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Author Topic: Speedo/cluster lamp replacement with LEDs (22 messages, Page 1 of 2)
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Pow_2k

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Posted: Mar 30, 2009 05:05 PM  (Msg. 1 of 22)         

So I was interested in replacing my speedo and cluster lamps with LEDs.  Got the idea from Wolf_7669's posts made over 3 years ago.  (His threads are here for the speedo and here for the cluster.)  I knew the cluster LEDs he found weren't 100% correct since he had to trim the base of the bulbs to fit the sockets, so I tried experimenting with some other bulbs.  To start, from Super Bright LEDs I ordered the same WLED-x5 (blue) he had used but instead of the WLED-x6 for the cluster I tried the 74-x bulbs.  These fit the cluster with no modification to the bike parts themselves, but were a little loose in the sockets.  I liked the results but didn't trust the socket fit, so I continued looking.  Somehow I came up with the concept that the cluster bulbs where a type 24 wedge base bulb (can't come up with how I figured this out though, a spec sheet somewhere in the 'net) and went looking for those in LED format.  A user on ebay named "warden-jp2002" had some compatible (#24 T6.5 wedge) bulbs in his store that I took a chance on.  Also got an alternative T10 bulb (5 SMD LEDs) to try for the speedo.

Let's start with the speedo bulb as it is a bit more straightforward.  Here are the bulbs I've had in my speedo-

Left to right are the stock T10 incandescent, the WLED-B5 from Super Bright LEDs and the 5 SMD (blue) LED bulb from ebay.  There is an inherent problem in the design of the speedo shell when you're not dealing with true omnidirectional lighting like you get with an incandescent filament.  The bulb sits on one side of the speedo and relies on the light bouncing around inside to illuminate the entire dial.  There is a reflector directly above the bulb that seems to serve two purposes.  First to prevent the light from creating a bright spot directly above it, second to help redirect that light elsewhere in the dial.  The LED bulbs above are good choices as they have LEDs that point off to the sides, helping to perform more like an incandescent bulb.  Height-wise the WLED-B5 was the best fit but the 5 SMD fit in there without force as well.  The WLED-B5 probably got more benefit from the reflector as I think the 5 SMD bulb is right up against it with little space to reflect the light.  In the end I thought the WLED-B5 did a decent job of lighting the speedo, but I didn't think the sweep arm was quite bright enough.  Had this been a white LED (WLED-W5 I believe) it probably would have been better.  The 5 SMD bulb seemed to be a bit brighter and has been what I've chosen to keep in the speedo.  There is one section of the speedo that does appar brighter than the rest, although this may have been the case with the incandescent as well... I don't recall.  The speedo is now a nice blue, bright enough to read at night but not overpowering.  One note if you go with a WLED-x5 bulb, be careful when removing it from the speedo.  While you can get it in there without any mods it is still a tight enough fit that when taking it back out you're likely to catch the bulb on the speedo shell and pop it off inside.  I had to fish mine out with a bit of wire.  Wasn't a terrible problem but an annoyance none the less.

Now, on to the idiot light cluster!  Here is what I was working with for bulbs-

Left to right are the stock incandescent, the 74-W from Super Bright LEDs and the #24 T6.5 wedge from ebay.  All are white, unlike with the speedo where I was playing around with colors.  As stated earlier the 74-x bulb base is just a little small for my liking.  I did have three of them in the cluster for a bit (they were a good intensity) and didn't have any rattle loose enough to lose connection but it still concerned me that the weren't "right" for the socket.  From the picture it would appear the #24 LEDs would be too large, but in fact they are a great fit.  Not as easy to insert into the plug as the stock bulb, I attribute this to the fact that the LED's base is squared off as it is on PCB and not molded glass or plastic.  Once started into the socket it feels like these are meant to be there.  The diameter didn't cause any issue fitting into the Intruder plastics either, I've had no issue removing the rubber plug sockets with them installed.  The intensity is brighter than the stock bulbs and the 74-x I believe but not overboard.  (I.e., when running the high beam at night you won't be blinded by your cluster.)  For replacing the oil pressure, high beam and neutral lamps I think the #24 T6.5 LEDs are a no brainer.  For the turn signal there is a bit more work to do...

