June/July 2000 Bike Feature 
Home / Features / 640 Resto
 Indian Sport Scout Restoration
  (from the point of view of a clueless newbie), Chapter Seven
Chapter Six here!
   By Jim Jones

The problem with being a big time author is that the two or three readers that have a Sport Scout in worse shape than mine actually believe I know something. For example this poor guy (you know who you are) on the VI mailing list. Here's my replies.

Click on pictures for full size
Subject: Re: [Virtual Indian] Sport Scout Wiring

Dear Scout Owner:

My bike will never be done.
I have to stretch out the story so that I can get another ten episodes in
VI in order to finish out my contract with Moen.

I'm interested in what responses you get on the wiring.
I ran the green one from the left side of the ammeter to the generator output.
The red one I used as the positive feed up to the right hand side of the ammeter.
The blue one from the switch ignition position to the coil.
The black one from the switch to the fuse/terminal block to be used to
turn on the tail light with the head light.
This was all based on the lengths of the wires...

Jim Jones


I got lazy and scanned this from Uncle Franks Q&A.
(A great book! I guess I should write a review for the freakin' book list!)

It looks pretty good except I question the wiring at the ammeter.
Most of the drawings have the leads to the battery and generator on the
opposite sides from what this one shows.

-And this:
Generator Manual here
Subject: Re: [Virtual Indian] Sport Scout Wiring

Dear Scout Owner:

Your questions indicate that you may not have read my articles on VI. Would you really follow the advice of someone who admits that they are clueless? Well, since you are a wild man, here is my take on it... 
1) I have not done all of this yet, because I am busy making some money to spend on food, beer and another bike or two! 
3) Most of this has not happened on my bike. Can you say "Guinea pig"? 
Official Wiring Guess (Partial) 
The hot and negative on the battery get attached to the little auxilliary connector that came with your battery tender. Sheath the wires with extra control cable cover or something that will make them inconspicuous. Strap 'em out of site where they won't rub or get crudded up too badly, but where you will be able to plug in the tender every day or so. 
The repro block I got has 2 fuses with their ends close together on one side and separated by 2 screw terminals on the other side. The fuse holders are held to the block by screws. 
A feed from the hot side of the battery goes to one of the fuses. I used the fuse near the back and in the spot where the ends of the fuses are closer together. So now your hot wire from the battery to the rest of the bike is fused. On the other side of this fuse put the red wire that goes up to the ammeter.
On the back of the bike there is a running light / brake light combination. There are 2 wires running from this, inside a shield back to the terminal block. Test it with a 9 volt battery between each wire and ground and figure out which filament you want to be the running light. Place this wire and the black wire on the furthest terminal forward. 
The other wire in that pair goes to the next closer terminal to the output end of the fuse. There is a brake light switch on the frame that gets two wires. One goes on the output of the fuse with the red wire. The other goes on the terminal that is between the output end of the fuse and the next terminal. 
Brake light operation description: Feed the brake light switch with a fused hot. When the switch makes juice will flow through the switch to the terminal that is connected to the wire that goes to the "brake" filament. The filament is grounded at the socket. 
Oh yeah. Ground the battery. I was thinking about using star washers and grounding it on the upper right part of the battery tray. (I ended up grounding it with the bolt that holds the fuse block to the frame.)
There is a jumper needed from the green (generator) wire at the ammeter to the switch up front. I am planning to fuse that one. Not sure where to hide the fuse yet, but it will be an inline fuse holder, so it may get tie wrapped to the bottom frame rail. (Did not do this)
You will notice that you have a spare fuse in the terminal block. It may be used as a spare fuse. Alternatively you may wish to fuse the tail light with this one, in case the tail light switch grounds out. You'll probably be carrying more than one spare fuse anyway. (I did not do this. The fuse holder at the front looks like it could ground to the fuse holder support bracket.)
Remember that circuit breaker I was going to pitch? I decided to put that one in series with the generator output green wire. Probably locate it down at the generator but have not decided on the mounting details. Hope this gives you plenty to think about. Let me know how you make out! 

