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#812213 06/11/20 11:13 pm
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Anyone ever had this happen to a headlamp bulb? Seems a little extreme. I’m worried that my stator clearance is a bit tight and wonder if the rotor were ever to touch would something like this happen.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Last edited by Hudtm60; 06/11/20 11:37 pm.
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Hi Hudtm60, Seen that many times. Air leaking into bulb is cause. Basically the white stuff is like soot from filament. That was a fairly fast leak. The really slow leaks usually leave glass blackened.

A few years back I had bulb go a few months like that before it burned out.

Should you replace it with another incandescent that bulb is now sold as 414. That is what ‘73 needs. BPF base 2 cross ways Filomena. NOT what is currently sold as 370 or 303. 370 type has cross ways filament near base & long ways one near tip. 370 will not focus in our lens. 370 is 48/48w. No good for us.
Might be time to purchase BPF LED from Bonneville Shop or Classic British Spares. Your choice. Should you choose LED it will default to hi beam only. Cure is Diode installed in blue: white wire of headlamp bulb holder. I can email you plans or provide ready to plug in one at reasonable cost. Email me if your interested.

Lots of us are using LED bulb, including me.
Don


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Don,

that's a relief, much appreciated. I did in fact order an a BPF style LED from the Bonneville Shop last night....but still want to make sure my system is working ok and won't just blow the LED too. I can't see anything wrong with any of the wiring and switch gear looks normal. Buying the LED sounded like it would be just plug in and play...but you know more...

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+1 what Don said. Small imperfections in the glass bulbs are the weakest link when they're vibrating and shaking on these old bikes.

I have an LED bulb in a halogen reflector. The LED bulb mimics the halogen beam focus. The halogen reflector has the added benefit of being shallower than the BPF ones. Not only is this a cheaper alternative to BPF LED's, this also allows more room for the wires in the headlight bucket, where space is already at a premium.

I'm a big fan of the stock look (and experience), but this is nice compromise as I can see the road at night now!

Cheers,

Steve


'77 T140J
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"The paying customer is always right."

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Steve could you post particulars on your headlight? What reflector? What bulb? I just don't see the import reflectors having any research or technology behind them like the factory bits. Am I wrong? Btw... I'm not concerned with vintage looks if it'll help me see down the road better.

Last edited by slofut; 06/12/20 5:06 pm.

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This is where I got my bulb, I’ve tried LEDs before but got flummoxed by the positive or negative earth issue- finding out this this takes that aspect off the table and will work with either made me get it- up until now my headlight beam, even with a new stator, has been ‘yellow’ at best. Will report when I get it.

And yes would love to know where to get a halogen reflector too. My current one is rusty so that will be an improvement!

https://thebonnevilleshop.com/trium...ulb-positive-negative-ground-pn-446-led/

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Hud, that's a little pricey for a bulb. And I'm still thinking the 35w halogen H4 with a good h4 reflector/lens might be what I want to do. But if JP's led works well then all the better. I think an H4 reflector would be very common to lighting and if it's a brand like Hella etc... would be a quality light pattern?


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If I may interject a thought here:

Back in '66 when I complained to the dealer that my brand new T120R was regularly blowing out headlight bulbs he told me to put a dab of grease on the contacts before installing.

Fast forward 35 years to where I returned to motorcycling and Triumphs and once again I found I was going through a lot of headlight bulbs. Then I remembered Bob Meyer's suggestion.

I can't really say why it works (or even if it REALLY works), but with grease on the contacts the bulbs seem to last a lot longer. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but such a simple idea might be worth a try.


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I've often found the solder bumps on the back of bulbs worn down to nothing on these bikes. If I had to guess, I'd say that turning the bulb off and on many times a second shortens their lives considerably. That could be what's going on. The grease might help there?
I used sealed beam units in my bikes for a few years. Cheaply made...they last a year, (there's a service bulletin from 1960 recommending this) usually. I switched to the halogen instead of the standard and they also lasted a year. I have one in my Triumph right now. The bits inside have come loose and are jangling around in the bottom of it.
One of these days I'll get another proper reflector (not an easy chore...what a minefield that is) and an LED bulb for it.
Cheers,
Bill


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Originally Posted by slofut
Steve could you post particulars on your headlight? What reflector? What bulb? I just don't see the import reflectors having any research or technology behind them like the factory bits. Am I wrong? Btw... I'm not concerned with vintage looks if it'll help me see down the road better.


