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Thread: Wits End. R65 Headlight issue -- Stays on no matter what.

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  1. #1
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    Wits End. R65 Headlight issue -- Stays on no matter what.

    I have an R65 12/78 production date. I have done a fair amount of work on the bike and I'm finally happy with the interim rebuild. However, I have one issue that is killing me. I'm wondering if anyone has a clue. I have a headlight that will not shut off (ever). I am aware of the headlight relay and it appears to be functioning properly. When the bike is started, the light (which is always on) does, in fact, shut off during the crank. So, I literally have to pull the headlight relay out to shut off the light. Everything else (lightwise) is working like it should (high, low, etc.) and I have cleaned, sanded, and checked all grounds and relay receptacles. Thanks in advance.

    -- Michael.

  2. #2
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Maybe your switch where you insert the key?
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K75s, R65LS, R60/5

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    +1 on the key switch, it sounds like it is not shutting off power to the load shed relay.
    Bob Weis
    '04 K12RS - Hannigan Hack
    www.earplugco.com

  4. #4
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    Are you sure all the wiring is original? A double (twin) green wire on the ignition switch goes to the headlamp relay. The single green wire on the ignition switch (labeled 56) feeds the kill switch and most everything else other than lights. Removing the double green wire on the ignition switch (labeled 15) should allow the bike to run normally but no headlamp.

    Edit: Upon looking at my 1978 Clymers manual, terminal 56 on the ignition switch goes to the headlamp - that is the single green wire. Terminal 15 is shown to go to the kill switch, etc. I was using a wiring diagram from the web. The Clymers diagram has the correct ignition switch terminal numbers along with the Haynes diagram (in the book).

    If you think the wiring is original - or at least has not been rearranged - and the ignition switch is faulty there may be another fix. I installed a SPST 12V relay from the local auto parts store energized by the single green ignition switch wire (labeled 56) after measuring some low voltages that may have been due to poor contacts. The relay links the red wire (power) to the double green and single green wire when the switch is in the run position and reduces the current load on the switch. An extra red and green wire were needed for the relay.

    Attached is a photo of my '78 ignition switch with original wiring:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Stan_R80/7; 01-14-2013 at 11:47 AM.
    Stan

    AH# 13238

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Your problem is the relay.

    It can't be anything else.

    The fact the headlight cuts off during starting is not relevant, as this action takes off the constant power, which otherwise is always there. The power from the headlight switch (or the other source if no headlight switch) normally activates the relay to transfer the constant power out, and the internals of the relay are stuck or jammed so that it makes no difference what happens with switched power.

    The fact you need to remove the relay is your clue the relay is toast.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  6. #6
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    I expect Chris is correct. At least it is more likely than the switch having the headlamp connections fuzed or stuck together. My problem was lack of continuity - not anything stuck 'on'.

    Also, the headlight relay has the same red (power) wire as the ignition switch so a stuck headlamp relay will keep the light on. A quick check on the relay is to listen for a 'click' in the headlight assembly when the switch is turned to run. If there is no 'click' then the relay is stuck open. A tap with the handle of a screwdriver on the relay may 'unstick' the contacts - they are normally open. If the double green wire from the ignition switch is disconnected and the headlamp remains on - it is the headlamp relay. Good luck!

    Edit: as noted in the edited post above, terminal 56 from the ignition switch (which I believe has two wires on a '79 R65) is disconnected to check the headlamp relay.
    Last edited by Stan_R80/7; 01-14-2013 at 11:49 AM.
    Stan

    AH# 13238

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