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unsafe at any speed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 10,444
LED Taillights Cheap and Easy

After having several people tell me that my tail light was dim, I finally got around to fixing it.

I had one of those clear alternative lenses... and a Mushroom LED bulb that fit in the 1157 socket hole. The problem was that it would vibrate over time and start flickering.

I have been thinking about going the same route that R111S did... ( Using LEDs for Turn Signal Running Lites )
He cut up a LED tail light and glued all the diodes and resistors into his tail light assy, and rewired it. I didn't want to ruin my stock assy by gluing it all up.
And...
I am not an Electrical engineer...
And... I am too lazy


I went to Autozone and got a Replacement trailer tail light assy.



Took a hacksaw to it and cut away all the plastic from the main board. The whole thing is encapsulated in clear epoxy, even
the face where the diodes are. Water tight!




Took my sander to it to shape it so it would fit snugly in my clear lens.



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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four

Last edited by wswartzwel; 04-18-2009 at 09:46 PM..
Old 04-18-2009, 08:39 PM
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unsafe at any speed
 
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I did not want to alter the stock tail light assy so I can put it back to factory specs with the original red lens and clear bulb should I ever need to.... I left the mushroom bulb in the socket to add more light, and fit the new assy into the lens.




Drilled a hole in the lens housing, and snapped some piggyback spade connectors to the tail light wiring connectors. That way I could plug the bikes harness to the tail light assy, and I put female spades on the aftermarket light wires so I could plug them to the piggyback connectors...



A little sealant where the wires come out of the housing...




You can see the original mushroom bulb backlights the socket, and the 8 LED's from the added board with the tail light on. Camera doesnt show it well but it is much much brighter than it was....





And when you hit the brakes.... It is very Bright!!




I am sure there are dozens of ways to add LED tail lights... Most are quite expensive though.... This cost $29 and some creative cutting.... You have to be careful where you cut the board so you don't damage a circuit.


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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four

Last edited by wswartzwel; 04-18-2009 at 08:42 PM..
Old 04-18-2009, 08:40 PM
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Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby!

I know what I'm gonna do when I get OBSSSN back from Gina's!

That is TOO SWEET!
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:59 AM
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Good job Bill
Old 04-19-2009, 06:53 AM
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Nice work, good job!!
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:22 PM
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Is that a cold bottle of Fosters I spy?
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:37 PM
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unsafe at any speed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Arkansas
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Sorry,
Dry empty bottle of cheap Amber Bock...been there for over a week now.. need to move it to the trash bin.
I am having weight problems (up to 200lbs) and trying to cut back on carbs.
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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four
Old 04-19-2009, 01:02 PM
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Man it's flat out here!
 
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Garage
Nice work Bill...I especially like your double prong terminal solution for adding an extra set of wires. Is that a parking lot sticker or two I see on the left side of the rear cowl?
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:37 PM
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unsafe at any speed
 
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College parking sticker... Will be peeling it off in a couple weeks..
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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four
Old 04-19-2009, 07:39 PM
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R1100S 2.0
 
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Nice work!
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:24 AM
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KnowMan R11S
 
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Bill -- Thanks for sharing that illuminating project in a very complete series of steps and end result. I have a clear lens / Brake ! LED combination, which was considerably more expensive and doesn't seem too bright in the daylight -- anyone else have this experience? Anyway, I'll be considering the 'Swartzelupgradeunblinken' when I have some time to invest. What was the mushroom LED you had in the housing or where did it come from?
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:21 AM
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The mushroom of small LED's came with the lens, I bought in the for-sale forum... don't know who made it.
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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four
Old 04-20-2009, 06:49 AM
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R1100S 2.0
 
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I have a cheap-o mushroom style bulb with fewer LEDs that I think is much dimmer than yours. I'd like to replace it before trying your mod, because 1) I think it would interfere with the board, and 2) uh, it's uhm, dim.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:35 AM
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There is lots of room behind the board.
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Bill Swartzwelder
2002 R1100S Prep/2006 BMW R1200GS
2010 KTM 690 ENDURO R/1969 BSA StarFire
1971 CB500 four
Old 04-20-2009, 08:39 AM
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:39 AM
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