Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who's There? Keith McCarthy on Replacing a Speedometer Bulb with LED on a Suzuki Intruder 1400!

All Words & Photos © Keith McCarthy
I put off this job for a while thinking it was going to be difficult or that I'd have a hard time figuring out which LED to use. The delay was unnecessary as this is one of the easiest jobs to do. In fact, it will take longer to create this blog!  I don't know if all years are this easy or not. From the schematic for this bike, it appeared there would be two lights to replace. As you can see from the back of my speedometer, there is only one. Perhaps this changed in different years, I don't know. I ordered bulbs off eBay. 20 LED bulbs for $8, shipped (In the USA). Here is what I ordered off of eBay for cheap. Upon opening the package, I got these! (Pictured Left)

This is a shot of my speedometer with no working backlight:

Warning: No Need To Remove Headlight!
I was under the impression that I had to drop the entire headlight bucket to get the speedometer out. I did not.  All you have to do, at least on my bike, is go to the back side of the speedometer housing and remove two screws which hold the unit in the bucket. By the way, I know that I did not have to remove the headlight because after taking it out, I realized it did nothing to help me!
Step 1: Remove Screws!
After removing these screws, simply unscrew the speedometer cable and pull the unit up and out. 
Step 2 Watch For Wires!
Be careful because the light wires might get held up a little bit. They are the only remaining things holding the speedometer in the bucket.Pry the rubber boot out of the back of the speedometer and the unit will be free. In the picture below, you can see where the bulb goes.
Step 3: Remove Rubber Boot!
Pry the rubber boot out of the back of the speedometer and the unit will be free. In the picture above, you can see where the bulb goes.
Step 4: Remove Bulb! This is the bulb after you pull it out of the unit! Pull the bulb out of the holder and get ready to put the new bulb in. No harder than changing a bulb in a lamp.
Step 5: Replace With New Bulb
Here are the two bulbs side by side for size comparison. The LED is a bit longer.
Step 6: Test New Bulb!
After you plug it into the boot, be sure to turn your key on to make sure it is working. If you put it in the wrong direction, there will be no light. Mine (after flipping it over) worked!
Step 7: Reassemble!
Put everything back together and see how it works. I really like the blue!
Keith's Pride and Joy!
That's it! Very easy. A few things worth mentioning... A member here told me the bulbs I ordered are cheap and will fail. He may be right, I will have to see. But, for 20 bulbs at $8, I'm willing to risk it. Should one go bad, I literally can replace it in 5 minutes. This job was that simple. Also, the screws that hold the speedometer in the housing are little. Be careful when you pull them out. They also have a rubber bushing behind them, so watch out for them falling. My bushings are no good. I can tell because when I screwed the speedometer back in place, there is wiggle in it. The whole unit does not tighten down like it should. I'm going to put a few washers under them to see if it helps tighten things up. If your backlight on your speedometer is blown, don't wait to fix it. The job is cake. Any questions, leave a comment below. Thanks!

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