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Electrical nightmare

Electrical issues
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Hummbusa
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:34 pm

Electrical nightmare

#1

Post by Hummbusa » Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:44 pm

Well here goes...I was riding home on my 50 pan(6 volt) last week when it starts cutting out so I turn off my lights and continue home unscathed. I search the forum and start the process of elimination..first check battery seems fine because I can charge it up and run bike for a while then same symptoms. Next I take out genny and take it apart wow tons of grease all over so I clean it up check brushes they seem a little worn but not horrible so I put it back in...then I start searching for the voltage regulator part (duh i guess they are called relays) from the board that seems likely problem.get relay today charge up battery start it up genny light stays on.I ride with light for awhile then same thing turn off lights come home turn on lights DEAD..Any insight??



dereborn
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:11 pm
Bikes: .
Location: Halsingland, Sweden
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Re: Electrical nightmare

#2

Post by dereborn » Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:40 am

After having it all apart You polarized it of course? I used to miss doin' that...

57FLH
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:46 am

Re: Electrical nightmare

#3

Post by 57FLH » Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:31 pm

Check your ignition switch wiring. Mine did the same thing one night & I ended up riding home across the Golden Gate bridge without lights! Scary, but no ticket!
I later found that the poles of my switch were grounding against the dash cover. Also look at where your rear brake light wires pass through the rear fender, the rear running light runs on the same circuit & can tend to short out there. Mine would sputter & then eventually pop my main fuse. Good luck.....

VintageTwin
Panhead Register Member
Posts: 707
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
Location: Repop Hell

Re: Electrical nightmare

#4

Post by VintageTwin » Sun Sep 26, 2004 2:32 pm

You can look in the 48-57 Panhead Manual for tips into troubleshooting your gen. On pg. 183, they start by telling you to remove the black wire from gen. signal light on relay. (relays are different that '58-up voltage regs.) Keep wire end away from metal and turn ignition switch "ON". If wire is not grounding to something, then dash lamp should remain out. If grounded lamp will remain on. With motor running at fast idling speed and wire grounded somewhere unseen, the dash light will remain "ON" whether gen. is charging or not. Test battery. If condit. is questionable get new battery before you continue. Remove left footboard and clutch pedal assembly. Remove any condensers if you have any connected. Not timer condenser. Radio junk. Remove gen. cover. Inspect brushes. Not sticking in holders. Make sure commutator is bright metal, not gummed up. If fault not found. It may be relay connected. To check whether trouble is is in gen., or relay (or volt. reg.) or wiring between the units, connect an ammeter between bat. neg. post and ground. Start motor. disconnect wires from gen. "relay" terminal and battery poz. terminal. Connect a jumper wire betwixt the two, and check reading on ammeter. If gen. shows a normal charging rate (4 amps on a three-brush), trouble is in relay, or in wiring betwixt them. If gen shows no charge. Gen must be removed for further attention. Our book says about the same thing. So get one of the books or both. You need all the books available for your machine.

BigMike
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 10:13 pm
Bikes: 01 FLHPI
64 FLH
Various partials....
Location: SW Florida

Re: Electrical nightmare

#5

Post by BigMike » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:34 pm

I've been plagued by electrical gremlins on my 64 since day one. yesterday I figured I'd break down and start tracing wires and fix the little stuff, since I've got the tanks off, and am carefully re-assembling. What a nightmare! previous owner "re-wired" but didn't use the correct ignition switch or wire harness, no terminal board in front, wire color changes within the sleeves, oil light and taillight wired wrong, indicator lamps held in place with ty-wraps. ring terminal soldered to ground side of lamp socket...... shit! I guess if I want to be sure it's right I'll have to re-wire correctly.
Anybody ever use the V-Twin pre-wired dash base and wire harness? other suggestions before I just take the easy route and rewire?

VintageTwin
Panhead Register Member
Posts: 707
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
Location: Repop Hell

Re: Electrical nightmare

#6

Post by VintageTwin » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:57 pm

Re-wire it. You will need to use your own connectors with any AM harness. The wires are too long in most cases. I like to use Metric Man connectors, 'cause they grab the wire and..the insulation and make a secure bridge between the two. Metric eyelets, but not a problem except the rings are too small for the battery posts connections. I ream my eyelets out with a rat-tail file, if necessary. Shrink wrap each connector. Neat. The crimp tool (ETL-1) and connectors, 4.8mm ring terminal (ECX-43), 6.5mm ring terminal (ECX-44) can be ordered through NAPA, from Metric Man, in Santee, CA. Or, if you're a business call Metric direct at (619) 596-2440.
P.S. Turn your fork to it's maximum left travel so you don't cut your wires to the fork panel too short.

King
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm

Re: Electrical nightmare

#7

Post by King » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:12 pm

Hummbusa

I second 57FLH's comment on ignition switch post grounding. Mine did that after one of my rewirings. I guess I had bent the contact and it grounded against the dash cover. When I discovered the problem I also noticed that I had forgotten to install the rubber isolator between the dash and the tanks. That let the dash down the critical distance to cause the short. Just to be safe I covered the inside of the dash with elecrical tape in the area of the swith and with isolator installed have not had any problems in that area since.

Hope your solution is as simple.

King

richierich
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Bikes: 1952 Harley Davidson panhead
Location: Hillsboro,Oregon

Re: Electrical nightmare

#8

Post by richierich » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:50 am

You know I had a gremlin that just appeared out of nowhere after my 52 pan had been running great for months. I had a flat spot, ,cut out about a third of the way through the powerband in each gear , kind of a cough , electrical stumble. I pulled my hair out for about a month and a half. I had the carb down 4 times , cleaned the tanks , change points, condenser , coil , new battery, checked every wire possible , still no good .Then I had to pull my fuel tanks off to helicoil the upper mount studs and found a few of the wires from the ignition switch had been compressed between the tank and frame.....no damaged insulation or exposed wires but my belief is it was causing some sort of resistance and causing a weak spark to the plugs....bike would not run without running carb extremely rich...then it would foul plugs constantly....ever since I moved those wires my scoot is running perfect....go figure

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