LED turn signal problem


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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WingAdmin
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LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:35 pm



I had installed LED turn signal lights in my 1500:

Image

To my annoyance, the bulbs would work fine in running light mode, but the turn signals did not work. When I reversed the bulb in the socket, the turn signals would work, but the running lights would not.

Thinking I had a couple bad bulbs, I called superbrightleds, and they told me the pin layout. I tested it - and it was correct. So what was going on?

I got my meter out and measured the voltages at the bulb socket. With one lead on the ground terminal in the socket I measured +12V at the running light terminal - and -12V at the turn signal terminal!! WTF?? No wonder the LED wasn't working!

After scrutinizing the schematic, I realized that I had an aftermarket harness in there that flashes the side fairing light when the turn signals are engaged. Looking at the harness, I realized it worked by reversing the ground and turn signal leads, so that the running light actually runs through both the running light filament AND the turn signal filament - and that the fairing light uses the turn signal filament for its ground.

I removed the harness, and the LED worked perfectly.

I'm going to rework the harness and put a small relay in there so that I can keep my flashing fairing light functionality while running LED lights.



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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:25 pm

I pulled the harnesses out, put a relay in to control the flashing of the side marker light, swapped the polarity of the harness wires, reinstalled it, and the LEDs now work perfectly.

What was interesting was, when I called Superbrightleds and asked about installing their LED in a Goldwing, they told me I should go check out a web site called "goldwingdocs" where they tell you about putting LEDs in your turn signals. What a great idea, I'll have to check that site out! :)

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virgilmobile
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:23 pm

It's amazing....They make the neat stuff for cars and we got to figure out how to make it work on the bikes :geek: .
It was really nice of them to refer you to a such good web site that has a bunch of competent people ready and willing to help with these problems :) .......
Ouch....I just hurt my arm,patting myself on the back. :roll:

Oh,by the way..the cornering lamp on my 88 is actually a old style headlight lamp.Hi/Low beam with one wire cut off.I removed the lamp assembly and put in a standard park/turn lamp,wired in a no/nc relay.It now has a park light and then a steady cornering light with the turn signal.Looks nice.

I wonder if it's legal to modulate the twin headlights 'alternating' ??? Might have to stop a Trooper and ask.I'm sure they would frown on a siren on it.

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WingAdmin
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:02 pm

virgilmobile wrote:It's amazing....They make the neat stuff for cars and we got to figure out how to make it work on the bikes :geek: .
It was really nice of them to refer you to a such good web site that has a bunch of competent people ready and willing to help with these problems :) .......
Ouch....I just hurt my arm,patting myself on the back. :roll:

Oh,by the way..the cornering lamp on my 88 is actually a old style headlight lamp.Hi/Low beam with one wire cut off.I removed the lamp assembly and put in a standard park/turn lamp,wired in a no/nc relay.It now has a park light and then a steady cornering light with the turn signal.Looks nice.


Mine is the same, the bi-pin socket with one wire cut off:

Image

You can see what I did with mine: How to replace your cornering light bulbs

virgilmobile wrote:I wonder if it's legal to modulate the twin headlights 'alternating' ??? Might have to stop a Trooper and ask.I'm sure they would frown on a siren on it.


Nope. Absolutely not legal.

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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby wingpilot08 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:06 am

One thing to remember about the LED lights is that they draw less current then a standard incadescent bulb. The turn signal flasher is looking to see a specific draw for the turn signals to work. I had a similar issue on a different bike and replaced the flasher unit with a flasher that was made for LED bulbs and that corrected the issue. What was being seen was a "fast flash" as if a buld was burned out. The new flasher unit corrected the issue.
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bellboy40
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby bellboy40 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:58 pm

Hey WingAdmin, did you have to use a different flasher unit with the LEDs in your turn signals? What did you use? Are the LED lights as bright as the incandesant ones?

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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:23 pm

bellboy40 wrote:Hey WingAdmin, did you have to use a different flasher unit with the LEDs in your turn signals? What did you use? Are the LED lights as bright as the incandesant ones?


I have not replaced the flasher - but that said, I've only replaced the front light (so far). I also have a relay (one on each side) being driven by the flasher circuit that flashes the side marker lights, so that relay coil load is likely making up for the difference in power draw from the LEDs. I've got four more turn signals in the back to do yet, we'll see once those are done if I need to switch the flasher or not.

The LEDs are a little bit brighter (to my eye) than the incandescents they replaced.

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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:05 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
bellboy40 wrote:Hey WingAdmin, did you have to use a different flasher unit with the LEDs in your turn signals? What did you use? Are the LED lights as bright as the incandesant ones?


I have not replaced the flasher - but that said, I've only replaced the front flasher (so far). I also have a relay (one on each side) being driven by the flasher circuit that flashes the side marker lights, so that relay coil load is likely making up for the difference in power draw from the LEDs. I've got four more turn signals in the back to do yet, we'll see once those are done if I need to switch the flasher or not.

The LEDs are a little bit brighter (to my eye) than the incandescents they replaced.


Just as a follow-up, when I replaced my two rear (four in total) turn signals in back, the flasher stopped operating. I ended up putting a 100 watt, 4-ohm power resistor on each flasher circuit. The resistors had heat fins on them to dissipate heat. Even then, when left running for more than a few minutes, the resistors reached over 200 degrees F - hot enough to melt plastic bodywork. So I used some stainless band clamps to clamp them to the frame of the bike, to use the frame as a giant heat sink. That worked very well, and the resistors do not get very hot anymore. The flashers, automatic turn cancel and everything else works perfectly.

