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Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 26, 2020 10:23AM

I was driving back from the park this morning when the GEN/FAN light came on in my '63 Spyder with a recently rebuilt generator. I pulled over to verify that the belt was still OK, then drove home without any other issues. I checked and verified with a multi meter that the battery is not charging. I tried to repolarize the voltage regulator/generator, but still no charge (and light remains on). I recently had disconnected the battery when I pulled the radio to replace the dash speaker and I don't recall repolarizing it after reconnecting the battery. Does this sound like my VR is shot?
Thanks,
Ron in FL

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: July 26, 2020 11:49AM

No way to know without testing the generator output.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: acardon ()
Date: July 26, 2020 12:15PM

If I remember right, if you disconnect the F (field) wire from the regulator and ground it, the generator should put out maximum voltage (15 to 20 volts), to indicate the generator is good and the VR isn't working.

Don
Southlake, Texas
The Trunk Belongs in Front, Ask Any Elephant
Caution: Images in This Mirror May be Waterpumpers

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 26, 2020 01:23PM

acardon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If I remember right, if you disconnect the F (field) wire from the regulator and ground it, the generator should put out maximum voltage (15 to 20 volts), to indicate the generator is good and the VR isn't working.

Thanks Don,
I jumped a ground to the F terminal on the VR and saw 12.7V at the battery. Bad gen? Also, I noticed that Clarks recommends replacing the VR when replacing a generator. I didn't do that, and everything was working OK up until today (replaced the gen about 2 months ago)
Cheers,
Ron in FL

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: July 26, 2020 02:07PM

I'm not sure you leave the field terminal connected when you ground it. Never tried it though. Always disconnected first. You want to ground the wire, not the terminal.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: July 26, 2020 02:12PM

The generator doesn't know if the regulator is new or used it just does what the regulator tells it to do. A lot of places tell you to change both probably to sell more parts.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 26, 2020 02:42PM

Wagon Master Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not sure you leave the field terminal connected when you ground it. Never tried it though. Always disconnected first. You want to ground the wire, not the terminal.

Thanks. Same result. It looks like the gen may be toast, which is disappointing since it is a fresh rebuild. I ordered a new VR and will swap it out, but I think I may have to replace the gen as well.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: July 26, 2020 03:30PM

There is test to "motor" the generator to see if it works. I believe that you unhook and ground the field terminal and unhook and apply power to the arm terminal. The generator housing also needs to be grounded but if it is on the car that will already be done. If on the car take off the belt.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: July 26, 2020 06:58PM

You can also buy a little voltage indicator that will plug into your cigarette lighter. When you turn on the motor you can instantly see if you're charging, and how well.

USB Charger voltage display

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 27, 2020 12:20PM

RexJohnson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is test to "motor" the generator to see if it works. I believe that you unhook and ground the field terminal and unhook and apply power to the arm terminal. The generator housing also needs to be grounded but if it is on the car that will already be done. If on the car take off the belt.


Thanks. I tried this both in and out of the car. No movement at all (even when giving it a spin to get it started.) I tried fussing with the brushes, but it still doesn't motor, although it spins freely. Looks like it is a gonner.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 30, 2020 11:03AM

I just dropped in another rebuilt generator, and replaced the VR, just in case. After polarizing, I started the car and the GEN/FAN light went out. (yay!) I measured the voltage at the battery terminals during the warm-up (fast idle) and saw ~15.1 V, which seems a bit high. Should I be concerned?
Cheers,
Ron in FL

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: larry202br ()
Date: July 30, 2020 11:37AM

Many early model voltage regulators are adjustable. There's a procedure in the manual, as I recall.

1961 rampside with a 65 / 67 110 engine, car four speed.
1965 convertible
1966 Custom two door/four door 180 Turbo.

KC0SKX
Olathe, ks
HACOA

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: CoCoCo ()
Date: July 30, 2020 12:10PM

But before you make changes, measure the voltage again after the engine has run awhile and the battery is for sure fully charged. You might see the voltage creep back down as this process continues.

If voltage goes down over time to a more normal rate, no reason to mess with the adjustments I would not think.
Although, there are probably more specific parameters to watch for, over and above what I just said about "waiting for awhile" so go by those instead of my generic spouting.

Paul

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: July 30, 2020 01:29PM

The reason you always want to replace the VR with a Gen or a Alternator is the fact is there both 20 years old, better safe than sorry. A shop will have to endure a Wrecker bill and as the customer, your not to Happy. Now the argument on whos gonna pay. My experience as a Shop owner

1965 Crown V8 Racer
1964 Bill Thomas Monza Replica Racer
1964 Spyder Street Car
1979 Mazda RX7

Mike Levine



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2020 01:29PM by v8vair.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: July 30, 2020 01:48PM

I wouldn't adjust the regulator for .40 of a volt.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 30, 2020 01:48PM

larry202br Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Many early model voltage regulators are adjustable. There's a procedure in the manual, as I recall.

Thanks. I didn't know that these were adjustable. I fussed around with it and got it down to ~14.4 V Should be good to go.

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Re: Bad VR?
Posted by: Ron in Indy ()
Date: July 30, 2020 02:03PM

Wagon Master Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wouldn't adjust the regulator for .40 of a volt.

Yes, I considered leaving at alone, but it is a pretty simple adjustment. Here's a link to a video, in case you never had to fuss with one of these mechanical voltage regulators.

[www.youtube.com]

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