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Old 09-16-2014, 08:15 PM   #1
silverhead OP
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R90/6 Headlight not working

Now that I have a headlight assembly for my bike I'm trying to get the headlight working.

The Pacifico fairing wiring was hooked up with those stupid clip splices. I removed them all and thankfully none of my wiring is destroyed other than where the insulation was cut into.

That said, I am trying to power an H4 bulb and not getting any lights.

What's interesting is if I power the little running bulb, it lights up with key on. But the 55w bulb won't light up at all on the same circuit.

Also, the flash-to-pass momentary switch on the bars flashes the high beam even with the bike having the key off. But when the bike is key-on or even running, I get no headlight low or high beam. I've tried the three positions of the yellow switch on the handlebars.

Am I missing something obvious or is there a wiring fault to be found?

Also, does the headlight turn on even with the bike not running?

I pulled both of the fuses back in the headlight bucket and cleaned the ends with steel wool and used dielectric grease on them. The contacts on the circuit board back there look clean and perfectly good.

My other lights work (tail, brake, and turn signals, as well as the instrument lights.)

Thanks for any diagnostic help.

I presume the dangling black/gray wire is a ground wire that hooks to the spade connector on the headlamp housing?

The four colored wires I'm working with are yellow, white, brown, and black/gray.

I get 12V measured black gray to any of the three other wires (yellow, white, brown.) And like I said, the tiny little running light bulb lights up, but there's not enough current or something to power the H4 bulb.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:23 PM   #2
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Am reading http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/headlightrelay.htm

Yet another first for me.. A bike with relays for the headlamp. My hunch is something is amiss in the relay since the yellow switch is working to control my gauge back lighting.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
...the flash-to-pass momentary switch on the bars flashes the high beam even with the bike having the key off.
Normal-- the overtake flasher is wired into the "before the key switch" bus. I've been concerned about it being wired like that and have installed an extra fuse (8-10A) on that light circuit.

Quote:
The four colored wires I'm working with are yellow, white, brown, and black/gray.

I presume the dangling black/gray wire is a ground wire that hooks to the spade connector on the headlamp housing?
Yellow=low beam
White=High beam
Blk/Gry=parking light in headlight reflector (and the instrument lamps) should be fused.
Brown=Ground (always)

Could be a number of things-- best thing to do is get a schematic and start tracing.

Quote:
Am reading http://bmwmotorcycletech.info...
Son, that'll make you go blind and grow hair on you palms...



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Old 09-17-2014, 06:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post

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Tell me about it.. I can only take so much 10 point font on yellow.


Brown as ground. I had forgotten about that since other bikes use green there. Whoever installed the Pacifico fairing cut the brown pigtail wire from the headlight 3 lead harness that would plug into the ground spade on the reflector. They must have assumed it was +12v Also they had clipped the Pacifico ground lead to the gray/black wire. I wonder how their headlamp even worked?


And it makes sense about black/gray wire on the pilot bulb since I was using brown as the other lead haha.

So we have established that ground is working. I guess that's a start.

Yellow and white wires most likely feed into that relay which hopefully comes apart so I can clean it. If not, I may substitute some other relay from my parts bin. I've owned about 20 Volvo 240 cars in the past, so I have a collection of working Bosch relays of all sorts
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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Tonight I analyzed the relay. I pulled it out of its aluminum housing to check its condition and I manually clicked over the contacts and my headlight turned on.




Can any of you help me decipher which wires do what?

From my best guess (I'm not an electrician) the brown wire is ground, the green wire is powered and when energized it should complete a circuit with the brown wire, which then throws the solenoid in the relay to connect the red wire and the yellow wire OR the red wire and the blue wire?

Red to yellow = low beam.

Red to brown = electrical fire.

That's about as far as I got tonight.

It appears that the relay is probably OK but the signal to the green wire is not being sent from the handlebars. That's my best guess at this point.

I have the pilot light bulb wired up in the headlamp bucket and it turns on with they key and can be turned on/off with the yellow handlebar switch just like my backlighting for the speedo and tach.

So it seems like the yellow switch on my bars is at least partially working.


It also seems like I could rig up an toggle switch between the yellow and red wires on the relay to manually turn on the headlight to low beam so I don't get killed while riding around for the time being.


The little pilot light gives off enough light to make me legal, but that's about it.

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Old 09-17-2014, 10:33 PM   #6
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You're close.

Your "Yellow" is a Yellow-white (Ge-Ws on a german schematic)
Your "Green" is a Green-grey (Gn-Gr on a german schematic)

The "stripe" is sometimes important.

