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Headlight Grounding


Kane
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After trying a few things to fix my headlight woes on my 2001 V11 Sport, such as dismantling and cleaning all headlight assembly connections and replacing the bulb, fuse, and relay under the seat, all to no help, all of a sudden my headlight is working fine. I figure the ground connection is faulty. The schematic shows the black ground wire from the 4 terminal headlight connector going directly to ground.
Does anyone know where the ground terminal connection for the headlight ground wire is on the bike? Looking at the bike, the wire goes into a wiring sleeve and then under the tank. I am not sure if it terminates somewhere under the tank or it re-emerges in another place to terminate. It would be nice to not have to take of the tank if possible, as I have heard what a hassle it is to put it back. Anyone been there?

thank you very much

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Yep. That ground travels back through the entire loom to a ring terminal on the battery. Make certain your battery terminals are clean, tight and treated with some kind of magic like Caig DeOxit Gold®.

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Also, be aware that your early Sport's front Relay #1 has excessive amperage through the weak NC contact. Use a High Current relay (OMRON G8HE Form C) in that position. Otherwise you are pushing close to 15 amps through a weak 10 amp NC contact.

Take the "Livin' Easy Test" for your Relay #1:

 

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After testing some of the wires it seems that the small headlight bucket harness has full continuity on all wires, yet the black wire running from the loom-side four point oval shaped connector back to the battery ground has no continuity. What has me a bit confused is the yellow wire at the same connector has continuity to one of the ring connectors at the battery ground. I’m not sure what the yellow wire is for, but I am pretty sure that the black wire is the ground wire. I am more tempted than before to remove the tank to see the loom as wires are strung tight and hidden. I am not sure why the yellow wire traces to ground, but it seems counterintuitive, yet this is all a bit fuzzy to me at best.  I  need to put this thing back together to get to work tomorrow, so I added a ground jumper wire from the headlamps’s black wire terminal to the frame and that seems to work as a bandaid to get the lights on. 
One thing that I am surprised by is how hot this new Drag Specialties $6 H4 halogen bulb gets. The bike had an LED bulb in it when I got it, and I put in the new bulb to sort things out, but it gets hot! Don’t recall this from the past, but then I never spent so much one-on-one time with my headlight as with this bike.

 

64FAC13C-C75B-4F29-93D1-11FD03E952C7.jpeg

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Yes, black is ground. Isn't yellow the power to the 4 watt "city light"?

With the bulb in place, a continuity test can show continuity to ground through the bulb filament, if I am not mistaken.

Have you serviced the battery's main grounding point on the right rear of the gearbox? This is a critical point to avoid harness damage . . .

IMG_2744.JPG

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5 hours ago, Kane said:

After testing some of the wires it seems that the small headlight bucket harness has full continuity on all wires, yet the black wire running from the loom-side four point oval shaped connector back to the battery ground has no continuity. What has me a bit confused is the yellow wire at the same connector has continuity to one of the ring connectors at the battery ground. I’m not sure what the yellow wire is for, but I am pretty sure that the black wire is the ground wire. I am more tempted than before to remove the tank to see the loom as wires are strung tight and hidden. I am not sure why the yellow wire traces to ground, but it seems counterintuitive, yet this is all a bit fuzzy to me at best.  I  need to put this thing back together to get to work tomorrow, so I added a ground jumper wire from the headlamps’s black wire terminal to the frame and that seems to work as a bandaid to get the lights on. 
One thing that I am surprised by is how hot this new Drag Specialties $6 H4 halogen bulb gets. The bike had an LED bulb in it when I got it, and I put in the new bulb to sort things out, but it gets hot! Don’t recall this from the past, but then I never spent so much one-on-one time with my headlight as with this bike.

 

64FAC13C-C75B-4F29-93D1-11FD03E952C7.jpeg

Solid wire like that has no place on a motorcycle and please use lugs

On a high milage bike you may find the wires are starting to break around the headstock, if you can separator them reef on each wire one at a time, the broken ones will stretch and break.

You can run a short wire from the headlight and ground it to the frame or an engine bolt to bypass the long black wire back to the battery, dont pass any current through the steering bearings.

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7 hours ago, Kane said:

After testing some of the wires it seems that the small headlight bucket harness has full continuity on all wires, yet the black wire running from the loom-side four point oval shaped connector back to the battery ground has no continuity. What has me a bit confused is the yellow wire at the same connector has continuity to one of the ring connectors at the battery ground. I’m not sure what the yellow wire is for, but I am pretty sure that the black wire is the ground wire. I am more tempted than before to remove the tank to see the loom as wires are strung tight and hidden. I am not sure why the yellow wire traces to ground, but it seems counterintuitive, yet this is all a bit fuzzy to me at best.  I  need to put this thing back together to get to work tomorrow, so I added a ground jumper wire from the headlamps’s black wire terminal to the frame and that seems to work as a bandaid to get the lights on. 
One thing that I am surprised by is how hot this new Drag Specialties $6 H4 halogen bulb gets. The bike had an LED bulb in it when I got it, and I put in the new bulb to sort things out, but it gets hot! Don’t recall this from the past, but then I never spent so much one-on-one time with my headlight as with this bike.

 

64FAC13C-C75B-4F29-93D1-11FD03E952C7.jpeg

Honestly, that wiring is shameful. Go into the room of mirrors and have a good hard look at yourself:)

Ciao

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Oh for goodness sake cut the guy some slack. The OP freely admits he's has some difficulty with electrics, which is far from uncommon.

While I agree with the sentiments that solid wire isn't a good idea, he needs to have the bike running to get to work so probably grabbed what he had available and jury rigged a fix.

If I was in that position and needed a "bodge" until I could address the issue properly I would have, most likely, done the same. The only difference being I'd have made a loop by bending the solid wire end around and possibly whacked it with a hammer to flatten it to get better continuity. I'd have also run it onto the engine or frame, relying on current passing through the headstock bearings can be hit and miss.

I agree with @docc yellow is the city light positive, looking at the wiring diagram, I'm surprised that fuse 6 didn't blow when the lights were turned on as a positive supply is then being grounded.

Do you have instrument lights on the speedo and tacho?

Black is the ground as already confirmed.

If your checking continuity the yellow would show resistance as it has to pass through the bulb (around 36 Ohms, if my shocking arithmetic is correct)

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No instruments lights, they went out when all of these lighting issues began. Well I know better now about solid core wire and steering bearing. It was a quick fix with what was on hand. I’ll get some stranded wire on my way home and redo.

Thanks, appreciate your input and advice!

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So I don't know if your continuity check on the yellow wire was a mistake or that wire really was grounded.

If it was/is grounded, you'll have blown fuse 6 and won't have instrument lights, tail light or number plate in addition to the city light

I asked about the instrument lighting as it's tied in directly to the same circuit as the city light.

Might be worth checking Fuse 6 and also if you have a tail light......................just a thought

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