astro Electric for them to get a reading from the generator as installed. I really don't know what (and I'm not hoping for) makes a generator fail (not saying mine is).

I asked the technician if they serviced Voltage Regulators and he said they didn't. If you look at the Dodge Truck Manual, it looks quite involved. I have I've accumulated a few over the years and who knows if one works better than the other, or if the one I have installed just needs to be cleaned and fine tuned.

Questions:

1. What makes a generator fail.

2. Other than 6 volt positive ground what are the other specs (AMP Range?) for our voltage regulators?

3. Once Polarized always Polarized?

4. What should the generator be putting out?

5. If all else fails where has anyone purchased one from.

6. Links to any thread addressing this issue would be helpful.

Thanks,

Hank

Thanks

Edited by HanksB3B

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I can't help you with your generator, but they make signal flashers that make a sound to remind you that the flasher is still on. Made for 12 volt not sure about 6 volt.

Wayne

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I remember something about repolarizing your system. With the key on ground your field out for a second then try it again.Try running it with your lites on. See if it charges with more amps. god luck hank

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Maybe I got lucky, but I had my generator and starter gone through by a local shop because they had been sitting in the bed of my truck for who knows how long and they were filthy. He said it was a good thing I brought them in because they were full of crap. He cleaned them up and service whatever was needed and I installed them I never polorized anything and it all works well.

I will get an initial positive charge after start up. But after the battery has recovered what I used to crank it up the needle hoovers right around 0, maybe slightly to the + side. It will wiggle to the - side when I step on the brake or when the blinker is on at idle.

I feel your pain on leaving the blinkers on. I did it all the time too. Then I found a beeper in my desk drawer. It was a left over from something that we installed on a machine some time ago. It was rated for 3 - 36 volts, so I wired it up to my flasher to beep when the blinkers are on. It was so loud at first I couldn't stand it. So I put some tape over the speaker opening and muffled it. Now I still get a slightly annoying beep, beep, beep, when the blinkers are on, but at least I don't forget to turn them off.

Merle

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this morning and I drove to Astro Electric. Jessie tested the system and it is charging at around 6.2 volts idling and around 6.8 with some throttle. I asked if it made sense to buy a new regulator. Jessie said "You may get a little more charge but not much more so it's not a pressing issue at this time. On the drive back home, the needle was more generous in it's movement and clearly showed that it was charging while driving and that the ammeter was working. It also meant that it is polarized.

I plan to build a new two wire harness that goes to the regulator. It' the only wire (because visually it appears in good shape) that I didn't re-do this time around, but I've got new wire and extra crimps so what the heck.

I printed out a copy of the pages from our Dodge Truck Manual that have to do with the Voltage Regulator. I have a few spare ones from here and there and I'm starting to think that in mose cases they don't get bad, they just get dirty, out of adjustment and perhaps are candidates for rebuilding. I'm going to read up and try to source whatever the materials were used back in the day when there were people actually serviced parts. Now that the truck is 95% all done, on rainy days I've been visiting the plastic flip top bins that have extra component parts.

Today I dropped off two water pumps to a company named Rotex in Gardena Ca. They are going to take them apart and sandblast them. I asked them to keep all the parts. One of them will be rebuilt by them and the other one I want to have so I can either buy or make my own rebuild kit to have on hand. I guess you need a bearing press but I'd like to be able to service them and always have one on hand. Same as I want to do with my extra fuel pump.

It' good that my clutch job went so well. I anticipated it would cost around $300.00 but now that it cost only $59 there's some wiggle room to splurge on the little things I want to get in order.

I do have some items that I want to inventory and sell. It'll' take some time as I would want to photograph and find the appropriate application and part number for them.

