View Full Version : Charging system problems on '55 Special

07-25-2002, 09:16 AM
This is my first time using this board and I'd appreciate any help you guys can provide.

I just bought a '55 Special, and the charging system is not working on it.

I think it's obviously something to do with the voltage regulator or generator, but this is my first non-alternator car, so I really don't know much about it yet.

Any suggestions on where to start looking first? Thanks.

07-27-2002, 08:17 PM
It depends on what it's doing.
My generator went out recently and what happened was that when the engine was running, no matter what the engine speed was the most it would charge was just below the middle, meaning that at best it was always discharging.
A recurring problem I've had has been wiring.
Obviously you could have a loose wire somewhere causing trouble but the one that always screwed me up was the ground wire on the generator. I think I replaced that 4-5 times since I bought my 57 less than a year ago.
But if the "problem" is that it discharges at idle and low RPM or with a heavy load (like lights or the heater/ac blower) then that's just the generator being a generator.


07-29-2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the good advice, the stupid ground wire on the generator was actually the first thing I noticed. It was barely hanging on.

I fixed it, but still couldn't get a decent charge, so I took it in to the local classic car shop this morning. http://www.buicks.net/forum/smile.gif Hopefully they can figure it out.

08-12-2002, 04:48 PM
After my experience with the generator on my '57, I'd upgrade to an alternator! If you get an original manual, you'll see just how time consuming and complicated it is to maintain a regulator! If you stick with the generator (to keep it original) make sure you don't overtighten the belt, or you'll chew out the rear bearing!