Installing an LED headlight conversion in a 2008 Buddy.

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babblefish
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Installing an LED headlight conversion in a 2008 Buddy.

Post by babblefish »

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/B07KT ... 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.
Attachments
There are 3 plastic clips holding the top instrument bezel. One by each grip and one at the rear of the bezel. Use a flat blade screwdriver and gently pry the clip apart. Be careful to not break the clips off.
There are 3 plastic clips holding the top instrument bezel. One by each grip and one at the rear of the bezel. Use a flat blade screwdriver and gently pry the clip apart. Be careful to not break the clips off.
buddyled3.jpg (49.36 KiB) Viewed 1798 times
Remove 4 phillips screws (circled in black). There are two on the left side and two on the right.
Remove 4 phillips screws (circled in black). There are two on the left side and two on the right.
buddyled.jpg (58.38 KiB) Viewed 1798 times
Remove the single screw securing the headlight ring then remove the ring.
Remove the single screw securing the headlight ring then remove the ring.
buddyled1.jpg (63.3 KiB) Viewed 1798 times
Lift the upper bezel up and flip it over and let it hang by the wire harness.
Lift the upper bezel up and flip it over and let it hang by the wire harness.
buddyled5.jpg (92.94 KiB) Viewed 1795 times
Unscrew speedometer collar with either your fingers or pliers and let the cable drop (it won't go far).
Unscrew speedometer collar with either your fingers or pliers and let the cable drop (it won't go far).
buddyled4.jpg (50.7 KiB) Viewed 1795 times
LED conversion kit from Amazon. Yeah, I know, this picture should be at the top.
LED conversion kit from Amazon. Yeah, I know, this picture should be at the top.
ledkit.jpg (76.96 KiB) Viewed 1767 times
Last edited by babblefish on Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:53 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Post by babblefish »

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.
Attachments
The securing screw is shown circled. The arrow is pointing to the collar that should be removed and will not be used. There will be a nut behind the collar which will fall out once the screw is removed. Be careful to not lose this nut as it will be reused
The securing screw is shown circled. The arrow is pointing to the collar that should be removed and will not be used. There will be a nut behind the collar which will fall out once the screw is removed. Be careful to not lose this nut as it will be reused
buddyled12.jpg (49.26 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Note the wide flange as compared to the two smaller ones. The other flange is the H4 adapter that comes with the LED kit.
Note the wide flange as compared to the two smaller ones. The other flange is the H4 adapter that comes with the LED kit.
buddyled11.jpg (82.31 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Stock bulb removed. When installing the LED make sure the wide tab on the flange is facing up.
Stock bulb removed. When installing the LED make sure the wide tab on the flange is facing up.
buddyled10.jpg (70.03 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Wire clip unlatched.
Wire clip unlatched.
buddyled9.jpg (73.69 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Wire clip securing the bulb.
Wire clip securing the bulb.
buddyled8.jpg (68.66 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Unplug the 3-terminal connector from the back of the bulb and pull off the black rubber weather guard.
Unplug the 3-terminal connector from the back of the bulb and pull off the black rubber weather guard.
buddyled7.jpg (96.75 KiB) Viewed 1787 times
Last edited by babblefish on Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by babblefish »