Sorry for the late reply. Didn't see it. I didn't purchase these exact bits, but close to it. H4 LED bulb and an H4 reflector. The reflector doesn't have a parking bulb hole, so I just taped off the bulb parking bulb socket and stuffed it in the headlight shell for now.

The bulb has a set screw that allows you to rotate the "stalk" of the bulb within the three-tab mounting plate. Handy to fine tune the focus of the beam(s).

Be sure to tighten set screw and use a dab of blue loc-tite once you get it focused where you want it.

https://www.amazon.com/Aukee-Headli...PNJ9KMJD9&qid=1592184670&sr=8-15

Pretty sure I got my reflector here: (Convex euro type)

http://rimiusa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=49&products_id=100

I also have an LED taillight, idiot lights (oil/turn signal/high beam) and speedo/tach lights. The only incandescent bulbs left are the four turn signal indicators.

Cheers,

Steve

Last edited by JubeePrince; 06/15/20 1:46 am.

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Hi, The “snow globe” bulb is BPF (British Pre Focus). A specific base shape & connector type.

H4 bulb has different base & 3 flat connectors, not solder dots for power.

The Bonneville Shop LED is BPF.

The reflector & bulb must match in a compatible combination.

The electrical connectors must be changed as needed to fit the bulb/LED you choose to use if it’s not BPF.

Just be aware you may to do extra work.

Very important to verify your alternator can power H4 bulb, especially the high wattage bright H4.

The original alternator will struggle over 48 watt bulb.
Don


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Thanks, Steve for those links. I have had an LED bulb in my flat faced H4 reflector and it wasn't worth beans. Apparently not all LED bulbs being equal, I got the wrong one for the reflector.
I do have one question. Does the reflector dip to the left or to the right? I am suspicious of "Euro" in the title that it could be to the left....
My alternator copes with the H4 bulb well enough so long as I don't ride in town lights on for any length of time. I did renew the entire thing not too long ago, though.
But, the extra visibility is the goal.
Cheers,
Bill


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Euro will dip right, UK dips left.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
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Bill -

What Gavin said.

Try to be sure the LED's 'mimic' the H4 filament(s) in size and placement. I took an H4 filament bulb to an auto parts store to be able to put the filament bulb and the LED side by side. The LED's also need to be the same DISTANCE from the reflector as the filament H4's. Too far or too close to the reflector will give poor results.

This will give you the best results when paired with an H4 reflector. The Euro reflector from Rimiusa.com is a curved lens.

Cheers,

Steve


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This has turned out to be quite the thread, am happy to be the recipient of a good ending, grateful to everyone's input.
Bulb arrived and looks like someone did their homework as far as the LED lightsource being the same distance from the reflector as the filaments are.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

and base is accurate so, although I need assurance from TR7RVMan that it won't somehow fry the system, it was simply a case of plug and play.

Per suggested, put a dab of Dielectric grease on the solder points...plus I also had bought a new (Lucas no less) headlight bulb holder...so I am not expecting any dodgy connections...

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

it's hard to tell from this picture but the light is bright....would not recommend looking into it...on the original you could...all day long.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

I'm not too worried about the reflector, I have no intentions of doing any night riding- this is a nice day/daylight bike only....

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Hi,

Good looking bike that. We've seen lots of close up pics of bits of the transmission, but it's good to see the whole picture. I think they are a cracking bike, easy to ride, relaxed and unfussy. Get on, petrol on, free clutch, ignition on, kick it. Ride and repeat.

