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twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
For as much crap that is given to generators, I want to share my experience. In September 2003 I had the crank shaft pulley explode while getting on the freeway. This was due to a crack on the back half of the pulley. Shortly after I had bearing failures in both the water pump and generator. So I put a rebuilt one on, and mostly forgot about it. Tonight, while at speed with lights, heater fan, and wiper going the light was just starting to glow. By the time I got home, it had the glow without the heater fan and wipers. So tomorrow I’ll pull it and replace the brushes. Hope I get 14 more years out of it! Kyle.

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twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
Brushes are worn out. Time to dig out the rebuild parts.

mgruber921 Avatar
mgruber921 Marvin Gruber
Florence, AL, USA   USA
Kyle,
Sounds like you had the generator going at full load. With its age I'm sure it couldn't put out its max amps. I Have a stack pf genetators but I m replacing them with alternators as they fail or doing a full resto. Its cheaper as well. About $40 for the 35 amp delco. You have to machine out pulley if using on early 3/4 cars. Stay warm
Marv

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twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
The bushing spun in the rear housing and was loose when I took the generator apart tonight. I put a new bearing, used end plate with near new brushes, and put it all back together for a traveling spare. I rebuilt another one that had been painted with new brushes and bearing and known good armature. Oiled and installed. I’ll polarize it tomorrow and test drive it tomorrow night to see if it fixed the issue. The brushes in the generator were about 1/4” long. Kyle.


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Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
In reply to # 1509426 by twomanytriumphs ...Oiled and installed...

I wonder how many dynamos/generators die because that rear bearing gets neglected? I have a tiny oil can I use exclusively for lubing that bit of felt (or whatever it is) that is inside that rear oil hole.

The unit's position that puts that bearing right near the exhaust manifold makes it a good idea (my opinion) to always add a drop or two of oil there as part of the frequent maintenance tasks we all do.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1509470 by Geo Hahn
In reply to # 1509426 by twomanytriumphs ...Oiled and installed...

I wonder how many dynamos/generators die because that rear bearing gets neglected?
In my limited experience, they start making loud noises long before being destroyed by wear in that bearing. The armature can drag on the pole pieces for some time without ruining anything, but the metal-on-metal screech is very noticeable (and kind of scary).

Long ago, I was on a long drive with my (late) first wife when the generator started making noise. I listened to it get louder fairly quickly over a half hour or so, then pulled over and let it cool while we picnicked by the side of the road. Afterwards, I pulled the generator off and stuffed a piece of waxed cardboard (from a McDonald's drink cup found nearby) into the bearing in order to limp home. Generator was still working fine after replacing the bushing (tho I converted to an alternator not long after that).

Front bearing is a different story. The one on my current TR3 started making noise just before I got to work; then seized just moments (maybe 5 blocks) after I started trying to make it home. Still an easy fix, though, just replace the bearing.



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
Marv, very likely had it going at full power and it couldn’t keep up. I’ve pulled a lot of electronics from the car to keep the generator around. I’m a hold out I guess. That and there’s about 10 of them in the shop now. Pretty sure a couple of them might be runners as is.

Randall, good to know about roadside fixes. My dad mentioned to me once that he and mom on a trip to California pulled a generator at a rest stop and put new brushes in it because it stopped working. I’d say that’s the generator that I replaced in 2000 when I lit the harness up (do yourself a favor and don’t push the contacts in voltage regulator together), but I know dad rebuilt one at home in the year prior to me getting my license. That generator got an end plate and an armature along with a bearing and brushes. I’ve had so little trouble with generators that I tend to want to keep them. The walk of shame home after the generator seized in the 2000 on the 2nd drive doesn’t count. I couldn’t get it apart so I just put it back together and it died... right away. Kyle.

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1509843 by twomanytriumphs (do yourself a favor and don’t push the contacts in voltage regulator together),
Strange you should mention that ... I burned my thumb rather badly that way trying to discover why a generator I had just installed was acting funny. Turns out the field winding was shorted internally and drawing some incredible amount of current, which overheated the regulator relay.

Made me decide it was time for an alternator instead.





Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
I just burnt something like 12 feet of wire between the voltage regulator and the red ignition light. My dad and I had been talking about rewriting the car when I was out of school in June, but decided February was better. We replaced a lot of the single, double, and triple connectors, made sure we had good grounds and haven’t had a lot of issues since. Mostly when tracing them out I’ll find a disconnected wire. I did get the car running yesterday after I charged the battery for several hours. I’m fighting a weak battery that’s just shy of 5 years old. If it doesn’t come around pretty quickly, I will get a new one. Kyle.

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twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
Well, coming home from the club meeting last night I hit a bump in the road and the ignition light came back on strong. Being it was dark and 20 miles from home I decided not to stop as it may not restart/didn’t smell anything burning and the engine was running on the cool side. I guess my next step is to pull the regulator (suspect this failed) as well as the generator (new bearing seems to have failed in 150 miles). I’ll take them down to Portland and have them tested and go from there. For now I’m not sure what I’m going to do aside from push it to the side of the shop. Kyle.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Changing generator bearings is pretty easy; you might want to try that yourself.

Repairing a control box can be more complicated, depending on what's wrong with it, but I've had pretty good luck with that too (something like 9 for 10 now). First step of coures is to identify the problem.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2H2NJt34OffNTc3ODkwYzAtYjRlYS00NDNmLWI0YTYtNjY5ZjQxZTA2NGFm

Anyone remember the old Haunted Mansion at Dizzyland? "There's always my way out"




Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
Thank you for the link, I’ll run the tests on Thursday.

Changing the generator bearing isn’t so much the issue, it’s that this one failed in something like 150 miles... it’s finding one that’s not a piece of crap. Kyle.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
The ones I got from TRF a few years back seemed to hold up just fine. Still working when I switched to an alternator (a field winding came loose and failed in the original generator).



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

twomanytriumphs Avatar
twomanytriumphs Gold Member Kyle Darby
Kelso, WA, USA   USA
1965 Triumph TR4 "My Baby"
1966 Triumph 2000 MkI "Bessie"
1970 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "The Princess"
1977 MG MGB
Control box/regulator tested good, but he noticed it jumping up to 15amps so he readjusted it. I’ll try that control box tonight. He said it could have failed with a bump. Kyle.

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