LED Turn signal wiring help

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

  1. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    When I did mine, I clipped all 4 wires (signal wires (x2), brake wire, and the wire from the bike). Stripped a half inch or so, them, then kinda twisted them in a fashion that resulted in the wires still forming one "line". I used heat shrink tubing to then insulate them.

    However, if you aren't as concerned with a super clean look on your wires, yeah how you mentioned would work. I would use a bit more than tape to hold the twisted wires toghether though. Like you would use in a ceiling fan, those rubber "wire nuts" would work to hold up to the vibrations of your bike. I'd still cover the wire nut with electrical tape though for added protection. The better option than the wire nuts would be to solder it, however if you don't own a soldering iron, wire nuts with tape will work just fine for ya.
    #21
  2. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Would this taillight work if wired with the led signals?
    http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-caferacer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-electronic-lighting-parts-classic-retro-satin-black-taillight-62-21512-sbpc.html

    This is the relay I bought. http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flashers-load-resistors/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher/782/

    The green relay is what I believe will be replaced under the tank. This was the only photo I could find. Sorry for the blur, haven't taken the tank off again, yet. https://www.dropbox.com/s/kl1ataflm9kg2xa/image.jpg
    #22
  3. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Class act= strip, twist, solder, heat shrink.

    Next best = Strip, light twist, insulated crimp connection with the best crimper you can find. Crimp connections from auto supply. Look for a crimper that says "klien" on it and costs $20 or so. A kit of crimps is the cheapest and gives you the most sizes.

    Unnacceptable= wirenuts*. Want unreliability? That's one way to get it. Vinyl electrical tape is another unreliable item, and ends up making a mess. Scotch 130C linerless high voltage splicing tape isn't bad, Silicone self fusing tape also isn't bad. The Rubber is cheaper and a roll goes a lot farther than you would expect.





    *someone will now say: "I always use wire nuts and tape and nothing has ever failed on me.."

    I reply: "bullshit, how long do you keep your bikes?"


    Welcome to the internet.
    #23
  4. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    What if I go strip, twist, heat shrink and bypass the soldering step?
    #24
  5. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Nope. You need 3 things; mechanical strength in the joint, corrosion protection, insulation to prevent shorts to ground.

    Twist positions the wires, solder makes the connection and is corrosion proof (must use electrical solder), heat shrink provides the insulation (but is surprisingly poor for corrosion protection).

    Strip, twist and tape lightly to test things out and make sure it works. Have your heat shrink in place and just slide it up the wire. Then pull the tape and solder when you know the circuit is good. A soldering pencil will cost you $6 at Radio shack or similar. You don't need anything fancy. I use something fancy (A Weller adjustable power soldering station)...but I do it a LOT and many different types of joints.

    Get a roll of electronics solder. it will be very thin stuff and will have a rosin core flux. Lift the joint gently onto the tip of your hot pencil (keep the tip clean with a wet rag or sponge, give it a wipe when fully hot then apply a tiny amount of solder to tin it), heat the joint and apply the solder to the hot wire with the pencil in place. The melting solder will absorb a lot of heat so keep the iron in place until the joint is fully wetted out. Then take the iron away and go to the next. When everything is good and cool, slide all the heat shrinks into place and hit them with a heat gun...or even use a lighter, carefully.

    Don't banjo your wires tight, leave a service loop. Maybe a couple inches extra per wire. Makes it easy to change or repair in future. Tie wires neatly with tye wraps.

    For the price of lunch for 2 at Burger King you will have the best joints that can be made, and they will never screw up on you. They won't corrode, short out or break. If your lights stop working you can be dead sure it isn't your wiring job---or not the joints anyway. The problem will be the lights, switches or flasher.


    I got stranded on the road last summer. Bike just quit. No sparks. I poked and wiggled the various wires in the ignition. No joy. I didn't have my little toolkit meter. It broke and I hadn't replaced it. Thing had saved me before when a rotor went open on a trip. It would have saved me again if I had it. Trailer'd bike home and set to with my regular big meter. Found the problem quickly---it was a crimped spade connection I had made in the wire feeding the coils. It was a quickie I did when a coil died the day before a trip. I shouldn't have rushed---the joint corroded and some wire was broken as well. Took a year and a half but fail it did. I should have soldered it properly after my trip but it got put off or spaced out. I know better, but I didn't do better. Paid for it.
    #25
  6. JimX

    JimX .. .

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  7. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    For what it's worth, that says nothing about being an LED brake light. Regardless.....the brake lights don't go through the relay, so LED or non-LED for your brake light of choice doesn't really matter. Both will wire and work the exact same.

    The product description for that relay says it works at the normal rate with or without LED's, so your front turn signals are fine.


    As I mentioned earlier...my r100 had the blinker relay in the light bucket. I too have relays under my tank, but they aren't turn signal relays. I'm not familiar with relay locations on r65's though. Make sure you are swapping the right relay.

    As for solder advice. Plaka makes many great points. I'd do as he suggested.....twist and tape to make sure all is connected and working properly and THEN solder and insulate for a perminate hold. That site that JimX posted is new to me, but a great read for basic with wiring and soldering. Skipping corners now will only get you stranded as Plaka said.
    #27
  8. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Some good stuff there. But some things that are non-obvious too. I am always wary of anyone saying, "it's not allowed on aircraft...". Your motorcycle is not an aircraft. Crimps with ratchet crimpers are as close to idiot proof as you can get. They require a minimum of skill. I once speced these when I worked for an outfit that made aftermarket wings for cars. The installers needed to connect the LED brake lights in the wings to the car's harness. They weren't the brightest or the most skillfull. The ratchet crimpers ensured good reliability and an absence of returns. (these things were installed on new cars on dealer lots by the dozens. Everybody gotta have a racy looking wing, right?) In the aircraft biz, same thing. In critical soldering applications only certified solderers are employed. They are well trained and know what a "cold" joint looks like and how not to make them. (they look dull, not shiny, and will fail). Hard to enforce hiring such people. Also when comparing to aircraft you have to compare the maintenance schedules too. Lot of things on aircraft get flat out replaced every so many hours. We expect this stuff to last the life of the bike just as is.

