converting to 12 volts

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Miles
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converting to 12 volts

#1

Post by Miles » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:50 pm

After 35 years of puting up with burned or welded-shut cut-out relays I'm switching to 12 volts. The first time my bike died from a dead battery and malfunctioning charging was in 1980 1/4 mile from the summit on Logans Pass MT. The last time was just as I pulled into my driveway last week. I gave up on the cut-out relays a few years ago and have been using Diodes but they can fail as well. Switching to a two brush 6 volt with a regulator may work but if I'm going to switch from a three brush to a two brush I may as well go for 12.
Question is circuit protection. Right now I have a fuse in the battery to dash wire and one in the generator to dash wire. Presently I have the battery and the generator wires junction at the ignition switch. When I replace the three brush I will have the charging wire go to the battery and the light wire to the L terminal of the generator and will eliminate the switch wire. Should I put a circuit breaker in the wire from the generator to the battery and another from the battery to the switch? How large a fuse or breaker?



1950Panhead
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#2

Post by 1950Panhead » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:19 am

I would use one breaker (or fuse) on the battery positive terminal.
Fuse rating depends on generator output and load, start at 10 amp.
I have had 6 volt replays fail, then others have worked for years.
The failures are not related to 6 volt systems, more important is high quality wire, insulation, contacts in the relay or regulator and how much vibration they can take before failure results.
Jerry

58flh
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#3

Post by 58flh » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:38 pm

Miles----6-volt systems are very reliable ,(As long as you keep on top it!)--Check it regularly if using every day!,,I went to 12-volt & never looked back!--I use a 65-A Genny/ with regulater (bosch)-mounted on top!--& a AGM batt. 12-Volt is so much more forgiving!--I never have issues as long as I pull genny every winter & clean & cut mica between the copper plates. New brushes about every 3yrs!.I have left the headlight on for a long time bike not running & was down to 9-Volts--She fired in 1-hot as always & a 1/2 hour later I was up to 12.6-Volts!.--Run 3-grounds,2 to the frame & 1-up the headlight area,you wont be sorry!--1-ground on a rigid is not enuff & bites ya when you need it most!--I run a 20-amp inline fuse on the positive right at the battery!.--Respectfully----RICHIE

Schwee
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#4

Post by Schwee » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:51 pm

Having made the 12v conversion 35 years ago, and then wrestling with voltage regulators for the next 25 years, I replaced the whole charging system with the Cycle Electric DGV-5000-L, which has an integrated regulator, about 10 years ago. So simple, so clean. I've never had another charging problem. (I also eventually went to a gel-cell battery.)

Miles
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#5

Post by Miles » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:45 pm

Thank you all,
I am also going to use the Cycle Electric 5000LH and a YTX7L-BS AGM battery. The battery is sealed and will fit in the oil tank.
What is the brand and part number of the gel battery you use?
Thanks again!

Cotten
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#6

Post by Cotten » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:29 pm

Please remember Folks,

That CE makes the finest standard 2-brush generators without the ugly end-mount regulators, too.

....Cotten

old.wrench
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#7

Post by old.wrench » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:39 pm

A little more info on the CE generators, specifically the ones with the "ugly" end mounted regulator -

It's clearly a "modern upgrade"; if your aim is a accurate restoration, it won't take you there. But . . .

If you run the one with the end mounted regulator on your panhead, you WILL have plenty of clearance for the rocker clutch assembly.

If the end mounted regulator is an aesthetic issue, you can always give the polished regulator cooling fins a shot of black paint, it goes a long way towards making it less obtrusive.

The dog-gone thing works very good!



Geo.

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Re: converting to 12 volts

#8

Post by Cotten » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:53 pm

Geo!

What makes it an "up-grade", when CE also offers fine solid state regulators that you can hide?

All parts, such as the end cap, of their standard generators directly interchange with original OEM parts.
(Many of CE's offerings were produced on the original machinery!)
With their proprietary end-mounted regulator assembly, however, you will be locked into using CE replacement parts exclusively.

That isn't really important,.... unless you are stranded a long way from home!

....Cotten

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Re: converting to 12 volts

#9

Post by socalrider » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:17 pm

Fuses are to protect the wire. Size and ampere rating of wire determines size of fuse. Do not use a fuse that has a higher amp rating than the amp rating of the wire you are using.
Suerte,
Arnulfo

old.wrench
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#10

Post by old.wrench » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:00 pm

Cotten,
I think of the CE generator with end mount regulator as a "modern upgrade" in the same way that I think of the CE solid state regulator as a "modern upgrade". Neither one looks stock, but they both do have the advantage of using modern technology and are both very reliable. I guess in this case, "modern upgrade" is just a figure of speech. I'm really glad I didn't call it a part for a "Bobber" :lol: . Now that you mention it, I seem to recall hearing that CE came into possession of some of the equipment that was used for winding the oem armatures? Cycle Electric, another good Ohio company making parts for the old iron.

Geo.

58flh
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#11

Post by 58flh » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:58 am

I dont know much about the endmounts or any chip-circuitboard thing sealed in epoxy,except if you make a minor mistake -(there done!)-I much prefer a Bosch or delco that I can adjust for my needs.I guess its just prefernce I here they work great!---Richie

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Re: converting to 12 volts

#12

Post by Cotten » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:09 pm

Richie!

I had a carbon pile for a minute, but never had the time to figure out how to use it.
Electrical stuff is hard for me to connect with.

There was a time when I could get Delco auto regulators at a buck a bushel.

Please note Folks, that as much as I depend upon CE, I must admit that one SS unit that I installed upon my battery-less mag-fired machine drooled out its potting compound sitting un-used for a decade or so.

Use it or lose it, they say!

....Cotten

Miles
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#13

Post by Miles » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:08 pm

Good point about getting a regulator on the road, I suppose if one had to a regulator from a 68 Pontiac would work.
Where would you mount the ugly regulator? Where the ugly cut out relay was?
How about the headlight, do these require a low amp motorcycle lamp like the 6 volts do or can an automobile lamp be used?

Cotten
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#14

Post by Cotten » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:38 pm

Miles!

With a small battery in the oiltank, XLCH and Volkswagen Bosch regulators (which look much less anachronistic) will get you home, but take care to keep water in the battery.
Commonly, the Bosch or rectangular solid state units are mounted upon an angled plate off of the front skidplate/motormount bolt.
CEUL.jpg
CESUGR.jpg
This leaves the relay boss open for other things.
CEKNK.jpg
I have run both off-road halogens and auto headlamps with no issues, although I personally could see better with the auto lamps!

....Cotten
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Perry Ruiter
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Re: converting to 12 volts

#15

Post by Perry Ruiter » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:54 pm

Miles wrote:After 35 years of puting up with burned or welded-shut cut-out relays I'm switching to 12 volts.
... snip ...
Switching to a two brush 6 volt with a regulator may work but if I'm going to switch from a three brush to a two brush I may as well go for 12.
Switching to two brush (or even switching to 12 volt) doesn't mean you have to trash your 32E and put something on your bike that doesn't look like it belongs. I strongly encourage two brush conversion because the generator just works so much better. The bottom of this article has the shop dope on how to connect your 32E field coils in a two brush configuration. Use the regulator recommended in the article and you'll have a bone stock looking 6 volt two brush. 12 volt conversion isn't much harder and again visually remains bone stock.

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