View Full Version : '46 Chief generator connections
04-12-2008, 10:53 PM
I need to know how to properly connect a 3 brush autolite generator with a two element voltage regulator. Diagrams would be helpful. Also, what is the proper way to convert a three brush Autolite to two brush operation with the same two element voltage regualator? My bike is set up this way now, but I cannot adjust the voltage correctly. I can only get full output, about 10 amps at 9 volts. Thanks in advance.
No point in connecting a three brush to a regulator, this limits output and your regulator has now taken over for the function it originally provided. I'd convert it to 2 brush and it can be done without removing the end cap. Remove the 3rd brush/screw/clamp, flip the arm spring to the other side which will swing it away from the armature. Connect one end of the field coil wire to the armature brush, the other will go out through the case as the "F" connection. Verify clockwise rotation by connecting a ground wire from the case to that field coil wire and to the battery negative, connect the armature brush wire ("A") to battery positive and you should get about 100rpm rotating clockwise when viewed from the drive end - switch field coils wires around if opposite.
In this configuration you are now ready to attach to the most common ground-controlled regulators which rely on residual field coil voltage to excite the regulator into providing field coil voltage for full output. By "two element" assume you mean a standard two charge mechanical regulator. Verify it is indeed designed for our low amp outputs rather than for a car - think I'd go electronic at this point and you can view a typical conversion/install here (http://www.patwilliamsracing.com/1948indianchief) on my 1948 - otherwise, operation at low (output) rpm can be erratic and point contact oxidation excessive due to arcing.
06-02-2008, 10:54 AM
Peter, just wanted to thank you for the reply and advice. I made the change to two brush operation and squeezed to Podtronics regulator in there and it works perfect! Did a nice long ride on Saturday without a hitch. The gen keeps up quite well with the headlight on as well, and it's a real pleasure to see the ammeter sitting just to the plus side of zero while riding. Thanks again!
Glad to be of help. My epipheny moment with 3 brush generators/mechanical regulators came years ago when my wife and I ground to a halt on the 48 Chief in the New Mexico desert after the regulator points crusted over and the battery went flat. Had never seen a PODtronic on an Autolite before, and Bob Kizer had never sold one for that application, but studying its specs against that ubiquitous and oft maligned British instrument - the Lucas E3L - figured I'd have a go. It worked perfectly.
All of my Indians have one now and it along with a clutch (Qua or kevlar) and a Tom Cotten Durable carb float are probably 3 of the best mod's one can make to a late model Chief to enhance their usability.
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