The Prince of Darkness has arrived....Help

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May 4, 2006
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just when i was getting satisfied with my carbs.......today when i started her up, for the first time the charging light stayed on. all the revs did not help. oh well, i will ride her around anyway. as soon as i scooted it off the center stand, the light went out? i rode a few miles and the light intermittedly came off and on, usually over 3 grand it stayed off. later on i started her up again, the light was on strong, pushed off the center stand, and off it went. back on the stand, on again? does Lucas have a sense of humor? I had no tester with me so i left her for the night. i traced the alt wires to the connectors, they seemed clean. i will spray moisture displacement tomorrow, along with volt test. i am embarrassed to say i could not find the ground to frame? any ideas????????? The shop manual for testing was abit intimidating. any laymen sequence i should follow? i know i have a lot to learn. i was supposed to be off on my first road trip this weekend. any help is always appreciated. cheers, jerome
 
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My 1972 3AW WL control went last year, same symptoms and although I worked for Joe Lucas for 23 yrs I never realised this part doesn't do much except tell you if the alternator is putting out at least 6v. Mine had been opened a previous owner and tampered with but at least it had lasted 33 yrs which is not bad for such a delicate piece of kit! There is a fine cloth? covered wire resistor wound on an insulated strip with a tiny contact breaker. It had finally fried the cloth insulation and gone open circuit. If you check the batt voltage with engine running and lights on and have at least 13v I don't think you need to worry as the alternator/rectifier output goes direct to the battery, not via the WL control. I did replace mine with an electronic version from BSA-Regal just so I had some kind of indication but it doesn't tell you much about the alternator charging capabilities, unless someone on the forum with greater knowledge can tell you.
 
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thanks keith, will test as soon as i get back to my shop, where i left her. after digging deep into the archives, i feel i have all the info i need to proceed and diagnois. thanks again, jerome
 
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