For those that haven't read other LED threads and haven't looked at the wiring setup on our bikes, the turn signal setup is an interesting configuration.  Where this poses a problem in the indicator cluster is that unlike the other lamps the TS indicator gets voltage flowing in both directions.  One way for the right side signals and the opposite for the left.  This poses a problems for LEDs in the cluster as most LED bulbs I've found are directional with specific positive and negative terminals.  LEDs themselves are directional so to overcome this in bulb design is extra work for manufacturers and for the most part unnecessary, our bi-directional TS indicator seems to be an exception in motorcycle/automotive electronics design where the rest of the indicators are the norm.  There have been posts about using diodes on the to leads for the TS bulb and then using an actual ground for the return (post #17 in this thread) but I didn't want to do any messing with the wiring on the bike at this time.  I looked at the construction of the #24 T6.5 LED and figured I could separate the wedge base from the part the 3 LEDs are mounted on and with some diodes I had a available (number on them is 1N4002) build a full wave bridge rectifier between them.  Generally such a circuit is used in AC to DC conversion but it would work just as well here.  Here's how it worked in schematic format-

The top portion is the way the #24 T6.5 LEDs are designed and how they work for the other three indicators.  The bottom is what I wanted to pull off to get a plug-and-play TS LED.  Pulled out the soldering iron and got to work.  I built two prototype versions-

The first was a design that matched the schematic in both design and function more visibly than the second.  The purpose of the second build was to make sure I still had the layout of the diodes correct, I had a few mental farts while working on this and goofed things a couple times.  Eventually I trimmed things down and had this final product-

Tested out fine on the bench and worked great in the bike.  Doesn't seem to be as bright as the other LEDs, it certainly isn't the "WTF! You've still got your turn signal on, moron!" brightness that I know some are looking for.  I'm not sure if this would be due to the fact that the diodes will drop the voltage a bit or if it is something with the lenses in the cluster.  I think it is brighter than the stock incandescent, will draw less power (we're talking small differences here) and so long as my solder work holds the LEDs will probably outlast the rest of the bike... which from what I understand is quite a statement!

-Craig


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Posted: Apr 19, 2009 12:48 AM  (Msg. 2 of 22)         

Craig, great writeup!  I've been wondering how the #24 LEDs worked out for you.  What is the OD of those things?  I'm considering them for another project.


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Posted: Apr 19, 2009 09:55 AM  (Msg. 3 of 22)         

For anyone with an '04 or newer bike, the turn signal mod isn't needed. The wiring already includes diodes, and the lamp is grounded, because of the 4-way flasher addition.
Edited by WintrSol on Apr 19, 2009 at 09:55 AM


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Posted: Apr 19, 2009 06:44 PM  (Msg. 4 of 22)         

DCon, OD of the horizontal board with the 3 LEDs is 8.5mm according to the auction.  Don't have any outside of the cluster to look at right now, and even then I don't have  a caliper so I'd be taking rough measurement anyway.  I know you've already torn up your cluster plastics (and I do think your mod with the voltage meter is way cool but not what I wanted to undertake ATM) but the new LED lights went in no issue.  Don't know if you have the old plugs still sitting around that you might try and get a measurement, not that it would be very accurate off the rubber plug.

WintrSol, good info.  Had no idea that the wiring was changed the year after mine, hadn't noticed this on any schematics.  Would have been nice for me if it was done a year earlier, oh well.

Man it's great to have this place back!  The Facebook groups I was directed to helped to get some status info but it was far from what these forums mean to me.

EDIT: Forgot to say that after riding around with these LEDs in I seem to think the TS is indeed more noticeable than the stock bulbs.  Maybe this is a mind trick because I'm subconsciously thinking to pay more attention to the cluster since I've worked on it... dunno.  For what it's worth I'm still pleased with the results.  Also, if anyone out there would want these built up but lacks the soldering skills I'd be willing to lend my touch of the iron no charge.

