How to replace your dash lights with LEDs


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:56 pm



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.

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2. Start to peel the rubber lip away from the mirror cover, beginning at the back and working upward.

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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.

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4. Gently pull the bottom of the mirror cover to unclip it from the fairing.

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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.

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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.

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7. Remove the two screws holding the windshield trim.

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8. Slide the windshield trim to the right to unhook the lower tabs, then lift it away from the windshield.

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9. Pull the rubber back from the mirrors and remove the three screws holding each mirror in place.

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10. Remove each mirror (it will fall away once the last screw is unscrewed, so make sure you are hanging on to it).

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11. Remove the set screw on the headlight height adjustment knob. Pull the knob free of the dash.

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12. There is a large nylon nut holding the shaft to the dash.

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13. Unscrew the nut and its rubber seal, and remove the nut.

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14. If you have an SE with heated foot warmers, repeat the knob removal process on the foot warmer knob.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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18. Here is a better look at the tabs fastening the vent in place.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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23. Pull the dash slightly away from the fairing to expose the electrical connectors on the back.

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24. Squeeze the locking tab of each connector, then pull it free. Always pull the connector itself, NEVER pull on the wires!

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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!

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26. Looking at the top of the dash, you can see several of the lights, including illumination and turn signals.

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27. The bottom left of the dash shows another illumination light, and the warning lights on the right side of the dash.

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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.

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29. To remove a light bulb socket, simply pull it free of the dash. Pull the rubber boot, not the wires.

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30. To remove the light bulb from the socket, just pull it out - it is a spring-loaded wedge bulb.

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31. Replace the bulb with the appropriate color LED, or if not replacing with LEDs, with the replacement bulb.

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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.

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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.

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34. Pull the time adjustment knob free of its shaft.

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35. Gently pull the bezel free. Set it down in an area where dust will not collect on its interior.

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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.

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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).

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38. Gently pull the tachometer free of the dash and set it aside. Do not touch the needle!

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39. Remove the two screws holding the speedometer in place.

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40. Gently pull the speedometer free of the dash and set it aside. Do not touch the needle!

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41. Gently pull the LCD away from the dash to expose the bulb.

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42. Pull the bulb free of its socket and replace it. Replace the LCD and screw it into place.

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43. Replace the speedometer into the dash and fasten it in place with its two screws.

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44. Replace the tachometer into the dash and fasten it in place with its four screws.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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49. Fasten the dash to the fairing with the four black screws.

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50. Replace the dash cover over the dash, making sure the holes on the sides fit over the threaded studs.

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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.

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52. Replace each adjustment plate, then screw it into place.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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56. Lift each lever to its upward position, then place each mirror over its mounting points.

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57. Fasten each mirror tightly with its three screws.

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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.

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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.

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60. Holding the rubber back on each mirror, slide each mirror cover back into place.

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61. Once in place, gently push each of the mirror cover clips until it latches onto the fairing.

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62. Hook the rubber over the rear of the mirror cover, then work the lip around the circumference.

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63. Once the rubber lip is around the circumference, push the locking tabs into their slots.

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64. Lower the windshield locking levers into their locked positions.

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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.


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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby djlundwall » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:24 am

Is there any reason why you don't use the same model of LED's for all of the replacement bulbs?

Other than using different bulbs because of the mount type, I understand. But if you're using the same mount type (194, 74, etc) why the different models?

BTW, I absolutely loved this article you wrote!! You put a lot of time and effort doing these articles which makes it very easy for the rest of us to follow along!

Thank you a million times over!!!!!!!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:21 am

I selected the LEDs with the appropriate beam spread angle of output, color, and base size for each application. For instance, the smaller LEDs in the turn signals need to only illuminate forward, to light up the amber turn indicator lens. So for that one I used an LED that concentrates its output in a narrow beam forward. However, for the LED at the top of the LCD, it needs to spread its light out over 180 degrees in order to fully light up the back of the LCD. So for that one, I used an LED that had three chips on it, facing left, right and center. You can see that one at the top of this picture:

Image
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby dj norm » Wed May 09, 2012 10:14 pm

WOW WOW WOW very nice keep up this very nice work
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby barnaclebill » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:34 am

I am totally and utterly astounded by the depth to which you have gone to explain these various actions. Congratulations. I intend to replace most off my lamps with LEDs and these instructions have given me the courage to go ahead with confidence.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby ghostvet » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:46 am

First, and I know you have been told this "once or twice" before... but your "how-tos" are freaking outstanding!!!

As to the using of resistors... are they polarized? Does it matter in which direction a resistor is mounted? I soldered mine as per your photos, but I am concerned about the resistors for the cruise and fuel lights.


Thanx once again!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:31 pm

ghostvet wrote:First, and I know you have been told this "once or twice" before... but your "how-tos" are freaking outstanding!!!

As to the using of resistors... are they polarized? Does it matter in which direction a resistor is mounted? I soldered mine as per your photos, but I am concerned about the resistors for the cruise and fuel lights.


Thanx once again!


Resistors are not polarity-sensitive - all they do is resist the flow of power, kind of like stepping on a garden hose restricts the flow of water.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby barnaclebill » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:03 am

That is the best desription of a resistor I've ever heard. I couldn't stop laughing - but it's true!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:57 am

barnaclebill wrote:That is the best desription of a resistor I've ever heard. I couldn't stop laughing - but it's true!


I use the water/garden hose explanation for electricity all the time. I actually wrote a fairly long explanation of it all when explaining why your voltage drops when you engage the starter: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=259&start=75#p12694
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby barnaclebill » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:33 am

Just read "above". Thank you very much, most explanatory! Did 'Mag & Elec' many years ago - wish the lesson had been that simple! I've heard Elec compared to water flow/pressure before, (since 'many years ago'!) but hadn't actually had it explained, related to a resistor! I do enjoy reading your "Teach-ins" and always print out those that either interest me, or appertain to something I am - or intend - doing. They are written in good "Layman's language". Thanks again.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:03 pm

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


So, I went and bought all the required LEDs (I think) and even the resistors for the Cruise and Fuel lights and was just getting ready to start work today (my Father's Day gift was to allow me some romantic time alone with my bike...lol) when it occurred to me- how am I going to cross the LED poles when it is a plug-in LED?

Obviously I will need to solder the leads, but is there enough room for the leads to come out of the socket? And where is the best place to lay the resistor body so it will not be blocking the LED light and creating a shadow?

These might seem light really basic questions, but I don't want to get the dash all apart first, and then try to figure it out. My objective is to have the dash apart for the least amount of time so I can ride!

Thanx!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:16 pm

When I did it, I cut the wires leading to the sockets into which the LEDs plugged in, and soldered the resistors in between the cut wires:

Resistor and LED
Resistor and LED


Everything was soldered, and covered with heat-shrink tubing, to make sure it was strong and that the resistor wires would not break.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby ghostvet » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:24 pm

WingAdmin wrote:When I did it, I cut the wires leading to the sockets into which the LEDs plugged in, and soldered the resistors in between the cut wires:

Resistor and LED.gif


Everything was soldered, and covered with heat-shrink tubing, to make sure it was strong and that the resistor wires would not break.




Thank you!!!

As I was looking at your pictures while awaiting an answer, that is the conclusion I came to as well. It seemed the only way to do it. You are da man!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby ghostvet » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:50 am

I am in a severe pickle...

I am replacing my dash lights with LEDs and I am completely unable to remove the 5 large bolts holding in the windshield.

I broke the tip of my large Phillips head trying one bolt. The three above the headlight I cannot even get enough leverage on.

My whole dash is apart and I cannot go further because I cannot access the speedometer cable.

The bolts will not budge!

I cannot get to the backs of the bolts to spray any lubricant or break-free.

Suggestions?

-this is also crossposted in the windshield replacement how-to.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:07 am

Wow, someone must have really wrenched those screws in there tight.

First thing to do is spray some PB blaster in there, let it sit overnight, then spray some more. Wait another hour or so, see if that makes a difference.

If not, go at it with an impact screwdriver. I use this one:

Impact screwdriver
Impact screwdriver


I got it (cheap) for $14 at partsnmore.com on their tools page. You put the appropriate Philips tip into it, set it for "remove", put the tip in the screw, and strike the back of it with a hammer (I find a heavier mallet works best). The sudden rotational force breaks the fastener free, and the force of the hammer forcing the tip into the screw makes sure it doesn't hop out and strip the screw.

Once you do get them out, make sure you don't put them back in as tight!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby ghostvet » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:36 pm

I finally got it off! It took a lot of banging, wrenching, pushing, etc, but I got it.

I am not so sure about an impact hammer here- plexiglass! I think it would fracture.


So I discovered using red lights is not going to work well because the gauges already have blue built into them... Trying to make it red is useless- it is just shining a red LED through blue plastic.




When I got it together, there were definite hotspots, and that was very visible in the daytime. I ended up hot glueing some paper to the top of the LEDs...



That seemed to mellow it out some.

One thing that really pisses me off- I am sitting on the bike right after I finished and everything was put away, and I noticed my clock. The time was way off- again. CRAP!!! I had the whole thing apart and I forgot to fix the clock board moisture problem.

I also forgot somehow to order the 3 amber LEDs for the cruise on, cruise set, low fuel. I have the resisters, but not the LEDs. Well, I will have to do this all over again. :-(
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:49 pm

ghostvet wrote:I am not so sure about an impact hammer here- plexiglass! I think it would fracture.


