Question about Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard Motorcycles

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I have an electrical problem. I ride a FXSTC, which I can not locate under the "choose a model" list. If the bike sits for more than 3 days the battery will light up all instruments and headlight but the bike will not start. I was advise that I will have to change out my regulator. How do I do it?

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Ok, let's do a little mechanicing here instead of starting to "parts swap". The first thing to do is test the battery. This is the highest probably of a problem. Take the battery out of the bike and take it to an automotive parts store. Ask them to test the battery for you. They will usually do this as a free service. If the battery test good. We'll check the output of the charging system.

To check the charging system, you'll need a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter). You'll also need to have your battery FULLY CHARGED for this test. Connect the red meter lead to the positive post of the battery and the black meter lead to the negative post. Put the Function Selector switch on the meter in DC VOLTS, 20 VOLTS or greater scale. Start the bike and bring the engine to a high idle, about 2000 rpms. Your meter should read 14.5-15.0 volts. If not, let's check the alternator output.

Down on the front of the engine case, there is a plug where the wires from you regulator plug into the case. Unplug this plug. Now, look into the engine case side of the plug and you'll see two metal contacts. These are where you are going to put the meter leads to test the alternator. Set the function Switch of your meter to AC VOLTS, 50 VOLTS or greater scale. Make sure you're in AC VOLTS. Start the engine and bring it to a high idle. Insert the meter leads into the metal contacts. It makes no difference which lead goes where because we're measuring AC voltage in this instance. Your meter should read 30 volts or higher.

Now, if you alternator is putting out more than 30 volts, it' good. If not, the stator is bad and should be replaced.

If the alternator is good and you're not getting the 14.5 volts at the battery, you need to replace the regulator.

To replace the regulator, simply unplug it at the engine case like you did to check the alternator and follow the long wire to the point where it connects to either the starter, a circuit breaker, or the battery and disconnect it. Unbolt the regulator from the frame and replace it with a new regulator. Reconnect the long wire to where it goes and plug the pigtail for the regulator into the engine case. Make sure you have a good ground between the regulator and the frame of the motorcycle.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

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