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As previously mentioned, my 1923 6 cylinder S/G broke 2 of the 3 (charging) brush arms (actually one broke and it took out the other).  Plus, the charging commutator is so worn, it looks like a small spool of thread, a guess would be at least 100,000 miles on the unit, heck I've put 30,000 on it,make that more like 150,000 miles.  Lucky for me, Terry W. saw a S/G and bought it some years ago and I was able to buy it from him and its been on the shelf waiting.  These things are darn near year to year specific as has been covered here on the forum before.  Mine is a Delco #249.  After two years of touring and playing with battery chargers and extension cords like a guy with a modern electric car trying to keep my battery up, I took the S/G bought from Terry to Jason Smith at A.E.R. as it had far fewer miles on it than mine based on the excellent condition of the commutators but still needed to be gone through.

 

Jason met me today 3 miles from my office in Pontiac, MI (yes that Pontiac for the non Michiganders) with my rebuilt S/G and it looks like new.  Another vote for Jason and A.E.R..  Bad weather forcast for tomorrow so I plan to pull the old one and install the rebuilt one.  This R&R is one of the few things I have yet to do on the Buick so it should be fun.  Let's hope so.

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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I'm certain yours will move up the board Larry. 

 

Jason knew my timing for this year's Tour season and he honored it and I very much appreciate that and your calls to Jason also.

 

Just think, you won't have to worry about my S/G when we are on tour this June.  :D

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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Day 1 of S/G removal.

 

Spent 4 hrs on just the coupling that goes between the water pump shaft to the generator.  93 years frozen.  Doubt it has ever been off.  The 1/4 in. drive pin that goes thru the thick coupling/drive sleeve and thru the 3/4 in dia shaft was frozen, I mean frozen.  Gave it heat + PB Blaster multiple times but ended up drilling it out.  I went dead center with a 3/16 drill down the center of a 1/4 in dowel.  Pretty proud of that since it never happens.  Removed what was left of the pin.  Then you can slide the coupling down the shaft.  Everything after that is bolts.  Lots of bolts.  I bet that S/G weighs 60#.  We shall see, I'll get Mamma's scale and weigh it.

 

Wanted to look inside the water pump while everything was out of the way but the side cover was frozen tight so I left it alone.  Would have been nice to see what the impeller looks like but the Buick has always cooled well so instead of forcing things, I left it alone.  Packing was dry so I will replace that.  With coupling now free and anti-sieze on the shaft I can get to the water pump in 10 minutes now.

 

8 hrs total and only three trips to the auto parts store.  Ha.  Good news is I didn't bust or snap or strip anything.

 

While I have a minute, you have to remove the cross car starter actuation rod that goes from starter pedal to S/G that is held in place with 4 bolts and also remove the three bolts and cover to the starter gear reduction box that is part of (hidden in) the right side of car bellhousing ear that reaches over to the frame.  This cover has to be removed to get the S/G out,  The cross shaft mounts to this lid is why it has to be removed.  The S/G is 57# and held at the bottom with three large bolts. There is a 'shelf/ledge' the S/G rests on, so remove the three large bolts while holding the S/G toward the engine to keep it on the 'shelf/ledge'.  Let the last bolt and wrench drop to the floor while still holding the S/G against the engine and with both hands and a good back pull that monster out and free.  An old boat cushion on the lower fender/running board area to protect things is not a bad idea in case that greasy monster gets away from you.  I knew what I was in for but I wouldn't want to do that all day long.

 

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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Day 2.  Distributor.

 

Disassembled the distributor since the driven gear on the bottom of the ~150,000 mile distributor was badly worn, outer edge of gear teeth almost come to a point they are so thin.  Everything has to come apart to do this plus it needed to be cleaned.  Donor distributor driven gear looked like new, more reason to believe it is a low mile unit, so that unit had to be torn down too (and the matching drive gear is on the rebuilt S/G is another good reason).  Lots of nasty grease to clean.  All three little centrifical weight springs found loose in the bottom of the original distributor housing.  The three in the donor were off too.  Hmmmm.  Six lobe cam that lifts the points on my original unit looked worn, donor again looked like new.  The centrifical weight assembly from the original was best since it had no rust and was really free to move, just covered in black grease.  Hope those little springs stay put this time.  Everything cleaned and greased and assembled now with the best parts of each.  Points stone ground bright and flat/square.  Gap 0.020 in..  Man is that easy to do with the distributor on a bench not bent over in the dark with those dinky points wrenches to adjust the gap. 

