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-   -   Electrical Problem(s) (http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/72-technical-discussion/241618-electrical-problem-s.html)

White Dog 09-22-2013 09:40 PM

Electrical Problem(s)
 
My new to me 2002 VT1100C seems to have an electrical problem regarding the headlight. On bright, There is a dark spot where the light should be. Is the headlight aimed too high or too low? Also, when I switch to low beam, the light is extremely weak, hardly shinning at all. On both bright or low, the blue light meter on the dash is on. The previous owner said he had problems with the headlight but was vague on what the problem was, as he had not ridden the cycle in about three years. So, I looked in the Honda shop manual but could not find anything related to "headlight not working properly." Do you suppose the bulb could be installed incorrectly? I never liked electrical problems.

"Captain D" 09-22-2013 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by White Dog (Post 2268698)
My new to me 2002 VT1100C seems to have an electrical problem regarding the headlight. On bright, There is a dark spot where the light should be. Is the headlight aimed too high or too low? Also, when I switch to low beam, the light is extremely weak, hardly shinning at all. On both bright or low, the blue light meter on the dash is on. The previous owner said he had problems with the headlight but was vague on what the problem was, as he had not ridden the cycle in about three years. So, I looked in the Honda shop manual but could not find anything related to "headlight not working properly." Do you suppose the bulb could be installed incorrectly? I never liked electrical problems.


This is where I`d start checking...
Pull the bulb from the circuit and check voltage at the plug...
UNPLUGGED headlight should/could cause the High Beam indicator to function properly, IF it does, the bulb is the faulty part... (possibly)

Scrapdog2grand 09-22-2013 09:54 PM

You have a bad ground for the headlight bulb.
this causes the high beam indicator to light up, as the low beam grounds through the bulbs highbeam filament and bulb circuit as well.

White Dog 09-22-2013 09:57 PM

I stand corrected about the meter light. It does go off when I switch to low beam, but that is without the engine running. Tomorrow, I'll check the voltage on the plug and clean the bulb and make sure it is in the light correctly. I found the alignment chart in the manual but I need to be sure the light is working properly before messing with the adjustment screws.

Scrapdog2grand 09-22-2013 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by White Dog (Post 2268794)
I stand corrected about the meter light. It does go off when I switch to low beam, but that is without the engine running. Tomorrow, I'll check the voltage on the plug and clean the bulb and make sure it is in the light correctly.

Personally I think you should check the voltage with the bulb connected to the socket, the Captain is always right!!

but in this case, checking voltage at the bulb with the bulb disconnected, it will show full battery voltage cause the light does work. there is no load (bulb) on the open circuit. and there for it will not show a voltage drop or poor connection.

with the bulb loading the closed circuit, you will show less than battery voltage (if you have a poor connection in the wiring or bulb socket) when you connect your meter leads to the back side of the bulbs connector terminals.
a voltage drop will be due to poor switch contacts, or a bad ground.

if you have only 10 volts at the bulb, move the ground lead to the frame somewhere, if it comes up to say 11v or better, you have a bad ground.
if the voltage reading stays the same you have voltage drop through the switches.
some voltage drop through the switches is normal but it should be minimal. (hopefully less than 2 volt, less than 1 would be considered good)

remind you, this test will not prove a bad connection between the headlight socket and the bulb.
that will have to be determined with a wiggle test, and a visual inspection.

White Dog 09-23-2013 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrapdog2grand (Post 2268778)
You have a bad ground for the headlight bulb.
this causes the high beam indicator to light up, as the low beam grounds through the bulbs highbeam filament and bulb circuit as well.

Would a bad ground cause the low beam to be very dim?

Scrapdog2grand 09-23-2013 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by White Dog (Post 2270066)
Would a bad ground cause the low beam to be very dim?

yes, probably at the bulb socket.
it would also cause the high beam indicator to light up while dimmer switch is on low beam.

White Dog 09-23-2013 05:49 PM

I think I found part of the problem, in that the PO had soldered the high beam blue wire inside the bulb connector but the solder was not firmly attached to the bulb holder. So, a bit more solder mated the two pieces and I get a brighter low beam now. I'll have to wait until dark to see how much brighter it is but in the garage it looks to be better. Continuity of the green ground wire was good. I tested numerous spots all over the cycle and got zero resistance. Cleaned the bulb with denatured alcohol per service manual. I'll have to see where the light hits to see if I need to raise or lower the bulb. I also am going to check the parts places to see if that connector can be replaced with a plug and play wiring harness?

Still, the dash light still barely glows when the low beam is on. Is it supposed to go out completely?

I sprayed electrical contact cleaner in the hi/lo switch hoping that will help.

White Dog 09-23-2013 09:44 PM

Still have poor low beam
 
With the efforts so far, I still have poor lighting on the low beam and the high beam dash light is dimly lit. Shouldn't that light go off completely when low beam is used? I'm thinking I will purchase a new bulb to see if that will help. May also buy a new plug and wire it in as the spade lugs are somewhat loose in the headlight connector. I may also have to do some testing of the white wire which feeds the low beam part of the bulb.

Anybody have a sure cure I can pursue?

Scrapdog2grand 09-24-2013 09:10 AM

Replaced the left controls, and bulb.
cost less than $100.00 for both and give you years of trouble free use.


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