Hella FF50 Driving Lights installed - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Mar 6th, 2006, 4:02 pm Thread Starter
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Hella FF50 Driving Lights installed

First off, I'd like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Jerry Skeene (BMWBMW) for going out of the way to help me with mounting/wiring the lights.

Task: Mount a set of Hella FF50 driving lights on a 1999 BMW K1200 LT
Dimensions: 2 9/16"H x 4 5/8"W x 3 3/4"D



I met Jerry on Sunday 3/5 at his place in Oak Hill. Jerry and I looked at the possible mounting options. One look at the space under the fairing above the front fender and we both deided that it would not be a good idea. Jerry pointed out the amount of travel on the front forks proving that these lights would either damage the fender or break apart.

The other option we had was to mount the lights under the rear view mirrors in front of the mirror wings. Since the mirrors on the LT are the breakaway types, we had to mount the lights to the frame behind the mirrors. But as you can see below, that would be difficult to create a contour on the bracket to match the body shape.



On further inspection, we noticed a vertical bolt in the back that was attaching the fairing to the frame. That pointed a very good location for mounting the lights since it would just mean using a long bolt. It also presented a very nice and tucked in mounting for the lights.

But this mounting position also Issue#1: Should we drill a hole in the mirror housing or cut away a small clearing in order for the long bolt to pass through. Keeping mind that the mirrors need to be able to pop off when required, we decided to cut a small area of the mirror housing.

We had to go out to Sears to find M6x1.0x60 hex head bolts and spacers to mount the lights. Sears did not have any in the size we wanted, and so we went on to Lowe's. All we could find were M6x1.0x50 bolts, and 1" spacers. The other option was 75 mm long bolts. I decided to get a set of each and use the appropriate size. Jerry decided that we could cut off the extra length off the 75mm bolts if required.

The lights were test mounted, and Jerry found the 50 mm bolts to be adequate with 1-1/2" spacing.



Jerry put some masking tape on the mirror housing and marked off the piece to be cut off. After a brief tour of his workshop in the basement, which is awesome, including the neat CNC machine lathe, he used a Jewellers Saw to make the fine cut!!



After quite a few repetitions of

1. test fit the mirror housing to make sure that bolt is not touching the housing
2. Pop the mirror housing out
3. cut/file some more
4. go back to step 1

The pattern was cut adequately perfect to allow the mounting bolt to sit perfectly without touching the mirror. At the same time, we made sure that the mirror would pop out easily enough if required.





Once we had one side done correctly, we just had to repeat the same for the other side. We put the mirrors next to each other and traced a close mirror image onto the other mirror housing for another cut.



Moving on to wiring the lights, we decided to make use of the wiring that came with the lights. This was the easist since we did not have to do anything fancy (or so we thought) to get them working. I had installed a set of $20 optronics fog lights under the tip over wings and wanted to wire those as well while here.

Jerry suggested that we get a couple of identical switches to replace the mismatched switches between the fog light and driving light wiring. So, off we went to Advance Auto and brought back a couple of black switches with small red LEDs built in



The LEds illuminate when activated. We also had to get a different set of end connectors to match the switch terminals.




I went ahead and pulled out the fairing on the right side so that we could run the wires and also install the switches. Two small 1/2" holes were drilled to install the switches.

Well, after struggling with some circuitry, we finally got the lights to work.

Here's a look at the final mounting!!



Now, those are some serious driving lights!!!



and a decent set of fog lamps...



The circuit is powered from the low beam wiring and also has the switches to control them. Since the LT has both Hi and Lo beams ON when switching to the HI beam, that line is always energized whenever the ignition switch is turned ON. I wanted the ability to have multiple controls for the lights and also the ability to turn OFF all the lights when the ignition is turned OFF.

All in all, it turned out to be a pretty long tech day, but at the end we were both satisfied with the results.

Cost of all parts :
Hella Lights - $30
Other Parts - $30
Time spent installing them - priceless!!

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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Last edited by unleashd; Mar 6th, 2006 at 4:36 pm.
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post #2 of 23 Old Mar 6th, 2006, 4:24 pm
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Wow - great job, Prakash and Jerry! And a super write up - I like the format layout.

Turned night into day, huh???? Just love these various farkle jobs and the ability of other folks to learn from your experience.

Ride safe - we'll wait on the next farkle idea from y'all!!
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post #3 of 23 Old Mar 6th, 2006, 5:44 pm
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Super Job guys!Great pictures and narration to explain the job also. Keep up the fine work.

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post #4 of 23 Old Mar 6th, 2006, 7:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unleashd
.

Task: Mount a set of Hella FF50 driving lights on a 1999 BMW K1200 LT
Dimensions: 2 9/16"H x 4 5/8"W x 3 3/4"D
Shoot i ran a set of the ff50 for quite some time on my Lt (close to 100k) then I went to the Micro DE xenon, here are pics of the ff50 spot and then the hella Micro DE xenon's on the bike

http://www.bikershut.net/lights/hid.htm

you can also scroll down and it will show you my install of the hella DE's

Tom

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post #5 of 23 Old Mar 6th, 2006, 10:24 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmgs
Shoot i ran a set of the ff50 for quite some time on my Lt (close to 100k) then I went to the Micro DE xenon, here are pics of the ff50 spot and then the hella Micro DE xenon's on the bike

http://www.bikershut.net/lights/hid.htm

you can also scroll down and it will show you my install of the hella DE's

Tom

Awesome setup!!! I haven't taken any pictures at night of the lighting yet.

