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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2008 VN900 and I've been hijacked yet again by the rear tail light gremlin.

I had a front blinker bulb go on me a couple of weeks ago then noticed the tail light was out. The brake light worked. Well I replaced all the bulbs and life was good. Now the tail light is out again. I checked the wiring on the diagram and did some research. I read it has to be the bulb as the brake light works. Not sure if this is true but the bulb is a double filament.

I'd like to thank the guy who followed me into Lowes to tell me. I'd like to unthank him for telling me it was very dangerous. This was after I thanked him. I guess he was trying to help and threw in a little lecture about dangerous situations. It's all good, no problems.

I'm wondering if I have a wiring problem. I guess I'll know when I check he bulb again tomorrow.
 

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200% senile
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More than likely it's just the bulb again. There's no rhyme or reason it seems to how long the bulbs last. You're correct, the 1157 bulbs are double filament...one filament for a running light and the other for the stop light or turn signal.
Sylvania makes a 1157 LL Long Life. Looks like this...http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-1157-Long-Life-Miniature/dp/B000AMADZK They can be found at just about any parts store or even Wal-Mart. Do they really last longer...I have no idea. On motorcycles I think it's the vibration more than anything else that kills them. Just keep some extras on hand, replace when needed and ride on.
 

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I have a 2008 VN900 and I've been hijacked yet again by the rear tail light gremlin.

I had a front blinker bulb go on me a couple of weeks ago then noticed the tail light was out. The brake light worked. Well I replaced all the bulbs and life was good. Now the tail light is out again. I checked the wiring on the diagram and did some research. I read it has to be the bulb as the brake light works. Not sure if this is true but the bulb is a double filament.

I'd like to thank the guy who followed me into Lowes to tell me. I'd like to unthank him for telling me it was very dangerous. This was after I thanked him. I guess he was trying to help and threw in a little lecture about dangerous situations. It's all good, no problems.

I'm wondering if I have a wiring problem. I guess I'll know when I check he bulb again tomorrow.
When you pull the bulb is the one filament burned out? The 1157 bulb has a locking nub on each side. The bulb will go into the socket either way but there is only one way it will lock in properly to give you a good secure contact. Put the bulb in one way, pull it, then reverse it 180 degrees. You will notice a difference in how secure the bulb is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well it is possible you have a problem with the wiring. There are 3 wires that go to the tail light. One might be shorting out? The wires run under the fender, so a rock or something could have damaged it.
This is what I'm thinking. I was under there but will have to take a much closer look.

When you pull the bulb is the one filament burned out? The 1157 bulb has a locking nub on each side. The bulb will go into the socket either way but there is only one way it will lock in properly to give you a good secure contact. Put the bulb in one way, pull it, then reverse it 180 degrees. You will notice a difference in how secure the bulb is.
I agree and found this out playing around with the bulb in the socket. Three times I tried before I switched the nubs around. I guess that makes me stupid.

More than likely it's just the bulb again. There's no rhyme or reason it seems to how long the bulbs last. You're correct, the 1157 bulbs are double filament...one filament for a running light and the other for the stop light or turn signal.

Checked the bulb and the fuse. Both are perfect.

Sylvania makes a 1157 LL Long Life. Looks like this...http://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-1157-Long-Life-Miniature/dp/B000AMADZK They can be found at just about any parts store or even Wal-Mart. Do they really last longer...I have no idea. On motorcycles I think it's the vibration more than anything else that kills them. Just keep some extras on hand, replace when needed and ride on.
I'll pick this up at walmart tomorrow morning. Flushed the radiator today. I wish sheit would come apart as engineered. Need to stop at home depot and pick up some nuts and bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Discussion Starter #9
PM me your address Mike, I will send you one I got but never used.

Hell...I may even drive down to deliver it...lol
Hey brother, that would be really nice of you. Sounds like a PLAN! Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of moving. I'm working on my bike and packing. I have to be out but the 15th and can start moving stuff next Monday.

I need to pick up the bulb tomorrow early along with synthetic oil. The dealership wants 13 dollars a quart for some crap. I told them I'd pick it up this way the oil change will only be 35 bucks or so. before I do though, I need to call walmart and see if they will take oil from me as I'm purchasing the oil from them. If they will then I change it myself in the parking lot of my complex as I did a coolant flush today.

Where do you live? If you're close enough maybe we can do a ride next week.
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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Hey brother, that would be really nice of you. Sounds like a PLAN! Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of moving. I'm working on my bike and packing. I have to be out but the 15th and can start moving stuff next Monday.

I need to pick up the bulb tomorrow early along with synthetic oil. The dealership wants 13 dollars a quart for some crap. I told them I'd pick it up this way the oil change will only be 35 bucks or so. before I do though, I need to call walmart and see if they will take oil from me as I'm purchasing the oil from them. If they will then I change it myself in the parking lot of my complex as I did a coolant flush today.

Where do you live? If you're close enough maybe we can do a ride next week.
If Walmart has an automotive dept. to mount tires, replace batteries....they will take your used/old oil.

hth

:smiley_th
 

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Well it is possible you have a problem with the wiring. There are 3 wires that go to the tail light. One might be shorting out? The wires run under the fender, so a rock or something could have damaged it.
It COULD be a short under the fender, but IMHO it's more likely the fitment of the bulb burning out. Those halogens can sometimes be pretty sensitive to vibration.