 

Water pump cover re-torqued and lower radiator hose back on.  No water pump work this time.

 

Need to paint the distributor housing and distributor right angle gear drive housing the distributor mounts in (which in turn mounts to the S/G) next to match the S/G paint and too cold to do that.  28F and two inches of snow today 18 miles south of Flint.

 

5 hrs well spent most with my wonderful wife as the kitchen island became my re-assembly clean room and she made homemade soup pretending to be fascinated with the workings of a distributor and my tutorials.

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Brian, how many years ago has that been that you got that unit from me?  I'm thinking somewhere close to 20.  At any rate it was money well spent on your part.  Sounds like you will be good for another 20 at least.  I'm really glad things worked out well for you with that.

 

Terry Wiegand

Doo Dah  America

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3 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

Day 2.  Distributor.

 

5 hrs well spent most with my wonderful wife as the kitchen island became my re-assembly clean room and she made homemade soup pretending to be fascinated with the workings of a distributor and my tutorials.

 

Boy am I glad to hear someone else uses the kitchen island for rebuilding auto parts in the cold of winter.  I too have a great wife.  :-)

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13 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

Brian, how many years ago has that been that you got that unit from me?  I'm thinking somewhere close to 20.  At any rate it was money well spent on your part.  Sounds like you will be good for another 20 at least.  I'm really glad things worked out well for you with that.

 

Terry Wiegand

Doo Dah  America

 

Somewhere after 1996 when I bought the Buick and the 2003 Centennial when you came to Flint.  As a guess 2000?  16 years ago. 

 

Thank you again Terry.

 

 

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Good stuff, thank you Rod!  My hope is someone will appreciate all this when it is their turn.

 

Day 3.

 

Disassembled the distributor and painted the distributor housing and painted the right angle gear case that it mounts in that in turn mounts on the S/G.

 

Re-assembled distributor.

 

Re-packed the water pump and refilled the cooling system.

 

2 hours.

 

Next up de-greasing the S/G mounting pad and general area.  Easy to get to with the S/G out of the way.

 

While I have a minute, you have to remove the cross car starter actuation rod that goes from starter pedal to S/G that is held in place with 4 bolts and also remove the three bolts and cover to the starter gear reduction box that is part of (hidden in) the right side of car bellhousing ear that reaches over to the frame.  This cover has to be removed to get the S/G out,  The cross shaft mounts to this lid is why it has to be removed.  The S/G is 57# and held at the bottom with three large bolts. There is a 'shelf/ledge' the S/G rests on, so remove the three large bolts while holding the S/G toward the engine to keep it on the 'shelf/ledge'.  Let the last bolt and wrench drop to the floor while still holding the S/G against the engine and with both hands and a good back pull that monster out and free.  An old boat cushion on the lower fender/running board area to protect things is not a bad idea in case that greasy monster gets away from you.  I knew what I was in for but I wouldn't want to do that all day long.  I will copy and post this to the earlier post too since it's a little late here.

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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My donor unit that was rebuilt was very complete, just missing one brush holder that Jason fabricated.  Your unit is still there as far as I know.

 

Nice chatting with you on the phone recently.

 

 

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Brian:

 Glad you are getting the S/G taken care of. Dave Blaufarb picked up a D-249 unit in pieces (cleaned up, painted but apart) at Hershey thinking that I could use it. The distributer housing was missing and also the brush cover. I believe that some of the brush holders may be interchangeable with my D-283 unit. I have a spare S/G for my 1925 Standard but the brush holders were stripped out. So I hope these brush holders fit.

