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Generator question - negative current
#1
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Don B
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Okay…when I finally got my car running about a week ago, I took it out for a short drive (about 15 minutes). During that time, my lights started “blinking”. They would go off then back on etc..

Then, I stopped to add some gas. I shut the car off and when I went to start it again, it did start, but it cranked VERY slow.

Tonight, I started to do some investigating. First, I just turned on the lights (car NOT running) and my ammeter showed positive current as expected. Then, I started the car (after turning the lights off) and noticed that the ammeter was reading negative current.

So, I set out to re-polarize the generator. I jumped the Battery terminal to the Armature terminal at the voltage regulator and as expected got a spark.

Then, started the car again. Same thing….negative current on the ammeter.

Thoughts?

I checked wiring against how some labeling was done by others on the car….Battery does in fact go to what is labeled as the battery terminal on the regulator and what is labeled as the the Armature terminal on the regulator does in fact go to armature on the generator. Are these maybe labeled backwards?

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Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:25
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#2
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BigKev
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Does the negative current reading change with engine rpm? If not then either your regulator is bad or generator isn't producing anything.

Go through the troubleshooting to check thr regulator and generator.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:31
-BigKev


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Re: Generator question - negative current
#3
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humanpotatohybrid
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Sounds like your battery is hooked up backwards if your ammeter reads positive current when it has a draw and vice versa. Double check this and go from there.

Some regulators only work for a single ground polarity, I don't know for yours.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:38
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#4
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Don B
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It seems to “bounce” around a bit when idling. Then, when I rev the engine, it becomes very stable, but at about the same current….always negative.


If it is wired backwards….is that just switching the terminals at the regulator? I know that the battery is connected properly. If anything is backwards, it would have to be at the regulator. I just don’t know enough (anything) about it.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:39
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#5
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Don B
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Regarding the regulator, I’guess I’m asking how to confirm which terminal is Battery and which terminal is Armature?

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:42
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#6
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humanpotatohybrid
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No don't do that. I mean, are you sure the positive post on the battery is connected to the ground strap? Rarely, batteries have contradictory labels. Either that or one of us is misunderstanding how the ammeter is to be read. As far as I know the convention is always that the needle leans left for discharge assuming the neutral point is straight up.

The wiring looks correct and good. You can assess the quality of the connections by taking the ohm / voltage drop measurements outlined in the 51-54 manual.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:43
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#7
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Don B
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Yes…battery is correct…positive ground.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:43
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#8
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humanpotatohybrid
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They are labeled on the regulator case, frame, or terminals. But it's also pretty standard for it to go BAT Arm Fld.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:45
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#9
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TxGoat
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When you turn on the lights with the engine off, the ammeter should show a discharge. (Needle swings left)

When you first start the car, at any speed above idle, the ammeter should show charge. (Needle swings right).

Your regulator appears to be corroded inside, probably from having had moisture in it. It's very likely that the vibrator points are corroded and not making electrical contact. It may be possible to get it to work again by VERY GENTLY cleaning the points with fine emery cloth. The regulator is very delicate and won't stand any rough treatment.
The external screw terminals, right next to the regulator case, are usually labeled BAT, ARM, and FLD. Yours appear to be so marked.
I'd try cleaning the points, then polarize the generator using the correct procedure, and, after charging the battery, try running the car and see what happens.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:46
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Re: Generator question - negative current
#10
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Don B
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My meter is reading opposite of all of that.

With the engine off, and the lights on, the needled swings right.

With the car running, the needle swings left.

Posted on: 2023/11/15 19:51
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