First the usual disclainer crap, 'nuff said. This is not intended as a "how-to" since I didn't take any pics. But it might help the rookie wrenchers do something they didn't think they could. First of all let me say I am a total noob to Harleys, I've had my bike since mid July and I have about 1500 miles on it. I am a rookie wrench, but I read a lot and research everything on this list, and on others, before starting out. So far I have swapped my grips and pegs, this is my third project.
The relocation kit I bought was HD # 68517-94A. $28.95 plus tax, I think it's about the cheapest accessory you can buy (my wife was delighted, anything under $100 is a no-brainer). "Everything you need to relocate the turn signals", said the catalog and the dealer. Not quite true, but read on.
First the instructions; since the kit is intended for every model from about 1987 and up you expect a bit of foggyness. I have to say they were pretty good but, as with any project, it pays to have the shop manual handy. I have both the Clymer and the HD book, they each have their good points, if you can only get one, get the Harley Bible. You get some polarized wire in the kit (two-strand, one copper, one silver) and a third piece of single wire, presumably for the third wire. Domestic sportsters have three wire turn signals, I think world bikes have only two. Anyway, as it happens, you don't need any of it. There is wire to spare on the current loom if you do it right. Oh, yes, one more thing, the HD manual says to take off the tank (so you can get to the connectors under it) and to remove the rear handlebar clamp cover. You don't need to do either of those things. You can choose whether to remove the battery negative terminal, since I was working on the cold side of the switch I didn't bother.
So here's what I did:
Using an allen wrench (3mm I think), remove the turn signals from the handlebars by undoing the small screw in the upper front corner of the switch housing. Be careful, it doesn't take much before the signals drop out (as always, cover your tank and shiny bits throughout this operation). Let them hang carefully. Again using an allen wrench, remove the mounting post from the top of the turn signals. I spent about half an hour trying to figure out if I could get the turn signals apart so I didn't have to splice wires outside the signal itself but gave up. It looks like they should come apart but the seals are good and I didn't want to give water a chance to get in there.
Next, I cut the turn signal wire about 6 inches from the signal itself. This allowed me to pull the wires coming from the neck back down through the handlebar clamp (without having to cut the wire ties that are fastened to the handlebars - important because the ties in the kit do not have the plastic tab that lets you fasten them to the bars) , preparatory to routing them along the lower triple tree to the pinch bolts. Leaving 6 inches on the signal gives you plenty of slack for connecting them up behind the triple tree, and there is ample wire to reach the pinch bolts from the frame when you pull the other wires down and through the handlebar clamp.
Next, carefully strip about 3 inches of insulation from the ends of all four wires (one on each signal and one from each side of the triple tree). You will need this much space to stagger the but connectors (in the kit) so they do not overlap and make a big bulge in your wiring. Inside you will find 3 wires, Black, Blue and Violet. The trick to making your splices is to lay the wires on top of each other, the same way they will join together, and decide where you are going to cut them to stagger the joints. I used one of those strippers that grabs the wire and then, when you squeeze the handle, two jaws strip the insulation away from your point of contact, pushing the insulation off the end of the wire. This allows for quite accurate placement of the cut because you don't actually need to cut the end off the wire until you have the "gap" in the right place. Go ahead and strip and cut one side of each set of wires, and then put on the but conectors. Now you can test fit the other side of the set to see exactly where to cut and strip it so it will fit into the other end of the but connectors with the connectors not overlapping and the wires lying nice and flat between the outer casing. Go ahead and cut and strip the other side of the connection but don't connect them yet. BEFORE
you make the connection, we need to take care of the insulation that will cover the joins we are about to make. We need to insulate each connector, since if they touch inside the outer sheath they will conduct and that is not good
. And then we need to insulate and weatherproof the outside sheathing. You can go ahead and mount the signals to the new pylons at this point, and then mount them on the pinch bolts with the replacement bolts that come in the kit. Don't forget the Loctite!
My instructions refered to ID conduit (whatever that is) and talked about putting it over the outside of the re-connected wires. There was none, only 6 short heat shrink tubes, one for each wire. I could have gone to the store and purchased suitable heat shrink tubing but it was raining and I wanted to finish up, so I took a look around my garage and basement for something to use. Guess what? The outside insulation from standard cable TV antenna cable fits perfectly with a little persuasion. Cut two pieces about 4 inches long and ease them out a little to help get them on the main side of the wire (coming from the frame). I warmed them with a hair dryer for a couple of minutes and eased them out a little by putting two allen wrenches inside and pulling a little
. Spray the inside with a LITTLE BIT
of WD40 and slip them on the wires coming from the frame and slide them above your connection area. Now put a piece of the short heat shrink tubing from the kit on each individual wire you are going to connect. Make and crimp the connections and then slide the heat shrink tubing down over the but connectors.
Some people say they have problems using shrink tubing with a normal domestic hairdryer. I don't, here's how I do it: Take some aluminum foil and make a kind of shield that goes behind the connectors and then fashion a venturi-like opening at the front into which you stick the business end of the hairdryer. Turn it on on the highest heat setting and let it blow for about two minutes. Check your connections, if you can see the but connector shape through the tubing you're good (it won't get skin tight, just so it won't move). If not, keep doing it until done. Then carefully work the outer sleeve (the antenna cable insulation) back down towards your turn signal being careful not to dislodge the but connectors or the heat shrink insulation. You can use the hair dryer a little again if it helps. When you get it down in place it is really tight and as weatherproof as you're going to get.
I finished up by sliding a cable tie down dehind the forks in the gap of the lower triple tree fork bracket, between the fork and the pinch bolt, and tying the cable from the turn signal tight there so it ran just below the tree to the signal on both sides. Then I ran the slack in the wires along the neck up behind the headlight and wire tied it to the wire right behind the headlamp. The slack was necessary to get the connections made and will give ample wire to re-route a little if I manage to find a triple tree cover I can run the wires under.
That's all there was to it. No special tools, no special skills, just time and patience. Took about 2 hours, including trying to take the turn signals apart and hunting for an outside insulator.
If you are thinking of relocating your turn signals, do it. It cleans up the handlebars tremendously and it really isn't hard. If I can do it, anyone can.
Hope you find this useful.