Brightwork

High level brake lights and indicators

Installed a 3rd level brake light 9 years back as a ‘temporary’ solution to make it clearer when I was using the brakes. I’ve been meaning to install something cleaner that’s not partly covered by the spare wheel cover. I’ve also noticed that my indictors could be clearer, people don’t seem to see them. This is either because they are quite low or the angle makes it more difficult to see them.

I found some LED tail lights from the motor bike aftermarket made by Kellermann model Atto DF. There are versions that are brakes only but the ones I bought are tail, indictor and brake combined.

The LED lights are very small, but very bright.

Here’s one unit next to the regular rear lights.

Bench testing the lights – they leave bright spot in your eyes!

In order to mount these I dug into more of the motorbike aftermarket, ordering this bracket from https://www.hogparts.co.uk/ – this is a P clamp made by Kuryakyn, and a Kellerman Atto rigid mounting M8 x 20mm which fits nicely into the P clamp. The clamp mounts to my seatbelt bar which is 1.25″ cold drawn steel. The aluminium spacer is removed to fit on the 1.25″ pipe.

I also tried a Kellermann Bullet Atto extension 15mm to see what the lights were like a bit higher up – wasn’t needed to clear the spare wheel cover and didn’t look as good.

The M8 bolts that came with the Kellerman M8 x 20mm where silver, so I dug out some more compact nuts and powder coated them gloss black.

One came out perfect and one with a bit of chip, but you can’t see that when mounted.

Test fit with all the parts

The wires that come out the bottom are quite thin. To make these look nicer and protect them I covered them in shrink tube and zip tied them to the seatbelt bar and roll bar.

To get the wires inside the tub I added a hole and rubber grommet big enough to put spade terminals through.

The second stage of the projected required the entire boot area to be taken out so I could get to the rear wiring loom.

This is the exposed loom, I spliced into to the tail lights, indictor left and indicator right. There was already a cable for the brake lights, plus an extra 12v+ and a ground.

Put a PVC cover over the new wires, used shrink tubing and insulating tape to tidy up the loom. I added some weather sealed connectors at the other end.

From the rear car loom into the tub I created a small loom just for the lighting cables. I left the ground separate so at a later date I can use it for also grounding an interior boot light. The 4 pin is all the rear light connections.

I went a bit overboard and ran wires for the left and the right indictor to both sides – oops. Maybe some day I’ll need them.

So one of the wires on each side is covered up. I used coloured shrink tube to make it easy to connect the spade terminals together correctly.

I added a large hold in the side panel big enough to fit the 4 pin connectors through.

The final part of the process was to tie up the cables along the top of the tub so they are not hanging down. Then mount all the rest of he boot interior panels and boot hatch back onto the car.

The final result – nice and clear high level brake lights and as a bonus supplementary indictors.

 

Bodywork

Harness Holes Be Gone

I made some blanking plates to cover holes no longer needed in the tub.

These are aluminium, painted black then lined with rubber and held on with rivnuts, cup washers and bolts. Was thinking of leaving them shiny but ended up going for the subtle look.

This is the prototype with multiple bends, final two are new fresh ones with each bend only done once.

Final piece cut and bent, test fitting. A bit of blue tape to avoid scratching the paint.

Cleaned and painted

Applied a layer of 1mm rubber to the underside, I did this with double sided tape.

Test fitting

To mount these I added a rivnut to each part, M4 sized.

To attach to the car a hole was added in the new boot lid trim.

That cleanly attached these and closes up the gap nicely.

 

The cup washer and bolt are a bit smaller than those that hold the trim in, and they’re also a bit closer to the edge. However the style matches.

Brightwork

Front indicator stalks refresh

The front indicators were starting to rot pretty badly, replacements are not very expensive so I decided to change them for new.

