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06-16-2013, 11:34 PM,
#1
Highway lights not working
So I went out this morning and traded in my starter Honda 250 for an '04 1100 Classic and I couldn't be more pleased! I took it out on the road for a 150 mile "become one with the new bike" road trip, and it was pretty freakin' awesome. Finally, I can stretch out and ride! But now, it's time to start sorting out a few problems on the bike. I'm going to start with the highway lights.
The headlight works fine in both low and high beams. Blinkers are good, although the right is noticeably faster than the left. But the left and right highway lights are out and not coming on. I did lose one of the screws that holds the trim on during the ride, and the other was very loose and about to fall off. It could possibly be the bulbs, but on both of them? Not sure where to check for a fuse, so if anyone can point that out it'd be great. And if anyone else has any other ideas, tips, or tricks, it would sure be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the help!
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09-29-2013, 10:45 PM,
#2
RE: Highway lights not working
Hi, Kraig.

Did you ever get a solution to your lights not working? I have the same thing going on with my V-Star 950. I had an issue where neither of my highway lights or headlight would come on. I replaced a 20 amp fuse and all lights worked. Today I noticed that my headlight worked but my left and right highway lights do not.

Thanks!
Terry
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09-30-2013, 12:28 AM,
#3
RE: Highway lights not working
@Kraig I am sorry we all seemed to miss this first time around, there are a few electric guys here, I can't understand what they are saying most of the time,lol.
highway lights or driving lights are often an aftermaket thing. so I would start at the light it self and follow the wires back to where it wires in. keep going back untill you find power. have the motor running while you do this to ensure it is a 'live'. once you find power it should be just a matter of checking the earth, and ensuring continuity throught to the globe.
on the 1100 the fuse are on the LH side infront of the tool box
Jmck
Two wheels moves me body and soul Cool
Reply
09-30-2013, 08:30 AM,
#4
RE: Highway lights not working
I did, and it was a simple fix in this case! Inside the main headlight housing, the highway lights are spliced into the hot wire using a crappy little quick splice connector. Just wiggling it around cause the lights to come on, so I replaced the connector and voila! Well, I actually bumped my headlight a little too hard, because after that I had no high beam, so I had to replace that bulb, but after THAT, voila!
Reply
09-30-2013, 09:24 AM,
#5
RE: Highway lights not working
great! love an easy fix sorry we missed you first time round glad you came back
Jmck
Two wheels moves me body and soul Cool
Reply
09-30-2013, 10:10 AM,
#6
RE: Highway lights not working
(09-30-2013, 08:30 AM)Kraig Wrote: I did, and it was a simple fix in this case! Inside the main headlight housing, the highway lights are spliced into the hot wire using a crappy little quick splice connector. Just wiggling it around cause the lights to come on, so I replaced the connector and voila! Well, I actually bumped my headlight a little too hard, because after that I had no high beam, so I had to replace that bulb, but after THAT, voila!
Good deal! I was sort of thinking that something inside the headlight housing might be an issue. I spent a lot of time checking fuses and looking for after-market wiring before looking at the wiring coming from the lights themselves which do appear to run to the main headlight.
Thanks!
T
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09-30-2013, 10:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-30-2013, 11:15 AM by OldePhart.)
#7
RE: Highway lights not working
I really wish companies would quit shipping those crappy little "T" connectors that just clamp over the wires. Sure, they're easy, and they work long enough to get the aftermarket product through warranty, but then they corrode and stuff stops working. Worse, by breaking through the insulation on the original wire and then doing nothing to protect the break from the weather, they can eventually (years later) lead to "black wire rot" in the original wiring! They often also cut through a few strands of the wire itself so once corrosion sets in and the wires corrode or pull back from the little "blade" in the T splice you now have a high resistance spot that can actually burn through especially in a high-current circuit like a headlight.

Motorcycles are a horrible environment for electrical wiring - don't compound the problem by taking shortcuts with these crappy T fittings - and especially don't do so in a critical and high-current application like headlight, brake light, or turn-signal wiring.

If you won't follow the above advice then at least follow this: if you use those connectors get some "liquid electrical tape" from Home Depot or the like and after you clamp the connector over the wires and test that the new "whatever" works, paint the entire connector and the wires where they enter with the liquid electrical tape. This will go a long way towards preventing future problems.

