Wards Powerlite Generator

Wards Powerlite Generator Restoration

This is a Wards Powerlite 1000 Watt generator, Model 4934.
I believe it was built in the 1940's.
This is what it looked like when I bought it. I found acorns
in the generator, so I presume it was home to critters for a while!

The engine itself was in fair condition, other than the exhaust
valve and seat needing repair.
Of course, the ignition, carburator, fuel pump, flicker switch, etc.,
all needed disassembly, cleaning, and some new gaskets.

This is my first attempt on restoring a genset, so I took lots
of photos of the generator apart to help aid re-assembly if needed!

The generator bell cover, cooling fan, and control box removed

The control box and board apart. Make sure you have a wiring
diagram, or make your own!

The generator bell housing, rotor, and brush plate removed.

The field coils and housing removed

The field coils removed from the housing

The field coil "shoes"

The armature in the lathe to get cleaned and trued up

The brush plate assembly...... not pretty!

The field coils & armature freshly sprayed with dielectric spray insulating varnish.

The bell end and brush plate cleaned and painted

The field coils back in place with new "fish paper"

Generator pieced lined up in order or reassembly,
with new ball bearing on the rotor

Generator main componets back together

The "Start" and "Charge" relays were completely disasembled, cleaned,
and any bad wiring was replaced.

The relay board back in place. It took a couple of tries to get it working
correctly, as I had two wires switched. Thanks to the people on SmokStak
for their tech help on this project!

Almost Done!

The power recepticle attached.

The first "run" went well for about 10 minutes, until the R.F. Coil heated up
and caught fire! I found out I mis-wired one end of the coil, even after using
my handy diagram of all the wire paths that I made before I took the unit apart!
Also, on my first run, shown in the video, the box fan that I had plugged into
the generator, went to appliance heaven!
I found out that the generator was running above design speed of 1800 rpms,
and putting out 180 volts!
My box fan did not appreciate that!

Unfortunately, I did not get the fire on the video..... I was too busy trying to
get the unit shut down, as I had visions of my whole garage burning down!
Luckily, the fire was of short duration, and I was able to blow it out....
no collateral damage done, just fried the R.F. Coil....
guess I didn't need that anyway!

The Movie!

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