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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 07-07-2013, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tail light doesn't work, brake light does

Hello all,

I've spent the better part of the day trying to install my new Maund Lucas tail light. The LP marker lights are working properly (finally). The brake light is working, but the tail light will not come on. Here is what I have:
  • Maund Lucas tail light
  • Lockhart Philips Marker lights (extra wire for running lights, I'm not connecting it and it's been sealed off)
  • NB rear tail/signal light harness

The tail light has a black and red wire. Red wire of the tail light goes to the red wire of the harness and the black wire to the blue wire of the NB harness. I attached the ground of the harness to the battery while testing. I keep blowing the 5 amp fuses for the tail light and instrument lights. For ****s and giggles I replaced both 5 amp fuses with 10 and the instrument cluster fuse still blew. Even if that had worked I couldn't leave them in there. I'm thinking a bad ground,but I'll be damned if I can figure out where. Shouldn't wiring it to the battery be the best ground you can have, or is that a no, no for lights?

I'm at a loss. Can anyone help?
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A bad ground won't cause a fuse to blow. A bad ground or high resistance in the ground is an open. You have the hot wire going directly to ground somewhere most likely before it reaches the bulb. Shorts to ground blow fuses.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Trace the wires carefully looking for a pinched wire somewhere. Most shorts are caused by pinching a wire and causing the insulation to break and allows the wire to touch ground. Also piercing wires runs a close second to pinching them. Ever seen a car with a dim headlight on one side? That's what a bad ground will do.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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bad bulb.. Process of elimination


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Old 07-08-2013, 11:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I checked again last night and couldn't find a pinched or exposed wire. As well this started happening while all the wires were stretched out & I was figuring out the connections.

Not a bad bulb as I've tried two and a bad bulb shouldn't keep blowing the fuses.

This has really got me bummed out as I want to use this new tail light assembly but I'm considering replacing the stock.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is it possible that something is wired wrong? That would be the only other thing I could think of. Something is allowing current to flow directly to ground BEFORE the load- which is the bulb. A short to ground after the load would just be fine as the circuit must return to ground at some point. Hope you find the issue. Shorts can be tough to locate sometimes but are relatively straightforward as far as the technical aspect goes.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordtech48 View Post
Is it possible that something is wired wrong? That would be the only other thing I could think of. Something is allowing current to flow directly to ground BEFORE the load- which is the bulb. A short to ground after the load would just be fine as the circuit must return to ground at some point. Hope you find the issue. Shorts can be tough to locate sometimes but are relatively straightforward as far as the technical aspect goes.
Well there are only 3 wires. One is a ground with a connector on it to be grounded to the frame or some such thing (I chose the battery for testing) and two other wires going into the tail light. Get those two wrong and it just doesn't work.

Very confused and disappointed with this whole thing.

Thanks for your feedback Fordtech.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenAB View Post
Well there are only 3 wires. One is a ground with a connector on it to be grounded to the frame or some such thing (I chose the battery for testing) and two other wires going into the tail light. Get those two wrong and it just doesn't work.

Very confused and disappointed with this whole thing.
Grounding direct to the battery is as good as any other method and makes no difference.

I take it that you had the lens off the Lucas light and the bulb out during fitting? If so, check out the little contact board at the bottom of the bulb holder. It is possible for the spring to push this out, and in replacing it, it becomes rotated. There should be a small tab on it that engages in a groove in the side of the bulb holder, which gives it correct orientation, but the tab is such a loose fit in the groove. Also make doubly sure that the spring is clear of the contacts, since this could ground one of the bulb filaments, blowing the fuse. Hope this helps, there have been a couple of these cases on here just recently.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Grounding direct to the battery is as good as any other method and makes no difference.

I take it that you had the lens off the Lucas light and the bulb out during fitting? If so, check out the little contact board at the bottom of the bulb holder. It is possible for the spring to push this out, and in replacing it, it becomes rotated. There should be a small tab on it that engages in a groove in the side of the bulb holder, which gives it correct orientation, but the tab is such a loose fit in the groove. Also make doubly sure that the spring is clear of the contacts, since this could ground one of the bulb filaments, blowing the fuse. Hope this helps, there have been a couple of these cases on here just recently.
This was a great idea and I ran right outside to try it. Unfortunately it was not the answer . There were two tabs on the contact board that were really indistinguishable, so I tried it both ways and both made the tail light fuse blow.

I'm headed out now to re-replace the harness and the light unit.
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2010 Bonneville, TORs, Progressive 440s in back, Ricor Intiminators in front, modified airbox, TTP Breather and Tune #2, AI & O2 Sensors removed.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ended up putting the original harness and OEM stop light back in place. I hate to do it, but I just may take the bike and light in to my mechanic to have it done. Let him have the headache of trying to find an electrical fault!

Thanks everyone for offering your advice

Steven
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