Blowing brake light bulbs

Andrew Summerville /
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1978 Honda Hobbit PA-II. Ordered some missing bulbs (and other goodies) from Treats and the brake light bulb blew in less than a couple minutes. Headlight works only on low beam (I'm currently looking into the many options to fix/upgrade this on this forum) and the horn works. I noticed the resistor behind the horn wasn't plugged in and I'm not sure if the speedo or high beam indicator bulbs are present/working yet.

Did the bulb blow because the resistor wasn't plugged in

Or maybe my rectifier is bad?

Or because I might have been trying the high beam (which must be burned out) and the other bulbs weren't present so it was taking the brunt of the voltage?

I'm going to check the voltage at the light socket when I have an extra set of hands soon (that should tell me if the rectifier is at least doing its job I think). I don't want to throw a ton of bulbs at this since they are hard to find and not exactly "cheap" if they keep blowing out.

On that note, if my voltage/rectifier is good and I find some LED replacements would they do ok in the tail/brake and speedo/hight beam spots? Or will that cause too much current to the headlight bulb (which I'm leaning toward upgrading to the 25w/25w replaceable bulb assembly anyway - so a little extra juice shouldn't hurt it)

I am also reading that these rectifiers (31700-166-008) are 12v, but the bulbs throughout the system are all 6 volt, so is the rectifier only really there to convert AC to DC since the regulation function could allow too much voltage for the bulbs? If this is the case can/should I upgrade to 12v bulbs to prevent them from blowing out as much?


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