Question about 1985 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

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1985 vt 500c tailights quit working

I have a 1985 vt 500c that was converted into a trike.  i just built a rack that  connects to the bumper so that i could put my wheelchair on it and was trying to connect so lights that were on the rack.  i was using a test light on the wiring harness for the normal tailights so that i could find the right wires for my auxilary lights.  i found the correct wire and as soon as i did, the tailights quit working.  i cant find a fuse anywhere.  what would cause this problem?

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  • jnewby4 Feb 02, 2009

    the rack lights have been disconnected.  brake lights and turn signals still work, but taillight/ running light does not work.

  • jnewby4 Feb 02, 2009

    the rack lights are regular automotive bulbs.   the filaments on the trikes lights are good.  there are three lights on each side of the trike... left and right as it was an old police trike.  none of them have tailight function but all work for brake and signal as they did before.  the only thing i could find tracing the wiring harness was a little black box under the seat that has " stop and tail" molded into it.  i dont know a whole lot about motorcycles, so is it possible that little box went bad?   i figured there was a fuse but cant find one.  the only place i havent looked is under the gas tank because that didnt seem very like a very logical place for fuses.

  • jnewby4 Feb 04, 2009

    i checked behind the headlight bulb and behind the headlight housing, no fuses at all. ?  where else might i check?  should i pull the gas tank and check under it?  

  • jnewby4 Feb 04, 2009

    found fuses... under cover on top of handle bar clamps.  fuse was blown.  thanks for the help.

  • joe May 11, 2010

    forgot the pic. its for an 85 VT700 so should be the same?

    number 21 are the fuses mounted to the fuse plate assembly (#11)

  • joe May 11, 2010

    how odd. lights worked before you connected the rack, didn't work after you connected them, removed rack and still don't work, but filaments are good in these bulbs.

    not sure about the little box labeled "stop & tail".

    fuses should be located behind the headlight. if you can remove it, you can take a look at them.

  • joe May 11, 2010

    are the rack lights LEDs or normal automotive bulbs?

    have you checked the filament of the rear bulb to see if its burned out? if it is, then i would wonder what made it short out.

  • joe May 11, 2010

    if you remove the rack's wiring from the bike, do the lights on the bike work fine?

    taillight (running light) or brake light too quit functioning?


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Sounds like a loose connection, check that bulb is seated properly also. There is a relay for the reart light also its usually located on the battery side and attached to the plastic rear fender on a two wheel shadow follow the wires. Hope this helps. Oh check fuses also.

Posted on Oct 01, 2009

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Have ya checked for inline fuses sounds like ya blew a fuse when ya jumped the lights

Posted on Aug 05, 2009

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There shd be a fuse just for the rear lights
A bad connection wld also give these symptoms
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Posted on Jun 27, 2009

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