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Old 03-24-2020, 11:18 PM   #1
vtwinsideways
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Default Alternator or not?

Working on the wife's '41 PU resto and I am contemplating the purchase of a stock appearing alternator. Still planning on running 6v pos ground. I've always been told that alternators are safer/more reliable and I guess that's why I'm thinking about it. I know this may be a can of worms, but does anyone have any experience (or opinions for that matter) on alternator vs generator? Pro's and con's of each? Thanks for your time and info. Luke

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Old 03-24-2020, 11:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

I think it's not whether the gen or alternator is safer. It's the ammeter vs volt meter that is suspect. At least with model a's


Nothing wrong with a generator. I like them. An alternator will put give out amps if needed. Hence the gauge.


https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5896


A system is dependent on amps. Not voltage necessary. A light only draws amps needed when on. If you add a car stereo.... it'll draw more amps (ammeter)... Depends on what you want to do. Both are "safe"...



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Old 03-25-2020, 01:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

If you are keeping the 6v system i would keep the generator...for way less then what that alternator costs your local startershop will check and refurbish what you have and you will be good to go.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

On our 33 we have the original gen,we do lots of long trips in it,over the years the only problem that has occurred is a loose wire or two .both an easy fix on the roadside.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:17 AM   #5
Ray Balukas
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Had my gen. made into an Alternator by the Gener-nator Don Allen. Love it
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

How much?
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Got over 60,000 miles on my 39 with a generator. Haven't touched it.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatjack9 View Post
Got over 60,000 miles on my 39 with a generator. Haven't touched it.
Longevity is definitely one of my concerns, as we are planning to drive it regular and often. Thanks for your response.

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Old 03-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipswanson View Post
How much?
$390 at Speedway for the repop.

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Old 03-25-2020, 11:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

I have put over 20,000 more miles on the generator on my '51, which I believe is the original (the car has just a bit over 80,000 from new). That was over a period of 33 years. I suppose I should start suspecting something soon, but so far so good. Since I started using Optima batteries, I have never had a problem.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

The generators usually complain loudly when they need a bit of maintenance.
The weak part today is the aftermarket regulators that are between maybe...and just garbage...I just grabbed a bunch of OEM regulators cause thoose i can work on...
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Just my opinion, I think that Powergen is a very expensive piece of crap . Stick with the generator .
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

A 6 volt generator in documented good shape, bearings, brushes, etc coupled with a good regulator (not some new piece of junk) and clean,clean,clean and tight connections will give you all the reliability and service for thousands and thousands of miles. Converting to something else has inherent issues not backed up by millions of trouble free applications. Alternators may need smaller pulleys for more speed, can overheat when enclosed in a fake housing, etc. . If you need a 100+ amps of power for your electrical/electronic needs, you have the wrong car.
My opinion- 6 Volt stock; 32 and 40, both run perfectly.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
A 6 volt generator in documented good shape, bearings, brushes, etc coupled with a good regulator (not some new piece of junk) and clean,clean,clean and tight connections will give you all the reliability and service for thousands and thousands of miles. Converting to something else has inherent issues not backed up by millions of trouble free applications. Alternators may need smaller pulleys for more speed, can overheat when enclosed in a fake housing, etc. . If you need a 100+ amps of power for your electrical/electronic needs, you have the wrong car.
My opinion- 6 Volt stock; 32 and 40, both run perfectly.
Calm down there buddy I'm not even planning on running a radio.

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Old 03-26-2020, 12:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

No issues with an alternator on my 49 wagon, built by https://www.ejwhitneyco.com/automotive.html complete with a brand new fake housing!
Thousands of miles without any 'inherent issues'.
Powergen is an all new manufactured product - no fake housings. Overheating?
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

generators work fine if they are maintained correctly and thats minimal; oil in the lube cup and belt tension if its stock leave it alone if you want to start adding extras lights radio coolingfans etc you may need to go to an alternator if not why add the expense
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:24 AM   #17
richard crow
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

back in the day when every car had a generator the rule of thum was change the brushes every 25,000 miles
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:29 AM   #18
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

Luke, you don't say how important it is for the truck to "appear" original, but you are staying with the 6 volt, pos. ground.

There's been quite some talk here about problems with Powermaster alternators not holding up.

That said, my '47 came to me with a 6 volt "conventional" alternator and it worked great! However, I'm interested in getting it back to original. I'm also in the camp of 6 volts works great for my purposes. I got a rebuilt 6 volt gen. from Mac VP, hooked up the regulator that was still in place, but bypassed, with the alternator.

Has worked great with my Optima battery in a Ford case.

Now, on my T Coupe hot rod, I have a Powermaster 12 volts that has been trouble free or about 7 years now with lots of miles!!

However you decide to go,....best of luck to you!
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:37 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

I might suggest you use an alternator, if you used an over the counter one from a late car. The reason: Nothing wrong with the generator, but not easily replaceable when on the road. When restoring a car, that's a good reason for the generator, but for a driver, best to have the ability to replace it anywhere at ant time. I use an alt, just because their cheep, and the junkyards are full of them.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alternator or not?

My mostly original '35 fordor (Avatar) had 41k miles on the odometer when I bought it in 2007. I believe the generator was the original, installed at the factory, and it has what appears to be an original cutout that's been converted to an electronic regulator, either by adding a diode, or possibly soild state components by Fun Projects. This car now has 76k miles on OD (including the generator) and the only maintenance I've done is oil the front and rear bearings, check brush length & commutator surface, and occasionally adjust third brush. Maybe I should consider replacing brushes as Richard suggests, but that hasn't appeared necessary based on their existing length. I've also used an Optima 6V Red Top battery since '07, and replaced the fan belt and set its tension correctly last Sept/Oct with a new Gates industrial belt, 21/32" wide by 57" in circumference, pn (B54) from NAPA. This belt fits and works perfectly on stock '35-'36 Ford pass cars and light comm. vehicles, and possibly on some earlier year FH V-8 vehicles. '37's and later would use a different circumference belt due to the fact that the generator mounts lower on those year intake manifolds.

PS....to Ol' Ron's point.....I carry a known to be good generator, cutout/regulator, brushes, fan belt, and just about anything else imaginable in my spare parts bin on long distance trips/tours.
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