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  1. #1

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    Oct 2019
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    Default '74 FLH 1200 Charging issues

    Greetings,
    My stock 74 FLH 1200 shovelhead is not charging. New battery, new voltage regulator (4-pin), stator checks out good by conducting workshop manual tests... Grounds are good. When I test the wire from the VR off of the battery positive terminal it reads great from 13.5 V to 15 etc.. Once connected to the battery, I cannot get a reading above 12.5V. Any advice please?
    Last edited by Dottore; 10-13-2019 at 11:47 PM.

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    Has the new battery been fully charged before installation?
    Is the regulator properly grounded? Needs to be on a clean unpainted part of frame, or run a ground wire to a good ground. Battery has a good ground?
    Anything downstream from the battery grounded that should not be grounded?

  3. #3

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    I grounded the VR to the horn ground above it. I'll try an unpainted frame ground. Battery is fully charged and ground connection cleaned and checked. I checked the wiring from the battery to the starter relay, solenoid, starter, ignition switch and did not notice anything. Curious, when the ignition switch is turned on (ignition setting), is the tail light supposed to turn on? Also, when switching the switch to "lights", is there supposed to be a slight stumble when the bike is running? Trying to eliminate the possible culprit. Pardon, this is my first Harley. Thank you.

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    Got a stock wiring harness? Got a manual?
    https://www.classiccycles.org/media/...35ffffe41e.pdf

    There should not be a stumble when lights are turned on if battery is fully charged - had that when I ran batteryless on old brit bikes. The wiring diagram (link above) shows taillight wire (green) to post #6 on the switch. Use your tester to check switch connections, breakers, isolating each of the electrical circuits of the bike.

  5. #5

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    I'll check it out and report back. Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Got a stock wiring harness? Got a manual?
    https://www.classiccycles.org/media/...35ffffe41e.pdf

    There should not be a stumble when lights are turned on if battery is fully charged - had that when I ran batteryless on old brit bikes. The wiring diagram (link above) shows taillight wire (green) to post #6 on the switch. Use your tester to check switch connections, breakers, isolating each of the electrical circuits of the bike.
    With the FL ignition switch, there is often a stumble, or an outright dead spot when switching from ignition to lights with the motor running. It is completely normal.
    As far as your charging question goes, your best bet is to replace the entire alternator, stator, rotor, and regulator, with more modern parts. If the four pin stator you have is the original, it is 45 years old, and you are lucky it lasted that long. Cycle Electric offers good alternator kits that are expensive, but high quality American made stuff. The 22 amp kit will fit your motor and be a nice upgrade from the original parts. The inner primary must be removed to replace the stator and rotor, so this is a job that is time consuming and requires some special tools. The repair manual covers it, lightly.

    Jim

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    With the FL ignition switch, there is often a stumble, or an outright dead spot when switching from ignition to lights with the motor running. It is completely normal.
    As far as your charging question goes, your best bet is to replace the entire alternator, stator, rotor, and regulator, with more modern parts. If the four pin stator you have is the original, it is 45 years old, and you are lucky it lasted that long. Cycle Electric offers good alternator kits that are expensive, but high quality American made stuff. The 22 amp kit will fit your motor and be a nice upgrade from the original parts. The inner primary must be removed to replace the stator and rotor, so this is a job that is time consuming and requires some special tools. The repair manual covers it, lightly.

    Jim
    I agree,do it right and forget about it for a long time. I will Only use C.E stuff,best there is by far!

  8. #8
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    With the FL ignition switch, there is often a stumble, or an outright dead spot when switching from ignition to lights with the motor running. It is completely normal.
    That's weird; what is the cause? I had that on my choppers, with a basic 3-position switch, where I wire one position just ignition, and other with ignition and lights, there was a stumble as I had to turn the key across the off position..similar?

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    Excellent idea. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    I wire one position just ignition, and other with ignition and lights, there was a stumble as I had to turn the key across the off position..similar?

    Yep dash switches do that all the time......

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    Distance between contact and switch design is why a (good) older dash switch does that. Smaller key switches typically do it due to wear when the off position is on one side with the rest opposite but on those where you pass over the off position because run and lights are on opposite sides that's normal. I get about ten years out of generic key switches so when it doubt I swap them out.

    Agree on the CE alternator. I replace the charging system on any old HD I intend to keep. I also replace battery power and ground cables which can look fine but often corrode internall, and I replace key style ignition switches.
    Last edited by farmall; 10-14-2019 at 1:26 PM.

  12. #12

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    CE kit and ground wire kit on order. Thanks ya'll.

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    Also read the charging system test info on their website and test after install. Dielectric grease is your friend particularly on the alternator plug to exclude moisture. Any auto store should have it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-2205.../dp/B000AL8VD2
    Last edited by farmall; 10-14-2019 at 4:40 PM.

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