-Craig
Edited by Pow_2k on Apr 19, 2009 at 07:47 PM


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Posted: Apr 20, 2009 10:45 AM  (Msg. 5 of 22)         

Quote:
Pow_2k wrote:
DCon, OD of the horizontal board with the 3 LEDs is 8.5mm according to the auction.  Don't have any outside of the cluster to look at right now, and even then I don't have  a caliper so I'd be taking rough measurement anyway.  I know you've already torn up your cluster plastics (and I do think your mod with the voltage meter is way cool but not what I wanted to undertake ATM) but the new LED lights went in no issue.  Don't know if you have the old plugs still sitting around that you might try and get a measurement, not that it would be very accurate off the rubber plug.

Thank you.  I ask because the Trail Tech dash board for the Vapor speedometer that I put on my KLR uses the same bulbs as the harness fragment that I removed from my Intruder.  Looks like your LEDs would go in there, too, but he doesn't sell yellow or green.


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Posted: Apr 20, 2009 11:30 AM  (Msg. 6 of 22)         

Send him an email (I've PM'd his addy to you) and ask if he has access to any other colors.  I'm sure white and blue are the biggest sellers but I don't see why others wouldn't be available.  Not sure if he has any direct contact with the manufacturer and maybe could get something made.

-Craig


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Posted: Jul 27, 2009 09:13 AM  (Msg. 7 of 22)         

I'm digging up this thread to update people on availability of direct replacement instrument indicator LEDs.  I did contact the eBay seller warden jp2002 about getting other colors, and he said white and blue were all he offered.

Since then, I've stumbled across a wider selection.  About a third of the way down Superlumination's #74 page, there are 4 models of #24 LED bulbs, including the 3 SMD and 5 SMD models that are on eBay.  Prices are higher, but the full range of colors are available.  I do not have my stock Intruder indicator cluster any more, because of my voltmeter mod, but I will be trying one of these models out in my KLR's aftermarket instrument cluster, which I've already determined uses the same size bulb sockets as the Intruder.


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Posted: Jul 27, 2009 12:14 PM  (Msg. 8 of 22)         

DCon, thanks for the link.  The site has some data that I was looking for when I had started searching, particularly this line:
Quote:
#74 too small?.....#194 too big?.....This is your bulb:
#24 (T6-1/2, T2-1/4) bulbs are 3/4" (20mm) x 3/8 (8mm)" diameter

Hope these work out for you!  Unless as far as bulb mounting/positioning goes your KLR has a significantly different cluster than the Intruder I'd say save the buck and stick with the 3-SMT LED bulbs.  The light of the 2 extra LEDs on the 5-SMT models will mainly be blocked by the platform the 3 main LEDs sit on.

I'm looking at changing out some of the dash bulbs in my car as well, since this site has good specs on the new neo-wedge base bulbs it will be helpful.

-Craig


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Posted: Jul 27, 2009 03:20 PM  (Msg. 9 of 22)         

Actually, I bought some of the 3 low profile "Super Stars" with lens covers so that I wouldn't have to make my own lens covers.  I know they won't be as bright as the ones you got, but they'll be way better then the existing ones.


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Posted: Apr 25, 2010 06:22 PM  (Msg. 10 of 22)         

Do you have any pics on how this experiment worked out?, and is the brightness an even uniform throughout the guage.


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Posted: Apr 25, 2010 07:45 PM  (Msg. 11 of 22)         

Sorry, at this time I don't have any pics and when I have seen attempts to get them it doesn't really do justice because either the ambient lighting washes it out or if dark the speedo looks over exposed.  In my speedo, a model which only has one lamp, the right side is well lit but the left is dimmer.  Still legible, but probably dimmer than with the incandescent that was a true omnidirectional lamp.  That said, no regrets from changing this out. In hindsight a brother-in-law that flies in-air refueling with the Air Force Reserves has told me that they use red in their instruments to have less interference with their nighttime eyesight.  If I order up more LED lamp replacements from somewhere (may do this for my cage's dash & console) I might pick up the same bulb in red to test out.

