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Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Delco oil level?


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  #1  
Old 05-09-2016, 08:52:36 AM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Delco oil level?

I have an "over oiling" problem with my Delco 850, explained below. My questions are, does the 850 have an actual oil seal on the armature end, or does is have a "slinger". Also, I don't trust the oil float gauge and will probably have to "re cork" it. At this point my oil level is almost at the top of the threads in the fill port.......which I'm sure is too high.

First, let me explain.......to my undying embarrassment........what I've found with my Delco.

I got my ignition wired up with a modern coil and thanks to Eldon actually got the engine to run. Sort of. It kept slowing down and stopping, which I put down to the batteries having a full charge. To confirm this, I left my 32 volt lights burning all night then started the generator again the next morning. Wouldn't stay running.

I remembered a post that mentioned possible bad solder joints in the windings so I decided to have a look see. Now, I normally take any old engine completely apart to evaluate its condition, but I didn't this time because the whole unit looked so clean. Bad mistake. I removed the generator housing with the field coils and found at least a gallon jug full of oil soaked mouse nest material and hickory nuts. An examination of the wiring revealed one shunt wire devoid of insulation for at least three inches, AND rubbing against the casting. Another wire was completely chewed in half and there was a gnawed spot on one of the field coils. No wonder the poor thing couldn't run! After degreasing, repairs and some judicious use of shrink tube, things are looking better.

That oil soaked mouse junk is what prompted the question about oil seals and levels.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:26:58 AM
netpirate8 netpirate8 is offline
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Default Re: Delco oil level?

The 850 does have a slinger gear. You may want to inspect this gear very carefully for rust, chipped gears ect. I have been told that 90% of the delcos that sat for years have damaged slingers, due to rust issues. This gear is driven directly by the crankshaft. I have supplied you with an example of a damaged slinger gear. As far as the oil level, you cannot (over-fill) Up to the threads should be fine. P.S. If memory serves me, i believe the bolt holding the slinger gear is backward threads.....
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:30:09 AM
netpirate8 netpirate8 is offline
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Default Re: Delco oil level?

Here are a few examples of a recent restoration project we did. Its is truly amazing what a mouse is capable of doing to to a 200+ LBS machine...
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:55:06 AM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Delco oil level?

Morning guys and thanks for the replies!

I removed the fill/oil gauge unit when I first got the Delco, in order to "muck out" the crankcase. After that was done I carefully examined the inside with a strong LED light and mirror....could see no damage or rust so I think I'm okay. My question about the oil level was because the cork on my gauge is a bit ragged and although it floats I don't really trust it. So, when I filled it with oil, I FILLED IT! Up to about halfway on the threads in the fill hole. Predictably, when I first got it started, oil came spewing out of the bearing behind the armature, down through the drain hole in the bottom of the generator case and all over the floor. Sort of a "self leveling" oil system. If there is a slinger in there I must have really overloaded it!

As for the mouse damage........wow!......now I feel a little lucky. Although I had one bare wire, one broken wire and some chewed field coil insulation it wasn't as bad as that one! Looks like you did a good and proper repair though, using "period correct" taping methods mixed with some modern insulating lacquer. Excellent job!
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:09:09 PM
netpirate8 netpirate8 is offline
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Default Re: Delco oil level?

If oil was leaking out the back, then you have a problem with the crank-case breather. Take it apart and examine it. As i stated before, it is impossible to (over-fill) with oil.
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