what does this sound like?

Electrical issues
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
rusty_apache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:56 pm
Bikes: '65 fl

what does this sound like?

#1

Post by rusty_apache » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:35 pm

I had been ignoring a slight glow from my generator light for a while, it was mainly visible only at night. Finally the light would come on for real at idle, but would go back off upon acceleration. Then it seemed to come back on at lower and lower rpms. My dad checked it out a bit, and seemed to think the generator was okay, since it would try to motor, and it would generate if he closed the points on the regulator manually. I suspected the regulator, so I put on a new one, and since I was having some possibly unrelated electrical issues from a tattered wiring harness I changed that out too.
Now when I fire up the bike, the GEN light goes out and stays out at idle, but the battery cutout coil on the relay stays engaged and the GEN light stays on until I disconnect the battery ground. I can hear the relay click as I do this. I did remember to polarize the GEN/REG. Also, the engine dies when disconnect the ground to the battery while it's idling. It acted this same way before I installed the harness, so now I'm starting to suspect there may be something wrong in the generator.
When I get back to work on it tommorrow, I'm going to pull it, but I thought I would ask you guys if there's anything I may be overlooking that would cause the cutout to get hung up. The bike is stock '65 FL.
thanks, -kevin



Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 268 times

Re: what does this sound like?

#2

Post by Cotten » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:04 am

Perhaps the load capacity of your battery is near its end.

Perhaps.

...Cotten
PS: Solid State regulators seem to always show a faint glow, even with a good battery.
Last edited by Cotten on Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

john HD
Moderator
Posts: 3677
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:24 pm
Bikes: '42 WLA X 2, '55FL, '93 Ultra Classic, '91 Fatboy, '97 883, '71 Suzuki Duster 125, '83 GPz 750.
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 77 times

Re: what does this sound like?

#3

Post by john HD » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:55 am

i also would suspect the battery first.

perhaps a run to the battey store and a load check is in order before you pull the generator.

john

awander
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 1232
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 am
Bikes: '52 FL
'64 FLH
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 53 times

Re: what does this sound like?

#4

Post by awander » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:58 am

Do you have a 2-brush generator with a regulator, or is it a 3-brush with only a cutout relay?

Bruce Palmer says in his restoration book that the reproduction cutout relays suffer from sticking points.

rusty_apache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:56 pm
Bikes: '65 fl

Re: what does this sound like?

#5

Post by rusty_apache » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:18 pm

I believe it's a two brush, but who can be sure with these old bikes. I just discovered that apparently I have a shovelhead transmission, so nothing would surprise me at this point. My local parts dealer tells me that the nuetral switches aren't interchangeable, so I won't be able to thread in the right switch. Maybe one day I can locate the correct cover. The only reason I want to make it right is because dad got caught in the rain years ago on his way to the east coast, and the handlebar switch got saturated, and began engaging the starter. I believe the starter button is only energized when it's in nuetral.

It took me about a month to sort out a charging problem my my '59 chevy school bus. Turns out some previous owner stuck a Ford generator with no I.D. tag in there. Very frustrating. Luckily, the generator from my '54 Buick super dropped right in.

I checked out the acid levels in my battery last night, and they were all full. Maybe it's just defective, because it's only a few months old. I did give it a long trickle charge after I filled it when it was brand new.
I also took a closer look at the old regulator, and it was pretty fried. One of the coils had come loose, and there were some melted solder joints too. Hopefully the armature isn't burned up as well.
The battery has been charging all night, so it should be ready for a load test. Now that i'm sure there's nothing funny going on with the wiring harness, I'm going to start running some of the tests from the posts below.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
-kevin

mbskeam
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:52 am
Location: Sultan, WASH
Been thanked: 2 times
Contact:

Re: what does this sound like?

#6

Post by mbskeam » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:32 am

my battery is only 6 months old
and it lasts 1 week before its dead (fully charged and out of bike)
these small battery's only seem to last 1 year, but I did have 1 go for 2....Lucky I guess
hate to change it now at this time of year, will have to wait till early spring....

mbskeam

rusty_apache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:56 pm
Bikes: '65 fl

Re: what does this sound like?

