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So I'm hooking up a set of running lights on the bike and would like to install a relay in the headlight bucket to setup the lights so that they only come on after the ignition switch has be turned on. I have a power and ground wire running straight from the battery into the headlight bucket to feed power to the lights, and have the relay setup to go, however, I am not sure which would be the best wire to tap into to feed power to activate the relay.

I would prefer that the running lights stay on regardless of having the low or high beam on, yet at the same time, I would also prefer that the running lights act the same as the headlight and only turn on after the starter button has been pressed.

I also plan on hooking a volt meter into the main feed to tun on in the same manner, this way having a direct line to the battery.

Can anyone recommend the best wire to tap into to setup the relay?
 

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It seems simple enough. I would suggest using your amber running lights as the trigger & install a switch to turn them on. Thus when the bike is turned off you could not accidentally leave your lights on.

I'm not sure how you would trigger the low & high at the same time. You might have to refer to the wiring diagram in the manual & see if there's a common in the wiring. Possibly somewhere in the handlebar switch & obviously tap the wire closer to the bike & not out on the handlebars. lol

What bulbs are you using? 55w are regarded as a no no with our electrical system. I run 25w bulbs & they work just fine. Some folks have used 35w but I needed the extra juice for other toys. ;)
 

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OK, just took a quick peek at the wiring diagram & it looks like the hi & low are independant going to the switch.

Hey guys, whitch pin is it coming off the junction box for the head light? You'd think I'd have that memorized by now! lol I'd look it up but I don't have the time right now.

P.S. I have a repair manual in my sig. The wiring schematic is included in there. You could check it ot & it's going to be valuble eventually anyway! ;)
 

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For you and those that didn't know, there already is a set of power leads (pos+neg) in the headlight bucket. There is another set under the right side cover. These are fused (10 amp) and referred to as " accessory leads " in the owners manual.

They however, "always on" so a switch or relay would be needed. I agree a relay to the front running light would be a good choice, but I myself like to have dedicated switches to any power using item I add to the bike....so if there's an electrical problem I can quickly eliminate any add-ons.
 

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..... but I myself like to have dedicated switches to any power using item I add to the bike....so if there's an electrical problem I can quickly eliminate any add-ons.
I know you said add ons, but for the haed light I usually would recommend replacing the stock circuit so that the head light switch operated a relay that in turn sent power directly from the battery, via fuse, to the head light. I actually have my low beam going through a closed relay contact so even if the switch or relay fail the light will operate. Besides, do you really want all the power to your head lights going through small gage wires and tiny contacts on your head light switch?
 

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I know you said add ons, but for the haed light I usually would recommend replacing the stock circuit so that the head light switch operated a relay that in turn sent power directly from the battery, via fuse, to the head light. I actually have my low beam going through a closed relay contact so even if the switch or relay fail the light will operate. Besides, do you really want all the power to your head lights going through small gage wires and tiny contacts on your head light switch?
Uh, I do see the logic in that, but... After all the years of being on this forum, and the Yahoo one,and with folks having 20+ year old bikes, I don't think I've ever read a post about someone with melted wires or a burnt out headlight switch.

So again, lawnmowers for AstroTurf....


KM
If it ain't broke don't fix it....
 

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Uh, I do see the logic in that, but... After all the years of being on this forum, and the Yahoo one,and with folks having 20+ year old bikes, I don't think I've ever read a post about someone with melted wires or a burnt out headlight switch.

So again, lawnmowers for AstroTurf....


KM
If it ain't broke don't fix it....
Then consider this: all the stock wiring causes Voltage drop, especially on an older bike. A 55 watt bulb is Only 55 watts at around 13.5 volts. So let's say you have a 10% voltage drop at the head light. Remember that power = v squared over r. Therefore the power output decreases EXPONENTIALY with voltage drop. You would lose around 25% power to the bulb at around 43 watts.
 

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Then consider this: all the stock wiring causes Voltage drop, especially on an older bike. A 55 watt bulb is Only 55 watts at around 13.5 volts. So let's say you have a 10% voltage drop at the head light. Remember that power = v squared over r. Therefore the power output decreases EXPONENTIALY with voltage drop. You would lose around 25% power to the bulb at around 43 watts.
It's not the wiring, it's the owners lack of maintenance. I keep tellng you folks to clean all your electrical connections and contacts, so it's not my fault if you burn something out...;)
 

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So I'm hooking up a set of running lights on the bike and would like to install a relay in the headlight bucket to setup the lights so that they only come on after the ignition switch has be turned on. I have a power and ground wire running straight from the battery into the headlight bucket to feed power to the lights, and have the relay setup to go, however, I am not sure which would be the best wire to tap into to feed power to activate the relay.

I would prefer that the running lights stay on regardless of having the low or high beam on, yet at the same time, I would also prefer that the running lights act the same as the headlight and only turn on after the starter button has been pressed.

I also plan on hooking a volt meter into the main feed to tun on in the same manner, this way having a direct line to the battery.

