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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 12th November 2008
golden236 golden236 is offline
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Default Generator Question

Hey guys, Mark from omaha here. I have introduced myself but it has been a while so Hi again......Took my 74 iron out today for her maiden voyage! Every thing was cherries. On my way home I noticed that my generator was not charging according to my voltage reg/monitors led lights. I bottomed out in my driveway "on my fresh paint" when I got home, and it started charging again? What do you guys think should I tear off the generator and have it checked out? How does the generator work? Does it charge only when battery voltage is low or is it supposed to charge all the time? I hope my questions aren't stupid but I figured since you guys un knowingly got me trough this entire build that you would have some ansewers for me. Thanks in advance for the help.
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  #2  
Old 13th November 2008
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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The gen is simple inside. Remove it, dismantle, clean, inspect, put it back together, "install it, polarize it," probably good to go.

It gets filthy inside. And the brushes can get stuck. These problems are easy to fix yourself. If banging it like that fixed it then probably a brush was hung up. I use a spray can of electrical contacts cleaner [or brake & parts cleaner] and clean it out over a bucket.

Check out any info on the gen in the Charging System Checkout Sticky, and in your FM. You most likely do not need to remove the gen drive gear.

Last edited by IronMick; 13th November 2008 at 11:59.. Reason: inserted the "install it, polarize it".
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Old 13th November 2008
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superwarden superwarden is offline
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I would agree with Mick's assessment.
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  #4  
Old 13th November 2008
golden236 golden236 is offline
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Default gen

Thanks guys. I seen the sticky on electrical check up, and am going to tear into her tommorow. I am anxious to see what it is all about inside. Thanks again guys.
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  #5  
Old 13th November 2008
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russzx6 russzx6 is offline
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you forgot "flash it" Mick!!
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Old 13th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russzx6 View Post
you forgot "flash it" Mick!!
Thanx. For my punishment I'll go back and edit the post ...
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  #7  
Old 13th November 2008
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russzx6 russzx6 is offline
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Gotta keep an eye on your advise Mick
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Old 13th November 2008
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ericfreeman ericfreeman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russzx6 View Post
Gotta keep an eye on your advise Mick
I'd be more concerned about keeping an eye on Hopper! Haven't heard any reports of raping and pillaging yet from his epic road trip.

Eric
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Old 13th November 2008
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another suspect could be thr regulator if it's a mechanical type.
my bike started pouring acid out of my batt 1 day and it was HOTT
i smacked my regulator and everything was fine i guess it was stuck or something.
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  #10  
Old 13th November 2008
Campsurf Campsurf is offline
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Quote:
i smacked my regulator and everything was fine i guess it was stuck or something.

That about sums up my mechanical style on occasions..

The generator output is constant and the regulator lets the right amount of voltage pass and on the old mechanical regs the excess was diverted to ground. With the advent of modern electronics regs beginning in the early 1970s...this started to become the way to go, there were draw backs .. some owners were left stranded by regs burning out and no quick replacements, things have changed as quality improved. .. I always ran a mechanical reg on my Sportster , it never failed me, so why change. On Triumphs, I wouldn't think of using anything but an electronic reg... Typanium..

The one thing to remember about electronic regs is cooling.. the excess voltage on these units is "sent" away through heat.

The main difference from earlier regs and later ones is amperage.. they started out with 15-16 amp regs and it has grown to 36 amps today and 40 amps on the larger Harley's ... using a regulator that is of the "right size" is important because of the charging/lighting that needs to take place. One thing I do hate is having to run with my headlights on all the time ... the system wasn't designed to operate this way.. IMO ... the charging system on Ironheads is one of it's weakest links to a great machine (this applies to electric start models) Using the smaller battery and kick only has to some degrees less problems. .. .. I run an electronic reg and a Cycle Electric Generator... that is the best you can hope for with this system. I am running a halogen light also.. the old car headlight just wasn't enough light .. things are working good so far.

PS... get a battery tender... you won't be sorry. also keep everything in top working order,then there is less stress on the battery and less stress on the battery translates to less stress on the charging system.



Jim
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