Headlight Issue - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Headlight Issue

I am having an problem with my headlight and haven't been able to find anything in my repair manual or on the forum, so I'm hoping someone might have some advice.

My headlamp indicator light came on one day when I started my bike and the headlight seemed dim. So I figured it was the bulb. I replaced it with a PIAA extreme white bulb and still the same problem. Just to make sure I wasn't imagining the dimness, I compared it to my friend's and my high beam is about as bright as his low. I checked my voltage at the battery and it was fine. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Brian
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 10:55 AM
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Brian,

I am pretty new to this stuff, but I just did a bunch of work on my bike and reviewed alot of info on the electrical system in general including the headlight. If I am off base I hope some of the more experienced folks here will set me straight. Basically, the headlamp light in the console is driven by the Reserve Lighting Unit. I would try a quick test by connecting the headlight directly to the battery to see if all is well, I would assume that it is since you already tried a new bulb. If it is okay, then I would check the voltages coming out of the headlight relay in the junction box, then check the voltages out of the RLU. My guess is the RLU. If the RLU thinks the low beam has burned out, it switches to the high beam but it comes on dimly. I attached a picture of the lighting system circuit, Just my $.02. Good luck!
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Chris
Wayne, NJ
1989 VN750-A5
VROC #27781
-Replaced/Fused Stator & Replaced/Relocated R/R (15K mi.)
-MF Battery
-De-Goated/Re-goated
-Coastered
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-AutoMeter 2" VOM
-Silverstar Headlight
-Refinished Gauge Rings and Mirrors(Flat Black)
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:19 PM
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What ChrisC said.

From the Headlight Circuit wiring diagram (dimmer switch shown in HI position), it looks like you can bypass the RLU by jumping the BL and the BL/Y wires on the 6-pin connector (don't disconnect the RLU). With the dimmer swith on LO, if you started with only the high beam ON (dimly lit) and your low beam comes ON also, then the RLU is bad. If the low beam stays OFF, then there's an open wire or connection between the RLU and the headlight.

Let us know.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, I will give those tests a try.

One thing that I'm not sure if I made clear is that I have both high and low beam right now, just that both are dim. The low beam would probably be barely visible in the daylight.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 04:47 PM
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Oh yeah, your reserve lighting unit is toast. If this is the case, the test above should cause the low beam to come on stronger and the high beam to still be weak.

Please let us know if you find it was something else.

Darrel
'03 Vulcan 750 (90k miles)
-Corbin Seat
-V-Force Windshield
-LeatherLyke Touring Bags
-Chrome Luggage Rack
-Headlight Modulator
-Brakelight Flasher
-MF Battery
-Heads-Up Voltage Monitor
-Replaced Stator (9,000 and 16,000 mi.)
-Oil-cooled Stator Mod (photos)
-Replaced and Relocated R/R
-Greased rear splines
-Fused Stator (photos)
-Metzeler ME880 Marathon 170/80-15 (Rear), 110/90-19 (Front)
-TOC MCCTs installed
-Headlight Relays
SOLD - 2013

Last edited by darrelc5; 06-07-2008 at 09:07 AM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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What's the VDC @ the headlight connector?
I had multiple headlight/RLU issues that in the end of a loooong stretch of troublshooting it was the connections under the neck covers and the ones in the HL Bucket going up to the console.
Checking connections is tedious and even when there may appear to be nothing wrong, many issues can be resolved by checking & cleaning the connectors.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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The voltages I've checked so far:
At the headlight connector on low beam:
R/BK = 3.6v
R/Y = <0.1v
On high beam:
R/BK = <0.1v
R/Y = 12V

I haven't had a lot of time to check much more than that. I'm going to try bypassing the RLU as suggested next to see if that brightens things up. Any more suggestions based on the above would be appreciated.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 08:21 PM
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Low beam dim, High beam OK, headlamp warning on

So I had been reading all these posts for the low beam being dim and the high beam appearing to be OK. The headlamp warning light only comes on with the low beam switch engaged. I figured the bulb was OK since I was getting light in both modes. I cleaned up all the connector, high/low switch, voltage checks, etc... So all my connectors got cleaned up, but the problem remained. Well finally I said maybe the filament in the bulb is old and causing a high resistance to the sensing circuit. I pulled it inspected and sure enough there appeared to be damage to the low beam filament. Picked one up at Advanced Auto (9003 Sylvania H4) which is supposed to be 30% brighter and my problem was solved. Man low beam and high beam are bright now, warning light out! Always go for the obvious first and check that headlight bulb.

Russ Bowen
Rochester NY
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