The lights that both illuminate the dashboard as well as the various warning and signal lights will, over time, burn out. Getting to them isn't the easiest thing in the world, so it makes sense that when replacing them, to replace them with LEDs. LEDs will provide the same function, and should last the life of the bike - never replace another bulb! This procedure can also be used to simply replaced burned out bulbs with replacement bulbs should you wish to do so.
I used LEDs from SuperbrightLEDs.com - for a list of LEDs that I utilized, see the bottom of this article. Please see the important note regarding required resistors, also at the bottom of this article.
1. Raise the windshield adjuster levers on either side to the up position.
2. Start to peel the rubber lip away from the mirror cover, beginning at the back and working upward.
3. Continue peeling the rubber lip away from the plastic mirror cover all the way around until it is completely detached. Take note that at the bottom rear, the rubber must be pulled toward the rear of the bike in order to detach it - this should be done after all of the rest of the rubber has been detached.
4. Gently pull the bottom of the mirror cover to unclip it from the fairing.
5. While holding the rubber back, pull the mirror cover free of the fairing, and let it drop down. Repeat the process on the other mirror.
6. Expose and remove the two screws holding the chrome windshield trim in place (as shown). On 1994 and earlier Goldwings, remove the two screws holding the black plastic trim (below the windshield trim) in place and remove the black plastic trim.
7. Remove the two screws holding the windshield trim.
8. Slide the windshield trim to the right to unhook the lower tabs, then lift it away from the windshield.
9. Pull the rubber back from the mirrors and remove the three screws holding each mirror in place.
10. Remove each mirror (it will fall away once the last screw is unscrewed, so make sure you are hanging on to it).
11. Remove the set screw on the headlight height adjustment knob. Pull the knob free of the dash.
12. There is a large nylon nut holding the shaft to the dash.
13. Unscrew the nut and its rubber seal, and remove the nut.
14. If you have an SE with heated foot warmers, repeat the knob removal process on the foot warmer knob.
15. On each side, unscrew and REMOVE the pinch screw and nut from the windshield adjustment lever. You must remove the screw - the lever will not come off with the screw still inside it.
16. Pull the windshield adjustment lever free of its shaft. You may need to use a screwdriver to gently spread the lever and loosen it from the shaft. Remove the large screw holding the adjustment plate in place, then remove the adjustment plate.
17. Remove the vents from the dashboard. There are tabs that need to be depressed in order to do this - two on the top, and two on the bottom. The vents are fragile and brittle, so I find it is easier to remove the front turn signals (one screw holds them in), and reach in from the front to depress the tabs from inside the fairing, while pulling the vent out from the outside.
18. Here is a better look at the tabs fastening the vent in place.
19. Gently pull the edges of the dash cover out over the threaded studs holding it in place on either side, then pull the dash cover free. Set it aside.
20. Remove the four black screws (one at each corner) fastening the dash to the fairing. Don't unscrew the brass-colored screws (yet) that hold the dash bezel in place.
21. Before the dash can be removed, the speedometer cable must be unfastened. It comes out the bottom of the dash and runs down to the left side of the front wheel.
22. It screws in place onto the back of the speedometer. Unscrew it and gently pull it free of the dash. Note that the entire rubber hood covering the first few inches of the cable is fastened to the knurled knob, and will turn with it, even though the cable does not turn. This can be used to more easily unscrew the cable from the speedometer.
NOTE: Earlier GL1500's also use a cable to drive the tachometer, while later GL1500's have electronic tachometers. If you have an earlier GL1500 with a tachometer cable, you will need to unscrew it from the tachometer in exactly the same manner as the speedometer.
23. Pull the dash slightly away from the fairing to expose the electrical connectors on the back.
24. Squeeze the locking tab of each connector, then pull it free. Always pull the connector itself, NEVER pull on the wires!
25. Now pull the dash free of the bike and take it to an area where you can set it down without scratching the bezel.
IMPORTANT: The temperature and fuel gauges contain oil which is used to dampen the needle movements. Turning the dash upside down will cause this oil to leak out! Never turn the dash upside down!
26. Looking at the top of the dash, you can see several of the lights, including illumination and turn signals.
27. The bottom left of the dash shows another illumination light, and the warning lights on the right side of the dash.
28. And lastly, the right side of the dash shows one more illumination light and the warning lights on the left side of the dash.
29. To remove a light bulb socket, simply pull it free of the dash. Pull the rubber boot, not the wires.
30. To remove the light bulb from the socket, just pull it out - it is a spring-loaded wedge bulb.
31. Replace the bulb with the appropriate color LED, or if not replacing with LEDs, with the replacement bulb.
32. Note that illumination bulbs have a blue sheath over them. These are replaced with blue LEDs. If you are replacing with regular bulbs, peel the sheath from the old bulb and apply it to the new one before inserting it.
33. To access the lower LCD illumination bulb, you must remove the front bezel. To do so, remove the four brass screws at each corner of the bezel.
34. Pull the time adjustment knob free of its shaft.
35. Gently pull the bezel free. Set it down in an area where dust will not collect on its interior.
36. The gauges themselves are very delicate, so you must be gentle while working around them. Remove the four screws fastening the LCD to the dash.
