New led H4 headlight bulbs

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New led H4 headlight bulbs

Samuel Crider
Hey fellas,

 I'm currently inspecting up under the nose on my Trophy. She has recently
been out of daily action. And I've noticed some light smoking up front a
few times. Just within the first few minutes of starting her up once a
week. So I suspected either a bit of valve cover weepage made it to the
headers. Or perhaps an issue with the headlight system. Well within a few
days low and behold the headlights went out. So today I removed the left
panel and inspected all the wiring. Which all looks fine. So I removed the
bulbs and yet again both have blown.

So my question is. Is there a modern led bulb whose rear will fit through
our plastic twist lock bulb retainer rings? I noticed these modern bulbs
operate with a broad range of input voltages. Which would be ideal in my
case. As her max voltage peaks at 15.2 volts. Which for whatever reason
dosen't seem to jive to well with these halogen type bulbs.

So today I revisited fleabay to checkout the market. Which looks like it
has grown alot over the last year. But they all look to have pretty large
rearends.

So have any of you guys had any luck fitting any of these modern bulbs?

Thanks, be safe, and enjoy the ride.

Samuel
96 BBBB PB
NOLA
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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

gordon.smith29
Hey Samuel,
 Bad luck.
 Headlight bulbs blow for a variety of reasons - poor connection being one of them. Were the plastic connectors burnt or showed signs of over-heating ?
 The other obvious reason is AGE. How long had they been fitted to the Bike. In the U.S. your headlights are ON all the time aren't they ? So as they get older the Filaments get thinner and eventually snap. I replace mine every two years, just so I don't get left with no lights, miles from anywhere in the night when you need headlights and don't want to be faffing about changing the bulbs by the side of the road.
 

 Two other points though - Max Output 15.2 volts ? That's a little high and could mean the Voltage Regulator on the Alternator (25 Amp on your bike ?) is on it's way out.
 New Regulators are available but pricey. You could always get a Used Alternator off eBay, service it for peanuts and fit that one instead. Regulated Output should generally not exceed 14.8 Volts.
 I've recently converted both of my First Generation Trophies to run with the 40 Amp Alternator that was fitted to the later BBBBs. It's a 3-Phase device , rather than the single-phase 25 Amp version, so the rectification and voltage regulation is much better - something I needed because I run the bikes with LiFePo4 Batteries....
 

 The other point - You removed the Left Side Panel ? For preference I always remove the Nose Section to do work in the Headlight area... Not being as young as I was the bending down, then looking up and doing everything backwards is for emergencies only - which is what you end up doing if you only remove the Chin Piece like the Manual says.
 

 On LEDs and HIDs etc - I have tried HIDs but didn't get on with them - especially at Dawn/Dusk. Not a very good light pattern - the Reason being the H4 Headlights (Lenses and Reflectors) are "designed" to operate with H4 Filament Bulb units. The Headlight intensity (brightness) may increase with HIDs or LEDs but the definition/beam pattern/cut-off is not as good....but that's just my opinion
 

 Hope you get things sorted soon
 

 Cheers
 Gordon 3xBBB
 Stroud, Gloucestershire. U.K.

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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

Samuel Crider
Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the reply. I did replace the oem bulb sockets while installing a
headlight modulator a few years back.  I just removed that modulator a few
weeks ago. Shortly afterwards the bulbs blew. Which brought back a rush of
CRS unfortunately forgotten info to mind. I now remember all to well her
blowing 6 bulbs in a 8 month period. After which I then installed the
modulator. That lasted for 13 months before exploding on a roaring hot day.
Which is the only time I've ever been stranded. I pushed her for over 3
miles. Which damn near killed me. I can tell you the buzzards were
impressed.

Nevertheless, with the modulator in action the blub blowing vanished. Which
is likely due to daytime lower duty cycle and lower bulb temps.

As for the regulator I have tried 3 different oem units. All of which
produced exactly the same output results. So I'm assuming that the
regulator is not an issue. I'd imagine if the system wasn't pretty much
completely unloaded. That the Vmax would reduce downward some. But the
headlights are really the only higher wattage load in play.

As for the led bulbs. I suspect you hit the nail on the head on the output
pattern being substandard. Perhaps I should step up to the next higher
wattage range bulb. Which I believe is a 80/90. Instead of the oem 55/65.
In fact come to think of it..  That is what was installed when I bought
her. Which could have been for this very reason. At the time as soon as I
noticed the larger bulbs. I switched back to the oem. As I usually try to
leave things as stock as possible. But in this case I now think I will
reinstall the 80/90's and see of they hold.

On the panels. Actially I removed the chin and side. That way I can sit and
relax while giving her a good sponge bath. And even check the rad with
ease. Plus it tends to lower the number of profanities utteted. And makes
for much more enjoyable brew consumption!

