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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2011, 12:21 am Thread Starter
KJG
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Fog lights

OK... what's the secret to changing those two small lights above the headlight?

It's takes me a while to just change the headlight. I am thinking those small lights are going to be a real b***h!

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Ken

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2011, 5:25 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJG
OK... what's the secret to changing those two small lights above the headlight?

It's takes me a while to just change the headlight. I am thinking those small lights are going to be a real b***h!

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Ken
I just changed those parking lights on my K1200GT for the first time about a month ago, just before a long trip. One bulb had been burned out for a few weeks, then the second bulb burned out. It was only after the second bulb burned out that the "bulb out" indicator appeared on the display. I didn't want any warnings on the display when I left, so I replaced the two bulbs. Replacing the bulbs eliminated the bulb warning on the display. The job should have been easy, but it was a pain!

(Note: the term "bayonet" is my own. I think of camera bayonet mounts. When you remove a lens, turn it a quarter turn counterclockwise, then pull straight out. To insert, first push it in place, then turn a quarter turn clockwise to lock. The stem holders for the parking light bulbs work the same way.)

Hints:
1. Get a friend to help you. This was honestly a two-person job for me. Your friend stands in front of the bike and helps direct you to guide the parking light stem holder back into its socket. Get two flashlights - a small one for you to use behind the dash, the other for your friend to shine through the front so they can see to help guide you.

2. Meese suggested that I unscrew and remove the turn signal cover from the front, then poke the long stem of the parking light through the resulting hole. He said it would be easy to unplug the old light bulb from the front, push on the new bulb, then put the parking bulb stem holder back in its own location, then reinstall the turn signal cover. I tried it, but it didn't work for me. It might have worked if I had been more patient. I will definitely try it again the next time. You may have better luck. Removing the turn signal cover was a big help anyway, because my friend could see through the space to tell me which way to direct the new bulb and stem holder back into its socket.

3. It was tricky to find the two parking light "bayonet" stem holders from under the dash panel. A small bright flashlight helps a lot. Follow the thin wires. Yup, the bayonet stem holders are waaay up there. They are small and located very high in the corners, but you can reach them if you jam your hand up there from under the dash panel. They turn a quarter turn counterclockwise, then pull out.

4. A clever teenager with small hands could probably do it easier. The right side was particularly difficult for me, so you may want to do the left side first to get some experience. I had to use my three middle fingertips to grasp and turn the stem holder without being able to use my thumb. It helped me to disconnect the wires first, by pinching the click lever on the connector and pulling the wire connector out. The wire connector is exactly the same as the one under your seats for the seat heater wires, and has the same small "click" clasp.

5. Don't touch the new bulbs with your hands or anything dirty or greasy. Use a freshly washed microfiber cloth or a clean tissue or something. Even if your hands are clean, they will still leave skin oils that reduce the life of the bulb. I was very careful about that, but then it all went to heck as I bumped the new bulb into various things under the dash trying to find the exact hole where the bulb and its stem holder are inserted. Who knows what accumulated dust and road grime touched the bulb? I guess I will find out later.

6. After you insert the stem holder, turn it a quarter turn clockwise. Make sure it is fully turned until it stops. Yeah, I had to use my fingertips to do this too. It was too far, too high, and too tight to reach where I could use my thumb.

7. If you removed the wires, be sure that you push them on fully until the clasp locks. The connector is one-way. If it doesn't seem to be going on, use your fingers to feel the connector and maybe flip it over. You will know if it is oriented correctly, so don't force it. You will feel and hear the click as the clasp locks itself in place. (One of mine was not pushed on all the way, and the bulb didn't light until I pushed it completely on. We heard the click sound and knew right away that the connector wasn't fully attached the first time.

8. Good luck and be patient. It seems like it should be an easy job, but it is not easy the first time you do it. Once you have done it, you should feel like a pro the next time. I still plan to ask a friend to help the next time I have to do it!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 13th, 2011, 5:06 am Thread Starter
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Wow..... thanks for the detailed instruction. Like you, I have one that is burned out. I might wait for the second one to go and then replace them both.

Thanks again for the instruction. I'm going to print this and keep it handy.

Ken

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 13th, 2011, 8:36 am
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Hi Ken,

You're welcome. I hope the description helps others, too.

I re-read the description, and thought of a few additional items that may be helpful.

* Just to clarify, the stem holder is a plastic stem where the old bulb simply pulls out and the new bulb pushes on at the tip. There is a "bayonet" fitting at the other end, where the wire connector goes. The stem holder is approximately two or three inches long. You put it through the hole under the dash, and the bulb appears through the hole in the reflector at just the right distance.

* The bulbs are W5W / 12 V / 5 W. They are common, and should be quite inexpensive, even from your BMW dealer. I bought the bulbs at my local BMW dealer for $2.19 each.

* There is no "wrong" orientation for the bulb when you push it on. If you rotate the flat part 180 degrees and plug it in, it will work exactly the same.

* I have seen LED equivalents for W5W bulbs on eBay. Some come with "off-road use only" warnings - they may be illegally bright. If you are thinking of buying the LED ones, be sure that you get the kind that properly trick the Canbus. You don't want bulb burned-out warnings after you install your new LED bulbs. Some of those LED bulbs have arrays of 8 or 12 high-brightness LEDs, and I wonder if they could generate enough heat to damage the reflector. Personally, I wouldn't do it. My bulbs lasted four years and 40,000 miles before they needed replacement. That's good enough for me at $2.19 apiece.

-- XMR
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 13th, 2011, 3:24 pm
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Excellent How-To David. I for one appreciate your detailed explanation. Nicely done.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 13th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Take a look at this thread , I replaced my marker lights with LEDs. The LEDs are still going strong.


http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22057

Have a Great Ride, Lenbo

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2011, 7:09 pm
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+1 on the LEDs lenbo references, I did it and they're going strong

the job was a pain, and resulted in much swearing and scraped knuckles, but in the end it really wasn't that bad
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