Need Help Headlight Replacement

WutangPanda

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I spent about two hours trying to find a way to replace my dying headlight. My hand is all scratched up from trying to reach down and pull it with no success. My mom even offered to help and she couldn't pull it off. I read a bunch of threads that discussed this and said that it is tricky, but achievable. What am I missing?
 

Janus

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I am missing the shop manual. I looked at the PDF one online because I am considering taking the whole headlight assembly off.

Unless you are a tupperware savant you should definitely obtain an official copy of the manual. It's a lot cheaper than breaking plastic bits. There are a lot of bits to break on the NC.
 

WutangPanda

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Unless you are a tupperware savant you should definitely obtain an official copy of the manual. It's a lot cheaper than breaking plastic bits. There are a lot of bits to break on the NC.
Tupperware savant because I can save little bits? Is it different than the PDF version?
 

Janus

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Tupperware savant because I can save little bits?
Because the bike is wrapped in overlapping plastic which must be removed before basic maintenance can occur

I can't tell you how accurate or updated your pirated copy is, or how relevant it is to your specific model year. But I noticed some significant differences in what my pirated copy said versus the official shop manual said for my Suzuki C50 Boulevard.
 

WutangPanda

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Because the bike is wrapped in overlapping plastic which must be removed before basic maintenance can occur

I can't tell you how accurate or updated your pirated copy is, or how relevant it is to your specific model year. But I noticed some significant differences in what my pirated copy said versus the official shop manual said for my Suzuki C50 Boulevard.
I found it through google. Is there a good place to find a functional shop manual?
 

Janus

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I found it through google. Is there a good place to find a functional shop manual?
I got mine from some guy running a site called shop-service-manual.com or something equally ridiculous. Just make sure it's the Haynes and it's good to go
 

dduelin

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Dying headlight is not very descriptive to me. Does the bulb need replacing or do you have to remove the headlight assembly?

If it's only the bulb, try kneeling down alongside the front wheel and reaching up from the underside. (for a right-handed person). You do it by feel so some thought is put into visualizing what you are doing. Find the headlight wiring connector, squeeze the tabs on each side of the connector between thumb and forefinger and pull off the connector. Pull off the rubber sealing boot. There is a wire bail with one end hooked under a retainer. With 1 finger you push down on the wire bail and unhook it then the bulb is free.
 
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670cc

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Don’t go to great effort to obtain a service manual to see how to change the bulb. The service manual is going to illustrate how the retainer secures the bulb base, but it does not describe how a human being should effectively access the rear of the headlight assembly.

I suggest following dduelin’s advice and reach up from below to access the headlight bulb. We have had many people upgrade light bulbs or install LED replacements, and I don’t recall anyone saying they had to take off the whole headlight assembly.

BD8E1356-8806-43EE-8F74-FB89D5D09C54.jpeg
 

WutangPanda

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Dying headlight is not very descriptive to me. Does the bulb need replacing or do you have to remove the headlight assembly?

If it's only the bulb, try kneeling down alongside the front wheel and reaching up from the underside. (for a right-handed person). You do it by feel so some thought is put into visualizing what you are doing. Find the headlight wiring connector, squeeze the tabs on each side of the connector between thumb and forefinger and pull off the connector. Pull off the rubber sealing boot. There is a wire bail with one end hooked under a retainer. With 1 finger you push down on the wire bail and unhook it then the bulb is free.
The bulb is dying and I tried and can't get my hand into the assembly (I have weird big hands).
 

WutangPanda

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Don’t go to great effort to obtain a service manual to see how to change the bulb. The service manual is going to illustrate how the retainer secures the bulb base, but it does not describe how a human being should effectively access the rear of the headlight assembly.

I suggest following dduelin’s advice and reach up from below to access the headlight bulb. We have had many people upgrade light bulbs or install LED replacements, and I don’t recall anyone saying they had to take off the whole headlight assembly.

View attachment 44502
I appreciate the suggestion, I have tried that and from either side with the front wheel turned to either angle I just can't fit my hand in there. It is really frustrating because I have changed car headlights many times over the years. This is physically impossible unless I remove the whole assembly.
 

davidc83

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I dont go thru the bottom....I stand on the left side of the bike (shifter side), turn handlebars full right to the stop, reach down and pull the plug straight back and off, then pull the dust cover off. Unhook the retainer on its left side, swing right, and pull the bulb out...do everything in reverse after replacing new bulb.. this is easier when I have the bike on the centerstand...
 
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