How to fix bad headlight switch? - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-04-2009, 04:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
trekkiejt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 122
Default How to fix bad headlight switch?

Here is what happened. I went to leave work the other day and noticed my headlight wasn't on after I started the bike. I flipped it to bright and the light came on so I switched it back and the dim came on, seemed to work fine. By the time the bike had warmed up, the dim did not work at all. It was still dark so I turned my bright on and rode through town. No problem. I got to the highway and the light was still working so I thought the filament had just burned out. Well I am riding up an on-ramp to change highways and my headlight goes completely out. It is recently resurfaced so the pavement is black. It is overcast. No traffic. It is a 20 degree incline and a 120 degree turn with an uneven gravel shoulder on one side and a drop off on the other and I am going 50 mph in full lean. I nearly crapped myself. My light came back on a few feet later just before I made it to the shoulder. It did this another time before I got to the highway. I tapped the switch after I got upright and it worked until I got home. I rode during daylight last week and my buddy rode ahead of me and told me my light (bright) kept going in and out until it eventually died. It hasn't worked since.

It is not the bulb. I replaced that with the original before the switch went all bad and it did the same thing. Replacing the whole assembly (because it is all one unit) will cost me $150 dollars if I can find the part. Any suggestions on what to check to be sure it is the light switch and if so is there a way to repair the original 23 year old one? A friend told me he used to have a '74 CB something or other and the little contacts in his got corroded and he fixed it himself with difficulty.
__________________
1986 VT700C Motorcycle: $1000
Helmet, boots, jacket, and other PPE: $300
Tank of Shell V-Power gasoline: $6
Realizing why the dog hangs his head out the window: priceless
trekkiejt is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-04-2009, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 1,685
Default

You might try this. Someone else posted this link and I saved it for future reference. It is not a headlight switch but the starter switch but it might help you out.

http://www.rattlebars.com/mtz/starter.html
Schattenreiter is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-04-2009, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
adlowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 6,967
Default

And you might want to look into putting in a Gonzo wire harness so it won't happen again. Gonzo's a member here, btw, and gives HSN members a discount.
__________________
Art's 1999 Shadow 1100 ACE
.

Ride bell by Dr. Bob's Patient
adlowe is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2009, 04:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LEAVENWORTH WASHINGTON
Posts: 5,286
Default

If it's the switch it's self that's bad the Gonzo harness won't work either, the harness just takes the heavy amp load off the switch. More than likely the points in the switch need to be cleaned then either the Gonzo set up or a relay can be used.
__________________
Ted
SHADOW 1100T is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2009, 05:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Gonzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Plano Texas
Posts: 1,259
Garage
Default

There are lots of websites already out there that illustrate the removel, dissaembly and cleaning of the Starter switch. This switch when at rest passes current to the hi/lo switch and then to the headlight. Thats where you need to start. Chances are, a catastrophic failure is at hand shortly if the contacts are already mucked up. Clean the contacts and reassemble and read up on it before you do so you do not loose the spring in the switch.

All should be well then.....for the next 23 years... maybe. lol
Gonz
__________________

When does it end? It doesn't....it's a Vicious Cycle!!
Gonzo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2009, 05:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
trekkiejt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 122
Default

Well I took the bike to a friend's house and we cleaned the contacts. It was a pain but we figured out how to do it without taking the actual switch apart which means no springs to worry about. First we opened up the assembly and found the first problem. We could not get it completely apart because the choke cable wouldn't come out of the lever so we decided to do it sideways on the bike. We found the contacts and I noticed that they had corroded a bit and on one end it looked burned. So we sprayed it pretty heavy with contact cleaner and worked the switch back and forth--it worked a little. Then my friend asks if the contact plate can be depressed. So I take a fine point awl and the plate depresses so we put some very fine grit sand paper in there, let the plate up, and worked the switch again. Then took the paper out, sprayed the contacts again, and it works perfectly. Never tried the starter switch. A couple days later and still no problems!
__________________
1986 VT700C Motorcycle: $1000
Helmet, boots, jacket, and other PPE: $300
Tank of Shell V-Power gasoline: $6
Realizing why the dog hangs his head out the window: priceless
trekkiejt is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:32 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
Motorcycle News, Videos and Reviews
Honda Grom Forum Harley Davidson Forum Honda 600RR Forum Kawasaki Forum Yamaha R6 Forum Yamaha FZ-09 Forum
1199 Panigale Forum Roadglide Forum Honda CBR1000 Forum Vulcan Forum Yamaha R1 Forum Yamaha R3 Forum
Ducati Monster Forum Harley Forums Honda CBR250R Forum ZX10R Forum Star Raider Forum Yamaha Viking Forum
Suzuki GSXR Forum V-Rod Forums Honda Shadow Forum Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum Star Warrior Forum KTM Duke 390 Forum
SV650 Forum BMW S1000RR Forum Honda Fury Forum Kawasaki Versys Forum Drag Racing Forum Ducati 899 Panigale Forum
Suzuki V-Strom BMW K1600 Triumph Forum Victory Forums Sportbikes BMW NineT Forum
Volusia Forum BMW F800 Forum Triumph 675 Forum MV Agusta Forum HD Street Forum Suzuki GW250 Forum
Yamaha Motorcycles Victory Gunner Forum Honda Vultus Forum HD LiveWire Forum Ninja H2 Forum Ducati Scrambler Forum Kawasaki Ninja 250SL Forum