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4 cyl Delco Light Plant

OldIronMan

Registered
Hello,
I'm a newbie and first, thank you for letting me play in your sand box. I was recommended to this site by a good friend who goes by the handle "Windmiller".

I have just the engine and I would be interested in restoring the light plant to it's original functionality. As you can see, I am missing the magneto and generator. Please tell me if there is more then that missing. I buy things like this so I can have fun researching and playing with the stuff, like I need to explain to you guys, lol! If I can't find the generator, I'll probably set the motor up for another use. I just think it's neat. I have plenty of work ahead of me and I'm not too proud to listen to advise from others so please chime in if you have an opinion. :wave:

I've read every post on here pertaining to "Delco Light Plant". Unfortuantely, only a couple pertained to this model. I have a few specific questions. If anyone can help me with them, I sure would appreciate it.
 

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OldIronMan

Registered
...My questions for now are:

1) Which mfg/model of magneto does this use and are they available?

2) Since the motor is currently stuck, which direction does the magneto need to turn?

3) Might the generator part of it be available now or in the future?

Thank you and have a nice day.
Mark
South Lyon, MI
 

Attachments

K D Redd

In Memory Of
Most mag turn the same direction as the engine and since it is a four cylinder it should turn the same speed as the engine.

Kent
 

Don C. Wiley

In Memory Of
Age
86
Last Subscription Date
03/08/2010
Old ----Man;

OOOooops -----I couldn't tell whether the iron was old or the man. Sorry about that, but welcome to the best site to obtain help on old and tired iron. I may be a bit predgudice, but I think the folks here can answer nearly any question visitors may ask. I'm sure there are other sites with discussions of antique engines and tractors, but I haven't found one any better than "Harry's Group".

You have found a pretty unique Delco-Light generator. I haven't seen one like it and I've been collecting Delco-Light for nearly 19 years. I'm guessing it to be an Opel engine and every thing else is Delco-Light or sub-contrated parts.

1. I would guess it to be a 5000 watt unit and AC, But they also made an Opel powered one, a 5000 watt that was DC. That was the only two Opel powered units that they made.

2. They made five four cylinder generators, a Delco-Light air cooled, Opel liquid cooled, Hercules liquid cooled, Continental and an un-named engine model which were all 2000 watt DC. The other three liquid cooled models were 5000 to 6000 watt output.

3. I would think the magneto will be the easiest thing to find. Any mag that will line up with the drive and four cylinder should work, after making a coupling to drive it. Timing it might be a bit of a chalange, but can be done.

4. From the looks of your unit, it shouldn't be too hard to remove the head and check the cylinders to see how bad rusted they are. From the looks of the rest of the engine, I wouldn't think it would be too hard to get it turning over. If it shows a lot of rust, I would recomend checking the lower end for rust before trying to force it to turn over. Some of those had a fiber gear to splash oil around and if the gear it runs in is rusted, turning it over may destroy the fibre one.

5. I think the mag drive is counter-clockwise looking at the drive, as in the close up of the drive, or clock-wise looking at the magneto drive end. That's just my guess, so don't count on that until you can verify it. Once you get the engine freed up that will be come obvious. I'm sure the engine cranks clock-wise looking at the radiator. I can't tell you which mag they used, but I would guess it was from some one like Bosch or Fairbanks. These four cylinder units weren't made before around 1926, so that will give you an idea to what year the mag was made.

6. Finding a generator could be your biggest chalange. All I can tell you is to just keep your eyes open and talk to any one who will listen to you about Delco-Light generators. I've found more "stuff" on e-Bay and at engine shows than any place else. Your unit is pretty rare, so that's going to make it more difficult.

Good luck, and if I can be of further help, let me know either here on Harry's or you can e-mail by clicking on my name and chosing the e-mail option, from the drop down. Once I get your mail I can send you my e-mail address.

"DELCO DON" :p;):) Southern Illinois :wave:
 

OldIronMan

Registered
Delco Don,
Thank you for the warm welcome AND the excellent advise/information! I'll keep my ear to the rail for the generator, you just never know you know. Of course, if anyone else hear's of one becoming available, please look me up.

