Taillight burn out problem

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jack moghrabi
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:59 pm

Taillight burn out problem

#1

Post by jack moghrabi » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:53 pm

Author: jackmoghrabi

Good morning everyone,

The tailight on my '63 has recently started to burn out prematurely. The light bulb burns out in one or two days. I've replaced the bulb twice and the same thing occurs.
We are in a period of heavy rain in South Florida and I have been letting the bike sit out in the rain a bit (I jump on her during breaks in the rain. Would water or moisture getting into the tailight housing be a cause of this? Any thoughts would be appreciated....JackMO!

Post by 108

Jack-, Are the burnt out bulbs clear , black, or white inside ?

Post by mbskeam

LEDs are they way to go...
do a search on the site and you will find all the info you need

mbskeam

Post by jackmoghrabi

Thanks for the reponse fellas....

Mr. 108 the bulbs are predominently blackish/grey. One of them had the glass shell broken. I've gone through three bulbs todate.
As I've mentioned we are going through heavy rain here in South Florida. Yesterday evening after a stop in the rain, I installed another new bulb and went out for an an hour at night. This morning I took her to work (another hour ride) and the tail is still burning fine. I must admit my tailight housing is not one hundred percent watertight so in heavy rain water will get in (it's the original housing with all the bruises and battlescars). I know water seepage will short out the bulb. But will it make it go black or crack the glass shell? I'm not sure.
I'm running a stock motor except for a 12V bigger than stock battery (a normal motorcycle battery) and the tailight is a common automotive style two nipple bulb ($2.68 for a pair at the auto store). Jack MO.

Post by gearbox

You may be getting voltage spikes , but it could also be vibration, as 108 asked about the way they are burning out . Is it the tail light filament or both brake and tail ? I have been having the same problem with the light rack with bullet lights , one bulb (tail light filament ) burns out about every other ride . I have so far tried about $ 50.00 worth of LEDs in them bullet lights and so far none have survived ( they do last twice as long ). I do have two coming from
www.autolumination.com called Eagle II That are diff. and can't wait to try them( its what they recommended ). I also found a couple of weeks ago , the support bracket for the license plate was cracked all the way and I thought that would take care of it , because I reinforced it , but no , it didn't help.
Like you said , it could be moisture , make sure your base gasket is in good condition and where the wires got thru is sealed with a sealer .

Post by 108

Jackmograbi and fourthgear, If it gets water on the hot bulb, its gonna crack, air gets in and the filiment burns up filling the bulb with smoke/ash. It sound like yours is burning up from high voltage ,a/o vibration thats stretching the filiment , its too thin then and burns up turning the glass gray/black. Have you had it reved up with a volt meter on it ? If the system gets up to 16-17 volts plus the lamp vibrating that could do it! And LED's are a lot more sensitive to over - voltage than bulbs. Are these good name brand bulbs?

Post by gearbox

Got my Eagle Eye II LED bulbs yesterday and man they are bright and well made as far as all the others I have used . Now the test begins , others have not made it .

Post by jackmoghrabi

Good morning everyone,

108 and fourthgear, and you too mbskeam, thanks for all the input. I think my problem was just water getting into the tailight housing and shorting out the bulb. My condo building doesn't like my Pan so I have to softpedal my presence here with the bike . During the day I keep her parked across the street. I sneak her in the building garage at night and pull her out early in the morning (keeping her as quiet as possible). So lately with all the September rain down here in S. Florida I went through three bulbs it seems in just a matter of a few days. It looks as though my problem has gone away though now that the rain has eased up. Since my last posting the bulb I inserted is going fine. Just like she always used to.....JackMO!

Post by gearbox

jack-
Ever think of a cover when its out there in the wild? I know its sacrilegious to do that( covering such a beautiful thing ) ,but it will keep most of the elements out .

Post by jackmoghrabi

Hey Fourthgear,

Of course you're right, a cover will keep the weather out, and it is what I should do. It just strikes me as a little too troublesome since with the bike parked across the street during the day I'd have to walk the cover back into the building everytime I get on her.
By design my '63 is my primary daily transport so I'm on her four, five times a day. Sometimes maybe more. At any rate, you can imagine how much extra trouble that would be lugging a cover back and forth across the street so many times during the day. It's been said on many occasions on this site from the "highest authority" how "forgiving" these machines are (Cotten).....I know that's true and my bike forgives me when she fires up on the first kick after being out in the rain all afternoon. Fourthgear, keep us posted on your new LED's and good luck. JackMO!

