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Old 03-14-2014, 10:06 PM   #1
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Generator Preventative Maintenance

Here is something I haven't seen before. Looking at the first picture, I thought someone didn't know how to oil the front bearing, so they wrapped a bunch of string between the pulley and bearing and then soaked it with oil. After seeing the heavy cord my thoughts changed to it being the remains of a V belt that shredded and wrapped itself around the pulley. Also notice the pulley has a crack, which I'm not sure if it was from the shipper dropping the box, or someone dropping the generator before it was shipped. The box didn't really show any shipping damage.

BTW, expanding foam spray is the best way to pack a generator against shipping damage. Just be sure to put at least two plastic bags over the generator first. If not foam spray at least pack a lot of cardboard all around the generator. The pulley and output stud are usually the first thing to get damaged. Or, with a powerhouse, the rear cover often winds up getting bent. Another good thing to do is cut a strip of corrugated cardboard and tape around the pulley to protect it.

Now, for the preventative maintenance. This generator should have been cleaned and had it's brushes replaced before things got this bad. Luckily the brush holders have stops which keep the brush holders from doing severe damage to the commutator. This one shows that the holder just started to scrape on the commutator, and it should easily come clean with a good polish, or at most a few strokes of a fine file and polish.
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File Type: jpg Generator Bad1.jpg (84.4 KB, 248 views)
File Type: jpg Generator Bad2.jpg (69.4 KB, 255 views)
File Type: jpg Generator Bad3.jpg (81.2 KB, 260 views)
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
DougVieyra
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

We all thank you once again, Tom, for your helpful insight into keeping our Ford Model A 'Toys' in good shape.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Thank you Tom, always appreciate your information posts.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Like the spray foam idea, thanks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Hi Tom I always learn a lot from reading your threads. I am currently going through my generator and would like to know how to treat the rear bearing. Once I get the rear bearing and races cleaned up, how many drops of oil should I put on the bearing and what type of oil do like to use before I reassemble it?
Thank you, Kyle
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:10 AM   #6
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Great idea with spray foam. Thanks
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Great ideas Tom, as always we learn alot from your posts.
Thanks
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordified View Post
Hi Tom I always learn a lot from reading your threads. I am currently going through my generator and would like to know how to treat the rear bearing. Once I get the rear bearing and races cleaned up, how many drops of oil should I put on the bearing and what type of oil do like to use before I reassemble it?
Thank you, Kyle
Tom, also thanks for your posts.

I am doing like Fordified, in the process of rebuilding my generator. My rear end bearing looks like the one you have in your third picture. My question is what does a person put around the thing you mentioned had a string around it? I bought a felt type of thing from one of the vendors that I assumed went on this type of "pulley". Is that true??

Thanks again.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Thanks for your help...Was the pizza any good?
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

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Thanks for your help...Was the pizza any good?
That was my brother's pizza. I buy the cheap ones for $1 on sale.

Here's the armature after I cleaned it and had to take a cut of about .003" to level the bars. I undercut it with my ATLAS hobby saw, then polished it. I wrapped a piece of construction paper with tape around the commutator and gave the windings a light spray of clear lacquer.

I'll have more pictures about the process, but to answer a question just asked, I use felt in the rear seal as shown inside the steel retainer. I've only had to replace one felt, as the original is usually still in good shape, like this one shown. I pack the rear bearing with Mystik JT-6 High Temp grease, and probably wouldn't have to worry about it again, but just to be safe I'd give it a couple drops of oil once a year. If the rear bearing is shot then you can replace it with a sealed bearing.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Another great thread about generator upkeep...."PROPER" generator upkeep!
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Here's a picture showing the assembly sequence for both ends of the armature and end plates.

Starting with the rear end plate, the spring goes in first with the 6 spring ends pointing up (or forward as mounted on the car). Then install the thin flat washer, and lastly the bearing outer race. I grease the parts as I install them. The other two parts for the rear bearing have been left on the shaft, but had the felt seal and bearing been removed, then install the felt seal first, then the bearing. I also grease the balls on the bearing with Mystik JT-6 High Temp grease.

On the front end of the armature you first install the lock ring. There was no need to remove this one, and you can see it's still on the shaft. It's made of soft steel and can easily be removed by bending the ends apart with a pair of screwdrivers, or a duck billed snap ring spreader tool. Make sure it's tightly installed to the groove because there is very little clearance to the bearing retainer plate center hole. If you hear scraping on an assembled generator, this is likely the cause. Next you install the bearing retainer plate with the concave side of the 4 pockets facing the end plate, then the bearing, then the spacer, then lastly the other lock ring.

In the front end plate you install the seal retainer with the stepped edge, then the felt seal, then the wavy washer. Now you can slip the armature/bearing assembly into the front end plate and secure the bearing retainer with rivet nuts that the parts houses sell. Notice that the bearing retainer plate has a cutout to clear the rivet for the oiler cover.