The new ones are little bit shorter than the originals:

Old indicator:

New indicator stalk – I like to proportions of the placement much better between the headlights, spots and indicators:

 

 

 

Bodywork

Reassembly, paint, lighting, electrics

The rear wings, tub and spare cover are back from http://www.specialisedpaintwork.com/ for some touch up work and removal of all the stone chips on the wings! The wings were starting to look more stone chip hole than paint on the front. To protect the wings this time I purchased some 3M VentureShield from https://www.invisiblepatterns.co.uk/ – I made a pattern using paper first then cut out the 3M stone chip protection film and applied. It took a lot of soapy water and work with the squeegee to get everything stuck down.

After fitting the stone chip protection film, I installed the new 3D printed light covers:

Wiring updated for the new inner LED lights:

Stuck the rear tub back on, this time using A316 stainless ‘A4’ nuts and bolts, these shouldn’t go rusty as easily as the previous 304 stainless ones. Got the nuts and bolts from https://www.westfieldfasteners.co.uk/

Decided to use vinyl wing piping from https://www.woolies-trim.co.uk/ instead of the rubber trim that’s been on there since 2005 (that had started to go solid). The texture on the trim is very nice.

Next it was time to tackle some electrical, this tool from https://www.powerprobe.com/ (via https://www.summitracing.com/) is an invaluable tool for dealing with 12v car electrics. It will tell you if you have a ground, or a positive (and how many volts), plus you can use the switch to send a ground or 12 volts to the item your are connected to. A good way to test relays, bulbs, LED polarity etc.

Reconnected the 4 pin water proof connectors and tied up the excess cables out of the way of the tyres.

These are new two pole Lucas 403 bulb holders and a very cool set of LED lights that output both white and red light spending on which pins you connect up. They cover reverse and fog, which means I can run twin fog / twin reverse lights! The old Lucas 403 holders were starting to look a bit rusty so the new ones were good to get anyway.

Finally, an extra cross over cable is needed to bring the 12v+ fog/reverse to both sides of the car:

Reverse on!

Fog on!

Finally, due to the indicators now being LED they ran in super insane broken bulb mode. As such the flasher relay needed to be swapped out. I had gotten an LED flasher from S-V-C https://www.s-v-c.co.uk/product/led-flasher-relay-12v/ it’s pin out is reversed from the BMW flasher relay and the ground is on a wire from the top. The flasher relay comes with a polarity swapping attachment so it goes right into the same connector as the stock flasher. The ground I’ve attached to the same location as the horn and other steering wheel wiring grounds.

Finally, some assembled shots:

Bodywork

3D Printed light bracket finalised and dust cover for LED centre lights

Part evolution from initial concept to final co-polyester print, shown at the front the traditional bulb clear lens, LED amber indicator and LED ring light.

The final part:

Test fit with traditional bulb holder style clear lens indicator:

New LED centres, these don’t have the big tail and rubber seal out the back so it’s vulnerable to stone impacts and dirt inside the rear arches.

To solve the first/damage issue I’ve modelled up a dust cap, on the right version 1 printed in one part. The rough surface comes from removing supports. Version 2 on the left, printed in two parts, up the other way. That leaves a clean finish on the ourside from the print bed and clean surface without any overhang for the inside.

Version 2 split print in more detail, these parts are glued together using CA / Superglue

Wire clearance

Wire cap in place

The end is shaped so that shrink tube can easily be place over the cables to protect them

Bodywork

3D Printed light brackets Version 2 test

Version 2 on the left, much smaller than the inital version:

Some clearance to fit two next to each other on the Sporster

The part is still more than strong enough for to keep the light in

Test fitting on the wing

LED centre light test fit (yep, rusty screws need changing)

View from the outside

Bodywork

Hella Mix and Match 3D Print Light Brackets

When we first build the Sportster 3D printing wasn’t a thing for home users. This has changed in the last 13 years, so it seem like a good time to make some improvments.

Version one of the rear light brackets where aluminim, work fine don’t look so good:

CAD Designs so far, allows for 3mm body thinkness when mounted. It’ll need a gasket to keep the damp out, also the fibre glass is not a consisten thinkness:

 

Some rendered versions with clear models of the outter ring and inner light:

Now we need to print the first protoype and see how it fits: