74' Harley Sportster charging system

purplecatty

Active Member
Hi everyone, I bet I'm new in Automotive section in AllDeaf.com lol. I am always in Deaf Technology and Computer sections. I do not see "Motorcycle" section so I just jump in Automotive cuz motorcycle is part of transportation anyway.

I have 74' Harley Sportster in my garage belongs to my friend. He bought it and had no place to park during winter season so I welcomed it to my warm garage lol. He asked me to re-do wiring that owner crapped up. It fires up and runs great. 883 V-twin been bored to .30 and rebuilt. It was partly stripped down, no turn signal lights, horn, and front fender. It has original headlight and new sleek LED brake/parking light on rear. It's kinda like old schooler some way. It has pipes, no muffler. It shook my house when fired up. Love that Thump Thump Thump... I rode it around my neighborhood and seeing some guy was getting jealous over me riding thumping bass harley. (City of Shawnee alllowed straight pipe harley for safety reason. It's Legal lol.)

The real problem was that Harely isn't charging battery at all. I checked it's generator and it was new and charges fine directly to battery (Field to ground and Armature--->Ampmeter----> (+) side battery.). I narrowed down to faulty mechanical regulator.

I decided to try using my old 67 chevy electronic voltage regulator as a subsitute.. Since that it uses Delco-Remy type regulator and have same wiring configuration. I already pre-wired the regulator so it would fit 3 wired charging system (Field, Armature, and Bat +). I found out that owner also wired the ignition wiring wrong. So I had to redo wiring on ignition part in order to have correct wiring for charging system.

If I got the charging system working, then I will have to tear out relays on old mechanical regulator and modify to fit in electronic regulator board into old regulator base then bolt in chrome cover on it to make it look original.

I haven't installed regulator into Harley yet. If anyone have experience on charging system. I welcome anyone advice.

Thanks
Catty
 

Schermy

New Member
Hey there Catty:
I unloaded my '82 sporty cause got tired of "fixing" it. However, my best suggestion is to try sportster.org. They have a tech page on there and plenty of people with a wealth of inforamation. The alrternative...........find a great mechanic. :)
 

purplecatty

Active Member
Thanks! I just found out I have bad voltage regulator. The mechanical voltage regulator have 3 relay, 3rd relay which supposed to be a "BAT +" terminal was malfunctioning. From what I can see inside relay, there are thick spool of wire on outside and very thin spool of wire on inside. I assumed that the inside spool of wire is burnt out (doesn't show any burnout but maybe deep inside of it). What I did figure out is that I use thick jumper wire w/ clamps and I connected Generator's "Armprature" to 10 amps Ampmeter then to BAT + terminal of the regulator. The 1st and 3rd relay responding while ampmeter show 3 amps. Because the thick spool wire charged up came from 2nd Relay "Armprature" to 3rd Relay thick spool of wire. It is clear to me that inner thin spool of wire was burnt out.

I called local Harley Davidson shop and they told me that the mechanical Regulator is obsolete. They no longer sell one. Only Solid State voltage regulator are sold online. For 74' Sportster, It use round voltage regulator w/ 3 wires and have 2 indicator LED on it's side. Cost $39.99. I advised my friend (the owner) to buy electronic regulator becasue it's easier to get it working rather than going through headache trying to fix the mechanical one. At first, he said it's ugly and round. I told him Oh well what choice do you have if you want your "baby" up and running with new one!? He agreed and decide to order one. HarleyRegulators

I agree that it's too much hassle to fix obsolete regulator tho. It's an headache lol.

Thanks
Catty
 

Schermy

New Member
Thanks! I just found out I have bad voltage regulator. The mechanical voltage regulator have 3 relay, 3rd relay which supposed to be a "BAT +" terminal was malfunctioning. From what I can see inside relay, there are thick spool of wire on outside and very thin spool of wire on inside. I assumed that the inside spool of wire is burnt out (doesn't show any burnout but maybe deep inside of it). What I did figure out is that I use thick jumper wire w/ clamps and I connected Generator's "Armprature" to 10 amps Ampmeter then to BAT + terminal of the regulator. The 1st and 3rd relay responding while ampmeter show 3 amps. Because the thick spool wire charged up came from 2nd Relay "Armprature" to 3rd Relay thick spool of wire. It is clear to me that inner thin spool of wire was burnt out.

