12 September 2010

FZ1 Mod: Auxiliary Lighting

9 Sep 2010: plamaled 008 high power LED modules

About the time I ordered the Bi Xenon HID kit from kryptonbulbs.com, Cruzman showed me a link to a youtube video for LED modules.  He suggested this could be a solution to adding aux lights to the FZ1 without overtaxing the charging system.  Until then, Aux Lights was on my list of things I wish I could have but probably wouldn't along with the R1 Fork Swap.

I admit, it was sort of an impulse purchase.  The idea of having what I thought I couldn't was just too much to resist not giving it a try.  So, I searched the internet to see what was possible.  I found some mention on several forums, but all were high power high dollar units.  None of them were what I was looking for.  Apparently, these manufacturers are extremely proud of their products and have priced them accordingly.

Aside from making my own, like a guy did on sport-touring.net out of cree lights, I was afraid Cruzman had gotten my hopes up for nothing until I stumbled on www.plasmaled.com.  They had a high power led module in the price range I was hoping to find.  It was a bonus to discover their website showed them on cars as running lights!  Done deal, I ordered 2 of the 3w 008 modules for $39.98 delivered and not so patiently waited for them to arrive.

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48465
As soon as they did, I put power to them to see if the videos did them justice.  They did!  Those things are blinding and can light up a dark room.  I took them with me so Cruzman could see the result of his search when we did Baby's jetting.  I also hoped he'd have some better ideas for mounting than I'd come up with so far.  He didn't disappoint.

When I got home, I did a little more internet searching and found some motorcycle specific images on different forums.  I took a little inspiration from a guy on a V-Strom forum and rummaged around the house for a suitable bracket to do a mock up using the front reflector.  I wanted to keep the reflector and hopefully have something that looked a lot better than what I'd found so far.  So here's what I came up with using the one l-shaped bracket I found around the house and a cannibalized MD80 camera mount:

It was ugly, but it gave me a better idea for what I wanted.  A different view:

I immediately noticed the found bracket was too big.  Next step was to go to Home Depot to see what they had in the way of l-brackets.  I returned home an hour or so later having spent about $5 for 2" wide double corner braces and some machine screws.  A little bit of measuring and drilling produced the perfect mounts:

Then I put them on the bike:

I wanted to wait to wire them until I was sure the mounts were secure.  I was going on a ride on the weekend and thought that would be the perfect test.  It was because the didn't move at all during the ride.  Next step was to figure out how to wire them to the system.

Since I know very little about motorcycle charging systems and wiring stuff, I decided to get advice from the forums.  Most people said wire them straight to the bike using something that was always on.  Cruzman and eflyguy suggested using a relay.

My DIY Wiring Kit for the LEDs
I tested the lights on the system using the pig-tail for the battery charger and blew a fuse right away.  After that, I decided to use the relay to be safe.  I thought I was going to use some left over trailer light wiring but I couldn't find it or used it when I made the heated gloves.  A quick trip to Radio Shack netted me some wire, a switch, and a relay for around $17.  Another trip to Napa got me posi-locks for about $5.  With everything gathered, I was ready to wire the lights.  Before I figured out how to include the relay, I wanted to see the lights powered by the bike.  My previous test resulted in a blown fuse so I needed to figure out why.

Relay, inline fuse, and switch
After using the posi-locks to add the extension wire to the lights, I ran them along the brake lines, under the fairing, and the tank toward where they would likely be tapped into the system.  At first I tried the front running lights wire on the turn signal since it was the closest, but I blew another fuse and realized the alarm also uses those wires.  With the alarm and the pod lights, it was too much for that system.  I needed to find another place.  Cruzman had already told me to use the brake lights so that's what I decided to do.  There's a switch on the right side near the rear brake lever that goes back to the taillights so I was going to use that.  Before I did, I wanted to see if the lights would actually run on the battery power without blowing fuses.  It took a few attempts before I discovered I needed to reverse the positive and negative wires on one of the lights to get them to both work together.  Once I did that, I stuck the wires on the battery and got lights!
Aux Lights finally on battery power.
Now it was time to tackle the relay.  Before I even started, I consulted Cruzman with a tentative email asking if I had the wiring right:  30 to the Aux Lights, 86 to the hot wire on the bike, 87 to the positive battery with an inline fuse (I didn't want to take any more chances with blown bike fuses!), and 85 to ground.  The only real question I needed answering was how to include the switch.

The switch I chose was a mini push button switch that is illuminated by an led.  It has 4 prongs.  I sent Cruzman an image and asked what to do with the other prongs and how to get the wires from the relay to the switch.  Thankfully, he put it in simple terms.  The #2 prong to the relay, the #1 to the red wire on the lights, and then the ground wire on the lights gets grounded elsewhere.  I don't know why I couldn't visualize that!

Time to get to work.  According to the Clymer manual, the yellow wire is always hot to the tail lights, so I tapped it:

Next, I ran that wire to the 86 plug on the relay.  Then the 85 to ground and the 87 to the positive on the battery with the inline fuse.
After blowing fuses during mockup, I used a 30a fuse in the inline fuse.
After that, I ran a wire from the 30 up toward the front of the bike after resisting the urge to put the switch in the side panel under my leg.  I didn't want to lift the damned tank again!  Fortunately, Cruzman talked me down.  With the wires where they needed to be, I soldered the wires to the switch just like Cruzman told me to.  I made a "y" cable so I could include both lights.  I soldered a single wire to the #1 prong on the switch with a bullet connector on the other end then did the same for the #2.  Finally, I attached the #1 bullet to the "y" cable and the other end to the red wires from both of the lights.  (When I switched the wires, I did it at the posi-locks connect to the wire from the lights so I wouldn't have to figure out which was hot later on.)  Then I put some connectors on the black wire to run to the same ground the Bi Xenons use.

As you can see, I had red shrink tubing on the wires so when I knew I was done soldering, I could protect the leads.  I also didn't mount the switch yet.  Once I connected the grounds, I tested the system only to discover the yellow wire is only on when the pedal is depressed.  Great if I wanted brake lights on the front!  So, I decided to tap the wire on the other side of the switch:

With that done it was time for a test!
video

Once I was sure it all worked, I tucked in the wires and went for a short ride around the block to see if they put light on the road.  I was very pleased with the results!  The lights kind of fill the void left when you switch from low to high beams.  I re-aimed the lights then put Baby to bed.  I saved mounting the switch for another day.

In the end, I had to cut the soldered wires and add connectors so I could remove the panel more easily.

After I got the new harness, I went for a night ride to see the difference between with and without the aux lights and the bi xenon HIDs.


Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

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