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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Headlamp Problems... *UPDATE*

Last night (10:30pm) I was on my way home from a friend's place on my '89 VN750. I usually run with my headlamp on high beam, and when a vehicle approaches, I switch it to low beam till they pass, and then back to high again.

Suddenly, as I did this, my headlight went completely out, and the "headlamp" light on the dash thingy came on.

Cursing a lot, I pulled off into the parking lot of some shopping center and pondered what I'd do. Tried flipping the switch a couple of times, with no change. Turned off the bike with the key and then back on again...still no go.

Reached up in frustration, and smacked the headlight on the front (the glass part) and the damn thing came back on... :wow:

Rode home the rest of the way (About 30 mins) with no further issues, but I didn't switch the high/low beam switch again.

What the heck happened? Headlamp going out? Short somewhere? Bad switch? Ghosts?
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts
Loose connection or a bad filament.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So...having never had to change the bulb in this thing...which one do I need?

In case that's the problem. And if not...always good to have a spare anyways.
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts
I went with the SilverStar Ultra H4.
 

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Senior Member
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2,527 Posts

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

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Premium Member
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1,803 Posts

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..have a vulcan good day!
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4,508 Posts
My first opinion & repair is to start at cleaning ALL Headlamp connections....
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Went to my local Harbor Freight and picked up two of those 9003 light bulbs. Heck, even if they only last 2 years, at $5.99 each, I can buy 8 of them before I approach the price of those others!!!

So...how do I go about replacing the bulb? Never done it on a bike before... Yes, I'm pretty much clueless.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, replaced the bulb. Went out for a test ride. Once again, headlight went out. I thwacked it...came back on.

Guess it is time to check all the wiring, clean up leads, etc...

*sigh*

PITA.
 

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Premium Member
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1,803 Posts
Went to my local Harbor Freight and picked up two of those 9003 light bulbs. Heck, even if they only last 2 years, at $5.99 each, I can buy 8 of them before I approach the price of those others!!!

So...how do I go about replacing the bulb? Never done it on a bike before... Yes, I'm pretty much clueless.
You already did it so you don't need my post LOL I deleted it.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well, took the headlight back apart. Mess of wires in there. Here are some pics:





...and I have a question about these two connections (see arrows):



...one of those connectors has no other wire connected to it (the lower one). Is that normal?

And...everything looks fine visually. Should I just take each one apart, clean it, trim to new wire if needed, and re-connect?
 

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Premium Member
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1,803 Posts
Well, took the headlight back apart. Mess of wires in there. Here are some pics:





...and I have a question about these two connections (see arrows):



...one of those connectors has no other wire connected to it (the lower one). Is that normal?

And...everything looks fine visually. Should I just take each one apart, clean it, trim to new wire if needed, and re-connect?
There is an accessory plug inside the bucket with no wires going to it, at least on my 2001. Your 3 prong plug going to the bulb looks in rough shape.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I took the spade connections out of the little black plug which plugs into the actual light bulb and checked them out. They seem physically fine.

Checked with voltmeter, and I'm getting about 11.xx volts on it (unless I'm reading it wrong), so there is power going to the headlight.

Any ideas?

*EDIT* I even tried connecting the spades directly to the light bulb connectors, and still same issue. Headlight won't come on, and the "idiot light" on the dash for the headlight is on.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)


Here you can see I removed that plastic 3-prong plug block and directly connected the wires to the bulb.

About 9 times out of 10, it works just fine. Then there's that 1/10th time that the headlight doesn't come on, and the idiot light on the dash comes on.

Even when the idiot light is on, and the headlight is off, the voltmeter shows 12v going to the bulb...so why is it "off"?

*EDIT* ...and when it *is* on, I can grab the bulb (while wearing gloves!) and wiggle it all around...and it doesn't go off...keeps working like a champ.
 

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1,803 Posts

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Yeah...I saw that one. Am wondering if I'll need to bypass that as well.
 

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Chucklehead
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1,050 Posts
Sounds like the relay is starting to have issues. Just my $.025.
 

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Big Dumb Viking
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597 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Discovered the black spade connector was loose...too easy to slide on-off. Crimped it. Will see if that was it.
 
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