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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2006, 08:58 PM
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76 ironhead generator question

I am helping a kid down the street with his 76 sportster question is we just put on a new generator and updated regulator. How do we get this thing charging. He has a paper that says to arc the a terminal on the generator to the positive battery terminal but his light is still on.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:03 PM
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Try bridging the armature and battery terminals on the reg. together. Should polarize the generator.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:34 AM
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Shame you didn't ask earlier - as long as you were buying a complete replacement charging system, I'd have suggested buying the retro-fit alternator kit instead, they fit easily, work great and need zero maintenance. Some folks seem to get along fine with the old generators, but I'm not unique in having had no end of trouble with mine and ended up buying the alternator, then no more prob's. Ho Hum.
OK, follow the instructions on polarising the genny TO THE LETTER and hopefully you'll get a charging system that works. When I was messing with them everyone I asked always advised me that the bench method is best, rather than doing it on the bike (can't remember the procedure without looking it up, but you can find it in the Clymer manual etc.)
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:59 AM
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What you're referring to is known as "polarizing" the generator - and has to be done EVERY time the battery, regulator, or generator is disconnected/removed(including a discharged battery)... The simplest method I know is to hook up a jumper to your battery positive, and touch the other end(just for a second or 2) to the Armature(A) terminal on the generator - you *should* hear a little "buzz" when you do it... If you don't do that EVERY time I mentioned, you'll screw up your generator and regulator in short order - and you WON'T charge...


As for the light being on - have you actually check at the battery with a meter to see whether it's charging or not??? It's possible to have a short in the indicator light circuit - although not all that likely...



- georgestrings
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getoffmaazz
Try bridging the armature and battery terminals on the reg. together. Should polarize the generator.

That works for points-type regulators, but isn't an option if he's got a solid state regulator...



- georgestrings
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:04 PM
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go here to get some info

http://www.sportster.org/tech/electr...ernators.shtml

Ive have never had to polarize the generator on mine, even after several total teardowns, rebuilds, repaints, new custom made harness.... even disassembled the generator and cleaned/dressed the armature and brushes etc.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:59 PM
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Possibly something wrong we already arced the battery to the A and the light went out while arcing and right back on after the arc.
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:10 AM
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So it could be the light is telling you lies, and as "Georgestrings" suggests maybe the fault is in the circuit for the light itself.
The obvious way of checking the charging system (especially with generators, which don't make much juice at idle) is to fire the bike up, switch on the headlamp and then look to see whether it gets brighter when you rev the bike and dimmer when it's idling. If so then it's charging OK (which I would expect since you've polarised it correctly), and you then need to look at that light circuit.
Good luck.
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:51 AM
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We disconnected the red wire going from the regulator to the battery and put a test light on it and got nothing.
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