I called local Harley Davidson shop and they told me that the mechanical Regulator is obsolete. They no longer sell one. Only Solid State voltage regulator are sold online. For 74' Sportster, It use round voltage regulator w/ 3 wires and have 2 indicator LED on it's side. Cost $39.99. I advised my friend (the owner) to buy electronic regulator becasue it's easier to get it working rather than going through headache trying to fix the mechanical one. At first, he said it's ugly and round. I told him Oh well what choice do you have if you want your "baby" up and running with new one!? He agreed and decide to order one. HarleyRegulators

I agree that it's too much hassle to fix obsolete regulator tho. It's an headache lol.

Thanks
Catty


Glad you got it figured out. My other suggestion is to call JP Cycles. There is a guy there by the name of Travis who is in the parts department who is VERY knowlegable on the old shovels. You can check the website jpcycle.com or you can call them at 800-397-4844. They were very helpful when we were wrenching my '82 sporty. Good luck.
 

purplecatty

Active Member
Glad you got it figured out. My other suggestion is to call JP Cycles. There is a guy there by the name of Travis who is in the parts department who is VERY knowlegable on the old shovels. You can check the website jpcycle.com or you can call them at 800-397-4844. They were very helpful when we were wrenching my '82 sporty. Good luck.


Thanks for suggestion!
:ty:
Catty
 

SkullChick

New Member
The old mechanical regs make great coversation pieces and cool paperweights but otherwise go solid state. I see about 2 or 3 solid state modules and regs go bad every week. So I couldn't imagine the upkeep of a relay based regulator. I spent the entire day today rotating the motor out of my buell xb9s just to replace a cracked headder. Gotta love the lack of insight there..ohhh its ok well make the tech remove the motor to tighten the exhaust flange nuts....sheesh.
By the way this is amys fiancee on her name. Too lazy to switch on the sidekick. I think there should be a bike forum on alldeaf. Why not? We have one for personal finances. Btw I'm a certified phd trained harley davidson and buell tech. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask ill do my best. Amy can get a hold of me quickly rather than my login wich I never check.
Have fun and keep the shiny side up
 

Schermy

New Member
The old mechanical regs make great coversation pieces and cool paperweights but otherwise go solid state. I see about 2 or 3 solid state modules and regs go bad every week. So I couldn't imagine the upkeep of a relay based regulator. I spent the entire day today rotating the motor out of my buell xb9s just to replace a cracked headder. Gotta love the lack of insight there..ohhh its ok well make the tech remove the motor to tighten the exhaust flange nuts....sheesh.
By the way this is amys fiancee on her name. Too lazy to switch on the sidekick. I think there should be a bike forum on alldeaf. Why not? We have one for personal finances. Btw I'm a certified phd trained harley davidson and buell tech. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask ill do my best. Amy can get a hold of me quickly rather than my login wich I never check.
Have fun and keep the shiny side up

Dang............if only I'd of had your brain to tap when I had my bike!!!! LOL It's cool. Now I'm just waiting for my husband to get his new Street Glide and then I'm taking our '95 FLSTN...........I can't wait!!!!
 

purplecatty

Active Member
The old mechanical regs make great coversation pieces and cool paperweights but otherwise go solid state. I see about 2 or 3 solid state modules and regs go bad every week. So I couldn't imagine the upkeep of a relay based regulator. I spent the entire day today rotating the motor out of my buell xb9s just to replace a cracked headder. Gotta love the lack of insight there..ohhh its ok well make the tech remove the motor to tighten the exhaust flange nuts....sheesh.
By the way this is amys fiancee on her name. Too lazy to switch on the sidekick. I think there should be a bike forum on alldeaf. Why not? We have one for personal finances. Btw I'm a certified phd trained harley davidson and buell tech. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask ill do my best. Amy can get a hold of me quickly rather than my login wich I never check.
Have fun and keep the shiny side up

Yes I agree that solid state regulator is better. But my friend insist he wanted classic mechanical one. AARRRGGHH!! Oh well it's his money and his problem. He don't want to molest his look on harley. He ask for it. Classic freak!!

