Generator Rebuilding

By Ron Patterson

(This article was originally published in the November, 2002 issue of the Spark Coil.)

Model T Generator and Starter Brushplate Rebuilding-An Update…

I don’t know if any of you have used the Model T generator and starter brushplate rebuilding video I did for the MTFCA video library?

The process for brushplate rebuilding remains fundamentally unchanged, but since that time some significant advances have been made in brushplate insulators that are available from Model T parts suppliers.

In the past when rebuilding the generator brushplate you had to buy two of the currently available insulators and cut one to fit the back side of the brushplate. This was awkward at best. You usually didn’t have a pattern from the removed part because it was damaged (isn’t that why we are replacing it?). You also had to be very careful cutting the new insulator because the final alignment of the third brush-sliding slot was critical or it will short out against the metal brushplate slot.

When adapting the currently available starter brushplate insulator part you needed four pieces and again had to modify two of them for the backside of the brushplate. Patterns were a bit easier to be had (no sliding brush), but you had to shorten them and add a new 1/8 mounting hole for the rivet.

Recently I met up with my fellow “Sparky” John Regan. I showed him on of my rebuilt brushplate units and we discussed the issues with the currently available insulators. John took a keen interest. I don’t know if any of you know John, but he is a manufacturing genius.

We got exact measurements for the original generator and starter insulator parts and John entered the critical dimensions into his CAD/CAM system.

He sent me a paper sample of each part to check for final fit on a brushplate. He also selected an appropriate material with sufficient toughness (for the third brush slot) that could be laser cut to exacting measurements. The final product is a perfect fit and requires no modification.

If you are rebuilding your generator or starter brushplate get yourself a set of these insulators. They are far superior to any previously available. They can be obtained from (search on brushplate insulators) or contact Lang’s Old Car Parts or Snyders.  Make sure you specify the new FunProjects insulators.

Ron the Generator, Starter & Coilman