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Thread: KL3 Mod

  1. #1
    Flashaholic red_hackle's Avatar
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    Talking KL3 Mod

    At some point during the recent outage of CPF I decided I needed to mod a light myself rather than just collecting custom lights made by other people - so please read on for an illustrated write-up of my first ever mod!

    The Subject:


    Surefire's KL3 head with red LED - While I immediately loved the heft and sturdy feel of the unit I was utterly disappointed to find the output to be almost useless (too tightly focused to use on short distance, but not bright enough for decent throw).

    The Plan:

    Being a bit of an Oveready/Moddoo fanboy and having only basic tools at hand in my current living situation I decided a L333 single mode engine with red LEDs from Lux-RC Labs would be just the right thing to spice up my KL3 while keeping assembly reasonably easy (LEDs and driver in one unit; pre-soldered connector cables available). I came up with this rather crude drawing of a heatsink that would achieve the fusion of the two:



    The Build:

    Disassembly. Now this sounds real easy, but Surefire's generous application of red loctite to all threads of the KL3s different sections turned this into the most painful exercise... ever! Countless freeze/boil cycles and two ripped rubberstrap wrenches later the job was done.

    The Heatsink. CPF member mettee kindly offered to turn the heatsink for me out of high-grade copper for a very reasonable price. The result truly exceeded my highest expectations:



    ...and is also heavier than the whole KL3 head in stock condition.

    Assembly. After some very careful sanding to smoothen the edges of the L333, light engine and optic fitted like a glove into the heatsink. The cables are routed through the 3mm hole in the heatsink and then through the two smaller holes in the KL3 head from the original wiring towards the springs at the back. The soldering spots at the springs are not very pretty, but seem to hold.

    Pictures

    Front view of my mod next to a stock KL3 head...



    Bezel ring removed:



    My mod in action!



    After two to three minutes the KL3 gets nice and toasty on the outside indicating heat is dissipated to the outside quite effectively. Unsurprisingly, the beam pattern is very similar to a Moddoo triple... just in red!
    Touch my food, feel my fork!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* bigchelis's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Wow, that is awesome.

    Love the copper outer. Adds class with mass.
    Surefire 6P with Malkoff M60 simple, bright, efficient.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic el_Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    good job! do you have pics from the inside of the KL3 empty ?

    did you keep a lense in the front ?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Flashaholic red_hackle's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by el_Pablo View Post
    do you have pics from the inside of the KL3 empty ?
    Unfortunately not - I had this great plan to keep taking pictures throughout the process, but then I got carried away making progress with my build... and forgot!

    Quote Originally Posted by el_Pablo View Post
    did you keep a lense in the front ?
    Yes, I did keep the slightly domed stock lens for now - I don't think leaving the optic and copper unprotected would be a good idea (scratches, corrosion, ...). Depending on how my build performs in practice I am contemplating a flat lens.
    Last edited by red_hackle; 05-31-2011 at 03:06 PM.
    Touch my food, feel my fork!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic el_Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Thank you.

    i really want to mod a KL3, its capable to sink to much heat!!!

    lux-tec l333 are the same board of the famous V3 from oveready right ?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    outstanding mod right there. Glad they worked out well. Looks really bright

  7. #7
    Flashaholic red_hackle's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by el_Pablo View Post
    lux-tec l333 are the same board of the famous V3 from oveready right ?
    I believe so... they are available in a variety of tints and I found them very easy to work with!
    Touch my food, feel my fork!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic red_hackle's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Quote Originally Posted by Mettee View Post
    outstanding mod right there. Glad they worked out well. Looks really bright
    Thank you - wouldn't have been possible without your help!
    Touch my food, feel my fork!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Eric242's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Wow, thatīs a great mod Gets live back into the old KL3 which still looks really really cool (almost better then the KL5 since it is a little shorter) but unfortunatelly is, as you already mentioned, something you donīt want to have on your light without any modification. I also didnīt like the output and beam of the two KL3s I had.

    Eric

  10. #10

    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but did you disassemble all pieces of the light? Including the c2m adaptor? I've been able to take out the bezel and lens with little to moderate trouble, but I'd like to get to the underside of it where the 4 phillips screws are to completely disassemble it. I'm considering heating up the kl3 in the oven at 350 to soften the loctite beyond what boiling can.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Eric242's Avatar
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    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    I managed to get the C2M part off of an KL3 (that was though) once as well as a KL5 (which wasnīt glued - lucky me). But I also kille another KL3 trying. I didnīt really care about the contents of the head (LED, driver, TIR Optic) and heated it up really good - until the TIR melted. At first just a litte, it even made the beam much much better since all the rings dissapeared, then even more until the LED was fried too. But the C2M still didnīt move a bit (even though it went through quite a few heating - freezing cycles). So if you just want the aluminum and do not care about the TIR, LED.... go ahead and heat it up. Otherwise.....be carefull.

    Eric

  12. #12

    Default Re: KL3 Mod

    Thanks Eric. I've managed to take off the bezel and tir lens which are the components that I care about the most. I could care less about the other internal components so I guess I'll go ahead and bake the darn thing. I've read that loctite red will liquify around 500F. I probably won't take it to that point but my guess is 350F to 400F should soften it up sufficiently, I hope.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

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