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post #1 of 25 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 7:26 pm Thread Starter
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Head Lights

I am having an issue with my head lights, they no workie
Here goes: the high beam indicator light is illuminated but only the parking light is on. I have checked the bulbs and they are good. I can not locate a fuse for the headlights.

Here are my questions:
Has anyone had this same issue?
Is there a fuse and if so were is it located?
What can I do from this point?
Should I just bring it to the dealer?

Thanks

G-Glove
2003 Silver LTC
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post #2 of 25 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 7:34 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by gglove
I am having an issue with my head lights, they no workie
Here goes: the high beam indicator light is illuminated but only the parking light is on. I have checked the bulbs and they are good. I can not locate a fuse for the headlights.

Here are my questions:
Has anyone had this same issue?
Is there a fuse and if so were is it located?
What can I do from this point?
Should I just bring it to the dealer?

Thanks
No fuse for the headlights. Take a read thru this thread and it might help you in diagnosing your bike's problem. Good luck.
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post #3 of 25 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 7:35 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Check the Ground wire. It is known to come loose or brake on the LT.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #4 of 25 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 8:19 pm
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Re: Head Lights

[QUOTE=gglove]I am having an issue with my head lights, they no workie
Here goes: the high beam indicator light is illuminated but only the parking light is on. I have checked the bulbs and they are good. I can not locate a fuse for the headlights.

Here are my questions:
Has anyone had this same issue?
Is there a fuse and if so were is it located?
What can I do from this point?
Should I just bring it to the dealer?

Thanks[/QUOTE

99% chance that you have a bad ground wire connection at the headlight. This is a fairly common problem. Check all the ground wires going to the headlight. And reinforcing the ground wires is a good idea to prevent future problems.

Jim Davidson
2007 R1200RT
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post #5 of 25 Old Aug 28th, 2011, 9:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Thanks for the insight.
How do I locate and identify the ground wire?
Thanks

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post #6 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 7:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by katnapinn
Check the Ground wire. It is known to come loose or brake on the LT.
Steve where is the ground wire located?

Thanks

G-Glove
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post #7 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 7:27 am
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Re: Head Lights

Remove the cover on the back of the headlight and the Brown wire is the ground.

Good luck

Pat Rourke
White Lake,MI.
2002 K1200 LTC, Champange

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post #8 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:13 am Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by patroa1
Remove the cover on the back of the headlight and the Brown wire is the ground.

Good luck

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post #9 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 12:45 pm
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Re: Head Lights

See attached picture for some help on what to look for:

Follow the copper metal piece (yellow arrow) down into the headlight casing.
At the end of this, the brown wire (ground) has a Spade connector. You should be able to pull the connector using a long-nose pliers.

My guess (99 %) is that the end of the brown wire, near the connector, will be damaged (burned) and the connector will look a bit damaged too.

BMW does not sell parts - only a unit. You will have to do some wiring and welding (been there, done that...). Many years ago they have replaced complete unit under warranty. No service-bulletin that I am aware of and no recall - a bad and weak design.

The problem seems to be most common under 2 conditions:
- A higher wattage bulb than specified has been installed (Low or High beam),
- The bike is ridden for long period with the high-beam on in fairly hot weather (too much heat generated inside the headlight casing)

The most accepted theory is: a combination of a few weak items (brown wire, thin connector) and too much heat inside, causes the connector to expand and contract (heat followed by cooling cycle when you park). As this happens, the connector gets a bit loose after a while and cause arcing - this arcing is easily confirmed by the condition of the old connector.
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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 95,000 miles)
-------------------------------------------------
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post #10 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 2:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

John thank you the picture helps a lot! Looks like I have some removal a head of me to get the light assembly out so I can get a better look.

Thanks again.
I did do some pushing around on the brown wire and the light worked:-) .....for now:-(


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor
See attached picture for some help on what to look for:

Follow the copper metal piece (yellow arrow) down into the headlight casing.
At the end of this, the brown wire (ground) has a Spade connector. You should be able to pull the connector using a long-nose pliers.

My guess (99 %) is that the end of the brown wire, near the connector, will be damaged (burned) and the connector will look a bit damaged too.

BMW does not sell parts - only a unit. You will have to do some wiring and welding (been there, done that...). Many years ago they have replaced complete unit under warranty. No service-bulletin that I am aware of and no recall - a bad and weak design.

The problem seems to be most common under 2 conditions:
- A higher wattage bulb than specified has been installed (Low or High beam),
- The bike is ridden for long period with the high-beam on in fairly hot weather (too much heat generated inside the headlight casing)

The most accepted theory is: a combination of a few weak items (brown wire, thin connector) and too much heat inside, causes the connector to expand and contract (heat followed by cooling cycle when you park). As this happens, the connector gets a bit loose after a while and cause arcing - this arcing is easily confirmed by the condition of the old connector.

