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Old 11-30-2012, 06:07 AM   #1
Sabre170 OP
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Headlight and wires

Ok, so this is a bit of a spin off from my previous "post of panic" ("Complete Loss of Electrical Power"). During my initial trouble shooting and spark chasing, I had to get into the headlight bucket.....and man, that is such a birds nest of wires. One of the thoughts I had in my mind before I found my solution was that possibly the headlight got hot enough with a wire touching the back side of the glass, and melted a wire. *This was especially a fresh thought in my mind as I had only installed the headlight glass a few days prior to this incident. When I installed the glass, I had a particularly hard time getting it to fit in there with all the wires, having to kinda force the glass in place (knowing for sure there HAD to be wires touching the glass). *This then made me think of 2 questions:

1) does the glass (with headlights on) get hot enough to melt wires if they are touching the glass?

2) what have you found is the best/easiest way to get the glass mounted? I kinda shoved all the wires back and to the sides, but am curious if there are better techniques out there.*
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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I assume by "glass" you're talking "reflector." No trick that I'm aware of. It's the center of the bucket that needs room for the bulb socket. I think the insulation on the BMW wiring inside the bucket is pretty robust. Haven't heard of too many (read that: "any") bucket fires from contact with the reflector.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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More likely heat from a short-circuit to melt the insulation...

I have always just pushed wires away from the center, and towards the back, and have had no issues.....

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Old 11-30-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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If it's a real birds nest, maybe you can simplify and clean up the bucket by coiling and strapping like wires together, or even removing some unused ones that a PO might have put in there at one time.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RaystheBMW View Post
If it's a real birds nest, maybe you can simplify and clean up the bucket by coiling and strapping like wires together, or even removing some unused ones that a PO might have put in there at one time.
It helps to paint the bucket insides white,, and to neatly strap wires together with zip ties...

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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....'nuther one.....

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post



....'nuther one.....

Holy OCD, Batman!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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Cool! Thanks for all your replies! Good info!

Yeah, that second set of wires is pretty impressive! I like your fuse mod in the first bucket to use more "modern" fuses!
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
Big Bamboo
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Holy OCD, Batman!
I think that's pretty close to how the factory did it. Keeps the center part of the shell clear for the headlight plug, easy on off when every thing lays in there all nice and access to the fuses, too!
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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The first time I Opened One Up, I was skeered... but the wiring is really very logical and "Germanic".... those wires are all color coded and simply plug into the board where the color matches... and they are well built, so you can pull the wires out, paint it white, and plug them back while neatening-it... if you said I was OCD to my friends, they would look at you like you wuz nuts....I am the king of "make it simple, make it work".... nope, just wanted to make sense of it all!!

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #11
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So, I decided to take RaystheBWM's advice and take a look to see if there were any "add-ons" from the previous owner...sure enough there was a good amount of wires that were added. There were also a bunch of wires that were simply "cut" but left in there (wires to accessory lights and other non essential things). I did a bit of "house keeping" in there. *After removing the excess wires (shown in the second photo), the glass reflector was able to fit MUCH easier!

Before photo:


This is a photo of all the "extra" wires I was able to remove that we're not being used or were "added on" by the previous owner.*
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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Looking good. You might need a turn signal relay...
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:25 AM   #13
Bill Harris
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Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post
It helps to paint the bucket insides white,, and to neatly strap wires together with zip ties...

That is SOOOO nice. Years ago I crunched my headlight bucket and replaced it, but didn't think of painting the inside a light color. I did neatly group my wires of similar function, harness, etc, and it makes troubleshooting so much easier even after decades.

Since I rarely, if ever, ride the bike without the fairing and the (new to me) Hannigan is more trouble to remove than the old Windjammer, and once I start using the 6-1/2 gallon "non-Toaster" tank I'll even have to remove the tank to remove the fairing, I'm considering a different fuse arrangement than inside the headlight bucket. I use the same "ATO" blade fuses that you do. I rarely have to replace a a fuse (perhaps once a decade) but it'll be when you are travlling and on a cold a drizzly night.I've not been a fan of those "drill the headlight bucket" electronic fuse holders, but I'll come up with something neat and tidy.

FWIW...

--Bill
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