Sunday, September 9, 2012

Auxiliary Rear Lighting - Wiring

Besides adding more light to the rear of my bike, I wanted this upgrade to look "period correct", so there were a couple extra steps that I needed to take in order to make the lights look like they were installed in 1964 and not 2012.

First thing to go was the modern style wire coming out of each of the light sockets.  I had a couple pieces of cloth covered wire stashed in my parts drawer and that served as the basis for my new pigtails.

In order to rebuild the sockets, I first disassembled them completely.

Crimped on the end of each wire pigtail was a small brass terminal contact.  This can be uncrimped and reused, but I recommend ordering a new terminal contact that can be soldered on to the end of the wire.  I ordered mine from The Repair Connector Store.  To install the new terminal contact, I first filled the terminal contact with solder.  This was accomplished by heating it with the tip of a soldering iron and then adding soldering wire until the cup was filled.

Next I stripped the wire and used the soldering iron to tin the exposed wire.

To complete the job, I reheated the terminal contact and pushed the wire into it.  Once the wire cooled, I reassembled the pigtail and added a little heat shrink to keep the cloth covering from fraying.

I repeated the process for the other pigtail and then reassembled both fixtures.

With the fixtures properly rewired, I remounted them on the angle brackets under the seat.  I then used black cloth friction tape to hold the wires in place as I routed them toward the gas tank, making sure to leave a loop for the removal of the seat pin.

I had a short length of asbestos loom in my parts drawer and used it to cover the wire as it went from the T-bar to in between the gas tanks.

I chose to run the wire to the dash switch instead of the terminal block under the seat because it allowed me to still flip the seat up without needing to detach the lights or to have a long loop of wire hanging under the seat.  Running the wire between the tanks and into the back of the dash took a lot of careful "fishing" and probably would have been faster if I had just removed the dash completely.

The wire came through on the left side of the dash (yellow arrow below) and then attached to the #4  terminal on the switch (blue arrow below).  Note this is on a 1964 Duo-Glide.  

Once all the wiring was in place, I bolted the seat back on.  

Here's how the new lights look in the dark.

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