LED Brake Light Electrical Issues


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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DougEFresh1123
Posts: 239
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Motorcycle: 2002 Honda Magna VF750
1994 GL1500SE

LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »



Calling all electrical experts, and for those of you not experts maybe a nice witty response to keep me from blowing up the Goldwing. :lol:

I am trying to convert my brake lights over to LED, using the 1157 LED red brake lights and am having issues.

Some basic background on my 1994 1500 SE, a previous owner installed a blinker relay into the brake lights on the trunk which would cause the brake lights on the trunk to blink when the the brake was activated, the saddlebag lights didn't blink.

This relay prevented the LED lights working as both running lights and brake lights, they did not become brighter when the brake was activated. I have disconnected the relay and returned the wiring to it's normal configuration, tested using the 4 standard 2057 incandescent light bulbs and they all work as normal, all four lights utilize the double filament and there is no blinking. When I change the bulbs over to the LED there is no visible increase in brightness when the brake is activated. As long as I have at least 1 2057 incandescent light bulb the 3 LED lights will increase in brightness when the brake is activated.

My son and I have tried various size resistors but haven't been able to get close to satisfactory results. We see minor increases in brightness but in my opinion not enough to get some ones attention. We are going to start checking the grounds, but wondering if there are other things to look into.

These are the lights we are using:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MY ... =pd_gw_unk


Thanks - Doug


'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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MikeB
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by MikeB »

If the bulbs you are trying to use have only one contact on the base as shown in the picture on amazon I do not understand how they can possibly work.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
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4given
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by 4given »

MikeB wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:54 pm If the bulbs you are trying to use have only one contact on the base as shown in the picture on amazon I do not understand how they can possibly work.
1057 or 1056.jpg
What he said. But it looks like it was made to replace double filament bulbs with the offset pins.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
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DougEFresh1123
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1994 GL1500SE

Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

MikeB wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:54 pm If the bulbs you are trying to use have only one contact on the base as shown in the picture on amazon I do not understand how they can possibly work.
It is possible I used the wrong link. :?
I'm pretty sure the bulbs have two contact points on the bottom but I will double check. As I said if I leave 1 incandescent bulb in the LED lights will get brighter when the brakes are activated.
'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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DougEFresh1123
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

4given wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:49 am
MikeB wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:54 pm If the bulbs you are trying to use have only one contact on the base as shown in the picture on amazon I do not understand how they can possibly work.
What he said. But it looks like it was made to replace double filament bulbs with the offset pins.
It is quite possible I inserted the wrong link, I told my son to research and order the bulbs and he had the original lights on hand while researching. When I get home I will double check the lights for double contacts.
'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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DougEFresh1123
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1994 GL1500SE

Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

Well I'll be damned, my son and I finally had some luck on our side and figured out the issue with my brake lights!!! :D :D

After numerous checks of the wires and connections my son and I decided to give up the ghost and deal with having two different types of brake lights. I decided I would go with LED on the bottom and incandescent lights on the top since it will be easier to change the top lights over to LED bulbs if I am ever able to solve the problem. So I reluctantly remounted the saddlebags and was having an issue getting the aftermarket lights to line up on the right side. Asked my son to help me out and he decided he was going to loosen up the left side and see if he could get some free play to help get the right side to line up. I had the lights on because I have LED light strips in the saddlebags and they were providing enough light in the saddlebags to make seeing the screws easier. As he loosened the bolt holding the ground wire for the aftermarket taillights I said "WAIT, ALL of the rear lights are acting up." We tightened up the ground and then checked all four of the LED brake lights and wow did they light up nice and bright when the brakes were applied. What a joyous relief filled moment when the solution presented itself after many hours of confusion and frustration. I knew the ground wire for the aftermarket tail lights existed just never thought it was also serving as a ground for the brake lights.

