Polarizing, can you go from the battery to the generator

Electrical issues
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wheels
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: southern illinois

Polarizing, can you go from the battery to the generator

#1

Post by wheels » Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:29 am

I asked this question in PhilB's thread but he solved his problem so i'll start again.
billy said to polarize at the regulator and i asked if you can go from the battery to the generator? should the ignition be on? will a low battery cause plug fouling and would if so would it foul front, back or both. iwent for a long ride on saturday and on the way home my bike started to miss and backfire. i barely made it home. the next morning i messed with it . the battery was weak. and the front plug was black the rear is good. i have been polarizing from battery to generator. i don't even qualify as a poor bar stool mechanic and when i hear Billy tell of a different way to polarize i take notice. also should you polarize periodically? I miss my joe hunt magneto.



Toymaster
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 11:59 am

Re: Polarizing

#2

Post by Toymaster » Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:40 pm

Providing that your wiring is 'standard/normal', you can polarize the field coils:
Ignition can be off.. that has no bearing on it really..
From the 'Battery +' [the actual battery terminal] to: the generator 'A [rmature]' terminal.. [or to regulator 'Gen' terminal]
Or flash from 'Bat +' terminal on the regulator to: 'Gen' terminal on the regulator.. [or to the 'A' terminal on the generator ..]
The end result is the all the same..

I do it from the actual 'Battery +' to 'Arm' on generator, [since I run a 'solid state' 6V regulator that doesn't have the usual terminals [like a Delco or Bosch regulator does.. the 'Battery +' wire is 'spliced' to a wire that goes to the battery.. there are no 'terminals' ]

Generally you only have to polarize when a component[generator regulator battery] has been removed/replaced from the system.. I often find that swapping a battery usually doesn't even need it.. [although swapping, or recharging, a 'dead' battery may require it..]
Any time I do a regulator or generator R&R I 'flash' it.. it's easy enough to do...
Charlie

wheels
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: southern illinois

Re: Polarizing

#3

Post by wheels » Thu Oct 28, 2004 4:08 pm

thanks for the reply. unfortunately my questions didn't get much response from all the other great minds out there. this problem has been driving me nuts for 4 days now. thanks again.

57Kicker
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Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:47 am

Re: Polarizing

#4

Post by 57Kicker » Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:16 am

Other great minds? ??? hmmm...Not some where other than here?! Well, wheels I think I will give my 2cents worth and hope you don't ask for change back :-X ...i gotta get me a beer

If your bike was starting to miss and backfire I would suspect the condenSor. You got one of those, right? Get a new one. They are less than 5bucks here in Canada. If that solves it go out and buy a spare for your pocket. I don't know about you but I hate pushing my bike home.(learned the hard way)

I think a low battery may cause some problems as well. Might even burn the points I think. Hopefully some more knowlagable senior members or even long time pan riders will help us here.

I had the same knida quetions when I started hanging out here. That's why I am still here. Lots of stuff to learn and some great advice!

CHEERS!

57Kicker
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:47 am

Re: Polarizing

#5

Post by 57Kicker » Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:25 am

POLARIZING....what i do is use a quarter or some other metal coin from my pocket and touch the two screws on the regulator marked as "B" and "A" as in (B)attery and (A)rmature. Same as what you do only I don't need to access the battery under my seat....cheeers!

Billy
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Re: Polarizing

#6

Post by Billy » Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:39 am

Wheels-
Have you tried polarizing it? It's all laid out for you.
The part about me turning ON the key, I think is just an old habit.Youre coming off the + batt terminal anyway.

Yeah a low drained battery can cause running problems, & even have weak spark, fouling plugs.
Polarize it & then hook up to a volt meter see what she's putting out..

kell
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Re: Polarizing

#7

Post by kell » Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:14 pm

So often these endless electrical problems are just a voltage regulator.
If you feel adventurous try this.
1 Charge your battery, make sure it has water in it. Use distilled.
2 Disconnect the voltage regulator.
3 Using a jumper, ground the Field terminal.
4 Start the bike.
5 Connect the wire from the battery positive to the Armature terminal. (Do not do step 5 until the engine is running, and if your bike dies disconnect the battery + wire from the generator right away. Then restart.)
6 Turn all the lights on and ride for an hour or so or however long it takes until you know whether the generator is keeping up with the full electrical load. It would be a very good idea to have a voltmeter on it.

If the bike runs well this way, you know you need a better voltage regulator. It's either bad or it might actually be good and you just need one with a higher output.
If you wire your charging system like this still don't get juice your generator might need a rebuild.

P.S. Don't run it all day like this.