#7

Post by rusty_apache » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:25 pm

I think that even a 6-volt battery ought to last more than 6 months. Are you sitting it on anything conductive when it discharges while out of the bike?
I ran my battery down to the O'Riellys and it passed the load test. It's only four months old, and stilll cranked over the engine, so I was pretty sure there wasn't a dead cell. It's good to rule it out altogether though. I have a new voltage regulator to put in once I get the engine to run consistently. I'm certain that the old one was thoroughly fried, so I'm going to check it out, in case the generator is what caused it to fry.

While I had the battery out, I rerouted some of the wiring under the battery box, to get them as ar away from the exhaust as possible.
I cleaned out all of the mud dauber nests out of the headlight nacelle, and buffed out the finish with some autosol. I'm probably going to hate myself for that when riding at high noon, cause all that brightwork is so reflective. I had to do it because they have never been a matched set since dad got the bike, and one side was more tarnished than the other. That has bugged me for 25 YEARS. Overall it looks a whole hell of a lot better than it did a few months ago, when we pulled it out of the shed. I sat in that shed for years. All we did was stick a battery in it, and some fresh gas, and it fired right up.
All of the fuel lines were hardened, and had to be cut off in order to remove the tanks. I think that I dislodged some crud while changing them out, because it's running like something is stuck in the main jet, or maybe the float valve. The carb is due for a cleaning anyway, it's had to have been at least 10 years since it was done last.
I'm waiting on the turn signal switch, and related wiring, but I do like the way it looks without the spotlights and signals. They all are going back on though because it's the windshield time of year in Texas.
I guess these are the issues that Japaneze bike owners complain about when Harlies are mentioned, but I prefer to perform a little maintenance every so often, than ride a disposable motorcycle. Some folks just dont "get it".
Thanks for all the advice, I'm sure i'll have more stoopid questions eventually.
-kk

fourthgear
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: north florida
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: what does this sound like?

#8

Post by fourthgear » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:00 am

My 65 also glows past idle and I think its the way its wired . I wired it like a non electric start with the single post neutrial switch( which is whats in it ) and it should have the type with two post for two wires going to the neutrial switch.If you look at the manual ,65"s (neutrial switches )are wired diff. and I believe its because of the adtition of the electric start.( of course ).
I have a Franks electronic regulator on the 65 and a CE end type on the 58 framed Pan and the 58 does not glow past idle and its wired to 58 diagram specs. I have to get another neutrial switch for the 65 and rewire to 65 specs to see if thats what it is. Hasn't been a problem with charging at all with the way it is .
All that Neutrial switch does is ground out on a lobe in the ratchet top . What type switch ( single or double post )do you have on the tranny (neutrial switch ) I think they used the same length even through shovel trans untill they changed to the rotory tops .Thats just from memory though .

rusty_apache
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:56 pm
Bikes: '65 fl

Re: what does this sound like?

#9

Post by rusty_apache » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:38 pm

What I have where the nuetral switch ought to be is a plug that has a domed nub sticking out, without any electrical connections on it. This thing is sold in the parts catalogue for shovelheads. I was told that the later type had different threads, and the two weren't interchangeable. I like to have things that work the way they were designed, but I really care more about de-energizing the starting circuit while in gear, more than having the idiot light.

So far my generator seems to be working fine, except for that sinister glow at mid RPMs, and once, it spiked at the shift point. I had bought 6V dash bulbs accidentally, and since I changed to 12V, it hasn't done it, but I haven't ridden it at night yet. The glow at idle is understandable for a generator, especially if you run a low idle.

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 268 times

Re: what does this sound like?

#10

Post by Cotten » Sun Dec 14, 2008 5:38 pm

The 33900-59 single "nub" connection was for a cup-like wire terminal, that grounded the lead when in neutral. The switch was used from '59 through '64, and then again for something like late '73 and up.

The correct '65 switch with two screw terminals, 71507-64A, is available from your local V-TWIN dealer.

Beware that it will interfere with aftermarket dual exhausts, thus many have been replaced with the -59 or the 71507-71 switch with two flag terminals.

...Cotten

Post Reply

Return to “Electrical”