Post by skip

Man I hear you on the forgiveness part...mine sat once for 5 years with only a rotting piece of plastic between it and the UNFORGIVING elements...put gas in it and fired right up...didn't even change the oil until I stopped 300 miles later...better than an old dog...God I love my panhead......Skip

Post by mbskeam

jackmoghrabi.......
I know this way off topic,
but does your building have CC&R's that say you cant park your bike there?
do you own your condo?.....if you own it, then park it in YOUR SPACE in the garage, you pay for it......but that is just me, I'd say bring it ON......
very brave to park your bike on the street like that .......

yea water will kill a hot bulb, pop pretty good somtimes....

mbskeam

Post by gearbox

I wanted to ask the same thing about the parking ,but figured Jack- must have had went thru some thing with them already. There are gated communities down here that if you have a motorcycle you have to walk it back to your residence with it shut off . Ya I want to live there , what a bunch of BS , I say let them walk there cages back too.

Post by jackmoghrabi

Gentlemen,

You are all correct.
Condominium living is a joke (don't really want to go into a long story as to why I live here at the moment but I do....).
Do you remember "The Beverly Hillbillies" with Jed making his way through Beverly Hills in his noisy, smoky jalopy? In a way, that's me down here in Boca Raton. The condo complex is truly gorgeous but the residents (most of them anyway) can really be atrocious. They complain, gossip and backstab each other at the slightest provocation. I think it's all they really have to do. Also, in truth, my '63 is loud and she still leaks although I've been getting her better in that regard. At one time I counted seven distinct leaks. I think I've isolated her down to three. Also in honesty, I have been moving very slowly in getting her "leakfree" (if there is such a thing). It's been over a year now that I've promised the building management to fix all the leaks.....About six weeks ago I got served with a letter by the building giving me thirty days to fix the remaining leaks or else park her somewhere else. Well I'm past due. So, I sneak her in at night and pull her out early like I'm treading on eggshells (the security people on the premises smile and wave at me when I do this). Also, my '63 brandishes that original unrestored patina that some folks just don't appreciate like I do--I like unrestored machines on the outside. They just seem more interesting than shiny "perfect" pieces. And Fourthgear, you're right, there are places where they'll make you push the bike once on the premises and others where motorcycles aren't even allowed. The way I ride during the day it's just too much trouble to be pulling in and out of the complex anyway so I'm Ok with her in a relatively secure area across the street. That's the story. JackMO!

Post by gearbox

Jack-
Go down to a sheet metal shop , even some one who fabricates duct work for air conditioning systems and have them make (aluminum,S/S )you a drain pan as long & wide as your bike and park in it ( small lip on the three edges to the front and sides ,leaving one side to drive into it ), in your garage spot .Keep it clean and they really can't say that you are leaking in the road because all them cages do that to a point also . That should satisfy them,hopefully.
My new LED bulbs have about seventy five miles on them and I'm really impressed with there brightness.

Post by skip

Jack:
I have new concrete and a leaky panhead...I bought a 3'x2' aluminum baking (cookie) sheet...it is 1/2 inch deep and works perfect...I got mine at a garage sale, but the restruant supplier here in town sells them for about 15.00 each...they come bigger and smaller...Skip

Post by jackmoghrabi

Fourthgear and Skip,

Until the leaks are fixed, which right now I'm going to prioritize on my list of "things to do," your "oil-catch" suggestions are well noted and appreciated. This is definitely a temporary alternative that I can explore with the management.....In the same token fellas it's really difficult to convey how incredibly strict this place can be when it comes to things like this. There have been times in the past when I've felt this grande magnificent place was no better than a concentration camp (and I'm not the only one, there are other residents here who have expressed the same thing to me--so, I "ain't" the only one). We'll see how it goes. I think the best thing for me is to stop being lazy with the leaks like I have been for so long. I've got leaks coming from my distributor base, front engine sprocket, one from the oil tank and another from the gearbox mainshaft seal. Jack MO!



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Re: Taillight problem

#2

Post by 58flh » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:03 pm

I also went threw what your going through! What i did was got an old tailight fixture from an old chevelle,I ran 1156 bulbs ,A little electrolube on the contacts ,& NO more problem for 11 yrs. now ----58flh

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