Electrical problem

Electrical issues
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PanPal
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:57 pm
Bikes: 50 EL custom
58 FL
76 FLH All Original
Location: Maryland

Electrical problem

#1

Post by PanPal » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:00 pm

It is a stock 59 with the original 6 volt set up. I can charge my battery with the tendor and it stays above 6 volts after sitting for several days hook up in the bike. Last night I started it and the generator light stayed on and when I turned the bike off the battery had 4.7 volts. May be I'm not flashing the field correctly? I used a jumper wire from my battery terminal on the regulator and sparked the field terminal on the generator before starting it, then again with it running when I saw the generator light on. Another strange thing is the oil and generator lights seem dim with the switch turned on, then as I kick the bike, at times the lights become very bright. as I kick it over a little more they go dim again. The brushes are not worn down, could it be the segments on the armature?? After the last 3 day run I thought I lost another 6 volt battery, but with the positive off the battery checking amp readings with the key switch off between the battery positive and the positive wire. I was reading 4 amp draw. It went away when I fiddled with the horn button, so I disconnected the horn wires at the horn. I am still wondering if the spark advance cable could have rubbed through the cloth wire in the handlebar near the button. After my trip I stopped at a friends house with the bike. He grounded a terminal (not sure which one) on my regulator with a wire to the frame with the bike running and the head light got very bright. He looked at me a said your charging system is good, the generator put out 9 volts when calling for it from the regulator. I suppose it could all be the battery, but it seems I must have another issue. The entire bike was rewired 3 years ago. with a new harness and it has been running well up until recently. Any suggestions on where to check. I don't want to buy another battery just to kill it because something else is wrong. Could I use a known good 6 volt tractor battery during the testing untill everything checks out or will I fry something?



awander
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'64 FLH

Re: Electrical problem

#2

Post by awander » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:09 pm

A 6 volt tractor battery should not hurt anything for use in testing.

It sounds like you have an intermittent short, or possibly a bad ground connection somwhere.

VT

Re: Electrical problem

#3

Post by VT » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:19 pm

I used a jumper wire from my battery terminal on the regulator and sparked the field terminal on the generator before starting it
Put the jumper on the Bat. terminal of the regulator and flash the Gen. terminal of the regulator with the free end of the jumper. All wires have to be connected first. Do the flash of the field coils this way first, then start sluething the problem out.
The spark advance cable should not move since it's fixed by a set screw into the channel of the coil stop.
If you had a change when you fiddled with the horn switch, I'd start looking there for a short. Longer than stock handlebar screws will allow the screw-shank to rub the wires of the switch inside the handlebar. Run a screw out and check it's length.

PanPal
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:57 pm
Bikes: 50 EL custom
58 FL
76 FLH All Original
Location: Maryland

Re: Electrical problem

#4

Post by PanPal » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:43 pm

Thanks for the quick replies. It sound like I did flash the generator correctly. I'll check the horn button and screws. Your right about the spark cable.... That is in a fixed position. I don't think a short on the horn circuit would make the lights on my dash dim and brighten as the motor is rotated though.

awander
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Posts: 1139
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'64 FLH

Re: Electrical problem

#5

Post by awander » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:07 pm

I don't think a short on the horn circuit would make the lights on my dash dim and brighten as the motor is rotated though.
It might not be the motor rotation that is causing the change-it might be the general motion of the bike as you kick it over, breaking an intermittent short to ground .

If it truly is rotation of teh motor, that is probably due to the timer opening and closing the points-and the dimming and brightening of teh dash lights could just be that your battery is close to dead, or it could indicate a probolem in the ignition circuit.

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