Question about custom Headlight project for F800

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by JasonPerryPhoto, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Since the stock headlight unit is so simple, I figure it would be easy to fabricate a bracket to fit in its place that would hold a couple Baja Designs lights... I'm thinking an XL80 for the high beam and then a Squadron Pro on the low beam. That would give me boatloads of illumination, enough to negate the need for auxiliary lighting, and would still maintain the wonky-eyed BMW headlight design. o_O

    What I'm trying to figure out is, will this wreak havoc on my CANbus system? Will I need the little modules to trick the system or can I just fabricate an adapter that plugs right into the stock H7 harness?

    Why, you ask? I'm just trying to keep it lightweight and streamlined (I've already peeled nearly 30 lbs off the bike). Cyclops lights are great but I just want more power without having to add auxiliary lighting. The XL80 has 213k candela and the Squadron has 76k. That's enough to melt oncoming traffic, I think. :)

    A really lousy mockup, close to scale, for anyone who's wondering. :D
    IMG_1735.jpg
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  2. nakulmalik

    nakulmalik Adventurer

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    The easiest and safest way to do this is to wire the power supply to the lights directly from the battery using a relay. The adapter from your stock H7 should be used to trigger the relay.
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  3. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    Well first off this has nothing to do with CANbus which is a Controller Area Network that facilitates communications between various modules on the bike.

    The module of concern here is the ZFE that controls and monitors chassis electrics. The stock high and low beam lights use H7 bulbs of 55 watts. Each bulb would draw approximately 55W/12V = 4.6 Amperes. The ZFE will monitor for overcurrent but I have never seen a spec for the current threshold at which the ZFE will shut down the circuit. The ZFE will also monitor for undercurrent but again I have never seen a spec for the current threshold at which the ZFE will decide that there is a problem and signal a LAMP error that will show up on the Kombi. Clearly 0 Amperes (a burnt out bulb) will do so!

    There are any number of riders who have installed LED H7 replacement bulbs that draw less current than the stock H7 incandescent bulb without issue. In my case I know that the Cyclops LED bulb draws 2.1 amperes and causes no issues.

    Do you have a spec, or can you measure, the current draw of the LED lights you plan to use?
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  4. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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  5. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Thanks for the reply...
    I found the data sheets for the various lights I'd be interested in using...

    The XL80... Wattage/Amps: 80W / 5.79A
    https://www.bajadesigns.com/images/XL80 Data Sheet.pdf

    The lower power version, the XLPro... Wattage/Amps: 40W / 2.90A
    https://www.bajadesigns.com/images/XL PRO Data Sheet.pdf

    And the Squadron Pro... Wattage/Amps: 40W / 3.33A Input Voltage: 9V-32V
    https://www.bajadesigns.com/images/Squadron Pro Data Sheet.pdf

    BTW, both of the links to the plug you mentioned in the other thread no longer work. Is it just an adapter from the H7 to the weather pack connector on the BD lights?
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  6. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    Too bad those links don't work but there are other sources on eBay. Just search for "1J0973833". This is a connector that is almost identical to the one molded in to the back of the stock headlight so it will plug into the bike's harness where it feeds the stock headlight. No need for any kind of H7 connector. By wiring the LEDs to this connector your new LED set becomes plug and play and you don't have to mod the bike's wiring. I would say that there is a very good chance that any of the LED lights on your list will work without issue. If you decide to go this route send me a PM with your email address and I can send you some wiring details for the connector. By the way I am unsure what will happen if you don't also hook up a replacement for the small "parking" bulb in the stock headlight as well. Leaving an open circuit there may throw a LAMP error.
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  7. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    This involves a lot of extra circuitry that is probably not needed. Do you know for a fact that the small current drawn by the relay coil is sufficient to avoid a LAMP error?

    Attached Files:

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  8. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    I found this harness with that plug and six wires coming out of it... maybe that'd do the trick? Or do you think it's best to buy just the plug and build my own? Thanks a bunch for that bit of intel... super helpful.