    In a soldered joint the transition from the soldered area to the bare wire is abrupt. This can cause a stress riser in the copper which can then work harden under vibration and fail exactly at the transition. The crimped connecter has a rounded transition and is less susceptible to this. However once you put heat shrink over the soldered joint it makes a stress reliever and the problem vanishes.

    You do want to avoid wires flapping in the breeze. They should be secured to the frame. This is what kills the ignition cables to the plugs (and nothing much to be done about it either. test and replace).

    I was taught that a solder joint should have full mechanical strength before being soldered and that the solder should not be relied on for strength. I have found for wire to wire splices this is false. Two wires laid along side each other, zero mechanical strength, then soldered are as strong as twisted and soldered. Try pulling them apart and see. But it's a real pain to do, so you twist to hold them in position.

    Twisting wires provides minimal electrical contact. Yes, the solder does the work there, it is highly conductive. It is also far more malleable than copper. It won't work harden and crack (before the wires) unless you really work at it. try it with a piece of solder and some pliers and see. How many flexes does it take to harden and crack it? You'll be at it awhile.

    The "western union" splice looks good in a drawing and it works well for solid wire. You are not working with solid wire. One of the tricky bits is getting a compact twist. If you get a big fat barrel your heatshrink won't go over it and you have to use larger heatshrink. There goes your sealing. You want a twist barely bigger than the insulation. So a long strip and a long lazy twist. I use a Y splice. I seperate my bundle of strands into two equal groups and twist each to make a Y. I then put the two Ys crotch to crotch, not real tight, and twist them together. It's just to hold it while I get the solder on it.


    I used to think heatshrink was pretty waterproof. I have learned otherwise (and been very surprised). I've opened heatshink to add a wire and found corrosion on my joint. So now in exposed locations I use a lot longer piece of heatshrink...like 2 1/2" for a 1/2" long solder joint.

    I also never have a heatshrinked 2--->1 joint anywhere exposed. I make the joint where I can put it high on the backbone at the rear of the tank or someplace else protected.

    For serious water protection, use waterproof butt (crimp) splices. They have silicone goo in them. Easy to find in the big sizes and very tiny sizes, not common in motorcycle wire sizes. You can use silicone sealant in ordinary crimp splices. The marine adhesive type is best.

    Silicone filled waterproof wire nuts are common, used for hooking up lawn sprinkler valves. Won't take vibration, messy, can't be taped with anything.
    #28
  9. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Thanks again for all of the additional info. I did give the wiring of one of the turn signals a go just see if I was even in the ballpark of getting it all to work when the time comes. I was able to get it working, only issue was the rapid blinking which I assume will be corrected once I replace the relay.

    Wiring cheat sheet I made to help me out based on sabres very helpful post--- https://www.dropbox.com/s/fcqpp8bu1ovomta/Photo%20May%2010%2C%2010%2009%2016%20AM.jpg

    Wiring from signals- https://www.dropbox.com/s/vyd413ow9w6og1a/Photo%20May%2012%2C%2010%2015%2007%20PM.png

    So, installing the relay should correct the rapid flash however the new relay makes it so the green indicator on the "dashboard" don't light up? (I do not have an acewell) I have not removed the tank to get a closer look at replacing the relay so I am not totally sure what I'm going to see and do not know what to expect.
    #29
  10. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    Rapid flash....yes, the LED relay will fix that.

    Dashboard "ideot light".....I don't have a good answer for ya there, but judging from the wiring diagram for your '86 r65, you don't have that 4th wire going to the stock relay like my r100 had. Your ideot lights seem to get their signal directly from your turn signals and not the relay. So, I think you should be good on that one too.....but the only true way to know is to try it :D
    #30
  11. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Everything works. Finally got around to testing it all out. Removed the tank to access the relay. (Under tank unlike others where it is in the headlight bucket)
    Replacing the stock green with The LED one was easy. Just unplug And plug in the new. The idiot light works, the stock front flasher work along with the led rear flasher and beacon 2.

    Sabre, your memory did not fail you. I needed to switch the red and yellow to have the signals override the brake.

    Thanks for all the help!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/9g12f5ch7757ph9/Photo%20May%2024%2C%202%2039%2000%20AM.jpg
    #31
  12. Sabre170

    Sabre170 Been here awhile

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    Congrats!! Glad it all worked out for ya!

    #32
  13. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    So FYI, I got some led signals from ebay. Total junk!!! My incandescents were way brighter. Anyway, I keptf the electronic flasher relay and it works with either. SCORE! Anybody recommend some smallish LED signals that are ultrabright and not a million bucks.???
    #33
  14. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    I got the ones here and they seem bright. Which ones did you get, I probably looked at all of them
    #34
  15. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    So I may have messed something up?!?! Long story short I was replacing the brake light. Was fiddling with the wires to hook up the new tailight and carelessly hooked up the wrong wires. Turned key and there was a POP and the running lights stopped working. Everything else works fine, just the running tailight does not work. I troubleshot with a working tailight and turn signals that operate with a running light and all functions work with the exception of the running light. What is the fix? Is there a fuse? A new relay? Hopefully something easy. Hopefully someone sees this and can help..,
    #35
  16. Soliecirc

    Soliecirc Adventurer

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    Found the issue, blown fuse
    #36