APPLICATION: This solid state voltage regulator is designed specifically to
fit standard output three brush GAS model Autolite generators using a 6 volt
negative ground system, positive field winding control and external cutout relay
(Standard equipment on all Indian motorcycles from 1930 through 1946).
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ADAPT THIS REGULATOR TO OTHER APPLICATIONS:
Damage to the generator or regulator may occur
INSTALLATION WILL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING:
A properly functioning Autolite model GAS generator configured for
Negative Ground Operation Only (See Figure 2 below)
Elimination of the third brush inside the generator, converting it to a
two brush system. (See Figure 3 below)
OVERVIEW OF OPERATION: Installation will eliminate the often troublesome
three brush regulating system and mechanical cutout relay. It will be replaced
with a solid state current and voltage regulator mounted inside an aluminum
housing that looks like the original cutout cover. Installed properly, this
regulator will allow complete and accurate current and voltage regulation of the
generator. Maximum output voltage will be limited to approximately 7.25 volts.
Current output will range from approximately .75 amps, up to the maximum allowed
by the generator, approximately 12 amps.
* 6 volts DC nominal,
7.25 volts maximum output
* 15 amps continuous, 20
amps maximum, intermittent
* Negative system
field winding control
THE GENERATOR FOR INSTALLATION OF THE REGULATOR:
Be sure the generator is working properly before installing the
regulator. This may require removal of the generator from the motorcycle. Perform any necessary maintenance to the bearings, brushes, wiring, armature and
field windings before proceeding.
If the generator is in good working condition, removal and inspection may
not be necessary. Installation of the regulator may be performed with the
generator installed on the motorcycle. To avoid damage to the generator,
regulator, or wiring, DISCONNECT THE BATTERY FROM THE MOTORCYCLE BEFORE
Remove the original cutout relay from the generator. Disconnect the
generator wire from the bottom terminal of the cutout relay. Remove the
generator inspection cover strap, exposing the brushes and internal wiring.
IF THE GENERATOR WAS DISASSEMBLED FOR ANY REASON, THE FIELD WINDINGS
MUST BE RE-POLARIZED. This may be done by motorizing the generator, which can
also serve as a basic test of generator operation. Proceed as follows:
Remove the drive belt if the generator is still mounted to the
Use a fully charged 6 volt battery with suitable jumper wires and
connect it to the generator as follows; Negative terminal to the generator
chassis, positive terminal to the generator output wire. This wire was
originally connected to the cutout relay “A” or “Gen” terminal.
If the third brush is not installed, connect the field wire from
the third brush to the battery positive terminal with a jumper wire.
At this point the generator should turn smoothly in the direction
of rotation for the appropriate application. It may be necessary to turn the
generator by hand to get it started.
If the generator does not turn smoothly in the correct direction, or
if there is any reason to suspect generator problems, installing a regulator at
this point will not fix a poorly operating generator!
Remove the carbon brush from the third brush
holder. If necessary, bend the brush holder stop towards the brush holder pin
until you have a minimum of ¼” clearance between the brush holder and the copper
commutator bars. The stop is a metal tab that protrudes from the end
plate parallel to the armature. The brush spring attaches to one edge of the
tab; the opposite edge serves as a stop to prevent the brush holder from
striking the commutator if the brush becomes too short or is removed. This will provide adequate clearance between
the brush holder and the commutator when the new wire connections are made here.
(See Figure 1)
DO NOT PROCEED UNTIL ALL GENERATOR PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN CORRECTED!
Figure 1: Third
brush holder and stop
THE REGULATOR ASSEMBLY ON THE GENERATOR
- Attach the generator output wire
to the regulator terminal marked “A” or “GEN”.
- Insert the green regulator wire
into the generator through the same hole as the existing generator wire.
Carefully pull the entire green wire into the generator while lowering the
regulator down onto the generator.
- Attach the regulator to the
generator using the original mounting hardware, including the curved spacer
plates under the feet. If these plates are not used, the “A” or “GEN”
terminal screw may touch the chassis and short out. Be sure there is
adequate clearance between this terminal and the generator body.