In general, and without digging into an R90/6 schematic, "Red" is always hot. "Green" is switched by the ignition switch, and Gn-gr is a variation on that. "Yellow-White" is the primary headlight wire from the "headlight switch", after the "handlebar (dimmer) switch" it becomes White (high beam) and Yellow (low beam). "Blue" is typically the Alternator warning light/diode board, I'm not sure what it does in this context. "Brown" is the ground.

And attached is a quick dwg of the relay.

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Old 09-17-2014, 10:59 PM   #7
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So are my thoughts for testing the relay correct?

Jump the hot red wire to the green/purple wire to trip the solenoid?

The 'blue' wire I mention is actually gray. It looks blue in my phone photo, but it is most likely gray.

I've dug up the schematic in the Clymer manual for the 1975 /6 bikes and the wire is gray on the diagram and runs to one of the fuses which supplies power to the turn signals and a bunch of other small bulbs.

Those lights are all working and apparently gray is hot without needing the relay to trip.

The green wire is green/purple and hooked to the "light main switch" which gets juice from the "ignition and light switch" from a solid green wire. My guess is that something is messed up in the "light main switch" which I assume is the Hella plastic junky switch on the handlebar.

The confusing part now is differentiating what they refer to as the "light main switch" from the "headlight dimmer switch" which supposedly has the features "flash, low, high, and off"

Is the yellow flipper on the left handlebar the "light main switch" and the "headlight dimmer switch" is the left half of that rocker switch part of the controls that flashes the high beam to pass people and controls low and high beam (and apparently off?)

I think I have the wiring figured out. I also think I know what the answer is.. A new Hella switch assembly. The ball bearing and spring fell out of the yellow flipper tonight when I was messing with it trying to get it apart to clean it all out. I was never successful getting the switch apart into pieces and didn't want to break it any further :)
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Old Yesterday, 04:46 AM   #8
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OK-- Grey (Gr) is secondary lighting-- the tail light, the parking light in the headlight, the instrument illumination. It may go to a fuse and become Gray-black (Gr-sw)


Quote:
Jump the hot red wire to the green/purple wire to trip the solenoid?
Nope. The Gn-ws wire should go hot when the ignition switch is turned ON. Touch (or connect) the Red (Rt) to terminal 84 or 85 ( the two "side" terminals on the relay) while 85 or 84 (the other terminal of the pair) is connected to Br (ground). Relay should click.

Let me hit the /6 schematic and refresh my memory-- that wiring is way different than the /2/5 I'm used to. Green is switched hot from the Ignition switch, as is a Green-white (works the same way, but to a different circuit).


And reading down to the bottom:
Quote:
I also think I know what the answer is.. A new Hella switch assembly. The ball bearing and spring fell out of the yellow flipper tonight when I was messing with it trying to get it apart to clean it all out. I was never successful getting the switch apart into pieces and didn't want to break it any further :)
Ah ha. That would do it. Small springs may be got at an Ace Hardware, maybe small bearing balls, too.

There was a dang good handlebar switch refurbishment thread a while back. Let me dig, unless someone remembers it.

--Bill
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 AM   #9
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A refurbishment thread would be awesome to read. I couldn't figure out how the switch came apart without forcing something. I removed the E clip from the yellow flipper and that's when the ball fell out and the spring revealed itself to be 'sprung.'
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Old Yesterday, 08:13 AM   #10
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Ha, that's exactly how far I got with trying to fix the same problem before I decided to scrap the cheesy /6 switchgear and go with the much cooler looking slash five switchgear. A much cleaner and simpler design.
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Old Yesterday, 08:23 AM   #11
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That'd require changing the levers though right?
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Old Yesterday, 08:27 AM   #12
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Yes, it is a slippery slope...

I was really wanting a 74 model from the get go but the best bike I could find at the time was a 76. So I'm slowly turning it back in time, just need to find a kick starter assembly now.
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Old Yesterday, 08:58 AM   #13
Bill Harris
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Found it:

Rebuilding Handlebar Switches on /6
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=462864

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Old Yesterday, 10:45 AM   #14
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Thanks! I needed to read that exactly 24 hours ago ;)

Now I know why the yellow switch didn't pop out.
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Old Yesterday, 01:40 PM   #15
Bill Harris
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It took me forever to find that thread. "Switch", "Handlebar" and "/6" are common keywords. Finally remembered one that I used that was unique

As I said, that is one of the best how-to's that I've ever seen.

Now, git them lights fixt...

-Bill
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