Shorthood alternator question
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  1. #1
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    Shorthood alternator question

    I have a 1953 shorthood code#2364, Serial# A303788

    I am not getting any charge output to battery. It has a Delco Remy alternator and an external regulator. The alt has the numbers 11023333 2129 on it. I Google it, and nothing. The big regulator has three terminals on it labeled from left to right, BAT, ARM, FLD. I have some pictures. If someone has familiarity with this setup could you share how to test either? Thanks Update. Strange, my VR says 24v on it instead of 12v.
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    Last edited by 47w; 04-19-2017 at 07:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    To clarify, it's a generator and not an alternator. Very different.

    Not sure the 24V regulator is the main issue but could just require flashing (polarizing) the field to restore residual magnetism. Do you know the last time it ran/worked?
    Last edited by duaneb55; 04-19-2017 at 09:32 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    flashing the field to restore residual magnetism.
    Flashing the generator that charges the battery? Don't know how?

    Do you know the last time it ran/worked?
    The machine or the generator that charges the battery? The machine runs and welds perfect. It just doesn't charge the battery. Don't really know the last time it charged the battery, I just bought it about 4 months ago.

  4. #4
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    To flash (polarize) the battery charging generator, with the machine not running, momentarily place a jumper between the BAT and GEN terminals of the regulator. By momentary I mean 1-2 seconds.

    Start it up and see if there's output. If you want I can email you a .pdf format file on the D-R generators. If you do, send me an email address by Private Message as it's too big to post.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Cool. Thanks. I will try this at daylight. Thanks. I'll get back with you on it.

  6. #6
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Hey Duane,

    Flashed and working. I think.
    I had been charging the battery on the charger for about 45 minutes prior to all of this.
    When I first fired it up I put the VOM meter leads on the ARM and GRD terminals and got 37 volts. (mine says ARM instead of GEN, I take it ARM is for armature and therefore means GEN, right?) I shut the unit down and restarted it and checked the same test and got 7 volts. I take it this lower voltage means the battery doesn't need more charge? . I then revved up the motor and it gave me 13 volts. I take it it's working. It's probably unusual for these old generators to still work huh?

  7. #7
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Those old generators are actually quite robust and reliable. Regulators fail from time to time but poor grounds or long periods (months) between running may cause them to lose polarity are probably the biggest issues.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Still sounds like there might still are issues with the regulator or the battery.

    Revved up you should be seeing something closer to 14V. Since you have a VOM, you should see a drop to about 12.5 for a second or two then back to 14 for a few seconds. This will confirm the regulation is functioning. The flicking will only be seen once the battery has recovered from starting the engine.

    Also is the battery OK? Will it hold enough charge to give the engine a good spin the next morning?
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  9. #9
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
    Still sounds like there might still are issues with the regulator or the battery.

    Revved up you should be seeing something closer to 14V. Since you have a VOM, you should see a drop to about 12.5 for a second or two then back to 14 for a few seconds. This will confirm the regulation is functioning. The flicking will only be seen once the battery has recovered from starting the engine.

    Also is the battery OK? Will it hold enough charge to give the engine a good spin the next morning?
    I have to admit, the numbers from the VOM do seem a little confusing. I don't get the same results from my other machines. My others give something closer to the numbers you're posting. Those regulators require some maintenance. They have points and air gap settings in them. I will play with it some more and see what it does. Maybe take apart the regulator.

  10. #10
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by 47w View Post
    I have to admit, the numbers from the VOM do seem a little confusing. I don't get the same results from my other machines. My others give something closer to the numbers you're posting. Those regulators require some maintenance. They have points and air gap settings in them. I will play with it some more and see what it does. Maybe take apart the regulator.
    You are going to plotz when you get the regulator cover off!

    Lots of fun stuff going on in there!

    My experienced hobbyist tips:
    - Do a load test on the battery first. If that part of the system is faulty, the charging system CAN NOT function properly. Its the cheapest and easiest part to swap.
    - Don't bother to try and repair a regulator. Once they go wonky they stay wonky. Cleaning burnt rely contacts gets you clean, maladjusted relay contacts. Again, they are cheap enough, an only a little annoying to change.
    - With your VOM connected and the engine running, full field (ground the F terminal) for about 3-4 seconds. The voltage should climb to over 25 volts and put a noticeable load on the engine. If not, the generator needs to be yanked and rebuilt.

