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

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  #1  
Old 7th May 2021
ThenCameHarry's Avatar
ThenCameHarry ThenCameHarry is offline
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Default 79 Ironhead Generator Questions

I want to buy a new generator for one of my 79 Ironhead restoration projects.
The one that’s in there now is still working, but I want to service it and keep it as a spare.

The XL 79 to 85 parts catalog shows part number 29975-65B.
However the different online warehouses make reference to 29975-65A.

Also somewhere I read in the Donnie Peterson’s manual that there is a 10 AMP version and a 13 AMP version. I forgot exactly what it said.

My questions:

1. Can anybody clarify the difference between A and B in the part numbers.

2. Can anybody clarify the 10 amp versus 13 amp issue.

3. A new generator in the supply houses runs anywhere from 160 to over 400 dollars. Even though I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for sometimes we end up paying extra for a name or some “overkill” that we really don’t need.

I was hoping Ironhead riders on this forum could tell me about the brand names and the reliability of their generators and if there is a certain generator they prefer and why.

Thanks much for your help.

Cheers,
Harry
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  #2  
Old 7th May 2021
andy2175m4 andy2175m4 is offline
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79 XLS: I dont know the brand name, has no label on it, the workmanship was industry standard, I am sure they all come form the same factory. the one I bought is the generic (china?) generator on Ebay for $175, works great, I would recommend it, I am sure it's indistinguishable from the original. It makes the headlight bright, puts out just over 14 volts with all the lights on, I dont have any driving lights on the bike, and I dont know the exact output in amps, but for the price, it was an exact replacement of the original.

I buy new generic alternators and starters, etc, at O'Riley for my vintage cars, they are all made in China and they work fine right out of the box, A rebuilt Delco or Bendix assy is fine, but those are getting rare, most of the new repro. vintage parts are made in china, and that's just how it is, but they seem to work fine.

There are a few original HD generators on ebay but I think the new generic is the best bet for good service. If it makes it thru the first month then you are ok (infant mortality)
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  #3  
Old 7th May 2021
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Default Ironhead 1979 generator

I believe the "A" version was the earlier Prestolite generator and the "B" version was later Hitachi generator.Both will fit.The original generator for 1979 was 10 amps. An other option is to keep rebuild parts possibly OEM.
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  #4  
Old 8th May 2021
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Default

The generators for 1982 to E84 are the 13 amps. AFAIK there has never been any detailed discussion of them on this forum. They are in the parts catalog 99451-85A. I "have heard" that they are not commonly found. To get one you could be either lucky to have the extra 3 amps or unlucky to have a lemon

It mates with regulator 74504-82.
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  #5  
Old 8th May 2021
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Default

Anybody ever use a Black Cycle Electric Generator from Sporty Parts, about $400.

It’s USA made.
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  #6  
Old 8th May 2021
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Cycle Electric generators are top quality. i bought one decades ago to replace the 12v conversion unit i got from v-twin in the 80's. i got the one without the CE regulator.i already had an electronic regulator from the previous swap.
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  #7  
Old 9th May 2021
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Default 65B generator

Here's a pic of the 65A and 65B together.

I'm running a 65B for over 3 years of daily riding. Had to grind a little off the gen case to make it fit the '69 cases.
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  #8  
Old 9th May 2021
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The 65B is on top.
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  #9  
Old 10th May 2021
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Default

Thanks all of you for your advice. This is again been very educational.

Especially seeing the difference between the A & B generators.

I did order a cycle electric generator. USA made.

One of you gave it a good review. Good enough for me.

Again, thanks everybody for your inputs.

Every time I ask a question on this forum it becomes a learning experience.

That’s a very good thing.

Cheers,
Harry
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  #10  
Old 10th May 2021
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Good choice on the Cycle Electric. I'm running them on both of my Ironheads with no problems.

Eric
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