Hank

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Merle,

On page 209, paragraph 15 Testing the Voltage Regulator it does specify between 7.2 and 7.5 at 70 deg. F. The Voltage Regulator section of the book is pretty interesting. I'm in one of those curious take-apart-modes. It looks like you have to be careful not to ground out component sub-assemblies, but I think I can handle refacing the contact points and adjusting the regulator. I don't think it could do much harm to first try one of the spare regulators even though at this point I'm not sure if the work or not. I will pay attention to see if they are positive ground units. I could practice my polarization skill set. I like to see if there is one that functions better than the one currently installed. I think that the problem is while 6.8 is just o.k. for day driving once I have the light on and the occasional blinker blank out, it just pushes it over the edge and that's why it didn't start that day.

Something else I noticed regarding the blinkers is that if I leave it on too long, the front signal light and the taillight will stop blinking and just remain on. The first thought naturally would be the flasher unit under the dash, but once the directional is turned off for a while and then used to signal again it will return to a blinking light. I'm theorizing that the parts store guy may have assumed a 12 volt flasher would work on a 6 volt system. That's just my guess.

Thanks,

Hank

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If your battery is i good shape and your truck starts right up, the amp gauge will not read high because the genny's job it to replace the power used from the battery. So it would not be unusual to see the meter jump to about 20 amps for the first few minutes of driving, but as soon as the battery achieves full charge the VR will sense that and reduce the genny output to pretty much a neutral state. the gauge will show a needle's width or less toward positive, Using the signals and brake lights will sap the battery, which the VR will sense and allow the genny to pump out a bit of juice again to retrun the battery to its fully charged state.

You can adjust the VR points to achieve a higher output so if you are consistantly at 6.5 volts, I would have your guy make the adjustment to achieve the 7/to 7.5 called for in the factory spec.

But again if you just had the charger on the battery, you could go for a couple of day's worth of runnig before the VR calls for the Genny to do any significant work.

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I feel your pain on leaving the blinkers on. I did it all the time too. Then I found a beeper in my desk drawer. It was a left over from something that we installed on a machine some time ago. It was rated for 3 - 36 volts, so I wired it up to my flasher to beep when the blinkers are on. It was so loud at first I couldn't stand it. So I put some tape over the speaker opening and muffled it. Now I still get a slightly annoying beep, beep, beep, when the blinkers are on, but at least I don't forget to turn them off.

Merle

I may need one of those beepers but I am not sure how to wire it up. I forgot and left my right turn signal on in the middle of winter. My arm was frozen for 3 days:rolleyes:

hndrt.gif

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Hank this is just from memory but I believe a 6v flasher is #535 at napa.

I will check to see if it is a 6 or 12 Volt Flasher Do you think if it were a 12 volt it would act as described above?

Thanks,

Hank

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If your battery is i good shape and your truck starts right up, the amp gauge will not read high because the genny's job it to replace the power used from the battery. So it would not be unusual to see the meter jump to about 20 amps for the first few minutes of driving, but as soon as the battery achieves full charge the VR will sense that and reduce the genny output to pretty much a neutral state. the gauge will show a needle's width or less toward positive, Using the signals and brake lights will sap the battery, which the VR will sense and allow the genny to pump out a bit of juice again to retrun the battery to its fully charged state.

You can adjust the VR points to achieve a higher output so if you are consistantly at 6.5 volts, I would have your guy make the adjustment to achieve the 7/to 7.5 called for in the factory spec.

But again if you just had the charger on the battery, you could go for a couple of day's worth of runnig before the VR calls for the Genny to do any significant work.

Thanks Greg. One of the original (type) double wire brushes had one of the wires detached from the carbon element. Both brushes were replaced with new single wire brushes. Now, most of the time when I'm driving the needle is pointing either directly at "0" or like you describe "needle's width or less toward positive". I haven't seen the needle dip toward minus ever since the brushes were replaced. I'm thinking the major part of the problem is fixed. Is it posible that the generator running with a brush with one loose wire would not charge as effectively, or is it possible that the loose wire could have been intermittently grounding out?

Thanks,

Hank

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