Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Mh434
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Mh434 » Mon May 30, 2016 11:58 am



I just spoke to a local old-time mechanic who works on GL1500's exclusively. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a functional spare headlight. He does have one with a broken glass lens, but that doesn't help. He has tried the oven trick on GL1500 headlights, and broken the glass on every one he's tried. It seems that the glue on these lights doesn't soften with heat...<sigh>

FM-USA - thanks - I've been thinking along similar lines. The problem is that the inside buckets need to remain moveable. The main light-height adjustment plunger (the one the cable adjuster & dashboard knob operates) is designed to move both internal buckets slightly deeper into the shell, and down, a little, in an arc - the buckets are sort of "hinged" at the bottom (by virtue of being attached to a piece of springy sheet metal, anchored at the left end of the shell), so both buckets need to be free to move, about 1/4 or so total. My right one is permanently moved into the shell (and is more springy than it should be), beyond the range of the adjusters to compensate for. Unfortunately, as the buckets need to be free-moving, anchoring the right end one would prevent any future adjustment...

So...I'm back on the hunt for another headlight assembly :oops:



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RoadRogue
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by RoadRogue » Mon May 30, 2016 5:25 pm

PM sent to Mh434, an offer that's hard to refuse 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Mh434
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Mh434 » Mon May 30, 2016 7:22 pm

RoadRogue, that's a wonderful & thoughtful offer! At this point, I have just one, last repair to try, and if it doesn't work, I'll be getting back to you!

My last-ditch effort involves making a new support for the internal bracketry. The bracket that supports both buckets runs the full width of the housing. For some reason, the right-hand end is loose & flopping around inside (needless to say, none of it is accessible without taking the glass off. While poking around with a flashlight, mirror, etc., I figured out at what exact point (using precision measuring tool - like a screwdriver blade, and my thumb) where a small post could be mounted through the shell, so it would support the right end, yet leave it free to pivot for adjustment. I drilled a 1/8" hole in the end of the shell, and screwed in a small sheet metal screw. Lo & behold, it seems to work! The bracket doesn't flop around anymore, the right side bucket is back up where it belongs, and the height adjuster moves both headlight together again.

What remains to be seen is whether I can properly adjust the lights. We'll see...

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by ozemarketeer » Mon May 30, 2016 7:27 pm



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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by FM-USA » Mon May 30, 2016 7:38 pm

Mh434 wrote:Bucket is hinged.
:o WELL DARN... or is it Dog Gone It? :|

Once proven it works, replace that pivoting screw with Stainless Steel. ;)
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by WingAdmin » Mon May 30, 2016 8:30 pm

I installed these LEDs on my GL1500 this weekend, I found the trick is to use the hole at the back of the headlight enclosure to stuff the connectors and little electronic boxes. I wrote it up here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=33436

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Mh434
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Mh434 » Tue May 31, 2016 2:07 am

WingAdmin, you're right - I found that when I first installed these lights a week ago or so. For those thinking of this upgrade, it IS possible to get ALL of the black boxes, connectors, etc. inside that hole (it will be immediately apparent what we're talking about when you remove the headlight assembly). After that, only the heat synchs provide resistance.

As some of you know, I've had my trials and tribulations with this were due to 2 specific reasons:

1) poor installation instructions (these are being dealt with, as we speak, by SoCalMotoGear), and;

2) when it comes to things mechanical, I am the unluckiest person you ever met. Seriously. Things happen to me that have never happened (or even been contemplated) in the history of mechanics. It's rarely a simple thing, either - it's usually a combination of seemingly random, unconnected failures that are not only virtually impossible, but absolutely bizarre, resulting in an impossible set of symptoms. As a consequence, though, I've learned to think "outside the box", and have become a pretty fair diagnostician. :roll:

I mentioned that I had installed a pin (okay, at this point merely a sheet metal screw...) through the black headlight housing to hold the right bucket in place, while still allowing the bucket to pivot up & down for vertical adjustment. IT WORKS!!!! Granted, it holds the right bucket a tiny bit too far back (which, while adjusting the entire assembly to the left, tended to hold the right light a bit to the right, rather than moving perfectly in concert with the left one), but the interior assembly no longer flops around, and is properly secure. My plan is to manufacture a much fancier stainless steel pin, adjustable fore-and-aft, as well as up and down, so I can get future alignment perfect.

A major plus is that I don't have to buy a new headlight. I priced one out today, on the off chance that my Honda dealer had one gathering dust (yeah, like THAT'S likely! :lol: ). They quoted me over $700, plus tax etc., and they're back-ordered to Japan...over 2 months to get it here. Um...how about "no"? Even though I'm not a poor mechanic, I am indeed a poor mechanic, if you see what I mean...

