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larry8200

Delco Starter/Generater tales

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larry8200
Hi, Having trouble posting the picture but working on it wont let me put them in the text so they are going at the end I've had some experience with the Delco Starter/Generator systems used on the Briggs & Stratton engines throught he late 70's that I think is worth sharing here. Hopefully somebody can benifit. I have a 1974 Simplicity 3416H That has been in the family since it was new. The original S/G lasted almost 30 years, and the regulator is still working today. Not bad. The last several years of the original S/G's life it kept cranking slower and slower untill finally even a prayer wouldn't get the engine running. It charged fine right up to the end, though. I had been aware for some time that Delco had stopped production of these S/G's around 1980, and that all sales/support from Delco was long gone, as well as Simplicity. Allis-Chalmers did have a valid part # for the regulator through 2005, but that is gone now, too. If you have time to look and poke around, you can find most anything at a reasonable price, but if you have to have it now, options can be limited. (and expensive) I would recommend that anyone depending on one of these S/G's have a working backup on the shelf. (Easy to say!!!) You can get by without a regulator using a battery charger but the starter... Actually, My 16 HP Briggs has a notch on the pulley to use with a rope... In 2004 my S/G finally had to be replaced, and of course RIGHT NOW. I found a Simplicity dealer, Pinnacle View Equipment, only 40 miles away (close for Unity, NH) who had and still has professionally re-built S/G's on the shelf for $250 with a mandatory trade in of a rebuildable core, so they can keep S/G's on hand. I think they are over $300 now. Thier service department has been very liberal with free advice, both in person and over the phone, which has been worth it just for that. Of course from time to time I have them demo the latest and greatest, so they think I might buy new someday, even though they say, and I agree, that the only thing that will really replace an old Sovereign is a newer Sovereign. Especially so since I have most of the attachments and accessories. In any case, my goal is to pass on this Sovereign 20 years from now in fine working order. The more I work on it, the more this seems attainable. So I have my new S/G, and the universe is at peace again... just one little fly in the soup... I don't have any reference for the Delco numbers, and they may or may not be readable after decades anyway, But there are 2 designs of the long 15 amp clockwise rotation S/G that I'm aware of (Cubbies and others that have the pulley on the front of the engine look identical, but they spin the wrong way). The first, and I think older style has a small sealed bearing? (I think) behind the pulley and a bushing lubed by a oil wick on the other end. The second, and I think newer style (which was on my 3416H) has a larger sealed bearing behind the pulley, and also a sealed bearing at the other end. It is easy to tell the difference looking at the end oppisite the pulley. The bushing just has a small cone with an oil hole, The sealed bearing ones have a larger hole with a pressed in tin seal over the bearing. Old style New Style My replacement S/G was the bushing/oil wick design. Since it had been professionally rebuilt I was not concerned about this. I'm accustomed to high maintenance machinery, and a couple drops of oil every week while checking the other fluids was fine by me. In retrospect, a bushing doesn't seem appropriate for a shaft that spins 10,000 RPM but I guess Delco thought they were OK. About 2 months after I put the rebuilt S/G into service I was mowing grass when a loud buzzing started coming from under the hood. I immediatly shut the machine down. I thought the noise was coming from the engine, but it turned normally by hand, and had compression. I tried the key and a grinding noise came from the S/G making it obvious where the problem was. I removed the S/G and dismantled the end with the brushes, commutator etc. The bushing had disentegrated, all that was left was chips and shavings of brass (yes brass) not bronze. There was evidence that oil was getting in but whether too much or not enough or whatever I'll never know. There was no oil contamination on the commutator, armature etc. but the armature had bounced around enough with no support on the end of the shaft to chew up the end of the shaft, break about 1/3 of the connections off of the commutator, and the internal wire from the field terminal was just gone. The warranty, of course was 30 days, and while the dealer was symphathetic their policy was "Under warranty, no questions asked, out of warranty...sorry" So what to do I didn't have another $250 at that time, and all they had was another old style anyway which I was loath to trust. I have a good friend with a decent machine shop, and we found a needle roller bearing (like in an automotive u joint) with outer press in bushing from McMaster-Carr (was like $5 including S&H) that would work if we bored the hole in the end cap 1/8 oversize and turned the armature shaft 1/8 undersize. Then the 2 of us, with the armature in a vice, using tweezers, forceps, and a small propane torch, and major frustration were able to re-solder the broken connections. Never did find the field coil wire, or where it went, so it never charged again and the old S/G became a plain S. I never trusted the bearing, and Dan the machinist thought the solder might hold for a day... I put a plastic cap where the oil wick had been to keep dirt out, and put a little grease in from time to time. I guess the "Starter" get's the last laugh, 6 years now and as a starter only, it still works just fine. If I have my choice, it would be the new style. What do you "FDT" types think? :) I've been looking for a new style S/G on and off for years, and several weeks ago I won one on ebay from Perry's store "Obsolete Garden tractor parts" for $30.01 + $11.00 for priority mail shipping. It were an ugly old thing but the parts that count seem to be right up there. So, Friday I cleaned up and installed the "new" S/G, retiring the old S to the backup shelf position. While I was at it I also installed a volt meter and checked all the wiring and connections. I intende to install an ammeter as well until I realized the gas tank fills the empty space under the left side of the dash. Good thing I didn't just bore a hole! I got everything back together, and had charged the battery while it was sitting on the bench. I turned on the key and the new volt meter read just under 13 volts. Good. Started the engine and still just under 13 volts, since generators have to spin fast to produce a charge this was expected. The red "GEN" light always stayed lit at idle but it finally burned out and with a volt meter it's no longer necassary. I increased throttle to about 50% and the volt meter went to almost 14 volts. Perfect! I ran it for about an hour and all was well. I did a visual inspection and found that the old belt was flipping over on the crank pulley and wouldn't stay on right. Saturday morning I put on a long overdue S/G belt. After the dew dried out, I went to do some mowing. The voltage was completely normal at first, but then the voltage went up to 16 volts. I stopped and put the throttle at idle, and the voltage only dropped to 14 volts. "#@@#@#!!!" I put a post up saying "HELP" I thought maybe the regulator was sticking, but the few replies I got were puzzled, too. Several weeks ago I read in article here at the club detailing how to test these S/G's. Among other things it said that if you ground the field terminal it will put the generator at maximum output. This seemed to be just the case, but I'd just checked the wiring, and since the regulator hadn't been hooked to a working S/G for 6 years, my thoughts were stuck on REGULATOR. Well... I could have looked under the hood till the proverbial cows came home and not have found the problem. When I replaced the S/G belt and adjusted the tension on it, I of course moved the S/G. The stud on the field terminal of the "new" S/G was hitting on the bottom of the hood and grounding out, putting the S/G to max. I filed off the unused 3/8" or so of the stud above the nut, and mowed for 2 hours with no more problem. So, if I hadn't installed the volt meter, I'd probably have cooked my "new" S/G It seems like there is a moral to this story here somewhere but it eludes me. One last thought: My manual and the online references I've seen specify a 39" belt. My S/G is almost at the end of the adjustment range even with a new belt. I filed the slot out almost to the end to get sufficient adjustment range for stretched belts. Next one is going to be 38". Hope some of you get something out of this. Have a great day, Larry








