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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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question about LED swap

This question is directed to those who have switched all their turns to LEDs or have knowledge about it.

I am in the process of switching over to all LEDs for my front and rear turns on my 2010 900 Custom. I picked up the dual load equalizer to slow down the fast blink rate; however, I came across the "all 4 turns blinking when I press either turn signal" problem. Now, I picked up Kury's diode kit, but their directions are a little vague in the installation procedure. Essentially, I'm supposed to splice into the two wires going into the turn signal indicator bulb with the single-ended side of the diode kit, but then the double-ended side of the kit is supposed to go into the wiring harness for the turns. My question is--am I supposed to bring the double-ended side out of the meter unit and splice into the wires behind the headlight for the front turns? Or does all the wiring for the diode kit stay inside the meter unit? If that's the case I have no idea where that double-end goes considering the only other connections are other indicator lights and the main connection to the speedo. Now, I've been seeing through my research talk of replacing the stock turn signal relay with a solid state one. Would that be an easier alternative solution to the diode kit? I much rather prefer plug-n-play mods over splicing into wires especially when it comes to sensitive electronic components. If anyone has done this mod successfully I would greatly appreciate your feedback since I really do not want to spend more money on halogen turns after buying these LEDs.

2010 VN900 Custom

I have this addiction.....it can't send me to jail, but it sure can make me go broke....
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 10:21 AM
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I too am interested in this. I am recieving my LED turns in a day or two. I have not looked into this on this bike, but instead for my Yamaha Seca.

The thermal relay (which is probably what we have if LEDs dont work already) only blinks when enough of a load is going through it, in the case of LEDs, there is not enough of a load to cause the blinking action. One solution is do add resistance to the LEDs so it draws more power and makes the thermal relay work, this is a solution, but i feel it defeats one of the purposes of using LEDs which is it will have less of an electircal draw on the system (not to mention it takes some electrical skills and plenty of time to do).

Instead I would suggest using a solid state relay (probably $20 at autozone), it will be as easy as changing a fuse. The only problem is I do not know what style pins the relay is (3 pin 4 pin) (or where it is located on our bikes for that matter).

Also on other bikes you would loose the automatic shut off of blinkers, but I dont even know if our bikes have that as I have found myself with a blinker on well down the street from when I turned. i am going to try and my LEDs without changing the relay, if the turn signals no longer blink I will look into this more and let you know what I find.

-2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition
-1982 Yamaha XJ750 Seca Bobber/Chopper Project
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 11:13 AM
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I installed LED signal light bulbs and installed a simple plug and play signal light relay which slowed down the signal rate. However, the rear signals on both sides came on at the same time. I had to remove the incandescent turn signal bulb on the dash in order for the rear signals to operate individually. I have a #74 LED signal light bulb on order so that I have a signal reminder. Everything works fine but personally I would not be splicing etc into factory wiring when you can buy a simple plug in relay.

Brian

'09 900 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, titanium/white, tach, Kawasaki light bar, CTEK battery maintainer, Powerlet outlets for GPS, cell phone, etc. Mustang touring seat.
Eastern Beaver headlamp/driving lamp relay kit. Eastern Beaver 3CS fused accessory circuits. Matazu
luggage rack. LED bulbs, Rumble LED turn signal relay, Grote LED driving lamps installed in oem driving light housings. Michelin Commander II tires. Laconia luggage bag by T BAGS.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 12:35 PM
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Hey, Brian, will you be replacing the turn signal indicator on the gas tank with the LED? I'd like to change out all 3 bulbs to LEDs. Where'd you order yours, and do you have a specific stock #?

2008 VN900 Custom

Last edited by crazyj; 04-03-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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I dont know if I am supposed to link to sites or not... but here goes nothing.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...ini-wedge.html

Take your pick of LED bulbs. as long as you know the bulb number and color (FIY LEDs work best when the LED color and the Lens color are the same).

-2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Custom Special Edition
-1982 Yamaha XJ750 Seca Bobber/Chopper Project
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyj View Post
Hey, Brian, will you be replacing the turn signal indicator on the gas tank with the LED? I'd like to change out all 3 bulbs to LEDs. Where'd you order yours, and do you have a specific stock #?
Yes that is why I ordered a #74 LED bulb. I went to superbrightleds and went to 1156/1157 bulbs.

