Harley Davidson Voltage Regulator Problems – Not To Worry !

Harley Davidson Voltage Regulator Problems

It’s not new for a Harley Davidson bike to experience electrical problems. Your Harley can have an issue with the battery and voltage regulator, which isn’t a big deal.

Pro Harley owners prefer to fix their bikes themselves, which saves a lot of money while increasing their mechanical skills as well. You can troubleshoot the issue in your garage and find a solution to the problem without visiting a repair shop.

If your Harley Davidson voltage regulator problems are giving you some tough times, this article will guide you through diagnosing the issue while suggesting solutions to fix it.

Harley Davidson voltage regulator problems- Read Up

If there is anything wrong with the voltage regulator of your precious Harley, you will notice some unusual behaviors from the bike as follows –

Gases Coming Out of the Battery

As I mentioned earlier, a bad regulator cannot control the voltage, which overcharges the battery. When the battery gets overcharged regularly, it causes the gas to escape from it.

The liquid inside the cell turns into hydrogen and oxygen gas and escape from the casing. As these gases are very flammable, maintain a safe distance if you have something flammable.

Misleading Voltmeter

If your Harley has a voltmeter on the dashboard, you will get unusual readings on it. Sometimes it shows too high, and sometimes it’s too low. When the circuits get damaged due to excessive heat, the charging system gives such misleading info about the battery.

Burn-out Lamps

The battery receives a very high amount of voltage as the regulator is at an inactive state, which results in tail lamps, headlamps, and other side lamps to burn out. These lamps can bear a certain amount of voltage. When it gets too high, and they are unable to handle, they burn-out.

Flickering Gauges

One of the most common signs of a faulty regulator is the flickering or dim gauge. As voltage regulator is the one appointed to provide the power when it cannot function properly, the light flickers due to this.

Sometimes the gauge indicators function well, but it’s difficult to read out, especially when you ride in low light conditions.

Problem with Instrument Cluster

Harley, with a lousy regulator, causes an issue with the instrument cluster as well. When the regulator fails, it cannot provide power to the cluster. You might be able to start the engine and ride the bike without much trouble, but there will be no information on the cluster.
Riding a bike with a malfunctioning speedometer is pretty unsafe.
Incorrect Readings

In many cases, a damaged voltage regulator is responsible for erratic readings. The numbers and needles change rapidly, which can confuse you.

What’s the Possible Reason to Face This Problem?

At first, let’s understand your motorbike’s voltage regulator associated with the type of tasks. The regulator generally has two functions: rectifier and regulator. Converting AC power from DC power is the responsibility of the rectifier, it ensures that the battery gets charged.

On the other hand, delivering the voltage within a certain limit is the objective of the regulator. It doesn’t let the battery get damaged due to excess power. The regulator converts the excess energy into heat to keep the battery well-functioned.

Your Harley’s voltage regulator can fail due to the following reasons –

Damaged Internal Components

Voltage regulator can be damaged due to aging. Older ones cannot perform as great as the newer models. The more the regulator is used, the higher the chance of facing this issue as time goes.

Apart from aging, moisture also contributes to damaging electrical components. If your bike has some technical fault and stays extremely hot, this excessive heat can also damage the regulator.

Excessive Vibration

Motorbikes vibrate, and this isn’t something you need to be worried about. However, when the bike excessively vibrates due to any technical issue, the consequences also fall upon the regulator. It loosens electrical joints, and poorly executed joints get damaged the most.

Misfiring, Backfiring, and Shots

Sometimes the engine misfires, backfires, and other electrical systems cause shorts, which weaken and even damage the voltage regulator.

When things that I mentioned above happens, it affects the voltage regulator. As a result, when the voltage goes above 14.5V, the regulator cannot clamp down the charging circuit.

Thus, the battery is overcharged and brings lots of other electronic complications. A bad voltage regulator also affects the circuits pretty badly.

How to Repair a Voltage Regulator Rectifier?

If you find getting an OEM voltage regulator very expensive, you can consider repairing the thing by yourself. Even if the regulator rectifier is very weak or damaged, you can still repair them without spending much money and effort.
It doesn’t require any special mechanical skills or experience whatsoever. With a little knowledge about wires and stuff, you can do it yourself.
To proceed further, you will need –

  • Rectifier shim
  • Microclyder ring

At first, you need to unscrew the back of the regulator to get to the electronic circuits. After you unscrew it, two parts will be glued to each other. Carefully break the seal and separate the parts. There, you will find a rectifier shim.

In most cases, the shim takes more damage; it can even change the color. The shim ensures the electrons are correctly gapped. You need to replace it. Gently take off the shim as it’s very flimsy. It might come in apart in pieces; be sure to remove them all.

Under the shim, you will find a microclyder ring; this one needs a replacement as well. The microclyder ring usually wears due to high voltage. Remove the ring and put a new one in the same place.

Now, take the new shim, it’s best to get a copper shim as copper is much better when it comes to flow electron. Place the shim right on top of the ring.

When you are done, attach the covers using glue and screw them properly; install it on your bike. Your Harley Davidson shouldn’t have any issue that was present before due to a bad voltage regulator.

Final Words

Even though the voltage regulator is a small piece or electronic part of your bike, it comes with great functionality. Harley Davidson voltage regulator problems are found pretty much all older models.

Now that you learned how to diagnose the issue and fix it, the issue shouldn’t bother you anymore.

Resources & References

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Hi, I’m Adam Vachon, an avid learner and working in the product marketing niche for the last few years. The problem I faced when marketing products for manufacturers made me interested in starting GearsLoft.

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