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Headlight Issues. Advice?


RXX
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I just took the clothes off the bird last night to resolve a few issues:

 

1. New LED lights in dashboard

2. New USB port that provides sufficient output to run a device all day long

3. Remove manual fan switch

4. Something buggy about my high beam

 

It may be the switch.

 

Low beam works fine, some flickering at low RPM, maybe change out with a new ballast?

High beam: does not cut on a LOT of the time. Low beam stays on, but high does not kick in until several minutes. Then it works fine until it is de-energized. Then same shit.

Voltage was tested last night. Low beam does show V on high/low, high is dead on both (tested on the switch side of the ballasts).

 

I have a new light/ballast just in case, but am leaning towards some issue in the switch.

 

Advice?

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Ballast?   What aftermarket bulbs are you using as the bird does not come with ballasts as stock?

 

Anyway, try a spray electrical cleaner into the switch as a first go. 

 

What is your running voltage?

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9 minutes ago, fizzy said:

Ballast?   What aftermarket bulbs are you using as the bird does not come with ballasts as stock?

 

Anyway, try a spray electrical cleaner into the switch as a first go. 

 

What is your running voltage?

 

HID low/high beams. Running V WNL. 

Contact cleaner. Duh. What a great idea. Will try this morning.

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If it is in the budget, you should look at LED headlights. Good ones are more compatible with the reflectors in the bird shell than HID + they are instant on. 

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33 minutes ago, fizzy said:

If it is in the budget, you should look at LED headlights. Good ones are more compatible with the reflectors in the bird shell than HID + they are instant on. 

 

 

Thanks for the advice!

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Sounds like the switch.  With the key off, spray some contact cleaner in it and flip it back & forth several times and you might get lucky.  I don't think I've ever tried to take a Bird one apart to clean it right, but if that's possible it's your best bet.

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I had to replace a failed hi/low switch once on a XX, and once on the China bike.  I thought it was just me.

 

Here's what worked VERY well in the XX...  

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NXS9RHB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

6A51B1BB-DC49-4047-9762-8400FC48298B_1_105_c.jpeg

 

 

A small mod of the brown adapter thingy was required, with a Dremel.

 

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Does the low beam stay on when high beam is on? I forget.

Deep clean of switch with contact cleaner didn't work. I am going to swap out headlight relay on other bird next. 

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If this is my bike you’re talking about, the HIDs take time to reach full brightness.  You don’t notice it on low beam because it’s always on.  The high beam gets no power until you turn it on.  The ballast has to charge and the bulb will reach full brightness in a few seconds (15-20).  I noticed this on a trip at night when I went to flash my high beams and found them somewhat insipid.  I made it a practice to occasionally turn on the high beam because when you cut it off, the ballast slowly discharges…putting you back at square one.

 

The only time I saw flickering was if the lights just came on and a turn signal was operating…but I think it only happened when the bike was on but not running.  Until, the ballast is full, the turn signal introduces enough drain to make it cut out.

 

I think the company that made the system is DDM.  If they are still around, you can ask if this is normal or a sign of a failed ballast.

 

That said, I went LED in the BMW, and it seems to do well at putting out more light than the OEM bulbs.

Edited by Zero Knievel
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Most bikes have switches which are unsealed and can easy be taken apart for cleaning. Pretty sure the bird is the same. There is just a little copper bar that rocks with actuation, just wipe off and scotch Brite the contacts and it'll be fine. The grease used on the switch pivot seems to spread around over time.

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54 minutes ago, mikesail said:

Most bikes have switches which are unsealed and can easy be taken apart for cleaning. Pretty sure the bird is the same. There is just a little copper bar that rocks with actuation, just wipe off and scotch Brite the contacts and it'll be fine. The grease used on the switch pivot seems to spread around over time.

 

 

You’d think that it would have evolved..........

 

1968 Moto Guzzi

 

 

9FD3D4B2-38AD-4683-B1DF-1F43299A95B3.jpeg

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3 hours ago, mikesail said:

Most bikes have switches which are unsealed and can easy be taken apart for cleaning. Pretty sure the bird is the same. There is just a little copper bar that rocks with actuation, just wipe off and scotch Brite the contacts and it'll be fine. The grease used on the switch pivot seems to spread around over time.

 

I've only ever managed to make them worse.

 

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I am diving into the relay tomorrow. Little Feat tonight.

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19 hours ago, RXX said:

Thanks, Mike.

Since you had no power at the ballast input it's not a ballast charging time issue that Mike spoke of.

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Right. I have disassembled the switch, cleaned it and tested it. The switch is working flawlessly. I have swapped out headlight relay, no luck. There may be an issue in the starter switch, since the path travels to/from there.

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I believe the starter switch kills high and low through a single contact, probably by interrupting power or ground to the relays, and couldn't be the problem for just one.  When you say it works flawlessly, did you check for power at the ballast inputs again?  If so the problem isn't the switch or relay, there's either a problem with the ground for the high beam or it has a bad ballast or lamp.  My assumption is that the ground is permanent on, directly chassis grounded and not switched, and the positive is what is switched.  If you have a bulb you can connect for testing it would help.  You might have power and ground that looks good on a meter, but if either has high resistance it won't be enough to power a bulb, or the ballast.

 

If you want I can check the electrical schematic in my manual to make sure my assumptions are correct; it's a '97?

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1 hour ago, superhawk996 said:

I believe the starter switch kills high and low through a single contact, probably by interrupting power or ground to the relays, and couldn't be the problem for just one.  When you say it works flawlessly, did you check for power at the ballast inputs again?  If so the problem isn't the switch or relay, there's either a problem with the ground for the high beam or it has a bad ballast or lamp.  My assumption is that the ground is permanent on, directly chassis grounded and not switched, and the positive is what is switched.  If you have a bulb you can connect for testing it would help.  You might have power and ground that looks good on a meter, but if either has high resistance it won't be enough to power a bulb, or the ballast.

 

If you want I can check the electrical schematic in my manual to make sure my assumptions are correct; it's a '97?

No, a '99. I have a manual. 

Sort of grasping at straws now. May be a bad ground, dunno. I had it working. Working. Working. Put her clothes back on and.......Fuck.

 

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2 hours ago, RXX said:

No, a '99. I have a manual. 

Sort of grasping at straws now. May be a bad ground, dunno. I had it working. Working. Working. Put her clothes back on and.......Fuck.

 

Well, it's progress.  If it worked until you had it back together, something got jostled.

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