Create your own blog: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17487

Head light

Electrical issues
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
mcraeav
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm
Bikes: 1962 Panhead
Location: Austin, TX

Head light

#1

Post by mcraeav » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:44 am

Should the headlight and tail light come on when the switch is on and the engine is not running on my 62 FLH?



john HD
Moderator
Posts: 3674
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:24 pm
Bikes: '42 WLA X 2, '55FL, '93 Ultra Classic, '91 Fatboy, '97 883, '71 Suzuki Duster 125, '83 GPz 750.

Re: Head light

#2

Post by john HD » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:56 am

first position or second position on your dash switch?

john

mcraeav
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm
Bikes: 1962 Panhead
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Head light

#3

Post by mcraeav » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:46 am

It does not come on in either position of the dash switch.

panz4ever
Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:45 pm

Re: Head light

#4

Post by panz4ever » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:03 am

Well, if you have a 5 pole switch and the switch is turned from 12/6 to 1 o'clock, it is in the 1st position. One more turn to the right and it is in the 2nd position. This is what John was referring to I believe. If your switch is at 12/6 (normally the off position) and your lights are on you have a wiring problem.

On a 5 pole switch, generally the first position gets you started; the second position is for lights (front and rear) while motoring down the road.

FlatHeadSix
Moderator
Posts: 2681
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas

Re: Head light

#5

Post by FlatHeadSix » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:53 am

Mark
As they have said above, you should have lights when you turn the switch if the engine is running or not. When you turn it one click to the right, first position, the idiot lights (OIL and GEN) on the dash should light. One more click to the right, second position, the head and tail lights should come on as well as the idiot lights. The engine should start in either switch position if it is wired coreectly and the battery is hot.

If you have a front fender light (parking light), it should light when the switch is moved one click to the left (11 oclock position). Sometimes the parking light position will light only the tail light, or nothing at all, depending on how it is wired.

bottom line: you should be able to turn on the headlight without starting the engine.

mike

john HD
Moderator
Posts: 3674
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:24 pm
Bikes: '42 WLA X 2, '55FL, '93 Ultra Classic, '91 Fatboy, '97 883, '71 Suzuki Duster 125, '83 GPz 750.

Re: Head light

#6

Post by john HD » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:03 am

mcraeav wrote:It does not come on in either position of the dash switch.
what about your dimmer on the handle bars? is it half way between the hi or low position? the headlight should light in the second position when turned to the right.

john

mcraeav
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm
Bikes: 1962 Panhead
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Head light

#7

Post by mcraeav » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:09 pm

I don't get head light or tail light in the second position but I have idiot lights and brake light and horn. Do I need to check voltage at the switch? Anyone know which terminal sends power to the lights? I looked at the filiments in the bulbs and appear to be OK. My Battery is new and fully charged.

mcraeav
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm
Bikes: 1962 Panhead
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Head light

#8

Post by mcraeav » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:03 pm

Got it fixed; almost. The switch is not making contact on the terminals. If I move the terminals around where the wires are connected they snap and try to make contact. Also noted that a couple get somewhat hot due to the arcing.
Looks like I will be ordering a new switch.

Thanks for the help.

Mark44
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:24 am
Bikes: 1946 WL
1948-ish Pan
1991 FXLR
2000 FXD Dyna Superglide
2007 FXDB Street Bob
Location: Snohomish, WA

Re: Head light

#9

Post by Mark44 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:39 pm

A common problem with these switches is the brass contact rod inside the switch. This rod is shaped somewhat like a dumbbell. After a few years it tends to get flat spots on the ends, and they don't make good contact at all switch positions. You can get some more life out of the switch by rotating the brass rod so that unworn parts now make contact with the switch points.

Somebody (45Restoration?) used to have replacement rods for sale, but the last time I checked about three months ago they didn't stock them anymore.

john HD
Moderator
Posts: 3674
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:24 pm
Bikes: '42 WLA X 2, '55FL, '93 Ultra Classic, '91 Fatboy, '97 883, '71 Suzuki Duster 125, '83 GPz 750.

Re: Head light

#10

Post by john HD » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:09 pm

everything mark said -plus- do not be afraid to put some white lithium grease on the contacts and the dumbell.

a bad switch will drive you nuts!

john

awander
Site sponsor
Site sponsor
Posts: 1187
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 am
Bikes: '52 FL
'64 FLH

Re: Head light

#11

Post by awander » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:40 am

From what I recall, the new repop switches don;t have teh sae contact arrangement as the stock switch.

The attached file shows how I wired my '64 with a repop switch about 16 years ago:
Bikewire.pdf
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

hydra74
Moderator and Panhead Register Member
Posts: 708
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:50 pm
Bikes: 1943 WLC,1955 FL

Re: Head light

#12

Post by hydra74 » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:53 pm

I cleaned up my repop switch by turning the contact rod and polishing the contacts on the plate
after that smooth action and good contact
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

mcraeav
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm
Bikes: 1962 Panhead
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Head light

#13

Post by mcraeav » Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:07 pm

The problem with my switch seems to be where the brass contacts are joined to the silver terminals which go out to the screw holes where the wires are connected. I guess that this is a press fit because some of them seem loose.

Post Reply

Return to “Electrical”