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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 gods help!

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Old 08-19-2016, 07:20:31 AM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Delco gods help!

The engines themselves are pretty simple. The electrical circuits are fairly easy to understand, but if there's a hidden ground to the frame or an open wire, nothing will work like it should. If your batteries are already charged the relay may be sensing that and deliberately disconnecting. A 32 volt load on it would keep it running, assuming everything else is good, but let's take a look inside just make sure there aren't any problems.

I removed my entire generator and found lots of mouse chewed, oil soaked, grounded wires along with mouse nest material. I'll bet I pulled a coffee can full of plain junk out of there. At least one of the shunt wires had actually been chewed in half! The result was some bizarre electrical performance to say the least. I cleaned everything with brake degreaser and then attacked it with solder repairs, shrink tubing and liquid electrical tape finishing off with a spray-on insulating lacquer. As soon as I finished and reassembled everything, it settled down and started charging batteries as designed. As I mentioned in another thread, pulling the generator section off should be the first thing you do. Mice love to get in there and really screw things up!

A few tips for removing the generator section (note, you may want to remove the control panel as it makes it easier. Be sure to tag any wires!):

1. Remove the ventilated brush cover (two nuts).
2. Punch two witness marks in line with each other, one on the main casting and one on the brush ring. This will guarantee correct reassembly if it slips.
3. Wire the brushes back away from the commutator (loosen the brush ring screws and run the wire from the brush holder around the loosened screw, pull back the brush and hook it).
4. Place a strap sling under the generator and use a shop crane to provide a slight lifting force. You can also remove it by hand, but it's heavy.
5. Remove the two nuts that are holding the generator section.
6. If the section refuses to move, use a heavy soft mallet or piece of 2x4 to whack the joint until it loosens.
7. Pull the generator section straight off the armature and lower to the floor. This is where that shop crane is useful as it lets you control the load. Without it you risk smacking the generator armature against the pole pieces.

Now that you're inside the beast, you can get a good visual of what's what. A VOM meter will allow you to check various circuits for ground faults and opens, going by the schematics.

Edit: Forgot to mention....the 850 does not have oil seals as we know them. It relies on a close crankshaft to housing fit, along with a groove machined around the inside that catches oil and returns it to the crankcase. They rely entirely on a partial vacuum to keep the oil in and that's why the crankcase vent is so important. If you look at the bottom of your generator shell there is a hole, about 3/8' in diameter, and its purpose is to allow any "splash over" oil to exit the generator and collect on the base outside. In other words, it keeps the generator clean. If that hole is plugged with debris the oil is trapped and will soak the wiring.

Last edited by George Andreasen; 08-19-2016 at 09:02:16 AM.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:09:46 PM
abowman89 abowman89 is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Delco gods help!

Ok, I finally got around to working on my delco again. I slipped the brush cover off and did a good inspection. It was nice and oil free. There was however a strand of copper wire around one of the brushes that someone placed there. Nothing was broken or out of place so I removed it. I cleaned the connections and also had one brush that was stiff. So I cleaned all this and lubed it. I'm going to fire it up on my next day off and do some testing. If it still isn't doing well then I'll disassemble the whole generator and start testing all the coils and connections. Fingers crossed
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:56:01 AM
abowman89 abowman89 is offline
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Default Re: Delco gods help!

Ok so I've got news, the 850 is running so so but I need to make a better battery setup before I can continue to trouble shoot it. How ever I went to another auction and another 850 and what I think is a 8C3 come home with me. The 850 is going to afriends 8yr old son, he wanted his own engine in the worst way. The 8C3 I'm stripping down the electric panel an repairing things to maby run again. Anybody have good pictures of one? There's a large threaded hole in the carb and idk what screws in there.
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