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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, you want brighter turn signals? Willing to spend a little time and effort fiddling around?

This was mentioned on the VSRI forum, and I thought I'd explore it. I think it was Johnofchar that gave the most detail but there was a lot left to the imagination.

I've had a set of modified bulbs in my bike for a few thousand kilometres and they're standing up fine. They're not "Tipover Tested" yet, but that will come. I had a chance to compare these to the stock signals during a recent V-Strom group ride. They are considerably brighter.

1.) Buy yourself some MR-11 halogen bulbs in 20 watts. The 20 watts is important because that matches the stock bulbs and it means you don't need to change the flasher relay. Matching the 20 watts means no savings of electrical power but they're only the signals so it makes little difference (unless you're one of those guys that always forgets to turn his signals off after a corner :p )

2.) Pick up some cheap, crimp-on wiring connectors. The end isn't important as you only need the crimp part. Make sure they are the non-insulated type. You'll also need some small pieces of electrical wire and soldering equipment.

3.) I picked up some spare 1156 bulbs to modify. You can work with the original bulbs if you want to save $2 or $3, but you won't have spares...in case...

The goodies...


4.) Smash the glass workings out of the 1156 bulbs and clean out most of the insulating "stuff" in the base. I wrapped the bulb in paper towel to contain the glass and used a dremel to clean out the base, a utility knife should do it too.




5.) Drill a hole through the base, about the same diameter as the stripped wire you will be using.



6.) Use the crimp-on connector to connect pieces of wire to your MR-11 bulbs. Do one wire pointing away from the bulb and one towards. I put heat shrink tubing over the postive terminal, just in case. Notice how short the positive lead wire is. Its important and you'll see why if you don't do it.



7.) Push the cleaned out 1156 bulb base over the MR-11 halogen. Feed the positive lead out the hole you drilled and let the other wire come out the side by the bulb. If you distort the base just a little it will slide a short way onto the bulb.



8.) Get out your soldering stuff and put a blob of solder on the positive wire, where it passes through the 1156 base. Then strip the other wire and solder it to the outside of the 1156 bulb base. Make sure the ground wire, on the outside of the 1156 base, does not go down too far. It will interfere with the bulb socket and you won't be able to lock it in place.



9.) Clean up the button of solder on the positive lead, I used my dremel again, and then spooge on a coating of silicone to seal the bulb and "glue" it together.



10.) Pop the new bulbs into your stock signal lights and smile. No cutting wires, no new flasher unit, no foil tape, just nice bright signals.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's going to have to wait. I am leaving tomorrow morning for a 13,000 km trip. Need to do an oil change and pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have a great, safe ride Heavy. See you when you get here. :D
Thanks! I'm heading out around 6:30 tomorrow morning. Looking forward to meeting you...(and I've got a full set of turn signal bulbs packed for you...if you're interested.)
 

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turn signals

Hey, that's a bright idea.
 

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i haven't opened up my signals yet, but shouldn't those lights be at a 90 deg angle to the socket? otherwise your just lighting up the tip/end of your signal rather than shining it out the front
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I can tell you haven't seen the inside of the signal housing yet.
 

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i haven't opened up my signals yet, but shouldn't those lights be at a 90 deg angle to the socket? otherwise your just lighting up the tip/end of your signal rather than shining it out the front
Heavy's got it right. The sockets in the strom's signals point toward the lenses. 2 seconds with a philips screwdriver and you'll see.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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So how did you post that image link? I haven't seen that before.
 

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I have already posted my signal lamp improvement somewhere here.
The image is uploaded to my Picasa Webalbum (provided free by Google if you open an account).


OFF

Here is the entire album: http://picasaweb.google.com/registr1234

And here is some pics from my youth when we had our first club, the Easy Wolf MC: http://picasaweb.google.com/easywolfmc

ON


To link a pic from that Album to a forum like this is a bit tricky, but you have 2 GB free space there.
 

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5.) Drill a hole through the base, about the same diameter as the stripped wire you will be using.

I tried to drill two of these bulbs today for this mod and the metal part was just a rivet like thing and spun right out of the base. It cracked the black stuff as well.

I first tried with a cordless drill and then again with my drill press.

Maybe I need to try a smaller bit?
 

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So how did you post that image link? I haven't seen that before.
i'll have a go at it...

grey your avatar below links to your user page, or what you get when you click your username.



to do it i used this code with {'s changed to ['s

{url=http://www.stromtrooper.com/member.php?u=10717}{img}http://www.stromtrooper.com/image.php?u=10717&dateline=1206199803{/img}{/url}
 

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So how did you post that image link? I haven't seen that before.
1. Place an image in your post with the Insert Image button above the post form text area.
2. Select the image in your post, then click the Insert Link button and enter the url you want the image to link to.

I usually link my images to the larger versions on flickr.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I actually used a pointed bit in my dremel but a smaller drill bit will work.



It doesn't matter if the rivet spins off, your blob of solder will become the new base. I actually shattered the black insulation on one bulb. I just blobbed on a bunch of solder and it was fine, after I dremeled away the solder bridge between the positive contact and the grounded base. If you do manage to just poke a hole through the rivet then soldering the wire in place is as easy as it gets.

I tried to drill two of these bulbs today for this mod and the metal part was just a rivet like thing and spun right out of the base. It cracked the black stuff as well.

I first tried with a cordless drill and then again with my drill press.

Maybe I need to try a smaller bit?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey Roger, how did you make out with the bulbs?


I tried to drill two of these bulbs today for this mod and the metal part was just a rivet like thing and spun right out of the base. It cracked the black stuff as well.

I first tried with a cordless drill and then again with my drill press.

Maybe I need to try a smaller bit?
 

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Had a visit from Heavy(on tour) and spent some really nice relaxing quality time with him. Heavy pulled out one of his modified lights and wow, is that ever neat. Bright too. So I had to start my own project. Pretty much did as posted here but I used my dremel for the final clean-up in the socket. Worked great. Drilling the whole was easy. Used a new titanium 1/16 bit and spun the center rivet out with no damage to the black ceramic. Just need some epoxy and fire up the old soldering gun for a while. Only change is I will be using 35 watt MR-11 bulbs because I have a whole bag of them in stock. Don't know why so don't ask.
 

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Hey Roger, how did you make out with the bulbs?
Got it working fine. I never got it to drill out the rivet very cleanly with no damage to the ceramic but it really doesn't matter all that much anyway.

They are indeed brighter and a good way for increased visibility. I only did the rears as I feel the most vurnerable from the rear.

This should assist in getting the idiot behind me to hopefully see that I'm turning. I'm going to get a Whalen light next for an extra brake light.
 
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