I've got that same LED headlight in a std pattern headlight unit and it is bright. I'm not so sure about the beam pattern though. I have that setup in my 72 T100R and it gives a diffused light rather than a defined beam. That may be a lens or reflector issue rather than the LED, but it's not a headlight I'd want to ride large distances on small roads at night in the rain. Not that I would anyway, but you get the idea.

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Originally Posted by slofut
I think an H4 reflector would be very common to lighting and if it's a brand like Hella etc... would be a quality light pattern?
I have a Hella H4 unit on one bike. Works just fine with a quality lamp. With any light the distance and position of the source relative to the reflector is critical. Some of the cheap lamps resulted in a bizarre bow-tie shaped light pattern. Any major brand lamp works well, though I haven't tried LED yet.
Originally Posted by Andytheflyer
I've got that same LED headlight in a std pattern headlight unit and it is bright. I'm not so sure about the beam pattern though. I have that setup in my 72 T100R and it gives a diffused light rather than a defined beam. That may be a lens or reflector issue rather than the LED, but it's not a headlight I'd want to ride large distances on small roads at night in the rain. Not that I would anyway, but you get the idea.
I hear that. My Bonnie has a shell/reflector of unknown origin (Emgo?) and a cheap H4 LED lamp. It appears quite bright, but I don't know about the beam pattern. I have yet to ride it in full darkness.


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I can't see the logic in putting dielectric grease (designed to be non conductive) on the actual electrical contacts of the bulb.

Dave

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Quote
I can't see the logic in putting dielectric grease (designed to be non conductive) on the actual electrical contacts of the bulb.
the spring-base loads the contacts and displaces the grease ... from the prominent electrical contact points .
the grease ends up in the areas immediately surrounding electrical contact
that normally hold atmosphere that can lead too erosion

the grease adds a bit of vibration dampening too ... those tungsten filaments are brittle

almost any non metallic oil or grease will work ... i used Vaseline to the 40 or more pin connectors
on one of my cars computers ... and it cured the car of the Phantom door-lock window-opening syndrome

white smoke ( tungsten oxygen reaction W03 ? ) seen @ 2:50

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I still think it is a funny idea plus the damping effect must be negligible. We clean our electrical contacts and then put non conductive grease on them? Shall I open up my ignition switch and put it on those contacts, too?

Dave

Last edited by dave jones; 06/18/20 6:25 pm.
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I put dielectric grease on everything, including ignition switches, bullet connectors, bulbs, you name it. I find it especially helpful in handlebar switches which are out in the wind and rain and have a hard time of it.
I've found ancient grease of some kind on many electrical components probably applied at the factory. It's nothing new.
The whole idea is to protect the mechanical interface from corrosion which will break the connection or even give an intermittent problem. (even worse)
Cheers,
Bill


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Ok, fair enough. I thought it was just for the mechanical parts of a switch. I didn't know that you can put it on the actual contacts. I stand corrected.

Dave

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The grease stops the arc from cooking the solder.


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Hi, After 50+ years in the automotive trade, I can say dielectric grease is really rather amazing. Like Hawaiian Tiger I use it on everything.

Over time I find actual dielectric grease tends to hold up better than normal grease, Vaseline, or oil. Now days some call it silicon/dielectric grease.

I just bought another tube recently.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...=permatex+dielectric+grease&_sacat=0


This product works well also, however it IS CONDUCTIVE so you must wipe off any squish out.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gardner-Bender-Ox-Gard-General-Purpose-Anti-Oxident-Compound-4-oz/283713829413?epid=147091593&hash=item420ea97a25:g:Xo0AAOSwSKBd-QJi

I just did a 6 year side by side test between this OX-Guard type grease & dielectric. Both were excellent. OX-Guard may have been slightly better on snap connectors.

I used Ox-Guard & dielectric on bulb sockets. I felt dielectric was better on sockets overall. Allows applying liberal coating without worrying about squish out bleeding current.

I cannot explain why dielectric often makes bulbs last longer, but I've observed that many times.
Don


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I agree that bulbs last longer. My little truck used to go through headlights frequently. Since I discovered dielectric years ago I have not replaced a headlight.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.

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