Hi all - Had a mostly successful drive from Chico, CA to the Brisbane British
Car Show, near San Francisco, this weekend, about a 3 1/2 hour drive. Went
down on Saturday. It ran a little hot (about 200) on the highway in triple
digit weather. When I got near the ocean, it cooled right down to 185. Had a
great time at the show, and took some pictures of some beautiful cars. I will
post them later.
On the way back, my troubles began. FYI, I have a TR2 with a TR3a engine,
positive ground, new generator, new voltage regulator, new battery, new
wiring, new fuse box, and new fan belt. ("new" is less than 400 miles)
I was driving at speed on the interstate when I heard a "bang" from the front,
and the temp gauge went straight to 230, so I knew that the fan belt had
gone. I coasted into a gas station, and popped the hood. The fan belt was
shredded. The odd thing was that the generator was still spinning. It
continued to spin until I disconnected one of the wires. Can anyone explain
why? I thought the generator only spin via the fan belt, and did not
independently spin. It seemed like it turned into an electric motor. None of
the wires seemed abnormally hot. None of the connections had melted, and
neither of the fuses had blown. All electrical connections were still tight.
The water pump spins freely, with no wobble. No water is leaking from the
pump, and there was no abnormal noise from the engine prior to the "bang".
The generator, as indicated by the amp gauge, was working fine before the
"bang". The water temp was about 190 on the gauge before the "bang".
Then, I realized that I had forgotten to pack the spare fan belt. I had
everything else, just not the belt. A quick tour of the nearby truck stops
failed to turn up an emergency fan belt, so one was fashioned from a rope.
Don't laugh - it got me home!! The problem was that the generator, although
spinning with the "new" fan belt, did not produce any electricity, as
registered by the amp gauge. At times, the generator light did dim, but it
registered on the amp gauge as a negative flow, rather than a positive flow.
Did I somehow reverse the polarity of the generator? In looking at the old
fan belt, it looks like something had worn through it. Now, I'm wondering of
the generator was still spinning after the car was turned off at the show, and
wore through the fan belt. Maybe the problem was with the generator and not
the fan belt? What do I look for?
The best part of the story is that I made it all the way home, about 1 1/2
hours, in the dark, with the lights on, and running off the battery. I will
take pictures of the rope fan belt.
Anyway, how much damage have I done to the electrical system of my car?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1954 TR2 TS3388L
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