    Better yet, Buy a GM one-wire.......(Do I hear screams of "Blasphemy"?)
    Last edited by mike837go; 04-21-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
    You are going to plotz when you get the regulator cover off!

    Lots of fun stuff going on in there!

    My experienced hobbyist tips:
    - Do a load test on the battery first. If that part of the system is faulty, the charging system CAN NOT function properly. Its the cheapest and easiest part to swap.
    - Don't bother to try and repair a regulator. Once they go wonky they stay wonky. Cleaning burnt rely contacts gets you clean, maladjusted relay contacts. Again, they are cheap enough, an only a little annoying to change.
    - With your VOM connected and the engine running, full field (ground the F terminal) for about 3-4 seconds. The voltage should climb to over 25 volts and put a noticeable load on the engine. If not, the generator needs to be yanked and rebuilt.

    Better yet, Buy a GM one-wire.......(Do I hear screams of "Blasphemy"?)
    Did what you said. I've got nothing at all. Zero V. But I had nothing before that. I checked it first and then did what you said, then checked it again.
    How does this rule out the reg?
    Whats the part name and number for the GM 1 wire?
    Or how hard is it to rebuild the Gen?

    (Yes, this is blasphemous. My shorthood screams "Thou shalt have no other alternators before me")
    Last edited by 47w; 04-22-2017 at 05:45 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    JUST MY 2c$,, FIRST I WOULD PULL THE ENDBELL and make sure the brushes arent worn out and and make sure they aretouching the comm, then that the springs are not broke,, is the commutater bars complete and not desoldered, i would chek, see if the alum data plate also sez 24 or 12 volts, 24 volt reg and 12 volt gen wont work, i would disconnect gen from reg and do continuity in gen by itself, break your problem into easily understood and manageable parts and deal with each one as its found, or replace the setup with a built in regulator Delco 12si or one wire delco, the only difference in one wire and automotive 12 si is the marine regulater inside, they can be bought seperately, just be sure to get the industrial/forklift belt pulley, it carries the big belts on these old lincolns, i once got a 300 amp Navy 56 GE belt driven 231 chrysler that wouldnt weld, 10$ bucks,, had a broken spring on the genset welder brush holder, wasnt touching,, engine ran like a champ just no weld, replace spring, run commutaer stone on the coppers to polish them and ran it on my

  13. #13
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    hit something wrong,, the cost for gen shop to repair or clean this would probably be more than conversion if you do mounting yourself,, if my posts ramble or are not appropriate to ypour guys mission requirements,, please let me know and i will try to conform,, just please let me know,,, i cant fix what i dont know about,, buck

  14. #14
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by buck View Post
    JUST MY 2c$,, FIRST I WOULD PULL THE ENDBELL and make sure the brushes arent worn out and and make sure they aretouching the comm, then that the springs are not broke,, is the commutater bars complete and not desoldered, i would chek, see if the alum data plate also sez 24 or 12 volts, 24 volt reg and 12 volt gen wont work, i would disconnect gen from reg and do continuity in gen by itself, break your problem into easily understood and manageable parts and deal with each one as its found, or replace the setup with a built in regulator Delco 12si or one wire delco, the only difference in one wire and automotive 12 si is the marine regulater inside, they can be bought seperately, just be sure to get the industrial/forklift belt pulley, it carries the big belts on these old lincolns, i once got a 300 amp Navy 56 GE belt driven 231 chrysler that wouldnt weld, 10$ bucks,, had a broken spring on the genset welder brush holder, wasnt touching,, engine ran like a champ just no weld, replace spring, run commutaer stone on the coppers to polish them and ran it on my
    Okay, it say's 12v on the gen, and 24 v on the reg. I took it off and it's on the bench.
    I did continuity check. There is three terminals on the gen as you can see from the pic above. Top right is GEN (or ARM), to the left is ground and bottom is field. I have continuity between all three. Between FLD and GEN, and GEN and ground and FLD and ground. Does this mean it's fried?
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  15. #15
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    If it were me, I'd put the generator and regulator in a box on the shelf and replace it with a standard "3 wire" 10SI or 12SI Delco alternator. The "1 wire" versions use a different regulator and you probably won't find one on the shelf at your local parts store when it fails. Just about any parts store is going to have a standard "3 wire" regulator in stock, although swapping the entire alternator(3 wire) out is pretty cheap....not much more than a new good regulator when I last looked.