Even more steps...
Attachments
LED installed. Ignore the dirty headlight lens...
LED installed. Ignore the dirty headlight lens...
buddyled19 (1).jpg (68.16 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
The 3-terminal connectors plugged together. Note optional wire tie to make sure vibration doesn't cause the connectors to separate. Ignore the green arrow. I've already talked about my black cable mistake enough.:(
The 3-terminal connectors plugged together. Note optional wire tie to make sure vibration doesn't cause the connectors to separate. Ignore the green arrow. I've already talked about my black cable mistake enough.:(
buddyled19.jpg (97.75 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
LED body installed and secured with wire clip (note wide tab is facing up).<br />Black cable is facing the wrong way. LED body should be rotated 180 degrees to put the cable at the bottom.
LED body installed and secured with wire clip (note wide tab is facing up).
Black cable is facing the wrong way. LED body should be rotated 180 degrees to put the cable at the bottom.
buddyled17.jpg (76.45 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
Another view of the H4 adapter mounted.
Another view of the H4 adapter mounted.
buddyled16.jpg (59.47 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
H4 adapter installed. Note: the flange in this picture is mounted incorrectly. It should be rotated 180 degrees with the wide tab/screw on the opposite side from where the black cable comes out.
H4 adapter installed. Note: the flange in this picture is mounted incorrectly. It should be rotated 180 degrees with the wide tab/screw on the opposite side from where the black cable comes out.
buddyled15.jpg (54.19 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
Collar removed.
Collar removed.
buddyled14.jpg (81.4 KiB) Viewed 1786 times
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Post by babblefish »

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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Post by GregsBuddy »

Well done!
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scoop43
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LED Headlight Installation

Post by scoop43 »

Thanks for the detailed photos and install steps. I was thinking about doing this to my Buddy 170i.
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Buddy LED Headlight installation

Post by scoop43 »

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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Post by tenders »

Did they change the part? The Amazon link now shows no braided heat skink.
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Re: Buddy LED Headlight installation

Post by babblefish »

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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Post by buzzvert »

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

http://www.rtdautolight.com/motorcycle- ... d-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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Post by tenders »

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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Post by babblefish »

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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Post by GregsBuddy »

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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Light Pattern

Post by loganx4 »

Do you happen to have a picture of the light pattern? I am ordering one of those LEDs and I wanted to know what to expect, thanks.
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Post by Point37 »

great work!...i would like to see oem bulb vs led bulb photos of the light pattern at night in the same location if you have them
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Post by Alzero »

If you are worried about the beam pattern you need to buy a “daymaker� replacement unit instead of a bulb. This is what Harley uses in their LED headlights. They run about $40 on Amazon and replace the entire assembly, reflector and all to give a focused beam.

I tried several replacement LED bulbs with poor results until I found these. The replacement LED bulbs are really bright, but I still couldn’t see the road very well due to the mismatch between the LED lamp and the reflector designed for incandescent.
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Post by Point37 »

Alzero wrote:If you are worried about the beam pattern you need to buy a “daymaker� replacement unit instead of a bulb. This is what Harley uses in their LED headlights. They run about $40 on Amazon and replace the entire assembly, reflector and all to give a focused beam.

I tried several replacement LED bulbs with poor results until I found these. The replacement LED bulbs are really bright, but I still couldn’t see the road very well due to the mismatch between the LED lamp and the reflector designed for incandescent.
good to know...thanks!
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Post by babblefish »

Mine has been fine. Beam pattern isn't too bad. I've had other conversions that were not as good though. The best was an HID conversion but the Buddy charging system can't support the power drain so the battery eventually dies.
Works well in my Blur though.
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Post by tenders »

Alzero wrote:If you are worried about the beam pattern you need to buy a “daymaker� replacement unit instead of a bulb. This is what Harley uses in their LED headlights. They run about $40 on Amazon and replace the entire assembly, reflector and all to give a focused beam.

I tried several replacement LED bulbs with poor results until I found these. The replacement LED bulbs are really bright, but I still couldn’t see the road very well due to the mismatch between the LED lamp and the reflector designed for incandescent.
I’ve been happy enough with my LED bulb upgrades in my Buddy, Vespa, and Scarabeo (though the Beo was a PITA, requiring an extra module to fool the dash into behaving correctly). You’ve mentioned the HD Daymaker several times as a complete reflector and bulb replacement. It’s round, and the Buddy reflector is oval. How did you get it to fit?