37. On the back, remove the four screws fastening the tachometer in place (the two terminal screws, as shown, and the two larger screws on either side).
38. Gently pull the tachometer free of the dash and set it aside. Do not touch the needle!
39. Remove the two screws holding the speedometer in place.
40. Gently pull the speedometer free of the dash and set it aside. Do not touch the needle!
41. Gently pull the LCD away from the dash to expose the bulb.
42. Pull the bulb free of its socket and replace it. Replace the LCD and screw it into place.
43. Replace the speedometer into the dash and fasten it in place with its two screws.
44. Replace the tachometer into the dash and fasten it in place with its four screws.
45. Blow any collected dust off the speedometer face, tachometer face and the inside of the bezel. Replace the bezel over the dash and fasten it with its four screws. Replace the time adjustment knob.
46. Return the dash to the bike and plug in its connectors. Make sure each connector clicks, signifying that the locking tab has locked the connector into place.
47. Turn the key to ON to check that all of your lights are operating correctly. Note that you (obviously) won't be able to get the OD and Neutral lights on at the same time, so make sure you cycle through the gears to ensure both are working correctly. Some LEDs are polarity-sensitive, and must be inserted the correct way around into their sockets. If they don't light up, try pulling them out of their socket, rotating 180 degrees, and reinserting them.
48. Insert the speedometer cable into the speedometer, making sure the rotating internal portion seats correctly. Screw the sheath onto the threaded portion of the speedometer to fasten it into place. If you have a mechanical tachometer, repeat the procedure on the tachometer.
49. Fasten the dash to the fairing with the four black screws.
50. Replace the dash cover over the dash, making sure the holes on the sides fit over the threaded studs.
51. Push the vents into the dash. Make sure they engage the vent ductwork inside the fairing correctly, then push them in all the way until they snap in place.
52. Replace each adjustment plate, then screw it into place.
53. Replace each windshield adjustment lever. Make sure when you place the lever on the splined shaft that the arrow on the end of the shaft points to the slot in the lever, as shown. Insert the screw through the lever, and tighten the nut to secure the lever to the shaft.
54. Replace the nut over the headlight adjustment shaft (and foot warmer shaft, if equipped) and tighten finger-tight. Use a tool to tighten VERY slightly a bit more - the nylon threads are easily broken, and do not need to be overly tight.
55. Replace the knob over the shaft and insert the set screw. Do not overtighten the set screw. Repeat for the foot warmer knob if equipped.
56. Lift each lever to its upward position, then place each mirror over its mounting points.
57. Fasten each mirror tightly with its three screws.
58. Engage the fairing tabs in the slots in the windshield fairing, and slide the windshield fairing to the left to lock it in place.
59. Replace and tighten the screws holding the windshield fairing in place. If working on a 94 or earlier GL1500, replace the black plastic trim and the two screws holding it in place.
60. Holding the rubber back on each mirror, slide each mirror cover back into place.
61. Once in place, gently push each of the mirror cover clips until it latches onto the fairing.
62. Hook the rubber over the rear of the mirror cover, then work the lip around the circumference.
63. Once the rubber lip is around the circumference, push the locking tabs into their slots.
64. Lower the windshield locking levers into their locked positions.
This is a list of the bulbs I replaced, and the link to the superbrightleds.com LED I used for each:
Turn Signals (Amber, Qty 2): 74-AHP
Main Illumination (Blue, Qty 4): WLED-B6
Top and bottom LCD Illumination (Blue, Qty 2): 74-BHP3
High Beam (Blue, Qty 1): WLED-B4-32
Oil (Red, Qty 1): WLED-R4-32
Overdrive, Side Stand, Low Fuel, Cruise Set, Cruise On (Amber, Qty 5): WLED-A4-32
Neutral (Green, Qty 1): WLED-G4-32
Reverse (White, Qty 1): WLED-W4-32
For the Main Illumination LEDs, they tend to put out very narrow, directed beams of light, causing bright "hot spots" on the tachometer and speedometer dials. I recommend either filing down the tops of the LEDs, or gluing a small piece of white paper to the top of the LED, in order to diffuse the light and eliminate the hot spots.
Note: I've received a report that some GL1500 use red for the low fuel lamp, instead of amber. You'll want to adjust yours accordingly.Important: Required Resistors
The Cruise On, Cruise Set and Low Fuel circuits require a reasonable load in order to function correctly. Simply replacing these bulbs with LEDs will cause the LEDs to stay on at all times. There are two options: leave these lights with traditional light bulbs, or add a resistor in parallel with each LED. If you wish to go the resistor route, the values you will need to use are:
Cruise On, Cruise Set: 1K Ohm, 1/4 watt
Low Fuel: 470 Ohm, 1/2 watt
(very important that this be 1/2 watt!)
These resistors should be connected in PARALLEL with the LEDs (across the LEDs), NOT in series (in front of/behind) with the LEDs. The easiest way to do this is to connect them across the wires going to the applicable LEDs. Make sure any connections you do are properly insulated before reinstallation.