Catty
 

purplecatty

Active Member
I finally got the Harley charging system working!! I just replaced the mechanical voltage regulator with new one which is mechanical too. My friend learned "dirty little secret" from Harley shop owner. The owner advised him to get mechanical regulator from Auto parts store which is cheaper than trying to buy Harley voltage regulator which costs much more.. All you have to tell them that you have 1968 or 69 Chevy pickup with Inline 6 cylinder and it uses Generator (don't say Alternator cuz Generator and Alternator are entirely different breeds). Part guy thumbed through the ratty old book and found it and cost $21. So my friend paid for it and I picked it up Monday cuz it was on order last Sat nite.

I compared the new regulator to old one. It still have 3 relays BUT the "field" relay is different. New one just have only one contact while the old one have two contacts. The wiring configuration was a bit different on one of relay connecting to other relay. But I went ahead and hook it up as usual and fired up Harley. It was charging great!!! I throttled the engine and it charges between 13.5 to 14.5 volts. Works like a charm!! :cool2: :rockon:
 

Calvin

In Hazzard County
Super Moderator
Premium Member
Girls can't wrench?????

Well doesn't this show she can? :lol:

jen2.jpg
 

purplecatty

Active Member
Well doesn't this show she can? :lol:

jen2.jpg

LOL Women can do mechanics. I've seen them working at some garages. My sister did tune up 1972 VW Bug herself with help with VW repair manual. She got it tuned perfectly. So it all depend on women's interest in mechanic. If her father was a mechanic or working in garage out in farm area, it's more likely she will become mechanic too.

LOL

Catty
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
Well, it's only a joke...can't you guys take a joke? LOL I have heard of women and have seen on TV of women working on cars or fixing stuff. I'm not surprised about that. It's just it's rare to see women talking about mechanical stuff on Alldeaf.
 

purplecatty

Active Member
The old mechanical regs make great coversation pieces and cool paperweights but otherwise go solid state. I see about 2 or 3 solid state modules and regs go bad every week. So I couldn't imagine the upkeep of a relay based regulator. I spent the entire day today rotating the motor out of my buell xb9s just to replace a cracked headder. Gotta love the lack of insight there..ohhh its ok well make the tech remove the motor to tighten the exhaust flange nuts....sheesh.
By the way this is amys fiancee on her name. Too lazy to switch on the sidekick. I think there should be a bike forum on alldeaf. Why not? We have one for personal finances. Btw I'm a certified phd trained harley davidson and buell tech. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask ill do my best. Amy can get a hold of me quickly rather than my login wich I never check.
Have fun and keep the shiny side up

Got the regulator replaced and works like charm!!. I assumed the former owner installed wrong type of Delco-Remy voltage regulator. The new one was almost the same but have one contact on "Voltage" relay while "Voltage" relay wire connected to "Current" relay. The old one had dual contacts on "Voltage" relay while it's wire connect to "Cutoff" relay. That probably why I was wast'n my time on that old crap. New one works like charm. I picked the one that can handle 31 to 36 amps while 74 Sportster only need 15 amps.

If anyone not understanding "Voltage", "Current", "Cutoff" relay. I have old mechanic book that tells me which is which. If you happen to have old mechanical 3 relay voltage regulator. To correspond which are stamped on each terminal outside of voltage regulator, You can see "FLD" as Voltage, "ARM" as Current, "BAT (+)" as Cutoff. You have to know that type of voltage regulator used for GENERATOR, NOT ALTERNATOR. So careful when you are working on classic vehicles. Nowaday cars and trucks use Alternators with built-in voltage regulators which called "One wired Alternator". Means you don't have to worry about complicated charging system.

