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Thread: Electrical problems with Chief

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    4

    Default Electrical problems with Chief

    I have a 1947 Chief and I have an electrical problem that has me stumped. The bike has a volkswagen generator and Bosch regulator. The bike is 6 volts. One day the bike wouldn't start checked the battery and it was showing 4.5 v and wouldn't charge. Replaced battery and bike ran fine for a limited time and then wouldn't start. Checked the new battery and 4.6 v and wouldn't charge battery ruined. Replaced battery and today rode with battery fully charged rode 7 miles bike died. Checked battery .17v and battery ruined. I had checked the generator at idle and showed 7.4v charging. Same at battery. Would when riding the generator be sucking power? Any idea's or suggestions????? THANKS TCHIEF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    700

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    Is it an original style battery with acid or modern type with gel?? 46EL

  3. #3
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    Aug 2018
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 46EL View Post
    Is it an original style battery with acid or modern type with gel?? 46EL
    Modern battery that is sealed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    700

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    My H-D generator guy explained to me that the new sealed batteries can wreak havoc on generators and regulators/cutouts. I wished I payed more attention to what he said but it had something to do with the generator is overworked and ends up either burned out or it burns out the regulator??? I never use sealed batteries so I didn't give it much thought. May that will give you something to look at. Sorry i don't know more? 46EL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    294

    Default

    I have a 1947 Chief and I have an electrical problem that has me stumped. The bike has a volkswagen generator and Bosch regulator. The bike is 6 volts. One day the bike wouldn't start checked the battery and it was showing 4.5 v and wouldn't charge. Replaced battery and bike ran fine for a limited time and then wouldn't start. Checked the new battery and 4.6 v and wouldn't charge battery ruined. Replaced battery and today rode with battery fully charged rode 7 miles bike died. Checked battery .17v and battery ruined. I had checked the generator at idle and showed 7.4v charging. Same at battery. Would when riding the generator be sucking power? Any idea's or suggestions????? THANKS TCHIEF
    Your generator or regulator has likely failed and needs repair.
    Get a lead acid battery, check generator output, you need 6.5 volts or more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    700

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    Field test your coil and check the condensor. A good investment would be an original generator that is rebuilt along with the correct cutout for 47. I think 48 started using a regulator if remember correctly. 46

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Saltsburg PA
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    354

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    If you want to ride your chief with 100% confidence in the 6volt charging system, go here. http://www.splitdorfreg.com/Autolite...n/autolite.htm
    You'll need to go back to the original generator (tested, refurbed, etc) with the electronic regulator conversion. Then you can safely run a sealed battery such as the Shorai LFX18 BS06 Lithium Iron 18amp hr which has been designed for and proven to work with this regulator. Many sealed batteries AGM or Lithium Iron have VERY specific charging rates for maximum life. Typically they require a tight charging voltage across all rpms and loads which is rarely ever the case when antique generating/regulating equipment is used.

    As has been mentioned, do not run a sealed battery unless you know its limitations on max voltage and then what your charging system is capable of. There are advantages of a sealed battery but often on these old systems, they are not plug and play as many hope. Old charging system - stick with conventional lead acid battery.
    There are other options such as going to the Cycle Electric Gen/Reg but I preferred to stick with original appearance hardware that functions better than original. Personal preference.

    I am no expert but have seen many charging problems develop due to mismatched components. Generating systems in general are rarely understood and are a primary source of frustration which inhibits ones confidence to ride the bike with any regularity or distance. I converted mine to electronic 5 years ago at the advice of Peter (PRG on this forum) and have ridden many thousands of miles with ZERO maintenance, same battery, and I have NEVER had a battery charger on it even over winter storage.
    Jason Z
    AMCA #21594
    Near Pittsburgh PA (Farm Country)
    Allegheny Mountain Chapter http://amcaamc.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,343

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    TChief!

    A loose, intermittent ground strap could give such fits.
    (One on the battery and one on the generator itself. Beware of insulating powdercoatings, etc.)

    Simple things first...

    ....Cotten
    PS: Re-polarizing may be prudent.
    PPS: If it were a real Indian Autolite, I'd send it to IndianFrank@yahoo.com

    I wouldn't even warn him.
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 10-19-2018 at 05:46 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    First, why bother with a 6v Volkswagon generator? Seems like a lateral move at best. The original Autolite's work fine. Personally, I prefer to upgrade to a Cycle Electric 12v with the internal regulator. A major benefit if you're planning to make it a regular rider.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    THANK YOU everyone for your insights! I will let you know if I get this figured out! It sure seems to be in general agreement to get a new generator such as the autolite. Will do and get an acid battery. JEFF

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