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Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#1
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Mark Buckley
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Hi, all,

I'm curious if any forum members have actually installed a Gener-nator OR a Powermaster Powergen unit in their Packards. I ask because it's now winter, with its long, cold nights. These days I often drive my 1950 Standard Eight with the lights, blower and radio on. The radio actually loses volume when the brake lights come on or when I use a turn signal when the car is stopped. I'm also getting tired of watching the lights dim (and dim and dim) when I'm stopped at an intersection. I'm not sure I'm up for the hassle of wrestling a standard 6-volt alternator into my car, so it seems an alternator inside a generator housing might be a good solution--IF it works as advertised.

The Gener-nator website is here:

www.gener-nator.com/

Powergen is here:

http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/powergen.html

Gener-nator's Don Allen just emailed me a quote of $895 for rebuild on the existing Delco in my Packard. Allen offers a 3-year warranty. I believe the Delco in my car cranks out 40 amps. Allen says his unit will produce 50.

Powergen's website says their units produce 75 amps or 60 amps at idle. I believe the Powergen units cost roughly half as much as the Gener-nator.

I'm showing my ignorance here...but will 50-75 amps fry my system?

So is anyone reading this using a Gener-nator or Powergen? Have any of you used one in the past? I've read posts in the V-8 forum that appear to quote the received wisdom of third parties, but I'm looking for some first hand knowledge.

Thanks in advance for your reports.

Mark

Posted on: 2011/12/1 15:58
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Re: Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#2
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Thomas Wilcox
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I have a gener-nator conversion done for my 32 900. That project is a looong ways from being on the road, so I installed it on my 7th series car. The engine has only been bench tested for about an hour, but so far so good.

Tom

Posted on: 2011/12/1 21:49
--
Thomas Wilcox
34 Roadster, [url=http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/r
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Re: Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#3
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HH56
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I wonder how popular these items are. Many places are selling the PowerGEN yet I only found about 3 replies on some GM forums where someone asked the same question whether anyone had them. Those 3 were satisfied though so maybe there are no squeaky wheels and no reason for discussion.

The negative comments I found were all about the price of the Gener-nator conversion. Most questioned why it was double the price for less capacity than the PowerGEN and was it worth it. Other than Jay Leno's video's and the post here, no one mentioned having one that I could find.

Only advantage I could see for the Gener-nator would be visual authenticity. The capacity certainly isn't that much more and I wonder aside from looks if it would be that much better than your 35-40 amp generator or the cheaper alternator to justify the cost.

The PowerGen looks would probably pass in a later or postwar Packard and hardly be noticed but certainly not in the elderly ones or if you are a stickler.

Just out of curiosity --other than when idling or stopped-- is your amp meter showing a decent to high scale charge rate or fast recovery or is it staying at a low rate when you notice the dimming or volume problem?

Posted on: 2011/12/1 22:21
Howard
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Re: Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#4
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PackardV8
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Dimming lites etc.:

How old is the battery (with details)????
Has a diagnostics test been run on the generator (as per service manual).
Check BODY to frame/engine ground strap.
Usualy after about 35 or 30 years in normal daily service nearly any vehicle will need to have ALL terminal connexions cleaned to shiny metal (no tarnish allowed).

Simply throwing an alternator at the problem mite fix it temroarily asa band-aid type fix. But the real problems will only get worse, unless of course it's just the generator that is bad.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 9:01
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Answer to Howard's question
#5
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Mark Buckley
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Hi, Howard,

My amp meter shows a reasonably good charge when I pull away from the stop. The generator may not produce electrical power like it did when it was brand new, but it seems to me it cranks out enough juice to get the job done.

Do you have any thoughts in reference to my question about installing a more powerful device in place of my existing generator? I'm wondering if putting in an alternator that can produce up to 75 amps might fry some parts of my 61-year-old electrical system.

Thanks and all the best,

Mark

Posted on: 2011/12/2 9:02
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Re: Answer to Howard's question
#6
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PackardV8
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Not likely to fry anyhting as long as the BATTERY is sufficient to absorb the extra current. If it did fry anything most likely only at high engine rpm. It's the volts that blow bulbs and so-forth. as long as voltage is regulated should not be a problem for frying anything. COuld reduce ignition points life. But again the problems of frying anything would only occur at very high engine rpm for extended periods of time.

Keep us posted on your power-gen or gen-nator when u get it set up.

Hopefuly yhe power-gen or what ever u convert to will be properly regulated so as not to create any 'fry' problems.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 9:34
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Answer to Howard's question
#7
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Owen_Dyneto
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Assuming the battery is healthy and the regulating system is functioning correctly, a generator or alternator puts out an amount more-or-less equal to the load applied (pre-1936 cars with 3rd brush generators excepted). The maximum draw of original equipment would have been more than adequately covered by the capacity of the original generator. So unless you're adding some very energy-intensive accessory items the only time an alternator would provide better service (brighter lights, etc.) would be at an idle with a large drain because alternator output at very low engine speeds (essentially, at idle) would be higher than a generator.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 9:34
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Re: Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#8
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PackardV8
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There are circustances where the battery may be subject to quick discharged/undercharged levels. Such as running for long perids of time at very low speeds 5 to 10 mph with all accessories on. Other cicumstances too. In this case onece high engine rpm is attained the alternator/generator may kick out very hi amperage in an attempt to charge the battery fast. That is undesireble demand placed on the regulator of ANY charging system and there fore shortens life of regulator ASSUMING regulator is of decent qulaity and compatible with the system to start with.

There is balance between regulator/battery/generator/alternator that needs to be kept with in a range.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 9:55
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Gener-Nator or Powergen alternator reports?
#9
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PackardV8
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BTW. Check the blower motor. The shaft should turn freely and not feel sticky (other than perhaps some intermittent magnetic attraction). IF the bushings in the motor get dry or binding then the blower motor will draw excessive amperage to over come the resitence of the bad/dry bushings. And therefore diminish battery charge quickly especialy at low speeds. Therfore causing dim lites etc.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 10:08
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Answer to Howard's question
#10
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HH56
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Quote:

CaptainBristol wrote:
Hi, Howard,

My amp meter shows a reasonably good charge when I pull away from the stop. The generator may not produce electrical power like it did when it was brand new, but it seems to me it cranks out enough juice to get the job done.

Do you have any thoughts in reference to my question about installing a more powerful device in place of my existing generator? I'm wondering if putting in an alternator that can produce up to 75 amps might fry some parts of my 61-year-old electrical system.

Thanks and all the best,

Mark


I don't know if you looked thru PowerGEN's tech section http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/tech_help.html but they have answers to lots of questions. One thing that may need consideration is wire size. Depending on how you are going to install the unit, that could be marginal.

If you plan on a one wire alternator using the existing wire from gen to reg to ammeter and back to battery via the harness route that distance would be in their recommendation for a larger size wire. I didn't see a spec for the 50 models but 52 Packard lists a #10 so probably the earlier has that as well. Power gen suggests a #8 and possibly it could even fall into the distance a #6 is recommended. It might be worth a call or email to their tech support to discuss the specifics and their recommendations on bypassing the regulator.

Having said that, the alternator would not likely be putting out maximum for extended periods so in all probability your existing wire will be fine. Since you are not adding things like AC, the draw shouldn't be any worse than it is currently--just the alternator would be putting what's needed out at lower speeds. Would suggest clean terminals and have everything else in good condition though.

Posted on: 2011/12/2 11:32
Howard
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