If it's set up correctly, the plexiglass shouldn't be tight in those fasteners - there has to be free play so that it can slide up and down when the windshield adjustment levers are released.

ghostvet wrote:One thing that really pisses me off- I am sitting on the bike right after I finished and everything was put away, and I noticed my clock. The time was way off- again. CRAP!!! I had the whole thing apart and I forgot to fix the clock board moisture problem.

I also forgot somehow to order the 3 amber LEDs for the cruise on, cruise set, low fuel. I have the resisters, but not the LEDs. Well, I will have to do this all over again. :-(


Don't feel bad. When I did mine, I saw that there were hot spots on the dash, and thought; "I need to stick something on those LEDs to get rid of the hotspots. I then did something else I had to finish, and put it all together. After I had finished reassembling EVERYTHING, I turned it on...and you guessed it, there were those damn hotspots that I had forgotten about. They're still there. I'll fix it next fall or winter or whenever I happen to have it apart again.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby dj norm » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:35 pm

Hi I am now doing the switch to LED and am questioning my self about the resistor that are added with the LED light. If there was 2 incadecent light (194) and now we replace with two of the same resistance LED why is it that we put two differents resistance in line ?? :?:
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:25 pm

dj norm wrote:Hi I am now doing the switch to LED and am questioning my self about the resistor that are added with the LED light. If there was 2 incadecent light (194) and now we replace with two of the same resistance LED why is it that we put two differents resistance in line ?? :?:


Because the LED doesn't have the same resistance - it has a MUCH higher resistance than an incandescent bulb. That's why LEDs draw so much less current than incandescents.

The problem is that the solid-state outputs of the cruise control are expecting to see a low-resistance incandescents. When they see a high-resistance LED, for whatever design reason, they are putting enough voltage out to light up the LED. So putting an additional resistor across the LED leads (in parallel) to lower the overall resistance presented to the cruise control computer, tricks it into thinking it is seeing an incandescent bulb, and the problem goes away.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby dj norm » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:47 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
dj norm wrote:Hi I am now doing the switch to LED and am questioning my self about the resistor that are added with the LED light. If there was 2 incadecent light (194) and now we replace with two of the same resistance LED why is it that we put two differents resistance in line ?? :?:


Because the LED doesn't have the same resistance - it has a MUCH higher resistance than an incandescent bulb. That's why LEDs draw so much less current than incandescents.

I do understand this part... The question is why two different resistor when they had the same resistance with the 194 now with LED the resistor are not the same just wondering why we do not use the same value of resistor for both circuit
??? Thanks
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:01 pm

dj norm wrote:I do understand this part... The question is why two different resistor when they had the same resistance with the 194 now with LED the resistor are not the same just wondering why we do not use the same value of resistor for both circuit
??? Thanks


They are different circuits. The two cruise control lights are controlled by the cruise control computer, and require one resistance value, whereas the low fuel light is controlled by a thermistor that is submerged in fuel, and requires a different resistance to work correctly.

Technically you could use the same, 470 ohm resistors on all of them, but you would be flowing more current and generating more heat (which is why the 1/2 watt resistor is required for the lower value resistor, and the 1K resistors can be a 1/4 watt) when it is not required.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby dj norm » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:13 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Technically you could use the same, 470 ohm resistors on all of them, but you would be flowing more current and generating more heat (which is why the 1/2 watt resistor is required for the lower value resistor, and the 1K resistors can be a 1/4 watt) when it is not required.


thanks this is a great thread job well done and excelent explanations keep up the great work....
Norm.
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby mgatortpd » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:34 pm

I am also using this for how to replace the front speakers............excellent pics! Thanks as always!
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby dj norm » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:01 pm

Just out of curiosity what speakers are you using ?
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Re: How to replace your dash lights with LEDs

Postby mgatortpd » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:35 pm

I bought these off of E-Bay thru DC Cycle ( http://stores.ebay.com/DC-Cycle-Motorcy ... -and-Acces )
Performance Speaker Upgrade 88-2000 GW Fairing Position, # FRSU-GL1518

Our high-output speakers are manufactured as "exact" size replacements for the stock units, for the fairing position on the 1988-2005 Honda Gold Wing and/or the rear position on 2001-2012 Gold Wings. (fairing position 1988-2010 Euro Model Gold Wing)

They have been designed for the specific power levels of the Gold Wing's audio system to deliver maximum output at highway speeds.

Rated at 3 ohms impedance and 120 watts max power, they feature a very thin, hard, injection molded polycarbonate cone, titanium colored dust cover, super flexible rolled edge, high sensitivity voice coil and light-weight dual-donut design high flux strength Neodymium magnet structure, to provide for maximum air movement, along with superior bass and midrange response.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HONDA-GL1500-GO ... 5d34249524


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