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Author Topic: Headlight wiring  (Read 173 times)

n1acguy

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Headlight wiring
« on: June 15, 2014, 05:39:26 AM »
I have a 7" conversion on my 08 iron barrel.
It currently has a sealed beam in it.
I don't relly notice any difference between high or low beam.
Are both bulb winding supposed to be on when on high? The diagrams I have seen look like the switch fires one or the other one at a time.
Is the 4 wire alternator able to provide enough current out of the headlight portion if I wire it so that High and low beams fire together when on high beam?
Oh, and happy Father's Day to all of you that are Dad's.
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devon john

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2014, 06:33:47 AM »
i rewired my lights to run off the battery , i think i got the procedure of how to on here!!

High On Octane

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2014, 01:27:42 PM »
If you run high and low at the same time it will likely create too much heat and burn out both filaments.  If you are not seeing any difference between high and low you either have a problem with the switch, the wiring or the bulb itself.  Are you sure that the switch is in fact switching back and forth between the two circuits?  There should be a brief moment of darkness when you switch from one circuit to the other.  If you are not seeing that then I would bet that your switch is bad and not working.  And if your switch is the source of the problem then there is a good chance that the contacts are not allowing full voltage to flow to the headlight itself.

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azcatfan

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2014, 02:14:45 PM »
What Scottie said, I have an '02 IB with the 7" and it works just like the stock light did.
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n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 04:09:50 AM »
I see the momentary cutout when I flip the switch.
I guess I need to verify that the bulb is correctly wired. Maybe I'm just getting low beam off both sides of the switch.
The bike is highly modified with original switchgear from Hitchcocks. None of the Indian made stuff remains. I didn't do that part of the conversion itself though. I did replace the bulb after breaking the lens on the 7" conversion kit I had previously, and that light acted the same way with no obvious difference between high and low beam.
The bulb is a halogen replacement  for a 60s VW bug. I was under the impression that when on high beam both filaments were firing under automotive applications, so I don't think the bulb would overheat. I don't know if the alternator is capable of that many watts though, and i don't want to overload it and burn it out. Both filaments together would be 115 watts or about 9.5 amps.
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Arizoni

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 04:28:51 AM »
There are several different kinds of halogen bulbs on the market.

Does the bulb on your motorcycle have 2 or 3 terminals to connect it?
The bulbs with both a high and a low beam will have three terminals.  One for the common ground, one for the high and one for the low beam.

If the two terminal single filement bulb is used, the person who did the wiring could have easily connected the low and the high beam wires from the selector switch.  If this was done, the headlight would light with the switch in either position but the beam would always hit the ground in the same place.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 04:38:30 AM »
It's a regular high/low automotive  sealed beam bulb with 3 prongs.
I've never seen a high/low sealed beam bulb with 2 prongs. The glass case can't ground. 2 prong bulbs of that era were generally just high beams for 4 headlight applications.
I found bulb wiring on line, and it won't be hard to figure out, but I'd still like to know what current output the alternator is capable of.
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n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 04:58:44 AM »
OK, looking at headlight wiring diagrams for the VWs with this type bulb, I see that they fire either high or low beam, and not both at once.
It's very rare that I'm out with this bike at night, but recently was on a dark road and could have used a bit more light and sparked the quest to figure it out.
I'll let you know what I find.
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Arizoni

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 05:20:04 AM »
As I mentioned, if the person who replaced the wiring and switches attached both the high and the low beam output from the switch to just one of the headlights power supply wires, then only one beam would light, reguardless of which way the switch was toggled.

The thing to do is to use a volt/ohm meter to see if power is being supplied to the two power terminals on the bulb.
With the bulb pointed away from you and one of the three connectors at 9 o'clock, one at 12 o'clock and one at 3 o'clock, the 9 o'clock position is the common ground wire connection.  The 12 o'clock position is the low beam power supply.  The 3 o'clock position is the high beam power supply.

With the hi/lo beam switch in the Low position you should have a 12 volt reading between 9 and 12 o'clock.
With the high/low beam switch in the High position you should have 12 volt reading between the 9 and the 3 o'clock position.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 04:18:55 AM »
I guess it's just a crappy sealed beam with poor reflector quality. Very little difference between hi and low beam. I noted a few other complaints online about the Sylvania XV bulbs. They are brighter, but reflector quality doesn't provide much of a different beam pattern between high and low
I'm going to try a Wagner Britelite Xenon.
Based on the replies, I guess nobody knows the wattage output of the headlight portion of the 4 wire alternator. I was able to determine I most likely have a 180 watt version, but that's total wattage.
I'm fairly certain the alternator could power a higher wattage bulb if I elected to go back to an H4 setup, but I would still like to know the rated wattage of the headlight portion of the alternator.
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n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2014, 04:25:32 AM »
FWIW, I also found complaints with some of the 7" H4 conversions. Not much difference between high and low.
I don't recall if the one I had was Minda or Lucas, but apparently that's why I had the same symptom before. Nothing wrong with the switch or wiring.
My 2 YMMV

Arizoni

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2014, 04:31:08 AM »
Don't expect to see much difference in brilliance between the high and low beams.

The difference is the location of the two filaments.  The Low beam filament is located to shine the light downward and (in the US) towards the right side.
The High beam is located to shine the light out further ahead and straight down the road.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

n1acguy

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Re: Headlight wiring
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 05:22:49 PM »
I'm well aware of what the difference should be, but I'm not seeing that effect with these crappy reflector designs.
I'll report the progress once I test the Wagner bulb.
My 2 YMMV