IF you had problem getting charging system working on old classic car with GENERATOR. First of all, to test the Generator, remove ORIGINAL wires off from (F) and (A) terminals. You need a jumper wires, connect black wire to "F" (field) to Negative Ground and connect other wire from "A" (armprature) to 30 amp Ampmeter then leave other wire from Ampmeter open (no connection to Bat (+). Fire up the engine with good battery. Then momentarly (quickly) hook up the Ampmeter wire end to Battery (+) for short time (5 to 10 sec). You will see ampmeter register 3 to 5 amps. If you hook up Voltmeter between Battery (+) and (-). You will see voltage will go up from 13v to 20v if you throttle. Unhook the ampmeter wire immedialy. Shut off engine and take wire off the Generator and restore original wiring connection to Generator. This tell you that Generator works good. This narrows down to faulty voltage regulator. If voltage regulator is new and you already installed it correctly and wire checked w/ ohmmeter seem fine. You will have to "polarize" (Flashing) the generator in order to excited the armprature. Use very short jumper wire. Turn on engine but not firing up (dash lights or guages on), go to Voltage Regulator and do a very quick "flash" by touching Regulator's (BAT) and (ARM) terminal quickly (you will see spark when you tap wire). Then fire up the engine and test with voltmeter. You should be able to see voltage restore to 13.5 to 14.5 volts.

Be sure that the Ignition switch on Harley are correctly connected to voltage regulator. There are "ACC", "IGN", "BAT" on terminal. Be sure "BAT" terminal are wired to Voltage Regulator "BAT" terminal and Rest of other connection like light, horn, ignition coils connects to "IGN" terminal. You can connect from Battery (+) to Regulator "BAT" or Ignition switch "BAT". In order to prevent engine from running while Ign switch was off. Because, If you hook up from Regulator "BAT" to Ignition switch "IGN" and "BAT" connect to Battery. The regulator and generator will be active and engine still runs while battery was cut off thus bypassing the Ign switch off mode. Happens to me cuz I was follow Chevrolet wiring diagram for Harley Hee Hee hee. I quickly figured it out by holding back the "Cutoff" relay contact and engine died. I made a real quick correction by moving the wire from IGN to BAT. Problem solved. It's my gaffe LOL..

Older Harley have same configuration as Automotive so given idea what you should do.

Thanks
Catty
 
Last edited:

BuellGoFast

New Member
I was crurising around town last tuesday with my fiancee skullchick (amy) on the back of my buell, decided to bang thru the gears from a red light turning greem, revved her up to about 3 grand and dumped the clutch, went to bang second with no clutch and for some odd reason it didnt catch second tached out and when i went to bring her back into second i couldnt find the lever....sure enough my lever pivot bolt came out and i was without a shifter...at least it was hanging from the linkage. We limped it home in 2nd (not a big deal as it takes off smoothly in 2nd effortlessly and does 100mph in 2nd as well so it wasnt TOO much of an inconvenience.... back to the shop with it this week....ugh.
 

purplecatty

Active Member
I was crurising around town last tuesday with my fiancee skullchick (amy) on the back of my buell, decided to bang thru the gears from a red light turning greem, revved her up to about 3 grand and dumped the clutch, went to bang second with no clutch and for some odd reason it didnt catch second tached out and when i went to bring her back into second i couldnt find the lever....sure enough my lever pivot bolt came out and i was without a shifter...at least it was hanging from the linkage. We limped it home in 2nd (not a big deal as it takes off smoothly in 2nd effortlessly and does 100mph in 2nd as well so it wasnt TOO much of an inconvenience.... back to the shop with it this week....ugh.

LOL you'll need a nylon ringed nut for bolt so it won't vibrate it's way out.

Catty
 

Ray'sSporty

New Member
Hi everyone, I bet I'm new in Automotive section in AllDeaf.com lol. I am always in Deaf Technology and Computer sections. I do not see "Motorcycle" section so I just jump in Automotive cuz motorcycle is part of transportation anyway.

I have 74' Harley Sportster in my garage belongs to my friend. He bought it and had no place to park during winter season so I welcomed it to my warm garage lol. He asked me to re-do wiring that owner crapped up. It fires up and runs great. 883 V-twin been bored to .30 and rebuilt. It was partly stripped down, no turn signal lights, horn, and front fender. It has original headlight and new sleek LED brake/parking light on rear. It's kinda like old schooler some way. It has pipes, no muffler. It shook my house when fired up. Love that Thump Thump Thump... I rode it around my neighborhood and seeing some guy was getting jealous over me riding thumping bass harley. (City of Shawnee alllowed straight pipe harley for safety reason. It's Legal lol.)

The real problem was that Harely isn't charging battery at all. I checked it's generator and it was new and charges fine directly to battery (Field to ground and Armature--->Ampmeter----> (+) side battery.). I narrowed down to faulty mechanical regulator.

I decided to try using my old 67 chevy electronic voltage regulator as a subsitute.. Since that it uses Delco-Remy type regulator and have same wiring configuration. I already pre-wired the regulator so it would fit 3 wired charging system (Field, Armature, and Bat +). I found out that owner also wired the ignition wiring wrong. So I had to redo wiring on ignition part in order to have correct wiring for charging system.

If I got the charging system working, then I will have to tear out relays on old mechanical regulator and modify to fit in electronic regulator board into old regulator base then bolt in chrome cover on it to make it look original.

I haven't installed regulator into Harley yet. If anyone have experience on charging system. I welcome anyone advice.
Actually the old 3 relay regulators are pretty good, the relay with fine wire is connected to field, BUT it is the contacts that connect w
the field. the coil for said relay is grounded at one end, other end hooks to armature or BAT. up to a given voltage from ARMATURE
field relay's points r closed, when voltage is say 14 on a 12 v system coil on fld relay rly pulls contacts apart and arm . output drops as field current must pass thru a resistor. 2nd or middle rly has a hvy coil maybe red but rather thick, its a current coil. if gen is good for 20
amps anything more will open contacts and field current must pass thru resistor, lowering volts and amps. NOW if volts are say 13.5. field current goes the points the on the current rly then to ground. the 3rd relay is a reverse current relay. and YES there is a coil of fine wire under that heavy coil of wire. a fine wire coil is voltage sensitive. so the voltage coil in rly 3 pulls contacts together and battery gets charged.
both current AND voltage coil will be wound in same direction, does NOT matter which clockwise or counter clockwise, BUT both in same
direction. bike starts to slowdown as u come to a lite. then battery current will want to flow to gen, BUT the polaries of current and voltage
coils will be opposing, so not enough magnetic field to close the contacts of reverse current relay and points open so bat does not toast gen windings. bike again picks up speed voltage closes contacts of rev. cur. rly and since gen volts are higher than BAT volts, current flows thru
heavy coil or series coil assisting the voltage coil. holding relay contacts closed. A coil of many many turns of fine wire is a voltage or
shunt coil and can produce as much magnetic field as 8 turns of heavy wire. a shunt coil is same as voltage coil and is hooked across the line + to - or ground
A series coil is a current carrying coil and as in the Rev. current relay if a current and voltage coil are on the same core, they MUST BE WOUND IN THE SAME DIRECTION. sort of like two cars pulling a heavy load, cars must go in same direction. so as said 13.5 volts from gen will cause current to flow to the 12 volt battery and if BAT volts is greater current will flow to gen, BUT current going in an opposing direction will nullify field of voltage coil and not enough pull from the core to overcome tension of contacts and they open, thus gen does not burn out. I do hope this helps anyone wrkg on old bikes as it would be nice to keep it all original.

Ray'sSporty1200

i
Thanks
Catty
 
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