-Craig


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Posted: Apr 26, 2010 07:48 AM  (Msg. 12 of 22)         

cant seem to find that bulb on fleabay anymore,which one was it again?


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Posted: Apr 26, 2010 11:53 AM  (Msg. 13 of 22)         

Quote:
MachU wrote:
cant seem to find that bulb on fleabay anymore,which one was it again?

This was the instrument cluster LED and I believe this is the equivalent of what I've got in the speedo.  Don't know if these are the best deals but it definitely gets you in the right direction.

-Craig


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Posted: Apr 10, 2011 12:31 AM  (Msg. 14 of 22)         

I had L.E.D.'s  turn lights front and back and I only needed to put a diode on one of the turn light wires. It split to go to both turn lights and you just ground the other wire.


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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 11:24 AM  (Msg. 15 of 22)         

My speedo bulb burned out
(( actually I think my 2001 vs1400 has Two speedo bulbs ? is that right ? ))

So I bought some T10 wedge base LEDs (got the 5 SMD type)
found a package of 10 on eBay for super cheap - so I have extra

So I might as well replace my idiot lights while I am in there

It looks like I can dremel the plastic base from 10mm to 6.5mm to make them fit
however
they are Taller than stock incandescents (as seen in your first picture)
? will they fit inside the idiot light housing ?



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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 11:31 AM  (Msg. 16 of 22)         

Nope, to tall and the base is different, you need the T 6.5 wedge.


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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 12:04 PM  (Msg. 17 of 22)         

Quote:
DrAlloway wrote:
My speedo bulb burned out
(( actually I think my 2001 vs1400 has Two speedo bulbs ? is that right ? ))

So I bought some T10 wedge base LEDs (got the 5 SMD type)
found a package of 10 on eBay for super cheap - so I have extra

So I might as well replace my idiot lights while I am in there

It looks like I can dremel the plastic base from 10mm to 6.5mm to make them fit
however
they are Taller than stock incandescents (as seen in your first picture)
? will they fit inside the idiot light housing ?

make sure you take into consideration that if you swap your turn ind out with LED that it will only light one way, I used my old sidestand/neutral sw diode to fix this.  Also make sure you get them in there right + & - wise.


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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 02:59 PM  (Msg. 18 of 22)         

Quote:
navigator wrote:
Nope, to tall and the base is different, you need the T 6.5 wedge.


So now I have carefully measured the LEDs I have::

I put my micrometer to the T10 5 SMD I have
base is 9mm wide
overall is 27.7mm tall

websites say standard T6.5 incandescent
base is 6.5mm wide
overall 18mm tall

so I think I could grind down the base from 9mm to 6.5mm
but
if it is TOO Tall to fit under colored lenses, then I have some more shopping to do



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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 03:04 PM  (Msg. 19 of 22)         

Quote:
koreric75 wrote:
make sure you take into consideration that if you swap your turn ind out with LED that it will only light one way, I used my old sidestand/neutral sw diode to fix this.  Also make sure you get them in there right + & - wise.


interesting on the + & - alignment issue
I tested my 5 SMD and it is polarized (only lights one way)
but
how will I know which way the juice is flowing inside the sockets when I change bulbs ?
? will the instrument cluster still be powered when I take it apart (turn key on, of course)



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Posted: Feb 6, 2013 03:54 PM  (Msg. 20 of 22)         

If you're swapping out the speedo light I believe the O/R was my hot wire for that on one side of the plug, Gray on the other...mine is an 03 tho so may differ if you have dual lamps.  Mine only has one even tho the schematic shows 2....when you get your lamp out of the back of the speedo, you should be able to see the wires from the socket, just test on the back side of the plug.etc if it doesn't work turn it


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