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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

Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant


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  #1  
Old 09-15-2008, 11:36:23 PM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

I have a neighbor who wants to give my eleven year old stepson this old light plant for a project. We do not know what model it is, as we have not seen it yet. We will be going to check it out tomorrow night, so will know more then. But so far, we can find no information on a Western Electric. Can anyone tell me if this is a "good find"? Are they a pain to restore? After restoration, can 32V items be found to use and display at our local gas engine show? I have restored other gas engines and tractors, but have no knowledge of light plants. Hope someone can give me some help! Thanks, Bob....
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2008, 06:22:55 AM
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Does it look like this?

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  #3  
Old 09-16-2008, 06:53:39 AM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Here's one we saw at the Turlock Swap Meet a few years since:

http://www.oldengine.org/members/die...upertino34.htm

In my ignorance at the time I questioned whether it was a rebadged Delco

Peter
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:04:19 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Bob;

I saw one running at the Portland Indiana show last month. I don't know if he would like his name on the World Wide Webb or not, but if you'll e-mail me I can send you his information.

You can go here and get in touch with "Genertor Guss", he has one and should be able to answer any questions you might have. Guss is a nice friendly fellow and I'm sure he'll do his best to help.

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39983

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:24:27 PM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Isn't he in the Smokstak members list, Don ?

He can be PM'd from there.

Peter

PS: Just looked, he is there: GeneratorGus, Subscriber
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:21:31 PM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Thank you all for the replys. We did not get to go see the light plant tonight as planned, and now will be going over the following weekend. Then I will post pictures of our find, so as to give you an idea of what we have. Thanks again, and I will be talking to all of you soon. Thanks, Bob Painter
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:34:25 PM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Finally got the light plant home and have some pics to show. I know very little about this unit, but can see that I am missing some very obvious parts. Namely the panel with the gauge and fuses, the sheet metal cover over the head, the screen over the flywheel, and there must have been a cover over the points set, and what about the coil?, is it correct? Are any of these parts available? Or is this a lost cause? We appreciate any help and info you can give. Thanks, Bob....
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2008, 10:59:12 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Is that an M37 sitting by the genset.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:15:20 PM
Danny Jensen Danny Jensen is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

I have one that is complet all but the points. the control panel is complet with the gages looking new. I would sell or trade it. I could get it to topeka KS. let me know if you are intrested.

Danny
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:33:54 AM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Billy, yes that is a 1951 M37. I got it from a small town fire dept. and restored it in 1999. I use it on the farm, and with the winch on the front, it is one heck of a farm truck. Danny, It sounds like you have exactly what we need to rebuild this unit. However, this is going to have to be a low budget project if that is possible. This gen set was donated to my young stepson as a two year project. If at the end of two years, it is not restored and running at our local steam engine show, the owner would like to have it back to give to some other young person as a project. Will has dyslexia, and does not do well in school. His mother would rather spend the money on tutoring and other educational support, and this we do. But Will has shown such an interest in tinkering with old engines and farm equiptment, that I feel we should encourage him in this direction. I know Will can never be college material, and so what, how many college grads do we all know that are working the drive thru at McDonalds?. Anyway, as I said, this will have to be somewhat low budget. I have no idea whether this gen set is a two hundred or two thousand dollar item, so let me know what parts are available, and what cost we are looking at. And Danny, please give me an idea of what you want for your unit. You can e-mail or PM me. If it is beyond my price range, Gene, the original owner may be interested so as to pass it on to some other young boy. Many thanks till you are better paid! Bob......
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:50:14 AM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Here is a photo of Will and Gene. This is the handshake sealing the two year "contract" to rebuild the light plant. Gene is a really neat guy, who noticed Will's interest in old engines at our local steam engine show. My only son, Ryan, was killed in an accident three years ago, and Gene thought this project would be good for all of us. Gene almost died of a heart attack last year, and it really changed him. All of this really makes you look at what is important, and it is the kids, our future, and our hobbies future. Thanks, Bob.....
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2008, 08:47:33 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Bob,

Where is Pilot Grove. I am about 20 miles north of Springfield MO.

Kent
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:24:08 PM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Kent, Pilot Grove is 35 miles northeast of Sedalia, and about 35 miles west of Columbia. 7 miles south of I-70 on Hwy 135. Bob...
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:09:21 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Thank you!