I was out working on the 25 yesterday and am still having issues. Starts up. idles smooth for about 30 seconds. Accelerates smooth. Then the throttle goes dead and then it gets worse. When I try to give it a bit of gas then it begins to backfire. I had it running for about 5 minutes and as I said things got worse as it warmed up. Decided misses and seems that fewer cylinders are firing the longer it runs. That is why I believe it is a coil problem.  I am avoiding taking off the heat riser as of yet. I bought a new condenser from BOB's last fall because the points were burning. I had to redress and reset the points to get it running this time. Seemed to be burned worse than before. I will check the coil (modern style) to see if it is breaking down.

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Keep at it Larry.  I had a bad ballast resistor once that did that.  As soon as it got hot, it broke the circuit, stalled like someone pulled the coil wire, cooled and came back in contact and ran.  Drove me nuts.  Found it in the dark working into the evening and noticed the spark.  Running in the dark may help you, not sure.  Also that heat riser is a known issue, it's not if, but rather when, will it fail.  But you know that.

 

Day 4.  Assembly.

 

It went rather well.  2 hrs to get in all back together and guessing at the timing.  It started.  Makes 10 amps just like it did on the bench in the shop.  Best part is when you flip the ignition on, it motors, so the pinion is spinning to allow it to engage at the gear reduction box and flywheel.  No more clashing of teeth to get the starter to engage and it's nice to make 10 amps too.  Ha.

 

Set the dwell.  32 degrees.  That's the easy part.  I had it close and a tweek to the fixed point arm brought it right in.  3 tries.  Pretty good.   Now on to timing.

 

Timing.  Another hour.  What a pain.  The way you adjust it is to loosen the jam nut on the bottom of the distributor that locks the distributor driven gear to the the distributor shaft.  Sounds simple enough.  Loosen the jam nut, advance or retard the rotor/shaft relative to the fixed gear and re-tighten.  Ha.  Oh, and every time you need to move the rotor you need to have the cap off to get at it.  I bet it took me 15 tries.  Twice I lost everything as the rotor spun way too far as I spun the wrench too far/hard.  Ugh.  Lost in Space.  Back to basics.  Go find TDC on the flywheel while watching the rockers so you know if you are in the first or second 360 of 720 degrees of the cycle and put the rotor under #1 wire on the cap and at least it starts.  Use the timing light to figure out where the heck you are and go back an adjust again, this time being more careful.  Yeah, right. 

 

Timing setting.  The book says with the lever fully retarded, set timing to the 7 degrees AFTER TDC mark on the flywheel.  This was so you didn't break your arm hand cranking as the piston was already heading down  at the time of the spark.  At this setting when you pull the lever down to full advance and look at the timing with the light you are about 2 degees advance (BTDC) at idle and after that the advance weights in the distributor take over.  With the poor octance of fuel in the 20s you could not run any more advance than this.  With modern fuel octane and the stock low compression of this engine you can set the base timing 14 degrees more advanced.  So with the lever fully retarded, set the timing to 7 degees Before TDC (eyeball the same distance as the 7 degree ATDC mark but make your own mark on the other side of the TDC mark).  And then run all day with the lever fully advanced from this.  Makes all the difference in the world.  Been running this modern setting for 30,000 miles.  Just don't go hand cranking it.  Leave that to the Model T guys on the Tour.

 

Test drive.  Runs just like a Buick should.  :o)

 

Still need to spend a hour in the garage cleaning up the mess somebody made, so add that in too.

 

So glad that this is out of the way and I'm ready for the touring season.  My thanks again to Jason Smith at A.E.R..  Money well spent.

Edited by Brian_Heil (see edit history)
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Hey Brian,

 

Congratulations - delighted to know that you are back on the road with your Buick, and thanks for all the other help as well.

 

How about a photo of you driving and smiling in your Buick?

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Thanks Marty.

 

As a footnote, the Delco manual says that it is not necessary to remove the 1/4 in. drive pin and input drive collar to the S/G.  (Mechanical Engineers only read these manuals when done).  Now that I understand how it works/drives, I agree.  If you need to service/remove the water pump impeller then you do need to remove this troublesome collar.  Now I understand why the collar had not been off in 93 years, it doesn't have to come off to remove the S/G.

