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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

New here -- Delco light plant


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  #1  
Old 11-17-2005, 01:06:59 AM
Bob Early Bob Early is offline
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Photo New here -- Delco light plant

Hello All,

I've been monitoring this site for the last couple of days and decided to join and post some questions.

I just picked up this Delco Light Plant. It seems to be complete.
I'm soaking the exh. valve guide to free up the valve.
I see no broken or molested parts.
Electrical components seem OK. I will be having lots of questions regarding that.

1. I need to identify it. There's a casting number below the fuel pump. #99281. Is there another location for model #?
From various web sites I think this is a model 8C33.

2. If I isolate the wires coming from the generator to the control panel and run voltage to the coil, can I safely run the engine?

3. Wiring/insulation seems intact. With that said, would it be safe to begin testing the various coils with voltage to see if they operate? Would a normal restoration involve replacing all the wiring due to age?

4. I need a source for operating and schematics manuals for this model. There's a large file on the Demaria site that contains info. Should I download that one?

5. Does this start and run on gasoline?

Holy cow, now I want to go out to the shop and work on it some more. Hopefully this will be a 1 winter project.

I'm attempting to attach pictures.

Thank you for any help.
Bob
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2005, 01:24:56 AM
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John Newman Jr. John Newman Jr. is offline
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Default Re: New here -- Delco light plant

Your plant looks nearly identical to the one that I have. However, mine is in slightly worse condition. If I remember correctly, I was told mine is a Model 752 (???) The guy you need to hear from is Don Wiley (Delco Don) If anyone has the answers - it wil be him.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:57:48 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
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Default Re: New here -- Delco light plant

Thanks John for your confidence in me!

Bob;

1) The number you gave doesn't corrospond to any in my serial number listings. I don't think I have a complete listing of them anyway.

Delco-Light had a very poor system of numbering there units. Early on they just used the watts out put for a model number, like the Model-850 was an 850 watt generator, with manual start. The first one was made in 1916 and the only thing they used them for was lights. As demand for more equipment increased, they had to come up with more and better machines. That started some confusion when the dealer was ordering parts, so they came up with a Model number as well as a Service Number. That was supposed to eleminate confusion on ordering parts and to allow the dealer to figure the age of a machine when he took it in on a trade in.

The manufacturing process continued on with serial numbers on each unit, but they would start on Monday and make (for example) 600 Model-300 and stamp them consecutively. When they decided they needed more Model-752 they would just continue with the numbers from the Model-300, so you might get serial # 23000 for a Model-300 and serial # 23001 on the next shift for the Model-752. Or so I've been told, I wasn't there to see first hand (what a shame).

2) Yes, the engine will run, but not correct. It was designed to run under the charging load, so you really need to get every thing in the control panel/switch board working as it should. Without the charging load the engines tend to run too fast and they tend to jump around at best. They are not very well balanced.

3) I wouldn't hook power to any of the coils. If you want to find out if they are good, just unhook one wire from them at a time and check with an ohm meter. If they show some continuity they are good. I have never seen one that was shorted, but have found a "bunch" of the reverse current relays showing "open" or no continuity. The reverse current relay is the small "rocker" on the bottom of the the relay in the upper left hand corner of you panel.

4) I have a manual for the Model-752, 8C3, 8C33, 786, and the 778. Contact me by e-mail and I can give more details. They all used the same engine, but the generators were wound for different out puts. 752 was a 750 watt, 8C3 was a 800 watt, 8C33 was a 800 watt with a three plate battery, 786 was a 752 with 16 13 plate cells, 778 was a 752 with 16 7 plate cells. They all used the same control panel/switch board.

5) These units were made for the first time in 1927 and were becoming more advanced, gasoline was much more plentiful and the price was about the same as kerosene, so they designed these to use only gasoline.

6) Don't get too excited and screw some thing up. If the engine turns over with little resistance and there is "some" compression, (they didn't have very much when new) and the valves are opening and closing freely, the commutator is clean and not badly worn, the brushes are fitting the commutator and work freely in the holders, you can try a start up.

