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If you look by the left side gear shift lever by the engine cover and see three yellow wires, you have an alternator. If you cannot see them, remove the sprocket cover to allow better access.

The wires will be routed along with the neutral switch,side stand switch and oil pressure switch above the engine sprocket.

Trace if possible to the regulator/rectifier(some bikes have it under the battery area) electrical plug. It should have 6 wires in it:

1. Three YELLOW wires, the alternator output wires.
2. One WHITE with RED stripe, the output wire to the battery.
3. One BLACK with YELLOW stripe,the ground wire.
4. One BROWN wire, the sense wire to prevent overcharging of the battery.
 

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It has an Alternating Current Generator.
Nope, by convention and definition it has an alternator, look it up.

The item normally called a generator, and defined as such, like those on earlier automobiles (pre mid 60's) actually generates alternating current, but due to the way it is wired to the commutator DC is output.

Alternator has a rotating magnetic field.
Generator has a fixed magnetic field.

I am aware that Kawasaki calls it a "generator" in their parts diagrams, but calling a dog a cat doesn't make it one :)
 

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I've always just looked at it in the basic form and considered anything that produced DC current a generator and anything that produced AC current an alternator. And saying that some of them produces DC because they have diodes built in to them is not the same. If it initially comes out in the form of AC, whether it's converted or not would qualify as an alternator in my book.

I think the use electromagnets them was introduced after the alternator it's self.
 

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Like I said in my post above, the generators used in cars up till the mid sixties or so produced AC power :)

If you take a close look at the commutator you will see it's composed of a bunch of what looks like copper bars. Those copper bars are each hooked to an individual winding. they are ordered so that as the negative wave hits the bar, the bar hits the negative brush, and as the positive wave hits the bar, the bar hits the positive brush. So you see DC output :)

Technical definition of an alternator is a coil that cuts a rotating magnetic field.
A generator is a rotating coil that cuts a stationary magnetic field.

You've never had an old car generator apart, have you :)

There are coils bolted to the inside of the housing that generate magetic fields, aka electromagnets. The reason you can (or could anyway) push start a generator equipped car with dead/no battery was the residual magnetism from the electromagnets.

Yeah, I can remember when you could buy a decent used car for $25, I'm getting old :D
 

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Like I said in my post above, the generators used in cars up till the mid sixties or so produced AC power :)

You've never had an old car generator apart, have you :)
I have to disagree with you on that. If all cars up until the mid 60's produced AC power they would have required a rectifier and not just the voltage regulator that they had. They produced a pulsating DC voltage w/o a rectifier.

And yes, I have taken old generators apart and cleaned the commutators and replaced brushes and bushings. I even pulled the regulators apart to clean the contacts on them like some people clean their points. My first car was a 52 chevy. :D
 

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They produced a pulsating DC voltage w/o a rectifier.
Uh huh, just like I explained in my previous post, and I even explained why.
I have read enough of your posts to realize that you're a smart guy, so obviously I'm not communicating my thoughts very well.

You've cleaned the commutator, so you've see that it is composed of a number of short segments with thin insulation between them. Each winding has two of those segments attached to it, 180 degrees apart.

Ok, maybe this person explains it better (click on the link and read the whole thing).

The current generated in the armature is AC - not DC. To get it converted to DC so it can charge your batter and run your headlights, a device called a commutator is used to "rectify" this situation. It is on the armature and has a series of contacts along it's outer surface. Two spring-loaded brushes slide on the commutator - one brush is connected to ground and the other is connected to the main output of the generator. As the armature and commutator assembly rotates, the brushes come touch the different contacts on the commutator such that the polarity of the current moving in the armature is always connected to the correct brushes. The net effect of this is that the generator output is always DC even though the current inside the armature windings is always AC.
Alternator and Generator Theory




My first car was a 1951 Studebaker pickup, a real hot rod with it's flathead six and three speed plus overdrive trans :lol:

Wish I had that truck now :(

Ya know, maybe us old farts shouldn't be advertising it:biggrin:
 

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Since I am an ASE Certified Master Auto Technician, AND The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers has STANDARDIZED the nomenclature for such items. I use the standard term. Because like a Hebrew National hot dog, I ANSWER TO A HIGHER AUTHORITY.
Uh oh! Don't suppose you're interested in the fact that I helped write the original tests when it was the AIASE? :biggrin:


Got a link to support your statement that the SAE has standardized the terms as you stated? I'm no longer a member and don't feel like paying $50 for the book.
 

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My first car was a 1951 Studebaker pickup, a real hot rod with it's flathead six and three speed plus overdrive trans :lol:

Wish I had that truck now :(

Ya know, maybe us old farts shouldn't be advertising it:biggrin:
You and I both wish we had that one today. Did you ever drive or own one of the 3 speed fluid drive vehicles of the day? Interesting creatures. As for the "old fart" you get to claim that title. Unless you had a birthday in the last 60 days then you have at least a full year on me. :tongue: :lol:
 

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Hmmm,without going into too much detail and research. I thought alternators used electricity(electromagnets)to generate power, and generators used permanent magnets.Both making AC current untill rectfied by either diodes or plate rectifiers,etc.
:toetap: Hmmm. "Without going into too much detail and research" or lables. First car? 64 Plymouth Barracuda 273 Hurst Special,gave $75 for it,sold it a month later for $125. Wish I had that one back! Until then, we walked or rode stolen ponies!:lol:
 
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