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Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 04, 2017 01:17PM

I've got a '64 that the gen light came on while running down the highway. If I pull the regulator cover off and manually close the cutout relay it charges fine and the relay stays closed.

I cleaned the points and set the air gaps according to the manual but no change.

What could keep the relay from closing initially?

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 04, 2017 02:16PM

Put a voltmeter on the Armature (A) terminal of the generator (negative on a ground) while the engine is running with the cutout relay open. Report back.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 04, 2017 02:17PM

0 volts

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 05, 2017 11:09AM

I guess that means there is a problem with the generator but how could it work when the relay is closed?

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 05, 2017 01:55PM

OK, 0 volts means the generator is not self exciting.

Test 2: with positive meter lead on A terminal of generator, negative lead on good ground, jump the F (Field) terminal of the generator to ground and see if the volt meter reads something reasonable (maybe 6 to 12 volts). Also see if the cutout relay closes by itself doing this. Do not run this test for a long time. A minute or so should be OK.

More on why later.grinning smiley As I make it up...

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: 63Spyderd ()
Date: April 05, 2017 02:20PM

"I guess that means there is a problem with the generator.."

Your indictment of the generator is a bit premature.Frank is leading you in the right direction and his troubleshooting suggestion will help you isolate between the generator and the regulator.

"but how could it work when the relay is closed?"

When you manually close the cutout relay, you are placing a short across the idiot light in the dash, causing it to extinguish. This does not necessarily mean the system is charging.

Manually closing the cutout relay is not recommended and can lead to destruction of the regulator, the wiring harness and/or the generator.

Additionally, having adjusted the voltage regulator using the air gap method has more than likely rendered the regulator out of spec. If your generator ends up being defective, you will want to replace the regulator as well.

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 05, 2017 03:07PM

I set the voltage after setting the gaps.
The light did go out when I closed the relay but that isn't why I said it works.
It was working or I couldn't have set the voltage to spec.
I'll have to try Frank's next test and report back.
Thanks!

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 05, 2017 03:15PM

I get about .7V with the field terminal grounded or not. Yes, that's 7 tenths.
Thanks again!

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 05, 2017 10:10PM

First, I made reference to the Arm terminal of the regulator. I see it is labeled Gen and not Arm on most Delco-Remy regulators.

.7 volts is not good. the generator is not generating. Have you tried polarizing it?

Here is the shop manual:
[www.corvair.org]

If polarizing does not make it develop 11 volts or so, time to take it apart and check the brushes and internal connections.

Oh, did you rev the engine a little (1500 rpm or so) for this test? Most generators have low output at idle.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 06, 2017 11:59AM

Yes I polarized it.
I have the manual but it doesn't have the tests you have suggested that I could find.
I was checking it at a fairly good speed since the fast idle cams were in play.
I checked across the terminals on the generator and it had around 3 ohms so I guessed that the brushes were making contact and the armature wasn't open.
I pulled another generator apart and tested it. It seems good but I ran out of time. I need to replace mine anyway since it has an FC body so I guess I'll just rebuild one and see what happens. I really like to figure out exactly what is wrong and not just swap parts.
Does anyone make an electronic replacement regulator like they do for the LM alternator?
Thanks!

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: April 06, 2017 12:23PM

No electronic for Gens.... Current runs thru the regulator...AFAIK

Look in our FAQ's how to "Motor" a Gen. for testing outside the car!





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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 06, 2017 02:10PM

OK, look at this page:

[www.wiringdiagrams21.com]

The red is the armature circuit and the blue is the field circuit, mostly.

With everything hooked up, ignition off, engine off, an ohmmeter should read close to 0 ohms from the field terminal of the generator to ground. That would be the blue wire from the F terminal through the contacts of the current regulator and the voltage regulator to ground. Does it pass this test?

From the A to F terminals, you read 3 ohms. Does the other generator read the same? (needs to be reassembled)

What is the ohms from A terminal to ground on both generators?

Yes, do the motor test Matt references:

Quote
Matt

With fan belt off and both Field and Armature wires disconnected:

Ground the field terminal and apply 12 volts + to the armature.

The generator should SPIN , but turn slower than you may expect.

There will be a spark, so make the last connection to the A terminal, not the battery + terminal.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 06, 2017 02:31PM

Thanks for the answers guys!
I'm working until late tonight and have a full day tomorrow looking to buy a 1 ton van for towing Corvairs and a rollback for the same purpose. Of course one is 2 hours North and the other is 2.5 hours South of me. Hopefully I'll have time to try these suggestions this weekend.

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 18, 2017 10:21AM

Finally got some time to try motoring the generator and yes it spins with the field terminal grounded and the armature terminal hot.

My trusty Fluke meter isn't so trusty any longer so I'm not getting consistent readings on the low ohm scale.

It did work for the field to ground test and I got about .1 ohm.

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 19, 2017 02:41PM

Bump

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: April 19, 2017 08:09PM

OK, if the generator motors, it is probably fine. But then why does it not produce voltage when it spins up?

Your Fluke isn't one of those where you have to press a button to change from AC to DC is it? I have one of those (Fluke 16) and it tricks me sometime since the other ones I use at home and work do NOT do that! Hey, this DC circuit is reading mV. Oh, ^%^$, push the button....angry smiley

Have you tried substituting the other generator just to see what happens?

Once you pushed in on the cutout rely contact, did it stay in by itself until you shut off the car?

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2017 08:18PM by Frank DuVal.

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 19, 2017 08:43PM

My Fluke doesn't have the button. It just seems flaky at low on readings. I'm not sure why it motors but doesn't make voltage. Maybe it has and intermittent open. At first when I would manually close the cutout relay it would hold in and charge but now the relay cycles at a high frequency and sounds scary. I guess I just need to start swapping parts but I hate doing that.
Thanks!

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: April 19, 2017 09:46PM

I have a Delco instruction sheet for a generator regulator (dated 12-1-64) that says if the regulator is not polarized the cut-out relay points will vibrate and burn. It says to polarize BEFORE STARTING THE ENGINE, the caps are that way in the instructions. It does not say what will happen or why it matters. I know that you said that you polarized the regulator so something else must be causing them to buzz. I worked on a generator a few years ago and the manuals didn't seem to cover the system very well. I borrowed a Motors manual that covered the '55 Chevs with their brand new charging system and they really covered it well. Apparently by the time the Corvairs came out the system was old news and they glossed over a lot of the details.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 20, 2017 06:52AM

That's a good idea. I have some old Motors manuals. Ill look at them.
Thanks!

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Re: Generator regulator cutout relay
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: April 24, 2017 01:33PM

Finally more time to work on it. I swapped in my other generator and the light went out so I guess that tells me that the old generator is bad for sure even though it motors.
The spare generator has a problem even though it turns the light off. The forward brush is making sparks like an arc welder. ???
Shut it off immediately of course.

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