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Old 06-20-2002, 11:18 AM
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Converting Special Signals to Running Lights

Converting Special Signals to Running Lights

My 79SF was not wired for front running lights. I simply replaced the base of the turn signal sockets with a double bayonet base, purchased at the local auto parts store, and connected the second wire into a 12V lead in the headlight. Voila! running lights.

This is straight forward to do, but one word of caution is needed - the wires on the new bases I bought were fairly heavy, and would not both pass through the center of the stalk (the ground is made by the metal stalk connecting into the headlight housing). While I considered replacing the wires with a smaller gauge, I instead choose to run a drill through the center of the light stalks and open them up slightly.
Phil Stewart

Phil's notes (above) are good but I thought I'd add a little additional info and explanation. In order to have the turn signals work as running lights you need a bulb with two filaments. One of these filaments burns all the time and the other only comes on when the turn signals come on. In order to have a two filament bulb, you need a two filament socket. This is the easy part as most auto parts stores have these in stock - try to find one with long wires. To illustrate, here's what each connector looks like (more or less) when viewed from the top:
 Single   Double
filament filament
( 0 ) (00)
To remove the old socket, just push the wire backwards and it should just come right out. Now you have to get the new connector in. This is where Phil's advice (above) comes in handy. One of the two wires will get plugged into the existing turn signal connector and the other wire will get tapped into either the yellow or green wire to the headlight. You need to test your connections before you make anything "permanent." You may also need to hot glue the new connector into the signal base to prevent it from turning out of alignment. If you connect the wires to the wrong connections, it won't work at all and you'll have to swap the connectors - no big deal. The bulbs are the same physical size as the single filament bulbs - they just have two "bumps" on the bottom instead of one. But you have to make sure that the two bumps align correctly in the bottom of the socket.

JP Honeywell

BTristal@aol.com asks
Is there any reason not to simply reverse the relay type, and just connect it right in... so that the turn signals are both always on, but flash off when you activate a signal?
(Electrical considerations aside) There's one very good reason, most states in the USA do not allow any color light other than red to show behind a vehicle and some jurisdictions will enforce it.

However, there are red lenses that fit the XS1100 Special (round). Pre '78 Yamahas came with red rear turn signals lenses. I have a set off of a '77 400. They are a direct replacement to the amber ones.

Dave Norton

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