In all the years I have been in business, I have heard many versions on how to polarize a generator and voltage regulator. Some versions are correct, others are totally wrong.
Polarization is a procedure which matches the polarity for the generator and the voltage regulator. The majority of the vehicles are manufactured negative ground although some of the older vehicles were manufactured positive ground. The generator has to be set up for either polarity. The generator will charge either way, however the voltage regulator has only one polarity. Whenever the battery is disconnected from the vehicle for any reason the polarization procedure should be performed.
The recommendation on how to polarize a charging system is the following: After the installation of a battery, generator or voltage regulator follow these procedures. The terminals on the voltage regulator are labeled with letters and this is where you will do the polarizing procedure. Both of the components will have battery power so do not start the vehicle or turn on the ignition switch before polarizing them. You will need a small piece of wire fourteen or sixteen gauge with alligator clips on the ends. Find the “B” terminal on the regulator and attach one of the alligator clips, find the “D” terminal and touch the terminal with the other alligator clip. You can touch the terminals a few times and it will produce a soft light spark. Under no circumstances touch the “F” terminal or any other part of the regulator or you could damage the regulator.
For the Lucas voltage regulators that have the terminals labeled A1, A, F, D, E, the polarization procedure is the same however the terminals that will be used are the “D” terminal and either the “A” or “A1” depending on which terminal is used on the vehicle. Either terminal can be used if wires are going to both terminals.
Start the vehicle and you should see the red generator light go off on the instrument panel, you may have to rev the engine up a few RPM, generators have a tendency not to charge at idle speed. If you have a gauge on the instrument panel the gauge will respond accordingly.
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