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  1. #1

    Default Headlight Wiring

    92 Sportster 1200. Saw some sort of similar posts on here for this question but thought some additional help might be needed as i'm new to wiring. I'm sure there's going to be a very simple answer but i'm having a brain fart on how to run the wiring for my headlights. I'm trying to wire up two Aris triangular headlights and will use an on/off/on switch for them. Each headlight has a black and white wire coming out of them. There is also a white wire grounded inside of each headlight. Is there a good way to run so that one of my headlights acts as a low beam, and then if i flip the switch over, they'll both light up (high beam)? Need the help of the wiring wizards. I'm most confused about how the wiring harness of the bike will tie into the headlight switch and then how the switch will tie into the lights. Basically the whole deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRare View Post
    92 Sportster 1200. Saw some sort of similar posts on here for this question but thought some additional help might be needed as i'm new to wiring. I'm sure there's going to be a very simple answer but i'm having a brain fart on how to run the wiring for my headlights. I'm trying to wire up two Aris triangular headlights and will use an on/off/on switch for them. Each headlight has a black and white wire coming out of them. There is also a white wire grounded inside of each headlight. Is there a good way to run so that one of my headlights acts as a low beam, and then if i flip the switch over, they'll both light up (high beam)? Need the help of the wiring wizards. I'm most confused about how the wiring harness of the bike will tie into the headlight switch and then how the switch will tie into the lights. Basically the whole deal.
    Ok I'm not going to be a smart ass on this but it's hard not to, this is a very simple question to answer if you think about it for a second.......

    Just run two hots off of the main hot and your problem is solved since your wanting to run two switches.....

    Do you own a test light???? If so use it if not go buy one.....
    Last edited by Tattooo; 04-12-2020 at 8:16 PM.

  3. #3

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    "two hots off of the main hot" meaning the hot from the headlight? How will i connect the switch to the wiring harness? and also would i still need to use the white wire coming out of the headlight as a ground then if the headlights are both grounded inside the housings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRare View Post
    "two hots off of the main hot" meaning the hot from the headlight? How will i connect the switch to the wiring harness? and also would i still need to use the white wire coming out of the headlight as a ground then if the headlights are both grounded inside the housings?
    You need to connect the switch to the harness with a wire..... I don't know how else to answer your question..... This stuff is easy just think about it for a minute...

    You should have a ground in your harness from your old light..... That's what a test light is for and a voltmeter is helpful... And a manual with a wiring diagram....

    What you really need to do is take the headlight apart and actually see where the wires are going to be sure.....
    Last edited by Tattooo; 04-12-2020 at 8:55 PM.

  5. #5

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    I'll dig into my factory wiring harness tomorrow. The issue I'm having is that now that i won't have turn signals or a hi beam, the wiring looks totally different. I'll dig into it further tomorrow and update with pics of the headlight i'm talking about. Thanks Tattooo.

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    would i still need to use the white wire coming out of the headlight as a ground then if the headlights are both grounded inside the housings?
    Yes, you need to ground the headlights to the frame, otherwise they will be trying to ground through the neck bearings.

  7. #7

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    Alright TriNortchopz thank you for the reply. So simply ground each white from the headlights to the frame. Connect one black to one side of the switch, and both black together to the other side of the switch? Sorry this bike is the first wiring i've really gotten into.

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    Few ways to do it;
    you can use one 6-pole on/off/on switch; hook power to center, jump it to center on other side (later), then connect low beam to upper on one side and both to lower on same side. The other side you jumped power to is for tail and brake...connect tail to bottom, jump power on that side to the top and add your brake lite switch power there, that way, when headlight in high or low, tail and brake light switch have power.

