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  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Sportsnerd Sportsnerd is offline
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Default Wiring dual headlight help

So I added a dual headlight setup for my 81 and when I switch to high beams it trips the lights breaker? Everything works fine with low beams. It's got a good ground. Nothing else drawing from that breaker right now and the battery is showing over 12 volts. Maybe add a fuse? Any suggestions would be great!


Ps long time xlforum user this my second account. I wouldn't be this far without using the technical stickies so thank you. I'll post pics soon as I figure it out.
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  #2  
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It would probably be best to wire the headlights to relays fed by a fused large guage lead from the battery (and ground, ground leads drop voltage too)...this will likely make the lights much brighter too if you get it right, stock HL wiring on many bikes can drop 2 volts or more and that can cut light output nearly in half, dual headlights would make that much worse. Doubling the current through your headlight switches is hard on them too (learned that the hard way), while a relay coil only pulls a fraction of an amp.
Though something isn't right, the CB is rated at 15 amps (I think...maybe 10A??) so should support about 180 watts, dual high beams would only be about 120W. Anyway check out https://www.the12volt.com/ for info on relay wiring...

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Listen to what Bluto says. You are trying to get too much out of a 10 amp electrical system. I have the headlight from my wife's 04 XLH 1200 with an H-4 bulb in my 77 XLH 1000. Got lots of light vs sealed beam. AND the electrical system handles it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Scooter View Post
Listen to what Bluto says. You are trying to get too much out of a 10 amp electrical system. I have the headlight from my wife's 04 XLH 1200 with an H-4 bulb in my 77 XLH 1000. Got lots of light vs sealed beam. AND the electrical system handles it.
Good point, I'm not an Ironhead rider but makes sense that dual headlights would likely be too much for the vintage charging system (do ride an old Norton so that should have occured to me ;-). Another big advantage of going to H4 is that "plus" bulbs are widely available, much brighter (though sometimes shorter lived) between a bright H4 bulb and maybe relays if the HL wiring has much voltage drop (compare voltage across bulb to at battery with engine running and lights on) should be able to make a big improvement in lighting.
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Default

I figured it out I think. The wiring from the headlight manufacturing was shorting inside the housing of the upper headlight. Rewired that. Not tripping the breaker any longer. They are smaller 4" headlights. Other than the taillight turn signal combo its the only acc wired to the bike. If it trips the breaker again ill know for sure. Only found the short after wiring like bluto said Thanks.
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It is very likely you are exceeding the output of the generator unless you are using LED lighting.

LED's are the only way you can add lights to an Ironhead without exceeding generator output.
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If the only thing on that breaker is the head lights you can just put a higher amp breaker in that line. As long as you don't exceed the wire's ability to carry that amperage, it shouldn't be a problem. If you over load the wire you have in that line, you'll let the smoke out & have to go to heavier gauge wire.
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