None of this, of course, fixes the melted LED (see point #2, above!). In all probability, I am the only person in the universe to whom this will happen. Strangely, the light still works (both LED's) and, although the melted one clearly has less light output than it should (I expect it will be replaced shortly by Cyclemax), the total output is, well, amazing. I've done a "driving impressions" review on WingAdmin's post viewtopic.php?f=18&t=32942 which should really help in people's decision regarding these lights.

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by FM-USA » Tue May 31, 2016 5:48 am

It's amazing where some MFG's come up with their replacement parts prices.
Few of my wonderments...
. Move decimal right one digit?
. 1.000% markup of OEM cost?
. Dice roll?
. Tarot Cards?
. Someone's retirement fund? :shock:
I'm hounded for posting helpful solutions? ARGO!!! (2012 film)
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Mh434 » Tue May 31, 2016 11:26 am

THAT'S for sure - of course, in Canada, they add in another 60% when the Canadian dollar is down 10%...even though the item is coming from Japan, not the US. That's just one of the price-hiking issues! When I totalled my Kawasaki Concours (plastic bodywork damage only), the insurance company wrote it off because the cost of replacement body panels (in Canada,that is!) was supposedly $7500. I got the bike back from the insurance company, ordered ALL of the panels from RonAyers.com in the US, and got them delivered to my door...for $1900 Canadian...tax & shipping included. So that's what, 350% markup? <Sigh>

On the plus side, I just heard back from Tim, at SoCalMotoGear (that was quick!!), and they're shipping me a replacement LED unit as we speak! They were even going to help me out with a replacement headlight shell, but I've told them I think I have that fixed, so all I need is the LED. For those contemplating the Chinese Ebay versions of these kits, I suggest bearing this in mind - buying from a known, domestic source, that has the reputation of standing behind their products, is worth the extra!! SoCalMotoGear is that source, IMHO.

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by ozemarketeer » Tue May 31, 2016 5:32 pm

Mh434 wrote:THAT'S for sure - of course, in Canada, they add in another 60% when the Canadian dollar is down 10%...even though the item is coming from Japan, not the US. That's just one of the price-hiking issues! When I totalled my Kawasaki Concours (plastic bodywork damage only), the insurance company wrote it off because the cost of replacement body panels (in Canada,that is!) was supposedly $7500. I got the bike back from the insurance company, ordered ALL of the panels from RonAyers.com in the US, and got them delivered to my door...for $1900 Canadian...tax & shipping included. So that's what, 350% markup? <Sigh>

On the plus side, I just heard back from Tim, at SoCalMotoGear (that was quick!!), and they're shipping me a replacement LED unit as we speak! They were even going to help me out with a replacement headlight shell, but I've told them I think I have that fixed, so all I need is the LED. For those contemplating the Chinese Ebay versions of these kits, I suggest bearing this in mind - buying from a known, domestic source, that has the reputation of standing behind their products, is worth the extra!! SoCalMotoGear is that source, IMHO.


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Blackacre1066
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Blackacre1066 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:52 pm

Just received my Pathfinder LEDs for my 1500 from SoCal. The ones I received had not fringe heat sinks...They had instead a heavy heat sink that screwed on the back of the bulbs. These, added to the two power boxes and the modulator circuitry made for a very tight fit. Took me several hours of in and out, guiding with screwdrivers etc to get the headlight bucket into position to be bolted back in. Just found the GL 1500 Headlamp Adjustments article and will try improving the aim which I am sure is slightly off.

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:29 pm

Mh434 wrote:
Mon May 30, 2016 11:58 am
I just spoke to a local old-time mechanic who works on GL1500's exclusively. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a functional spare headlight. He does have one with a broken glass lens, but that doesn't help. He has tried the oven trick on GL1500 headlights, and broken the glass on every one he's tried. It seems that the glue on these lights doesn't soften with heat...<sigh>

FM-USA - thanks - I've been thinking along similar lines. The problem is that the inside buckets need to remain moveable. The main light-height adjustment plunger (the one the cable adjuster & dashboard knob operates) is designed to move both internal buckets slightly deeper into the shell, and down, a little, in an arc - the buckets are sort of "hinged" at the bottom (by virtue of being attached to a piece of springy sheet metal, anchored at the left end of the shell), so both buckets need to be free to move, about 1/4 or so total. My right one is permanently moved into the shell (and is more springy than it should be), beyond the range of the adjusters to compensate for. Unfortunately, as the buckets need to be free-moving, anchoring the right end one would prevent any future adjustment...

So...I'm back on the hunt for another headlight assembly :oops:
I had removed the lens using a heat gun to correct the rectangular piece at the bottom. It has a special sealant like below but it is gray. I had to use black one since I couldn't find gray sealant when reinstalling.
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Re: Major headlight problem...

Post by Erdeniz Umman » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:09 pm

Mh434 wrote:
Fri May 20, 2016 4:07 am
Okay - further to that, I took it all apart...again...and tried using a little good old-fashioned brute force. While lifting the right headlight pot (inside the headlight assembly), I pushed down on the right (correctly-positioned) one. After repeating this several times, I managed to get them more or less equal.

As for the adjustment, I found an excellent write-up here: http://bobsold.goldwingfacts.com/GL1500 ... tments.pdf It explains that there are several adjustments in the headlight system (previously, unbeknownst to me!), including the ability to adjust them independently. Even high-beam height can be adjusted, independent of the low beam height. The write-up is clear & succinct - I printed it off, and took it out to the shop with me (and out on the road, for the nighttime testing & adjusting procedure) - it helped enormously!!

To do this, you'll need a long, slender, medium-sized Philips screwdriver, and a large normal-sized one. There is quite a bit of adjustability, although mine is compromised by the still-bent bracketry inside the headlight itself. In the end, I was able to get the lights reasonably well aligned.
....
When fixing my headlight problem (the flat mirror was bent and stuck in front of the right headlight bucket), I replaced those adjustment screws with Allen head ones since OEM ones were very soft and damaged while adjusting.

And a note for the link above, the explanation of the function of the screw #4 below is incorrect. The flat mirror is just a piece of plastic and it is independent. When you rotate the screw #4 only the right light bucket moves horizontally, however since it presses over the flat mirror the high beam angle changes some at the same time; but it can not be said that it is for high beam adjustment as in the link.

My observation and the information given in the service manual can be summarized as follows:
#1 moves both left and right lights up and down
#2 moves only the left light up and down
#3 moves both left and right lights horizontally
#4 moves only right light horizontally (since it presses over the flat mirror the high beam angle changes some at the same time)
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by BENJEE2112 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:40 am

Anyone know where I can get new rubber boots (Weatherproof Rubber) for the headlights? I ripped one of mine trying to get it back on. The other one had a rip in it from past owner. I want to get 2 new ones. Or How to repair them? I'm thinking RUBBER CEMENT. Cyclemax and Partzilla .(NOT AVAILABLE) I also nee to switch out my wire harness. I found out why my low beam blew. Somehow grounded out a hot wire.







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BENJEE2112
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by BENJEE2112 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:56 am

I got in a hurry and had a BRAIN FART. Thinking I had to feed the wire socket through the boot. Instead of putting it on. "Then" plugging it in. I haven't unveiled those wires yet. But I'm pretty sure there will not be any solder on them. (previous owner) I may be able to and or (be forced to) just clean everything up and re-use all of it..... .. ..
I am always the person saying... NO HURRIES. NO WORRIES. I should try that sometime...DOPE!!!! :?

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by CrystalPistol » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:17 pm

Long read, Thank you all, think I'll stay with H-4s
Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

… & Have a Safe Trip!
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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by MikeB » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:22 pm

Rubber Boot - 33112-KPB-003 - $8.17 from Partzilla. These are from a 2003 but they are all the same.

Rubber Boot - 33112-MAT-611. $8.35 from Partzilla. These are from a 1998. It is the same on all the wings from 1989 to 2017. Honda changes numbers frequently.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by BENJEE2112 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:08 pm

Thanks Mike. I must have been wording it wrong. Ordered.$25 for 2.

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Charlie1Horse » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:27 am

I replaced mine with these and they seem to be extremely bright and are a direct replacement for the H4 OEM units. I have only had them installed for a couple of months so I have limited night use on them but, so far I am quite satisfied with them. I purchased them from a local LED company here in Orange Park, Florida. There is no name on the package as they buy them in bulk and cost $100.00 for the pair. There is no external heat sink or power boxes to make installation tight.
For info contact Brett Beisker at (BRETT@TWELVOLTLEDHID.COM)

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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by BENJEE2112 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:00 am

Thanks Charlie1hourse. I just sent him a message. Do they have a warrantee? Pretty cold up there the last couple days. It got down in the high 30's (at night) 300 miles south west of you. I have a buddy up there.



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Re: Major headlight problem...Now fixed (more or less!)

Post by Charlie1Horse » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:56 am

Yes, he stands behind his products but, I am not sure of his warantee since I haven't had any problems with his products yet. He is a really good guy to deal with for any kind of LEDs you want to install.
Russell

Those who say it cannot be done should try not to interrupt those who are doing it.



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