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  #1  
Old 11th June 2018
MEdwards MEdwards is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster XL1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 85
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Default 85 XL1000 Gen Light

The last two times I road my 85 XL1000 the generator light came on and would flicker and if I reeved it up it would go out. I'm new to Harleys. What should I be checking?

Thanks,

Mark E.
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  #2  
Old 12th June 2018
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alternator behind the clutch.
check connections first, grounds are important especially for the regulator. load test the battery. any excess loads on the machine, aka, added accessories?
then test the stator. info should be here on the forum, do you have the FSM?
one thing that could cause issue is a magnet shift. if the spacing of the magnet is lost, the N/S fields are canceled there and there will be a loss in output especially so at low speeds. since this is behind the clutch, rule out everything you can first.
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  #3  
Old 12th June 2018
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83XLX 83XLX is offline
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There's no generator light on an '85. The early '84 models were the last ones with a generator or a GEN warning light.
__________________
I never wanted a Harley, but I always wanted a Sportster.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it (especially if you don't know what you're doing). Most Sportster problems are owner-induced.
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  #4  
Old 13th June 2018
MEdwards MEdwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
There's no generator light on an '85. The early '84 models were the last ones with a generator or a GEN warning light.
Then the title is wrong because it says 85. It has the single tank that looks like a double tank with the speedo in the middle in the cluster. It has a GEN green, orange, and OIL red lights just below the speedo.
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Old 13th June 2018
MEdwards MEdwards is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
alternator behind the clutch.
check connections first, grounds are important especially for the regulator. load test the battery. any excess loads on the machine, aka, added accessories?
then test the stator. info should be here on the forum, do you have the FSM?
one thing that could cause issue is a magnet shift. if the spacing of the magnet is lost, the N/S fields are canceled there and there will be a loss in output especially so at low speeds. since this is behind the clutch, rule out everything you can first.
I checked all the wires the best I could last night. Everything looks ok and tight. The wiring is all original so it's pretty brittle but I didn't see anything loose or disconnected. What is FSM? Is that the manual? If so then no I don't have one. Which manual is the best one to get?
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  #6  
Old 14th June 2018
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the factory is best
but
the sportsterpedia probably has all you need. it is free from caring individuals who love the machine.
for some reason, your year model is had to find on the net as a freebie. i have the 86 but not the 85.
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Old 14th June 2018
MEdwards MEdwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
the factory is best
but
the sportsterpedia probably has all you need. it is free from caring individuals who love the machine.
for some reason, your year model is had to find on the net as a freebie. i have the 86 but not the 85.
I noticed on the sportsterpedia it mentions polarizing the magnets. I have a 62 Ford Thunderbird. Whenever I disconnect the battery I have to polarize the regulator or the generator light will stay on. Is this something that needs to be done on the older Sportsters if the battery is disconnected?
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Old 14th June 2018
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So, do you have a generator or an alternator? If you have a generator, it is external and will be mounted at the front of the engine, and the oil filter will be below it on the engine mounting plate. If you have an alternator, it will be inside the primary and the oil filter will be mounted on the front of the engine in the spot previously occupied by the generator on the older models. Alternators don't need to be polarized, but generators do under certain conditions. A generator will hold its polarization for a while even when the battery is disconnected, but if there's any question about it, polarizing one is easy and doesn't hurt anything. Just "flash" a connection between the "A" terminal of the generator and the + battery terminal.
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Old 14th June 2018
MEdwards MEdwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
So, do you have a generator or an alternator? If you have a generator, it is external and will be mounted at the front of the engine, and the oil filter will be below it on the engine mounting plate. If you have an alternator, it will be inside the primary and the oil filter will be mounted on the front of the engine in the spot previously occupied by the generator on the older models. Alternators don't need to be polarized, but generators do under certain conditions. A generator will hold its polarization for a while even when the battery is disconnected, but if there's any question about it, polarizing one is easy and doesn't hurt anything. Just "flash" a connection between the "A" terminal of the generator and the + battery terminal.
Thanks for the quick reply. It's an alternator one then as the oil filter is up front of the engine and there is no generator there. My dash cluster right under the green light is stamped with GEN. So I thought it had a generator vice alternator. I'm beginning to wonder if the tank and gauge cluster isn't from another model. Anyway I'm not much on electronics so it doesn't take much to stump me. All I know is the green light comes on and flickers. If I reeve it up enough it will go out. I just don't want to be off and my battery dies.
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Old 14th June 2018
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Hard to say what it is without a picture, then. Could be an aftermarket "quick bob" tank, but who knows what the green light is hooked up to.
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