I was in the shop by 6 am this morning (I get up earlier on the weekends then I do on the weekday, lol!) and I pumped the cylinders full of marvel mystery oil, and then diesel fuel later in the day. I made a bracket that spans the output end of the engine to allow me to get some leverage in turning it over. I started giving it some pressure later on today, working it back and forth a little at a time and now I can do complete revolutions but it's still very tight. I'll keep working it each day. I think it's time to build an engine stand for it. I need to work smart, not hard :bonk:

You are absolutely correct Delco Don on your educated guess on the rotation of the motor and mag. The mag turns clockwise with a clockwise rotation of the motor.

Cheers,
OldIronMan
 

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Don C. Wiley

In Memory Of
Age
86
Last Subscription Date
03/08/2010
Oldironman;

Where you have the thingy to turn it over with, my two cylinder has a multi disk flex plate that connected the armature to the engine. You might also be looking for one of those. I don't know if the AC and DC field housings are the same or not, but if you wanted to do the 32 thing, that's an opption as well. The 32 volt, I think, will all be DC. The 110 volt had a 24 volt start winding so it would crank with the generator. I think that works with either AC or DC. On the AC I think the start DC is also the field excitation. I'm not totaly sure about that, because I'm mostly into the 32 DC units.

By the way your unit should be Model-50AA1. The prefix and sufix numbers are the wattage and voltage, you just add two zeros to the 50 and the 1, which will be 5000 watt and 100 volts. I think the first A is for automatic and the second A indicates AC It probably had an on the wall control panel with the automatic start relays in it. That's going to be a REALLY hard puppy to come up with, but keep your eyes pealed for all that "stuff". Part of the fun is in the chase. That's what they always told me about women, then when I caught her, I for get what I'm supposed to do with her. Oh well! CRS strikes again

"DELCO DON" :p;):) Southern Illinois :shrug:
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
Age
70
Last Subscription Date
12/29/2008
Just a Note here, IF a Genend is also the Starter Motor, THEN Flashing is NOT required
to get the Genend to produce power. Just the matter of spinning the Engine, will
put enough Residual Magnetism, into the Rotor Core to cause the Genend to buildup.
If you don't get output from a Genend Spun Genset, then you have some other
problem, than lose of Residual Magnetism. Likely in the Voltage Regulation System.
 

OldIronMan

Registered
Thanks for the info guys. I'd be happy at this point to find a 32 volt dc generator to fit on it. I picked up a Wico mag already with a bottom mount that should work nicely. Once I get the generator, I'll have ALOT more questions I'm sure. :crazy: My first goal is to get the engine running using the fewest dollars possible.
 

OldIronMan

Registered
Thanks to the kerosene and marvel mystery oil, I can now use the hand crank to turn it over, AND I'm getting about 20 psi oil pressure just with the hand crank. That's a very good sign.

Can anyone recommend the type of spark plug that I should be using for this Delco?
 

K D Redd

In Memory Of
What size is the threads in the head. AS I do not know your engine I would GUESS it is 18 MM but on an engine that old the thread size could be about anything.

Kent
 

Don C. Wiley

In Memory Of
Age
86
Last Subscription Date
03/08/2010
My literature says #76 A. C. Any plug that will screw in the hole should run it just fine.

"DELCO DON" :p;):) Southern Illinois :shrug:
 

K D Redd

In Memory Of
A.C. 76 I think is an 18 MM plug. You could also use a D-16 Champion unless you are one of the Champion haters out there.

Kent
 

OldIronMan

Registered
LOL! No, I don't hate any of them yet! It's a smaller diameter then my Farmall Cub but 18 mm seems about right.

Thank you for the recommendations, both Kent and Delco Don.
BTW, I gambled and purchased a very nice, like new 4 cyl magneto for this BEFORE I realized the rotation direction of the mag shaft. Well, I lost. I now need a mag that spins CW while looking at the coupling end. For $50 however, the wrong one I have now looks really nice on the shelf, LOL!!! :bonk:
 
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