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Author Topic: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!  (Read 370 times)

Superchuck

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No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« on: October 09, 2013, 04:29:59 PM »
On my way to work today I noticed that my headlight isn't working.  A few days ago I realized my low-beam had stopped working, and so I've been riding with the hi-beam on to get around.  Today, no high-beam or low beam.  I have the 7" with sealed bulb.

I recently swapped out my turn signal lights for LED's (and added resistors to keep using the stock switcher unit).  I also wired up the pilot lights to now be my front turn signals (amber LED's in the stock housings, but spliced the front turn signal wires to the pilot housings).  I'm thinking I either bumped some wires while doing this, and it's a simple connectivity issue, or there could be something larger amiss.

Is it safe to jump a wire straight from my battery to my headlight bulb's high-beam terminal?  Or will this be too much power for the light to handle and blow my bulb?  (if it isn't blown already...) 

I need to get home after work and I don't have my multimeter with me to troubleshoot proper-like.

Thanks!

Chuck

boggy

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 05:30:37 PM »
Stating the obvious - Did you check all the connections in that hornet's nest of a headlight?  Mine quit on me too and my headlight connection seemed ok, but as I wiggled it the wire broke.  The wires were pretty brittle where they were clamped into the male/female electrical connections.
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tooseevee

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 11:36:01 PM »
  I'm thinking I either bumped some wires while doing this, and it's a simple connectivity issue, or there could be something larger amiss.

Is it safe to jump a wire straight from my battery to my headlight bulb's high-beam terminal?  Or will this be too much power for the light to handle and blow my bulb?  (if it isn't blown already...) 

I need to get home after work and I don't have my multimeter with me to troubleshoot proper-like.

Thanks!

Chuck

             Perfectly safe to jump right from the battery to the light. That'll tell you if the bulb's good or not. You can also check for a good ground that way.

             There's an awful rat's nest of wires in that nacelle, casquette whatever. You might have "disturbed" something. If I had the patience, I'd rewire my whole bloody bike & make it more bulletproof. I built this last harley with six or seven wires & drew the schematic myself over a winter (2002), It started first kick & everything electrical worked & has ever since & it has all the electrickery the Enfield has except electronic ignition & I've never had an electrical failure on the road or otherwise. The wiring on these bikes is awful. Those thousand little tiny bullet-type ground connectors are ridiculous. If you dare to work inside the headlight pod you are 90% sure of unhooking one of them by accident; most of them don't fit together tight(ly).

          But I love the damn thing anyway. Mowed grass & then rode 15 miles on my little blue roads. Best part of my day. Best part of ANY day   :)   ;)    :D 8)
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Superchuck

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 04:25:03 PM »
Thanks for the heads-up guys.  I dug into the casquette a bit over lunch yesterday and tried to trace the wires for obvious connectivity issues.  Didn't find any, but I'm sure it's just those bullet connectors not making perfect contact.  Rode home lightless, but didn't get pulled over (or run over).  When I get a free afternoon or evening I plan on rewiring that rat's nest to eliminate the connectors altogether. 

In the meantime I'll try the jumper to see if the ground and hi/low beam leads are the problem, or if the bulb is blown.

I'd worried that it was an issue of throwing too much power at the bulb now since I'm not using incandescents for the little BA9s, etc.  I read a post from the iron barrel forum that explains something about their headlights running on AC power, and that the AC regulator could be bad, etc.  I figured these bulbs didn't care if it was AC or DC, but it's good to know that it's not a 'too much power' thing that burnt my bulb... well, that's assuming the bulb's not burnt out.

We'll see.

Thanks again!

Chuck

D the D

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 04:29:11 PM »
Wouldn't matter how much power you're "throwing" at the headlight bulb, it can only draw what it can draw.  They do burn out on their own.
If you have a multimeter just do a continuity check on the bulb or run a wire from the battery to the leads and see if it lights.  It will take longer to remove the bulb than it takes to check it.
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barenekd

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 10:16:22 PM »
the early models used AC lighting as was common on all Brit bikes before the early 60s. They were controlled by the ignition, when clicked to the light position, would engage three idle coils on the alternator. The bad part of the system was that it was very rpm dependent as the voltage rose as the RPM did. Full power blasts usually resulted on blown bulbs usually starting with the tail light! The little tin can regulators weren't quite up to the job. Most companies got away from that system in the early 60s, but I'm not sure how long Enfield continued with it. These were generally 6 Volt systems. The 12 volt systems were originally controlled by zener diodes that dumped excess voltage into a heat sink. Better than before, but still not great. If the zener died, so did the bike! It was a direct short to the system! Mr. Lucas, the Prince of Darkness, had some strange ideas!
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AussieDave

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 01:20:00 AM »
My headlight is fine but I did lose one of my piloted lights a while ago. I changed the bulb but it still didn't work. Then , when I was swapping out my indicators I found one of the pair that  had just snapped, separated. I did a solder join with some heat shrink to repair it. The pair in question had no tension on it at either yoke extremity but snapped around the point of flex. I work a lot with solder and wire and this is up there with the worst I seen. The insulation seems very rigid and prone to fatigue cracks and the copper itself is to thin and also seems more brittle than it should. I wonder how hot it gets under constant load ?  Definitly room for improvement .
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Superchuck

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Re: No Headlight?!!? Urgent- help!
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 02:02:51 AM »
Thanks for the tips and the history!  I'm looking to commute on it again later this week so I'll probably get out there and troubleshoot it tomorrow or wednesday.  Hoping my bulb's not blown, but it's not the end of the world if it is... all the more reason to upgrade to the non-sealed fixture and get one of those crazy bright modern bulbs.  ;D