Problem setting the headlights to the proper height


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »



I'm new to your forum. Just recently bought a 98 Goldwing 1500 Trike. It's in great shape with no problems except that I can not adjust the headlamps to the proper height so that the high and low beam are correctly aimed.
I noted that the manual showed there was an adjustment knob on the left side of the fairing. And it's marked as a way to adj the light position. Problem is, it does not change the height of the beam. Makes no difference no matter how many turns you try in either direction, nothing moves. The beam is WAY too high to be useful. Never having ridden it at night until a few days ago, I did not know I had a problem.
Any advice would sure be appreciated.
Regards,
George (ezryder)
gwt@rerunracing.com



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bluthundr31
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:43 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA.
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 Interstate (Cinnamon Beige)

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by bluthundr31 »

That knob has a small-ish set screw on one of the indents that mates to a "flat" spot on the inner plastic to adjust the height of the light.

Unscrew that set screw, pull the outer knob off, and examine the inner piece to see if it turns when the outer knob is turned. You might also get a good handle on the problem by removing the left turn signal so you can see the inner fairing with the headlight adjustment cable to confirm it is connected properly at both ends.

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Thanks for the tip bluthunder31.
I'll follow your instructions and see if it is working correctly.
I'll let you know what I find out.
ezryder

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Hi bluethunder31,
The knob is rotating the white plastic base that I assume drives a cable of some time. The white plastic base rotates ok, but has "glitches" in how easy it is to rotate. Whatever, there is no movement of the headlamps. Cabling must have become disconnected.

Next I plan to study carefully my manual about how to replace the headlamp bulbs. That may help reveal my ability to find the problem. Or at least allow to set the angle according to the drawings shown in my manual.

If you have any comments that may help me out, please let me know. I'm new to this kind of work, but comfortable doing all my own maintenance when I was racing my TZ yamaha in my youth. I just need to discover some of the tricks to work on my Goldwing, not my racebike! hehe

I'll let you know how things go as I have the time to continue my learning experience.
ezryder

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bluthundr31
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:43 pm
Location: Morgan Hill, CA.
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 Interstate (Cinnamon Beige)

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by bluthundr31 »

It sounds like you might have a worn out plastic "gear cog" situation, ,maybe the previous owner tired to go farther than limits of the cable.

Take a look at the headlight thread in the DIY section,
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9442

It will give good info/pictures to follow, , ,the manual you have might help too.

It'll all make sense once you get into it.

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Thanks for the comments bluthunder31.
Thats possible about the worn out gear cog. And you may be right about the previous owner going farther with the knob than its limits would allow. And
causing the headlights to jam fully up. They are so far up that the low beam won't even light up the road to a safe level.
I'm guessing the headlamps are as far up as they can go.

Funny you should mention the headlight thread. I found that thread last night. Looks to me like it will allow me to get the "inside" view I need. I'm going to follow the thread and see if I can carefully get to the head lamps without damage to the items that have to be removed to get there.

Thanks! Your comments are very helpful! I'll keep you posted on the results.
Regards,
ezryder

FM-USA
Posts: 2800
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there, WHY?
Motorcycle: mc's

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by FM-USA »

While your IN that H-light housing, lube the hinge points.
Once in a while my adjustment takes a bump or 2 to set it. ;)
I'm hounded for posting helpful solutions? ARGO!!! (2012 film)
"Let's see how long this round will last."

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Hi FM-USA,
Thanks for the tip. I'll lube the housing's.

Happy New Year everyone,
ezryder

FM-USA
Posts: 2800
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:40 am
Location: here, there, WHY?
Motorcycle: mc's

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by FM-USA »

ezryder wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:35 pm
Hi FM-USA,
Thanks for the tip. I'll lube the housing's.

Happy New Year everyone,
ezryder
Few years ago, I did an extensive search for lowest & highest temperature grease.
I found the (green) Silicone Caliper Grease works at -40 to +400 F-degrees.
By mixing the grease with silicone spray you can adjust its viscosity.
I thinned it for Speedometer gears and the needle worked flawlessly down to -21 last year. Yes MINUS.
JUST a bit nippy but I rode for 1:45 mins.. NO elec. heat, just good clothing. :twisted:

HOPE THAT HELPS
I'm hounded for posting helpful solutions? ARGO!!! (2012 film)
"Let's see how long this round will last."

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Jamb85
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:49 am
Location: Port Pirie, South Australia, Australia
Motorcycle: GL1500A

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by Jamb85 »

Hi All.
Wishing all a happy new, safe, new year.
I had a very similar issue with my bike when I first rode her at night on the way home. The fix is easy as I found that someone had, had the headlight assembly out, and incorrectly placed the beam adjusting tab ( which should be under spring pressure on re-assembly) was facing forward and no pressure when taken out. The white plastic tab, providing it’s not broken off, should be laying flattish, and come up against the spring loaded screw on the rear of the headlight assembly when you install it.
I would check that as an easy mistake to make, when in correctly, adjustment should work as per the book.
Good luck

User avatar
Wildwilly018
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:26 am
Location: Woodstock, Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 1988 Honda Goldwing GL1500

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by Wildwilly018 »

ezryder wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:19 pm
Hi bluethunder31,
The knob is rotating the white plastic base that I assume drives a cable of some time. The white plastic base rotates ok, but has "glitches" in how easy it is to rotate. Whatever, there is no movement of the headlamps. Cabling must have become disconnected.

Next I plan to study carefully my manual about how to replace the headlamp bulbs. That may help reveal my ability to find the problem. Or at least allow to set the angle according to the drawings shown in my manual.

If you have any comments that may help me out, please let me know. I'm new to this kind of work, but comfortable doing all my own maintenance when I was racing my TZ yamaha in my youth. I just need to discover some of the tricks to work on my Goldwing, not my racebike! hehe

I'll let you know how things go as I have the time to continue my learning experience.
ezryder
Not difficult to get to headlight bulb ezryder. behind rubber surrounding mirror is screws to remove front chrome below windshield. and screws in vent below headlight. easy access after there. Going to take mine apart also. My headlight adjuster doesn't seem to do anything either and going to change windshield and chrome below windshield.

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Hi Jamb85 and WildWilly018,
Thanks for your comments. They will be helpful to me when I get some time to spend working my Goldwing again.
I plan to be back at work with the problem this weekend.
Family gathering prevented getting much done in the past few days.
ezryder

User avatar
Wildwilly018
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:26 am
Location: Woodstock, Ontario Canada
Motorcycle: 1988 Honda Goldwing GL1500

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by Wildwilly018 »

ezryder wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:16 pm
Hi Jamb85 and WildWilly018,
Thanks for your comments. They will be helpful to me when I get some time to spend working my Goldwing again.
I plan to be back at work with the problem this weekend.
Family gathering prevented getting much done in the past few days.
ezryder
Best of luck ezryder. Keep us posted.

User avatar
Jamb85
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:49 am
Location: Port Pirie, South Australia, Australia
Motorcycle: GL1500A

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by Jamb85 »

Hi All Again from a hot and severely challenged Australia due to Huge bushfires. As an urban firefighter I praise all those fighting the untamed beast in the bush...
Back to the topic at point, I had a second thought re headlight aiming issues. On looking in the maintenance manual, it is also possible to adjust the reflector within the headlight as well, by altering the angle if the reflector - therefore the angle between high and low beam projection. I have been tempted to do this when I changed from H4 globes to LED. I resisted this and bought a second set of higher quality (and cost) of LED bulbs and this resulted in better beam projection (up and cutoff/low) of the beams. I won’t recommend adjusting them if changing the bulbs gets the result without the pain.
The manual states how to do it if you NEED to but if no one or damage has moved it from the original factory setting - it ain’t broke, don’t break it....... I think after 30+ years, the internals may be fragile, too fragile to accept change, a bit like us really.
All the best for 2020 and from “down under”
Cheers

ezryder
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Location: Lady Lake, FL
Motorcycle: 98 Honda 1500 Goldwing
1974 Yamaha TZ250 Roadracer

Re: Problem setting the headlights to the proper height

Post by ezryder »

Jamb85,
Thanks for your update. I'll remember your info as I'm planning on replacing my lamps with LED's also.
I got distracted with a overheating problem at slow speed with my Goldwing. So have not had the time to work on this project.
But now the overheating problem is solved. : :D
Thanks,
Ezryder



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