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RayS
Sorry that you paid so much. I bought one from DB Electric 5 years ago with out problems. [url="http://motors.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=starter+generator+simplicity&_sacat=&_dmpt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&_odkw=starter+generator&_osacat=0&bkBtn=&_trksid=p4506.m270.l1313"]Link[/url]

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larry8200
quote:
Originally posted by RayS
Sorry that you paid so much. I bought one from DB Electric 5 years ago with out problems. [url="http://motors.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=starter+generator+simplicity&_sacat=&_dmpt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&_odkw=starter+generator&_osacat=0&bkBtn=&_trksid=p4506.m270.l1313"]Link[/url]
Thats what happens when you have to have it now!

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PhanDad
Larry, JEBCO also has S/Gs and repair kits available: http://stores.ebay.com/JEBCO-STARTERS-and-ALTERNATORS This is a link to the 2 bearing repair kit: http://stores.ebay.com/JEBCO-STARTERS-and-ALTERNATORS__W0QQ_fsubZ6326808 I still haven't found a store that sells replacement field or starter coils. It's my understanding that S/G's have two separate coils in them - a heavy one for the starter and a lighter one for the generator. One of these days I'm going to open one up and see for myself. Also, there are two types of S/G brackets, one Simplicity, the other an A/C buildt Homelite (which is probably used on the A/C 310 and 410 tractors): Simplicity Bracket:


Homelite (A/C?) Bracket:


The Homelite bracket calls for a 37" belt vs 39" for the Simplicity bracket. The Homelite bracket positions the S/G a little lower and tighter to the Briggs engine. Your bracket looks like a Simplicity bracket, so the 39" belts should be correct. Is the S/G pulley a cast pulley that is worn? In a post, Al Eden (I believe) commented that the cast pulley can wear and the belt bottoms out and tends to slip. This was the answer to one of my S/G equipped tractor's belt slipping especially in the winter. It also exhibited the "almost out of adjustment range issue).

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larry8200
Yes, the pulley is worn and slips, it's always slipped, the pulley on the "new" s/g is worn worse than the old one. It's also alway's looked to me like the crank pulley is for a 3/8 belt and the s/g pulley for a standard 1/2" belt. Maybe not. Al Eden would know... I understand the pulleys can be a... challenge to get off. Thanks for the info, Larry

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dentwizz
Might not be a bad idea to put a spark plug boot on that field terminal. They make rubber connector covers(and had them on there originally) but spark boots are tougher and more commonly available.

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