- Slip the shrink tubing over the
end of the green wire and strip 3/8” of insulation from the end of the wire.
- Crimp and solder the ring
terminal onto the green regulator wire. Install the shrink tubing over the
end of the terminal and heat it using a match or lighter to insulate and
strengthen the soldered wire connection.
- Using the third brush holder as a
junction terminal, connect the green regulator wire and the generator field
wire together. Use the original brush mounting screw and new lock washer.
The round aluminum spacer must be used in place of the third brush.
NOTE: DO NOT install the third brush back onto the brush holder.
Reinstallation of the third brush will disable the regulator and will limit
the maximum generator output!
- Position the green regulator wire
and terminal so that it will not be pinched by the generator frame or rub on
the armature. Double check to be sure there is a minimum of ¼” clearance
between the third brush holder and the commutator bars. Readjust the brush
holder stop if necessary (See figure 1 above)
- Carefully inspect all internal
generator wires to be sure they are clear of the rotating armature and are
not pinched. Reposition and tie the wires up if necessary. A wire rubbing
on the armature will quickly cause a short and damage the generator and or
regulator. This is critical; take the time to get this right.
- Replace the generator cover
strap, reinstall the generator and insure adequate ground to the generator
and regulator. NOTE: A poor ground to the regulator will cause a high
charge rate at all times. Poor grounding of the generator will cause other
problems as well. BE SURE THAT THE REGULATOR, GENERATOR AND BATTERY ARE
PROPERLY GROUNDED TO THE MOTORCYCLE CHASSIS.
- Prior to operating the generator,
service the battery. Be sure that the battery is the correct size for your
application. Check the fluid level and fully charge the battery. Neither the
generator nor the regulator will solve underlying battery problems.
UNDERSTANDING THE GENERATOR / REGULATOR OPERATION:
three brush regulating system and cutout relay has now been replaced with a 2
brush generator and electronic regulating system. This new system will
automatically adjust the generator output as needed in an attempt to maintain
optimum battery voltage. It is normal for the regulator to get hot during
operation. There are no field adjustments to be made to the regulator. Proper
care of the generator bearings and brushes is still required. There are three
key points to keep in mind in order to optimize the performance of the new
- Take care of the battery; Purchase a high quality lead acid, AGM, or
Gel battery of the largest capacity that will fit your application. Proper
maintenance is still important, even with the improved charging system. Check
the fluid level regularly (if applicable) and keep all batteries on a
maintenance charger when stored for long periods of time. Keep the battery
terminals clean and verify proper grounding of the battery, generator and
regulator to the chassis at all times.
- Manage the electrical loads on your machine. This new charging system
should be capable of continuously powering all stock lighting and ignition
equipment as well as providing a maintenance charge to the battery. Or, it can
provide power for ignition and recharging a low battery, if given enough running
time. It CANNOT charge a low battery and run all the lights plus ignition at the
same time! Under ideal conditions, and depending on the model, the generator is
rated to produce a maximum of approximately 12.5 amps output @ 7.0 volts. That
equates to 87.5 watts of power. DO NOT EXPECT THE GENERATOR TO PROVIDE MORE
POWER THAN THIS, IT CANNOT. The result will be a dead battery and possibly a
damaged generator or regulator. Accurately measure or calculate the current draw
of all equipment and accessories on the motorcycle. Add at least 1 amp for
battery charging. Be sure this total amount does not exceed the maximum output
capacity of the generator
- Understand and monitor the ammeter: The ammeter indicates if power is
flowing into or out of the battery. This is important to remember and can be
used as a diagnostic tool. If the ammeter shows a + charge, power is flowing
into the battery from the generator. If the ammeter indicates a −
charge, power is flowing out of the battery to supply some electrical demand
such as lights or ignition. If the ammeter indicates a 0 charge, the system is
balanced, no power is flowing into or out of the battery.
With a fully charged battery, the ammeter should read as follows: