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Discussion Starter #1
I think I know already, but I want to make sure. I have a 77 Iron head and need a new genny, What years will work for this??
 

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Any year Ironhead, from about 65 or 66, when they were 6 volt gennies. So say 67 to about 81 or 82, when they went to the alternator. Just look at the top and make sure it is a 12 volt one. Cycle electrics makes a good aftermarket one, if you find one of those, but other than that, the HD ones are good enough for daily riders. You can test with a battery. Hook the positive side to the A terminal, and the neg to the F terminal, and it should spin like a electric motor. If not, I would be wary.
 

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In just about every town is a guy who rebuilds starters and generators. Find him and use him. Way cheaper and better results than buying the junk on the market now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking about having mine rebuilt, but I was headed to the swap meet and figured if I can pick one up cheaper than the $150. to rebuild mine I would go that way.
 

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hard to test at the swapmeet,,,,,may end up with a $75-100 core!
also, beware of the ***** copies, our local indy shop refuses to warranty them!
if you have the orig HD gen, you would be far safer to rebuild it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any year Ironhead, from about 65 or 66, when they were 6 volt gennies. So say 67 to about 81 or 82, when they went to the alternator. Just look at the top and make sure it is a 12 volt one. Cycle electrics makes a good aftermarket one, if you find one of those, but other than that, the HD ones are good enough for daily riders. You can test with a battery. Hook the positive side to the A terminal, and the neg to the F terminal, and it should spin like a electric motor. If not, I would be wary.
Thanks shovithead, I did this to mine and it didn't spin when I hooked it to a battery, I spun the gear myself when it was hooked up and it started to spin on its own but very slow so I'm thinkin my genny needs to be rebuilt, hopefully it will be able to be rebuilt. Yes the battery I used was a fully charged good battery.
 

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"Thanks shovithead, I did this to mine and it didn't spin when I hooked it to a battery, I spun the gear myself when it was hooked up and it started to spin on its own but very slow so I'm thinkin my genny needs to be rebuilt, hopefully it will be able to be rebuilt. Yes the battery I used was a fully charged good battery. "

Yeah, sometimes you do have to hand spin it. It is not REALLY a 12 volt motor, so even when it don't spin, does not mean it is fried. If it spins after you spin it by hand, it WILL produce voltage. This is usually caused by dirty brush guides/brushes or a dirty commutator bar. There are commercial sticks, that are made for cleaning the commutator bars, but you can clean them up with some 220 emery strip. Just keep it light , and try to keep it square. Not to mention, check for oil seepage in the field coils, in case the generator seal is leaking. Oil will make for a low voltage generator, caused by grounding of the field coils. I usually clean them with brake cleaner and air pressure. Just be sure to completely dry the brake cleaner, before reinstalling, to keep a small explosion from occuring when the brushs light off. You can test the comm bars, individually with a Ohm meter. One to individual com bar, and one to the armature stackings or shaft. If it has continuity, it is grounded. Also, look for wide gaps between the com bars. And after you clean with emery cloth, clean the gaps. I take a hack saw blade, and cut to a 45 or so angle, and use the tip to clean the spaces between. Try NOT to scratch the com bars in the process. Make sure you "flash" the gennie, after reassembly and installation. If you don't do that, it will almost never make any juice.
 

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If you can find the parts to rebuild your and need to buy a new one I would tell you to go to Cycle electric and spend the money to get the top of the line American made generator. Has a 2 year warranty, and I have never had a bad one from them. If you buy a imported replacement go ahead and order a spare armature right away cause you will need it. Good Luck
 

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@ shovithead. This is the reason to be on this board. The grey beards (meant with much respect) have already been down these roads, responses like his and many others here can really help guys out. Thanks alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just looked at the website for cycle electric, I will have to call they don't have prices online.
 

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I got the whole cleaning process bit you lost me at "flash", what does this mean?
When you remove a generator, and disconnect the wires, they lose polarity. Basically, it confuses the process. So when you rebuild one, or just remove for other work, you need to flash it, to polarize it. Hook up and install normally. Take a piece of wire, or use a small battery charger. If you use wire, hook it to the positive side of the battery, and it has to be long enougn to go to the generator(or the A terminal on the regulator) and strike it across the "A" terminal. The two terminals(threaded connectors) should have either a "A" or a "F" stamped next to the hookup. A is for Armature, and the F is for the Field coils. The wire should spark. I usually do it two or three times, and then you are ready to run. After rebuilding the gen, or having to flash it, I use a voltage meter, to make sure the gen is putting out at least 12.5 volts. But they can put out up to 14, if they are in really good shape. The later post, about Cycle Electrics, is true. They are more expensive, but they are bullet proof, unless you beat it with a big hammer. Their regulators have the same results. If i did not mostly restore these bikes, I would put CE gens on all mine. Which is why I rebuild so many HD generators.
 

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vtwinmotors said:
The Cycle electric generator is around 250.00 at retail and if you get the one with the built in regulator it is 350.00 But you hook up one wire and go enjoy your motorcycle ride. That is right one wire no problem. Good luck I know you will be very happy with the Cycle Electric brand.
No doubt.

And after buying two or three Kung Pow generators and still pushing your dead bike home, you come to realize the CE was cheaper. By a long shot.

Carl at CE is a real person who will guide you expertly and make sure you get the right setup. Real service from a real person.

Was helping a newer rider in my workshop recently and said the same. . . he got a Kung Pow at first to save money. Then he bought a CE three weeks later when it folded.

Fact.

Jason

p.s. - sportsters used generators up through '84 then switched to an alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I might go that way, sounds pretty good. I like the genny regulator setup.
 
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