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #6 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 9:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unleashd
Awesome setup!!! I haven't taken any pictures at night of the lighting yet.

I got to say I loved the ff50's, as you can see they did a fine job for lighting, at 80 I could get about 12 seconds of reflective light at night running the 50's on the interstate

the micro DE's well they just kick serious butt but 60 bucks to 700 bucks is a huge difference <G>

you will love the ff 50's mine were mounted right under the mirror as well

Tom

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post #7 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 11:25 am
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Prakash,
Love the set up. I have been wanting to do it after seeing pics of all the bikes here on the forum with them but was never 100% sure of how I wanted to do it. The instructions are great as well as where to get materials. This needs to be in the HOW section. One question I have and I am sure David and some of the other guys can answer this is, you can connect the power (hot) wire from the driving lights to your low beam (hot) wire and what color is the low beam hot wire. Also, if you can do this, do you need to use a different size fuse for the low beam?
Thanks for the great job reporting on this project.

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post #8 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 1:57 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dochatley
Prakash,
Love the set up. I have been wanting to do it after seeing pics of all the bikes here on the forum with them but was never 100% sure of how I wanted to do it. The instructions are great as well as where to get materials. This needs to be in the HOW section. One question I have and I am sure David and some of the other guys can answer this is, you can connect the power (hot) wire from the driving lights to your low beam (hot) wire and what color is the low beam hot wire. Also, if you can do this, do you need to use a different size fuse for the low beam?
Thanks for the great job reporting on this project.
Thanks for the kind words!!

BTW, rather than speculate about which wire to connect to, here's a picture!! As you can see, the crimp is on the Yellow wire for the low beam connector.



BTW, I have not changed out any fuses (atleast not yet )

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #9 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:15 pm
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Gee, Pictures and everything. This is great! Did you run both sets of lights (under mirrors and under tipover wings) off the yellow low beam?

Thanks.

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Jerry P. Hatley
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post #10 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:23 pm
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Keep in mind the '99-'04 bikes don't have a headlight fuse. Also, the wiring used is already on the small side, somewhat limiting the useable light output of the factory headlight.

So any added lights should be wired directly to the battery (or a suitable added accessory fuse block). You can use a waterproof relay and trigger off the low beam (or high beam) wires, but don't use those wires to power the lights directly. In fact, I'd do the same on '05-'06 bikes as well.

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post #11 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:27 pm
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The FF50 comes with a relay. So tapping into the low or high beam would be fine.



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post #12 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:27 pm
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How can I have it so the power to the lights is only on when the ignition is on. You know someone would like to push those nice looking LED rocker switches to see what they work when I am asleep in my hotel room then leave then on.

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post #13 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:36 pm
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If you tap into the low beam or high beam wires then you won't need the switch. On the other hand, you could wire it so that the switch is still active but only when the ignition is on. That is the switch controls the power to the relay (switch between the power source - low beam or high beam and then to relay). Turn the ignition off and it doesn't matter if the switch is on or not since the switch gets power from the low beam or high beam - they are ignition controlled.

I think I have this right otherwise David, Ken or Richard will jump in here and correct me.



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post #14 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 3:56 pm
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I hadn't seen your reply about the relay. That's what I was planning on doing since I don't want to run them all the time. Thanks for letting me know it is OK with the relay. I wasn't sure if it would be too much draw on the low beam wire.

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post #15 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 5:16 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dochatley
Gee, Pictures and everything. This is great! Did you run both sets of lights (under mirrors and under tipover wings) off the yellow low beam?

Thanks.
Yes.

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #16 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaffyK
On the other hand, you could wire it so that the switch is still active but only when the ignition is on. That is the switch controls the power to the relay (switch between the power source - low beam or high beam and then to relay). Turn the ignition off and it doesn't matter if the switch is on or not since the switch gets power from the low beam or high beam - they are ignition controlled.

I think I have this right otherwise David, Ken or Richard will jump in here and correct me.
That is exactly how mine are wired. The ignition switch controls power to the head lights and hence power to the lighting circuit. Then there is a second switch that I mounted on the fairing which enables me to control when I want the lights to be ON/OFF by controlling the power to the relay.

This way, when I turn OFF the ignition, all the lights will also turn OFF!!

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #17 of 23 Old Mar 7th, 2006, 5:24 pm Thread Starter
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BTW, the install instructions in the kit are very descriptive!!

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #18 of 23 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:02 pm
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Question FF50 Mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaffyK
The FF50 comes with a relay. So tapping into the low or high beam would be fine.
You sell these. What type of mounting bracket do you use?

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post #19 of 23 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:15 pm
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post #20 of 23 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaffyK
Where do you want to mount them?
Under the mirrors would be ideal. And do you sell the autoswitch as well?

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post #21 of 23 Old Apr 9th, 2006, 9:37 pm
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Hi Lewis:

Let's take this off site. I don't want to violate site guidelines. Will respond via PM.



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post #22 of 23 Old Aug 21st, 2006, 2:29 am
 
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What about the airflow?

Read this article with great interest. But asked myself, what do these lamps
do with the airflow. You can turn the lower winglets but the lamps are obstructing the airflow. How is this in hot weather? When I find it very convenient to have some more airflow over my legs.
Since the Global Warmingeffect even in Holland [2006 hottest july ever]
important I think.
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post #23 of 23 Old Aug 21st, 2006, 3:11 pm
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I haven't noticed much change at all with airflow. I still get a large flow when the wings are in.

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