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Cut Out Relay or Generator

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  • Cut Out Relay or Generator

    I have a 32E generator that when I start the bike the Generator light stays on Until I turn the headlight on, Then it goes out and stays out after I turn the headlight off. It seams to keep charging fine no problems with the battery going dead. When I do have the headlight on it brightens with higher rpm's. So question is Generator or cutout relay problem?


  • #2
    Sounds like generator. Either a bad brush or field coil. The lights going on energize it via the 3rb brush causing the voltage to rise enough to open the relay points turning off the light. If the relay was failing it should not work right in either switch position.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736


    • #3
      Howdy sir,

      I could be completely off here but this sounds like a lack of residual magnetism in your generator pole shoes which the 32E is uniquely positioned to overcome. (I’ll use an Autolite as an example but this applies to others). Generator lights have one wire to the ignition switch and the other to the A or armature brush. When you switch the ignition on the light can glow because, engine off, your A brush grounds to the armature and generator body thus completing the circuit.

      When you start your engine residual magnetism in the pole shoes enables a nominal output, say .75v which then closes the contacts in your cutout to enable battery voltage to power up the field coils (1 initially in the case of a 32E). As your A brush is now outputting current it no longer forms a ground and the light goes out. When you hear the expression flashing the field coils in a unit not producing that nominal output one is basically bypassing the cutout to power up the field coils and remagnetise the pole shoes.

      Now, where a 32E is uniquely equipped to reflash its self is via the headlight circuit. Turn on your headlight and voltage is directed to the large field coil bypassing the cutout. So, in essence you’ve reflashed/remagnetized the pole shoes and your unit continues to work after the headlight is turned off. As the above screed may be out in left field - pun intended - but I would look at anything related to your primary field coil; connections, possible shorting to generator body/pole shoe, etc.

      Edit: had a thought here. Check your cutout, though hard to measure it’s sensitivity to initial output voltage as we’re dealing with small values of .75 to 1.5V any wiring/connection resistance or crust on the points may be preventing them from closing until “shocked” by higher output enabled by the light circuit field coil being activated.

      Last edited by PRG; 09-15-2021, 11:01 AM.
      1950 Vincent - A Red Rapide Experience


      • #4
        Hi Herman,
        obvious you need an electrical and may be mechanical overhaul of your generator 32E. I recommend you for that action to convert the 32E into a 2-brush function (see HD service
        bulletin # 418) and to use an electronic Regulator, which can installed into your original cut-out relay housing.
        If you are interested, send me a PM and I will give you an address in US for doing such a work.


        • #5
          Problem was in the cut out relay. After cleaning and re-adjusting the contact gaps along with changing the tension on the spring its working like it should. I have the generator charging at 4 amps. Yes I'l like to find another 32 E and convert it to 2 brush and use the new solid state regulator. But I have heard that the solid state regulators are subject to failures at high temperatures. Thanks Herman


          • #6
            Hi Herman, a Regulator is not called solid state...a Regulator controls the current (F-terminal) for your field coils in relation to your motorcycle load and limits the voltage output
            to an adjusted max. level. The Regulator I developed is an embedded solution, it means we can install that unit into each original Delco 266L 2-post or 752 3-post relay housing
            (replica housing is available too). This Regulator is very robust, complete sealed electronic, designed for temperatures up to 120 Celsius. Over 300 are in service, no one had
            a problem until today. Some Cannonball riders also use it. For more informations give me a PM. George
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