Rebuilding a Generator Brush Plate

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I was going to drive my 1923 Touring to Richmond (50 miles or so) in the wee hours of the morning.  I had noticed that the generator needle hadn't been moving, so I tested the generator and found no output was being produced.  Taking apart the generator found a broken insulator plate.  A call to Ron Patterson was all it took, and he walked me through how to do a quick fix.

I was fortunate in having the insulators, brushes, and sealed bearings on-hand from when I was going to rebuild a generator.  I also had the MTFCA video.  You need a multi-meter or test light to check for grounds.

I want to say, upfront, I had no idea what I was doing.  There is really no substitution for a rebuilt generator from someone that has the tools and experience.  I have a 1924 Coupe that has a generator, starter, and coils by Ron.  That, along with a voltage regulator from Fun Products completes the arsenal for a happy running T.  In over 3 years, I have had no problems with the electrical system on the coupe.

On with the project.

Disassembly of the generator found this:

Ron says to leave the good part of the insulator in place and cut off the old.

After cutting off the bad insulator, you must trim the new insulator to allow it to fit over the hump on the brushplate.

For trimming, very sharp scissors work best.  These insulators came from Snyders.  Talking with Ron, Fun Projects makes insulators that fit better and are more robust.

One mistake I made was using a too long rivet.  Use the 1/8x1/8 inch rivet.  After pop-riveting, pick out the mandrel head so it doesn't come loose inside the generator, and peen the rivet head to hold the insulators tightly on the plate.

The finished job will work great.  The 3rd brush is insulated.  Remember not to tighten down the nut too hard, or it will again break the insulator.

Check out the insulators at Fun Projects.