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Old May 15th, 2021, 06:13 PM   #1
adabbledoo
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Keep blowing headlight relays

I've done a bit of searching around on these forums and found a bunch of helpful information, but nothing quite fits my situation exactly.

I just got this bike and the headlights did not work at all. No light on the dash for the brights when I tried to click them on, so I replaced the relay with one from oreilys. That worked perfect when at idle/warming the bike up. I took it down the road to the gas station and it had died by the time I got there. I swapped relays from the starter circuit and headlight to confirm it died, it did. So I repeated the same process with basically the exact same results.

I'm thinking there is a short somewhere. Does anyone have any pointers on where I should start looking?

Thank you in advance.

Bike is a 2008 250r
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Old May 15th, 2021, 06:34 PM   #2
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I don't have a specific place to look, but it might be a good idea to put a fuse or manual reset type circuit breaker in the circuit to keep from destroying more relays while you troubleshoot.

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Old May 15th, 2021, 06:41 PM   #3
adabbledoo
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Good call!
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Old May 16th, 2021, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
I don't have a specific place to look, but it might be a good idea to put a fuse or manual reset type circuit breaker in the circuit to keep from destroying more relays while you troubleshoot.

Welcome to the board, Corey!
Solid advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by adabbledoo View Post
I just got this bike and the headlights did not work at all. No light on the dash for the brights when I tried to click them on, so I replaced the relay with one from oreilys. That worked perfect when at idle/warming the bike up. I took it down the road to the gas station and it had died by the time I got there. I swapped relays from the starter circuit and headlight to confirm it died, it did. So I repeated the same process with basically the exact same results.

I'm thinking there is a short somewhere. Does anyone have any pointers on where I should start looking?
I'd try to start troubleshooting at the handle bar controls first. There are a number of things that could've happened throughout past ownerships... Casing could've been overtighten and cracked on the inside, contacts could have come loose, wires could've been Jerry-rigged, etc. Once you've gotten all that sorted, start working down the wiring loom for "hot spots". Electrical issues are a huge PITA, but often ignored and most of the time bandaged, only leading to future problems that could potentially become a wild fire.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 10:55 AM   #5
adabbledoo
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Originally Posted by flipstyledsm22 View Post
Solid advice!



I'd try to start troubleshooting at the handle bar controls first. There are a number of things that could've happened throughout past ownerships... Casing could've been overtighten and cracked on the inside, contacts could have come loose, wires could've been Jerry-rigged, etc. Once you've gotten all that sorted, start working down the wiring loom for "hot spots". Electrical issues are a huge PITA, but often ignored and most of the time bandaged, only leading to future problems that could potentially become a wild fire.
For sure. Electrical issues get sketchy

I just did a quick visual inspection of the the controls and the loom. Everything in the controls seemed fine.

I did find some of shoddy wiring left over from a previous owner by the front left turn signal. There was a wire with a bare metal contact (think the inside of a butt connector) that could have touched the tank or frame. And a wire in the back to a turn signal with a melted butt connector.
I fixed both of those for the time being.

Maybe one of those had something to do with it.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 04:06 PM   #6
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The headlight circuit isn't too complicated, though it does have a few things to trip you up.

The relay keeps the headlight turned off when you first turn the key on. One of the yellow wires from the R/R forks off and goes through Diode B to the headlight relay's coil. When you start the engine and the R/R starts generating power, it flips the relay. The output of the headlight relay also forks and goes through Diode B into the coil as well, so that as long as you keep headlight power going through the relay, it keeps it latched. You have to kill the power (i.e. turn off the key) to turn off the relay.

Power is fed from the fusebox on the gray wire into the relay. It goes out on the blue/yellow into the left control (and forks off to the diode/relay as previously mentioned). It also forks off to the low beam, which is always on (after the relay latches). The lo/hi switch in the left control actually just turns power off/on to the high beam, going out on the red/black wire to the high beam and dash indicator.

If there's no obvious short, it could be your R/R. At idle, it would be putting out less than at higher RPMs, so it might be fine as long as it's just sitting there idling. However, as soon as you get it up to speed, it might be putting out too much voltage and killing the relay.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 04:55 PM   #7
adabbledoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
The headlight circuit isn't too complicated, though it does have a few things to trip you up.

