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Three bikes, 3 H7’s three melted bulbs.


KDeline

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KDeline

All 2009 RTs,  two of them being police bikes. This one lasted 350 miles after replacing a burned out bulb.  All three melted in the right low beam position as sitting on the bike. I guess I need to buy a little bit more expensive bulbs. All Hella bulbs.

B50A55F7-887E-4969-8FCE-4A962C59D01C.jpeg

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wbw6cos

Hey Ken, did you ever try to ask Hella if they know what the cause may be?

 

You have completed the trifecta, so you should be good from here on out.

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KDeline

I never really cared enough with even two of them, but I think with this third one I will be posting a question to their website.

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Seems you have a bad connection or you are getting a spike in power to produce the bulbs to over heat so quickly. Or it may be a batch of crap bulbs, They must be rated at 55w and no higher.. On a note of  regarding bulbs, replacements must be UV rated. If not you may find that the headlamp lens will be affaceted by the heat produced by the bulbs.

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46 minutes ago, Doctor T said:

Seems you have a bad connection or you are getting a spike in power to produce the bulbs to over heat so quickly. Or it may be a batch of crap bulbs, They must be rated at 55w and no higher.. On a note of  regarding bulbs, replacements must be UV rated. If not you may find that the headlamp lens will be affaceted by the heat produced by the bulbs.

Morning  Doctor T

 

A bad connection would lower the bulb current due to resistance, not increase it, so that would show up as burnt connectors or  a heat related problem someplace else.  

 

Also, the bulbs do not HAVE to be 55 watt as I have been running 65 watt H-7 bulbs for years without any melting or other problems. You probably don't want to go much over 65 watts as the stock wiring is too small to go much higher. 

 

The system pretty well protects itself as the ZFE module controls the headlight power so it is monitored by the ZFE's electronics & will shut the circuit down if it sees over-current. 

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11 hours ago, KDeline said:

Now a FOURTH one has melted. Went out and bought a brand name off the shelf for much more then the previous ones. Will see if that one melts. 

Morning  KDeline

 

If that bulb issue keeps happening then you might just try running the bulbs that way.  On the few I have personally seen with those bulges they were obviously operating with those bulges for quite a while before failure.

 

Or you could try some H-7 LL (Long Life)  bulbs as those probably put out a bit less light but last longer so more than likely run a little cooler.  

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7 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

Morning  KDeline

 

If that bulb issue keeps happening then you might just try running the bulbs that way.  On the few I have personally seen with those bulges they were obviously operating with those bulges for quite a while before failure.

 

Or you could try some H-7 LL (Long Life)  bulbs as those probably put out a bit less light but last longer so more than likely run a little cooler.  

This was four bulbs on three different bikes, same position.  How I found it the first time was the light output was dimmer. One went out, the other three were dim. The other thing I have is that in all bikes the plastic end has crumbled off and I"m just connecting the contacts. This second bulb failure is on a bike that I think the connectors are only slid in on one side. Can't seem to get both sides of the connector to slide onto the bulb tab as they look crooked. See attachment. Wondering if this could be an issue. Will test the Sylvania I put in for now.

bulb.png

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6 minutes ago, KDeline said:

This was four bulbs on three different bikes, same position.  How I found it the first time was the light output was dimmer. One went out, the other three were dim. The other thing I have is that in all bikes the plastic end has crumbled off and I"m just connecting the contacts. This second bulb failure is on a bike that I think the connectors are only slid in on one side. Can't seem to get both sides of the connector to slide onto the bulb tab as they look crooked. See attachment. Wondering if this could be an issue. Will test the Sylvania I put in for now.

 

Morning  KDeline

 

That attachment is so blurry that I can't tell anything from the picture.

 

Were any of the terminals burnt brown or back or loose on the bulb tang? (usually the brown wire terminal burns first).

 

You do need the get as much terminal contact to the bulb tang as possible so make sure those are on correctly.

 

 

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1 hour ago, dirtrider said:

 

 

Were any of the terminals burnt brown or back or loose on the bulb tang? (usually the brown wire terminal burns first).

 

You do need the get as much terminal contact to the bulb tang as possible so make sure those are on correctly.

 

 

No burning that I can see. Will try to reattach. 

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Ken - With all due respect, since this is on more than one bike, I wonder if you're getting the bulb seated correctly? Specifically, I'm wondering if the bulb is not square against the mounting/housing and the bulb is touching something or is too close to an edge where heat is building up. I mentioned this because - as you no doubt know, these bulbs are very difficult to reach, remove and replace.

 

Good luck!

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15 minutes ago, Indy Dave said:

Ken - With all due respect, since this is on more than one bike, I wonder if you're getting the bulb seated correctly? Specifically, I'm wondering if the bulb is not square against the mounting/housing and the bulb is touching something or is too close to an edge where heat is building up. I mentioned this because - as you no doubt know, these bulbs are very difficult to reach, remove and replace.

 

Good luck!

I have thought that exact same thing. I can get them so close it gets hard to tell. The glass is not touching the metal bracket you see in the low beam housing.  BUT all the others took many miles to melt, last one was 350 miles. Plus this second failure on one bike is the bike that the spring came off so I have the problem of rehanging the spring while trying to keep the bulb in place. Don't think I can get it any better.

bulb2.png

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It may be obvious, but are you sure your not touching the bulb glass? Any fi ngerprints can create hot spots, so the nulb should be cleaned before fitting and the glass not touched. Hth

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Evening  KDeline

 

Here is the PIAA bulb diagnostics__

 

TROUBLESHOOTING BULB PROBLEMS

 

To determine if a bulb is covered by PIAA's 90 day warranty, check the following table:-

 

1) If the bulb will not light or does not light to its full intensity :
This is normally due to a faulty internal connection which is covered under warranty.