It appears that your panel is in pretty good shape. I make a sand paper cleaner for all the contacts. I take 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper and cut the whole side out of a "Coke" can, flaten it by pulling it over the edge of my bench. Spray one side with 3M adhesive and the back of the paper, let dry and stick them together. Repeat for the other side and proceed to cut in strips of the proper width with tin snips to clean all your contacts. Check to make sure all screws are tight.

I see folks using three 12 volt batteries to operate the 32 volt generators, but I prefere to use two 12's and one 8 volt batteries. The relays and the coil were designed to operate with 32 volts and that's what I do. If you look at your last picture of a close up of the panel, you will notice a small lever that is in the down position. That is the manual start lever. It is pushing in on a rod that closes a relay inside. That connects the battery to the generator to start it. That's one reason I like the generators, ELECTRIC start and I don't have to worry about cranking them. You will have to pull toward the face of the panel to disengage the lever from a slot and turn it up and it will engage in another slot at the top of the casting.

Hook your batteries in series (- to + and - to +) and then connect the remaing negtive to the panel marked Bat - and the positive to the panel marked Bat +, do this carefully, it you get a spark here, some thing is wrong and you will have to find out what it is. If there are no "Sparks & Arks", you can continue with your test.

Be sure you have changed the fuel pump diaphram or it won't work. I have a limited supply of diaphram material. It's used propane regulator diaphrams.

When you have all the fuel lines cleaned and the pump reconditioned you can pull out on that little lever that you changed earlier and as soon as rod closes the contacts on the relay, the engine should start turning over. Now this being a semi automatic unit as soo as the start relay closes it also applys power to the electric choke, the electric governor, a pre-heater in the intake manafold, and the cranking cut out. If the engine starts and runs, you know the engine is OK.

If it doesn't run, check for spark and make sure you are getting gas. One of the lines to the mixer is a return to the fuel tank while it is cranking make sure gas is running out of the return line. The "In" fuel line goes in a can and the over flow line goes in the can. The "In" line goes to the bottom of the can and the over flow only goes through the lid.

You need to put about an 8 amp load on the "line" connections on the panel and if you move the lever back to the top the engine should continue to run. If you remove that 8 amp load the engine should stop.

Other than a correspondence
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:08:38 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
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Default Re: New here -- Delco light plant

(Continued)

Darn! I hit the wrong button and sent this before I was finished.

"Other than a correspondence course" I think I have covered about any thing you will encounter. If you have more questions you would like to ask, feel free to do so. I don't know if I will have the answers, but it looks like since Dr. Delco sold out, I'm at present the only "show" in town.

Well, I got a chance to proof read this one. If you find mispelled words, bad grammar, etc in the previous message, just ignore it.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:38:26 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
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Default Re: New here -- Delco light plant

After posting all the above I read Bob's post again and I didn't answer all his questions.

I wouldn't re-wire every thing unless the wires show several bare spots, or all the insulation is missing. Some of the wiring on the back of the panel is solid wire and rubber/fabric and is hard to find to replace. If you really like to look at all new wire than go far it.

I went to Google and after about 30 minutes I couldn't find any thing under "demaria" that was associated with Delco-Light generators. Could you post a link so I could check it out. I haven't heard about that and it might be beneficial for me to check it out, so I can't advise you whether to download that or not.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:55:54 PM
Bob Early Bob Early is offline
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Default Re: New here -- Delco light plant

Don,

WOW !! Thanks for that reply.

After I digest some of this info, I will get this thing up on the bench and start cleaning the contacts, brushes and looking for open circuits, etc.
I have redone a Stover 2 hp several years ago and rebuilt quite a few newer engines, so I'm confident I will get this engine going. The generator/control side is where I will need help.

Below is the Demaria page I was referring to. Just a small page with some pics and scans.

http://www.oldengine.org/members/dem...elco/index.htm

Thanks again...I will be contacting you concerning manuals.

Bob
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