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  #1  
Old 26th August 2009
timewarped1972's Avatar
timewarped1972 timewarped1972 is offline
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Default 1977 generator brush inspection (with details and pics)

well i was reading through the stickies again and reading some stuff on the charging system and read the info on inspecting/cleaning the generator brush'. i had not done that yet and seemed like a simple enough procedure so thought i would take a crack at it and document it with some pics as there were no photo's in the stickie and the ones in the manual i don't think are as good as the ones i took, lol...

some of the re assembly pics and instructions may be a little redundant but since i had the camera out and had a few other little things to mention i went ahead and included that stuff too, including polarizing the generator on the bike.

sooooooo, from the top.........

another quick note...your supposed to use electrical contact cleaner to clean the brushes and surrounding area, it's been said for along time that brake cleaner is the same stuff and works just as well. i found through some looking on the web that as long as the brake cleaner is NON-CHLORINATED its basically the same stuff. the CRC brand of brake clean is the same as their electrical cleaner, as for other brands i can't say.


ok, lets get to it........here we are, one 1977 sportster with a cycle electric, made in the U.S MODEL 65A (model number not amps) 12v generator




first i remove the chrome metal end cap with a screwdriver, this exposes the generator end cap strap



i then removed the A (armature) and F (field) wires from the generator.



now on to removing the generator end cap strap...2 7/16's nutts with nyloc inserts...



ok, now it's time to remove the end cap clamp that goes around the outside of the generator and end cap...



ok, now it's time to remove the end cap. it pulls straight off but you may have to wiggle and twist it a bit....



this is all the parts removed this far...



ok, now the generator brush assembly and plate are exposed. this plate will simply pull straight off. you can see 3 wires.....1 for each brush and the other one, in my photo the one with the red crimp end you can remove so the plate slides off...



here's a shot of it sliding off and the brushes slowly springing out....notice i did not follow my own advice and remove the red crimp connected wire first.....this is ok i just held the plate and removed it...also, these little bolts have philips head screw on the back side, it may slip when you remove the nut, in which case you just slide it off the shaft with wire still on and then you can hold the screw from the back side to keep it from turning.........you do not need to remove the wires that go to the brushes, just the one.......




another shot with the wire removed removing the brushes and plate assembly




next are the areas usually needing to be cleaned, the brushes themselves, and the commutator area.....the commutator should not be severly worn, and the brushes longest side should'nt be less than a half inch, according to the factory manual.



a shot inside the generator with the brush assembly removed...



another shot of the brush plate and brushes....i don't know if this is the original generator or not, or if some ones been in it before...it looked very clean, very little dust or residue at all. the bike shows about 7000 miles and from what i've seen on it i believe thats accurate.....ofcourse the brushes simply slide out of their spring loaded sockets and you un bolt the wire from the plate and theres your brush ready to clean or replace........note, the factory manual recomends seating new brushes with a brush seating stone......i am un familair with this process...



ok, all looks good here, time to put her back together...like i said mine was clean.....i just wiped the parts off with a paper towel and proceded to put them back together...after cleaning the parts go wash your hands real good........i did that so as i held the brushes in with my thumbs while re installing the plate and brushes, no extra grease or hand oils get on the brush surface...




now i re install the plate completely and install the red crimp wire...note the brush on the left, i moved the wire so it's to the right of the post and no chance of rubbing on the inside of the end cap when installed, check the same onthe other brush wire as well....





ok, now it's time to replace the end cap, theres also bearings inside this end cap that should be inspected for wear and grease as well...as shown if you look at the prior pic of the inside of the end cap.....ALSO, when re installing the end cap there is a notch in the bottom of the cap (see pic below) that aligns with a small pin...i'm assuming so you can't try and put the end cap on the wrong way and or to keep it from moving...





ok, now the end cap is on, time to re install the end cap strap (rendundant i know but hey why not).......




then re install the end cap to generator clamp...note this is the priro photo of removing the clamp, which is why the end cap strapis not visible in this photo...





ok, all thats left is to hook up the Armature and Field wires and put the chrome cover back on........ i've had the generator off a time or so and the wires off and never needed to polarize it, but i did in this case because one, it's good to know how to do it and two, i figured i better do it having had it apart like this....

i also put a piece of red shrink wrap on the armature connector because this is the one you connect a jumper wire to and then touch to the POSITIVE battery terminal......you will hear a slight click and probably get a spark at the battery when you touch it.......again, thats the A armature jumped to the POSITIVE battery terminal to polarize the generator......







ok thats it in a nutt shell, pretty simple but likei said always better with pics. i started her up, the battery at rest was about 12.5 volts......the stickie says batteries should be at in the 12's to 13 volts sitting, honestly most of the 12 volt batteries i've ever seen in good shape having been properly charged rest around 12.5 to 12.8....then again i been using the same digital meter for 10 plus years so, lol... when it's at idle it charges at mid 12's and up a little and when on the gas charges at mid to high 13 volts.......which i beleieve is just fine.......any other photo's, information, corrections, etc, more than welcome
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  #2  
Old 26th August 2009
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Great write up.
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Old 26th August 2009
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A good write up with great pictures.
Some rep for that.
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  #4  
Old 26th August 2009
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
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^^^^^^^^^^ I agree!
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Old 24th September 2009
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Great piece. Excellent photos. Now the same lesson except on removing the entire generator (including drive gear). Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 10th July 2012
75Ironheads 75Ironheads is offline
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Hey, thanks that was easy to follow and answered a lot of questions for a newbie. Thanks for your time.
....
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  #7  
Old 25th June 2013
bhfd64 bhfd64 is offline
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Another appreciative newb. Getting a lot from these stickies
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