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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2008, 04:04 PM
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Polarizing voltage regulator

Okay, I have been having problems with my 49 F1 (6V positive ground). Ended up putting new coil, points, rotator et cetera and while I was at it a new voltage regulator. This was almost a year ago. I wasn't able to spend much time with it, but since then it won't crank worth a darn. Acts like the battery is dead or near death. I can "jump" start with a 12V system but it draws so much current that the cables smoke. Once cranked it runs for hours without issue, but when I shut it down, the same weak cranking.
I did not polarize the new regulator...could that be the issue?
The battery has like 675 CCA so that's not it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:02 PM
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disconnect field at regulator and quickly touch battery connection on regulator--before starting engine. should see faint blueish flash (spark). once done, reconnect field wire and job is done, should not need to be done again! even though battery has 675 cca, not using it for a year could have caused one or more plates to start going bad.---the saying --don't use it you lose it applies! check the battery!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:35 PM
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When the engine is running does your generator charge? The ammeter should move towards "C". A voltmeter should show from 6 volts to 7 volts depending on state of battery charge. Also check the battery cables (both ends) for corrosion and be sure that the engine is connected to the cab by a good cable.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:08 PM
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The battery checked out okay . Will check the generator output but it does seem to be charging. I'll look at the ammeter. The battery cables are good. I drove it about 15 miles a few weeks ago and let it run for about 90 minutes after I got to its new home (didn't want to have to jump it to get going again). Sure enough after I turned it off, it wouldn't crank back up.
I wont be able to visit it again till the weekend.
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:17 AM
Julies Cool F1 Julies Cool F1 is offline
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Hi oldmajor!

I don't have one myself but I am interested in electrical issues so I've followed quite a few posts about similar problems. One of them was that apparently the starters on these engines used to drag especially when it gets hot. That's one possibility. And of course one is the age of the starter solenoid. Wiring and grounding seems to be a repeat gripe. One of the guys in the know on this is Ross (ALBUQF1) you might send him a note and ask him to jump in here. I'm not sure if he will look with the title you have.

And yes, remove the Field (FLD or F) Wire on the regulator and for a millisecond touch it to the Battery (BAT or B) wire post on the regulator it'll spark, then put it back where it belongs. You only need to do it once on any regulator, even if you disconnect it or replace the generator.

Good luck,
Julie

PS I came back to edit these links in....There are some good ieas in them on this subject:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/33...turn-over.html

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/73...do-matter.html

For more post like these go to the main forum page and in th eupper right corner there is a "Search this Forum" box. Type in Slow Starter and it will list all the posts for you. Be sure to list those by relevance when the search list comes up (that's on the upper left part of that page).
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:44 AM
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Actually you aren't polarizing the regulator, its the generator that is being polarized.

About polarizing

Why do generators need to be "polarized". Auto generators need some magnetism to get started. This "residual" magnetism remains in the Field pole pieces even after the engine has stopped.

The next time the generator starts up, the residual magnetism creates a small voltage in the Armature windings. Not enough to charge the battery, but enough to allow the Field windings to draw current. As the Field current increases, the pole pieces create even more magnetism. That makes even more voltage in the Armature, and the cycle continues until the
generator is capable of producing maximum output.

What happens though to a generator which has been stored a long time or is freshly built? The residual magnetism may have decreased to the point where it can no longer get the generator started producing voltage. In the case of a new generator or one which has been mis-treated, the residual may even be of the wrong direction (North and South poles reversed).

Polarization is a simple process used to restore the Field pole residual magnetism and ensure the magnetic direction is correct.

Do regulators need to be polarized?

No, regulators are not polarity-sensitive.
But my regulator came with instructions to polarize it...
These instructions actually polarize the generator, not the regulator. The regulator mfr simply wants to ensure that your generator will work properly so you don't blame the regulator.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:54 AM
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redpanhead,

Excellent post!! Great information and explanation, thank you very much.

Bobby
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:31 PM
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Hmmm...Ok , Well I stand corrected....Learn something new every day (like I've been doing this wrong for years).

Here's a quote from "Motors Truck Repair Manual" Eighth Edition, (page 18)

"POLARIZING THE GENERATOR"
"After the generator has been repaired and reinstalled on a vehicle or at any time after the generator has been tested, it must be repolarized to make sure it has the correct polarity with respect to the battery it is to charge. Failure to do this may result in burned circuit breaker contacts, a run-down battery and possible serious damage to the generator itself.

The procedure is to use a jumper wire and connect one end to the Armature 'A' post of the generator; then touch the other end of the jumper wire to any 'hot' wire or terminal. Do not prolong the connection after the flash has occurred. It is recommended that this be done before connecting any wires to the regulator."



Hmmmmm, am I the only person who has been doing this wrong for 30 years?

What an idiot.

Julie
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:47 PM
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Jules,

Forget the Motors manual and look in the factory shop manual. I believe it states that, at the regulator you remove the field (F) wire and briefly touch it to the battery (B) terminal, you should see a small spark. Hook the field wire back up and you're done.

Maybe that procedure in the Motors manual is for a different style generator, the older three brush style maybe...I don't know

Bobby
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:34 PM
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Different regulators(brands and/or type) and generators require different procedures. My '59 Panhead procedure is with all wiring hooked and battery charged is to jumper the Armature and Battery connections at the regulator for just a moment.

