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Thread: Brake light always on - 1979 GS850

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    Test #2: Only the license plate light came on when I powered the White (brake) light



    Interestingly, you mentioned the license plate light should go off when I touch the white one, but it's staying on... not sure if that means anything or not, but that's where I'm at! ...
    Not only is it on, it looks like it's BRIGHTER!

    You obviously have some problems with the wiring in the tail light. Remove it from the bike so you can see where all the wires go.

    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
    hers: 1982 GS850GL - "Angel" and 1969 Suzuki T250 Scrambler
    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
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    Mom's first ride
    Want a copy of my valve adjust spreadsheet for your 2-valve per cylinder engine? Send me an e-mail request (not a PM)
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  2. #22
    natejelovich Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Not only is it on, it looks like it's BRIGHTER!

    You obviously have some problems with the wiring in the tail light. Remove it from the bike so you can see where all the wires go.

    .
    Yes... it is brighter. I should also mention:

    1. When I touched the hot wire to the ground (black) wire, the same thing was happening as test #2 (only the tag light came on at the same brightness)

    2. You mentioned the light should be an 1157, but what was in there before, and what I have in there now is a 1034. Would that make any difference here?

    3. The tail light filament never came on any of the tests

    I'll remove the housing. Thanks!!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    Yes... it is brighter. I should also mention:

    1. When I touched the hot wire to the ground (black) wire, the same thing was happening as test #2 (only the tag light came on at the same brightness)

    2. You mentioned the light should be an 1157, but what was in there before, and what I have in there now is a 1034. Would that make any difference here?

    3. The tail light filament never came on any of the tests

    I'll remove the housing. Thanks!!
    OK, more questions:
    1. When you touched the hot to the black wire, where was your ground wire?
    That black wire is for GROUND ONLY, the hot wire should never touch it.

    2. A 1034 is OK, they are sometimes harder to find. Either one will work.

    3. And yet, it did in a previous test.


    Your license light (the lower one) should have a single-filament bulb, probably a 67 or an 89. It should only be ONE brightness, because it only has a single filament.

    In one of your previous posts, you show both filaments ON, apparently while following a request to ground the black wire and power the brown wire. Your next test, powering the white wire, changed the brightness in the wrong bulb. I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody has crossed up some wiring or swapped sockets for the lights. How that might have happened, I don't know, but "previous owners" can be really crafty people.

    I will repeat a previous request: remove the whole assembly from the bike so you can track where the wiring goes.

    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
    hers: 1982 GS850GL - "Angel" and 1969 Suzuki T250 Scrambler
    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
    Family Portrait
    Siblings and Spouses
    Mom's first ride
    Want a copy of my valve adjust spreadsheet for your 2-valve per cylinder engine? Send me an e-mail request (not a PM)
    (Click on my username in the upper-left corner for e-mail info.)

  4. #24
    natejelovich Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    OK, more questions:
    1. When you touched the hot to the black wire, where was your ground wire?
    That black wire is for GROUND ONLY, the hot wire should never touch it.

    2. A 1034 is OK, they are sometimes harder to find. Either one will work.

    3. And yet, it did in a previous test.


    Your license light (the lower one) should have a single-filament bulb, probably a 67 or an 89. It should only be ONE brightness, because it only has a single filament.

    In one of your previous posts, you show both filaments ON, apparently while following a request to ground the black wire and power the brown wire. Your next test, powering the white wire, changed the brightness in the wrong bulb. I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody has crossed up some wiring or swapped sockets for the lights. How that might have happened, I don't know, but "previous owners" can be really crafty people.

    I will repeat a previous request: remove the whole assembly from the bike so you can track where the wiring goes.

    .
    Sorry, meant brake light, not tail light. The brake light never came on in any of the tests. The tail light did...

    I grounded the wire to the bike. I did touch the black (ground) with the hot wire, and it only turned on the license plate light (that same brightness)....

    Here's the wiring. I think it looks good, but I don't know much!






  5. #25
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    Something about the connector at the harness area isn't right. Take a good picture of that please so we can see it better.

