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'57 T Bird voltage regualtor issues again

Posted By slumlord444 4 Months Ago
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slumlord444
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I replaced the regulator with an Americian made one last September. It died tonight. Oredered another and will discuss replacing the bad one with the seller. Really don't want to go to an alternator unless I have to. Is there and electonic regulator out there that I could possibley hide in an orgina regulator housing or a source for a rigulaor that will last for more than a few months?
Tedster
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I haven't tried this, so take it for what it's worth, but Bosch makes a solid state 12 volt generator regulator that was used in VWs up until about 1972. It seems to me that on a road trip, if the regulator were to fail this might be easier to source so I filed this away in my "interesting but probably useless" information sector in the ole gray matter.

There was a guy making solid state regulators, if you search "Clover Dynamo Regulators", high build quality electonics, but he seems to have quit making them.

For all that, when you say "it died", what does that mean, exactly? Was it an NOS Autolite or one of those blue repops that everybody sells?
KULTULZ
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Again, donning steel pot and hunkering down for incoming ...

What seems to be missed in these conversations (IMO) is the fact(s) that you are dealing with quite an outdated mechanical charging system. First, you have to have a GOOD battery fully charged. You then have to have a GEN that is putting out specified AMP at whatever RPM spec calls for.

The mechanical VR has to be AMP rated to the AMP output of the GEN. These are mechanical units and have to be adjusted for proper output. In the old days ... w00t ... charging system performance was checked usually twice annually (temperature change) and adjusted.

There is no plug and play with these old systems. Usually, the blue VR is STANDARD IGN which had a good reputation. Do not buy off-shore.

We return you now to regular programming.


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slumlord444
Posted 4 Months Ago
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It is an Americian made regulator. Supplier is Thomas J Sestak Auto parts. As far as no pulg and play on these I am aware of the fact that adjustments can be made per the shop manual. That being said I've been playing with these things since 1963 and have never done anything but bolt one on and polarize is. My understanding is the problem is poor qality of parts. It is also my understanding that modern electronic regulators are out there. Will keep looking.even though I have a new mechanical on on the way.
Tedster
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They "should" be pre-adjusted for cutout, voltage, and current. I bought an NOS Motorcraft service replacement that measures perfect right out of the box.

Regulators don't need polarizing. It won't hurt anything to polarize the generator, but it is not necessary when replacing a regulator.

How did it die exactly?
slumlord444
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No idea. Started it up and the generator light came on.
Tedster
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Well ... that doesn't mean the regulator is necessarily defective. It does mean no charging is going on.
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The manual gives a way to check gen voltage while still on the car. I don't remember right now. Bought one from NAPA 6 years ago and voltage on a good charged battery runs between 13.7 and 13.9.
I started adjusting regulators in 1963 when I worked the battery line at a Sears Roebuck. After each adjustment you must put back on the cover to check voltage. the reading with the cover off is different.  

56 Vic, B'Ville 200 MPH Club Member, So Cal.
PF Arcand
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Are you sure it's a regulator problem?  Could  be the Generator. Maybe a stuck brush or something?  If you have a factory manual, it gives procedures to check the system as I recall, although some equipment may be needed?. U may be able to ascertain the problem.. In my case years ago, it was  defective (to small) aftermarket wiring & an Amp guage that was badly overheating.. Re wired & converted to a Volt meter & the problems went away.. Good luck.


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Tedster
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The manual has some quick diagnostic tests to isolate the problem to either regulator or generator. Or the wiring. "Full fielding" tests the generator to see if it is producing rated voltage output. Sometimes it's something simple the brushes hang up in the holders. They are a type of vintage system that are just reliable enough where I forget the details and have to drag the manual out to re-familiarize myself on how everything works.


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