This is Corey Levenson’s stunning 1969 Commando.
Corey reached out for a some guidance around his charging system upgrade.
He is in the process of fitting the superb Shindengen SH847 regulator/rectifier – a very sensible choice in terms of longevity and looking after your stator.
Wiring these up is simple:
- For connection to a three phase stator, the wiring order of the AC inputs don’t matter.
- The black and red definitely do matter though!
- The red (positive/earth) pin is toward the centre of the unit.
- The black (negative) pin is on the outside of the unit.
The Shindengen is wired in the same way as most aftermarket reg/rec units:
A minor point to note is that on an Ammeter equipped bike, the replacement reg/rec is wired to the consumer side of the ammeter.
If it is wired directly to the battery as most manufacturers suggest, you will not see the ammeter swing to show a charge.
A decent Norton Commando upgrade is to move from the old points-based ignition system over to Electronic Ignition.
Corey has fitted a popular unit these days – the Pazon Sure-Fire
These are popular for two reasons:
- COST – the are one of the lowest price units available on the market at the moment, and the come with an amazing seven and a half year warranty!!!
- RELIABILITY – people are nervous of the ‘shake and bake’ units like the Tri-Spark, where everything is all in one single, miniaturised unit behind the points cover. The Pazon is a carbon copy of the Boyer Bransden unit with a stator plate (Pazon call it the Ignition Trigger) and a separate box of electronics (which Pazon call the Ignition Module)
In fact, the similarities with the Boyer Bransden units don’t end there – all the wires are the same color too!
Actually, Andy and Debbie from Pazon both used to work for Boyer Bransden!!!
Moving from points to a Pazon Sure-Fire electronic ignition is a pretty simple upgrade.
From a wiring perspective, the most important thing to note is that you will be moving from a pair of coils that are wired in parallel to series.
Originally, the points make and break the positive (earth) side of each coil in turn.
The Pazon electronic ignition system uses a concept called “wasted spark” – with the two coils wired in series, they are energized together on every rotation of the camshaft.
You’ll note in the wiring diagrams below that the Ballast Resistor and Condensers have been removed as part of the conversion to Electronic Ignition.
The color coding of the wiring is simple:
- The Red – this is the positive feed to the Pazon, and is usually picked up from the red wire that goes to the Coil positive terminal.
- The Black – this is the negative supply FROM the Pazon TO the coils.
- The White – this is the negative feed to the Pazon. On the older Commandos, this simply picks up the white wire from Pin 2 of the Master Switch.
- Black/Yellow and Black/White – these go from the Pazon Ignition Module down to the Ignition Trigger that sits behind the points cover.
Corey has also coupled the Pazon Sure-Fire with a dual output single 12 volt coil.
So here is the wiring diagram for Corey’s bike.
Custom Norton Commando Wiring Diagram – Corey Levenson PNG 3066×1841
Corey requested I make this available as a PDF too – it can be downloaded here.
Corey has indicated that he’d like to consider wiring the Shindengen reg/rec directly to the battery.
This is absolutely fine, but be aware of one caveat – and that is the ammeter will never swing to the right showing a positive charge – it will only ever indicate a current draw (drain) when it is wired up in this configuration.
I feel it is a good idea to have the reg/rec on it’s own dedicated fuse if you are wiring it direct to the battery.
Personally, I like to replace the glass/ceramic fuse holder with a modern blade type fuse – these are great, as blade fuses are available in every garage, and are very resilient to vibration.
I would recommend using automotive blade type fuses for both (ie replace the original holder too).
You can use a 15 amp fuse for both.
Some of these Shindengen reg/recs are supplied with wiring that contains a thermal fuse (that resets itself when it has cooled)
I am personally not a big fan of these, preferring a fuse instead – coupled to the fact the supplied ones are way too heavy duty for the small alternators on our old brit bikes.
However, if you are adamant that you want to use this, you can with no problem at all.
It is of no consequence that the thermal trip on the supplied wiring is on the red (positive) side – remember that with these units, there is no electrical connection from the heatsink casing of the reg/rec to the bike.
As long as either the positive OR negative is protected, you are covered.
So here is the alternative wiring diagram for Corey’s bike showing the re-routed Shindengen reg/rec.
Custom Norton Commando Wiring Diagram – Corey Levenson (alternative) PNG 3066×1841
And again, available as a PDF – that can be downloaded here.