Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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Which post is which on generator on a 1975 sportster?

Put an after-market generator on this 1975 sportster it does not state field or armature on the posts. .and a new regulator/rectifier.two wires come from the voltage regulator, a green wire and an orange wire. need to know which post is which on the generator to hook-up green or orange wire from the voltage regulator/rectifier. thanks bro! again man, this is a 1975 sportster.

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  • Jeff Renshaw
    Jeff Renshaw Oct 30, 2016

    Mine is a 1979 xlch an the green wire goes to F terminal an two tan to A terminal .mine is wired green to back of the generator closest to motor an tan to front of generator so that's a issue .OK next question red wire on voltage regulator goes to one of the circuit breaker there is a shiny side an then to the brass side of terminal . I have kick start an electric .this has been giving me a problem since I've taken ownership of bike I've replaced brushes in gen I've also been throw 4 regulators it's a nitemare



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The post should be the same as an original. The wires should be green and tan. Green wire goes to the post towards the front wheel and the tan to the post nearest the engine. Don't forget to "polarize" the generator before starting. procedure is in the service manual. Momentarily short between the battery positive post and the field terminal.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009


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1 Answer

Have a 67 ironhead. Any reason I can't install a generator from an 83?

nope if it bolts up make sure the wires are red (A) armature (F) field and battery pos + make sure u polarize the genny by making a jumper wire from (A) ON GENNY TO POSITVE ON BATTERY TILL IT SPARKS NO LONGER THEN CHECK VOLTAGE SHOULD PUT OUT 12V TO 14 V WHILE RPM IS 2000

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On a 83 harley generator there is 2 posts one is a/ armature the other is f/ feild, what wire goes where?

The green wire goes to the Field and the two Tan wires go to the Armature. Make sure that you "polarize' the generator by momentarily arcing the positive battery terminal with the armature terminal of the generator with the generator and regulator on the bike and hooked up before starting the engine.

Good Luck

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First off, an '82 Sportster does not have an alternator. Sportsters didn't come out with alternators until late 1984 and then they were located behind the outer clutch drum.

Now if your bike is an 1982 model with a generator on the front of the engine, there should be three wires going to the generator. One green wire goes to the "Field" terminal and two tan wires go to the "Armature" terminal.

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Good Luck

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79 sportster charging system voltreg and generater keep going out with new battery

This is unusual since the generator is usually pretty tough. I've got one question. Are you properly "polarizing" the generator? To "polarize" the generator, you need a piece of wire that will reach from the battery to the generator.

"With the generator on motorcycle and connected to regulator, connect one end of a jumper wire to the generator armature terminal. Momentarily touch the other end of the jumper wire to the positive terminal of the battery. This restores the magnetism, Remove the jumper."

This is directly out of an H-D service manual. The 'polarizing" procedure should be done anytime any part of the charging system is removed from the bike. Since a generator produces a DC current, this insures that the current is of the correct polarity.

Also, make sure that the voltage regulator that is bolted to the frame is well grounded. It depends on this ground to regulate the voltage. We usually put one of the "star" type lock washers between the regulator and the frame on each of the mounting bolts. The teeth on the washer dig into the frame and the body of the regulator providing a good ground. And, make sure that you've got the wires properly connected. The green wire goes to the "Field" terminal and the two tan wires go to the 'Armature" terminal. If you need a complete schematic, contact me directly at

Good Luck

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The armature (rotating field) is powered by the voltage regulator for 'excitation' which is the term describing a magnetic, revolving field. This magnetic field 'induces' voltage into the stator windings (stationary outer winding), producing voltage for use at the recepticles. Some older generators used a 'permanent magnet field, instead of using a powered winding from a regulator and the voltage and frequency were set by the RPM.
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