Jim Jones

Generator "as found"

New field coils fitted

So there you have some of my thoughts in reply to another fellow who was wiring his bike. Later on in life I actually got around to doing mine and found out that I left most of the details out. So here they are…

The red wire in the reproduction harness goes from the fuse output to the right hand side of the ammeter. The green wire from the generator output goes through a relay that only pulls in when the generator is operating. Then on my bike it goes through a circuit breaker. Then it feeds the ammeter on the left hand side. At this point there is a jumper feeding the switch.

As stated earlier, the blue wire from the ignition position goes back and feeds the positive of the coil. The negative on the coil goes to the distributor. The high voltage on the coil also goes to the distributor.

Back at the switch you need juice for the horn. I fed a hot right from the switch to one terminal on the horn. The other terminal on the horn is connected to the wire from the horn button. This wire gets grounded when you press the button. I tried to test the horn with a 9 volt battery and it did not work. But when I used the 6 volt battery on the bike it made a loud noise. Seems to need a lot of current to operate.

The headlight high low switch was fed from the ignition position on the switch. This is because I want the headlight on when I’m running. The switch is a repro and has a red (feed) wire and two black output wires. These I ran up the motolamp and plugged into the outer two plugs, using bullet connectors.

The front running light and tail running light (black wire) were fed from the lights position on the switch. They are on when running and also on when the switch is in park.

As you can see from this discussion, the only item that is not fed from the switch is the brake light. This appears to be normal for Indian, but could be easily resolved by the addition of another wire from the jumper at the main switch back to the brake light switch. This would replace the feed from the output side of the fuse.

Rebuilt generator

The battery vents give off a little fluid when charging. This reproduction battery came with three “nipple vents” located under the cover. I got some plastic fittings and rubber hose and made a drainage system so that the battery acid would not eat away my battery tray. I had to carve away a little of the cover to route the hose down under the bike.


I found a used generator a while ago, and it was pretty crusty. I ordered some parts to rebuild it (from Ziggy). These parts included new field coils, brushes, sealed bearings and the screws that hold the field coils in. The generator came apart easily, but when it came time to get the field coils out, the old screws were in there and would not come out. After trying penetrating oil, heat and a giant screw driver, I settled on drilling them out. Once I had a big hole drilled in the center on the screw, I was able to turn them out. I then put the generator back together (hopefully the way it was when I took it apart) using the new parts.

There is a lot of helpful information on generators in the Operation and Maintenance manual TM-10-1485. This is available from your friendly Indian Parts Dealer (and below).

Brushes, end cap
Back to top
From "Operation and Maintenance manual TM-10-1485"


The generator used on the Model 640 and Model 741 military machines is known as the "Indian Auto-Lite."

It is of the third brush, 6 volt, regulating type and can be adjusted to increase or reduce the charging rate.

It is driven by an enclosed chain direct from the motor sprocket on the left side of the machine, forward of the motor base.

To Adjust Charging Rate

1. Loosen clamp screw holding the steel band to which the "Auto-Lite" name plate is attached.

2. Turn the clamp so that the opening is in line with the oil cup and slide off, taking care not to damage the gasket under the steel band.

3. With the engine running, move the third (moveable) brush toward the front of the machine to increase the charging rate or back toward the engine to reduce it - checking the ammeter swing until the correct output is obtained. (The output should be regulated to break even with all lighting equipment normally used in operation.) To check the movement of the ammeter, race the engine slightly to obtain the maximum register.

4. If the armature contact at the brushes appears dirty it should be cleaned and polished with No. .00 sandpaper before trying to regulate. (Emery cloth should never be used.)

5. When properly regulated - replace the metal band and gasket and tighten the clamp screw.

Removing the Generator From the Machine

Note: - Disconnect battery ground terminal to prevent short.

1. Remove the cover on the left side of the engine over the generator drive.

2. Remove the nut holding the drive sprocket (right-hand thread).

3. Remove the sprocket and key.

4. Disconnect the wire leading to the circuit breaker on the right side of the generator.

5. Loosen the clamp connection under the generator.

6. Remove the nut on the left side of the frame holding the generator to a position where the bolt can be removed from the frame to let the generator drop free.