    Also, most "1 wire" alternators don't turn on until around 2000 engine rpm. My uncle has that problem with the one on his ford tractor.

  16. #16
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    I've had pretty good luck with the 1 wire 10SI alternators from Advance Auto parts, and the last one I bought was $45.00 with a core or $60.00 without a core. They start charging at around 1200 rpms. The output is 63 amps and around 14 volts.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    I'm with what Buck recommended first with checking the brushes. Bob

  18. #18
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Well, after thinking of the choice a little, I thought I would see if I can fix this generator within reasonable cost first before going with the alternator, instead of taking the easy way out and just throwing an alternator on it. I'm kind of a purist in that way. I like the original stuff to stay as close to original as possible and I like antiques. So as a starting point, my question again is are these ohm readings right or wrong.

    I have continuity between all three terminals on the gen. Between FLD and GEN, and GEN and ground and FLD and ground. Does this mean it's shorted out and fried?

    In response to Bucks post, the brushes look good and the commutator is shiny.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Strange your reg says 24v and the gen says 12v. I think you have a problem there.

    The last time I checked, those old 12 volt bi metal regulators cost nearly as much as an alternator.

    47w, remove your generator and take it to an auto store that can check it. That may sound easy but they may have problems since it came from a welder and not an automobile.

    An old timer told me that to check a generator you just connect to a battery and it should run like a motor. If it does not turn over then you need to rebuild or replace. An alternator cant be tested that way tho.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by Insaneride View Post

    An old timer told me that to check a generator you just connect to a battery and it should run like a motor. If it does not turn over then you need to rebuild or replace. An alternator cant be tested that way tho.
    This is true. I pulled an old delco generator off a lawn tractor...it was set up to be a generator and the electric starter. Electric motors and generators/alternators are pretty much the same thing doing different jobs.

    Probably going to have to take it to a rebuild shop to have it tested. It's likely that the people behind the counter of your local parts store won't have a clue what it is or how to test it if you take it to them. The local oreilly's can't even test an alternator without knowing what vehicle it was on. Their fancy electronic computerized machine just won't work without that info.

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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by machinisttx View Post
    This is true. I pulled an old delco generator off a lawn tractor...it was set up to be a generator and the electric starter. Electric motors and generators/alternators are pretty much the same thing doing different jobs.

    Probably going to have to take it to a rebuild shop to have it tested. It's likely that the people behind the counter of your local parts store won't have a clue what it is or how to test it if you take it to them. The local oreilly's can't even test an alternator without knowing what vehicle it was on. Their fancy electronic computerized machine just won't work without that info.
    It's getting to where You are your own mechanic and warranty station working on these older machines, because the newer generation is all about High Tech Diagnosis. I ask someone at the parts place if they had anymore points files, and they just gave me the deer in the head light look and said: "What are Points". Use to be able to go about any where that rebuilt starting and charging systems where I'm at 10 years ago,and have a Generator or Alternator rebuilt professionally with a warranty, Those days are gone.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by Insaneride View Post
    An old timer told me that to check a generator you just connect to a battery and it should run like a motor. If it does not turn over then you need to rebuild or replace. An alternator cant be tested that way tho.
    So if true then which terminals on the gen do you hook the jumper cables to? There's the ground, thats a no-brainer, but does the hot jumper go to GEN or FLD?

