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Thread: *****buell xb digital voltmeter mod*****

  1. #1

    *****buell xb digital voltmeter mod*****

    Just so we are clear I did this in the fall. But I figured I would show this off. I cannot locate the thread that told me how to do this, nor the youtube video but I'm sure someone out there can find it with a little effort. I DID locate a how to video but it's not in english. I posted it here because I think most of you capable individuals can catch the idea just by watching even if you can't understand what he is saying:

    Now with that out of the way I can sum that video up in a few bullet points.

    -remove the gauge cluster. on the firebolts, it is necessary to at least partially remove the front fairing. They reccommend removing it entirely but I did it without and just had it hanging awkwardly loose on the bike while I accessed the nuts holding the gauge pack onto the steering head. This process is ten times easier with a Lightning, but I have a firebolt so alas....

    -with the gauge cluster off the bike you have to disassemble it and remove the "egg carton" on the right side that has the colored warning lights. You will be using a dremel or some other creative means to carve out a "basket" to hold your digital voltmeter. I used the really small ones on amazon. I got a five pack for like 10 dollars. THE QUALITY OF THESE VOLTMETERS SHOWS IN THE CRAPPY SOLDERING THEY DID TO THE WIRE PIGTAIL, SO HANDLE THEM CAREFULLY! (I ruined the first 2 I handled)

    -link to the voltmeter I used. I really wanted to use the blue one on my bike but I destroyed it so I used the green instead. There's no way to tell what color they are unless you hook them to a 12v source so touch the pigtails to your motorcycle battery before installing to see what color it is!!!! NOTE: you want the gauge to be the 0.36" size. They are actually smaller than you'd think, but they fit perfectly.

    -Once you carve out a basket inside that egg carton that fits the gauge, run the wires through to the back and solder it in to 12V, or you can route them externally. I drilled a hole in the back of the gauge pack housing and ran 12V ground from the headlight ground, and 12V hot from the low beam since I couldn't find another keyed 12V source unfortunately. If you can find a keyed 12V on the back of the circuitboard and solder it in it will give an even cleaner look.

    -reassemble everything and test out the gauge

    Video of my gauge.

    6 months later and it still works great. Something to notice is since the gauge isn't ran direct to battery, the voltage indicated MAY be off by 0.1 or 0.2, but it's not really that important for what we usually use a voltage gauge for (catastrophic failure of electrical components)

    Please leave your ideas here and spread the video around to all your buell friends, I think this is a high priority upgrade to our bikes and looks OEM!

  2. #2
    Believe me this is a huge QOL upgrade. And the fact that when it's put back together you can't even tell its been modified is even better! Because of the tinted plastic you can't see any imperfections in your cuts behind the gauge cluster in the egg shell. My gauge didn't fit perfectly into the slot I cut out but because of that tint you can't tell even with the sun beating down onto the gauge pack. Highly reccommended mod for those with the tools and a few hours of free time (and a steady hand of course)

  3. #3
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Kolache Factory
    Pro tip: use some silicone, epoxy or whatever to secure the wires so you are not flexing the solder connection.

    Pro tip#2 : verify your voltmeter is reading actual voltage correctly. I didn’t and realized mine is 1v off. Oh well, not a big deal since I know it will always read 1v low.

  4. #4
    Thank you for this post! I have ordered VMs as well. I will have 4 left if anyone wants them. I plan on using Bondic to secure the VM into the cluster. Ill post pics of the process. My VMs get here this week. I also plan on soldering to the back of the cluster if I can find keyed voltages. I saw a video where pins 12 and 13 were used but I will verify prior to melting solder.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Central Soviet state of new jersey.
    This is kind funny, I was supposed to get one of the extra VM's when they did the first post about it, unfortunately I never got it, never found out why. I just chalked it off to a snafu.

    I would like one of the extra VM's, let me know how your going to do it.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Endopotential's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    If Cooter can do it, why can't I???
    Just to connect / merge this with another thread.

    Here's what I wrote on the other thread. Highly recommend this mod, it does come in handy.

    After I installed mine, the display would jump randomly from 11-15V though the bike was riding fine and battery appeared OK. I've never had a voltage indicator before on a bike, so wasn't sure what sense to make of it. I just chalked it up to cheap eBay electronics or a bad soldering job on my part.

    Fast forward 6 months, and the voltage dropped to 5V at which point the bike died. Even jump starting it wouldn't allow the bike to run for more than one block. Turns out the voltage regulator had fried.

    Got a new one, and now that dash display is at a steady 13.5V when cruising. Long story short - add this feature to your bike so you don't get stranded on the side of the road like I was.

    The voltage regulator can die really quickly, so if you see any fluctuations in the volt gauge it's worth it to check the VR quickly!

  7. #7
    Senior Member rb70383's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    What color VM's do you have. I want a amber one to match my gauges. I have a few of other colors. Not sure where they are.

    njloco, if you don't hear anything, and I find mine I'll sent ya one. Cant promise what color.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Crawling up your skirt
    I have some too, but not sure of the color. I'll send one to whoever wants one.

    I found some trick ones awhile back that have a temp display too. I've been meaning to add it to the STT dash with the temp probe in the oil cooler

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    I installed one of these <> tri-color LED voltmeter. I was not brave enough to crack open the instrument cluster so it is mounted left side just under the seat gap.

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