This install was done by Rainman April 12th, 2012 on a 2007 GL1800 ABS (non airbag)
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This install is probably easier than what you’re thinking. When I first saw it the install instructions and realized I had to burn holes in my cowl….I was like “oh boy”. However, the hole burning part is probably the easiest part of this thing and was no big deal at all. I mean no disrespect to whoever wrote the instructions at EC, but they really could be a bit better. They’re not fluid and sometimes not entirely clear on what they mean sometimes. With that in mind, I’m going to attempt to simplify it a bit here and make it just a tad easier on the next guy.
Step 1. Get everything out of the box and examine it. Set aside the switch and the screw pack for now. Take note of the two, 4 legged brackets. Notice that all 4 legs are not the same. Two have screw holes and two do not. This is how the lights get secured to the brackets (by using the included spacers)
Step 2. Remove the cowl off the Goldwing. There are 3 bolts on each side and two of the little push pins that Honda is so fond of. Notice that the very top bolts are different than the other two on each side. Remember that or write it down.
Step 2 ½ - TOTALLY OPTIONAL – but you may want to take this opportunity to go clean up the cowl. Mine was pretty filthy after 5 years on the road, so I took it upstairs and cleaned it pretty well with a magic eraser before I took it down to the workbench to get started. I find it’s easier to work on clean parts rather than parts caked up with years of grime.
Step 3. Cut out the blanks that block the openings to the holes for the lights. I tried a couple of different ways…the first just being a good set of sidecut pliers. This worked, but left some ragged, jagged bits of plastic sticking up. I then went and got my dremmel tool out since I wanted to clean up those ragged edges and decided it would cut through them just as well which it did. If you don’t have a dremmel, then just use whatever you like to cut through the plastic tabs and then use a file to clean up the remaining edges. It’s not terribly important to get these 100% perfect, but if you’re like me, you’re not going to want to leave jagged tab edges showing either.
Click for larger image
Step 4. Ok..now that you have the blanks cut out, take a look at the gussets that help support the fog light hole openings. On each side, there will be three large gussets and one small one surrounding each hole. Get something to use as a straight edge and guesstimate a center line and then use a small marker to draw a vertical line from the bottom to the top. It doesn’t have to be exact. Just somewhere close to the centerline will work nicely. Now – estimate 3/16 of an inch down from the edge and make a cross mark. EC tells you 3/16 of an inch and that’s a perfectly good measurement but don’t worry about making sure it’s exact. All you’re doing here is making a mark to push a soldering iron through. I thought maybe more dead center would be better given that leaving more “meat” in the gusset would be desirable, but all that did was make it hard to hook the springs into. I also found that unless you’re equipped (unlike most of us) with about 6 hands, trying to measure in that small space AND mark a cross mark was just about impossible. Like I said…all you’re doing here is creating a hole to hook springs into, so don’t get carried away and waste your time trying to be exact.
Step 5. Now that you’ve got your marks where you want to push your holes for the springs through, plug in the iron and give it about 3 or 4 minutes. Then, just carefully push the iron into those marks and melt yourself a nice little hole through each gusset. Be careful not to get carried away and melt a hole clear through to the front of the cowl. Apparently that’s been done before. The small gusset is the trickiest as there’s really not a lot of it to begin with so just aim for the middle and start small to make sure you don’t burn through the top edge of the plastic. You can always go back and make it a little bigger if you need to, but you can never go smaller. I found that it helps to have a file on hand to knock away the melted plastic “slag” for lack of a better term. Do all 8 gussets and then try very hard to NOT burn yourself or the house down with that smoldering iron. Take the springs and slip one into each hole you just made and set the cowl aside.
