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Discussion Starter #1
As everyone knows (and I'm learning) the old Honda twins are not a motorcycle, they are a commitment. They are not a hobby, they are a lifestyle. From the aggravation of trying to figure out the d**n synchronization of the carbs to sniffing out decent replacement parts, they aren't just plug-n-play bikes.

This past summer I spent most of my time working on fabricating some new resonators/mufflers for my bike. After I got them welded up and installed, I spent the early fall getting the carbs tuned and synced. By the time it was running good there wasn't much time to ride but I took advantage of the opportunities and have enjoyed the way that old girl climbs up to 60 REAL fast.....and then kind of hangs out at the mile a minute mark.

With a good tailwind she'll goosebump me to the 70 mark but 60-65 is where she likes to camp. I'm okay with that for now.

Anyway, with a few hundred miles on the odometer the headlight died on me. So it was back in the barn for the lady until I sniffed out another headlight.

A bit of hunting revealed that I could spend a small fortune getting an OEM (used) headlight or a larger fortune upgrading to a replacement system. I chose neither.

As most are probably aware, the "sealed beam" headlight (at least on my K6) isn't really a sealed beam. They are a reflector and lens built around a miserable bulb and soldered together at the ass end.

In the past, as I was doing a little rattle can rebuild on her, I figured I could somehow use the housing and replace the bulb with something a little less......weak, but I didn't really think much about it ( I didn't want to ruin the only headlight I had) until the headlight finally quit. When it burned out, I needed to do something. A quick search of this forum showed me a thread about using an H4 bulb in an existing housing

H4 Headlamp

HerrDeacon inspired me with his use of Quick Steel and after some thought, I took a shot at it myself. I decided to make this thread to help anyone else who wants to replace their headlight without spending a paycheck and keeping the vintage look of the original lens.

I'll do it one post at a time because I took a bunch of pictures and I always seem to get "signed out" when I'm trying to post anything of any length.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The first thing I did (after removing the headlight from the bucket) was to use a hacksaw to carefully cut around the bulb base at the point where the neck of the reflector ends.

IMG_20141111_204303560.jpg

The bulb globe fell inside the housing and the assend with the soldered connections came off easily. I cleaned up the connection site with a fine file and using a screwdriver, I broke up the old globe inside the housing. Once broken up, the bulb pieces were easily shaken out leaving a nice clean housing ready to use.

IMG_20141111_204514332.jpg IMG_20141111_204617197.jpg IMG_20141111_190229101.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The next step was to retrofit the housing to accept a new halogen bulb.

I had seen some other retrofits that worked, but left something to be desired in the looks department. Also, I wanted something that would make it easy to replace the bulb when it burned out. I decided I wanted to use a threaded cap of some sort so I could simply unscrew the old burned out bulb and screw in a new one.

So I bought a tube of JB Weld - Steel Stick at Home Depot ($5.77) and an 1-1/4" electrical conduit busing at Ace Hardware ($1.04). They probably have the bushings at Home Depot too but I was at Ace Hardware and I like Ace so....

All told (not including the bulb) it was less than $10 to do this modification.
IMG_20141116_111128650.jpg

In the center of the picture is a "washer" I cut out of some 24 gauge aluminum trim coil. I cut it at 1-1/2" in diameter with a 3/4" hole centered in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I cleaned the housing with some mineral spirits and........
IMG_20141116_111307374.jpg

roughened the housing around the hole so the steel putty would bond better.
IMG_20141116_111517433.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Kneading the entire tube of JB Weld - Steel Stick, I made a donut around the hole in the back of the housing.
IMG_20141116_112804168.jpg

I used a short length of steel tube to stick in the housing to keep the putty from overlapping the hole but I don't think that was necessary.

After I formed the donut of putty, I sprayed the plastic bushing, the aluminum "washer" and the lightbulb with silicone spray so the steel putty would not stick to any of them.

Put the "washer" and bulb (now slick with silicone spray) together

IMG_20141116_111810753.jpg

and press the entire assembly down into the housing like it would be when installed. Pressing the whole thing down into the putty will squeeze the steel putty out to the side and fill all the voids in the light/bushing assembly. After the assembly has seated against the housing, you can cut away the excess putty that has squeezed out the sides. You can see the silcone squeezing out of the assembly between the "washer" and the bushing.
IMG_20141116_112932568_HDR.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Once you've pressed the assembly over the putty and cut away the excess, "loosen" the bushing by unscrewing it just a little to make sure it isn't stuck in place. It should look like this.

IMG_20141116_114226256_HDR.jpg

I didn't wait long to unscrew the bushing on my mold. I got a little nervous and probably over reacted but I was afraid I'd let the bulb bond in the steel putty and never get it apart without wrecking it.

But when I unscrewed the bushing, the bulb came out pretty easily. I had not used enough silicone and the steel putty stuck to a couple parts so it wasn't the neatest extraction possible. Having learned that lesson I say, use plenty of silicone spray, you can always clean it off later.

After I unscrewed the bushing and took out the bulb, this is what it looked like. A nicely formed neck with well defined threads.

IMG_20141116_114724646_HDR.jpg

The bushing screwed on and off beautifully and the bulb inserted and seated nicely. All in all it was a great success. After that it was an easy matter to.......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paint the housing
IMG_20141116_121604087.jpg

I used VHT Satin Black Epoxy
IMG_20141116_121638952.jpg
Despite wiping the housing down with mineral spirits I still had some minor fish eye but since it's always hidden in the light bucket, I didn't worry too much about that.