    Again, does my ohm test reveal anything?
    Last edited by 47w; 04-23-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    been a while since i bought one but a diamond dust points file used to cost about 8 to ten bucks, but if your sneaky an dont make much noise you can snag yer wifes diamond fingernail file or just go to walmart and buy one about buckna quarter, just cover that pink handle up with lectrickiguns tape and dont let on,, tell everbody it cost ten bucks, shame how prices went up huh, the gens on those old welders are pretty much same as old cars trucks,, lincoln didnt hhave any interest in re-inventin tha wheel,, them diamond files will last for years
    last one i did was a dead after a airmotive shop rebuilt the gen on a 47 108 stinson stationaire,, nice little airplane, with a 6 cylinder franklin,, len collard, preacher collard, welder??? weldor contracter here in trona sed it had never worked after a VEEERY expensive rebuild and new reg aviation approved of coarse, he asked around and most sed buck can work on most anything, older the better, , i looked in my dads old motors manual, 50s got the routine for flashin and stood just behind the propellor and jumped two wires, i could hear rpm drop when it took up the load, he was happy, sed it hadnt charged in years, ill look in my dads books and see what i can find, let you know, just dont tell anybody,, us old machinist, mechanics, welders are too dumb to work on them complicated airplane stuff, u know its just too way beyond our capability to comprehend,, sadly preachewr was killed in alaska when an 86 yo man pulled out in front of him from a rest stop in a38 foot class A motorhome, put a piece of cardboard, plastic something under the brushes, test inside the frame other end thru the coils individuallyend to brush then other one then coil to frame,, no grounds but continuityu thru coil,, if the rotor is good and u spin that gen with 12 volt at field(fld) u will get voltage out, if i was closer i would happy to rebuild it, suspect u dont need building, just perhaps need proper reg and mebbe cleaningwhat id rather do is walk you thru understanding it so u will never be at a loss as to how to fix it, knowledge and confidence goes a long way, i can hand u a fiosh and u will eat today,, if i hand u a pole and hooks an show u where to dig for worms u can eat for rest og your life, buck have fun let us know, buck feebay has delco usa made regulators just now for just under 24 dollars,, buck
    Last edited by buck; 04-23-2017 at 11:19 PM. Reason: add info

  24. #24
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by 47w View Post
    So if true then which terminals on the gen do you hook the jumper cables to? There's the ground, thats a no-brainer, but does the hot jumper go to GEN or FLD?

    Again, does my ohm test reveal anything?
    "Ohm test" doesn't mean anything with brushes resting on commutator.

    Motor (verb) the generator by connecting Grd, Fld, to negative, A or Gen to positive.
    Last edited by denrep; 04-24-2017 at 12:35 AM.

  25. #25
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    Re: Shorthood alternator question

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    "Ohm test" doesn't mean anything with brushes resting on commutator.

    YUP! IIRC the Armature is connected to ground on one side and the "A" or "GEN" terminal on the other. The fields are connected to the F and the other terminals.

    Every continuity test one does with a VOM will show under 1 Ohm between both terminals and ground. On open between "A" and ground is bad brushes if you are lucky.


    Motor (verb) the generator by connecting Grd, Fld, to negative, A or Gen to positive.
    Instant shunt-wound DC motor! My International Harvester Cub Cadet used that setup.


    The fun part with the setup you've got 47w is, from the factory it was a trouble-prone system, needing regular monitoring and routine maintenance.

    To truly diagnose what you got, you'll have to read up on how the system worked when it was new. There is supposed to be a residual magnetic field of the proper polarity in the core of the fields at all times. Loose that: no output. The armature spinning inside the magnetic field induces a current in the armature windings, delivered to ground and the "A" terminal via the brushes. Open winding or bad brushes: no output. The field windings are across the "A" and "F" terminals. Therefore, the output of the armature is used to build the full magnetic field so that the generator can put out lots of amps at 12VDC.

    The regulator actually provides the GROUND side connection for the fields. When the battery voltage gets too high (13.5-14V) the regulator opens the field's connection to ground, collapsing the strong magnetic filed and dropping the generator's output to near zero. A bad regulator can cause: No output, Overvolts, Undervolts or Boiled Battery.

    A bad battery will not cause this kind of charging system to fail, but a shorted or open cell will cause a good regulator to cycle more often than normal, cause excessive arcing of the points and lead to premature failure.

    You've got to break the system into its three modules and test each in this order: Battery, generator, regulator. Any or all could be faulty.

    I'm mostly suspecting the field cores have rusted sufficiently that they are no longer holding enough of a magnetic charge to bootstrap the generator.

    The '24V' regulator may or may not be a 24Volt regulator. That could be a model number. But the smart money is on somebody-installed-a-part-they-had-lying-around.

    Again, "Edjumacate" yourself on how this system was designed to work. It'll be a great learning experience!

    Or Google up the adapters and wiring changes for a modern alternator. Throw a voltmeter in where the Ammeter should be. Then never again be troubled by the charging system as long as you own the welder. (More impious contemplation!)
    Last edited by mike837go; 04-24-2017 at 09:02 AM. Reason: gramma fixes
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