Personally, I take the time to solder everything that is not likely to need to be disconnected. When you have a circuit that is likely to need to be disconnected fairly often then the best type of connectors are the "bullet" style male and female connectors that are fully insulated with a soft neoprene insulation that completely covers the joint. These seal out moisture fairly well and your wiring will last years longer using them than it will using the cheap "spade" connectors with hard insulation.

John
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
Reply
10-05-2013, 06:53 PM,
#8
RE: Highway lights not working
(09-30-2013, 08:30 AM)Kraig Wrote: I did, and it was a simple fix in this case! Inside the main headlight housing, the highway lights are spliced into the hot wire using a crappy little quick splice connector. Just wiggling it around cause the lights to come on, so I replaced the connector and voila! Well, I actually bumped my headlight a little too hard, because after that I had no high beam, so I had to replace that bulb, but after THAT, voila!
My issue was wires installed so tight that they pulled from the halogen bulbs then shorted and melted the reflector before taking out the fuse. I have that fixed but now every time I turn on my left turn signal the 10 amp signal fuse goes.

Looks like Godzilla did the wiring - what a mess! I hate electrical problems!
Reply
10-05-2013, 07:39 PM,
#9
RE: Highway lights not working
(10-05-2013, 06:53 PM)nmzookeeper Wrote: My issue was wires installed so tight that they pulled from the halogen bulbs then shorted and melted the reflector before taking out the fuse. I have that fixed but now every time I turn on my left turn signal the 10 amp signal fuse goes.

Looks like Godzilla did the wiring - what a mess! I hate electrical problems!

Yuck. If the left turn signal is the only thing not working then my guess would be you crossed the ground and hot wires for the left turn signal. Pretty easy to do if it's anything like my 650 because they use wires that basically all look like they are black (at least to these old eyes) with just tiny spots of color to differentiate them. I imagine if there has been smoke and fire in the headlight housing it's even worse.

If that's not the issue, then you probably have a place where the insulation on the hot wire to the signal bulb was burned through and is grounding out.

John
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
Reply
10-05-2013, 07:51 PM,
#10
RE: Highway lights not working
(10-05-2013, 07:39 PM)OldePhart Wrote:
(10-05-2013, 06:53 PM)nmzookeeper Wrote: My issue was wires installed so tight that they pulled from the halogen bulbs then shorted and melted the reflector before taking out the fuse. I have that fixed but now every time I turn on my left turn signal the 10 amp signal fuse goes.

Looks like Godzilla did the wiring - what a mess! I hate electrical problems!

Yuck. If the left turn signal is the only thing not working then my guess would be you crossed the ground and hot wires for the left turn signal. Pretty easy to do if it's anything like my 650 because they use wires that basically all look like they are black (at least to these old eyes) with just tiny spots of color to differentiate them. I imagine if there has been smoke and fire in the headlight housing it's even worse.

If that's not the issue, then you probably have a place where the insulation on the hot wire to the signal bulb was burned through and is grounding out.

John
I think it might be the latter. After removing the headlight and changing the tension on the ,um, wiring, I can run the right and left turn signals. When I delicately push the wires back into the housing and replace the headlamp assembly then I pop a fuse when I activate the left signal. So... I know what I am doing next weekend!

I think my main gripe (other than the wiring job itself) is that the after market wiring is all different colors than the Yamaha wiring. Troubleshooting this is an adventure that I really care to start.

Terry
Reply
05-19-2015, 03:41 AM,
#11
RE: Highway lights not working
(09-30-2013, 10:34 AM)OldePhart Wrote: I really wish companies would quit shipping those crappy little "T" connectors that just clamp over the wires. Sure, they're easy, and they work long enough to get the aftermarket product through warranty, but then they corrode and stuff stops working. Worse, by breaking through the insulation on the original wire and then doing nothing to protect the break from the weather, they can eventually (years later) lead to "black wire rot" in the original wiring! They often also cut through a few strands of the wire itself so once corrosion sets in and the wires corrode or pull back from the little "blade" in the T splice you now have a high resistance spot that can actually burn through especially in a high-current circuit like a headlight.

Motorcycles are a horrible environment for electrical wiring - don't compound the problem by taking shortcuts with these crappy T fittings - and especially don't do so in a critical and high-current application like headlight, brake light, or turn-signal wiring.

