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Turn Signal Indicator

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fyl1982, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. fyl1982

    fyl1982 XS650 Member

    1981 Yamaha XS650. On the pilot box there is a light for the turn signal to indicate when it is on. It's a 158 bulb. My bike has a LED system for the rear tail lights, obviously not stock. I did not wire them. The bulb for the turn signal indicator was missing when I opened the pilot box. My turn signals all work properly, front and back. When I put the bulb for the turn signal indicator in, it doesn't work and when I use the turn signals all my lights flash like hazard lights. If I remove the bulb, the turn signals work properly but I am stuck with out the indicator light.

    Does anyone know how I can fix this??? :banghead:
  2. Newagerocker

    Newagerocker XS650 Addict

    Indicator lamp was removed because of a bleed-over from the addition of the low ohmage LEDs. This should fix it.

  3. fyl1982

    fyl1982 XS650 Member

    Newagerocker, that's awesome! I'll pick some of those up today. Not to sound like a complete noob, but do you maybe have a photo or video that gives more of a real-world idea of where to install these on the bike?
  4. Newagerocker

    Newagerocker XS650 Addict

    Sorry no photos or video. I can not take credit for originating this fix which was done many years ago when LEDs first hit the market. Essentially by doing this you're simulating putting incandescent lamps back in the circuit. 10 watt resistors to slow flashing and diodes to isolate from the turn indicator. You do lose the power saving advantage of the LEDs, which might be something to consider if you plan on using a PMA with a Capacitor instead of a battery. Use quick taps to the brown and green turn wires anwhere between the flasher and the signals, probably best done under the seat and on top of the rear fender.
  5. Newagerocker

    Newagerocker XS650 Addict


    Grinder's method is better as the diodes in the example I gave you do nothing to isolate the single indicator, the resistors will make the circuit operate like it did originally with the added resistance in parallel with the lamps albeit defeating the advantage of the LEDs.

    Read this:

    Generally speaking, most of the problems in an LED conversion will center around the turn signals.

    In all of our old bikes the signal relay depends upon a certain level of current in order to create the flashing you see when you signal left or right. Because LEDs use so little current, this isn't enough to trigger the flashing in the old relay and so the lights will stay solid.

    There are two solutions to this problem. The first solution is to add resistors to each of the lights, but this is a poor option. Part of the reason for going to LEDs is to use less power and if you add resistors to the circuit, you're using more power. The true solution to this problem is to replace the stock turn signal relay with a digital model specifically designed for LEDs. These can be had for under $10 and it's a lot easier than wiring in a bunch of resistors.

    Another common issue is that the stock single <>indicator light (in the dash) isn't setup to handle LEDs. This is because LEDs are polarized. Current will only flow through an LED in one direction. That is, the positive and negative matter. Incandescent bulbs don't care about polarity and the Honda engineers used this to their advantage to simplify the wiring. If you want to keep the indicator light but also use LED turn signals, some changes will need to be made.

    For a stock indicator light, both the left turn signal wire and the right turn signal wire connect to the bulb and the wires alternate as the positive and negative depending on which direction you're signalling. For LED signals, this indicator light now represents a crossover that will cause all four signals to light up at once, regardless of which direction you're signalling. The solution to this problem is to the polarize the indicator light by preventing current from traveling between left and right circuits.

    This is done by treating the left and right signal wires, together, as positive and then adding a ground wire into the circuit. The current can be "forced" in one direction by the addition of an electronic component called a diode.

    By removing the left and right signal lights from the indicator bulb and wiring a diode onto each end, we allow the current to flow into the bulb, but not back up the other side's turn signal circuit. After the diodes, the two circuits can be spliced together and we now have no worries about the crossover. The spliced section acts as the indicator light's positive side and the negative side gets a new ground wire that you will need to attach.
  6. fyl1982

    fyl1982 XS650 Member

  7. TheRunaway

    TheRunaway XS650 Enthusiast

    I know this is a tad bit off topic, but I'm having turn signal trouble in general. i just purchased a 1981 model and the turn signals were given to me (not hooked up). I hooked them up what seemed to be the right way last night, but nothing. Front and back are plugged in and grounded. I glanced at fuses, didn't see any that were out. ALL the bulbs couldn't be out could they? I could really use some help on this!!!
  8. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Use your VOM to check for battery voltage. Check at the main 20 amp fuse, then check at the 10 amp signals fuse. After that check at the brown wire at the flasher relay.

    If the bike still has those original glass fuses, that may be your problem. Replace those with automotive blade type fuse holders.
  9. TheRunaway

    TheRunaway XS650 Enthusiast

    It does have those glass fuses. We used an OHM meter at work today to test everything and the fuses are good. Should I still change them? My friend (fellow rider and mechanic at my job) says he thinks it may be the actual switch because the headlight doesn't come on until the bike is started (as opposed to at key turn). What do you think?
  10. TheRunaway

    TheRunaway XS650 Enthusiast

  11. Grinder

    Grinder XS650 Guru

    VOM= volt-ohm-meter. That is correct that your headlight doesn't come on until the bike starts. It has a safety relay that does that. As retiredgentleman said find your turn signal flasher under the tank and check the brown wire there for 12V with the key on for starters.
  12. TheRunaway

    TheRunaway XS650 Enthusiast

    Okay awesome will do thanks. And I'm glad you said that again (the brown wire part). I missed that. Sorry retiredgentleman, no disrespect. I'm still new to some of the tech talk and it tends to blur together a bit. I'll post tomorrow when I'm able to check it out. Thanks again. One question. Do I need to remove the tank in order to see the flasher relay?
  13. Sorry for the Jack but want are the you guys who made custom harnesses using for a turn signal relay?
  14. Grinder

    Grinder XS650 Guru

    You probably will have to take the tank off to get at the flasher relay. There will probably be 3 wires on it and it's usually rubber mounted. Check to see that you have 12v on both sides of the fuse/holder for the signals also b4 you go after the flasher.
  15. Grinder

    Grinder XS650 Guru

    Hard y rd, depends on what kind of signals you plan to use. If using LED's, you need a flasher that's compatible as they draw very little current.
  16. Haven't decided on that yet. Sounds like LED is the way to go.
  17. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Testing that the fuses are good, is a waste of time. The problem is mainly with the little metal clips that hold the fuses. They have lost there ability to hold the fuses. They oxidize and the resistance increases. They were OK when new, but they are garbage now.

    It does not matter if the old fuse panel is causing this particular problem. Those fuse panels are worn out and will cause intermittant electrical problems..................change it to new automotive fuse holders asap.

    There no point in guessing if its the switch or not the switch. That's why they invented VOM's. Check for battery voltage at the locations I mentioned.

    I would replace the fuse holders first, before doing anymore testing of the signals.
  18. queenslegs

    queenslegs XS650 Addict

    FYI I plugged a tridon EP34, $14, crappy tire, directly into the 3 terminal flasher connector, worked fine.
  19. TheRunaway

    TheRunaway XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks for the help retiredgentleman and Grinder.

    Any suggestions on where to find a new fuse holder?

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