 

2) If the glass portion of the bulb has a blister: it has been touched and the oily residue has caused it to overheat.
This is not covered by warranty.

 

3) If there is a break in the filament (without a puddle or knob at the end of the break):
Bulb was dropped or subject to severe vibration and is not covered by warranty.

4) If the glass portion of the bulb turns grey: It has failed due to low voltage and is not covered by warranty.
Check your connections to make sure that they are not corroded.

5) If the glass portion of the bulb turns white:
This is caused by a gas leak and is covered by warranty.

6) If the filament has worn thin and broken:
The bulb is worn out and is not covered by warranty.

 

Personally, I usually wipe the new bulb down with alcohol just to be sure, unless it was in a sealed blister pack then it could have been taken out of the package at the store  by a previous customer just to look at it, or possibly trying to match it up to the bulb they are looking for. Plus, I use a clean, or new, rubber surgical glove on my working hand as an old glove could have some oil or other contaminants on it. 

 

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Evening  KDeline

 

I guess one thing you could try (probably a bit expensive but maybe not any more expensive than installing multiple new bulbs).

 

BMW has a 2 year warranty on the parts they sell  (I'm not 100% sure of this on light bulbs though so you would have to ask).

 

If they are covered then if you keep getting failures they should replace them for free.   

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If this happens again, I will use alcohol and clean the bulb. This last one I installed was a more expensive Sylvania bulb and I took it directly out of the blister pack without touching it. I also spent about two hours trying to reshape the connectors as they were a tad loose and one of them would only fit on one side. Ended up screwing them up so badly that I could not even get them to connect. Then slowly worked it back over an old bulb terminal  and used pliers to reshape it in that small space. Not as tight fitting as I would like it to be, but about the best I can do without pulling off the whole front end. That was fun.  Did 100 mile day today in the high 70s, no sign of blistering yet. 

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2 minutes ago, KDeline said:

If this happens again, I will use alcohol and clean the bulb. This last one I installed was a more expensive Sylvania bulb and I took it directly out of the blister pack without touching it. I also spent about two hours trying to reshape the connectors as they were a tad loose and one of them would only fit on one side. Ended up screwing them up so badly that I could not even get them to connect. Then slowly worked it back over an old bulb terminal  and used pliers to reshape it in that small space. Not as tight fitting as I would like it to be, but about the best I can do without pulling off the whole front end. That was fun.  Did 100 mile day today in the high 70s, no sign of blistering yet. 

Evening  KDeline

 

Thanks for the update, this has turned into an interesting thread (probably not so much for you) so please keep us updated as you get more miles on that  bulb. 

 

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OK, this is a head scratcher. Bike one that melted two of them was purchased with the first original melted bulb I put on 13,000 miles before melted. Second bulb melted in the bike at 350 miles. both replaced in July. Second motorcycle had 8000 miles on that bulb, replaced on 7 July. Third motorcycle if my records are correct had 40,000 miles on that bulb that came with the bike,  and it melted in June of this year. All of the bulbs were in the right low beam position as sitting on the bike. Figure this one out. 

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On 8/4/2022 at 1:14 PM, dirtrider said:

Morning  Doctor T

 

A bad connection would lower the bulb current due to resistance, not increase it, so that would show up as burnt connectors or  a heat related problem someplace else.  

 

Also, the bulbs do not HAVE to be 55 watt as I have been running 65 watt H-7 bulbs for years without any melting or other problems. You probably don't want to go much over 65 watts as the stock wiring is too small to go much higher. 

 

The system pretty well protects itself as the ZFE module controls the headlight power so it is monitored by the ZFE's electronics & will shut the circuit down if it sees over-current. 

55 watt, am going on what the manual states and the Law in the UK. I have see bulbs burn out before from a bad connection. My 2020 Audi has done it twice before the so called tec's at my local deals sorced the problem within the bulb connectors melting . Bad earth leading to too much current running throght the live circuit. No a thing you would exspect on a £78k car.

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Ken - O wish I had more to add - that is helpful! I certainly admire the issue. Long ago, on my '06, I got tired of the challenge of replacing these bulbs, and like you, also suffered from crumbling plugs - so I went to a HID setup. Been very happy with this, and transferred the lights to the '10. Not a real viable solution for you - due to the expense of doing it to 3 bikes. I have no idea if there might be a LED alternative that's acceptable and inexpensive? I'm still living in the last with my Halogen PIAA driving lights and HID headlights, so I've not kept up to date on matters of Led's.

 

I'm sure you do this already, but I wear rubber gloves when replacing bulbs.  Good Luck!

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1 hour ago, Doctor T said:

55 watt, am going on what the manual states and the Law in the UK. I have see bulbs burn out before from a bad connection. My 2020 Audi has done it twice before the so called tec's at my local deals sorced the problem within the bulb connectors melting . Bad earth leading to too much current running throght the live circuit. No a thing you would exspect on a £78k car.

Evening  Doctor T

 

"Bad earth leading to too much current running through the live circuit."

 

This doesn't pass my common sense test. A bad earth (bad ground) can LOWER the voltage & current through the bulb but not increase it.

 

As a common sense visual--  if you have (2) 55watt bulbs hooked in series (one becomes series resistance for the other) then both bulbs will output less light & make less heat. 

 

Nothing you can do with a ground can make bulb brighter or make it make more heat.   

 

If adding resistance to the ground could make a bulb brighter & make more heat then unplugging the ground completely (infinite resistance) would make it brighter. That doesn't happen as the bulb doesn't even light. 

 

 

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D.R, It went against my learning of electrical circuits too but i have no reason to lie on the subject. Audi's seem to have multi earths and live's going to the same connection

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