Author Topic: tail light problem  (Read 3638 times)

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Offline billp47

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tail light problem
« on: February 22, 2013, 08:07:36 pm »
Have a 2003, strange problem started happening lately, when I turn the key on sometimes the tail light will not come on (the front running lights come on ok), when I start the bike the tail light may or may not come on, I had replaced both tail light bulbs a few months ago because one had burned out, no problem until this started happening. I have found that when this happens if I turn the key all the way to the right to "parking" the light comes on & if I put it back on "start" it stays on. I installed the heavy duty J-box (Buck box) a few months ago when the voltage regulator was having problems. The brake light has worked perfectly the whole time. Could there be a problem with the ignition switch or a relay buried somewhere? This has caused me to do something we ALL should do before we venture forward on our iron horses, check the lights before we leave wherever we are, running lights, turn signal lights, head light, brake light (tires too). I found out about the tail light one morning on my way to work at 4:45 am (no traffic to speak of yet), it was VERY foggy, I was turning left at a light and a nice lady in a car pulled up next to me and asked me if I knew my tail light was out, she was concerned about my safety because she didn't see me until she was right on top of me, I didn't, I thanked her and immediately pulled into a parking lot after making the turn, sure enough no light, hit the brake & that worked, I decided to go ahead & go to work which was closer than going back home, by the time I got to work (about 10 miles) it was working again, I thought GREAT, I have a short which is usually a bear to find & I'm electrically challenged. Anyway, the "parking" back to "start" on the ignition switch is a work around right now but I'm concerned that will eventually fail too, any words of wisdom?
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Offline BBroj

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 10:53:01 pm »
Sounds like the problem is in the ignition switch. I have not done this, but have read that they do come appart and can be cleaned/lubed, I've done it on previous bikes. I don't have the wiring diagram in front of me, but am pretty sure the brake light is always "live" and does not go through the ignition switch, but I could be wrong. My guess is that the switch is burned/dirty/worn in the "on" position and coming at it from the opposite position (going past, then turning back) puts the contacts in a better position.
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Offline kd50

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 10:59:08 pm »
I would think switch also but I would check the wire's going to the j-box to be safe. I had some loose and corroded wires on mine that needed work. Unless this was done when the new box was snapped on. I am sure someone will chime in who has been there and done that.
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 12:17:31 am »
I would start with the easy stuff, swap out the fuse with a fresh one, then check
the plug connector at the back behind the seat.  A loose connection may show
similar symptoms.  On the '06 it's a red wire for the rear lights (help you spot the 3-wire plug). 

That red wire does run all the way up to the ignition switch... even stays red, so
that would be my second place to look.  There's two red wires at the ignition
switch, cleaning up both connections may yield results.  There's a big 'ol plug
that circuit runs through up front too. 

You said you weren't very inclined with electrics, if you want a wire schematic, PM
me, and I can e-mail you one from the Ma-Kaw service manual.

This is a photobucket image I've already got up, just ignore the highlights... red wires
are at the ignition switch... bottom one goes to the rear lights.




Hope this helps!
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 09:32:49 pm »
... when I turn the key on sometimes the tail light will not come on (the front running lights come on ok), when I start the bike the tail light may or may not come on, I had replaced both tail light bulbs a few months ago because one had burned out, no problem until this started happening......

I suggest pulling both bulbs back out, and with the ignition off, scrub both sockets contact surfaces with 200 grit sandpaper, and also the bulb contacts....
doesn't take much to keep them from working...while I have seen a few bad switches, more often the problems are simpler. :great:

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Offline tim_cannon

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 09:42:10 pm »
I suggest pulling both bulbs back out, and with the ignition off, scrub both sockets contact surfaces with 200 grit sandpaper, and also the bulb contacts....
doesn't take much to keep them from working...while I have seen a few bad switches, more often the problems are simpler. :great:

+1  I had similar intermittent problems with a rear turn signal.  When I pulled everything apart, I found that water had been leaking in and corroding back side of the contacts.  It was dry when I opened it, but the corrosion was causing the turn signal to not get power once in a while.  I cleaned it with WD40, wire brush, sand paper and compressed air.
Tim
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Offline Lasherman

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 08:28:26 pm »
Anybody figure this out? Mine is doing the exact same. Tail lamps only work when i go from park to run......bulbs new, good contacts....maybe replace ignition switch? I can hear the j-box click when i change key positions.

Offline BBroj

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 09:08:02 pm »
Anybody figure this out? Mine is doing the exact same. Tail lamps only work when i go from park to run......bulbs new, good contacts....maybe replace ignition switch? I can hear the j-box click when i change key positions.

This one clearly sounds like the ignition switch, the electric portion of course, not the key lock portion. The brass contacts inside wear and corrode in the normal "on" position, but are fine in the initial contact area before they click into place. I have disassembled and reworked a switch on a previous bike, someone here may know if it's possible on the Connie.
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Offline SmokinRZ

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 05:49:07 pm »
Mine has acted up on few occasions including a few weeks ago.  Took the seat off and jiggle the wires and it comes back on.  I need to do a proper cleaning of the connections.   

Offline WillyP

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Re: tail light problem
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 06:10:32 pm »
I have disassembled and reworked a switch on a previous bike, someone here may know if it's possible on the Connie.


Someone does, in fact it's written up in the wiki section: refurbishing the ignition switch
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