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Oval-Plug Regulator  - by Bob Thomas

While most rebuilders are now familiar with the Delco 22SI alternator, there is one version (using a different voltage regulator with an oval shaped CS130D-type plug) that some rebuilders may not be familiar with (see Figures 1 and 2). Unlike the standard SI white-case regulators with four or five connection points, this regulator has nine connection points, although, not all of them are used on every application.

This alternator was installed on many Chevrolet and GMC medium duty trucks from 1998 to 2005. They may be found on both GM and Caterpillar engines used on T and C series trucks, including Topkicks and Kodiaks. All of them are quad-pad mount with amperage ratings between 100 and 160 amps. While many of the standard 22SI parts will fit these alternators, you will notice that the slip ring end (SRE) housing and the brush holder are unique to accommodate the different regulator.

While all other 22SI alternators may be either self-exciting in one-wire systems or may use a 10SI-type plug to both excite and operate a charge indicator lamp in three-wire systems, the 22SI with the oval-plug regulator does both (see Figures 3 and 4). By that, we mean that it is self-exciting, but it can also operate a charge-warning lamp (L) and work with remote-battery sense (S). In addition, it provides a field-duty signal (F) that can be used ...

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Armature End Play: Does it Matter?  - by Bob Thomas

Starter armature end play is the amount of horizontal or axial movement in the armature shaft after a starter is fully assembled (see Figure 1). Some amount of end play is essential to prevent unwanted friction and binding during cranking, but excessive end play can cause many different problems, depending upon the particular starter.

There was a time when starters were almost all straight-drive series-wound motors, and manufacturers published service manuals that included adjusting armature end play, along with complete specifications of what each should be. Looking back at those specs, the range was typically between .010” to .030”. Today, all tolerances are closer, and if you take measurements on a new starter, you are very likely going to see that it is below .010”. The point that we are making here is that end play is important. It should always be checked, and it should be adjusted when it is excessive.

Adjustment is generally made through the use of shim washers, once a common stock item in any electrical rebuilding shop. Some shim washers are still available today from our suppliers. Others are no longer available (NLA). Some may be found with a lot of searching. If you are in the habit of scrapping old hardware, you might want to consider saving anything that looks like it could be used as a shim washer. There are also specialty hardware suppliers who offer shim washers in a variety of sizes.

The cause of excessive end play is almost always a worn housing or armature shaft. When you have excessive end play, look for the wear on the thrust surfaces, and it will tell ...

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Ask ... Don’t Guess: Know What You Are Working On  - by Bob Thomas

On occasion, I receive inquiries from rebuilders who are having a problem with a particular alternator or starter that has not been identified. I mean “identified” by the unit part number or the exact application. The questions I hear are often followed by, “It looks just like a blanket-y-blank.” “Looks can get you in trouble,” is my standard reply to that. “I think” or “I believe” is no substitute for “I know.” In this business, you have to KNOW what it is that you are working on.

There are too many units today that look similar to or even exactly like something else that is, in fact, quite different. Some of those differences may be minor and inconsequential. At other times, they could be the difference between night and day. PIC books can help you “get close”, but you still have to verify that the applications match. Visual identification should never be the primary means of identifying what you are working on.

“The customer did not tell me,” is a common reply when asked for an application. Customers fall into two categories—those who tell you more than you need to know and those who don’t tell you anything at all unless you ask. Most of them fall into that latter group. You cannot afford to be bashful about asking a customer for specific application information. A few extra minutes with a customer dropping off a part, may save you hours later, trying to figure out exactly what you are working on.

When a customer shows up at the counter, I normally greet them by looking at what they have brought in and telling them what I know about it. If it happens to be a Lucas M50 starter with faded blue paint that is now flaking off from corrosion underneath it, I ...

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Ford Dual Alternators: 6.0L Super Duty 2004–2007  - by Ken Plourde

The 6.0 liter Ford Powerstroke diesel engine with the dual alternator package consists of an upper and a lower alternator. The upper alternator is a 140-amp Visteon 6G, Lester #8478. The lower alternator is a 120-amp Visteon 4G, Lester #8477. These alternators are not interchangeable and were used only on Ford Super Duty applications with dual alternators from 2004 to 2007.

The dual alternators operate independently of each other. The control of each alternator is through each individual alternator’s internal voltage regulator and the vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM). In the event that one alternator fails, the other alternator can maintain system performance under light electrical load conditions. Under heavy electrical loads, the vehicle’s PCM would detect the fault, set a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and illuminate the instrument panel’s charge-warning indicator lamp.

The PCM delays activation of the lower alternator when the engine glow plug system is “on” during engine warm up. This is done to prevent damage to the glow plugs from high voltage. As soon as the glow-plug system stops cycling, the PCM activates the lower alternator. It is normal for battery voltage to drop below 12.6 volts during this period, as the upper alternator cannot keep up with the amperage consumed by the glow plugs. Glow-plug failures are likely on these vehicles if they are ...

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Plain Talk: What’s Your Take?  - by Rob Buksar

How we all see and understand the world is called perception. How many times have we heard someone say, “I tell it like it is.”? I’m sure you’ve used that phrase, I certainly have. However, that statement is fundamentally untrue. None of us really see things as they are. We see them as we are. It is based on our upbringing, environment, education and core level of experience which constitutes what makes up you and me, and how we see and understand the world around us. Guess what! To one degree or another, those perspectives are different ... some slightly and some as different as night and day. It’s all pretty amazing when you think about it. This isn’t about two people looking at two different situations and coming up with two different conclusions. This is about two people looking at the “same thing” and coming up with two totally different conclusions. Who’s right, and who’s wrong, when both claim to be “telling it like it is”?