    EDIT; YUP, whoops, power feeds back...low on one side at bottom, high and low on other side, on top.
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-13-2020 at 8:25 AM. Reason: feedback

  9. #9

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    I already have a connection in the wiring harness for the tail light and brake light switch, although i haven't gotten there yet. The kit i got came with a 3 pole on off on switch. It has directions but they're for a factory head lamp with the three connectors in the back of the light. Current light has only two wires so it confused me a bit. So i just power the center pole and headlight power either side of the switch. Then just ground from the headlights to the frame. I'll test it out tomorrow and tune back in if it gives me any problems. Thank you.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRare View Post
    I already have a connection in the wiring harness for the tail light and brake light switch, although i haven't gotten there yet. The kit i got came with a 3 pole on off on switch. It has directions but they're for a factory head lamp with the three connectors in the back of the light. Current light has only two wires so it confused me a bit. So i just power the center pole and headlight power either side of the switch. Then just ground from the headlights to the frame. I'll test it out tomorrow and tune back in if it gives me any problems. Thank you.
    This will give you one light or the other light.
    Easiest way might be to use two single pole switches off the same hot wire. That way you could turn on the upper and lower separately or together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRare View Post
    Alright TriNortchopz thank you for the reply. So simply ground each white from the headlights to the frame. Connect one black to one side of the switch, and both black together to the other side of the switch? Sorry this bike is the first wiring i've really gotten into.
    1.) I would verify the white wire is actually for the lamp's ground.
    2.) With both lights hooked together on the one side of the switch, power would back feed through and have both lights on with the switch in either position.
    3.) I would run a separate ground into the head light buckets, or onto the forks frame, to bypass grounding through the neck bearing as mentioned, (that would be creating mini arcs across the bearing surfaces and not good for the bearing in the long run).
    4.) Get a dual filament bulb to fit the one head light, then wire it one light on one pole, and both lights to the other.

    I am not as knowledgeable as some of the folks here on 33 over various topics, but this seems simple to me.
    Last edited by 10scDust; 04-13-2020 at 6:59 AM.

  12. #12

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    To do what you want to do, one lamp for low beam and both on for high:

    Run one wire from the lighting breaker (traditionally blue wires in HD harnesses) to the plus side of the low beam lamp, and to one side of an on/off switch. From the on/off switch, run one wire to the plus side of the high beam lamp. Running a dedicated ground from each lamp to the frame is good practice.

    The above is simplest, with fewest wires. The low beam will be on when the ignition switch is on, and you select high beam with the on/off switch.

    The stock harness has a dedicated lighting breaker, and you should retain it, along with the main and ignition breakers. The accessory breaker can be deleted on a chopper style harness, with no signals or other accessories.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Yes, you need to ground the headlights to the frame, otherwise they will be trying to ground through the neck bearings.
    That's kind of like hooking the ground to the existing harness I think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10scDust View Post
    1.) I am not as knowledgeable as some of the folks here on 33 over various topics, but this seems simple to me.

    Yes sir, It's about as simple as it gets..........

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    All you need is to add a simple diode to the mix (at least 15amp
    Available at any trailer supply
    https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...er/RM-690.html

    If you have single filament lights...
    One wire is ground and the other hot

    If you have dual filament lights (high and low in one housing)...
    One wire is high, the other low, and you must ground the housing.
    Post pics and we can help you figure that part out

    Attachment 102049Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16

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    So I tried and the photo is what I had. One headlight hooked onto the first pole by itself to act as a low beam, and that worked fine. Then I split the wire from the first headlight along with the wire from the second and put them both on the second pole. The only issue i'm having is that when i put them both together on the second pole then both headlights light up no matter which position the switch is in. Granted neither headlight is grounded yet just wanted to see why that would happen. The way i have it wired now is just a rough job to figure out how to do it. Click image for larger version. 

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    ya, called feedback...read above again.

  18. #18

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    Oh Jesus I missed that reply completely. Thank you!

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Can you see the diagram this time?

  20. #20

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    Yes. Thank you. I’ll have to get one of those diodes and give it a try. They eliminate the feedback of power?

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