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Robert Smith

You're all going to love this!!!

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My gosh, guess what I found out last week? Remember that damn voltage regulator junk I've been going through? Well, the guy who's been working on the car pulled out the Generator... now, get this, there was motor oil in the generator! Lots of it! At first, he said I'll need new brushes... then, the next day he told me that the field coils aren't salvageable... then, told me to pick the car up today... I then called him today and found out that it's going to need a new armature!!! Now, this guy is the best in the area, he's the guy most of the old car guys here go to for electrical... I know he's not giving me a song and dance... he called me up and asked me to come up and see the oil in the generator! I looked and sure enough, motor oil! Lots of it!!! How in the world did so much oil get into the Generator? I know I have a small oil leak but, how would that get into there?:confused:

So, a free fix is now going to cost me the price of a freshly rebuilt generator! It only had two years on it... that isn't making me too happy!:mad:

Any thoughts on how oil is getting into the generator?

Thanks guys,

=R=

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Robert

I know you have your car serviced at shops. Could they have been over-oiling the little cup at the back? That's the only way I can imagine it would get full of oil.

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Was that cover that goes around the rear of the generator in place? Could someone have accidentally poured some oil in there, or spilled some, while refilling the oil at the tube? It is a kinda wierd thing.

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Very Strange occurrence, if your engine only has a small oil leak, that shouldn't be your problem, if someone was loaded up the 2 oil filler holes on the genny, I suppose that might do it, but that would be a lot of oil going in those to little filler holes. Is it possible you have an oil leak from the timing chain cover and it gets sprayed from the fan into the genny, But if your oil consumption and leakage is minimal that should not be the problem. Very strange, has anyone else on this forum experienced this before. Good Luck and I hope you find what caused this problem......Fred

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ROBERT, ... is the band secure around the back of the generator ? Is the oil fill cap position so that the blow by faces to the rear of the engine compartment? If these things are in order, then I would check on who is puring oil into the fill tube.

If you need future assistance take a cruise down the 101(by way of I5) I'de be glad to visit with you. Shorter route would be Bill S in MV. Smarter then me.

AL

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I know I may be going out on a limb here, but maybe he could have put the oil in there? I mean...sure he may be the best, but who's to say he's the most honest? Hey, they used to do a lot tricks like that and more back in the 40's and 50's to unaware motorists that temporarily left their cars to use the bathroom or stop in a cafe to grab a bite. Buster Burris, the man that owned Amboy on old Hwy 66, told me that a station owner that used to be across the highway from him used to do that to cars back in the 40's and 50's...and make a lot of money doing it, too! What would happen is that this other station owner's mechanics would squirt some oil around the main seal or some transmission fluid or grease around the trans and then tell the motorist that the engine had a bad leak and that they wouldn't make it across the desert in that condition. The motorist had no choice but to have it repaired since Amboy was out in the middle of the Mohave Desert.

Sounds crazy, but I don't have a lot of trust for mechanics and truly believe that a lot of these dirty tricks are still practiced today. I'm not saying all are like that, but many are. Anything to make a quick buck.

AmboyCA1948.jpg

Amboy 1948

AmboyCA1947.jpg

Buster's Place

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The only odd thing to me is that excessive oil would somehow mess up an armature or the field coils. Sure, it could gunk up the brushes and the armature but that's easily cleaned off.

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It does sound odd. I can see that the oil cups could malfuntion and spill too much into the gen but either someone put oil in while there was no soak cloth in the cups or it went straight through some other way. Even then it would take a great deal to make the gen not work complelty like mentioned. The brush's could get soaked and not work but the rest would. I like to use contact cleaner on items like this even when running. Use it on drills, you name it. Anything with a electric motor. Problem for me is finding the stuff. They took the good stuff off the shelf because of the ozone factor but Radio Shack has a similer cleaner. Problem with it is you pay way to much for the 3 inch tall can and it has a lubricant in it that I'd rather not have. Leaves a mess instead of a dry clean item but it still works. Your genny sounds like one of those deals where if they had told me the same thing I would have taken it home and broken it down to have a looksee for myself before going any further. Think of it this way, when you wash the engine bay it gets covered with degreaser and a lot of water under pressure. Doesnt mess up when you crank it up then does it? Wear and tear is a genny's basic reasons for quiting on you. Old man time takes his toll but oil? Just doesnt sound right. Second opinion or time to get that one wire alternator.

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Last time I saw the motor in Robert's car, there wasn't a lot of oil leakage evident. Now, there was a recent valve job, and it could be that in refilling the crankcase some oil got spilled onto the generator, and if that metal band were missing it could have pooled inside the case. Other than gunking up the brushes and armature, it should not have stopped the generator from generating.

