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#1
  This topic is about my 1967 Triumph Herald 1200
caddis Chip Addis
Wayne, PA, USA   USA
Greetings!
Battery dead today. Actually 2nd time in last couple of weeks having charged the three year old battery. Red IGN light on - perhaps I missed it before.
Jumped the battery, 1967 Herald started right up. Had my headlights on as it was a cloudy day here in PA. A couple of times I lost power briefly - kind of sputtered. Gas gauge indicated lower fuel level than actual level. Overdrive didn't engage. Clearly something electrical was going on! Then the car almost came to a complete stop. I turned off the lights and normal operating resumed - no issues whatsoever.
So, do I have a bad alternator? Or, do I have an old generator? Not sure I would know the difference. Are the problems identified above related to charging system issues? Kinda seems so as I've not had any issues like this previously and the 2X dead battery seems suspect.
If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very grateful.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Chip Addis

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Herald948 Avatar
Herald948 Andrew Mace
East Nassau, upstate NY, USA   USA
I'll guess you have a generator. Is the IGN light on all the time, even with the key in off position? If so, you might have a sticking voltage regulator ("control box"winking smiley. If it comes on when you turn the ignition on and stays on when the engine is running, you still could have a sticking regulator, or you could have a generator problem.

Of course, if you have an alternator, you probably don't have a separate voltage regulator, as most alternators have the regulator built in, and you likely have a problem with said alternator.

Got a photo of the engine bay? We'll know instantly what you have if you show us! smiling smiley



http://www.fairpoint.net/~herald948/database/

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
Chip,
I suppose you are new to classics, or Triumphs? The 'generator' or 'dynamo' is a simple thing, about the size of the starter motor that produces DC current by rotating a coil in a staionary permanent magnet. That would produce AC, but it has a 'commutator' that chops the direction as the coils rotate. It also produces a voltage proportional to the engine speed, so that an external "control unit", a black box with coils in it, prevents it overcharging the battery. A dynamo is usually a solid cylinder, painted black, and will have a strong magnetic field around it even at rest

They were replaced in the life of the small chassis Triumphs by alternators. These spin a magnet in a coil, and produce the magnetic field by a current in coils in the rotor, so no permanent magnetic field. They are usually an open casting for cooling air flow, and often painted silver. They too produce AC, but have internal circuits, the "Rectifier", to output DC. No external Control box.

Many earlier cars will have been converted to alternator use, as they are intrinsicly more powerful.

Now you can check, with a steel tool if you have a generator/dynamo or an alternator! Does have a permanent magnet?

The IGN light is a simple indicator that shows if the charging device, whichever, is charging the battery, so your symptoms point to inadequate charging, in particular an output that can't cope with the demand of headlights. Confirm this with a Multimeter, the first tool to get after your spanners and socket set! More versatile than most car smiths know how to use, and very useful for circuit tracing and testing. In this case, set it to DC Volts, and put the leads across the battery while the engine runs. It should read above 14V. I'll bet it falls to 10V or less if you turn on the headlights!

JOhn

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caddis Chip Addis
Wayne, PA, USA   USA
Hi John,
Thank you for that detailed explanation! It has been a learning process over the past two years!
I definitely have the dynamo! Now what do i do? Replace it w alternator? Can i do myself?
Thanks, chip

caddis Chip Addis
Wayne, PA, USA   USA
Thank you Andy! The light does not stay on all the time, only when key is turned. And i’m pretty sure i have the dynamo! Now my question is where do i go with it from here?
Thank you as slways!
Chip

Herald948 Avatar
Herald948 Andrew Mace
East Nassau, upstate NY, USA   USA
Chip, most any auto parts store -- chain or otherwise, and I tend to prefer a NAPA or other independent, but that's just me -- probably can and will test the charging system for free. It's quite possible that your generator (dynamo) needs a bit of cleaning and some new brushes; at worst, they can be rebuilt almost as easily as they can be replaced. Certainly, "upgrading" to an alternator is also an option, and there are plenty of tutorials and such on the Internet to guide you, as well as some of us here.

Are you anywhere near a local Triumph or other British Car club? In-person, hands-on help and advice is great (even better than the Internet winking smiley ) for something like this!



http://www.fairpoint.net/~herald948/database/

gfe05111952 Avatar
gfe05111952 George Earwaker
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1595967 by Herald948 Are you anywhere near a local Triumph or other British Car club? In-person, hands-on help and advice is great (even better than the Internet winking smiley ) for something like this!

Chip, If you're not already a member, check out Delaware Valley Triumphs, LTD https://www.dvtr.org/ That would be your local VTR club. There should be some Herald owners among this group.
Cheers! smileys with beer



George
1967 Triumph GT6
1967 Triumph Spitfire4 Mk2
1968 Triumph Spitfire Mk3

caddis Chip Addis
Wayne, PA, USA   USA
Thanks, George. I am familiar with the club. Just have not had time to attend and get to know the members.
Appreciate the recommendation!

caddis Chip Addis
Wayne, PA, USA   USA
Andy,
How do I resolve a sticking regulator if that is my problem?
I intend to perform a voltage test on the generator (yes I have a generator) first however.
Thanks!
Chip

Herald948 Avatar
Herald948 Andrew Mace
East Nassau, upstate NY, USA   USA
Some careful cleaning of contact points and adjustment of same on voltage regulators is possible, but it's not easily done. If that proves to be where your problem is, replacement with a new or known good used regulator is likely your best bet. I'm still leaning towards the generator being the problem, though.

Meanwhile, do contact someone in DVT at your first opportunity. They are a terrific bunch of people, including some Herald nuts! grinning smiley If I were several hours closer, I'd be an active member!



http://www.fairpoint.net/~herald948/database/

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
9 time out of 10 it will be your generator.

The chances are it will just need new brushes and the comutator cleaned/surfaced. This is and easy and quite satisfying job, but easier if someone shows you how, the first time.
By the way, there is a little oil hole at the vey back of the generator that often gets totally ignored, it just needs a drop of oil once in a blue moon.

Tbob Silver Member Bob T
Edgewood, KY, USA   USA
IGN light stayed on on a TR3 I was working on. I had to polarize the generator and its ok now.



Regards,

Bob t

sampattr250 Avatar
sampattr250 Sam P
Harwinton, CT, USA   USA
Chip,

It's always worth calling around to your friendly local alternator/electric motor repair shop. It's a dying trade but there still out there.

If you don't know of one it way be worth checking with your local chapter of VTR.



Sam

1968 TR250
1972 MK IV Spitfire

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