LED Turn signal wiring help

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Tankad, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Tankad

    Tankad Pure Shenanigans

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    I have been planning for a few years to build a late 60’s early 70’s Isle of Man TT inspired street bike. In the next few weeks I am going to begin. I am starting with a 1974 R75 /6… and since it will be my daily rider, I need headlight and more to the point… turn signals. I am planning on using These: http://www.360signals.net/buynow.html

    [​IMG]
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    and I am wondering If I will need to use In-Line Universal LED Resistors to make the system work right? something like these: http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-caferacer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-electronic-wiring-parts-in-line-universal-led-resistors-24-0010.html or http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-caferacer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-electronic-wiring-parts-in-line-universal-led-resistors-26-6242.html <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Any guidance or experience with LED turn signals on these old girls would be most appreciated. <o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    My gut would think that those LED roundels would already have an inline resistor with them. I would think that the designer of those roundels should have designed them to be hooked up to a 12v DC source.

    You likely do, however, need to be careful of the polarity when hooking up the led's. (make sure you hook the + to + and - to -). If not hooked up properly, again depending on design, you COULD toast the led.

    Bottom line, I don't have a solid answer for ya, but I'd venture to say that you would be fine without additional resistor. If you are worried. Feel free to use add an inline resistor. You just may make the led's a bit dim.

    Sorry for the vague, non answer on that one.
    #2
  3. benthic

    benthic glutton 4 punishment

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    man, those are SWEET. spendy, but slick:)

    RE: LED - I would, and did, replace the stock blinker relay with a LED relay (from superbrightleds.com). That way you do NOT have to put resistors in and defeat the low electrical usage of the LEDs.

    spencer
    #3
  4. Tankad

    Tankad Pure Shenanigans

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    Thanks gents.... since they did cost $$$ I really want to be careful not to fry them. I think replacing the stock blinker relay with a LED relay might be the way to go.

    Benthis - do you remember which one you went with?
    #4
  5. benthic

    benthic glutton 4 punishment

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  6. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    That relay has pins 49, 49a, and 31. If you look at your wiring diagram, you can trace those to (if I'm reading it right):

    31=ground
    49=power in to relay
    49a= power out of relay to blinker switch.

    The fourth prong that is missing is what flashes the turn signal indicator on the stock speedo cluster from what I can tell.
    #6
  7. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    There are TWO types of resistors in this thread!!!!!!!!!

    Be careful of what you are talking about!!!!!

    SERIES resistors - used to limit the current to the LEDs so they don't blow up. (posts 1, 2)

    PARALLEL resistors - used to increase the current draw so the blinker relay thinks things are ok - drawing the same amount of current as the incandescent lamps would. (post 3)

    Don't get them confused. Different functions of each and different connections.
    #7
  8. Tankad

    Tankad Pure Shenanigans

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    Thank you for the information...

    I am planning on running an acewell 2853.

    Warin - I am kind of a noob when it comes to electrical stuff. Is there a direction you think I should go? I was planning on changing out the relay... Do I need to use one of the resistors as well, and if so... which one?

    Thanks.
    #8
  9. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    I hope I word this correctly....

    Warin is correct, there are 2 resistors needed when using LED turn signals. The ones you origionally posted were designed for wiring in parallel. (You know how when you have a burnt out rear blinker in your car, the result is the front blinker blinks 2x as fast.....this is due to the load (resistance) lost.) When you connect 2 LED turn signals up, due to their efficiency and low resistance, the stock relay will see it as a burnt out light and end up blinking real fast or maybe not at all (not sure how airhead relays work). If you chose to use those resistors you mentioned in post #1, your stock relay would see your efficient led's and normal non efficient bulbs. However, with a new led relay, those resistors are not required. It sounds like you are opting for the led relay, so parallel resistors won't be needed for you.

    The series resistors mentioned: if you connected a plain LED directly to 12v source, it would burn up in a flash as there is no resistance with an LED, thus it would act like a short circuit. Thus a resistor is necessary (wired in series) to help limit/control the current. If you were making your own LED turn signals, this would be a VERY important thing to know. However, in the case of these premade lights, I'd bet just about anything that they already have that covered for ya, however, just to make sure, send them an email as verify that a resistor wired in series is already present.

    Sooo.....long answer to your question, in your case, I am willing to bet just about anything that with that LED relay, you should be able to directly wire up the new LED's with zero issues.

    Keep in mind, you MUST connect the LED's up with the proper polarity.....positive to positive, and negative to negative. Or for Airheads, LED black wire hooked to Airhead brown wire. LED Red wire hooked to Airhead Blue dashed wire. (At least that is the colors on my /7)

    Hope this clears this up.
    #9
  10. benthic

    benthic glutton 4 punishment

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    I'm by no means an expert, but of the 5 or so LED units I've bought, there has been no mention of needing a resistor to prevent the LEDs from blowing up. I would expect that a module made for a motorcycle/vehicle would be basically plug and play - I did NOT need to add any resistors to prevent explosion:) and the LED compatible relay eliminates the need for the parallel resistors.

    I have the same Acewell, so the relay i linked to should be fine:)
    #10
  11. Tankad

    Tankad Pure Shenanigans

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    Benthic & Sabre170 - Thanks for breaking this information down noob style :clap I'm going to send the guy that makes the turn signals an email just to make sure... but I now have a better understanding of how this is all tied together.

    Many thanks!
    #11
  12. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    If the idea is to use less juice, then you need a different flasher that will work with the low draw of the LEDs rather than putting in more resistance so the LEDS act like incandescents.

    If you just want the longevity of the LEDS (and I find many are not too long lived) then you can add another resistor to increase the draw through the stock flasher.