Bobby, Thanks for the Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julies Cool F1 View Post
Hmmm...Ok , Well I stand corrected....Learn something new every day (like I've been doing this wrong for years).

Here's a quote from "Motors Truck Repair Manual" Eighth Edition, (page 18)

"POLARIZING THE GENERATOR"
"After the generator has been repaired and reinstalled on a vehicle or at any time after the generator has been tested, it must be repolarized to make sure it has the correct polarity with respect to the battery it is to charge. Failure to do this may result in burned circuit breaker contacts, a run-down battery and possible serious damage to the generator itself.

The procedure is to use a jumper wire and connect one end to the Armature 'A' post of the generator; then touch the other end of the jumper wire to any 'hot' wire or terminal. Do not prolong the connection after the flash has occurred. It is recommended that this be done before connecting any wires to the regulator."


Hmmmmm, am I the only person who has been doing this wrong for 30 years?

What an idiot.

Julie
Don't worry about the technicalities Julie. The point is getting the job done. I personally don't agree with the Motors Manual. I always polarized a generator by quickly pulsing the field with a jumper from the battery. As previously posted by redpanhead, the process is to create some residual magnetism in the fields by applying a DC current momentarily in the field windings. I can't imagine why anyone would want to apply the current to the Armature terminal, because in order for the fielsd to get any residual magnetism from that would be a secondary transfer and no where nearly as effective as directly exciting the field windings. as a matter of fact, I always applied the pulse after the initial start up, if the system didn't come up when started. Surprisingly, many of them never needed it.

One thing people should take particular care to do is polarize using the ungrounded terminal of the battery. This is especially important in the case of the old 6 V positive ground Ford trucks which would mean using the negative terminal.

It is also important to realize that all Generators and Alternators rely on some residual magnetism in the field to initiate the process. The only exclusion would be permanent magnet fields. You will most likely never encounter these kind of fields in automotive applications due to the fact that voltage regulation is achieved by varying the field winding current in both Generators and Alternators. It is vary rare that it happens but I have encountered a few cases of the residual magnetism in Alternator fields being magnetically neutralized.

Later Folks...
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpanhead View Post
Different regulators(brands and/or type) and generators require different procedures. My '59 Panhead procedure is with all wiring hooked and battery charged is to jumper the Armature and Battery connections at the regulator for just a moment.

Bobby, Thanks for the Thanks.
It was that way with my exes old iron head sportster with generator. Wouldn't hold a charge after replacing the battery till we polarized the gen. Did it like you with all wires connected and then used a separate piece of wire to flash the poles.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:17 PM
Julies Cool F1 Julies Cool F1 is offline
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the reassurance.

I was taught to use the field wire to battery post many years ago. And was told that once it's done, it's done. Maybe I misunderstood the statement, but been doing it that way since Nixon was President.

But after reading the posts this morning, I went to "find it in writing." Now honestly, I have to admit that senility is hitting me like the Coyote's falling piano, but I couldn't find that procedure anywhere in the 48-51 Ford Truck Shop Manual. So I looked in the Motors as a back-up. The procedure I quoted was listed for Autolite regulators. Well, I don't feel so bad now. Thanks again.

J!
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:15 PM
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Finally got to the farm and polarized the truck: touched the F to B(attery) and go the little blue spark. Battery wouldn't crank it strong enough to start, had to jump off a 12v battery. Then it ran really well for 45 minutes (hopefully charging).
While running, we tried see if there was any voltage coming off the generator: nothing at the F pole or off the back of the generator using voltmeter. When we disconnect the negative terminal from the battery, the engine tries to quit, connect it back real fast and its fine.
As far as I can tell, the generator is dead. I don't know if the autoparts stores can test a 6V positive ground generator, much less get me a new one.
Also it still seems to draw a lot of amps.

After running for 45 minutes I shut it off and immediate tried to crank it, barely turned over once...the battery was deader than before I started. Now about 6 weeks ago, I ran it for several hours and the same thing, no go when I tried to restart.

Anyhow, I was thinking about getting a new generator, starter relay and recheck/cleaning the connections. Anybody have other suggestions? Where's the best place to get a good generator? Would I do better to change over to a 6V +ground alternator?
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:37 AM
Julies Cool F1 Julies Cool F1 is offline
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Hi Old Major,

Well first off if the battery is shot it won't matter how much the generator is putting out, the battery won't hold on to it.

Be sure to check the ground from the battery to the frame, and the ground from the generator to the frame.

Do you have a working ammeter?

There is a way to "bypass" the voltage regulator and check to see if the generator is working. But you need some type of working ammeter hooked up to tell.

To do this you disconnect the regulator "Arm" and "Field" wires. Then connect a jumper wire from the generator "Arm" terminal to the generator "Field" terminal, and the negative side of a 0-50 ammeter to the generator "Arm" terminal.

Start the engine and immediately connect the ammeter positive lead to the negative post of the battery (6 Volt Positive Ground vehicle, right?). Run the engine at 1500 rpm and read the current output on the ammeter. It should be at least 35 amps (or 60 amps on generator 8BA-10002-C.)

If it does, then your generator is ok.

Good Luck,
Julie
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