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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Northern, Illinois

    1986 R80RT: Light Panel

    When I first pirchased my bike, the neutral, and high beam light indicators inside speedometer all worked. Now don't. My mechanic said the contacts are poor...old. Would this be the complete bulb socket panel or perhaps each individual buld socket to be replaced? Thanks?

  2. #2
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Left Coast Canada
    Hi Mike,I have had 3 older airheads,working on my 1995 R100RT,stripped down pretty completely.If the lights worked once they probably do not have serious issues and they are not that difficult to service.Get at them and clean and grease all contacts(use proper dielectric grease).If the bulbs are OK (and they are readily available),you should be good to go again.
    Sometimes,nothing is a real cool hand.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    It is likely the foil connector for the bulb holders has some corrosion. The instrument cluster needs to be disassembled and the bulb holders removed then the contacts cleaned with something very mild, such as brasso or MAAS metal polish. The Clymer and Haynes repair manuals describe how to replace the bulbs in the instrument cluster. Using dielectric grease on the replacement bulbs/holders will eliminate this problem in the future.

    The only advice I can give, other than get a manual, is to be very careful when removing the bulb holders and gentle when polishing up the contacts. The foil is copper on plastic and, with corrosion, becomes fragile. Now would be a good time to get new bulbs to minimize taking the cluster apart. The bulb holder contacts should also be polished before reassembly. I used q-tips with MAAS metal polish to clean up a replacement electrical foil. The first was damaged and made worse by sanding on the copper foil. The foil can be repaired, but a gram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure. Good luck!

    AH# 13238

  4. #4
    Phil B bullfrog_28560's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    currently Germany
    I ran into a bulb not working, I switched a non working bulb(oil pressure) with a working bulb(brights) everything said and done, the non working bulb began to work. Clean the socket for which the bulbs are not working as stated above, you should be fine.
    Phil Bouffard
    SSG U.S. Army
    Kaiserslautern, Germany

  5. #5
    Rally Rat tvrla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    Stan gave good advice! It may just be the bulb. Or it can be the bulb holder/socket. Or it can be the trace on the light board. If you're good with a volt/ohm meter, checking these things out is a lot easier.

    There are two tips I'll pass on:

    1. If the socket needs to be removed, make sure that it slides freely on the trace. If it doesn't it will bring the trace up with it on removal. That will most likely rip it off.

    To prevent that, I've taken a very thin feeler gauge, cut it narrow, and slide it between the bulb socket and the thin copper trace. You'll have to turn the whole light board upside down so the bulbs are visible to do this. If there's corrosion, I'll also apply a bit of penetrating oil to help free them up.

    2. If the socket doesn't need to come out, some of the bulbs can be removed without removing their sockets.

    As Stan said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Tread lightly on these things - they're ultra delicate!

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