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    OK, more questions:
    1. When you touched the hot to the black wire, where was your ground wire?
    That black wire is for GROUND ONLY, the hot wire should never touch it.
    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    I grounded the wire to the bike. I did touch the black (ground) with the hot wire, and it only turned on the license plate light (that same brightness)....
    Something is getting lost in the transfer of information here, not sure on which end, though.

    If I am understanding this correctly, I asked where your ground wire was. You said it was grounded to the bike. Earlier, I asked you to connect one end of a wire to either the chassis or the battery negative terminal, and connect the other end to the black wire that goes to the tail light. Evidently that was not connected in that manner, because if it was, when you touched the hot wire to the black wire, you would have had FIREWORKS.

    Please verify for my simple little mind:
    - One end of a wire is connected to battery (-) or the chassis, the other end stuck into the white 3-pin connector at the tail light, and touching the black wire ONLY.
    (Do not connect it to the side of the connector that is attached to the wire harness on the bike, go to the connector that is attached to the tail light.)

    - One end of another wire is connected to the battery (+), the other end is being held in your hand for testing.

    - With the free end of the "hot" wire, touch the brown wire in the 3-pin connector. What lights up? How bright is it?

    - With the free end of the "hot" wire, touch the white wire in the 3-pin connector. What lights up? How bright is it?

    .

    mine: 2000 Honda GoldWing GL1500SE and 1980 GS850G'K' "Junior"
    hers: 1982 GS850GL - "Angel" and 1969 Suzuki T250 Scrambler
    #1 son: 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale 1300 and 1982 GS650GL "Rat Bagger"
    #2 son: 1980 GS1000G
    Family Portrait
    Siblings and Spouses
    Mom's first ride
    Want a copy of my valve adjust spreadsheet for your 2-valve per cylinder engine? Send me an e-mail request (not a PM)
    (Click on my username in the upper-left corner for e-mail info.)

  7. #27
    natejelovich Guest

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    Hi Steve,

    Yes... I think something did get lost in the transfer! From your earlier note, this is what I did:

    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Insert one end into the connector that is attached to the tail light, connect the other to a good ground (chassis, battery, whatever).
    So, now it sounds like there should be mention of the ground wire being grounded... from the quote above, it sounded to me like I was supposed to ground the brown (tail light) wire... Again, amateur here so everything (though it sounds a bit off) sounds right to me!

    I did ground the wire to the chassis, but I inserted the grounded wire into the brown connector.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Please verify for my simple little mind:
    - One end of a wire is connected to battery (-) or the chassis, the other end stuck into the white 3-pin connector at the tail light, and touching the black wire ONLY.
    (Do not connect it to the side of the connector that is attached to the wire harness on the bike, go to the connector that is attached to the tail light.)
    I will give the updated version a try.

  8. #28
    natejelovich Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyup3371 View Post
    Something about the connector at the harness area isn't right. Take a good picture of that please so we can see it better.
    Is this what you need?


  9. #29
    natejelovich Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    Hi Steve,

    I will give the updated version a try.
    Just did... and same result. Grounded the wire to the bike, and plugged it into the black (ground) wire in the white connector. Then, plugged another wire into the battery and the other end into the brown (both bulbs dimly lit, but only one filament on the brake light) and then the white (only the license plate light brightly on).

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by natejelovich View Post
    Is this what you need?

    First, I'm nowhere the electrical expert that Steve is so please continue to listen to him. He has helped many a person through electrical issues here.

    However, something is very definitely wrong. The top connector there is your taillight/brake light connector from the harness that should plug into your connector at the bottom. The two black and white bullet connectors in the harness should be the grounds for your turn signals while the green and white bullet connectors in the harness are for power to the signals. So, why do you have an extra white wire coming from the taillight/brakelight wiring section?

    I'd remove the tape or harness covering from both sections and really look them over before doing anything else. I think someone else might have jerry-rigged that section to fix another problem instead of just doing it correctly.

    Do you have a copy of your bike's wiring diagram? If not, get to Basscliff's site and download it.

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

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