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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks, my turn signals that I ordered came in the mail today, and I was mocking them up to make sure they work. I got the bike without signals, as a previous owner had laid it down and broken them, so I'm trying to figure this one out.
Can anybody explain which wire goes where?

Each signal has 3 wires, as shown below. 1 red, 1 black w/white stripe, 1 black.


Now here are the connectors that I found hiding in the wiring, that seem to be related to the turn signals. 3 of these (1 orange, 1 green, and 1 light blue) have spots for 2 wires, the 4th (orange) has a single spot for a wire. The 4th was never hot, and I'm guessing it's a ground for something. All the wires had some voltage, and whenever I turned on the turn signal, 1 wire would go up a few volts.


So which wire goes where? I tried hooking up the red wire from the signal to the wires that went up in voltage when I hit the turn signal, the black with white wires to the one that never changed voltage, and the black solid wires together into the socket that was always 0volts.
But I ended up with this situation, where the turn signals light up all the time, until I flip the signal switch then only 1 is on.


However, in this process something shorted out, I blew a fuse or 2, and now no signals work. Somehow, my whole dash started flashing whenever I hit the left turn signal. I found 2 blown fuses, are they both related to the turn signals?
 

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1 will be for ground, 1 will be the running light and 1 will be for the signal. Most likely the black is ground, Get a couple jumper wires, ground the 1 wire, then touch power to each of the other wires of the new turn signal to see if you are lighting the running/ will be not to bright, or the signal/ which will be considerably brighter and connect to the harness accordingly

While you bike is in the on selection, take a test light to the harness ans see which wire is on constantly, that will be your running light. Turn on your signals, that wire will be the one that flashes.

Put the test light on the pos bat terminal and probe the wires, key off, the one that lights will be your ground. You should really have a schematic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so the turn signals should be on at all times as running lights?
when i hooked it up the first time it just sounded like it was blinking a little faster than normal (not fast enough to sound shorted out)

the signals didn't come with any paper showing which wire was for the running lights, so i just guessed.
can anybody verify if the red wire is for flashing, and the black/white wire for running lights?
 

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1 will be for ground, 1 will be the running light and 1 will be for the signal. Most likely the black is ground, Get a couple jumper wires, ground the 1 wire, then touch power to each of the other wires of the new turn signal to see if you are lighting the running/ will be not to bright, or the signal/ which will be considerably brighter and connect to the harness accordingly

While you bike is in the on selection, take a test light to the harness ans see which wire is on constantly, that will be your running light. Turn on your signals, that wire will be the one that flashes.

Put the test light on the pos bat terminal and probe the wires, key off, the one that lights will be your ground. You should really have a schematic.
so the turn signals should be on at all times as running lights?
when i hooked it up the first time it just sounded like it was blinking a little faster than normal (not fast enough to sound shorted out)

the signals didn't come with any paper showing which wire was for the running lights, so i just guessed.
can anybody verify if the red wire is for flashing, and the black/white wire for running lights?
Re read what I wrote. The bulbs have 2 filaments, thus having 2 wires plus the ground. The "softer", less bright filament, for the running light, the brighter for the turn signal.

No, they should not be on at the same time unless the turn signal is on.
 

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On most Hondas, you have a running and turn signal light on the front, turn signals only on the rear. Rebels are an exception - no running lights. Do what Big B described with a test light. If you don't have a 12V tester or meter, stop now and get something (auto parts place, Northern Tool, etc).

Many models, VLXs for example, are wired so the front running light on that side goes out when the turn signal flashes so you need to test all wires in all operating scenarios to find out who be doin' whut to who. Just wiring stuff up will get you trouble and part ownership in a fuse manufacturing company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I tested the signals out against the battery and found something interesting. The bulb has 2 filaments, but only 1 of them ever lights up no matter which wire is connected lol.
It's SLIGHTLY brighter off one of the wires, but the smaller filament never lights up. Wtf.
I guess ill have to run the slightly dimmer one as the running light
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's an 86 VT500C.
It's probably an aftermarket light, I certainly didn't pay up for one from Honda and there was no part number on the bags they came in or markings on the yellow lens.
I had the solid black wire pressed against the negative post on the battery, and hooked up the red and black/white wires to the positive post, first individually, then together.
F'ing weird. I also noticed that when I was plugging them into the connectors, all I had to do was wave the power wire close to a hot wire to get it to light up, no physical contact required!

For the price, I may just say screw it if I can get them to flash consistently without blowing fuses. The daytime running lights will just be brighter than most.
 

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Make sure the bulbs are good. If your battery is weak they won't light correctly as well. I have an 83 vt500 and sometimes the turn signals don't flash until the battery has had a chance to charge at higher RPM. I read on this very forum that the charging system doesn't go to work until something like 3000 rpms and it takes the charging system a little bit of time at speed for the battery to sufficiently recover from even starting the bike. You can check the bulb with a 9v and a bit of wire. Try the negative side of the battery to the bulb housing and the positive to either of the nubs on the side. In my experience the filament that is the longest or farthest from the base will be the running light and the filament closest to the base will be the brighter turn signal or brake light depending upon the application.
 

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As far as the lack of physical contact from your hot wires...Is your bike equipped with a Flux capacitor? 1.2 Gigawatts? Strange. Maybe a short on the bike somewhere. Is the fixture grounded and your pulling voltage through the ground? Like a short or something.

Clean every connection you can find on the bike with contact cleaner or DeOxit, clean the connections at the flasher, remove and clean all of the grounds you can find and go from there. Also check your power at the fusebox. I've heard of some of them going bad. My shadow had it's removed and replaced with mostly electrical tape and hope. I have since added a usable fusebox from radioshack and it works like a champ. A little shot of dialectric grease on the connections certainly can't hurt along with a wiring diagram.

I got my blinkers and electrical gremlins resolved without one but I have yanked out most of my hair out in frustration in the process. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haha well I don't want to lose any hair. I dont know why both power wires result in only the 1 filament lighting up.
Ill do some more testing after a compression test to make sure my engine ain't gonna need work
 
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