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Thread: '48 Chief generator light/regulator question

  1. #1

    Default '48 Chief generator light/regulator question

    I recently purchased a restored '48 Chief. It's a nice bike and seems to be mostly correct, but it's not a complete show bike (which isn't really what I wanted).

    I removed the chrome instrument housing to correct some paint defects on the tank and noticed there was no generator light. Only the speedo light. I then tracked down the wiring diagram to see what was going on and realized that there is only one connector tab on the front of my regulator. The diagram indicates that there should be a second tab that connects to the generator light. So it seems that since I have this regulator, there is nothing to drive the indicator light. I guess if I decide I want it later, I may have to get a new regulator that is correct and either a new wiring harness, or find the existing wire (it may be buried) and connect it.

    Am I right that the correct cycle came with a regulator with two tabs, one that drives the generator indicator light?

    1948_indian_chief_1563493466bd51fbIMG_0773.jpgIMG_0313.jpgIMG_0314.jpgIMG_0315.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    753

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    Nice Chief Lipdog!

    You do need another terminal on that regulator, I don't know if you can add one... might be worth looking into.

    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  3. #3

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    Howdy sir,

    Know you know this, but for the others, brief explanation of the genie light in context with electrical system. As the schematic illustrates, the light has a powered source at the ignition switch and a “grounded” source, per se, at the regulator. That ground is the charging brush in your generator for which the ground is broken once the generator turns and produces a charge, the light goes out as it has voltage on both sides.

    The following assumes your generator has been converted to a two brush as you only have a single battery tab, as opposed the setup still retaining a third brush. If the latter other experts can chime in. So, disconnect your battery (to avoid a short) disconnect your regulator from the band but leave the wire connections intact, flip it over and you should have two screwed tabs labeled F (field coils) and D (or similar for dynamo) receiving wires from your generator. If you are not confident of those connections detach your band and slide it slightly over where you can view your brushes. You want to follow the wire out that comes from the brush not grounded to the generator body. Attach your wire to that tab on the underside of the regulator and, as per the schematic, the other to the ignition-on terminal post on your switch. Wrap tape around the body of the light housing to prevent it grounding on the lense sleeve of your dash to prevent shorting your generator.

  4. #4

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    I was looking through the Jerry Hatfield restoration guide and he mentioned one of the new features for '48 was a new voltage regulator, and showed the picture below from some original marketing literature. If you look closely the regulator appears to have only one tab, like mine. Could this be correct for some of the bikes? Even if it is, I'm not sure if and how you could connect the generator light with one of these.

    IMG_0321.jpg
    Last edited by Lipdog; 09-12-2019 at 01:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    201

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    As Peter mentioned, the light circuit is powered up any time the ignition is on. The ground is picked up through the generator when it is not producing power, through the + brush.

    Easy fix, simply attach the wire from the idiot light ground side to the A terminal of the regulator, which goes to the + brush holder. In essence, that's what the 2 terminal regulator does, just a bit more complicated inside. Doesn't matter if it's been converted to 2 brush or remains original 3 brush set up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gharper View Post
    As Peter mentioned, the light circuit is powered up any time the ignition is on. The ground is picked up through the generator when it is not producing power, through the + brush.

    Easy fix, simply attach the wire from the idiot light ground side to the A terminal of the regulator, which goes to the + brush holder. In essence, that's what the 2 terminal regulator does, just a bit more complicated inside. Doesn't matter if it's been converted to 2 brush or remains original 3 brush set up.
    Very helpful. Thanks to you and Peter.

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