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82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:07 pm
by thegambler
I recently purchased a 1982 GL1100 Interstate, and as the title states, the headlight turns off when I signal right. Left signal is fine. I took apart the signal switch and cleaned it, buy no luck. Any ideas where to check next? Thanks in advance.

Re: 82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:02 pm
by thegambler
Update:

So I was looking at the wiring on the bike, and noticed that things are a little bit messy. After securing some connections, my problem has changed, but I think it may have helped me determine the issue.

Now when I signal right, rather than the headlight turning off, the gauge lights turn off. However, I noticed that when I signal left the position light on the same bulb (running light) turns off. However, the light stays on when signalling right. I believe that the wire for the dash lighting and right side position light are switched.

Any idea on which wires I need to switch and where? My apologies, electrical troubleshooting is not my forte. Thanks in advance.

Re: 82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:12 am
by OldguyGlen
Highly unlikely any wires got switched. These kinds of symptoms are almost always a failed ground connection. Could be at a frame termination, or corrosion in the bulb socket, or a broken ground wire. The current through a filament can't find ground directly so it flows backwards through the companion filament searching for ground via other bulbs sharing that filament's supply wiring. That sort of works until one of those other bulbs get turned on and disturbs the parasitic path for the troubled bulb.
Start with the bulb/socket and then frame grounds. It may take some searching but will be a simple fix when you find it.

Re: 82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:16 am
by thegambler
Update:

So things have gone from bad to worse. I was leaving my gf's house tonight, and I had no lights whatsoever. I opened the tank to check the fuse box, and there was an extra wire pinched into the turn signal fuse. After I wiggled it, the lights came on, but the headlight was shutting off when the right turn signal was turned on. Good enough to get home.

I got home and began trying to trace where that wire goes, and it accidentally touched the negative screw on the fuse box. Now, when the wire is on the turn signal circuit, only the running lights come on. I have no headlight at all.

Also, I pulled on the wire connected to the negative screw on the fuse box and it wasnt connected to anything.

Any ideas on where the negative wire goes? And how to get my headlight back? Thanks in advance.

Re: 82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:51 am
by OldguyGlen
Hard to suggest where a loose wire in the fuse box should go. There shouldn't be any loose wires there unless a PO was doing some add-ons, or other mods.
If the loose wire was temporarily attached to the Turn Sig fuse, it is probably a supply wire to something.
If you removed it from the fuse, and touched ground, probably nothing bad happens.
If it remained on the Turn Sig fuse AND it touched ground, then a fuse should have blown.
If the ground terminal that it touched was the Neg post in the fuse box AND that terminal was only attached to a wire that went nowhere, then nothing bad would have happened.
The Neg Terminal in the fusebox should be attached to a frame ground.

I still recommend the bulb / socket / ground terminations examination on the affected circuits.
These are almost always a ground path problem. But with a strange wire "squeezed into" the turn Fuse, I'd still trace that wire to see where it goes to and determine where it might need to connect.

Re: 82 Interstate, Headlight Turns off When Signalling Right

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:47 pm
by thegambler
Update:

I traced the wire that was pinched into the turn signal fuse, and it looks like it is the wire to the running lights. I properly attached it to the fuse block. The headlight fuse was blown, so I replaced the fuse, and all of the fuses for good measure. Now all seems to be working well, no lights turn off when any signals are turned on!

Thanks so much for all the help OldguyGlen, you definitely helped me track down the right path. Next step is to replace the fuse box. Thank you again!