 

So, to remove the S/G without removing the drive collar and pin on the driving shaft: 

 

Disconnect battery and remove S/G wires noting locations (Field, Armature, Batt, large Batt)

 

Slide the round stamped cover on the forward end of the S/G held in place with 2 small screws toward the water pump and leave it hanging on the shaft.

Remove the cap and rotor and store in a safe place since these things are priced like Gold.

Remove the 4 bolts that hold down the cross-car starter actuation shaft and move it to the side a few inches.

Remove the small screw that holds the starter lever that goes between the S/G and the small rod in the top of the cover below.

Remove the 3 bolts that hold down the cover to the starter gear reduction box that is hidden in the right side of car engine mount ear.

Remove this cover and the starter lever.  Note the 'shifter fork' on the cover that actuates the gear set.  This fork needs to go back in the same gear slot.

Remove the three large bolts that hold the S/G to the block.  There is a ledge the S/G sits on but be careful, it weighs 57#.

Nudge the S/G rearward to disengage the Oldham Coupling a bit on the forward end of the S/G and pull the S/G up and out.

What allows this all to happen is the Oldham Coupling that drives the distributor and S/G when charging (Google Oldham Coupling Animation) This is what I could not figure out was in there until I tore it down but now I understand it.  The drive collar has a male slotted drive, there is a floating disc with a female slot on either side 90 degrees apart and then there is a male slot on the distributor drive gear.  Good old Mr. Oldham.  To re-assemble this, it will take some heavy grease to hold the center floating disc of the coupling in place and it might take a third hand to rotate things so the slots line up too.  But I agree that troublesome collar and 1/4 in drive pin did not have to come out.  Maybe this will save the next guy 4 hrs.

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On 4/15/2016 at 8:30 AM, Brian_Heil said:

Remove the three large bolts that hold the S/G to the block.  There is a ledge the S/G sits on but be careful, it weighs 57#.

 

When I removed mine recently, I was pleasently surprised to find that there was a ledge there too, to hold it.  I was expecting and prepared for it to fly to the floor when I removed the 3rd bolt.  I was ready for it, but it just sat there.

 

Nice of Buick designers to make that little ledge for all of us!

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Gave the Buick a quick wash and checked the tires, top off the radiator, and warm-up jaunt to the gas station for a top-off and then back home for an oil change.

 

30 mile round trip run out to the lake and back in perfect 75 F weather with the top down and not a cloud in the sky.  Trees and shrubs here are just ready to pop.  All well with the S/G.

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  • 2 months later...

Brian,

 

  I saw your S/G chart and noticed there are 2 different S/Gs for 1922 4 cyl. The D-236 for early and D-231 for late. Is there a plate on the S/G with what model it is? I would like to find out if I have an early or late 1922 Model 36. The engine number is 831677. Would like to know what month it was made in? 

 

Thanks,

Gary

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No idea on build dates.  Best guess is to look up start and stop serial numbers for a model year and do the math to approximate a date.

 

The S/G # is stamped on the outside of the case casting where you can see it in the car.

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  • 5 months later...

Happy to help Tom.  You have my number, call anytime, although today, my phone seems to be acting up for some reason.

 

As a follow-up for the touring year, I never had to touch the S/G.  Works like a charm.  Toured all Summer and Fall and what a wonderful Fall we had here.

 

This Winter's project will be valve cage rebuild.  The 'lap-in' of the valves I did after the burnt/stuck exhaust valve on the Virginia VMCCA Nickel Tour did not last.  The cage stem guides are just too worn and the valves are not seating in the same spot every time due to this and the seat leaks then burns on the exhaust valves.  This is a good problem to have, since it means in 20 years I've driven my car so much having fun, I've worn out the cages.  :P

 

I will start a new thread on valve cage rebuild.  First, I have a  25 year old non starting snow blower tractor I need to get figured out before the white stuff starts to fly.

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