    I thought about that parking light as well... maybe I'll add a little rock light or something if I need it to keep the "lamp" code off.
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  9. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Oh, and do you think the XL80 with its 80 watts would be too much for the high beam circuit since the stock lights are 55 watts? I'm not married to that mega-light and could run the XL Pro with the lower wattage.
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  10. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    The harness looks to be a good find - especially if you don't have a proper crimping tool to assemble the connector that I suggested. You will just need to trim off one corner of the connector - about 10 seconds with a grinder.
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  11. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    If it were me I would go with the lower wattage bulb. You do know that this setup will not be DOT approved and that there will likely be no discernable cutoff to the pattern risking the light being objectionable to oncoming drivers at night I hope.
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  12. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    I thought so, too, but I went down and pulled the connector out of mine and it looks like there are only four pins in the harness... I'm guessing there's a chance the harness in question could be different.
    IMG_1739.JPG

    I thought about that as well but there are a lot of BD headlights out there so I figured I could get away with it... it's a good point, though, as I don't want to be too much of a nuisance. :hair
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  13. bmwroadsterca

    bmwroadsterca RadioFlyer

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    The nature of these things is that you can install 1 to 6 pins. It just means tha the eBay harness has 2 extra wires that you can ignore.
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  14. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Alright... it has been ordered. I just noticed that my housing is all melted so I'm motivated to take care of this even sooner... now, I just have to decide on which lights to get. I read the system won't kill the light until it gets below .8 amps so I think you're right and any of the lights should work fine. If you have that wiring diagram you talked about, I'd love to have it, just in case.

    Thanks again!
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  15. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

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    Hi Jason,

    Nice idea - and one I’m familiar with. Here was my effort: upload_2020-1-29_19-29-30.jpeg

    What you are doing is going to require a “third eye” or you will throw a fault code. The good news is that a normal LED (I think this one is a 3 watt single) will fix that.

    As an aside, I do love me some Baja Squadrons...please know they are super duper bright. Totally blinding grade bright. You may need to add some kind of dimmer or a cover to reduce their brightness to a reasonable level.

    Good luck!

    Whoops, forgot the link to my build: https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-headlight-challenge.1298140/#post-36739650
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  16. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Nice! and so close to what I’m trying to do... I’m curious if you needed the anti-flicker harness/module or did the lights demand enough power that it wasn’t an issue.

    What did you use to replace the parking light?
    Great work and thanks for the reply.
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  17. nakulmalik

    nakulmalik Adventurer

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    I Would need to verify that with the OP's bike but usual installs are with the Aux lights wired in the way I described. In those cases, the load used to trigger the relay is a negligible addition to the existing load of the stock headlight so it works fine.
    In the OP's case he is getting rid of the stock headlight so a couple of small load resistors might need to be added to avoid a LAMP error if it pops up.

    Either way, I like to keep all my aftermarket accessories fed from a separate power bus running off the battery directly and switched using relays triggered by the OEM connectors or switched power connectors (depending upon application). It does add a bit of wiring hassle but I find it to be a much cleaner install in terms of freeing yourself of the design limitations of the Bike's wiring harness.
    Matter of preference I guess.
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  18. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

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    Well, this was kind of a "parts bin" special build. I had an old set of Amazon 35 watt LED's that I used for the mains and somewhere along the line I picked up a set of small 10 watt LED's like these:
    https://www.amazon.com/Xprite-Off-Road-Motorcycle-Off-road-Vehicles/dp/B00SNX6E60 I figured that the 10 watt rating was a bit...high and also counted both lights, so my best guess was that it was really closer to a 3-4 single LED lamp.

    That cheap Amazon 10 watt LED was perfect for the parking light. The moment I added it to the Array, no more LAMF error. I'm not using any kind of anti-flicker anything. The project basically turned into a complete plug and play with the only add-on being buying a connector to fit the factory light plug.

    I've been running it this way for a couple years now with no issues at all. One key point though, it IS bright! I added a small piece of gray cellophane (window tint) to the main-beam to dim it down slightly.

    All in all, it was quite the fun project.
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  19. JasonPerryPhoto

    JasonPerryPhoto Adventurer

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    Well, it has begun! I ordered lights, harnesses, connectors, and crimpers. I mocked up a cardboard mount that's the same size as the stock headlamp but can be bent out of some sheetmetal. Can't wait for everything to show up so I can start putting it together.

    IMG_1746.JPG.jpeg IMG_1747.JPG.jpeg
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  20. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    How are these lights, both those planned and those already used on similar projects?

    I’m happy with my LED bulbs for now but am intrigued by these XLs if I don’t become a blinding beast for others.
    #20