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captdecker
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby captdecker » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:51 pm

With adding Led on the turns I got two Led flashers from superbrite One a two wire made for motorcycle . Works great on and is plug in used on the 4 ways. On the reg turn I got a three pin one and made a small adapter to plug it in. I too have the side lights that flash, would not work with front and rear LED's in place , as I wanted to keep them, I put the reg bulbs back in the rear.(easiest place to replace if need) Works great, even the self canceling.

On the corning lights I put in the driving light kit. It two only used one of the two filaments , I thought what a waste add the pig tail to use the second filament as corning light with driving on relay and manual switch. So have the best of both worlds by making a small harness so it is plug in and easy to pull light out if need be.

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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby Uncle Fester » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:56 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Just as a follow-up, when I replaced my two rear (four in total) turn signals in back, the flasher stopped operating. I ended up putting a 100 watt, 4-ohm power resistor on each flasher circuit. The resistors had heat fins on them to dissipate heat. Even then, when left running for more than a few minutes, the resistors reached over 200 degrees F - hot enough to melt plastic bodywork. So I used some stainless band clamps to clamp them to the frame of the bike, to use the frame as a giant heat sink. That worked very well, and the resistors do not get very hot anymore. The flashers, automatic turn cancel and everything else works perfectly.


I am curious, when you clamped the resisters to the frame, did you sand the frame to bare metal and add Silver Paste or just clamp it to the painted frame ?
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Our stress about it happens when the two aren't the same. Be true to yourself and to hell with what everyone else thinks!

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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:29 pm

Uncle Fester wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:Just as a follow-up, when I replaced my two rear (four in total) turn signals in back, the flasher stopped operating. I ended up putting a 100 watt, 4-ohm power resistor on each flasher circuit. The resistors had heat fins on them to dissipate heat. Even then, when left running for more than a few minutes, the resistors reached over 200 degrees F - hot enough to melt plastic bodywork. So I used some stainless band clamps to clamp them to the frame of the bike, to use the frame as a giant heat sink. That worked very well, and the resistors do not get very hot anymore. The flashers, automatic turn cancel and everything else works perfectly.


I am curious, when you clamped the resisters to the frame, did you sand the frame to bare metal and add Silver Paste or just clamp it to the painted frame ?


I just clamped it to the painted frame. I used an IR thermometer to measure the temps of the resistors when on the frame when they were being used most (left 4-ways flashing for a while) and they stabilized around 160F, which I deemed OK (ambient temperature was about 70F). Without being clamped to the frame they got to 200F and were still climbing when I shut it off. ABS melts at 221F.

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captdecker
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby captdecker » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:58 pm

I found this flasher on Amazon today. Looks like it should work well, as it is what I made up and it comes with a rubber mount to boot. For the turn side.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000VTTDYY/ref ... AM3FO28M3H

I found Led from PILOT (got at O'Reilly's) used the red ones in the rear, makes a nice brite glow with out hot spots when looking at lens.

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Charlie1Horse
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby Charlie1Horse » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:07 am

Found these LED lights on ebay for my tail/turn/brake lights. I wasn't sure if they would be adequate for this application but, after emailing the seller I decided to try them. These work exceptionally well. I bought some 'off the shelf' units from Auto Zone and installed them in my '86 GL 1200A but the position of the sockets caused the brake (bright) light to be lost in the lamp assembly. I used these in my truck. But, when I found these other ones on ebay, I found that they light up all over and are very good. I bought 4 1156's and 4 1157's for about $65.00. I put the 4 1157's in for tail/stop lights and 2 1156's for turn and am very pleased with the appearance. By the time they arrived I put them in the '92 GL 1500I that I just purchased. The flash speed is still about the same as before but now I will have to order more for the front signals before possibly replacing the flasher with an electronic one. Synetic USA's reply to my query follows.

'3014 Chip bulbs should be a good replacement for your Honda GL 1200, they are bright (600 lumens) and use only 0.1W per LED chip (5W per bulb).
You can also consider 2835 Chip projectors, 1400 lumens, (7 Watt per bulb): 310987846480
http://www.ebay.com/itm/261508169430
Regards,

Synetic USA

I chose to go with the 2835's as I want all the light I can get back there.

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captdecker
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby captdecker » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:20 pm

I am happy with the light from the Pilot 1157, but will keep these in mind, thanks.

When you do put the front ones in you may find that the flash rate goings fast. Superbrite has two wire flasher that is plug in on the 4way side .Then look at the link for Amazon it has good reviews and is a plug in and go, on the reg turn side.
How you like the 1500 over the 1200? I enjoy my GL1500 short trip and long. 5500 mile this years trip.

Enjoy and ride often.

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Jamb85
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Re: LED turn signal problem

Postby Jamb85 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:28 am

Hi all, my brother and I both have early model 1988 gl1500's that we have both installed LED bulbs to front and rear ends of the bikes, along with small strips and small bulbs in the side lights with top results. I am paranoid with being seen following a near miss and don't wish to have my work colleagues picking me up because I did not get seen by a larger vehicle driver (I am a paramedic). The side lights I managed to have cancel to indicators and return to full running when not on indicate by taking their feeds directly from the the position/ indicator bulb socket at the fairing. By Using brake/ tail bulbs for the front,managed to get good results after several bulb tries from differing ebayer sellers. The relays to drive the circuits were again sourced from eBay and are small electronic ones and the sockets retrieved from the Honda originals dismantled and reused so not to changed the wiring on the bikes. Both were converted over about a year ago and have been running faultless since. We can both ride all year round as do not get snow or ice to slow/stop us from riding. I notice this thread has been running for a while and thought I also may be able to help some else considering a change to LED's. I think better lights with higher contrast for better visual change of our intention to slow or turn. Have also added short period brake light hi intensity LED to ensure brake application is noticed. Keep up the good work Wingadmin and all other to help the info keep flowing as every bit helps keep our machines fresh and on the road.




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