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Jeff McNealadmin
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7230 posts (Someone who doesn't have as much free time as he used to)
Mar-07-01, 06:42 PM (PST)
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"How To Test Voltage Regulator?"
 
Hello all,

I just purchased a box of old Lucas voltage regulators. The seller said "some of 'em work, some of 'em don't". My question is, how do I test the regulators without frying my perfectly good generator in the process? Any suggestions?

I'm planning on converting to an alternator and use the "bad" regulator shells to create a stealth kill switch/alarm combo, but I'm in no hurry to destroy my own generator before its ready to die. That should happen soon enough on its own! But for now, it's working very nicely.

Best wishes,

Jeff
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Administrator
The Totally Triumph Garage
'67 RHD Spitfire Mk3 aka "Mrs. Jones"
'68 LHD Spitfire Mk3 - long term project


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snowygrouch
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541 posts (TTN Power Member - a well respected man)
Mar-08-01, 09:57 AM (PST)
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1. "RE: How To Test Voltage Regulator?"
In response to message #0
 
   Jeff,
I admit freely to not being an electrics expert BUT I do have a car DIY book which explains a little about Lucas type voltage regulators. I will attempt to explain it, perhaps you will find it useful, perhaps not.
It says that 95% of all failures are due to bad connections through dirt and corrosion. That a really good earth is essential and that to make sure its working take the cover off and clean all the points contacts inside with a very fine nail file or similar. If its not working the ignition warning light will stay on even at normal idle speed (assuming the alternator or dymano is ok).
It has a section on testing the dynamo but I very much suspect you have literature on that yourself.
Calum


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Vegaman Dan
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Mar-12-01, 11:27 AM (PST)
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2. "RE: How To Test Voltage Regulator?"
In response to message #0
 
   Elsewhere in the forum here I posted how to test regulators while they were on the car, but I would suspect that all you can really do is make sure all contacts have continuity. There are no electronics in the regulator- just three relays and various contacts. They are pretty hardy. They can short internally on the relay coil windings since they are just varnish coated wires. An ohm meter will be your friend here. Check all the windings and see that they are consistent between several regulators. I'm not aware of any known values for these relays published so you'll be the first.

Personally, I would just go down to my NAPA auto parts store and use their voltage regulator tester. We had one at my store and it could easily handle Lucas components. Find an old store and they are likely to still have the tester around and someone who knows how to use it.


Vegaman Dan
68 Spitui!


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Jeff McNealadmin
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7230 posts (Someone who doesn't have as much free time as he used to)
Mar-12-01, 06:21 PM (PST)
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3. "RE: How To Test Voltage Regulator?"
In response to message #2
 
LAST EDITED ON Mar-12-01 AT 06:27 PM (Pacific)

Thank you gentlemen!

I think I'll start by measuring the resistance in the coils of the one known regulator that I KNOW is good (my own) after disconnecting the battery, just to be on the safe side.

Then, I'll compare those measurements to my box of donors and see if I can determine which are within spec and which are toast.

By the way, did you know that alternators were a factory "option" over the standard dynamos (generators) on Spitfire Mk3's? This, according to a book I recently picked up by James Taylor about the history of the Spitfire & GT6. If this is true, that pleases me a great deal, knowing that this modification (converting to alternator from generator) is one that was being practiced by the factory when these cars were new!

BTW, Dan, no such thing as "old" Napa parts stores around here, unfortunately. Just newer ones. I tried to find one that could test my generator previously and was met with blank stares.

Best wishes,

Jeff
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Administrator
The Totally Triumph Garage
'67 RHD Spitfire Mk3 aka "Mrs. Jones"
'68 LHD Spitfire Mk3 - long term project


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