A combination of generator & starter, is there such a thing

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A combination of generator & starter, is there such a thing


Post by 03Roadking »

Description: A combination generator starter, it fits right in where the generator goes and starts the motor from there

Post by 03Roadking on Apr 8, 2005, 3:36am

I know I'm the new fish to the site and I might take some ribbing for this question But I have been around HD for a long time But not around Panheads for many years so heres the story I have been talking to this guy in Texas about buying a panhead from him (1962) he says that his only regret he had was not putting on a combination generator starter when he had the motor rebuilt He said it fits right in where the generator goes and starts the motor from there ;D
I said I have never heard of such an item but he swears up and down that their is a company out there that makes it. He told me to call him next week and he would have the name and number I did an Internet search but came up with nothing. What about you guys have you heard or seen this? Also does anyone know where I can get a good used set of muffler bearings ;D

Post by 57JOHND on Apr 8, 2005, 3:59am

Im gonna leave the ribbing part out. Although never say never, I have not heard of any such conflagaration. Even so, If some rocket scientist was able to invent something of the sort (which is not likely given the differences in motors and generators) I would NEVER consider putting one on. Think about what it would be "driving" inside the camchest to get the crank to turn. I cannot imagine anything short of a grenade that would do more damage. If you are seriously considering this purchase, I would be very wary based on the smoke this guy is blowing.
As far as the bearings, they are right over on that there shelf next to the buckets of freon.
Hope this Helps

Post by Red55FL on Apr 8, 2005, 4:46am

Hey guys, over the years there have been many generators that were also used as starters. A lot of outboard boat motors had generator/starter set-ups. There were also some in early auto history and there were quite a few used with industrial engines. In the welding business it is common practice to use a running gas or diesel driven welding machine to start another machine with a bad starter by hooking the welding leads from the running machine to the leads of the one that has a bad starter. A welding machine is just a big generator driven with an engine. By hooking power to the generator, it spins the engine and it will start.
I have never heard of any generator/starter set-ups on motorcycles, but it would not surprise me if someone had tried it.


Post by DuoDave on Apr 8, 2005, 10:17am

The four cylinder bikes produced by MV Agusta in the 1970s used a Bosch combined starter and generator. I don't think there is such a device available for panheads. Even if there was, I reckon the gearing in the cam chest would be all wrong. The next problem would be where to fit the big battery required. Sounds like this idea is a non starter! ;D

Post by kevsett on Apr 8, 2005, 6:52pm

I believe the thread above delved into the "generator as a starter" issue a while back.
Who knows?; technology seems to be moving us into many areas where we never dreamed we could go previously.
Unfortunately I'm more than a little lacking in ability to conquer such a problem.

Post by 03Roadking on Apr 9, 2005, 4:17pm

Thanks guys
As I read the replies I remembered as a kid going to the junk yard to get a generator for my 53 dodge then later it was my 41 ford each time the guy would drag out prospects and we would use a car battery to test them, positive to the post and ground to the case if it spun they called it good, 6 bucks and I was on my way home. I also remember one guy trying to stop it with a gloved hand the harder it was to stop the better it was according to him but he could stop all of them. I also went back and looked at how it would have to turn the engine over and you are right the torque would tear the assembly to shreds just after a few starts
So Thanks for the input and jogging my memory Now all I have to worry about is where to find a good set of used muffler bearings. ;D

Post by guest on Apr 10, 2005, 5:15am

03 RK, I am thinking you have your gen's & starters mixed up. Hooking juice to a gen, or alt. does not make it spin. Spinning it makes it produce charging amp juice..
Only starters will kick out & spin when juice is put to it.
I'm sure it was just a typo.

Post by 03Roadking on Apr 10, 2005, 6:34pm

To Guest
Click the link on the third or fourth reply and read how other people have checked there generators not alternators. I am not an expert but I do remember testing generators this way. if you put power to it, it spun if it was good.

Post by 57pan on Apr 21, 2005, 6:30pm

I too have wondered whether it would be possible to do this. I remember a lawn tractor that I had at one time that had a starter/generator on it. I guess I'm going to have to go back and look at the thread that kevsett mentioned.
Anyway, 03RK, put some pressure on the guy to give you the name of a manufacturer or something.

Post by hplhd on Apr 22, 2005, 11:30pm

if your kicking stick is getting old and beat up check out http://www.techcycle.com prob simplest and least expensive way to go with a starter systm

Post by countershaft on Apr 24, 2005, 3:12pm

while it is done a starter and a gen. in one unit as international did with garden tractors lets look at the torque it takes to roll over a v-twin definitely need comp.rel.
and ill bet with the first start its gonna nuke the cam chest look at the size of the gen. drive gear light duty if ya do find someone putting out the unit and get it installed I'd push the button with a long stick kickin it to life is part of what a Pan is countershaft

Post by 03Roadking on Apr 25, 2005, 4:41pm

Hello All
After making several phone calls to this guy I think there is no such thing, at least he can't give me a name or number, I started this thread in hopes that there might be one so I don't have to have another operation on my knee But after reading all of your ideas and posts I agree it would tear up the gears after maybe two or three starts if that. and the after market starter that replaces the inside primary just doesn't look right to me
I am going to have to lean how to kick it with my left leg or move to a house on a hill.

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Re: A combination of generator & starter, is there such a th


Post by wailinharp »

Hey,new to the site.I realize this response is a few years after original post,but after reading it I felt the urge to throw in a personal experience.
I recently aquired a couple Harley Davidson (AMF) golf carts (for near nothing). Both carts have 2-stroke engines.
In the process of evaluating required repairs, I learned that these motors have "combination generator/starters".
Also learned they are heart-attack expensive! In no means am I suggesting that these could be used for starting a Panhead -
just ironic that technically the animal does exist. These units are BELT operated for charging and starting, so off the shelf
would not work - but who knows. They are pretty much the same size as the HD generator so I guess it's possible.
Still I think I'll leave this type of experimentation to someone else.
PS- nearly finished with restoration of my faithful 30year companion-65 Panhead!
Appreciate the gearhead info.and comments on Panheads,wish I had found this site a long time ago.


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Re: A combination of generator & starter, is there such a th


Post by RUBONE »

Small Japanese engines used starter/generators from the late '50s. The concept is old, just not particularly efficient for large engines. H-D used it on Golf Carts in the early '60s..
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