Headlight not working/starter switch


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Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby docut » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:32 pm



This is my first post but have had my wing for several years. Started my wing one night away from home and the headlight would not come on. Checked all the fuses, circuit breakers still nothing. Rode home with a flash light and flashers(not recommended). Found out later it was my starter switch that was sticking. The switch turns the headlight off when starting to send maximum amps to the starter. The switch wasn't releasing all the way. Wow, simple fix. Hope this might help someone.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby dingdong » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:06 am

Thanks docut for posting what your solution was. That always help[s others.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby tmilam » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:58 am

Same thing happened to me about 2 moths ago
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:39 am

I turn the key on and headlight was not working. High beam indicator is not showing when switched to high. Sprayed the starter switch and high/low switch. Fuses ok. No voltage at headlight socket. It started out to be just the low beam was out and I though if I replaced the bulb, everything would be ok.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby Steve F » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:08 am

mickster1 wrote:I turn the key on and headlight was not working. High beam indicator is not showing when switched to high. Sprayed the starter switch and high/low switch. Fuses ok. No voltage at headlight socket. It started out to be just the low beam was out and I though if I replaced the bulb, everything would be ok.

So..........what happened? What was the problem?
"To ride is the reason, the destination the excuse."
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:29 am

I guess tear into the high/low switch. It does feel sloppy. I'll take some voltage readings first. Losing it somewhere. I keep checking the forum to see the things wingers do on this problem.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:08 pm

This is for my 82 gl1100. Everything seemed fine in my starter switch. went to the high/low switch. Took it apart and saw nothing wrong. Have 12V on the blue/white. Put 12v to each contact of the switch from battery,white wire then the blue. Headlight worked on both beams and the high beam indicator came on too. Tried to short each one to the blue/white 12v contact and I couldn't get either of them to work? Took voltage reading with the meter , gnd to battery gnd and red probe to the blue/white wire. Showed 12 volts there. I don't see a relay in the circuit anywhere. What am I missing, the headlights should come on.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:30 pm

Evidently I had 2 problems. The 12v i was getting at the headlight swich was intermittent. Went back to the starter switch and sure enough I had to tear the switch apart and clean the contacts. Went back to the headlight switch which now has 12v all the time and tear it apart and clean that switch. Everything is working fine now. It is only a matter of time when it will happen again. Does anyone have any suggestions on changing those old switchs out with new ones? I know I can toggle switch the headlight switch but don't know about the starter swich. It's a little more complicated.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:31 pm

I've never found a good way of replacing them other than using old used parts from parted-out bikes and hoping they're in better shape than your existing switches. I've done this once with my hi-lo beam switch, and I've had to disassemble and clean it once since when it started acting up again. It's just not the greatest design, and needs care and feeding.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:25 am

Thanks , I'll try and locate a starter switch and a dimmer switch and clean them up and keep them for the future. I'm sure I will need them. I am still working out replacing the dimmer switch with a toggle switch.I just want one that looks good.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:37 pm

mickster1 wrote:Thanks , I'll try and locate a starter switch and a dimmer switch and clean them up and keep them for the future. I'm sure I will need them. I am still working out replacing the dimmer switch with a toggle switch.I just want one that looks good.


One of the problems is that the full 55/65 watts running the headlight is run through that switch - so it's prone to arcing, dirt, heat, etc...

I've seriously thought of putting a SPDT relay in there, wired so that the low beam is ALWAYS on, until the high-beam switch energizes the relay, and it then switches to high beam instead. That way the switch will only be switching very low (coil) current, and should last a lot longer.
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:53 pm

I guess I should look at the schematic again. I was just going to put a SPDT switch in place of the dimmer and just leave it off till I need headlights. Are you saying this won't work?
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:03 am

mickster1 wrote:I guess I should look at the schematic again. I was just going to put a SPDT switch in place of the dimmer and just leave it off till I need headlights. Are you saying this won't work?


No, I'm saying it WILL work, and it's something I've been planning to do for quite some time...just haven't had the time! :)
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Re: Headlight not working/starter switch

Postby mickster1 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:51 pm

My 87 aspencade is doing it now!! The starter switch needs sprayed or taken apart now. 2 bikes and the same troubles. At least I know how to fix it now. Thanks for your help


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