    A no-load flasher should be available from your local auto parts store. These are solid state rather than using a resistance driven bi-metalic strip.
    #12
  13. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    so I purchased a few LED turn signals and plan to get an LED taillight but really do not have any experience when it comes to wiring. I have read as much as I can here in the forum for instruction. I purchased a relay from superbrightLEDs as Benthic recommended and went with the LED turn signals that Sabre has pictured.
    My question is how to get from what I currently have set up to get the LED set up? There is obviously more wires with the new LEDs than there are slots on that existing little black box the wires go in to.
    I created a dropbox account to post pictures, I hope it works. EDIT--looks like the photos didnt work, any suggestions?
    Any help is appreciated on the LED wiring. I am hoping it is plug and play like the beacon light I purchased(and will no longer need)
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vb5qgww8rwhppb0/Photo Apr 30, 8 59 07 PM.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rtli2qnihlh8qi4/Photo Apr 30, 8 58 35 PM.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rxcxy9v6u1lxif3/Photo Apr 30, 8 58 27 PM.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kair488ho43hbwn/Photo Apr 30, 8 54 22 PM.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0g2k6e33g0uun45/Photo Apr 29, 9 37 47 PM.jpg
    thanks
    #13
  14. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Your pics: [​IMG]
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    Dropbox is a complete PITA. I would lose them. See who other people are using.
    #14
  15. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    What year/model bike do you have? I can try to walk you through the wiring and such, but will need a bit more info form ya so I can talk specific wiring diagrams and such.

    As for posting photos, I use photobucket and haven't had any problems. They have the option where you can get the "Direct Link" to post photos.
    #15
  16. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    I believe i have a 1985 r65(monoshock) a serial number search says 10/1985 however registration has 1986. Not sure if there is a difference or if it matters.
    I believe the links to the photos work now. I don't get how all of the wires will connect. There are way more Led wires than what currently exists. Will I be getting rid of that black plug that currently has both rear blinkers and taillight?
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rtli2qnihlh8qi4/Photo Apr 30, 8 58 35 PM.jpg
    #16
  17. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    Bike age....not exactly sure about BMW specifically, but usually the year model of cars and motorcycles are actually first made the fall/winter of the year prior.

    2013 cars actually started manufacturing in late 2012. So, in your case, I'd say your registration is correct...you've got an '86.

    Yeah, you will have lots more led wires than that are presently there, but have no fear, it will all work out! Haha.

    You said you got the same turn signals as me? If so, you should have 4 wires...ground, running light, turn flasher, and a brake light. (Yup, those turn signals will go bright when you hit your brakes...I love that feature. And your turn signal will over ride any brake signal....pretty cool).

    As for your brake light setup....likey 3 wires...running light, brake, and ground.

    Can you post a photo of your new turn signal wires and brake light wires. I'll dig up a wiring diagram and give ya a connect this color to this color directions.
    #17
  18. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Here is the photo of the new signals. Doesn't show up when viewing with taptalk app.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0g2k6e33g0uun45/Photo Apr 29, 9 37 47 PM.jpg
    They really are the exact same ones you got:
    As for the brake light, haven't purchased one yet but I was considering one from the same eBay shop. Similar wire set up.

    Also, once I replace the relay that is under the tank can the front signals stay stock for the time being?
    #18
  19. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the delayed response here....limited Internet access the past few days.

    First, I highly recommend you have a color copy of your wiring diagram in front of you as you read this. I understand that wiring diagrams can be Greek and intimidating for those unfamiliar with electronics. That said, here it goes.

    You should have 5 wires going to your tail light/turn signals; blue/black, white/black, brown, green/red, and blue/red.

    Brown = ground. (this is your "negative")
    Blue/black= right turn signal
    Blue/red= left turn signal
    Green/red=brake signal
    White/black=running lights.

    I'm going to make an assumption here with your yet to be purchased brake light kit. It will likely have 3 wires; red, black, and yellow (brake, ground, running light respectively)

    As for your 4 wired turn signals, you have black, white, yellow, red. Acording to the seller of those lights, they say those wires are black-ground, white-running lights, yellow-turn signal, red-brake light. HOWEVER, if my memory serves me right, the set I got sent actually had the red and yellow wires flipped. If after hooking everything up, your turn signal doesn't override your brake signal, then simply flip-flop the red and yellow wires.

    That said, here it goes:

    Bikes brown wire: connect the black wires from both turn signals and the black wire from the brake light.
    Bikes blue/black wire: connect the right turn signal's yellow wire.
    Bikes blue/red wire: connect the left turn signals yellow wire
    Bikes white/black wire: connect the tail lights yellow (running light) wire and both turn signals white wire.
    Bikes green/red witr: connect the tail lights red wire and both turn signals red wires.

    As for your question about keeping that wire connector.....totally your call how you skin that cat. Cut wires before or after that connector...doesn't matter. There are numerous different ways to do it, all your call.

    As for the relay.....first, you mention replacing the relay under your tank. Not sure if it is different for r65's, but my turn signal relay was in my headlight bucket not under the tank. And can you mix and match led and non led's with your relay?....depends. Some relays are led only relays and others will take both led's and non led's. I know the one I got works with both bulb types, and I believe that is the more common type of relay. I'd check with where you got the relay to make sure. If in doubt, just take your non led light bulbs out of the front turn signals.

    Hope this helps ya out. Please let me know if you have any other questions or run into any other hurdles.

    Good luck.
    #19
  20. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Wow! Thanks for the detailed reply. I will give it a shot. One question prior to what wire goes where is, how do I join the signal wires and brake wire into one wire? Is like hooking up a ceiling fan or outlet in a house? Do I strip the cover and wind the bare wires together, cap and electrical tape them? Is there a proprer or clean way to do it? parts needed from auto supply store?
    Resulting in making the 3 wires turn into 1? (Example being the running lights mentioned in the previous post)
    #20