We didn't trace the wiring of the aftermarket lights to see how the ground wire was connected to the brake lights. Is it possible the brakes have two independent grounds or is it more likely the installer of the aftermarket lights messed up and had to splice in the brake lights ground into the aftermarket lights? At this point in time I don't care as long as they work as they should.

Next up is we are going to try re-installing the blinker/flasher relay and see if the top LED lights will blink like the incandescent lights. My son is thinking it's a no go because the LED lights don't draw enough power to make the blinker/flasher relay to heat up and open/close. no biggie if it doesn't I'm happy with the nice and bright LED lights.

Thanks - Doug
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The ground for these lights was the missing item.
The ground for these lights was the missing item.

'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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Rambozo
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by Rambozo »

You can get a flasher that will flash LEDs, some will even let you adjust the speed. However, from what I understand if you go that route, the self cancelling feature will no longer work.
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by Charlie1Horse »

Check the ground wire in the connector under the seat. It may have burned and lost contact. These GL1500s have a common problem there and will cause no lights on the rear. You may need to jumper the ground connector around the plug. That ground for the aftermarket lights should NOT ground all the rest of the rear lights.
Russell

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DougEFresh1123
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

Rambozo wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:45 pm You can get a flasher that will flash LEDs, some will even let you adjust the speed. However, from what I understand if you go that route, the self cancelling feature will no longer work.
Not sure I'm going to go the flasher route. Turn signals are not LED yet so at this point in time it wouldn't be an issue. Although I thought I read another post in the forum with a solution to avoid losing the self cancelling feature on the tun signals.

Thanks - Doug
'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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DougEFresh1123
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1994 GL1500SE

Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

Charlie1Horse wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:23 pm Check the ground wire in the connector under the seat. It may have burned and lost contact. These GL1500s have a common problem there and will cause no lights on the rear. You may need to jumper the ground connector around the plug. That ground for the aftermarket lights should NOT ground all the rest of the rear lights.
Russell

If I don't do Facebook or Twitter, do I still have to do Social Media Distancing???
Russell,

thanks for the info, I didn't think they should ground the break lights. Based on the two pictures included can you give me a rough idea as to where the connector is your are referring too, or is it in the same location as the connection for the air compressor?

Thanks - Doug
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'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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Charlie1Horse
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1992 GL1500I Interstate

Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by Charlie1Horse »

Check this post from another member for pictures of the connector.
. As you can see there is the ground terminal burned and no connection.
Russell

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Those who say it cannot be done should try not to interrupt those who are doing it.
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MikeB
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by MikeB »

In the yellow circled area is a plastic enclosure. The connector inside needs to be checked for bad connections.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
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DougEFresh1123
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Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

MikeB wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:06 pm In the yellow circled area is a plastic enclosure. The connector inside needs to be checked for bad connections.
IN THIS BOX.jpg
Thanks for the information Mike, I'll give it a check tonight but I think we figured out why the ground wire for the aftermarket lights are acting as a ground for my brakes.

My son decided he wanted to change the lights in the aftermarket lights over to LED, when he checked to make sure they were working he noticed they were also brake lights. :o I have limited knowledge of wiring but I'm pretty comfortable stating in order to have them serve has brake lights they needed to be spliced into the brake wiring, which is why the ground wire is affecting my brakes.

Thanks - Doug
'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
User avatar
DougEFresh1123
Posts: 239
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1994 GL1500SE

Re: LED Brake Light Electrical Issues

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

Charlie1Horse wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 5:36 pm Check this post from another member for pictures of the connector.
. As you can see there is the ground terminal burned and no connection.
Russell

If I don't do Facebook or Twitter, do I still have to do Social Media Distancing???
Russell,
Thanks for the other link. I will check out all of the connectors just to make sure everything looks good. As you can see in my response to Mike I'm pretty sure we figured out why the aftermarket ground wire is acting as a ground for my brakes.

Once I check things out I can but the bike together and she will be ready for rding!

Thanks - Doug


'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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