If you won't follow the above advice then at least follow this: if you use those connectors get some "liquid electrical tape" from Home Depot or the like and after you clamp the connector over the wires and test that the new "whatever" works, paint the entire connector and the wires where they enter with the liquid electrical tape. This will go a long way towards preventing future problems.

Personally, I take the time to solder everything that is not likely to need to be disconnected. When you have a circuit that is likely to need to be disconnected fairly often then the best type of connectors are the "bullet" style male and female connectors that are fully insulated with a soft neoprene insulation that completely covers the joint. These seal out moisture fairly well and your wiring will last years longer using them than it will using the cheap "spade" connectors with hard insulation.

John
If A "T" splice connection must be made, I've used these and love them.


http://www.aliexpress.com/item/60pcs-Sco...97215.html
2006 v star 1100 Silverado
K&N Filter, Cobra Exhaust, Oil Filter relocation kit
Reply
05-19-2015, 11:58 AM,
#12
RE: Highway lights not working
Those are exactly the gizmos I was talking about. They're quick and easy...and if you plan on dumping the bike (car, whatever) on some other poor sucker within a few years then you won't have to live with the consequences of having used them... LOL

Considering it only takes five minutes to slit the insulation to remove a short segment of it (no need to cut through the original wire at all) and solder the new wire in and then wrap with a bit of tape, making a bullet-proof connection that doesn't result in a big bulge in the harness when you rewrap the harness...yeah, I'll take the five minutes.

It's been several years since I've purchased a used vehicle, but back when I bought mostly used cars those connectors were one of the trouble signs I looked for. If I spotted any (or a big lump in a harness where it was clear there were some of those under tape) I walked away no matter how good a deal it might seem. It wasn't just that the connector itself might be a problem...it was also a warning indicator that the person selling the vehicle tended to take short cuts...

John
===========================
2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
Reply
05-19-2015, 09:25 PM,
#13
RE: Highway lights not working
(05-19-2015, 11:58 AM)OldePhart Wrote: Those are exactly the gizmos I was talking about. They're quick and easy...and if you plan on dumping the bike (car, whatever) on some other poor sucker within a few years then you won't have to live with the consequences of having used them... LOL

Considering it only takes five minutes to slit the insulation to remove a short segment of it (no need to cut through the original wire at all) and solder the new wire in and then wrap with a bit of tape, making a bullet-proof connection that doesn't result in a big bulge in the harness when you rewrap the harness...yeah, I'll take the five minutes.

It's been several years since I've purchased a used vehicle, but back when I bought mostly used cars those connectors were one of the trouble signs I looked for. If I spotted any (or a big lump in a harness where it was clear there were some of those under tape) I walked away no matter how good a deal it might seem. It wasn't just that the connector itself might be a problem...it was also a warning indicator that the person selling the vehicle tended to take short cuts...

John
The quick T fitting that are normally used are crap. they allow rust to penetrate the entire fitting. The ones I showed you allow you to press on a female crimp on onto it making it a much better "quick fitting"
I would still use dielectric grease and tape over it.
2006 v star 1100 Silverado
K&N Filter, Cobra Exhaust, Oil Filter relocation kit
Reply
05-20-2015, 10:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-20-2015, 10:21 AM by pauli466.)
#14
RE: Highway lights not working
(06-16-2013, 11:34 PM)Kraig Wrote: So I went out this morning and traded in my starter Honda 250 for an '04 1100 Classic and I couldn't be more pleased! I took it out on the road for a 150 mile "become one with the new bike" road trip, and it was pretty freakin' awesome. Finally, I can stretch out and ride! But now, it's time to start sorting out a few problems on the bike. I'm going to start with the highway lights.
The headlight works fine in both low and high beams. Blinkers are good, although the right is noticeably faster than the left. But the left and right highway lights are out and not coming on. I did lose one of the screws that holds the trim on during the ride, and the other was very loose and about to fall off. It could possibly be the bulbs, but on both of them? Not sure where to check for a fuse, so if anyone can point that out it'd be great. And if anyone else has any other ideas, tips, or tricks, it would sure be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the help!
are you talking about passing lamps or the low filiments on the front signals ie running lights. the running lights are tied into the headlight fused wire it dosnt show where the tie in is though
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