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Hi Folks, newbie, '79 CM400 w/ puzzling turn signal issue.

4690 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  MichaelP309
Hello everyone, Western NY here, cold & wet most of the time, so barn find bikes abound! I found a cute '79 Honda CM400 for my daughter. Budget constraints meant that I could only afford a fixer-uper. It's a '79 CM400 with 11K on the spedo. It was missing the seat, tail lights and rear signals, so I replaced those things with aftermarket. After a lot of other work, (leaky carbs, petcock, etc...) I got the bike to fire up. The left hand turn signals function fine but when I turn the switch to the right it causes the flasher unit to buzz like an angry bumble bee. The RH signal lights do not flash. I have checked the bulbs, switching them from right to left and it still acts the same way. I am inexperienced with electrical issues and really need some help to get this ready for my daughter's upcomming birthday. Any help or advice is appreciated!
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MichaelP309 said:
I'll try pulling that switch apart tomorrow evening and see if I can find any obvious problems. So what is dielectric grease and what does it do?
Dielectric grease is an insulator, generally silicone based. It's good for lamp bases on trucks and trailers (as Ford applied it in the 80s) to slow corrosion. When used for ignition connections it slows corrosion and fills gaps between solid dielectrics so there's no air gaps. Since air has a much lower dielectric constant than solids, minute air gaps with high voltage applied makes the air gaps arc first leading to heating damage to the adjacent solid dielectrics.

Here is a good YouTube video that pretty much 'splains it all. It's good stuff and restorers like us should consider using it on all those bullet connectors, especially on connectors associated with the charging system or higher currents.

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