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Thread: Swapping out lamps for LED's in guage cluster ?

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Question Swapping out lamps for LED's in guage cluster ?

    A while ago, I read with interest a thread pertaining to swapping out the existing incandescent lamps in the gauges and indicator panel on a R1100RT. I even kept the web sight which was provided within that thread directing me to the seller of the LED's.
    http://superlumination.com/74.htm
    Problem is......the web sight sells a multitude of various led's and I am at a loss to what I should be aquiring. I cannot find the thread of yesteryear to direct me in the proper direction either. the reason I wish to persue the LED's is that many of the existing lamps are burnt out......and the work involved in getting to the guage cluster is ridiculous, so I would like to do this properly.....and only once....preferably.
    Is there anyone out there who has done this swap or can remember this subject and direct me to the thread I am talking about?
    Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by snookers; 01-09-2013 at 12:48 AM.
    2000 R1100RT
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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    The lamps that are stock have a pretty good lifetime and are built for the rough service environment of motorcycles.

    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.
    Forgive me if this dosn't make sense to me..........if there is a current draw on the battery, as there would be with the headlight on.....and the headlamp is always on when my bike is running, then the alternator would be charging the battery. I merely wish to have the led's installed since changing the bulbs in the guage cluster on the RT is a major PIA
    2000 R1100RT
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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    The 3W incandescent bulb in your RT is part of the "field" circuit for your alternator. It is what "excites" the circuit that creates the initial magenetic field that gets your alternator charging. This is especially important at idle speeds. Changing this particular bulb out to an LED might not be a good idea.

    I know for a fact that is will not work on an old airhead generator light because I tried and failed. That circuit is not quite the same as the Oilhead but the same electrical principles apply more or less.

    That said, I have changed out my speedo and tach bulbs for white LEDs and the difference is phenomenal. The eBay LEDs I used came from Hong Kong dirt cheap compared to the prices I see being charged on some of the lighting sites this side of the ocean. Long delivery times but the postage is free.

    Visibility of my two gauges at night is really remarkable now and I highly recommend it. Yes, it's a bit of a pain in the arse to get there but once you are done the results are worthwhile.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    2000 R1100RT
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    Rally Rat
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    The bulb these folks are talking about is the one behind your battery symbol. The bike puts 12 volts to one side of the bulb The other side is wired directly to the field winding in the alternator. The other end of the field is grounded.

    Key on engine off (KOEO) the bulb has 12 volts on one side and a ground on the other so it lights up.

    Start engine, the 3 watts at 12 volts from the bulb excite the field on the alternator which becomes an electromagnet and makes the alternator start charging. Now the alternator is charging and the voltage regulator takes over. The bulb has 12 volts on both sides, so it goes out. (no ground).

    An LED bulb will not pass current (3 watts) to the field so the alternator would not charge.

    The other reason is an LED bulb draws one tenth the power a regular filament bulb draws, so it would not work for this application any how.

    The rest of your idea is great!

    David

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    DROOT153718............Thankyou for the added information...............I appreciate it. .....I'll be sure to leave that bulb alone.......but......if that 3 watt bulb burned out......would that not interupt the charging circuit as far as the alternator goes......if it did......it would definitley be good info to have in case you had trouble with your battery getting a charge.
    2000 R1100RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookers View Post
    DROOT153718............Thankyou for the added information...............I appreciate it. .....I'll be sure to leave that bulb alone.......but......if that 3 watt bulb burned out......would that not interupt the charging circuit as far as the alternator goes......if it did......it would definitley be good info to have in case you had trouble with your battery getting a charge.
    You are correct If that bulb blows your alternator may not charge. You could borrow a different bulb, if in a pinch.

    The symptom of a blown bulb would be no Battery + voltage to the slip rings at the alternator. If you have 2 wires going to the alternator it would be the small one. Key on engine off should be 12 volts. Its the same on an airhead.

    Of course the little battery will not light up when you turn the key on if the bulb is blown.

    I have a spare bulb for every size light on my bike with me except instrument. At 100,000 two bulbs were blown in the dash. I replaced them all. My bike came with lifetime LED brake and tail light bulbs. Both quit working and have been replaced with regular bulbs. No problems since.

    David

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    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Due to the duty cycle of these lamps (indicator panel) I opted to leave stock, especially the charging lamp for reasons covered above.
    I have dismantled wrecks and found the lamps still functional,and yet to have one burn out at 237,000km on my own machine.
    That being said, my instrument lamps are LED and provide much better illumination. All other lamps on my machine are LED as well excepting low beam (HID), Hi beam (H9) and driving (H7)
    I also run Krista's (LED)
    My UniGo trailer is all custom LED as well.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookers View Post
    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    From my post above,


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    The lamps that are stock have a pretty good lifetime and are built for the rough service environment of motorcycles.

    If you do go with LEDs you must use a 3W bulb that draws a quarter amp (0.25 A) in the Batt/Alt position as it is used by design to start the Alternator.

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    Bulbs

    If you do, do not replace the high beam bulb or the low fuel light, you will be blinded at night. I bought a used 02 R1150R that a BMW mechanic had owned, and done this conversion. My $ .02

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    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Which LED bulbs for the Instruments

    I read the OP question again and now I'm not sure if he was asking about the warning lamps or the instruments. So, could someone please either point to the old thread or answer, which LEDs are the correct replacement for the dash instruments? The tachometer and the speedometer. I believe there are two bulbs in each one (62 14 2 306 127 BULB - 12V 1.7W QTY 4).
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    For the Instruments (Tach and Speedo) These work extremely well.
    Changed over a few bikes now.
    Be aware they are polarity conscious so they must be inserted the right way round.
    Also available in colors as well. Red blue etc
    I prefer warm white but cool white is nice too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/320759194204...A:3160&vxp=mtr
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snookers View Post
    Happy Wanderer.................the 3watt lamps you are refering to...........which ones are they? are they the gauge lamps or are they the ones in the warning lamp/ turn indicator display block?
    Specifically the alternator bulb. But yes, the bulbs in the display block which I think are all the same but not positive. Would have to check the fiche.

    I've only switched out my tach and speedo bulbs for LEDs. Love em... Huge difference at night.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the replies.........I love it when I can learn from asking questions. What I intend to do is to swap out the incandescent bulbs in the speedo and tach with LED's.......I am also swapping out the turn signal lamps with LED's.....green ones...now if they are too bright, this for me at least, will be a good thing as perhaps I won't be inclined to leave my signals on after making a turn. The other warning lamps will remain as they are since they will most likely never burn out as they aren't illuminated for very long anyways. The 3 watt battery/alternator lamp will also remain, and I will definitly aquire a spare.
    2000 R1100RT
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