Thanks again,
Samuel
On Sep 18, 2017 1:24 AM, "[hidden email] [TriumphTrophy]" <
[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Hey Samuel,
> Bad luck.
> Headlight bulbs blow for a variety of reasons - poor connection being one
> of them. Were the plastic connectors burnt or showed signs of over-heating ?
> The other obvious reason is AGE. How long had they been fitted to the
> Bike. In the U.S. your headlights are ON all the time aren't they ? So as
> they get older the Filaments get thinner and eventually snap. I replace
> mine every two years, just so I don't get left with no lights, miles from
> anywhere in the night when you need headlights and don't want to be faffing
> about changing the bulbs by the side of the road.
>
> Two other points though - Max Output 15.2 volts ? That's a little high and
> could mean the Voltage Regulator on the Alternator (25 Amp on your bike ?)
> is on it's way out.
> New Regulators are available but pricey. You could always get a Used
> Alternator off eBay, service it for peanuts and fit that one instead.
> Regulated Output should generally not exceed 14.8 Volts.
> I've recently converted both of my First Generation Trophies to run with
> the 40 Amp Alternator that was fitted to the later BBBBs. It's a 3-Phase
> device , rather than the single-phase 25 Amp version, so the rectification
> and voltage regulation is much better - something I needed because I run
> the bikes with LiFePo4 Batteries....
>
> The other point - You removed the Left Side Panel ? For preference I
> always remove the Nose Section to do work in the Headlight area... Not
> being as young as I was the bending down, then looking up and doing
> everything backwards is for emergencies only - which is what you end up
> doing if you only remove the Chin Piece like the Manual says.
>
> On LEDs and HIDs etc - I have tried HIDs but didn't get on with them -
> especially at Dawn/Dusk. Not a very good light pattern - the Reason being
> the H4 Headlights (Lenses and Reflectors) are "designed" to operate with H4
> Filament Bulb units. The Headlight intensity (brightness) may increase with
> HIDs or LEDs but the definition/beam pattern/cut-off is not as good....but
> that's just my opinion
>
> Hope you get things sorted soon
>
> Cheers
> Gordon 3xBBB
> Stroud, Gloucestershire. U.K.
>
>
>
>
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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

Bud Izen
In reply to this post by Samuel Crider
I had an "interesting" experience a few years ago, which I wrote about
and posted here. I had changed my headlights to 100w/90w bulbs for
greater visibility a couple of years before the incident. I was in San
Francisco, and during a pre-ride check, I noticed that BOTH my
headlights were out. I went to the parts store, bought replacement
bulbs, installed them, still no headlights. Checked the #1 fuse, which
was blown, but a replacement fuse didn't fix the problem. I had to get
home to Oregon and the thought of driving 600 miles with no headlights
did not thrill. So, I called up the Triumph dealer in SF and they worked
me in. Turned out that the higher wattage headlights had drawn so much
wattage that, over time, it caused the fuse wiring to literally melt.

The solution to a lot of alternator-related problems is to reduce the
load, and there is no single better way to do that than to change out
your conventional headlights in favor of HID types. I got a great set,
recommended to me by someone on this forum, for a great price off of
eBay. They were easy to install, light the road better than either oem
or higher wattage bulbs and, best of all, cut the amp load on the
alternator by half. You can keep going. There are a lot of inexpensive
high quality led lights that you can use to replace your turn signals
and tail/brake lights. You do have to change the flasher to get the turn
signals to operate correctly, but that is a $10 fix. Just make sure your
replacement relay has the same pin configuration as the one you remove.

Once you replace with HIDs and leds, it is likely that
alternator-related problems will become a thing of the past. This is
even more true of the earlier Trophys with lower output alternators
(generators?).

Hope this helps.

Bud Izen

Springfield Oregon

'99 Platinum 900 with over 42,000 fairly troublefree miles



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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

Ed Johnson-2
Hi Bud;

     I'm assuming you have the older style alternator but for those that
do it is a relatively easy conversion to adapt the later higher output
alternator to the earlier models. I believe there some on this forum
that have done so.

Ed J.


On 9/20/2017 11:30 AM, Bud Izen [hidden email] [TriumphTrophy] wrote:

> I had an "interesting" experience a few years ago, which I wrote about
> and posted here. I had changed my headlights to 100w/90w bulbs for
> greater visibility a couple of years before the incident. I was in San
> Francisco, and during a pre-ride check, I noticed that BOTH my
> headlights were out. I went to the parts store, bought replacement
> bulbs, installed them, still no headlights. Checked the #1 fuse, which
> was blown, but a replacement fuse didn't fix the problem. I had to get
> home to Oregon and the thought of driving 600 miles with no headlights
> did not thrill. So, I called up the Triumph dealer in SF and they worked
> me in. Turned out that the higher wattage headlights had drawn so much
> wattage that, over time, it caused the fuse wiring to literally melt.
>
> The solution to a lot of alternator-related problems is to reduce the
> load, and there is no single better way to do that than to change out
> your conventional headlights in favor of HID types. I got a great set,
> recommended to me by someone on this forum, for a great price off of
> eBay. They were easy to install, light the road better than either oem
> or higher wattage bulbs and, best of all, cut the amp load on the
> alternator by half. You can keep going. There are a lot of inexpensive
> high quality led lights that you can use to replace your turn signals
> and tail/brake lights. You do have to change the flasher to get the turn
> signals to operate correctly, but that is a $10 fix. Just make sure your
> replacement relay has the same pin configuration as the one you remove.
>
> Once you replace with HIDs and leds, it is likely that
> alternator-related problems will become a thing of the past. This is
> even more true of the earlier Trophys with lower output alternators
> (generators?).
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> Bud Izen
>
> Springfield Oregon
>
> '99 Platinum 900 with over 42,000 fairly troublefree miles
>
>
>
> ---
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
> https://www.avast.com/antivirus
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------
> Posted by: Bud Izen <[hidden email]>
> ------------------------------------
>
> List guidelines: PLEASE NO grumpy replies, or replies which merely add agreement to a previous post. If a reply is only relevant to the original writer, please REPLY DIRECT to that person. No SPAM, no adult-oriented topics, and no postings of a political or commercial nature are allowed, except for personal items for sale/wanted. Please trim old messages to a minimum when replying.
>
>
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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

Bud Izen
In reply to this post by Samuel Crider
Actually, I have the higher output alternator, Ed, but higher does not mean infinite.

Here’s a simple formula and explanation so that anyone of us can compute the load on the generator or alternator.

The formula for current (measured in Amperes or Amps for short is the general maximum output rating for generators and alternators. It assumes 12v output, which is not strictly accurate but will get us in the ball park.) is Power (expressed in units of watts) divided by Voltage or I = P/V.

This is a derivative of Ohm’s Law.

Anyway, a little example. Say you are running 60w headlights. So two of them total 120w.

How many amps? Just divide watts by battery voltage or 120/12 and you can readily see that your alternator has to put out 10A to run those.

So, how many amps was I loading circuit 1 with when I was running 100W high beams?

Let’s do the math.  100 + 100 = 200w   200w/12v is 16.7A.

And yes, I felt like a moron when I found out that my “upgrade” resulted in fried fuse box wiring. I was further astounded as to why it hadn’t failed sooner. I think fuse 1 is 15A, so it should have blown, but instead the wiring acted as a fuse.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Bud Izen

Springfield Oregon

’99 Platinum 900
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Re: New led H4 headlight bulbs

Ed Johnson-2
Thanks for the refresher Bud! I needed that!

     Regarding the LED upgrade to further reduce the load I might add
that LED's in the dash panel lights need to skip the Temp light or it
will stay on all of the time which you may have mentioned. Regarding the
flasher if you just change the front flasher bulbs or the rear and leave
one set original it will load the stock flasher to operate normally
until you can locate the correct flasher unit.

     Thanks for your help.

Ed J.


On 9/21/2017 12:19 AM, Bud Izen [hidden email] [TriumphTrophy] wrote:

> Actually, I have the higher output alternator, Ed, but higher does not mean infinite.
>
> Here’s a simple formula and explanation so that anyone of us can compute the load on the generator or alternator.
>
> The formula for current (measured in Amperes or Amps for short is the general maximum output rating for generators and alternators. It assumes 12v output, which is not strictly accurate but will get us in the ball park.) is Power (expressed in units of watts) divided by Voltage or I = P/V.
>
> This is a derivative of Ohm’s Law.
>
> Anyway, a little example. Say you are running 60w headlights. So two of them total 120w.
>
> How many amps? Just divide watts by battery voltage or 120/12 and you can readily see that your alternator has to put out 10A to run those.
>
> So, how many amps was I loading circuit 1 with when I was running 100W high beams?
>
> Let’s do the math.  100 + 100 = 200w   200w/12v is 16.7A.
>
> And yes, I felt like a moron when I found out that my “upgrade” resulted in fried fuse box wiring. I was further astounded as to why it hadn’t failed sooner. I think fuse 1 is 15A, so it should have blown, but instead the wiring acted as a fuse.
>
> Anyway, I hope this helps.
>
> Bud Izen
>
> Springfield Oregon
>
> ’99 Platinum 900
>
> ------------------------------------
> Posted by: Bud Izen <[hidden email]>
> ------------------------------------
>
> List guidelines: PLEASE NO grumpy replies, or replies which merely add agreement to a previous post. If a reply is only relevant to the original writer, please REPLY DIRECT to that person. No SPAM, no adult-oriented topics, and no postings of a political or commercial nature are allowed, except for personal items for sale/wanted. Please trim old messages to a minimum when replying.
>
>
> Post message: [hidden email]
> Subscribe:  [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe:  [hidden email]
> List owner:  [hidden email]
>
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> Yahoo Groups Links
>
>
>