Weird headlight issue

Woe unto you that bought the first model year of a major remake, perhaps this section can help address any 2014 and later model Ural "imperfections". Here's a special section for folks with the latest rigs to discuss 2014 and later model-related topics such fuel injection, 3-wheel disc brakes, hydraulic steering dampers, spin-on oil filters and other anomalies that don't belong on true Russsian motorcycle ;-P We've gone from using big hammers and greasy wrenches to needing computers and Ouija boards in order to fix our rigs.
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Please keep this section specific to issues pertaining to 2014 and later models such as fuel injection, sidecar and rear disc brakes and so forth. Ask general or non-2014 and later specific questions in the main Hammerin' & Wrenchin' section.
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HassoBoxhead
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Weird headlight issue

Post by HassoBoxhead » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 pm

About six weeks ago, I noticed my headlight was dim and not knowing how long that light had been on the rig (bought it used), I replaced it with a silverstar. Initially all was well, then it too started to dim so I used the high beam, which burnt out after a week. So, I bought a Hella H4 unit and the high beam is awesome, but the low beam is barely bright enough to illuminate in front of me.

Any thoughts on what could be causing this and how to go about rectifying the issue?

Thank in advance for the help!
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Tomcatfixer
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Tomcatfixer » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:03 pm

Voltage drop in the low beam circuit?
Have you checked and/or cleaned your electrical connections?
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "The Patrol", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

rivers
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by rivers » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:24 pm

Tomcatfixer wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:03 pm
Voltage drop in the low beam circuit?
Have you checked and/or cleaned your electrical connections?
+1
I'm no electrician but that'd be where I'd start. I think by 014 Ural no longer powered the headlamp via a relay so you get less current flow running through the cheap switch gear/wiring. Add corrosion and performance can deteriorate noticeably. When my 014 lamp gets iffy, I'll rewire the headlamp circuit via a relay.
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Wildhorse Cafe
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:24 pm

Down load an electrical schematic and check all the connection points eg. corroded connections, loose connections, loose grounds. Snug every thing even if it looks good. It is just tracing wires and not voodoo.
2011 Patrol Higgs Bison Super Collider formally known as the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach
2006 Shinny Black, Tourist, Tatyanna

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

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HassoBoxhead
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by HassoBoxhead » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:50 pm

That makes sense, Wildhorse, I think I’ll start there.
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Mr Wazzock
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Tomcatfixer wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:03 pm
Voltage drop in the low beam circuit?
I think so too.

I eliminated all the "miles" of wiring, a gazillion connectors, two fuses in series FFS and the lighting switch(es) by doing this:
-
-
headlamp-mod-2.jpg
-
-
Note also it bypasses ignition switch, so that gets an easier life not having the headlamp current going thru it all the time.

HTH
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Mr Wazzock
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Mr Wazzock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:52 pm

PS: note also extra switch (below, left) so I can manually turn the headlamp off. I am now in the habit of always having it turned off for starting.
Mike H
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(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

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Wildhorse Cafe
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:45 pm

Mr Wazzock wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:48 pm
Tomcatfixer wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:03 pm
Voltage drop in the low beam circuit?
I think so too.

I eliminated all the "miles" of wiring, a gazillion connectors, two fuses in series FFS and the lighting switch(es) by doing this:
-
-
headlamp-mod-2.jpg
-
-
Note also it bypasses ignition switch, so that gets an easier life not having the headlamp current going thru it all the time.

HTH
Much of the wiring is not related to the headlight circuit and can be ignored. Familiarize yourself with the headlight circuit by tracing it out on the diagram using a highlighter marker, Then test by slitting the circuit in half and use a jumper to ground to test the first half of the circuit. If it tests good then split the remaining half; or if the first half tests bad, slit the first half of the circuit and test again. Test and split, test and split. By splitting you can avoid unnecessarily testing everything and can narrow it down to a component or connection fairly fast. But the first thing for any troubleshooting is a good visual inspection to find the obvious. You know, " Why there's your problem.":foilhead:
2011 Patrol Higgs Bison Super Collider formally known as the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach
2006 Shinny Black, Tourist, Tatyanna

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

C.P. Cavafy

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Wildhorse Cafe
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:57 pm

HassoBoxhead wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 pm
About six weeks ago, I noticed my headlight was dim and not knowing how long that light had been on the rig (bought it used), I replaced it with a silverstar. Initially all was well, then it too started to dim so I used the high beam, which burnt out after a week. So, I bought a Hella H4 unit and the high beam is awesome, but the low beam is barely bright enough to illuminate in front of me.

Any thoughts on what could be causing this and how to go about rectifying the issue?

Thank in advance for the help!
How did your head light issue turn out? Don't leave us hanging.
2011 Patrol Higgs Bison Super Collider formally known as the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach
2006 Shinny Black, Tourist, Tatyanna

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

C.P. Cavafy

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Mr Wazzock
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:10 am

+1
HassoBoxhead wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 pm
which burnt out after a week.
This is often a sign of a bad or loose connection or earth, unbeknownst to you it's rapidly flickering on and off while you're riding, that kills a bulb in short order.

I remember years ago following an old bike with a flickering tail light, but every time he stopped it was lit properly, so just looking to see if lights are working as a maintenance check or before setting off for a run wouldn't show the problem.
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

HassoBoxhead
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by HassoBoxhead » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:57 pm

I haven’t had a chance to have it outside to work on with all the crappy weather we’ve had lately. (I also dread doing anything electrical, so I’m pretty sure there’s a fair amount of subconscious procrastination coming into play). Really appreciate all the info!!
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Wildhorse Cafe
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Wildhorse Cafe » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:49 pm

Mr Wazzock wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:10 am
+1
HassoBoxhead wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:22 pm
which burnt out after a week.
This is often a sign of a bad or loose connection or earth, unbeknownst to you it's rapidly flickering on and off while you're riding, that kills a bulb in short order.

I remember years ago following an old bike with a flickering tail light, but every time he stopped it was lit properly, so just looking to see if lights are working as a maintenance check or before setting off for a run wouldn't show the problem.
Tail light have been an issue in the past for friends of mine. I would take of the lens for an inspection. And just so you know the outer connection is positive on Ural tail lights and the center is negative, weird but true.
2011 Patrol Higgs Bison Super Collider formally known as the Orange and Silver Pumpkin Coach
2006 Shinny Black, Tourist, Tatyanna

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca
pray the road is long , full of adventure, full of knowledge
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage

C.P. Cavafy

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Mr Wazzock
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by Mr Wazzock » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:26 pm

Yep! :D

And the little solder tag washers (2 off?) must be good. Guess how I know ... and the tiny screws only go into plastic so don't try to welly them up tight ...
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

aquaskiman
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Re: Weird headlight issue

Post by aquaskiman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:15 pm

My 2014 GP had the same trouble but with both high and low. it was a voltage drop through the ignition switch.
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