Step 6. That wasn’t so bad now was it? Ok..now look at those brackets again and note where the legs do a 90 degree turn into the big circle in the middle. That’s where you insert one of the 8 cotter pins and then bend the tabs out to keep it in there. Don’t get too carried away here either with the measurements. I think the EC instructions said ½ inch which is good, but it’s not going to matter a whole heck of a lot so don’t kill yourself trying to get it exactly right. Let’s say…halfway up the cotter pin is what you want to leave on either side. If you’ve got eyeballs – use ‘em and just approximate halfway. Why would a blind guy care about fog lights anyway? I think what happened was that EC gets perfectionists asking that question all the time so they put measurements in the directions just to satisfy those folks. Here again…all you’re doing is hooking a spring into the cotter pin so exact measurement don’t help you here. Also – you may find it easier (I did) to grab the hoop end of the cotter pin and hold it in place with a good pair of regular pliers and then bend the tabs on each end with needle nose. That or you might be able to put it in a vise to bend the taps (which I didn’t try).
Step 7. You’ve got your cotter pins installed so now it’s time to attach the light to the bracket. There will be 4 nylon spacers, 4 screws and 8 washers in your kit. Take the screw and drop the lock washer on first and then one of the flat washers. Now put the nylon spacer in between the light and the bracket and push the screw through and secure it loosely to the light. *** There may be some residual metal left over in the hole from the tapping of the threads in the light. No biggie…just work the screw in and out a few times and it’ll be fine *** Remember – the lock washer goes on the outside and then flat washer on the inside next to the bracket hole. This slightly larger flat washer will keep the lock washer from going through the hole. Now here is where I differ from the “official instructions”. The official instructions say to leave the light loose and tighten it later. Except – when it’s mounted into the cowl, it’s almost impossible to get a screwdriver in there and completely impossible when it’s on the bike. My advice? Use those eyeballs we talked about earlier and square the light up in the bracket so it’s not pointing in any direction other than straight on and snug those screws down - EVENLY ON EACH SIDE. That will give you the best chance of not having to adjust these things later on.
Step 8. Ignore the part in the official directions that says there is a “TOP” somewhere on the lens. I looked for it for 15 mins and finally called EC who told me that isn’t there anymore and to ignore that part. If yours says “TOP” on it…well…don’t be an idiot and put it on the bottom. If it’s not there…then ignore that part. Take your assembled lights and brackets and fit them down onto the gussets so that the notches in the legs rest squarely on the edge of each guesset. Now grab a good pair of needle nose pliers and pull the springs up and hook them onto the cotter pins. Easier said than done I know, but you’ll get there. I managed to loose grip on the springs about a dozen times so there was a bit of grumbling on my part while doing this.
Step 9. Now take the assembly to the bike and plug in the connectors on the lights to the connectors on the bike. There’s one on each side and they may be taped up. Oh – and the bike connectors have plugs that you have to remove first. The trick to that is to press down on the thumb tab towards the back of the connector (on the exterior of the connector) and just pull out the plug and discard. If you’re pushing on anything with a screwdriver, you’re doing it wrong. Now just screw the cowl back on and you’re almost home.
Step 10. The last step is to remove the left side glove box by pushing in on the centers of those push pins we all know and love. Now remove the left side hazard light panel and the blank that is filling the hole for the OEM switch. Screw the switch in, fish around behind the lower cowl to find the aux lighting connector and pop out the plug. Plug in the switch. Now test to make sure the lights come on before you put it back together and if so you’re good to go. Button it back up and get someone to give you a pat on the back. Preferably not someone who doesn't like you like the cat.
My Thoughts: This is a pretty well made kit and though I initially cringed at BURNING HOLES into my OEM cowl…it really was a pretty good design. The burning holes part was probably the easiest thing of the whole install and once I thought it, it is a nice, simple way to install these lights. My hats off to Lewis and the folks at EC for figuring out what really is a good way to mount these things in there. The lights themselves are very well made and although the directions could really use some tweaking (what OEM directions couldn’t?), hopefully, this little writeup will make it a little easier for the next guy.
Now stop screwing around on the Internet and go log some miles on that awesome bike of yours!