There’s a Biblical phrase, and excuse me for not knowing the chapter and verse, “There’s safety in a multitude of counselors.” I suppose the wisdom in that is simply this. With perspectives being as diverse as they are, if you have a number of people focused on the same thing, there’s a pretty good chance that you can get at the truth or reality of a situation.

So, what is the reality of our industry and small business in America today? I don’t have a “cat-bird’s seat” or an inside track on special information. I just know what I see from my perspective, and that boils down to one man’s opinion, my own. ...

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Things To Do In The Quad Cities  - by ERE Staff

For those who may be looking for things to see and do in the Quad Cities next March while attending ERA Expo 2015, do not get caught thinking that there are no local attractions. Not only are there many things to see and do, they are all relatively easy to get to and inexpensive to visit. For your planning convenience, we list a few points of interest:

  • John Deere Pavilion—Deere’s headquarters is just across the river in Moline, Ill. and the Pavilion is already scheduled to be a part of Friday’s organized tour. However, if you miss the tour, it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and there is plenty to see for both young and old.
  • Rock Island Arsenal—The Rock Island Arsenal Museum first opened to the public on July 4, 1905 and is the second oldest museum operated by the US Army. It is well known for its significant weapons collection dating back to the Civil War. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors over 16 must have a valid photo ID to enter the garrison.
  • Lock and Dam Number 15—Dam 15 spans the Mississippi River between Davenport and Rock Island and is a unique design—the largest roller dam in the world. Construction began in 1931 and completed in 1934. The visitor center is located on Rock Island.
  • Government Bridge—The historic double-deck bridge connects Rock Island to Davenport near Lock and Dam 15. It was constructed in 1896 and offers an excellent view of the dam.
  • Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science— This museum was founded in 1867 in Davenport. It was the first museum west of the Mississippi River and houses over 160,000 historical artifacts. It is only a few miles from the Clarion Hotel and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m.
  • Vander Veer Botanical Park—Since its establishment in 1885, the gardens and floral displays have been the main attraction of this 33-acre park, inviting visitors to stroll from the glass Conservatory to the Stone Fountain. The park grounds are home to an extensive collection of trees, including many planted during the early 1890s. The park is open seven days a week, and it is just 2.2 miles from the Clarion Hotel.
  • Credit Island—Credit Island is a 420-acre nature park on the Mississippi River, connected to the mainland by a causeway and is accessible at 2200 W. River Drive in Davenport. Credit Island features a scenic drive and picnic shelters. During the winter, eagles congregate there along the open water below Lock & Dam 15.
  • Antique Archeology—Owned and operated by Mike Wolfe of the American Pickers TV show, this world famous antique shop is in downtown Le Claire, Iowa, less than one mile from I-80 in Davenport.
  • Lock and Dam Number 14—This lock and dam is just north of Davenport in Le Claire, Iowa. The Nature Conservancy Eagle Preserve is located downstream from the dam.
  • Black Hawk State Historic Site—Located in Rock Island, Ill, this is a wooded, steeply rolling 208-acre tract bordering the Rock River that includes wooded trails and a museum of Native American life.
  • Casinos—There are four gaming casinos in the area, one in each of the Quad-Cities. Rhythm City Casino in Davenport is downtown on the river.

So bring the family and make it a vacation! There’s plenty to see and do in the Quad Cities area.

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Why the Wye? Delta vs. Wye stators  - by Bob Thomas

At some time in the past, what now seems like many years ago, someone explained to me the difference between wye-wound stators and delta wound stators. It was most probably Bob Goulding, who was with Ace, and was later with the APRA. Back then, Delco’s 10DN, 10SI and Chrysler alternators had delta-wound stators, while most Ford and many Japanese alternators had wye-wound stators. Both configurations are three-phase, made of three coils of wire—the difference being how those coils are connected, as shown in the diagrams (see Figure 1). The obvious question on my still-young mind at that time was “Which one is better?”

As I was told then and later confirmed by many other sources, a delta configured stator will provide a higher output overall, but the same stator in a wye configuration will provide a higher output at lower shaft speeds, such as those encountered at engine idle.

This brings us to an interesting alternator I recently encountered—a CS121 with a special drive end (DE) housing designed to replace a gear driven Model T Ford generator. Since the Model T was a negative-ground vehicle, and the unique DE housing and drive gear were in excellent condition, I thought that rebuilding this alternator would be a simple project. As it turned out, the stator was shorted and would have to be replaced. When I looked closely at the old stator, I noticed that it was wye wound, not delta, as were all original CS units. This made perfect sense for this particular application—a slow turning engine with the alternator driven at half speed off the camshaft, as opposed to being driven off the crankshaft.

I had three options on how to handle the bad stator. One—I could simply use a standard delta-wound stator that I already had in stock and hope that the output was sufficient at idle. ...

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Winding Small Armatures  - by Bob Thomas

Many small DC armatures are wound with magnet wire attached to the commutator bars by tabs that can be seen here (see Figure 1). This includes the flat commutator armatures used in permanent-magnet small-engine starters, which were designed by American Bosch in the 1970s and manufactured today by Johnson Controls (see Figure 2). All of these armatures lend themselves well to being rewound by hand, with a minimal amount of materials and a few simple tools.

These armatures are nothing more than a series of multiple-turn coils that begin on one bar of the commutator and end on the next bar. They are wound using one continuous piece of wire, and the insulation is cleaned away at the point where the wire rounds each commutator bar tab.

The armature we are rewinding here is from a starter that was used in a scooter application. This particular starter was not available in the aftermarket, and it is no longer available from the manufacturer either. The customer was restoring the scooter and wanted the electric start to work. While it may have been more economical to send it off for rewinding, we elected to rewind it ourselves, to demonstrate that it is possible to do this type of project in any small shop. ...

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