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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default 61 Panhead charging issue

    Guys, someone school me on this.

    Have been riding around on my 61 FLH Panhead chopper and recently the motor died a few blocks from my house. Turned the headlight off and was able to start it and limp home. Being that the battery was a cheapo battery about 1.5 years old, I went to O'Reilly's and bought a new battery.

    Was riding it tonight and on the short 40 minute ride home from the nearest city, lights became pretty much nonexistent on the last 1/2 of the journey home.

    This is a chopper that a buddy and I built at my place, some of you may have seen it. It was his bike originally, now mine. One headlight, one LED taillight and obviously the two spark plugs are the only things requiring power in the system. It does have electronic ignition.

    Forgive my ignorance, but my initial queries have made me think that I need to do one of 3 things. Polarize the generator, replace the generator, or replace the regulator.

    Any advice on how to begin?

  2. #2
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    6V system? 12V? Original generator? 65A generator? Chinese generator? Mechanical regulator? Electronic regulator?

    You will have to elaborate. But in general, a generator in service will not lose its polarity. And to do a decent diagnosis, you need a good ammeter. Unlike an alternator system, you cannot do proper diagnostics with just a voltmeter.

    Jim

  3. #3

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    I agree: I have seen so many people just change out parts trying to find the prob

    Start with easy first: Take the battery to autozone, napa, pepboys or advance: Its free and they can tell you if its holding charge or not. If it does and its ok, you have narrowed down where it might be

    While the battery is out check your main ground cable

    For the future run a generator light or one of these (Which I run on my 60 Pan): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WXKPTS3...=dealscanpg-20

    SUPER easy install and puts in place a connection for trickle charger as well. There are also version that mounts on your handlebars so you can see it when riding

    I have one on my Pan, and stand alone house generator: Pics coming

    out

  4. #4
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    If it has the og Gen it would be the Model 58 ..
    Still a 6-V gen but mounts up on the motor case with 5/16" bolts ..

    6-V is kinda a by-gone era in this day and age ...

    With Cycle-Ele's gens having a built in regulator would be a great up-grade for your scoot ..
    Last edited by Dragstews; 03-16-2022 at 11:57 AM.

  5. #5

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    The regulator of the charging system needs to be matched to the battery being used. I.e. small battery, low current regulator, big battery higher current regulator. Before you start replacing parts, you may want to follow Jims advice and get yourself a good meter. Then check your voltage output readings to get an idea of whats going on.

  6. #6
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    Speaking of batteries ....

    I'm assuming that the scoot is running the old horse-shoe oil tank .. ??
    If so, here's a super nice product for keeping the stock look ..










    Modern gel or Li-Ion batteries offer a significant advantage - they are leak-proof. Those who ever experienced spilled acid in their horseshoe oil tanks will highly appreciate this fact.

    On the other hand, owners of classic bikes do like the looks of their original energy store and the corresponding cover and mounts. With a Bates BattBoy Battery Box you can have the best of both worlds, because what looks like a period type HM5 6V accumulator on the outside can house a safe, modern battery within.
    Just hook it with two eyelet wires to the terminals on the bottom of the lid and you are all set. Perfect for 6 to 12 volts electrical system conversions, too.

    When using suitable Antigravity versions you even have some storage room left for a few small spare parts, safety vest, Cuban cigars, etc .... Ainīt this one heck of a cool solution for an old problem?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    Speaking of batteries ....

    I'm assuming that the scoot is running the old horse-shoe oil tank .. ??
    If so, here's a super nice product for keeping the stock look ..










    Modern gel or Li-Ion batteries offer a significant advantage - they are leak-proof. Those who ever experienced spilled acid in their horseshoe oil tanks will highly appreciate this fact.

    On the other hand, owners of classic bikes do like the looks of their original energy store and the corresponding cover and mounts. With a Bates BattBoy Battery Box you can have the best of both worlds, because what looks like a period type HM5 6V accumulator on the outside can house a safe, modern battery within.
    Just hook it with two eyelet wires to the terminals on the bottom of the lid and you are all set. Perfect for 6 to 12 volts electrical system conversions, too.

    When using suitable Antigravity versions you even have some storage room left for a few small spare parts, safety vest, Cuban cigars, etc .... Ainīt this one heck of a cool solution for an old problem?
    What's the part number?
    Dusty

  8. #8
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    I had the same issue with my 63 pan. First was replace harness. Next was battery and LED headlight bulb. Onto Genny brushes and bearings.
    I guess the Franks regulator took an intermittent dump so ultimate solution....