Disassembly of the Generator

In disassembling the generator, the oil sealing felt washers should be examined and, if found matted or hardened, should be replaced.

Bearings, if loose, worn, pitted or cracked, or if they show signs of being heated, should also be replaced.

Brushes worn short should be replaced.  Both stationary brushes are Auto-Lite GAS 12.  The third or moveable brush is Auto-Lite GAS 13.

Natural wear of the brushes causes carbon dust to collect on the inside of the generator and its accumulation will cause unsatisfactory operation.  It will soon mix with the oil that reaches the interior from the bearings or other sources and form a gummy paste that will coat itself all around the commutator end of the body.  Clean with gasoline and wipe all parts.

The commutator should be free from all oil or dirt.  No. .00 sandpaper should be used in cleaning and should be wiped with a clean rag. (Never use emery cloth or any other cleaning material.) Never put lubricants on the commutator or brushes.

The brushes should be free to move and make good contact with the commutator's polished surface.


If its surface has been pitted, the armature should be removed and a slight cut taken in a lathe across its face.  After this, it should be carefully polished.

1. Remove the machine mounting clamp from the generator.

2. Remove the inspection steel band.  If the gasket is damaged or broken, replace it for reassembly.

3. Disconnect the two black wire leads from the brushes and pull the wires thru the inspection slots so that they are out of the way.

4. Remove the two long body screws at the commutator end plate.

5. Tap and pry off the drive end plate from the other end.

6. Remove the armature and commutator end plate as a unit.

7. Remove the three screws and triangle plate and gasket from the commutator end.

8. Remove the flat head screw and washer on the shaft.

9. Slide the end plate off the armature, using care not to damage the brushes by letting them snap off the edge of the commutator.

10. Disconnect the ground for the field coils at the drive end of the body.

11. Remove the two outside body screws holding the field magnets and field inside the body.

12. Remove the field magnets.  If the insulating sheet is worn between the fields and the body, it should be replaced.  This insulation protects the field center connection from touching the body or the long body screw passing through the loop.

13. On the commutator end plate, push out from the inside the armature end bearing; this is a slide fit and will drop out from the outside.

14. At the same time push out the flat washer, felt disc and metal cup.

15. Inspect the bearing; if loose, burned, or the balls show wear, or if loose on the armature shaft, replace.

16. Unless the fiber mountings holding the brush assembly in the end plate are burned, or the brush anchorages are loose, it is not necessary to remove this assembly.  If the brush anchors are loose, remove the screws holding it to the
body and replace with a new assembly, using care not to bend the spring clips bearing on the "third" brush plate.

17. Check the oil passage filler in the end plate.  It should be free and open.

18. Take the drive end - end plate.  Remove the three screws holding the metal plate on the inside of the drive end end plate and remove the plate.

19.  Tap out the bearing from the outside and remove the felt washer and retaining washer disc.  If the bearing is burned, pitted, worn, or does not fit the armature shaft snugly, replace.

20.  Check the oil passage in the drive end end plate.

21.  If the oil caps on either drive end are broken, pry out and replace.

Testing the Generator Parts

1. Armature

When the armature is revolving inside the generator, centrifugal force sometimes causes the coils to expand and strike the laminations.  Check to be sure no worn spots show on any of the wiring.

Check the segments on the commutator end.  If out of round or any mica insulation between the segments is higher than the segments themselves, turn down in a lathe, then cut back the mica insulation so that it is about 1/32" lower than the copper segments.

If any of the armature wiring is broken or the insulation is badly burned, replace with a new armature.  Test for shorts and "open" with a standard "growler".

If the shaft ends are worn, replace with a new armature.

2. Field Coils

If the field coil insulation is badly burned or worn, these should be replaced.

To test the field coils, connect one end to a regular storage battery and complete the circuit to the other battery terminal through a headlamp bulb or other 6 volt bulb.

If the lamp lights, it will indicate that the field coils are okay.  If the lamp does not light, it would indicate an open circuit in one or both of the coils.  If an open circuit is found, replace with new coils.