IMG_20141116_125714373_HDR.jpg

Solder up new connectors on the old wires.
IMG_20141116_125235156.jpg

Put on the rubber boot (mainly for looks and so I wouldn't lose it because there's nothing for it to fasten to).....
IMG_20141116_125543787_HDR.jpg

Then make sure it works.....

IMG_20141116_130621883_HDR.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Since SC requires that all motorcycles operate with high beams on all the time, and since the old Honda alternator struggles to make 120 watts output, I decided to forgo using an H4 bulb that has the dual elements. It was very hard for me to find an H4 bulb that was the 35W / 35W configuration. All the H4 bulbs in the auto parts stores are 55W / 60W. I was afraid that that would be too much for the weak alternator output.

So I opted to use the single element H7 bulb which is a 55W bulb. You can find these for $9 - $28 in the auto parts stores. The really Ultra White ones put out a nice light and it's as much for visibility as it is for nocturnal navigation.

I labeled and taped the low beam wire inside the bucket just in case I go senile and can't remember what I did. Also that way the next owner (if there is one) won't cuss the P.O. for a stupid trick.

IMG_20141116_131416103.jpg

Now a final assembly....

IMG_20141116_132021292_HDR.jpg

Install and......
 

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Wow, what a fantastic write-up, great pictures too. This is going to help a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to log this.

Love how you made it with that electrical bushing, ingenious! I was able to source a 35W/35W bulb from my dealer, he ordered it in for me.

BTW, I've stickied this post so it doesn't get lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, what a fantastic write-up, great pictures too. This is going to help a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to log this.

Love how you made it with that electrical bushing, ingenious! I was able to source a 35W/35W bulb from my dealer, he ordered it in for me.

BTW, I've stickied this post so it doesn't get lost.
Wow! Kind words HerrDeacon. Thank you.

I found one 35/35 watt H4 at the PowerSports shop locally that looked like it had hung on the wall for 20 years. I figured if it was that hard to find on the shelf it might be better to use a common alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
TStephen,
Where did you purchase that "little square of aluminum coil"? stuff ? what is it usually intended for ? Great Job ;)
Thanks bilbikek411.

Having been in the remodeling business for years (and siding my own home as well) I had the better part of an aluminum trim coil in the shed. But any light gauge metal would work, even salvaging a soup can and flattening it out I guess.
 

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Excellent stuff I just posted about this very subject on the forum then spotted this thread 35/35w H4 fitting problem solved and solved cheaply ...thanx
 

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35/35 are real easy to find, but, you have to go to a scooter/moped shop. They are commonly fitted on Chinese scooters
 

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The first thing I did (after removing the headlight from the bucket) was to use a hacksaw to carefully cut around the bulb base at the point where the neck of the reflector ends.

View attachment 49269

The bulb globe fell inside the housing and the assend with the soldered connections came off easily. I cleaned up the connection site with a fine file and using a screwdriver, I broke up the old globe inside the housing. Once broken up, the bulb pieces were easily shaken out leaving a nice clean housing ready to use.

View attachment 49270 View attachment 49272 View attachment 49271

First off, great article. My headlight actually makes a "cross-like" shape that doesn't provide me with any light. After reading this article I was left with the question of how to safely remove the headlight from the chrome bucket?
 

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Has anyone installed an H4 bulb? I think the H4 bulb is bigger than the H7 bulb. I bought an H4 35/35w bulb and then bought an 1 1/4 bushing. The bushing was way to small. I bought an 1 1/2 bushing and it might work if I trim most of the 3 tabs off of the bulb. The glass part of the bulb fits through the hole but the base doesn't. I don't think it is in far enough for the filaments to line up with the reflector properly. I would need to open the hole up more than the diameter of the neck. Would that mess up the reflector? I have been reading and it looks like I need to orient the bulb with the low beam reflector on the bottom facing up? I just want to make sure before I mess anything up.
 

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For those interested in a H4 headlight with a straight forward install, I recommend the EMGO 6 1/4" Headlight Assembly. I ended up buying mine from BikeBandit. The assembly comes with the bucket, headlight lens and H4 bulb. However, I replaced the H4 bulb with a 35w/35w as previously mentioned to do in this thread. The bucket uses the same bolt size 10x1.25 and I was able to pack in all the wiring. I've yet to have it ride it at night yet but so far to the naked eye it looks brighter.
 

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I installed a 7" emgo headlight bucket that came with a 35/35W bulb. My old housing cracked and $70 for a direct replacement upgrade sounded good. I like it so far but I didn't ride at night with the original so nothing to compare.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Has anyone installed an H4 bulb? I think the H4 bulb is bigger than the H7 bulb. I bought an H4 35/35w bulb and then bought an 1 1/4 bushing. The bushing was way to small. I bought an 1 1/2 bushing and it might work if I trim most of the 3 tabs off of the bulb. .......... I have been reading and it looks like I need to orient the bulb with the low beam reflector on the bottom facing up? I just want to make sure before I mess anything up.
Trimming the tabs off the H4 worked but I chose not to use it.

After riding at night with this setup I am not recommending it for night riding. Maybe with some adjustments I can get an adequate beam but it's a white knuckler for sure and probably not a good idea.

Final word? Works great for daytime riding to meet requirements and maintain visibility and it's a neat fix.
 
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