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Old 04-16-2013, 03:11 PM   #1
skipn OP
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Headlight switch wiring problem

My '77 R75/7 has a problem with the switch on the handlebar. I've found I have juice to the switch via the green wires, and the little pilot bulb and horn works. However, I have no low beam or high beam. If I flick the rocker down to the "flash hi-beam" the high will come on as long as I hold it down.



I have found I get no current to the yellow wire at all, and will get current to the white wire and the one next to it with the white stripe only when I flick the "pass" switch.

I assume there must be a problem with the rocker switch itself, but I can't figure out how to get it apart to get the rocker out. The wires look like they should just pull out, but they are in really tight, and I fear tearing them up.

I managed to pull the red lever switch for lights out after removing the "c" clip, but buggered the little spring up a bit (got it to work OK again).

Any suggestions on how to diagnose/fix this thing? Or how to get it apart? Or what to do for a replacement (I guess I could splice a non-stock light switch some how)?

Thanks for any help.

skipn screwed with this post 04-16-2013 at 03:30 PM
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
bpeckm
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Speaking of mechanical switches generically.... those momentary-contact (hold for high beam) switches can become clogged with crud. Take the switch off (leave it in the plastic holder) and get yourself some electrical contact cleaner (it leaves no residue) and spray it liberally, while rolling the switch through all positions, over and over and over. Spray it some more, and you will be flushing out the old lubricants, dust and other crud that has accumulated over the years....

Those usually have a tiny ball or some such to give it a detent feel, so keep going until it feels crisp....

Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
skipn OP
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I gave it a go, but no luck with the cleaner. Thanks for the suggestion, tho'.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:42 PM   #4
AntonLargiader
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A brand new switch is only $100~150 from BMW, depending if you want the headlight on/off function.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
skipn OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
A brand new switch is only $100~150 from BMW, depending if you want the headlight on/off function.
I checked out new ones..... wish I had the bucks to fix it the easy way. For now, I'll just have to do daylight riding only.... if it ever stops raining or snowing around here.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipn View Post
My '77 R75/7 has a problem with the switch on the handlebar. I've found I have juice to the switch via the green wires, and the little pilot bulb and horn works. However, I have no low beam or high beam. If I flick the rocker down to the "flash hi-beam" the high will come on as long as I hold it down.



I have found I get no current to the yellow wire at all, and will get current to the white wire and the one next to it with the white stripe only when I flick the "pass" switch.

I assume there must be a problem with the rocker switch itself, but I can't figure out how to get it apart to get the rocker out. The wires look like they should just pull out, but they are in really tight, and I fear tearing them up.

I managed to pull the red lever switch for lights out after removing the "c" clip, but buggered the little spring up a bit (got it to work OK again).

Any suggestions on how to diagnose/fix this thing? Or how to get it apart? Or what to do for a replacement (I guess I could splice a non-stock light switch some how)?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #7
skipn OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm View Post
Speaking of mechanical switches generically.... those momentary-contact (hold for high beam) switches can become clogged with crud. Take the switch off (leave it in the plastic holder) and get yourself some electrical contact cleaner (it leaves no residue) and spray it liberally, while rolling the switch through all positions, over and over and over. Spray it some more, and you will be flushing out the old lubricants, dust and other crud that has accumulated over the years....

Those usually have a tiny ball or some such to give it a detent feel, so keep going until it feels crisp....

Good luck!
I noticed what looked like a piece of metal fall out of the housing after I opened it a second time. Got on my knees with a flashlight in a dark room and found a ball bearing a little smaller than a BB on the floor that had to come from it. Where does it go in the switch, and am I screwed on the rebuild?
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipn View Post
I noticed what looked like a piece of metal fall out of the housing after I opened it a second time. Got on my knees with a flashlight in a dark room and found a ball bearing a little smaller than a BB on the floor that had to come from it. Where does it go in the switch, and am I screwed on the rebuild?
I just answered that.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
skipn OP
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Looks like this switch won't be getting fixed, so I'll be on the hunt for another one. I think I'll just add a ugly generic aftermarket one for the time being.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
skipn OP
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FWIW-- I managed to get the switch back together, and all the mechanisms feel good maybe better than before. Ran a lot of cleaner through it. That's the good news.

Bad news is it still has the same problem, so I made no ground. Sometimes it is best to just walk away for a few.....

Good news is it is still fit to ride. At least in daylight.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #11
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipn View Post
FWIW-- I managed to get the switch back together, and all the mechanisms feel good maybe better than before. Ran a lot of cleaner through it. That's the good news.

Bad news is it still has the same problem, so I made no ground. Sometimes it is best to just walk away for a few.....

Good news is it is still fit to ride. At least in daylight.
You made good progress, you understand how the switch works. But I would have cleaned the contacts with a pencil eraser while you had them open. Anyway, check continuity through the switch right at the switch, then unplug the wires at the main board and check continuity through the switch from there, then continuity on the individual wire legs, etc. Don't assume the problem is the switch. If the continuities are good through the switch but you don't have outgoing power to the switch at the contact board, trouleshoot that from there.

What kind of headlight bulb?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
skipn OP
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Originally Posted by Plaka View Post
You made good progress, you understand how the switch works. But I would have cleaned the contacts with a pencil eraser while you had them open. Anyway, check continuity through the switch right at the switch, then unplug the wires at the main board and check continuity through the switch from there, then continuity on the individual wire legs, etc. Don't assume the problem is the switch. If the continuities are good through the switch but you don't have outgoing power to the switch at the contact board, trouleshoot that from there.

What kind of headlight bulb?
I will do that. It is an H4. Also, I tested it to make sure it wasn't the problem.

I tested the switch's green leads to the hi/lo, and horn and get power, and if I jumper to the wires to the light on the switch, I get light. It just looks like juice in, but none out from the switch, other than the flash switch.

I will continue tracing on the assumption it is not as simple as juice in/juice out, find the break.
Thanks.

skipn screwed with this post 04-18-2013 at 04:50 PM
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
Plaka
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I will do that. It is an H4. Also, I tested it to make sure it wasn't the problem.
Uh-oh. How many watts hi and lo?
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #14
skipn OP
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Phillips 12v 60/55 watt
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #15
Plaka
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Phillips 12v 60/55 watt
Not to bad. I run a whole lot more. A 55/80 is nice. Anyway get the switch sorted out (and you will) then consider putting in a pair of relays to take the load off the switch. Simple enough to do.
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