Mark Cole's $100 Passing Lamps

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Written by Mark Cole (Mark7)   
Monday, 26 May 2008
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Mark Garetz at www.vstar1100.com originally put this idea together.  Mark Cole (Mark7) adapted it to work on his Road Star, and after a very favorable reception on our forum, agreed to write out this set of instructions for the benefit of other members of the Clinic.

Parts List: 

*Toggle switch is an optional item and you need only 1: Get either the waterproof or non-waterproof version

Tools Required:

Philips Head Screwdriver Vice-Grip Pliers Soldering Iron or wire connectors Drill w/ ¼ inch bit for metal Nail set or some other type of punch

Physical Assembly: 

The basic assembly of the parts is simple, however doing the steps in the right order is essential to reducing the hassle factor. These lamps integrate onto the blinker bar with just enough room to clear the headlight and not infringe on the mountings for the blinkers.

If you’ve got a windshield installed it can restrict the space you have to work. My advise would be to take the 3 min. required to remove it so you aren’t cramped in your workspace.

Hardware Prep

 

  1. If you are going to install a switch on the lamps (and I suggest that you do) you will need to drill a hole in one of the housings. It doesn’t matter which side. In order to do so you’ll need to choose a metal bit of the correct size for your switch.
  2. Once you decide where you want the switch to be located mark the location with a marker.
  3. Drilling on a spherical surface is near impossible without using a nail set or center punch to make an indentation on the spot where you want the hole.(!!You should insert something into the housing behind the place you are going to punch. Otherwise you could just end up putting a dent in the housing rather than a focused indentation!!)
  4. With the lamp housing still supported from the rear drill your hole and carefully clean up any burrs with file

Attaching the lamp housings

 

  1. Place the split clamps on the blinker bar with their allen head screws.
  2. Using vice grip pliers compress the open end of the clamp enough to allow the mounting posts from the housing to be inserted. (Use some sort of padding on the teeth of the vice grip to prevent marring the chrome)
  3. Being sure that you’ve not forgotten any of the washers and then start the nut on the mounting post.
  4. Once the nut is started you can remove the vice grips and simply tighten the nut.

Getting Power To The Passing Lamps (This wiring is for an “always on” set up.)

 

  1. Pull the headlight fuse from the fuse box located under the left side panel below the seat. It’s the 15 amp fuse in the middle of the row of fuses in the box.
  2. Remove the headlight from the housing by removing the two screws located on the exterior of the housing at about 8 & 4 o’clock position. Once removed the retaining ring and headlight will pop free. Disconnect the headlight from the connection plug and set aside.
  3. Locate the blue/olive green wire off the headlight connector plug. This is the hot wire. You’ll need to splice into this wire with another length of wire that is about the same gauge as the one in the headlight bucket and about 3 feet long. You won’t need the entire 3 feet, but better to have too much than not enough.
  4. Feed the end of the wire you just spliced out the hole in the back of the headlight housing and route it toward the side of the bike the switch will be on. Hide the wire behind the blinker bar using zip ties or some other crafty method you devise.

Wiring Up The Passing Lamps

 

  1. Cut another length of wire about 3 feet long and place it together with the hot wire from the headlight assembly and snake them both into the hole at the bottom of the post on the passing lamp assembly that has the switch.
  2. Cut the excess hot wire off leaving about 8 inches inside the lamp housing.
  3. Take the opposite end of the second wire you just inserted into the housing for the switch and insert it into the opposite housing via the hole in the mounting post. Leaving about 8 inches inside the housing. (Do nothing with this wire for now. It’s purpose is to carry power to the lamp from the switch.)
  4. Place an appropriate sized piece of heat shrink tubing over the end of the hot wire from the headlight assembly.
  5. Solder or in some way securely fasten the end of the hot wire to one side of the toggle switch.
  6. Slide the heat shrink tubing up over the connection you just made and shrink it down to insulate it.
  7. Cut another piece of wiring about 6 inches long.
  8. Place one end of the wire you just cut together along with the end of the wire that leads out of the lamp housing with the switch and into other lamp housing and join them using a spade wire connector.
  9. Place a piece of heat shrink over the end of the shorter wire you just placed the spade connector on and then solder or in some way securely fasten this end of the wire to the other side of the toggle switch.
  10. Slide the heat shrink tubing over the new solder connection and apply heat to shrink it down to insulate this connection.
  11. Now that the switch is wired you can install it in the hole you drilled in the housing. Place a little dab of silicone sealant around the post of the switch and tighten it down. If you want to add a bit more after everything is tight I don’t think it would hurt at all. This will keep the water out of the switch housing.
  12. In the housing without the switch apply a spade connector to the end of the wire that leads from the housing that does have the switch.