Notice this end plate has two screws and spring retainers for the adjustable brush holder. It also has a seperate screw for the ground brush wire terminal. Later on Ford eliminated this seperate screw and threaded hole by installing the ground brush terminal under the screw for the spring retainer.
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File Type: jpg Generator Bad5.jpg (49.0 KB, 74 views)
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

I guess I should have titled this thread "Generator Restoration".

In the armature assembly picture above I show the old original open front bearing, but this generator will get a new sealed bearing, so no oiling on the front will be needed.

One thing good about someone not doing preventative maintenance is all the original hardware is there and none of the screw slots are messed up by using dull rounded screwdrivers.

Here's the generator band with the date stamp. 5J stands for May 1929. Since bands are so easily lost or changed, I'm surprised Ford didn't stamp the main body instead.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Here's a couple pictures of the field windings and output wire. This is where some people get mixed up and cross the output and field wires. Notice that the output wire is wrapped in the field coil edge to keep it away from the spinning armature. The bottom terminal in the second picture leads to the output terminal near the front of the case. If you have any doubt about which wire is the output wire, just use an ohm meter or continuity checker.

Also shown is another homemade tool I use to protect the windings while blasting the case. I use dense foam rubber to seal out the blasting grit, and copper plates to hold it in place. The copper plates fit snug to the case, but have a little notch to clear the field ground wire. The taped paper is what I use to protect the commutator when I spray clear lacquer on the armature windings.

I use a battery charger to test the field coils. On 6 volts, with the + connected to the case and - connected to the terminal, the ammeter should read about 4 amps.
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File Type: jpg Generator Bad7.jpg (53.4 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg Generator Bad8.jpg (58.6 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Homemade Tools Generator Cap.jpg (31.7 KB, 55 views)
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Always like your informative posts Tom
Thanks Steve
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Thanks again Tom for all the information. It comes at a very good time in that I am working on getting my generator back together and ready for a test.
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
Here's a couple pictures of the field windings and output wire. This is where some people get mixed up and cross the output and field wires. Notice that the output wire is wrapped in the field coil edge to keep it away from the spinning armature. The bottom terminal in the second picture leads to the output terminal near the front of the case. If you have any doubt about which wire is the output wire, just use an ohm meter or continuity checker.

Also shown is another homemade tool I use to protect the windings while blasting the case. I use dense foam rubber to seal out the blasting grit, and copper plates to hold it in place. The copper plates fit snug to the case, but have a little notch to clear the field ground wire. The taped paper is what I use to protect the commutator when I spray clear lacquer on the armature windings.

I use a battery charger to test the field coils. On 6 volts, with the + connected to the case and - connected to the terminal, the ammeter should read about 4 amps.
Hi Tom,

This is the old guy that knows nothing about generators trying to get his back together.

I have a question about how to hook up the wires on the brushes. It has been a number of months since I took this thing apart and the old brain does not remember which wire goes to which brush.

I have a generator just like in your picture # 2 above. With the two wires that seem to come out of the field coils. Do these wires hook to the brushes, I know one of them does, but the questions is-which wire goes to which brush? Does it matter which wire goes to which brush?

Last question is what do you use to clean out the inside of the coils and body? Can a person use paint thinner? Or ?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:14 PM   #18
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
Here's a couple pictures of the field windings and output wire. This is where some people get mixed up and cross the output and field wires. Notice that the output wire is wrapped in the field coil edge to keep it away from the spinning armature. The bottom terminal in the second picture leads to the output terminal near the front of the case. If you have any doubt about which wire is the output wire, just use an ohm meter or continuity checker.

Also shown is another homemade tool I use to protect the windings while blasting the case. I use dense foam rubber to seal out the blasting grit, and copper plates to hold it in place. The copper plates fit snug to the case, but have a little notch to clear the field ground wire. The taped paper is what I use to protect the commutator when I spray clear lacquer on the armature windings.

I use a battery charger to test the field coils. On 6 volts, with the + connected to the case and - connected to the terminal, the ammeter should read about 4 amps.
I use gas and a syphon sprayer to clean the inside.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

Tom sorry about being so dense. Now I do see the difference between the two wires but when you talk about the output wire and the field wire, which one goes to which brush. The way I understand the brushes is that one is grounded to the case, and one is the movable brush and then there is the third brush. I assume the output wire and the field wire get hooked to the movable brush and the third brush. But the question is which wire to which brush? This generator may still come to you to get fixed correctly yet.

Next time I take something apart, I will take a picture of it so I can put it together again.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:43 PM   #20
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Generator Preventative Maintenance

The field wire goes to the adjustable brush.

The output wire goes to the fixed insulated brush, which is 180* from the non-insulated ground brush with the short bare copper wire.
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