Headlight issues - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Headlight issues

I have an '04 919 and recently installed a dual headlight. Both bulbs have the same rating as the single bulb of the OEM unit. The unit was completely plug & play - unplug the OEM light, plug in the new unit, done. It has worked perfectly for the past couple weeks. It even worked on the ride home from work last night, but later in the evening I was going to take my bike out and I realized that the headlights were out.

I figured it must be the fuse because I can't imagine both bulbs burning out at the same time. I checked the fuses under the seat and everything looked fine - I even swapped different fuses into different slots and everything continued to work perfectly... except the headlights. Are there other fuses I should check besided the small box under the seat with 6 fuses in it?
After I checked the fuses I decided to plug in the OEM light (which worked fine when I recently took it off the bike) and it didn't work either. With the OEM light plugged in I switched the fuses around again - everything on the bike continued to work fine except the headlights.

Is there something that I missed? I would really like to fix this myself and not have to pay a fortune for the dealer to look at it, but I can't think of anything else that it might be.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Mike

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post #2 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:06 AM
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It sounds like you have a loose wire somewhere. A short would pop the fuse, so that's probably eliminated as a possible problem. I would start tracing the wires through the harness. If you have a multitester, bust that puppy out and start checking the voltage coming through the lines.

Another possibility is that your starter switch is buggered. Others have had this problem on the 919 since the starter button kills the headlight in order to strain the battery less when starting the bike. As a result, a goofed up starter sometimes kills the headlight(s).

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I don't have a multitester, and not really sure how to use one anyway... I have no electrical knowlege. The only thing I could figure was to check the bulbs and the fuse.

If it was the starter switch would the bike still start? Everything about the bike still works perfectly except the headlights don't come on. All the gauges are fine, the turn signals, running lights, brakelights, etc. are all good. I rode it to work today since the dealer is not far from here. But I'm just sick at the thought of how much they'll charge to troubleshoot.

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post #4 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:29 AM
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It is possible for it to be an issue with the starter button without affecting the starting of the bike. The people who experienced what you are describing also had no trouble starting their bikes. I would start troubleshooting by taking apart the left handlebar controls, if you feel comfortable doing so.

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:31 AM
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One more missing piece of the puzzle. You forgot to mention the high beams. Are we to assume that thay don't work?

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post #6 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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Does the bike start, even when the h/l don't work? I don't think you mentioned this.

There are other fuses on the started solenoid but I beleive that is only for the battery and starter... worth checking though

There is a 3 way diode close to where the fuses should be (at least that how the microfiche shows it)... I don't know what it does but is worth an investigation.

Yep, I have no clue when it comes to electronics on a bike.

Now, I have just spoken to a mechanic friend of mine and he says to check the handlebr controls. The Red starter switch closes the circuit for the light when startting the bike and as soon as you depress it, it send electricity to the left controls for the low/high beam so you must check that those 2 are also in working order. Sorry if I made it more difficult for you but that's how I understood it.

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post #7 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 09:56 AM
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RC90... All valid points but lets try to keep the troubleshooting as simple as possible at first. My experience with any mods. especially electrical ones is to suspect what changes were made and then back track. In this case the complete wiring harness inside the stock headlight shell was removed and tucked away somewhere. I like to call this mass of wires a rats nest which it is to some extent. I think the problem might be within this rats nest, hopefully something simple as a loose push pin connector. Without knowledge of a mutimeter makes this task even more difficult then it really is.

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m51142 View Post
One more missing piece of the puzzle. You forgot to mention the high beams. Are we to assume that thay don't work?
When the headlights worked the high beams worked as well. Now the headlights don't work at all. If I switch to high the blue indicator light between the gauges doesn't even come on.

The bike still starts and runs fine; everything still works as it should except the headlights won't come on, high or low.

I'll re-check all the connectors in the 'rats nest' to make sure nothing is loose, and then look into the left and right controls.

Hopefully that will turn something up, the dealer can't look at it until Saturday.

Thanks for all the ideas guys.

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post #9 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 01:02 PM
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I'm leaning towards loose connector as well. If it just doesn't work, electricity isn't finding a home where it is supposed to. If it were a short, a bare wire would be touching some other conductive material, and your fuse would be blown. Good luck w/ the rat's nest, and let us know if you find anything.

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 01:38 PM
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From your description I would first suspect a missing ground. In other words, dig into the "rats nest" looking for a loose GREEN connector wire.

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post #11 of 14 Old 09-26-2006, 07:42 PM
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get a hold of a wiring diagram, if there any available it should be easy to track down, make sure the headlamp fuse terminals are not over size, the same with all electrical contacts, make sure their not over size, everything may look like they are all plugged in, but are they making good contact?

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post #12 of 14 Old 09-27-2006, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayfooey View Post
get a hold of a wiring diagram, if there any available it should be easy to track down, make sure the headlamp fuse terminals are not over size, the same with all electrical contacts, make sure their not over size, everything may look like they are all plugged in, but are they making good contact?
I undid the entire rats nest last night and un-plugged and then re-plugged every connector - everything was very tight, no loose connectors. Still, everthing except the headlight works. Without a multimeter (and a clue how to use it), this will probably have to wait for the dealer to look at.

Sorry, I don't know anything about electricity - I know what a fuse is, but not a fuse terminal; is that the slot where the fuse plugs into the fuse box? I'm not sure what an oversize one would be, same with an oversize electrical contact. If that's the plug, the plug on the aftermarket lights is the same as on the OEM lights - I unplugged one and plugged in the other and everything was good... for a while.

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post #13 of 14 Old 09-27-2006, 09:19 AM
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I'm going to stick to my guess that the problem is either with the headlight switch itself or the starter button. Let us know what happens. Hopefully you won't get reamed too badly by Mr. Dealer. Good luck!

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post #14 of 14 Old 09-27-2006, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdtoney View Post
I know what a fuse is, but not a fuse terminal; is that the slot where the fuse plugs into the fuse box? I'm not sure what an oversize one would be, same with an oversize electrical contact. If that's the plug, the plug on the aftermarket lights is the same as on the OEM lights - I unplugged one and plugged in the other and everything was good... for a while.
yes a fuse terminal is the slot the fuse plugs into, an over sized one would be one that the fuse goes into very easy, with no resistance. the same goes with the electrical connectors do they plug in very easy with no resistance, if you looked into the connector does one of the female terminals appear to have a large gap that it would seam to be bigger than the other terminals?

anyway yes your probably right it may have to go to a dealer, without a wiring diagram all you really can do is make some basic visual checks...

Good Luck and if you get a hold of a wiring diagram online, give me a shout,
I have tons of electrical/electronics experience on cars, motorcycles are just more primitive...

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