Mercer

1934 dodge, 6 volt generators to 6 volt alternator

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Thinking of changing my 6 volt generator to a 6 volt alternator on my 34 dodge . My generator just doesn't charge the battery every time, and I have been left stranded. I was told that it is very easy to remove the generator and replace with a 6 volt alternator. The advantage to keeping the system 6 volt is i will not need to change any other components ( bulbs, gauges )  , Suggestions , thoughts. 

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They look hideous in the engine bay but I love the what the volt meter reads on the dash. You can get alternators inside a generator case. Which is what I should have done.

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My original 34 Dodge generator works fine. I've had the car since 2000 and never had an issue with charging. Have you had your generator rebuilt? My car has 89000 miles on it. Made it that far with original equipment.

 

Ken

P1030196 (Large).JPG

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A generator in good condition should provide sufficient output.

 

Not sure about Dodge, but the Deluxe Plymouth for 1934 was the first year that was fitted with a voltage regulator (voltage and cutout only, current regulation still by third brush). My guess is that since Dodge was higher in the corporate order than Plymouth that it is likely it was fitted with a voltage regulator. You might want a competent auto electrical specialist to look over the generator and cutout/regulator to see if they are in proper repair.

 

I will admit that I cheated: My '33 Plymouth had third brush only regulation which has limitations. So I installed an electronic voltage regulator that hides under the brush cover. End result is that I've had no issues with under or over voltage for quite some time now. Seems like it has to be at least 10 years. Looking at my write up, I guess it has been nearly 18 years now with no issues on charging.

Edited by ply33
Correct length of time I've had an electronic voltage regulator (see edit history)

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11 hours ago, Mercer said:

Thinking of changing my 6 volt generator to a 6 volt alternator on my 34 dodge . My generator just doesn't charge the battery every time, and I have been left stranded. I was told that it is very easy to remove the generator and replace with a 6 volt alternator. The advantage to keeping the system 6 volt is i will not need to change any other components ( bulbs, gauges )  , Suggestions , thoughts. 

 

 You will not be sorry.  Next best thing to going 12V. 

 

  Ben

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While I have installed a 6 volt alternator in the past, I prefer the look of the original generator and did as ply33 suggested and installed one of James Peterson’s voltage regulators. It works great and keeps the original look.   I also installed a diode cutout to replace the troublesome cutout relay. Contact Jim for more information. 

 

jpetersonbend@yahoo.com 

 

 

Edited by stvaughn (see edit history)

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My 33 has the original generator and cut out, my problem is always overcharging.  Are you sure you are not cooking your battery?  The problem back then is you set your generator to put enough voltage to run with the lights on, so if you drive during the day with your lights off you are overcharging all the time.  The old guys I talked to said just drive with the lights on during the day.  What is your amp gauge saying?  I normally use a trickle charger to keep the battery full when parked.

 

I have been driving my 1933 Graham for over 10 years now without a problem...well except one time the battery cable got loose, smokes your bulbs fast!

 

 

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It is probably a 3 brush generator, why don't you turn it up?  +1 on the diode.

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Millions of cars were made and ran hundreds of millions of miles with a six volt generator and cut out. Seems they work fine when they were new, and I have driven countless miles with stock systems from thr thirties. Set it up right and there is no problem. I got 12 years out of a lead acid Napa battery last time. Just make the car right, which is easier, cheaper, and better than so called improvements. They will be fine.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Does it then charge at idle? Does that increase the output?

 

  Ben

 

Is this question in regards to putting an electronic regulator inside your original generator? If so, no output at idle (and maximum output) are unchanged. It shows a discharge at idle with the lights on but once you start to move it goes to charge.

 

If the question is in regards to putting a 6v alternator on the car, then likely it will increase the idle output.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Millions of cars were made and ran hundreds of millions of miles with a six volt generator and cut out. Seems they work fine when they were new . . .

 

The work reasonably well on a daily driver. And, in fact, when I first got my car and used it as my daily driver I had few issues. Basically you adjust the output on a seasonal basis so that your average drive ended with the battery properly charged. In winter with more starter draw and running the lights more you increased the output. In summer with more day time driving and lower draw on the starter you lowered the charging rate. Check your batter electrolyte and see if it is boiling away (charge rate too high) or if the specific gravity is low (undercharging).

 

But now that the car is mostly used for tours and the length/time of the drive varies considerably I have more issues getting the third brush setting correct. For me James Peterson's electronic voltage regulator fixes that issue. And it is invisible when installed and all just bolt in, you can return it to stock in just a couple of minutes.

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I have installed many alternators and alternators inside generators on classic cars over the years. There are many reasons people make the choice that they make, cost, look, reliability and functionality. There are some things you should know going in. Because early cars idle at lower rpms then the cars that come equipped with them from the factory you will need to get a smaller diameter pulley then that of your generator otherwise you will have the same no/low idle charge rate. Also alternators have a very distinct whistle to them that generators do not have. It will over power the normal sound of your engine. The whistle changes based on electrical load and rpm. Many people complain thinking there is something wrong. Lastly alternators require more belt tension than generators. This can cause problems with other belt driven items such as water pumps if they have soft bushings inside rather then bearings. You can only tighten them so much. With alternators inside generators you have to watch how they are constructed. If you simply press a smaller alternator into a generator you can create a internal cooling problem. I think one of the hot rod magazines did an article on this years ago. They had a high failure rate on hot days. Also with this design you have a very small group of alternators to choose from and this creates a parts availability issue. I had one that used a 1970's Isuzu design inside it. Not many parts available for it anymore. You can go with a Powermaster brand they have limited applications but used a common GM alternator design. I know there are a couple of companies out west that if you send your generator they will convert it, but have not had any dealings with them.

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There is a long thread on the ACD website that was posted a few years ago about alternators inside the generator; indicating they are unfriendly to the Startix unit. 

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if you do your driving in day time you can start with a good, fully charged battery and set the third brush at a few amps charging......that is what I do on my 32 plymouth        the 36   mopar used the little voltage regulator on the generator  gave the option of using the light or heater with out readjusting third brush,,,,   they come up on E Bay ,,,,,   you could just replace the cut out,,,,,,    again I set the third brush so it rides a few amps charging    and have never overcharged or was under charged

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