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

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1979, charging, generator, voltage, xls

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  #11  
Old 16th January 2012
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I think [but i do not know] that the salt and the NeverSieze were the problem.

Best test for a solid state regulator is to replace it with a known good unit. There is a test in the charging system Sticky, but it tests only one of the three circuits in the reg.
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  #12  
Old 17th January 2012
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you can get quality gen parts from excel. cheap brushes will foul the segments of the armature. make sure the micrata insulators are 1/16" below the surface of the copper segments, can cut down with a pick or hacksaw blade. make sure the commutator is round to keep brushes from working in the holders, can be dressed with a drill or such and a fine file as a poorboy operation. most auto parts stores can test regulators just need some jumpers. make sure the ground brush has a good connection.
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  #13  
Old 17th January 2012
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I always polarize the generator, religiously...

I'm going to cross my fingers, and hope it was salt, clean everything up really good and plunk one of my two working generators back in.

I completely forgot to do the voltage output test (which might have been the easier test.) I'll do that when I get one back in the bike.

Thanks all!
D.
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  #14  
Old 17th January 2012
bykrdan bykrdan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
most auto parts stores can test regulators just need some jumpers. make sure the ground brush has a good connection.
Thanks for the tip - didn't think of that...
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  #15  
Old 17th January 2012
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The easiest, most direct and intuitive gen test is the amps test described in the Charging System Sticky.
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  #16  
Old 20th January 2012
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Default I might be some kind of genius...

Duly noted, Mick.

But that pinion gear is a bugger to get on and off the shaft, so before I stick one of my two generators back in there, I thought I might try a bit of a bench test:

I just chucked a variable speed reversible drill, gently, (because it's on the threads) to the generator shaft and spun it up full speed. The drill should put out 2500 RPM - maybe a little less when it's spinning a heavy generator armature. I'm guessing that's not quite the same RPM the generator spins when the motor is doing 2000.

To my surprise and delight, both generators put out right around 13.5V. The amps were a little weaker - both produced a consistent 3 to 5A, again, probably because of the speed.

To test my theory, I used a known good generator in the same rig and got the same results. I believe I can safely return the known good generator now.

Huh - I was going to upload some pictures of my great bench test rig, but I seem to have lost permission to upload photos... Too bad. It was great!
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  #17  
Old 20th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bykrdan View Post
... I was going to upload some pictures of my great bench test rig, but I seem to have lost permission to upload photos... Too bad. It was great!
Best is to use PhotoBucket. The forum server lacks space for attachments.
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  #18  
Old 8th February 2012
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Thanks again, everybody - all is well again.

I was going to say, turns out it was the regulator the whole time.

But come to think of it, I wound up replacing the generator and regulator at the same time before confirming I was charging again.

I put my original H-D generator back in the bike to confirm that NeverSeize did in fact cut the generator off completely :^) After I cleaned off the contacts again, I got back to the original problem of a very dim glow on the charging light. At that point, I swapped in the good regulator AND a new generator, since the HD has a stripped hole.

I was surprised to learn that the regulator could do that; being non-mechanical, I just assumed if it went bad, I would get a solid generator light, not a dim glow like I got.

But I'm pretty sure the HD generator is still good, too, once I get some helicoil in there, so I should have a spare.

I would have TWO spares, but I had to pound the armature on the CE generator so hard to get the gear off I distorted the threads. I think I could save it by cutting off the threads, drilling and tapping down into the shaft under the gear splines (will require a lathe) and inserting a threaded rod. Might be worth the trouble. Might not. If I had a lathe...

Thanks again.
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  #19  
Old 8th February 2012
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Use a puller to get the gear off. A very strong puller not a cheapie.
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  #20  
Old 9th February 2012
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Hi,

the body of the reg needs a good earth. The gen light can glow bright if there is not a good earth on the reg body. Remove the paint from the frame to bare metal, run an earth wire from there upto the earth terminal on the battery. This should help.

Andy.
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