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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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generator, regulator

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  #21  
Old 6th November 2012
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Default The Light is Always On

I took my bike to my mechanic (in town) and we put a multimeter on the battery while I rolled on the throttle to over 2,000 rpm's... the voltage should climb up with the throttle open and it didn't. The generator light is on all the time now, and the voltage doesn't drop while the bike sits. I think the generator is bad and the regulator is good, which is why I'm hunting for a cheap generator instead of the combo.

Found a V-Factor for $149 new... how are these? They also make a gen-reg combo, too...
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  #22  
Old 6th November 2012
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Unless it is OEM or Cycle Electric the quality is going to be highly questionable will likely cause grief. They all come out of the same bamboo factory.

You need to test your regulator before you buy a generator. Could be a $30 fix.

The charging system thread in the Tech Stickys Index in red near top of forum tells you how to determine if the problem is gen or reg related. The test you did with voltmeter on the battery does not do this, it just tells you that you have a charging problem of some sort, but not where.

And if it is the generator causing trouble, it might be just a pair of $20 brushes need replacing - they are the most common wear item, kind of like brake pads - and changing brushes is a simple 20 minute job anyone can do.

Some earlier discussion of cheap generator failure here, just one of half a dozen or so
http://xlforum.net/forums/s...hreadid=848249

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  #23  
Old 6th November 2012
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Do this. Do not leave out any steps ...

Ironhead Charging System Checkout
http://xlforum.net/forums/s...ad.php?t=39146
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  #24  
Old 10th November 2012
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Default

How do you jump the voltage regulator? And, why would I need to do that?
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  #25  
Old 10th November 2012
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Default

I replaced the brushes... light is still on. It flickers (fast) when the engine warms up. I'm not losing any charge overnight... I think the volt reg is fine.
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  #26  
Old 10th November 2012
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freelander03 View Post
I replaced the brushes... light is still on. It flickers (fast) when the engine warms up. I'm not losing any charge overnight... I think the volt reg is fine.
The only true way is to test it. If your not comfortable testing electrics. Take it to a automotive gen alt starter repair shop. Take battery-regulator-and generator. They will test them for you usually no charge. Or a free estimate. Then they will tell you what it costs to replace.
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  #27  
Old 3rd March 2013
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Default

Hey y'all--here's an update...

After testing the generator, replacing brushes, the generator still wouldn't work. Then, after a month the voltage regulator stopped holding charge. I had a combo Cycle Electric unit installed before the first snowfall.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!
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  #28  
Old 3rd March 2013
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thank's for the update,some people leave us hanging.
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  #29  
Old 19th July 2019
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I tested the system and actually got pretty good at it after awhile ,however I went through two gennys the original cycle electric went first,this is not a reflection on the Company ,I have had this motorcycle and the same genny, since 2010,however,I did no yearly maintenance in that time,( still learning!)the brushes wore out and into the commutator,this ruined the cycle electric armature,never do this,because good generator guys,unless they work on a lot of HARLEY MOTORCYCLES- old ones- don't know the difference between armatures out there ,there are three gennys worth buying IF they are all original,and in good working condition,OR minor problems like brushes,they are -OEM or NOS H-D genny's pref. 65A , Cycle Electric genny's,( No.1 choice in anybody's book), and Hitachi genny 29980-82 also OEM after 1982,these are exceptional in that they are well built,the drive end is cast steel or iron with tons mor meat where they bolt up,a common weak area on all 65a gennys is how thin the wall between the mounting bolts and outside of the drive end genny end this should have been fixed way back when by making them thicker and wider by 1/4" this would have given them another 1/8" between the bolts and air ,the way they are is a recipe for stripping and strainJMHO,They also shoul be steel or cast iron,there is a lot of weight on those two bolts and barely a 1/16" in of metal ( if that)the only problem with the Hitachi's is parts including brushes ,they only made 3 years ,I think .there are also only two armatures worth buying Cycle Electric or Accel,Accelerate armatures seem to be a bear and run in price about the same as a Cycle Electric,at thier best the other brands May last awhile if everything else is good but you might have to send a couple back before you get a good one( even a blind dog with three legs will catch a rabbit once in awhile.) my regulators also tested good while being tested they were also old and cycle electric but they keep a charge running to the batt,they also shut the genny off and on to keep it from overcharging and overheating and burning up ,mine apparently did not,I have a new Cycle electric genny coming and I have a new cycle electric regulator in hand,the old one I will rebuild with good components even the Taiwan one,these are a step up from Chinese but not much of a step ,but the heart of a genny,and the part which almost always goes is the Armature,and some have broken with bad,bad effect in the gear box,this alone is reason to buy only the good aforementioned brands ,if you buy a cheap brand,buy good armature to put in it,then the price woul be what a good one cost anyway.oh the Hitachi's are different than the others ,no parts interchange not even brushes,but a good one is gold,maintain them all once a year.
These are just a few of the things I have earned in the last month,electrics was my weak point,I'm getting better ,buy a good multi meter,read the sticky's,get the info on line from cycle Electric,talk to good auto -cycle electricians,ask questions of them there's sometimes more than one way to get the same results.don't assume learn how to test the stuff,this last month cost me some but I got edjikated enuff to earn something ,education costs ,
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