Kent
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:09:33 AM
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Hi Bob, A Western Electric is always a good find. Judging by the looks of it you and Will have a lot of work to do. The machine can be made to operate without most of the missing parts you mentioned. The coil is the only thing that is absolutely required, but you can rig a coil to work. A simple panel can be rigged for starting and stopping. I have a complete repair manual that covers all of the interior of the engine and electrics, I can make you a copy. Are all the parts in the picture spares or did the machine come home in a box?
I hope the armature and field coils are ok, but if they aren't light plants always make an interesting display at a show. By the way, the Western Electric was also tagged as a Fuller Johnson, I believe they made the engine.
You can see my Western Electric on my web page, http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/generatorgus/
An example of my "interesting display" theory is the Kewanee plant at the top of the page, the armature is burned out, and will remain that way as long as I own it, but it does run rather well.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:23:34 AM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Hello Gus, We are so pleased to meet you. What a collection you have! Your picture of the western electric with the glass batteries really helped Will understand what this machine was made for. Also we would love to have a copy of your manual. This unit is stuck, but I am not sure where or why. We have the head off, and the piston was free in the cylinder and at the crank. So it must be in the main bearings, or the generator. Not 100% sure how to get the timing gears off so as to access the crankcase. Have found both the set screws in the gears, so after removing the large nut on the smaller gear, I would assume a gear puller is next? This is probably where your manual will come in handy, as I sure don't want to break anything. Some of the parts in the pictures are extra, such as the rod and the armature. But as you can see, a lot is missing. The pulley is also broke. Gene, the original owner broke the tang off while trying to free the motor up with the crank. We have had serveral great people here on the stak offer their help, and this really encourages us. With people wanting to help us, it gave us an idea. Our local steam engine association is based on an old farm that was left to them after the original owner died. One of their prized exibits is the old 1870's farmhouse. They have restored most of it to roughly the late 20's era. Will and I feel that if we can restore the unit we would like to donate it to the association, and if they could help with the cost of locating batteries,(if they could even be found), it would make a great display to go with the old farmhouse. Maybe we are dreaming a little big, but it sure would be nice for everone to be able to see it in the setting for which it was intended. Will and I appreciate everyones help, (even his mother is getting interested, though she is trying hard not to let it show, and we are trying hard not to let her know we have noticed!). We will stay in touch with all! Thanks, Bob, Will, and Mary....
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:01:21 PM
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Bob, send me your address and I'll get you a copy made. I haven't had time to look at the manual, but if my memory serves me there was something a bit tricky when pulling the crank out.
I have to go to work in New England this week, but I'll get the manual to you when I get home.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:44:50 PM
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Bob what you have there is a Fuller & Johnson #15B power and light unit. Western Electric supplied the electrical panel and generator parts while F&J made everything else - the whole unit being assembled and shipped from F&J in Madison, WI. They were marketed as both F&J and Western Electric. I've a little more info here on my website. http://www.oldengine.org/members/lozzi/lightplant.htm

I've a wiring diagram for both the ignition system and electrical panel here. http://www.oldengine.org/members/loz...tm#wirediagram

And I got a parts list here. http://www.oldengine.org/members/lozzi/15LPparts.htm

I've got some more details in my literature that I'll look up and post here, stuff like weight, options available and pricing from some original sales books.

Got quite a few parts for these as well should you need anything and believe fellow sponsor Starbolt Engine Supplies handles reprint manuals.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:24:32 PM
Bob Painter Bob Painter is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Nick, thanks for all the info! We are really excited with all the responses we have had on this project. Meeting some neat people here on the stak, and starting to learn alot about something we never expected to be involved in. I thought I was content just playing with gas engines and burr mills. This is a whole new direction for us with gas engines. Thanks for letting me know about the electrical and parts diagrams, and I will check with starbolt about the manual. "Generator Gus" is going to get me a copy of his manual, Maybe the same one. Will be in touch about parts, etc. Thanks again, Bob....
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:29:17 PM
Ed Wright Ed Wright is offline
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Default Re: Need Info: Western Electric 32V light plant

Hi Bob, I believe i have a control panel as shown on Nick's site as Unit No. 15B. The only items missing from it are the ammeter and the round cover over the cut-out relay. Send me a PM if you are interested in it.

-=Ed-=-
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