Some Information - Dead Headlight


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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iamscott
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 pm
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A Aspencade

Some Information - Dead Headlight

Postby iamscott » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:17 am



The other day I was out and about cruising all over. I came to an intersection and didn't see my headlight on the rear of the car ahead of me. I turned off the modulator and it still didn't come on. I managed to get home before being picked up. At home I tested the bulb and it worked just fine. Did some electrical work and everything tested ok, alternator, battery, starter, etc. I sat back and thought about it for a while. I managed to pull most of the electrical info off here and had a voltage buddy of mine help me out. Needless to say, we stripped my head from top to bottom. We traced lines and watched the black turn to black/red and then to blue/white and then to blue and white. Long story short we were into this for about 8 hours, parts from heck to breakfast, screws all over god's creation. All we had figured was that there was 13 volts on the line key on, no headlight and as soon as we plug in the headlight, no light and a dead short, 0.03 volts. Finally we got to the bottom of this mess. Tracing the line from the starter button back to the highbeam shift did nothing. Then we went back and realized that when you press the starter button on the right that it shuts the headlight off so maximum power to the starter is available. A poof of contact cleaner on the starter button and three presses. My partner then says, "Hey this feels a bit different." So, the moral of the story is before you tear stuff apart, look for the easy stuff. Had I hit the contact cleaner at the beginning, I wouldn't have 10 to 15 hours of work putting the bike together and would have my garage back for my car. So, there you have it...my sharing so you don't have to stress. I do hope I have helped one person here save time. I am not too upset about the bike being in pieces, since I needed to replace the tach cable on the tranny. I would have gotten most of this way anyway! I just have to figure out what wire to put where now that I am that deep into the fairing, yuck!



Fritz The Cat
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:54 pm
Location: Rincon, Ga.
Motorcycle: 1994 GL 1500 Interstate

Re: Some Information - Dead Headlight

Postby Fritz The Cat » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:46 pm

Yes sir. Been there, done that. :(

I also learned the Radio shack has the best contact cleaner for the job. I used some form Home Depot and it didn't last a week. Hit it and all the other switched with the RS stuff and it's been over a year and no more problems.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Some Information - Dead Headlight

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:10 pm

Radio Shack has some contact cleaner I bought a few years ago, that is a two-stage cleaner. One cleans dirt out, the other prevents future corrosion. They're tiny little cans, but I've been using them on everything, and they are the best contact cleaner solution I have ever used.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Some Information - Dead Headlight

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:11 pm

Oh, and something else I wanted to mention - when I first had a "headlight out", it turned to be a worn low/high beam switch.

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WA9FWT
Posts: 828
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:19 pm
Location: sheboygan WI U.S. A.
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100A Aspencade Now a Trike
1975 Cb750K sold

Re: Some Information - Dead Headlight

Postby WA9FWT » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:18 pm

I have had the same problem with no head light working, and it didn't take long to locate on this site what to look for.
How ever the best way to correct the problem the right way is to take apart clean and put some life back into the small spring.

I was told this by a old timmer friend that fix's these things all the time. I bet one of these days I will have to do just that.
Have any of you guys taken the assy apart ?
WA9FWT Phil




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