Brian

'09 900 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic LT, titanium/white, tach, Kawasaki light bar, CTEK battery maintainer, Powerlet outlets for GPS, cell phone, etc. Mustang touring seat.
Eastern Beaver headlamp/driving lamp relay kit. Eastern Beaver 3CS fused accessory circuits. Matazu
luggage rack. LED bulbs, Rumble LED turn signal relay, Grote LED driving lamps installed in oem driving light housings. Michelin Commander II tires. Laconia luggage bag by T BAGS.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian C View Post
I installed LED signal light bulbs and installed a simple plug and play signal light relay which slowed down the signal rate. However, the rear signals on both sides came on at the same time. I had to remove the incandescent turn signal bulb on the dash in order for the rear signals to operate individually. I have a #74 LED signal light bulb on order so that I have a signal reminder. Everything works fine but personally I would not be splicing etc into factory wiring when you can buy a simple plug in relay.

Brian
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyj View Post
Hey, Brian, will you be replacing the turn signal indicator on the gas tank with the LED? I'd like to change out all 3 bulbs to LEDs. Where'd you order yours, and do you have a specific stock #?

From the VN900 SERVICE MANUAL PAGE 2-40
•The turn signal indicator light (LED) [C] in the meter unit
should flash.

All of the indicator lights are LED.
Page 16-66
•Lifting the speedometer [A] with the indicator panel [B]
attached, pull out the FI indicator LED light [C] and oil
pressure warning LED light [D] from the lower cover [E].
NOTE
○The water temperature warning LED light, oil pressure
warning LED light and FI indicator LED light can not be
exchanged

The LED allows power to bleed from the left turn to the right turn line.
This is why both sides blink.
The fix is the diode setup which stops power from returning from the led.

Many, threads exist on the LED subject.
Put standard socket led bulbs on 2 years ago.

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
09 VN900 Classic
Big 3 +++++
Double Darkside
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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So, through a little more thinking and a prayer to the motorcycle gods, I got it to work. For those that have or will purchase the diode kit (any brand they're all the same), you will have to splice into the turn signal indicator bulb wires in the meter unit and the connecting harness to the main circuit board that houses the speedo. Once you get into the meter unit, disconnect the circuit that houses the indicator bulbs from the speedo board. There will be a wire harness that has 8 wires with the black (ground) wire being #8. The wires you need to splice into will be #5 and #6. If you are unsure of which wires they are, flip the circuit board over and look at the light green paths that go from the middle bulb (turn signal indicator) to the wire harness, these are the internal electronic connections. If this is the first time you've ever looked at a circuit board, there is usually a contrast of color (typically a dark/light green combo) to indicate the internal connections inside the board itself. Now, take your time here because you really don't want to mess up!! Cut #5, #6, and black (ground) wires and strip back enough to splice. Take either #5 or #6 ON THE BULB BOARD SIDE it doesn't matter and splice into ground making sure you reconnect the black wires from the wire harness and the bulb board too. Take the single wire side of the diode kit (on Kury's it's the blue wire) and splice to either #5 or #6 wire ON THE BULB BOARD SIDE. Now, splice the two wire side of the diode kit (on Kury's it's the red wires) to #5 and #6 wires ON THE WIRE HARNESS SIDE. You should have a reconnected wire harness to the bulb board now. Tape everything up, reconnect bulb board to speedo board, reinstall in meter unit and you should be good to go. I'm glad it worked because otherwise I would've had to re-splice the original wires back together and there isn't much length to work with to begin with. The only issue I have after the install is that my turn signal indicator light no longer comes on when either turn signal is pressed. After thinking, I believe this is due to the bulb still being an incandescent bulb, and with the diode kit it reduces the amount of voltage being sent to the bulb. Not a big deal, it will pass inspection and I can always order an LED indicator bulb or just habitually press the turn signal switch after a turn.

Now that I've successfully done this mod, I'll give a summation of the research I've done for those that are thinking of making the switch. **This only applies to changing your turn signals; if you are adding LED accent lights or marker lights I don't believe you have to change these components, you will just be adding an additional circuit to your bike. Also, I have not researched what is involved by changing your headlight to an LED unit, so there may be more involved with that.**

-If you are changing either the fronts OR the rears, you will only need a single dual-load equalizer to bring the flash rate back to normal.
-If you are changing both the fronts AND the rears, you will need a quad-load equalizer or two dual-load equalizers to normalize the flash rate.
-For VN900s, due to us having a single turn signal indicator light, you will need the diode kit and install it inside the meter unit.
-An alternative solution, but one that I have not tried, is to purchase a solid state (electronic) turn signal relay and swap out your stock thermal based one. Supposedly, this is a direct alternative for the load equalizer(s) for either doing just one end of turns OR doing both ends. Also, I am not sure if replacing the turn signal relay with the solid state one will eliminate the need for the diode kit for VN900s. In essence, LEDs are less of a load in the circuit, and a solid state relay removes the load dependence for proper functionality of the turns. Theoretically, the same amount of voltage from a stock setup (12V) will still flow through the circuit with 4 LED turns and 1 incandescent indicator bulb; however, the concern that arises in my mind is the voltage the incandescent bulb is rated for and now due to the LEDs not dropping as much voltage there may be an increased chance that the bulb will burn out. In retrospect, I believe (don't quote me on this) that the most cost effective and less risky solution to switching to LED turns would be to purchase the solid state relay and an LED indicator bulb. This in theory would normalize the flash rate AND bring all the loads in the circuit down to similar amounts, so proper functionality will occur.

I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to give back to the biker community with feedback from someone who has successfully done this mod. Through all my research, all I was looking for was someone who has done this mod and can give me any hints as to what I need and how to do it, not just the general installation instructions and product information from the manufacturers.

Cheers!

2010 VN900 Custom

I have this addiction.....it can't send me to jail, but it sure can make me go broke....
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
The LED allows power to bleed from the left turn to the right turn line.
Something is weird there. LEDs are polarized, meaning they only allow flow in one direction (positive to negative). LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, after all, so I don't see why you would have to add additional diodes to keep both sides from blinking, unless the 'Major' wires (the ones energized when the turn-signal is blinking) from both the front signals are tied together along the path before the indicator. Then you would need a diode to prevent 12V from flowing between the two. Thinking out loud, I'm sure they do it this way...and also tie-in the rear signals to the front 'Major' lead as well.

Code:
                          
Front L +12v {=|----\    +   -
                     |----(i)-----||| (Ground) 
Front R +12v {=|----/
Where (i) is the indicator lamp. The single lamp then flashes with activation of either side.

One could spend $20 for the digital flasher, especially those who are not comfortable splicing, but for $4 worth of diodes you could accomplish the same thing.

Last edited by Seawolf_il; 04-04-2012 at 09:23 AM. Reason: ascii formatting
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seawolf_il View Post
Something is weird there. LEDs are polarized, meaning they only allow flow in one direction (positive to negative). LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, after all, so I don't see why you would have to add additional diodes to keep both sides from blinking, unless the 'Major' wires (the ones energized when the turn-signal is blinking) from both the front signals are tied together along the path before the indicator. Then you would need a diode to prevent 12V from flowing between the two. Thinking out loud, I'm sure they do it this way...and also tie-in the rear signals to the front 'Major' lead as well.

Code:
                          
Front L +12v {=|----\    +   -
                     |----(i)-----||| (Ground) 
Front R +12v {=|----/
Where (i) is the indicator lamp. The single lamp then flashes with activation of either side.

One could spend $20 for the digital flasher, especially those who are not comfortable splicing, but for $4 worth of diodes you could accomplish the same thing.

Good info and knowledge.
Yes the hot wire of the right and left turn are used for the indicator, no ground wire, the ground is supplied by the other side load. When you replace the stock bulbs, the LED's do not supply enough load to reduce the power which causes both sides to blink together.
The diode unit is spliced between the right and left turn hot wires and the led indicator, usually in the wire harness before the instrument cluster. The second wire to the indicator is then run to ground. The wires are grey and green.

You can get the diode kit complete, from Kury 7.95.

Removing the indicator led will solve the problem but is not desirible.

I changed my lights to LED to SAVE POWER, why would you use a load resistor. Spend the few dollars for the electronic blinker and be done with that.
I use a KISAN turn signal unit with supplies Running lights in back, break flashing, and added break lights. Also canceles the turn signal on a timer.

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
09 VN900 Classic
Big 3 +++++
Double Darkside
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