Can anyone recommend the best wire to tap into to setup the relay?
I have a terrible copy of the wiring harness, so maybe someone can verify it, but I think that on the HI/LOW beam selector switch there should be a "hot" lead. If that lead is controlled by the fuse box circuit that disables the headlight, you should be good to go.
 

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It's not the wiring, it's the owners lack of maintenance. I keep tellng you folks to clean all your electrical connections and contacts, so it's not my fault if you burn something out...;)
You just can't bring yourself to admit that I'm right. :)
Anyway, if you want to improve the light output of your headlight, throw a relay in there and enjoy the copious amounts of light emitting from your bulb. :smiley_th

If it ain't broke, improve it...
 

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You just can't bring yourself to admit that I'm right. :)
Anyway, if you want to improve the light output of your headlight, throw a relay in there and enjoy the copious amounts of light emitting from your bulb. :smiley_th

If it ain't broke, improve it...
I never said you were wrong .... Your logic is sound. I'm just saying a well maintained bike should never have any problems with burnt light switches or toasted wires. The light on the Vulcan sucks anyway, and I'm sure your fix might yeild a few extra lumens on many bikes.

As a side note, I should tell you my FJR has a current recall notice where they replace the ignition switch. The reason? Exactly what you describe, having too much power running through a tiny switch. The switch could, (and has) failed (wire over heats and unsolders itself) while the bikes were ridden, killing the motor. Not a good thing if your leaned over hard in the middle of a turn.

I've yet to take my bike in for this recall, but will soon. ( seems the most failures were bikes that saw alot of wet weather and were not routinely garaged)

Which supports my statement...a well maintained bike likely will never have any issue, even with "weak" lighting.

There's a much seen law of nature where one can begin to see failure in other systems when one tries to improve another connecting system. This usually do go folks that really are not sure what they are doing. That said, you should do a write up if your wiring upgrade along with photos so those that would like to give it a try don't screw it up..........




:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys,

At this point, I'm stuck between tapping into the wire for the running lights or into the BR/W wire at the Junction Box. I don't like the idea of using the accessory wires that are already provided since they are always on power. I do intend on putting in a dedicated switch to control the lights on top of the relay so that I can flip them off should the need arise without having to pull any wires. I'll be using 20w bulbs on top of a PIAA headlight bulb so I should be throwing plenty of light.
 

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By Knife....
For you and those that didn't know, there already is a set of power leads (pos+neg) in the headlight bucket.
Can ya clue me in on the colors of those ? I checked the wiring diagram and couldnt figure which were "accesory"....Im gonna run an inline switch between the hots and the lights.
 

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Not sure about the colors, will have to check when I get home from work in the morning. But If its the wire I believe it to be, it was just hanging loose in the headlight bucket. Its possible that it may fall out the hole in the back and hang just outside of the bucket. But the wire in mine want connected to anything. Just has a clear plastic boot over it to protect it from shorts.
 

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By Knife....

Can ya clue me in on the colors of those ? I checked the wiring diagram and couldnt figure which were "accesory"....Im gonna run an inline switch between the hots and the lights.
having a hard time reading my diagram online, but it is the same colors as the "accessory leads" located under the seat (I think).

B/Y (-) black/yellow
W/L (+) white/???



They are the only loose spade connectors in the light bucket. You can't miss them. As NDr mentioned, they are tucked in the headlight housing and covered in clear plastic boots.
 

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having a hard time reading my diagram online, but it is the same colors as the "accessory leads" located under the seat (I think).

B/Y (-) black/yellow
W/L (+) white/???



They are the only loose spade connectors in the light bucket. You can't miss them. As NDr mentioned, they are tucked in the headlight housing and covered in clear plastic boots.

Sorry, not 100% sure.... But they should be a black wire with a yellow stripe
(-) and a white wire with a red stripe (+).... yes, think same colors as the set under the sidecover.
 

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Sorry, not 100% sure.... But they should be a black wire with a yellow stripe
(-) and a white wire with a red stripe (+).... yes, think same colors as the set under the sidecover.
Positive (+) accessory wires should be White with a blue stripe.

Edit: Eventually I will add additional driving lights as well. If I hear you guys right, I should limit the total additional wattage to approx. 70watts.
I will most likely tap the blue wire on terminal 8 of the jb 8 pin connector to drive a very low current 12vdc relay coil. That blue wire is suppose to run from the jb to the reserve lighting device. This will effectively mimick the operation of the headlight. The coil circuit will have a hidden toggle switch in series to allow for disable. The relay should be able to handle a continuous 10 amp load. I will use the accessory power from the jb (pin 3A or 3B), and use fat wire to the lights for minimal voltage drop. The accessory power is already fused at 10 amps, so that circuit should easily handle the load.


~~C8>
 

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Positive (+) accessory wires should be White with a blue stripe.

~~C8>
well...it's white with some stripe...lol

Either way it should always be HOT with 12V
 

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Yup...thems were the colors....just that I had a few extra wires in there from non-stock turn signals and forgot which were what...
Thanks guys !...I dont ride much at night, but the deer and bear around here are all over. :smiley_th:beerchug:
 
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