The relay keeps the headlight turned off when you first turn the key on. One of the yellow wires from the R/R forks off and goes through Diode B to the headlight relay's coil. When you start the engine and the R/R starts generating power, it flips the relay. The output of the headlight relay also forks and goes through Diode B into the coil as well, so that as long as you keep headlight power going through the relay, it keeps it latched. You have to kill the power (i.e. turn off the key) to turn off the relay.

Power is fed from the fusebox on the gray wire into the relay. It goes out on the blue/yellow into the left control (and forks off to the diode/relay as previously mentioned). It also forks off to the low beam, which is always on (after the relay latches). The lo/hi switch in the left control actually just turns power off/on to the high beam, going out on the red/black wire to the high beam and dash indicator.

If there's no obvious short, it could be your R/R. At idle, it would be putting out less than at higher RPMs, so it might be fine as long as it's just sitting there idling. However, as soon as you get it up to speed, it might be putting out too much voltage and killing the relay.
Thank you for the response.
I was basically going down this thought process while looking at the diagram. Cleared it up a bit for me.
I should test voltage of yellow wire going into diode b and red on the relay at high rpm right?
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Old May 16th, 2021, 05:40 PM   #8
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So I just went and check around more. This is the pig tail to my r/r. I'll replace this and the r/r. Hopefully that will fix the issue!
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Old May 16th, 2021, 08:47 PM   #9
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Looks good as new
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Old May 17th, 2021, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adabbledoo View Post
So I just went and check around more. This is the pig tail to my r/r. :eek: I'll replace this and the r/r. Hopefully that will fix the issue!
While you're in there, you might want to look at upgrading to a MOSFET R/R. The design is less susceptible to heat failure, plus it's more efficient so it generates less heat to begin with, a win-win. They tend to put out more stable voltage too. If you're already replacing the connector, it would be a great time to upgrade to the newer R/R and sealed Furukawa connector. http://www.cycleterminal.com/furukawa-qlw-250.html

I don't remember if the 250 uses the exact same part, but the 500's R/R was actually used on bikes going back to at least 1982. It's usually adequate for the most part, but the new MOSFET R/Rs are definitely a more modern piece that should be bulletproof in comparison.
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Old May 19th, 2021, 12:02 PM   #11
adabbledoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvisiBill View Post
While you're in there, you might want to look at upgrading to a MOSFET R/R. The design is less susceptible to heat failure, plus it's more efficient so it generates less heat to begin with, a win-win. They tend to put out more stable voltage too. If you're already replacing the connector, it would be a great time to upgrade to the newer R/R and sealed Furukawa connector. http://www.cycleterminal.com/furukawa-qlw-250.html

I don't remember if the 250 uses the exact same part, but the 500's R/R was actually used on bikes going back to at least 1982. It's usually adequate for the most part, but the new MOSFET R/Rs are definitely a more modern piece that should be bulletproof in comparison.
Solid suggestion, however I went ahead and just got the stock r/r and connector. Was just easier to find and will be simpler to replace when it gets here.
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Old August 1st, 2021, 02:22 PM   #12
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I saw that Bill ! LOL and I've never said that !
.....
Usually when you have repeated blowing of parts you need to start looking at the Alternator/stator.... as you found one of the 3 wires out of the stator had been grounding, throwing big spikes throughout the system....
the next thing you might find is the voltage regulator is fried as well.
so check the charging of your battery.... it's a 12v battery so it needs 13.5V to 14v to charge.... and that voltage needs to be DC... not AC if your getting AC
at the battery that means your rectifier is blown.
if your charging is good, consider yourself extremely lucky as they blow out with the drop of a hat.

...to check the battery charging simply start the engine and put a Volt Ohm meter across the Positive and negative battery terminals and read the voltage ( on the 20v scale of the meter) then rev the motor to about 2000~3000 RPM you should get close to 14v , if so your good to go.
....
the Rectifier/regulator is a electronic unit it is both the voltage regulator and the rectifier for the stator/alternator....that is encapsulated in resin
so you can't fix it if you wanted to.... on my 2012 it's that finned box looking thing in front and off to the left side of the gas tank. under the fairing.
.....
hope that helps...
Bob........
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