Single coil resistance at 6 volts is 5 amps.  Both fields at 6 volts - 2.5 amps.  Test with a meter.

Assembling the Generator

Both end bearings should be packed with a neutral grease of high melting point.  All parts should thoroughly cleaned in gasoline.  This does not apply to field coils or wiring.

Brushes should have a minimum length of 3/8". If not replace GAS 13 on moveable brush holder. GAS 12 used on stationary holders.

1. If the short insulator for the wire leading thru the body to the cut-out is loose, burned or worn, remove and replace with a new insulator.

2. Replace the field coils and their magnets with the short ground lead from the coils lining up with the ground hole connection in the body at the drive end.

3. Slip the looped insulating sheet under the field coils at the commutator end so that the long body bolts will be able to pass through the loop when the two ends are in place.

4. Replace and tighten the two large screws holding the coils and magnets to the body.

5. Connect the ground (flat head screw lock washer and nut).

6. Draw the leads from the cut-out and field coil out through the nearest inspection slot in the body.

7. Slip the commutator end of the armature into the end plate, lifting the brush holders up onto the commutator so as not to scratch it or ruin the brushes.  Replace GAS 13 carbon on moveable holder; GAS 12 carbons on stationary holders with lettered side towards screw head.

8. Replace the commutator end bearing (small) in this order:

(a) Cupped washer (cupped side facing armature).

(b) Felt washer

(c) Flat washer

(d) Bearing (the side on which it is lettered face away from armature).

9. Replace the small flat countersunk washer and screw in the shaft.

10. Slide the armature through the generator body.

11. Take the drive end end plate and from the inside replace in the following order:

(a) Cupped washer (cupped side toward the armature).
(b) Felt washer
(c) Flat washer
(d) Bearing (the side on which it is lettered face toward the armature).
(e) Large metal plate (cupped side toward the bearing with small indentation in line with the oil filler cup on the end plate).

12. Hold the commutator end plate against the body with shaft end resting against a raised block so that it cannot slide in the commutator end plate and damage the brush holder.  Then press the drive end end plate onto the armature shaft lining up the hole in the end plate with the pin in the body.

13. Replace the two long body bolts from the commutator end plate to hold both plates against the body.  When the sprocket drive gear is assembled and tightened, there should be no end play in the armature but it should turn freely and easily.

14. Replace the triangle cover on the commutator end and its gasket.

15. If new felt washers have been used, use enough oil (S.A.E. 10W) in both end caps to saturate the felts but if the same washers have been used - use only a few drops of oil.

16. Attach the lead from the field coil to the moveable brush (through the inspection slot).

17. Attach the lead from the cut-out to the positive brush.

18. Inspection band and gasket can be replaced after the generator has been placed on the machine and regulated for output.

19. To test: Connect two leads to a 6 volt battery.  Ground one to the generator.  Touch the other to the lead going to the cut-out.  It should "motor" if assembled properly.

20. Check the wires going to the brushes to make certain no wire touches the armature or bears against a brush spring where it can become worn in use.

The Generator Out-out

The cut-out should have a gap between its contact points of .025. The gap between the magnet core and armature should be .030.

Failure of the points to break without load will cause pitted points, short circuit, and will discharge the battery and burn out relay coils.

1. Remove from generator body and disconnect.

2. Pry up the clamping edges of the cover.

3. Polish the contact points and set to .025.

4. Use .00 sandpaper and clean magnet core, contact and bar.  Set to .030.

5. Replace cover, bending over edges, connect and attach to generator body.

Attaching the Generator to the Machine

1. Replace the frame mounting clamp to the generator leaving it loose so that the generator may be turned or slide either way.

2. Slip the frame bolt through the clamp, holding the generator in position against the front frame tube. Assemble plate and felt washers between chain plate and generator.

3. Slide the generator toward the generator drive chain plate.

4. Assemble the drive gear on the shaft using the keyway, and tap into position. Tighten sprocket nut on shaft.

5. Slip the generator chain over the drive sprocket and connect

 Back to top
Home   -   Features   - Archives   -   Back Issues   - VI Network   -   VI Mailing List   -   Contact VI