G-Glove
2003 Silver LTC
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post #11 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 4:38 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Do not attempt to remove the nose cone. Get a mirror and fix it where it is. It's not that tough. Might consider a HID low beam while you're in there.


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post #12 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 4:41 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Yes, don't take everything apart. Go out and look up under the cone and do all the work. I put a hid in without taking the cone apart.

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post #13 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
Do not attempt to remove the nose cone. Get a mirror and fix it where it is. It's not that tough. Might consider a HID low beam while you're in there.
Thanks for the input. I need to take more time to look at it. From what I saw it would be difficult to repair the wire without more exposure.

G-Glove
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post #14 of 25 Old Aug 29th, 2011, 9:37 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1200
Yes, don't take everything apart. Go out and look up under the cone and do all the work. I put a hid in without taking the cone apart.
I have an HID but never installed, to lazy I guess.

Thanks

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post #15 of 25 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:40 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by gglove
Thanks for the input. I need to take more time to look at it. From what I saw it would be difficult to repair the wire without more exposure.
There was enough extra wire available on mine to clip the burnt part off & attach new ends. (both wires) I also ran a new ground wire from the battery & attached it to the spring clip so this should never happen again. (thanks Channing) I had to ride about 20 miles home when this happened to me with just parking light illumination. Not fun.

BMW 1200 LTC 2002


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post #16 of 25 Old Aug 30th, 2011, 1:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Head Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
There was enough extra wire available on mine to clip the burnt part off & attach new ends. (both wires) I also ran a new ground wire from the battery & attached it to the spring clip so this should never happen again. (thanks Channing) I had to ride about 20 miles home when this happened to me with just parking light illumination. Not fun.
Going to work on it tonight if work goes well. I like you tag line about Illinois, just be thankful you dont live in crook county

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post #17 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Re: Head Lights

I know this is an old thread but....................................
I'm going crazy trying to get the darn thing back on the spade without removing the headlight assembly! Any tips on that tedious process? I'm running out of hands for mirrors, lights, pliers.....

Can I just tap into the other brown wire?

Toby

03 K1200LT
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post #18 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 6:22 pm
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Re: Head Lights

If you are talking about sliding the spade connector over the spade terminal here's a suggestion. Get a short box or stool to set on. Straddle the front tire with your knees. Reach underneath from the front and do it by feel. It's not that bad if you just tell yourself that you don't need to see it to connect it. No risk of a shock or short circuit. Use the mirror and flashlight to confirm your work.


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post #19 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 6:44 pm
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Re: Head Lights

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73730

See above for helpful pictures from Saddleman.

This what I did.

Repaired the brown wire issue. Used a "Y" connection with new 14 Ga wire and put stronger connectors on each of the three ends . Plugged new connector onto headlight ground and plugged existing brown wires onto each of the two new wires from the "Y". wires don't get as hot anymore.Only had to remove the right side Tupperware to get a better view of things.Should work for quite a long time or until I get around to pulling nose cone off. Then I will run a separate ground.


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post #20 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 7:23 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Thanks for the responses guys. The most recessed one - I assume low beam ground- was the one needing repair. I guess my needlenoses are just too fat to fit between the bottom of the housing and the metal clip lip. My thinner ones just dont have the reach to get back there & of course my fingers are too big to get in there. The other brown wire is much simpler to access & of course it`d be the one thats good to go. Can I just tie both grounding wires together & have only one connection to the closest spade without causing issues? When I touch the 2 together both the high and low beams work. I just dont know if longterm contact in that manner will have adverse effects.

Toby

03 K1200LT
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post #21 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 7:41 pm
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Re: Head Lights

If you make the "Y" connector and attach the two grounds to it and then the single to the ground at the sping clip it won't have both lights on at the same time or shouldn't anyway.


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72 Rickman 6 day Enduro

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post #22 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 7:52 pm
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Re: Head Lights

I may have bigger probs then. With the ignition on I can touch the brown wire to the other brown at the spade or touch it anywhere on the springclip and bith lights will work.

Toby

03 K1200LT
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post #23 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 8:18 pm
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Re: Head Lights

High beam switched off ? Switched on you get both lights. Just checking.


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post #24 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 8:38 pm
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Re: Head Lights

Guess I shouldve been more clear - sorry. If I touch the 2 browns together or touch the repaired brown wire on the metal of the spring clip both lights work properly. The low only on when high switched off & both on when high switched on.

Toby

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post #25 of 25 Old Oct 17th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Re: Head Lights

So I've been tossing this damn brown wire spade connection tight space around in my head all afternoon. Nothing.

After having an internal discussion with George Dickel about the issue, it hits me. Aha! Hemostats! I've got a set clipped to my flyfishing vest. Anyway, long story longer - after employing the hemostats I had both brown wires back on the spade connectors in no time. That just goes to prove that good Tennessee Whiskey in moderation can lead to astounding moments of clarity.

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