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ZFE (Chassis Computer) potential damage by aftermarket LED or HID bulbs???

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by bakercdb, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. bakercdb

    bakercdb Still searching

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    Has much research been done on how LED and HID aftermarket replacements for the H7 bulbs on our bikes might damage the ZFE (Central Chassis computer)? I've seen lots of threads on the bulbs themselves, installation, comparisons, troubleshooting, etc but nothing (that I could find) that detailed ways these replacement bulbs might damage the ZFE.

    The reason I ask is that my ZFE just failed in Chile at the c 14,000 mile mark.

    - I replaced Both H7 bulbs in my 2015 F800GSA with LED bulbs (along with the park and plate bulbs) at the start of what is now a 14k mile trip (new bike)
    -The low beam was a Cyclops 2,400 lumen (prior model). The Cyclops fell apart at about the 8k mile mark. To be fair, I didn't drill a large ventilation hole in the cap as it didn't seem so wise with a headlamp unit that can't be taken apart to clean the inside glass or reflector on what would be some very dirty conditions. I figured I'd take my chances and carried spare H7 bulbs (replaced Cyclops with a similar looking 20W unit from AliExpress), that is still working, for now)
    -The high beam was from Amazon and was a 55w (no typo) with an all metal ballast box about 2x3x.3" in size (mounted outside the headlight unit). Super bright.
    (I made deep lamp cover caps by cutting up the liner cup of a couple of auto travel mugs and using plastic epoxy to glue them to the cut out stock caps. Picture a spray paint can lid glued to the stock lids to get the basic idea. Needed for clearance, and better cooling for the fans)

    Long story short is new ZFE from donor showroom bike (exact specs except Euro/Chile bike, not USA) checks out fine now, except that the LED high beam was flashing automatically. Fixed that by dropping the halogen H7 back in the Hi. Left the LED in the low in place. Will test ride later today.

    Long story at thread below
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...-osorno-chile-need-help-2015-f800gsa.1132906/
    #1
  2. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent Stay weird, or you'll be normal like everyone else

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    This seems like an odd thing to happen.
    Thinking about the GSW which came with optional LED or halogen lamps, I find it hard to believe that in the spirit of German efficiency, this option would also require a different ZFE just to accommodate a headlight option. Too much hassle on a production line that the process engineers would resist.
    #2
  3. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Aren't HIDs AC? If you had a cheap hid ballast, it could have put some ripple current back killing the ZFE. I don't know, I liked Reaver's theory better. Mice and rats can get into weird places and chew up all kinds of stuff.
    #3
  4. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    Sorry, still don't have the time to look into it further. All I can say is that many Customers have complained about electrical weirdness. I disconnect all the accessory crap and it works great. Everything is left disconnected and the Customer is told that he will be charged for everything going forward, as noted on the Work Order. At $100/hr, I was never at liberty to investigate. Just the once where we hooked up an oscilloscope to Canbus to compare noise before and after a HID connection. It was like being alone then in a crowded bus terminal.

    A light is not a light. Factory BMW LED's are designed with certain parameters in mind. China lights are made for dumb bikes that 80% of the world uses. Not saying OP's lights are crap, didn't look into it.
    #4
  5. RBMann

    RBMann Been here awhile

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    I had HIDs on my R1100S for a long time. They killed two aftermarket electronic speed calibrator devices and two voltage meters. Switched over to LEDs. I also had HIDs on my F650 twin for 6 years and 30k miles without a problem, but I have switched to LEDs on it too.
    #5
  6. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent Stay weird, or you'll be normal like everyone else

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    Perhaps @off road rider from Cyclops could come in and comment on this for us.
    #6
  7. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    #7
  8. bakercdb

    bakercdb Still searching

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    Hi, what brand model LEDs?
    As Reaver said to me (and I paraphrase) pounding over 23,000 km of C & S America doesn't mean the system is proven to work reliably.

    SUMMARY (from other thread at top of this one):
    -my ZFE was bad and replaced by new donor bike).
    Programming appears to have taken fine, and reading in mph, not kph, fuel level is as accurate as before (i.e., 1/2 talk mean 1/3), etc

    -Technicians claimed the issue was pin 28, the 12V aux power plug on top of the battery and also ( I believe) the DIN outlet socket by the key . Strange is that I have never used the DIN Plug, and used the BMW pigtail plug (accessory part ) plugged into the connector above to power a SW Motech tank bag, on a 5 amp fused line. (The powered tank bag has a USB power outlet inside (sub 2amp draw) for charging Stuff. I hadn't used that in months, and the inline fuse was fine).

    I asked that I though that accessory line was protected by an electronic fuse in the ZFE (I know the limit is not large, but well above the draw I was using, and fused with my 5amp mechanical fuse), but then the Spanish/English fell apart at that level of technical detail.

    Ps, if you have a BMW with technical problems, the crew at BMW Conception Chile is world class. Very sharp. Same sounds true for @Reaver in Costa Rica
    #8
  9. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    HID's are by far noisier than LED's. In nature you cook a plasma between two plates, but the transformer always seems to emit more noise than the plasma arc. I have run both cheap Chinese and expensive German units, and I have no doubt the Chinese emits more noise. Personally I dont think neither is enough to damage the ZFE. When I for a brief few months ran HID on the 8GS, I grounded the chassis of the transformer to bike chassis ground. The LED's on the other hand, emits very little noise, and I would not suspect them affect the ZFE either....at all.
    #9
  10. bakercdb

    bakercdb Still searching

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    Thanks. I run "higher quality" Chinese HID landing gear lights on my carbon fiber experimental aircraft, which if very sensitive to stray RF noise (only choice at time that would ul fit). I also have US made LED landing lights in the tips, along with US made LED strobes. No radio noise from the HIDs, none from the LED wigwag/landing tip lights (Aeroleds did have to retrofit a capacitor? for noise), and a slight zapping sound from the strobes (I'm told by others with no high frequency hearing loss).

    No ZFE in the plane, but lots of sensitive electronics. One guy in similar plane (albeit not as well RF shielded as it was non conductive fiberglass, not carbon), had his autopilot dive the plane whenever he keyed the Mike.

    Long winded way of saying watch out for "electrical weirdness" when you modify anything, as stated by @Reaver above.
    #10
  11. RBMann

    RBMann Been here awhile

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    Cyclops LEDs. The big surge that gets the HID arc going is what did all the damage to the accessories on my S.
    #11
  12. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    #12
  13. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent Stay weird, or you'll be normal like everyone else

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    I did, thank you for that catch.
    #13