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Daymaker&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

https://www.scooterdynasty.com/headligh ... buddy.aspx
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Post by Alzero »

Easy: I have a Lance Cali Classic with a round headlight, not a Buddy. It had the same engine and drivetrain, that’s why I am here.
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Post by tenders »

"This doesn't apply to Buddies, but..." would seem to be useful information to bundle along with this advice here on modernbuddy.com:
Alzero wrote:If you are worried about the beam pattern you need to buy a “daymaker� replacement unit instead of a bulb.
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Post by BayStateScooterist »

Does anybody know if there is a daymaker conversion kit for Buddies? Thanks.
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Post by tenders »

That was kind of my point. They're all round. If a Buddy-to-Daymaker converter kit existed I'm pretty sure we'd know about it.

Can't say I'd personally be all that interested in a $100+ solution though when the inexpensive LED bulbs do work pretty well.
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Post by babblefish »

For $100 I'd convert my Buddy's charging system to an 11-pole alternator and HID lighting. HID bulbs have a very similar light pattern as an incandescent but produce more lumen using significantly less power. I'd then have a really bright headlight and extra power for any accessories I care to plug in. Of course nothing is free so I may take a small hit on gas mileage. I don't care.

But, that being said, I'm perfectly happy with the LED conversion that's in there now and I have no need nor desire to plug in anything else so I'm leaving it alone.

As always, YMMV.
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Post by buzzvert »

The Boodled LED is back in stock! Just ordered one for another project.

https://www.amazon.com/BOODLIED-Motorcy ... 07KTXL7FW/
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Led Headlight for a Buddy 50

Post by jdlafley »

The LED Headlight's I saw were for DC 12 Volt. My headlight comes on only when the emgine is running and I believe my Buddy 50 is AC 12 Volt. Has anyone put an LED Headlight in a Buddy 50? Please explain what you did. Thank you.
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Post by tenders »

If you look at the Amazon photo of the LED bulb in the very first link of this post, it is labeled AC/DC and will work in the 50.
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Post by PistolPete7390 »

Installed this LED about 2 weeks ago and is a HUGE upgrade from the stock headlight. Sometimes the high beam will flicker and go out completely, but always comes back. Has anyone had this issue? Its only the high beam. Maybe my connector is a little loose? I did put a zip tie around the connector but didn't tighten it too much.
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Post by tenders »

Well, it’s either a connection, switch, or bulb problem. Only one way to find out which for sure.
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Post by PistolPete7390 »

I dont think its the switch, but I'm changing my brake fluid this weekend so was going to check the connector while the top plastic is off.
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Post by buzzvert »

These aren't exactly the highest quality product I've ever purchased- I'd probably start by slightly bending the tabs on the three blades that plug into the harness so they make better contact with the.... um, contacts. Also, LED's are a WHOLE bunch more susceptible to voltage drops and just go out vs. a slower dimming that a filament would do. So give your bright/dim switch a good cleaning. Alternatively flick it back and forth a couple hundred times to clear any shmutz on the contacts. That will either accelerate the deterioration of the switch (which is then the likely suspect) or clear it out.

If wiring, switch, etc. is cleared as the culprit, then I'd get another super-high-quality BOODLED.

Also, do you guys pronounce it "bood-LED" in your head or like "poodle". I like "poodle".
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Post by tenders »

The Academy of Chinglish has already ruled that this fly-by-night manufacturer’s name shall be mentally pronounced as the past tense of “to poodle,� to wit, “poodled,� ie “boodled.�

And that there exists no reason to ever utter this name verbally, so don’t try.
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Post by rol1 »

babblefish wrote:For $100 I'd convert my Buddy's charging system to an 11-pole alternator and HID lighting.
A 11-pole stator for a minarilli motor? I'm interested. DC system? Full wave, 3 phase? Would have to change out the regulator and CDI? I have used the 125gy6stator as used in the Adlys for off the book purposes before. Once read a write up on converting troublesome GY6 from half-wave AC to full-wave DC with a 7-wire rectifier /regulator. Wish I had kept that link.
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