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  1. #1
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    Default Ironhead charging issue

    So my 81 ironed was not charging my battery. I left one afternoon for a short ride and the bike died upon arrival. After getting a new battery I started testing the system.

    First I measured the battery voltage before start at 13.x--> good battery good charge.
    Next I started the bike and the voltage dropped to 12.6--> still normal
    then I brought the bike up to about 2500-3000 RPM and the voltage dropped to 11.x --> verified my charging issue, now I need to narrow the problem down to regulator or generator

    Testing the Gen
    First I checked the magnetism and the voltage read between 2.x and 3.x --> thats good
    Second I checked the max voltage output: result was between 25-30 DC --> thats also good

    So that means it must be the regulator!!

    Today the regulator came in and I hooked it up and ran the charging test to confirm the problem is fixed.

    First I measured the battery voltage before start at 13.x -->good battery fully charged
    next I started the bike and the voltage dropped to about 12.68--> also good
    Finally I brought the bike up to 2500-300 RPM and the voltage did NOT drop !!!! --> fixed right???

    Well here is my concern, while the voltage on the battery did not drop, it did NOT increase. it held solid at 12.68 and 12.70. Is this normal? the only current draw on the bike is one tail light and one headlight. not that much at all, especially compared to what the bike had installed from Harley. I am under the impression the battery should increase in voltage to about 13.x

    any insight would be great! thanks

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    Depends on the voltage the regulator is set for. Also, voltage tests are not conclusive with generators like they are with alternators. You really need to do current and voltage tests on generators. A generator with some opens in the armature windings will have output, and will even "motor" but it won't put out full energy (current at specific voltage). If the battery stays up, you're golden. If not, a growler check of the armature is your next step.
    What kind of generator is it?

    Jim

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    Being a 81 XL it should have a Hitachi 65-B on it, the Mo-Co first started using them in 77 but did use the 65-A on some of the later model XL's also..
    Last edited by Dragstews; 06-10-2019 at 4:03 PM.

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    Don't know which regulator you ended up with but if ya ended up with a CH regulator it will be set way too low to charge a battery. Pop the top off the regulator and adjust the voltage coil to about 13.5 at 1800 rpm, the coil with the smallest wire is the voltage coil. More spring tension increases the voltage if your battery isn't mounted in or against the oil tank you could go up to 14 - 14.5
    Dusty

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    It’s the 65-B which I read are obsolete and parts can’t be replaced.

    Jim: what’s a Growler check of the armature ? Also.. this is the procedure I found for testing amp output.. does it sound good ? Seems a little to simple

    Remove all wires from both A and F terminals
    run a jumper from F to a good ground on the motorcycle
    run a jumper from A to ammeter +ve
    run the engine at 2000 RPM
    momentarily jumper from battery +ve to ammeter -ve
    ammeter should read 10 amps or more
    If the generator fails this test it must be disassembled for repair.

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    I got a DB Electrical 12v 74504-78. It’s an electronic regulator so I can adjust it, the unit is one big heat sink that’s sealed. Same as CH

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    These guys say the 65A was used up to and including 1981; the now obsolete 65-B started in 1982. "In anticipation of the electric starter, the electrical system was upgraded from six to 12 volts in 1965. This was accomplished by changing the field coils and armature, which made the model 65. The model 65 was only made for six months at which time the brush plate was rotated 180 degrees to put the positive brush on the topside. This was done to keep the brush insulator dry. The paper insulator used back then would swell causing the brush to stick. The A and F terminals swapped positions to keep the current in the field coil flowing in the proper direction.
    This generator is called the model 65A. It stayed on big twins until 1969 and Sportster until 1981. From 1982 to early 1984 the Sportster used the 65B. The 65B was made in Japan. It shared no parts with the other generators and is now obsolete. To the best of my knowledge there are no parts available for the 65B."

    and

    Amperage Out Put Test

    (Standard 2 Brush Generators)

    You will need an ammeter capable of reading +/- 30 DC amps and a 1-ohm load.
    Connect the positive lead of the amp meter to the “A” terminal.
    Connect the 1-ohm load between the negative side of the meter and ground.
    Spin generator shaft 3500 rpm that is about 2800rpm on a Sportster or 1957 and earlier big twin and 2200 rpm on a 1958-69 big twin.
    Ground the “F” terminal just long enough to read the meter.
    It should read positive 18 to 24 amps.
    If the amperage is low, inspect the generator for other problems.

    Note: A 16 ampere-hour or larger battery can be used as in place of the 1-ohm resister but care must be taken to prevent current from flowing from the battery to the armature. This can damage you meter. It is always risky to connect an ammeter to the positive side of a large battery.

    http://www.cycleelectricinc.com/Test...Generators.htm

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    The 65B is the Hitachi unit that Drag mentioned, I think. They are very durable. Did you pull the end cover and check the brushes? I just had one in my hands last week and I could not believe how good its condition was after almost 40 years. I did the output test with an ammeter (full fielded) and pulled the plug when it went past 18A.

    The growler is used to induce current in the armature windings for test purposes. I doubt you will have to go to that length, but an automotive electrical shop would be able to do the test.

    Jim

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    I got it off the Mayflower .. !!
    Last edited by Dragstews; 06-10-2019 at 4:52 PM.

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    The consensus is that I still have a charging problem correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MFC View Post
    The consensus is that I still have a charging problem correct?
    Not necessarily. Your system is functioning at above battery voltage, so as I said earlier, if your battery stays up, you are good. If 12.6V is as much output as you are getting, and the battery stays at 12.6V or near it over time, you are good.
    Note that some electronic regulators are temperature compensated, so the output voltage will vary a little over time.
    I bet it works, and all will be well.
    If not, buy a Cycle Electric generator with the built-in regulator, and "don't look back."

    Jim

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    Hahaha thanks Jim. I’m gonna roll with it and monitor it for now. I have some extra cash right now and I’m torn between getting a custom 2 into 1 exhaust and the CE generator/ regulator

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    12.6 is not a charge 12 volt lead acid batteries charge between 13.2 and 15.2 volts when I went to school. When the battery is mounted in a hot area (oil tank- behind a cylinder) they will require lower voltage the hotter they are. So increase the spring pressure on the voltage coil and see if you can get it into range it was quite common to have to adjust these regulators.
    Dusty

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