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Installing an LED headlight conversion in a 2008 Buddy.

 
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babblefish
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Joined: 04 Dec 2007
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:50 am    Post subject: Installing an LED headlight conversion in a 2008 Buddy. Reply with quote

This is a how-to for installing an LED headlight conversion suggested by buzzvert and bought from Amazon. The scooter is my 2008 Buddy but should be the same for all Buddy's.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KTXL7FW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(Note: It appears the vendor of this LED conversion has changed the style of the LED and is selling a different one under the same P/N. I found an exact match to the original style on AliExpress for less money.)

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32958893401.html

NOTE: Coming off the back of the LED itself is a set of braided leads and a black cable. In the pictures showing the LED installed, the black cable is shown on top but in reality the LED should be turned 180 degrees so that the cable is on the bottom. It has to be in that position so that the low beam LED element is facing up and reflecting off the upper portion of the reflector. I accidentally installed it backwards but have since corrected it but didn't retake the pictures.

Each photo will have an explanation but these are the basic steps:

1) Remove headlight surround by removing the single screw at the top.
2) Remove 4 screws located on the bottom instrument bezel securing the upper instrument bezel.
3) Unlock plastic clips securing upper instrument bezel with a flat blade screwdriver.
4) Lift instrument bezel high enough to get your hand or pliers (I used adjustable pliers also known as "Channel Locks") inside to unscrew the speedometer cable from the speedometer.
5) Lift off the upper instrument bezel and let it hang by the electrical cable
6) Unplug the 3-pin headlight cable from the headlight bulb.
7) Pull off the rubber weather guard.
8.) Release the wire clip that secures the headlight bulb to the reflector
9) Remove the one screw on the side of the LED that secures the metal collar as it comes from the box. There is a loose nut behind the collar so be sure to not let it fall to the ground and get lost. My kit had an extra nut and screw in the box but there's no guarantee that all kits have these. This collar will not be used so you can toss it. Save the screw and nut to attach the H4 adapter.
10) Install the 3-tab H4 adapter onto the LED housing making sure the black cable is on the opposite side from the wide tab on the adapter.
11) Install the LED housing into the reflector with the wide tab facing up and secure with the wire clip.
12) I re-installed the rubber weather guard but it can be difficult to get it around the black power module on the LED cable. I sprayed a little silicone lubricant in the hole to help get it over the power module. I wouldn't know but I can imagine this is kind of like a woman trying to past a baby except obviously one can't spray silicone to make it easier, Lol. I hope I don't get in trouble for saying that...
13) Connect the 3-pin LED connector to the 3-pin connector from the Buddy. I secured the connectors with a wire tie just in case.
14) At this point you can start the engine to make sure your new LED headlight is working and check to make sure you've got low beam and high beam and that they are correct (upper LED element lit and bottom one off for low beam, both lit for high beam).
15) Finish up by reinstalling the upper instrument bezel in the reverse order of removal. Don't forget to reconnect the speedometer cable. The threaded collar for the speedometer cable doesn't have to be super tight, just snug is good.

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Last edited by babblefish on Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:53 pm; edited 10 times in total
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babblefish
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More installation steps.

There are two slots on the LED body, each 180 degrees from each other. These slots are there to retain the nut which helps secure the H4 adapter flange to the LED body.

The spring in the kit is not used.

Don't forget, when mounted, the wide tab and screw on the H4 adapter should be 180 degrees (opposite side) from the black cable coming out the back of the LED body.

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Last edited by babblefish on Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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babblefish
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even more steps...
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babblefish
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Location: San Francisco
2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Final thoughts.

I realized my mistake with the orientation of the LED body when it was first installed because I was seeing a high beam light pattern when the Hi/Lo beam switch was set to low beam. When I removed the LED body and looked closely at the H4 adapter flange I then realized there were two slots for retaining the mounting nut, each 180 degrees from each other. Dummy.

If I get the energy to take my headlight apart again I'll retake some pictures to update this how-to to make it less confusing. Sorry about that folks.

OK, my final thoughts on this conversion.

First, it's much brighter than the cheap, China bought halogen bulb that was in there.

There is a tiny bit of flickering that I can notice when the engine is at an idle but it isn't bad enough to bother me.

The light pattern isn't too bad, much better than the previous LED conversion I tried about a year ago plus the body of this conversion is small enough to not interfere with the speedometer. Compared to a standard incandescent bulb, there isn't as much spread in the light pattern, probably due to a narrower light source. Less of the reflector is being used thereby a more narrow beam is being thrown out. Still, it isn't bad. The brighter beam will be easier seen by cage drivers.

High beam to me is a little weak but that's OK since I don't use it much.

The H4 adapter can slide a little bit up and down the body of the LED which in turn changes what part of the reflector the light will hit. I may experiment with it to see how it changes the light pattern thrown out.

