Page 1 of 1

re-polarizing a generator

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:55 pm
by Dale McCann
I do I go about re-polarizing a 12-volt system on a 1963 V-8 283 engine?


Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:16 pm
by evansjw44
Assuming you have a generator equiped 283 and not an alternator equipped 283 the process to polarize a generator is as follows. Use a wire jumper to temporarily apply battery positive to the field terminal of the generator. A few seconds will do it.

Alternators do not need polarizing.

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:36 pm
by Dale McCann
Thanks so much - I knew I had to jump it but I didn't know what post to go to!

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:34 am
by BrokenRule2
I find it confusing as I had found instruction telling me two different ways for the same regulator/generator. It all comes down to if it is an A or B circuit - grounded through the regulator or internal to the generator.

Some say to polarize the Delco one way and the Autolite the other... some say Delco and Autolite are the same and do the Ford the other way! It comes down to generator installed, NOT the engine.

Any how, here is one set of instruction:

Before starting the engine, Polarize the generator as follows:
With the ARM and BAT wires connected to the correct terminals of the regulator, touch the FLD wire momentarily to the BAT terminal of the regulator. Then connect the FLD wire to the FLD terminal of the regulator. (remember this)

Connect all three wires to their proper terminals on the regulator. Touch one end of a piece of wire to the ARM terminal and touch the other end to the BAT terminal. DO NOT TOUCH FLD TERMINAL as regulator will be damaged.

Another instruction found:
Shows regulators wired and then: Autolite being jumper between A & B and Delco jumper between B & F...

Another instruction found:
In an "A Circuit" system, the field is grounded through the regulator. "A Circuit" systems are found in most Ford and GM vehicles.

Most Chrysler vehicles had a "B Circuit" system which was grounded internally through the generator. (remember this)

To polarize an "A Circuit" system, connect the FIELD, ARMATURE, and BATTERY leads to the regulator. Connect the battery. Then, momentarily connect a jumper wire between the ARMATURE terminal and the BATTERY terminal at the regulator.

To polarize a "B Circuit" system, connect the FIELD, and ARMATURE leads to the regulator. Connect the battery. Then, just before installing the BATTERY lead, momentarily touch it to the ARMATURE lead terminal. (remember this)


Confused? I called an auto electric shop recommended by people on Boat Buzz. I gave them the part numbers off my 1960 generators "GKE" Autolite and was sent two new regulators. They were noted as "B Circuit" with the instructions to remove the FIELD wire and momentarily touch it to BATTERY - not like above... If one was to think they are Autolite you would jumper between A and B, but this follows the "Ford only" instructions at the start of this post. But my generators are installed on Chevy engines! Again, it states above "most" Ford...

I also confirmed this with Glenn that specializes in rebuilding generators for class cars and boats that cruise boat buzz.

So double check what charging circuit you have before following the many different types of instructions. Some links to help you below. One tells you how to find if it is and A or B. Best case, grab the numbers off the generator and call a good shop in your area.

Best of luck,


### ... le.php?347

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:00 pm
by 57 chris
What constitutes the need to re-polarize a generator?


Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:50 pm
by mfine
If it sits too long with no battery attached or a dead battery.


Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:56 pm
by evansjw44
If a genertor does not have sufficient residual magnetism in the pole structure of the pole pieces to generate armature voltage sufficient to make the output voltage pick up the output relay it has to be "re-polarized'. All that amounts to is applying some voltage to the field windings to set up a residual magnetic field. Consider it's like putting you screw driver on a magnet to get it to pick uo screws.

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:54 am
by 57 chris
So after sitting all winter with the batteries removed I may find that the generator may not charge unless 1). there is either enough residual magnetism or 2) I re-polarize the generator?


Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:58 am
by mfine
Exactly. I would be surprised if you didn't need to repolarize the generator after it sat all winter. It is so quick and easy to do, I wouldn't even think to not repolarize when putting the battery back in.

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:11 am
by 57 chris
So if I understand the instructions above correctly I just momentarily connect a jumper wire between the battery terminal and the armature terminal on the regulator?
You'll have to excuse my confusion as I've never had to do this before.


Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:38 pm
by BrokenRule2
In either case, the tell tale sign would be the generator(s) not producing any charging current. If so, then repolarize based on your system.


Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:54 pm
by mfine

It is just a momentary jump with a few sparks. Which battery terminal to which point varies by system so make sure the instructions you follow match your install. I don't know what CC put in their boats well enough to be specific.