But KM is right it is 3 wires running to the housing, and it does run under the fender. On the 900, you've got 4 sets of wires. (one for each light) running along the right side rail under the fender.

Each set of wires has its own vinyl/plastic sheath protecting the wires. Its actually VERY easy to get the rear fender off. 2 bolts per side holding the plastic rail trim on. Under that are two more bolts per side holding the actual fender to the frame. Disconnect the 4 sets of wires in the little plastic dust sheet in front of the battery cover/tool box, and disconnect the seat latch cable and the fender pulls right out.

Quick work from there to undo the wires from the inner fender rail and check for splits and shorts.

After all is said and done and you know for sure its not a short, I would advise going with an LED bulb. they last longer, are brighter then the halogens (if you get the right one), and are far more resistant to vibrations.

This is the one I'm running in my brake light housing BTW: LED Brake Light Flasher

I've had it installed in one of the slots on my 750 when I was riding that, and switched it over to my 900 when I brought it home. It's been going strong for over two years now.
 

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If Walmart has an automotive dept. to mount tires, replace batteries....they will take your used/old oil.

hth

:smiley_th
Yep. they take up to 5 gallons at a time no fees, and no questions asked. Well almost none asked. you have to fill out a log book with name and addy, but I've never had my ID checked to make sure I was putting my real name in...

I've almost got all of my used motor oil moved out of the back yard now.
 

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ass hole extaordinaire
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you do realize that oil change places have a company that comes and buys there used oil from them so if you give your oil to walmart then you are basically helping them make money
 

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you do realize that oil change places have a company that comes and buys there used oil from them so if you give your oil to walmart then you are basically helping them make money
depemds on where you are at in the world.. here the company that hauls off the oil charges the customers... i.e, wal-mart...
 

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..have a vulcan good day!
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Yep. they take up to 5 gallons at a time no fees, and no questions asked. Well almost none asked. you have to fill out a log book with name and addy, but I've never had my ID checked to make sure I was putting my real name in...

I've almost got all of my used motor oil moved out of the back yard now.
depemds on where you are at in the world.. here the company that hauls off the oil charges the customers... i.e, wal-mart...
Really ?
In Maine, my son in law collects it....they pay.....i think last price was $0.35/gal (min 50 gal)...they come & pump it from 55 gal drum (at home) ...he usually has close to 100 gal.....easy money.

:smiley_th
 

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Things change,

I owned a diesel repair shop from '78-'87. In 1978, I got $.25 per gal. By '82-'83, they would just pick it up for free. Class 8 trucks hold 10-11 gal and I would have 200-300 gal when I called them.

In 1998, I bought a property that had been a diesel repair. I paid Safety Kleen $200 to empty 13 barrels of used oil. Those barrels were outside/closed, but likely had some water.
 

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you do realize that oil change places have a company that comes and buys there used oil from them so if you give your oil to walmart then you are basically helping them make money
gotta take it somewhere. In my case, the 50 or so gallon jugs were starting to pile up a little too much. Walmart is convenient because they take the most in one trip around here. ...and if I'm stopping there anyways, what the hell, might as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
It COULD be a short under the fender, but IMHO it's more likely the fitment of the bulb burning out. Those halogens can sometimes be pretty sensitive to vibration.

But KM is right it is 3 wires running to the housing, and it does run under the fender. On the 900, you've got 4 sets of wires. (one for each light) running along the right side rail under the fender.

Each set of wires has its own vinyl/plastic sheath protecting the wires. Its actually VERY easy to get the rear fender off. 2 bolts per side holding the plastic rail trim on. Under that are two more bolts per side holding the actual fender to the frame. Disconnect the 4 sets of wires in the little plastic dust sheet in front of the battery cover/tool box, and disconnect the seat latch cable and the fender pulls right out.

Quick work from there to undo the wires from the inner fender rail and check for splits and shorts.

After all is said and done and you know for sure its not a short, I would advise going with an LED bulb. they last longer, are brighter then the halogens (if you get the right one), and are far more resistant to vibrations.

This is the one I'm running in my brake light housing BTW: LED Brake Light Flasher

I've had it installed in one of the slots on my 750 when I was riding that, and switched it over to my 900 when I brought it home. It's been going strong for over two years now.
I took the fender off the bike. opened the wiring and found a point which was suspect. Put it all back together. Tail light works like a champ....licence plate light is now on the blink. Didn't have time for that and wont until I get moved. Thanks for all your help brother.
http://www.vn750.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=4849&size=big&cat=&ppuser=2463
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for all your help. Really great information. I also flushed my coolant and dropped it off at auto zone. Tried to change the oil in the parking lot but couldn't get the damn oil filter loose. I watched a great video on youtube on methods to do it but didn't have the time. Kinda pissed as the dealer changed it last time and I thought the Fuken thing was suppose to be hand tight. Just changed 6 months ago. I have the Rotello and oil filter. Now I have to spend the 40+ to take it to the dealer. used a strap, cap, and wrench...wouldn't budge. Bast Ards!
 
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