    Spend the coin on a Cycle Electrics generator/regulator and be done. Like done for a long time kinda done. Had I done this early on in the process I would have saved a lot of time. Like the time I sat in a cop car in 103 degree Texas heat enjoying the AC while waiting 1.5 hours for tow truck. Have you ever had to make small talk with a public servant for that period of time ? Awkward.

    https://www.hawthorncocycles.com/

    Battery holder for horseshoe tanks
    Last edited by Tater66; 03-19-2022 at 5:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyDave View Post
    What's the part number?
    Dusty
    Item № 11-600 ... $90.48

    Shipped from Germany will be bout $30 ...

  10. #10

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    I knew I would have to provide more information, just wanted to get some of you guys on deck here before I called it last night.

    I made a video showing my test of the generator. Will you guys check it out please?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZSKeyqunT4



    JB, 12 volt system. The generator came with the boxes of parts we got when we built this thing several years ago. Can't seem to find any kind of brand or markings on it so I suspect it's a cheap offshore junker of a generator.


    Docmel, that's cool man, I may have to get one of those.


    Whoremonger, picked up another meter today from HF. Seems decent for what it is. My other meters only went up to 10 amps.


    Dragstews, that battery box you shared is fantastic!!!!!! I'm going to plan on grabbing a couple of those in the future for both my horseshoe oil tank bikes.

    Tater, Yep. Cycle Electric is kinda what I was already eyeballing before you guys even mentioned it. I have one of their stators on my sporty chopper.


    Also using this service manual for it, 61 FLH: https://justpanhead.com/wp-content/u...ice-Manual.pdf


    Does this look like the right generator to you guys: https://www.jpcycles.com/product/380...with-regulator


    Mods, sorry I have posted several threads in the wrong section now and you've had to move them. Seems to me they both would be technical threads more than build threads which is why I thought they would go there. I'll try to get a better feel for it.

  11. #11

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    Figured out why it wasn't charging:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL1Yb_Nz35Q

  12. #12
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    You are lucky beyond measure. Loose parts in the cam chest could have caused a catastrophic amount of damage.

    And, "generator not turning" should probably be on the list of reasons for no charging.

    Jim

  13. #13

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    Absolutely Jim. I think the general shape of the cam chest on the Pan kind of "funneled" the stuff to the bottom. Still lucky though.

    LOL! Generator not turning being a good reason for sure.

    That round spacer thingy? Do you recognize that part? Am I right or wrong about that? As far as I can tell, like I said in the video, someone before us cut that gear down then threw that on to correct their mistake?

  14. #14
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    There is supposed to be an oil slinger under the gear on the 2 brush generators. I can't tell from your video if that is in place or not. But that extra washer may be taking up that space if the slinger is missing.

    Jim

  15. #15
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    The gear should have a light press fit going on the armature shaft splines ..
    If it's a loose fit the splines will take a whooping and fail ..
    Aftermarket gears are a loose fit, Oem are a nice press fit ...

    BTY ...

    The baffle that's in the air/oil separation cavity is installed backwards ..
    Cut out slots goes to the motor case ..
    Last edited by Dragstews; 03-17-2022 at 1:03 PM.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    There is supposed to be an oil slinger under the gear on the 2 brush generators. I can't tell from your video if that is in place or not. But that extra washer may be taking up that space if the slinger is missing.

    Jim
    I thought the flatheads used the slinger gear??? And the gear without the slinger was for Knucks/Pans?? Someone told me that here in post 6:
    https://forum.sscycle.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=13093

    Someone years ago had installed the Knuckle/Pan gear on the generator in my UL before I figured that out?

    Why do people seem to be messing up the generator gear situation so badly haha


    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post


    The gear should have a light press fit going on the armature shaft splines ..
    If it's a loose fit the splines will take a whooping and fail ..
    Aftermarket gears are a loose fit, Oem are a nice press fit ...
    I will check the fitment of the gear on the generator before putting it back in.

    -----------------

    Any input on the Cam in this thing? Seems to make it move out real strong in the top end.
    Last edited by CDeeZ; 03-17-2022 at 12:53 PM.

  17. #17
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    That pic shows the oil slinger I'm talking about, the gray piece. It is to keep excess oil out of the generator bearing. It is not a slinger for a crankcase breather (obviously, on a pan the breather is in a different place).

    Jim

  18. #18
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    People mess up the generator gear situation because early and late gears both fit the 65A generator, and 13 tooth and 14 tooth gears both fit as well. This is a big problem I have found with the old motors with the generator cradle & strap. People bolt on a late generator and don't bother to get the gear spacing right and end up wearing out the idler gear, or worse. Of course that is not an issue with your pan motor there.

    Jim

  19. #19
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    If the bored part of the gear I.D. is loose on the unsplined area of the shaft, you can fill the space with a piece of shim stock. That will help the splines live longer, too.

    Jim

  20. #20

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    Ok the oil deflector to keep oil from the generator I gotcha. Yes that piece is on the genny. Sorry, not trying to be a dick, just making sure to ask lots of questions and wrap my head around it.

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