Ed, they used to use carbon tetrachloride for cleaning electrical stuff but I guess it got banned. CRC makes a product called Lectra-Clean that comes in a tall spray can like brake cleaner. It works real well and doesn't leave a residue of lubricant. They sell it at Pep Boys or Auto Zone. Here's a link:

http://www.crcindustries.com.au/catalogue.nsf/web_brands/Lectra+Clean?openDocument

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Thanks Norm C...I always used it sparingly and recently ran out so will check Autozone for this product. Think the can I had before that was full size was black but it was a CRC product and closest to the original I had last. Probably the same one just diff label as the other can was pretty old. This stuff is great for those crackling radio or tv knobs/buttons. Thanks again, Ed

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I think mine is in a black and red can. It's kinda rough on plastic parts though. The Radio Shack stuff might be better for stuff like crackly radio controls. It's a little easier on plastics.

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I suggest it may have been melted insulation as opposed to oil. Melted insulation looks dark like oil but it stinks terribly and smells about the same as burnt oil. If the regulator failed and then generator went into full time charging mode it would soon melt down and cause this condition.

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Well, Mike could have put oil in side the gen to make a buck... but, I know he'd never do that. He tried for three days to fix it with out replacing... he told me that he found a short in the armature and that it wasn't salvageable... remember, before I found out it was the generator, I was still driving it! I had to drive it to pomona twice to get the regulator so, I'm sure that might have been a reason why it shorted out.

Mike has a large customer base with no complaints, he's got a good shop and reasonable prices. He's been recommended by every one I know in the area. He called me when he pulled the generator out... he showed me that there was oil on the armature and the field coils... all over the inside of the generator... the oil looked fresh like it wasn't ever in the motor. I did ad some oil over the last two years by way of the small little inlet at the back... he asked me if I've ever added oil to the generator... I answered that I had but, not that much to mess everything up. He told me that the parts in the generator don't need to be oiled... they're all impregnated with oil to begin with.

He showed me some oil on the floor of his garage, he said I have a leak, but, how would the oil leak into the gen? Not sure.

I think that when I had the valves done, there might have been some oil that leaked into it... not sure.

So, fresh oil in the generator... hummmm...

=R=

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Don,

My question is why oil would hurt the generator. Would it dissolve the lacquer on the coil windings and create a short. Obviously it would inhibit good contact at the commutator but why would it do permanent damage.????

Chet...

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Don,

My question is why oil would hurt the generator. Would it dissolve the lacquer on the coil windings and create a short. Obviously it would inhibit good contact at the commutator but why would it do permanent damage.????

Chet...

Chet;

Depends on the dielectric properties of the oil. Oil is used as a coolent in some high voltage transformers and switch gear. But this oil is refined specifically for this purpose and is an insulator and coolant, not a conductor. I would think that motor oil (especially dirty motor oil) would be a conductor and cause short circuit problems.

However I suggested in my posting that what Robert has in his generator is not oil but instead melted insulation and lacquer that looks like oil.

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;) It would be inesting to know if the distributor is also covered with an oil film. If this is the case, you may be getting oil from the timing chain area oil leak into the drivers' side of the engine, righ where the generator sits. Fan rotarion is such that any front cover oil leak will show up on that side of rthe engine first.

If you have had one of these engines apart, you will understand that the timing cover and related oil seals are not quite simple as they look. AND there are several likely points of possible leakage right at that ara - the front corners of the oil pan, the seal, itself, the front crankshaft seal at the pulley, etc. I have even seen the fan whip oil from the fuel pump side of the engine onto the drivers' side, but if this is the case, the whole left side of the block should show signs of oil leakage.

If you're up against it for a generator, I also have a spare that you may have for the shipping - not sure about its electrical condition.

JMHO;)

Dave Erb

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100_3396.jpg100_3399.jpg

And, it's not very far from the oil filler pipe. So, if someone who was filling the oil during a change spilled some on the back end of the genny, some of it could easily run in. I don't know if all generators are made like this one...Rob, does yours have this opening?? Just my guess in this mystery. :confused:

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John, it never ceases to amaze me that people find little things in pictures, like the beer can. That's my radiator overflow container for the HAMB drag races. Held in place by a piece of wire. Guess I'll just leave it there til next year. The radiator normally does not overflow anyway.

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Well guys, I was talking with Dale my mechanic and he was scratching his head about this... he told me that since I drive my auto so much, that a generator would need to be rebuilt after two years anyhow... he's dealt with them over the years and told me that I should have the brushes replaced at least a year at a time.

So, I guess it was just time to rebuild it again since I do drive the car a lot.

But, all that oil... I took a look at it, it looked like fresh motor oil so, I'm not sure if oil got in there or the guy rebuilding it put it in there after he saw the generator was spent to make it look like something went wrong and not that his work was at fault... who knows.

=R=

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Rob, I think your mechanic is giving you the run around. Rebuild a generator every two years? You use it so much it wears out? This just is not true. I have generators on four cars, drive them lots, and have no problems. The generator on my '53 Plymouth is original to the car, has 95,000 miles on it, and had never been off the car since I bought it in '75. They just don't wear out as fast as your mechanic is telling you! I would definitely get a second opinion.

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