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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

OC46 voltage regulator

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polk crawler

09-23-2004 14:32:49

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What happens if a regulator with 12V designation printed on it is used in a 6V positive ground system? Ammeter goes off scale on charge side but mechanic friend says not to worry? Battery blew up on me Tues; beginnng to question what mechanic friend said? Ops manual says charging amps should be between 10 and 12 even on a discharged battery. Will be grateful for advice. PC

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Polk Crawler

09-24-2004 13:12:31

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to polk crawler, 09-23-2004 14:32:49  
RAB: You got it right; when I bought that regulator a year ago I did not specify for 6v Pos grnd and, in ignorance, did not check; sales clerk assumed I needed a 12 regulator;pulled it off yesterday, found on the bottom in black print "12V p/n." Mechanic at local tractor dealer checked books, computer, etc...found correct reg for the OC46..also concurs with your diagnosis: 12V reg was pumping 14 V into a 6v battery; However, a wonder the battery blow up did not occur much sooner as that 12 reg has been at work on that OC46 since 6/03!!; sure split the battery to pieces. Live and learn.

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09-25-2004 09:59:15

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to Polk Crawler, 09-24-2004 13:12:31  

You wonder "why the battery didn't blow up sooner"?

Well, there are two sections to a generator voltage regulator, the Voltage Regulator and the Current Regulator.

Even if the "Voltage" part of the regulator was trying to have the generator bring the system voltage up to 14 Volts or so, it's ability to do that is limited by the "Current" section of the regulator.

It probably brought the battery voltage up to WELL over the required 7.4 Volts, or so, and boiled the battery electrolyte, releasing hydrogen.

When a cell boiled dry, and arced inside, or there was some type of poor connection causing a spark at the battery it blew. NASTY!

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09-24-2004 09:02:59

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to polk crawler, 09-23-2004 14:32:49  
Presumably the generator is trying to charge your 6 volt battery to 14.4 volts, or thereabouts, instead of 7.2volts. Little wonder the battery gave up!!
Regards, RAB

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09-24-2004 09:13:31

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to RAB, 09-24-2004 09:02:59  
And btw, when a battery is overcharged and it "boils" the electrolyte, it really means it is electrolysing the water - splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen in the perfect ratio for an explosion. All the pure hydrogen produced gets mixed with just the correct amount of pure oxygen produced and recombines (given a spark)instantly, or as near as, to form pure water..... plus an awful lot of heat energy, which causes the battery to explode.
Regards, RAB

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Roy Suomi

09-23-2004 18:11:03

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to polk crawler, 09-23-2004 14:32:49  
Just put a 1 wire delco on it. Ive got a buddy that owns Buckeye Auto Elecric in Painesville Ohio. He can build an alternator 12 volt pos. ground and it will work.. He built me an alternator for an old ferguson with 8 volt output to keep up an 8 volt tractor battery, worked sweet..With the alternator you will not have the usual problems with the generator. Simple to wire in, Many pulleys available for different belt widths..He freights out alternators everyday.

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09-24-2004 12:24:25

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 Re: OC46 voltage regulator in reply to Roy Suomi, 09-23-2004 18:11:03  
Amen to the alternator conversion! After years of fiddling with dead batteries, slow cranking, dim lights, etc., I have been converting my tractors over to alternators.

Delco 10si 1 wire alternators are plentiful and inexpensive. They convert easily (voltage and polarity) and like you stated, different width pulleys are not a problem either.

In my opinion, it is time and money very well spent.

Scott Goff

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