Installing the Sealed Beam Bulbs

 

  1. There are ground wires installed from the factory in each passing lamp housing.Using the spade connectors attach the ground to one side of each passing lamp and then using the spade connectors YOU installed attach the hot wire connectors to the terminals on the back of the bulbs and tighten with a screwdriver.
  2. Place the lights in the housings and snap on the retaining ring.
  3. Before you tighten them down completely you’ll want to align the lens pattern on both of the bulbs (if they have a pattern, some are just clear) in a similar fashion and tighten the screws that hold the retaining rings.

Installation is complete!

Alignment

Tension on the clamps attaching the lights to the blinker bars keeps the lights pointed where you want them and controls both up/down and left/right directions. Once you align the lights all you need do is tighten the bolts on the mounting posts to keep them in place.

 

For reference, this is what the switch looked like on my passing lamp when done:

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And this is a picture of the JC Whitney Housing I used:

 Image

Heres a bigger picture of my bike with everything installed:

Image 

 

 Huge thanks to Mark Garetz for the Idea.  It worked very well.

 



Questions should be asked in our forum (Use discuss link below). The forum is very active and you stand a good chance of getting your questions answered there. If you would like to leave feedback for the author, or have additional information you think will benefit others, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page.

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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.


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  Comments (10)
Check your Schematic
Written by Gonzodad, on 10-16-2013 12:42
My 06 has a wore for passing lamps that does not turn them on until after the engine is started. Meaning, turn the key "ON" and no passing lamps on. Start the engine and booya! Lights!  
 
I make after market harnesses using a relay for adding passing lamps to bikes. Been selling them to the Honda guys since 02. Connect the Battery lead to (+), Ground to the frame, clip a splice tap onto the tail light "ON" wire to tell the relay when the key is on and its okay to turn on the lights, and connect the chrome braided sleeved wires to each lamp hot wire. $45 plus shipping 
 
This keeps the excess draw of current off of your headlight circuit. When manufacturers design their harnesses, it is the bare minimum gauge wire to run the circuit they were designed for. Adding additional current to them may leave you without your lights AND the circuit you tapped into. My tap is just a reference (.25A) to trip the relay and is an insignificant draw to the circuit. Also, the headlight goes through a switch (Hi/Lo). Switches drop voltage across them. Its in their nature. Relays deliver full voltage to the load meaning brighter lights for you. you should always add a relay to new circuits you add to your machines. it helps them operate independently from the stock system protecting both. 
 
I also have a Headlight harness that adds two H4 connectors and connects to the headlight and original headlight plug. This makes your headlight run off of two relays (one hi, one low). $65 
 
My Hydra harness does all of the above (the headlight AND the lightbar) with three relays and is $74.99. 
 
Gonz
Passing Lamps
Written by Tim99, on 04-20-2013 13:02
I'm new to big Bike motorcycling (just got my Silverado.). Just wondered why they call them "passing lamps" ???
Links
Written by Stick, on 09-14-2012 17:47
The links are old and are not relative to the article.
JC Whitney Links not Current
Written by ilcalvo, on 12-15-2011 12:36
I tried to click the links to JC Whitney in the article and they are no longer live. They still sell the EMGO spotlight shells for $24.99, but I couldn't find any amber colored bults for them. I did the online chat with a JC Whitney representative and he steered me toward their Cobra complete spotlights for $49.99 apiece. The Cobra lights appear to have clear fluted sealed beam lamps in them. Here's a link: http://www.jcwhitney.com/replacement-spotlight-assemblies/p2014959.jcwx?filterid=d2389j3 
 
Has anyone else found a source for amber bulbs, or for halogens, that will fit these shells?
All's well!
Written by ncstar, on 11-07-2010 17:31
Had a burned out low beam filament. Passing lamps work now. I got clear lenses and am really pleased with the look of them. Thanks Mark and J.C. Whitney.
Wiring
Written by ncstar, on 11-06-2010 11:19
Same issue with high/low beam! I spliced both hots to the headlight hot. Reading thru the steps it seems they should be in series. Is this true? They look real good though. But I want all lights on.
Driving lights
Written by martyman, on 09-17-2010 20:39
I was wondering when I have my low beam on the driving lights are on.But when I turn the high beam on they go off. Is this the way they should work?
1" clamp
Written by martyman, on 09-17-2010 20:36
Written by gunner49, on 08-26-2009 09:45
My running lights stop working . I was wondering if one bulb burns out does that mean they both won't work , Rick
Highway lights died
Written by keith640, on 08-02-2009 22:36
I already have highway lights as they came with my 2001 Silverado. I am having trouble figuring out why all the sudden they are not working. I had to replace starter relay and battery then I noticed lights were not working but my turn signals have turned into running lights. If anyone has any ideas I would be greatful.

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