Toymaster
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 11:59 am

Re: Polarizing

#8

Post by Toymaster » Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:25 pm

You say 'front plug black, rear good'..
Are you running a dual point, or single point distributor?
If a single, I doubt low voltage then due to one being good [both would probably be black/fouled some if voltage was low.. ]and yes low battery can lead to fouled plugs/hard starting, etc..]
If it's a dual point, possibly one bad coil, condensor, out of time, etc..
That's not oil on the plug is it?

wheels
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: southern illinois

Re: Polarizing

#9

Post by wheels » Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:09 pm

here are the symptoms. it happened again last night. i took off from the house at about 6pm. bike started easy. ihave to kick start because the starter is shot. when i first took off the bike sputtered and missed a little. after about two miles it started running good.rode about 15 miles. i stopped for about an hour and went to leave and the bike started on first kick but when we took off it did the same thing sputtered and missed for about two to three miles then started running fine. rode about 15 miles again. made another stop for about two hours bike started right up and same thing sputtering and missing rode about a mile and was then in town. went through town at around 30 mph and it really started missing and backfiring got to the edge of town and leter' eat but wouldn't clear it self.its about two mile to the house and barely made it again. took the plugs out this mornig back looks good front black soot. arter the first two stops i thought the auto advance was stuck in advance because once it warmed up it runs great. but after the last deal i'm left clueless( not an uncommon state for me). also a couple of days ago i found a short under the dash and fixed it. i was hoping that was my problem but no such luck. as always any insight from any and all is greatly appreciated. one more thing is i havn't changed the condensor but will do that asap. my bike is 65 if that matters.

VintageTwin
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Re: Polarizing

#10

Post by VintageTwin » Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:38 pm

Every single thing matters, the year, 6 or 12V, Cu. in., the carburetor, intake manifolds, stock or hop-up? 8-) On 1936-1960 Big Twins, the points gap is exactly 0.022". Find out the points gap on a '65, it may be 0.020". Make sure your points are set correctly. A bad condenser on a 6V, '36-60 will allow the motor to fire once, maybe. There is a test for this. With a bad condenser points will have a pale blur or yellow spark, but the plugs won't create a spark. The condenser will hold a little charge if it's good and will spark when the pigtail is touched to the side of the condenser barrel, if you watch closely in a darkened room. Every THING you have on your machine means everything. If you leave out one single fact, we will all go down trails that will dead-end. Manifold leaks out number any problem that gets posted.

Plain
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:18 pm

Re: Polarizing

#11

Post by Plain » Sun Oct 31, 2004 5:34 pm

Wheels:

A bad condensor is truly an evil thing. It will make you think that other things are wrong with the motor, like a carb out of whack. Condensors have been the bane of my existence. Replace the condensor. When you know that you have a good one in place then you can start to zero in on the problem, if a new condensor does not fix it.

Adios-----Plain

wheels
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: southern illinois

Re: Polarizing

#12

Post by wheels » Sun Oct 31, 2004 6:23 pm

my bike is a 65. i bought it from a dealer off the net. don't know alot about what has been done to engine. when i got the go ahead to get a bike i wanted a panhead that was up and running because i wanted to ride emediately. i had been too long without. with that said, it is bassically stock, 12 ignition,linkert carb. i suspect the engine may have a mild cam as it really screams from mid-range through top end when running right. i will get a new condensor monday am to eliminate that possability. the similarities between my two saturday night outs is that once it warmed up it ran good on the open road at 50-70+mph and as soon as i got in town it started backfiring and missing bad. thanks for the help i sincerely appreciate it. i just wnat to ride while the weather is holding out. i forgot to add the motor does not smoke and has good compression.

mbskeam
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Re: Polarizing

#13

Post by mbskeam » Sun Oct 31, 2004 8:52 pm

hello
after the condensor change, if it still does this. check the plug wires are they good (tight on the spark plug)had this happen last month when I got it back up and running. But the free coil I got I think was the real problem. Got a buddys new coil and put it on and have not had a real problem since. the problem you desribe fits mine to a T. starting with the condensor thing and going on from there.I think my coil was a heat related issue . It ran good in the cool morning( 27miles) then in the heat of the afternoon it would start this crap up, missing, farting, poping...etc. let us know what you find :o
mbskeam

wheels
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:47 pm
Location: southern illinois

Re: Polarizing

#14

Post by wheels » Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:57 pm

i tinkered with the bike sunday. put new plugs in and fired it up. i immediately noticed spark would jump from the points down. it didn't do it continuously but maybe once every ten or fifteen seconds. the bike would miss or pop every time. i let it run and watched it for a while and after about four or five minutes it quit doing it. took it out and it ran great. i got a new condensor from local napa store,(although i prefer to buy everything from my local independant panhead mechanic, but he is usually not around on mondays and is 20 miles away.) but haven't installed it yet and couldn't ride anyway due to torential rain again. iwill post results as soon as i can. i also noticed sunday the screw fell out of my distributor cover saturday night and it was rattling around. well thanks for all the help to everyone who responded.

VintageTwin
Panhead Register Member
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Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
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Re: Polarizing

#15

Post by VintageTwin » Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 am

Make sure the post and connections are all isolated too. Cracked fiber insulators will allow arcing.

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