All in all I think this is a very worthwhile upgrade. The Buddy electrical system seems to be able to handle the load and the price is certainly right.

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GregsBuddy
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Joined: 11 Jan 2015
Posts: 470
Location: North SF Bay
Buddy 170i Vespa GTS 250ie Piaggio BV350

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done!
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scoop43
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Joined: 09 Sep 2019
Posts: 15
Location: Monroe, WA
Buddy 170i British Oxford green

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:09 am    Post subject: LED Headlight Installation Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed photos and install steps. I was thinking about doing this to my Buddy 170i.
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scoop43
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Joined: 09 Sep 2019
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Location: Monroe, WA
Buddy 170i British Oxford green

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:03 am    Post subject: Buddy LED Headlight installation Reply with quote

Babblefish, I saw your post on the LED headlight installation on your Buddy, so I installed one on my Buddy 170i today. I had some difficulty doing it. First of all, the link you put up for the LED bulb was one that had a fan behind it, however in your instructions, you mention your bulb had braided heat sinks. I am assuming you installed the one with the braided heat sinks. That is what I installed.

I had trouble getting the top cover of the handle bars off, to get access to the headlight bulb, but I finally got it off. I removed the old bulb easily, and installed the new one. I found the heat sink braids pushed up against the speedometer cable, even when I spread them out. It's a tight fit. After I got it all together, I found I had not re installed the rubber moisture seal, so I had to take it apart and redo it again. Reconnecting the speedo cable is difficult unless you get your wife to push the cable up from below, with the front nose cover removed. Anyway, It's all done now, and the light is very bright. But I found I can't adjust the beam because the heat sink braids are pushed against the speedo cable. It was a lot of trouble, but I like the results.

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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did they change the part? The Amazon link now shows no braided heat skink.
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babblefish
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2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:14 am    Post subject: Re: Buddy LED Headlight installation Reply with quote

scoop43 wrote:
Babblefish, I saw your post on the LED headlight installation on your Buddy, so I installed one on my Buddy 170i today. I had some difficulty doing it. First of all, the link you put up for the LED bulb was one that had a fan behind it, however in your instructions, you mention your bulb had braided heat sinks. I am assuming you installed the one with the braided heat sinks. That is what I installed.

I had trouble getting the top cover of the handle bars off, to get access to the headlight bulb, but I finally got it off. I removed the old bulb easily, and installed the new one. I found the heat sink braids pushed up against the speedometer cable, even when I spread them out. It's a tight fit. After I got it all together, I found I had not re installed the rubber moisture seal, so I had to take it apart and redo it again. Reconnecting the speedo cable is difficult unless you get your wife to push the cable up from below, with the front nose cover removed. Anyway, It's all done now, and the light is very bright. But I found I can't adjust the beam because the heat sink braids are pushed against the speedo cable. It was a lot of trouble, but I like the results.


They must have changed the product but kept the same Amazon item number because mine has the braids. Not sure if the new style will fit well because the speedometer sits very close to the top of the headlight lamp/LED. And I didn't have any of the problems you mentioned when I installed mine. Oh well, at least people will know how to get into their headlight/speedometer thingibob if they have to. I'm sure there are other LED conversions that are slim enough to fit well and these instructions will work for those too.

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buzzvert
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Joined: 28 Jul 2019
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Location: Longmont, CO
Buddy 125 (2), lots of other bikes no longer in the garage

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They definitely changed it- so far I've tracked down the previous product as:

http://www.rtdautolight.com/motorcycle-led-bulbs/motorcycle-light-bulbs/m02j-diving-heat-with-copper-braid-led.html

But alibaba and other mass-ship sources are the only source I've found so far and I'm not 100% convinced it has the T5 connector.
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tenders
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 135

Buddy International 50 Italia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minimum order quantity is 50. Think we can find 50 Buddy owners on MB, or convince Scooterpartsco to carry some in inventory? At an Amazon price of $19 they can’t possibly cost more than $10 wholesale, maybe less.

EDIT: I found out what they cost in lots of 50: $5 apiece, not including tax or shipping.


Last edited by tenders on Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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babblefish
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2006 Blur 180, 2008 Buddy St. Tropez

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here ya go folks. Exact same LED conversion but cheaper than eBay (dammit), and you don`t have to buy 50 of them.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32958893401.html

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GregsBuddy
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Location: North SF Bay
Buddy 170i Vespa GTS 250ie Piaggio BV350

PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removing bodywork on scoot's is generally not fun. It's quite easy to damage the little clips and straps. I find the Yamaha TMAX bodywork to be of good quality and removal is above average in ease. Vespa/Piaggio bodywork is the most difficult and easily broken, from my experience.
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