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Discussion Starter #1
I've read here in this forum that several riders have picked up the 55 Watt driving lamps at WW and installed them. This seems a very cost affective answer to my desire for driving lights. For anyone who has done this or seen them, how do you like them? How and where did you install them. Did you custom make brackets or what did you use for brackets. I'd like an economical
fix to getting lights, but I want a good looking final install. If it's going to look cheep, I'll have to save up a few more bucks and do it better. :cool: Any pictures would be welcomed.
 

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I used 1/8 by inch aluminum stock from Lowe's. Bent simple L brackets and drilled them for the Fender supports. Replaced the stock fender support bolts with ones that were 1/8 longer and bolt those on. I like the lights down lower but if you find P clamps you might thing about putting them on the frame out of spray. Mine are on the lower fork assy and go up and down with the front wheel. That being said, they are about a year old. For less of a load, look in the lighting section and get the 35 watt/12 volt bulbs, that are the same as the 55 watt ones. I ran into those AFTER I sealed up the units I have.

Other things to get. Stainless steel bolts n nuts to replace the ones on the units. Hot glue gun, Silicone, chromy tape and heat shrink?

The units themselves are not water tight and will let water in to do it's damage. Plus they are not jiggle proof which is a problem where mine are. Also and lastly, the chrome cover will wiggle off and leave you with a light dangling out of the socket if you don't do something. Take the lights apart replacing the stock bolts with stainless. (actually this is someone else suggestion, I think the bolts might actually be stainless and my nuts aren't rusted yet.) The bulb plugs into a socket that the wires are attached to in the back of the housing. it slides out easy and has a rubber washer on it. Put a ring of silicone on that and push it back into it's cup. Careully apply a bead of silicone on the backside of the bulb and put it in the bell then put a bead of silicone on the bezel cover where it will press against the lights and then another bead on the flange that mounts it to the housing. Screw this together and wipe the excess off. If you have chromy tape and are riding, put a wrap of the chromy tape around this junction. When the silicone sets up it will be solid but until then the tape will keep the bezel from unscrewing. I ran around with electrical tape on mine after a trip to Salina last year.
The wires just come out of the back of the unit and will flail around there till the cloth covered wiring abraids and allows a short. Center the wires in the hole and apply hot glue. The glue will setup quick and you'll have a waterproof unit that won't rub short against the bell. The wires themselves will abraid if you leave them exposed like I did so run them together trough an appropriate size piece of heat shrink.

Mount the lights in the method of your choosing.

Run power for the lights from the battery. If you choose for a bike on only operation run a relay (available at walmart of auto parts store) and use the Blue/red stripe wire on the forward wiring harness as the pick. This is the headlight wire and comes on when you release the starter button. It is before the high/low beam switch so that doesn't matter which position it is in. This way you don't run too much load on the headlight circuit, you don't load the accessory fuse with the light circuits and the lights go off with the bike saving your battery. two 55 watt bulbs are quite a load, MORE than your high beam current (75 OEM, 100 if you've upgraded to the Wagner bulb). It's no problem when the bike is going down the road but it is at idle. It all adds up if you're silly and pulling a trailer like I am. I need to go to LED bulbs all the way around (trailer included).

What pics I have are in the folder that comes up with this photo:
 

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I have mine on the tube that runs under the headlamp. I don't think the Custom has this tube. See my pics below. I got SS sure-grip p-clamps from McMaster Carr. I ended up cutting the little sure grip lip off for a better fit. See link below. I also replaced all the hardware with SS metric fasteners and acorn nuts to make it pretty. Metric so I don't have to keep SAE and Metric wrenches on board. I used heat shrink tubing to waterproof as best as I could. Also, covered barrel and spade connectors for water proof-ness. I did a thread on this a week or so ago with more details. If you search my threads, it may be helpfull.
http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/116/1497/=71lfaw
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good info! I think I'd prefer them lower and wider. Either on the forks or possibly on my highway bar. I'm mainly concerned with being seen more than increasing my lighting of the road. The concern there is how to run the wiring and keep it looking neat. Thanks for the info on waterproofing and protecting the wiring from fraying and shorting. Otherwise, I'd be learning the "hard way". I guess you just need to be a little creative and be prepared for a little trial and error getting r' done. I guess that's the trade off for saving quite a bit of expense than some of the other equipment available. :rolleyes:
 

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Eh, just be prepared to learn from the errors of others. I'm not the first down this road but I've found some of my own problems as well. Others already did what I hadn't done and now either I know why or they found out they did a good thing accidentally. We don't all need to be the first to break the sound barrier. I'd personally like to be one of the ones that made it rather than one of the first that crashed and burned.
 

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This thread (or the subject itself) clearly deserves to become a sticky... I saw a few threads on this pretty useful subject already over the last few months.

Among us there is a ton of priceless info and experience that should not get lost deep in the forum archive or get scattered all over. The "grease fittings" sticky is a good example how this can be very useful and readily on hand for anyone who needs quick access to the full info, including pics and all.

Other forums even have a "HOW-TO" section with valuable posts describing common mods and fixes. I think this is really great.
 
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