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TED DIMON

LED Tail Lights

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Has anyone installed one of the LED tail light kits that I see advertised?  Is this a plug and play situation or is it more involved?  It seems to be a good conversion to make since my tail lights are small compared to modern vehicles.

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I'll take a shot. You have two options - either the panels sold at avanti.biz or direct replacements for the 1157 bulbs. In either case they would be a direct wireup but you would need to replace the flasher with one used with LED lights. 

If you plan to just replace the bulbs, go to Bob Johnstones website as there are some writeups there. I would also strongly suggest that you google led tail light bulb replacement as there are some nuances with bulb construction and color that will make a big difference in how bright your lights will look.

I put a set in my 54K and they are quite bright. Back then I needed to wire in resistors to use the OEM flasher but the new technology flasher should solve that issue.

Edited by Avanti83

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I did this update a few years ago. It is a board with several LED’s that you have to modify the housing and wiring to adapt. It works well but is not easily reversed. Since then, replacement bulbs are available to update without  housing modification. I would just replace the bulbs with LED units if I were to do it today.

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RQB3263 AVANTI 11 BILL GREGG...Ijust finished this mod and it is highly recommended....  However as usual mine is different.... to begin with I replaced the backup lights in the deck lid with red lenses and wired them for brake light, tail light , turn signal..... I can make the red lenses as i have a small amount of the red plastic sheet  left over....contact me...I installed 2 ...60 LED  panels in each side purchase on Amazon I believe...they are about 1 inch  x 3 inch and 2 of them fit nicely into the deck lid cavity originally backup lights....They are wired separately for tail lights and turn signals...this req running a couple wires from the left light to the right for tail/brake  and another small wire from your right turn signal.....the improvement is awesome !!!

now if you install a high intensity incandescent (2514 i believe) in the outboard regular tail light positions they will be much improved also and no need to replace signal flasher...all will work normally and very bright.....you will now be without backup lights ...buts thats another story.....RQB3263.....BILL   386-466-6434 

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RQB3263.....I tried the direct replacement automotive LED bulbs..... definitely NOT worth the $$ ....  BILL

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I took a different approach to adding tail/brake lights.  Wanting to retain the original appearance, I built LED lights that are half white, and half bi-level red.  These are 36 LED grids from superbrightleds.com  So, I still have back-up lights, but have more red. 

For the existing taillights, I used :

https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-27-smd-led-tower-bay15d-retrofit/2625/

These work well with the angled sockets, and give good omni-directional light.

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RQB3263....looks like you added a second socket ....VERY NICE....these sockets are available at Car Quest cheap,,,,

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RQB3263 Another application....

IMG_0122.jpg

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RQB3263....the above are hard wired no sockets used spade connectors....replaced sockets in outboard lights from carquest and incandescent high intensity bulbs....works fine....WRG

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6 hours ago, grobb284 said:

So, do you power the white grid only for backup, red grid for braking, or do you power both at the same time? Any photos when lit? 

The white grid functions the same as the original B/U lights.  The red grid has two levels of brightness, and functions the same as the original tail lights.  It's a little hard to photograph, but here's what it looks like.  The 1157 LED bulbs that I'm using in the original lights work very well.  There is a link to these in my post above.  FWIW, superbrightleds.com is currently running a 15% off sale on all merchandise if you use the promo code HOLIDAY17 at checkout.  I've been using their stuff for various automotive and industrial applications for years, and have been very satisfied with their quality.

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6 hours ago, wildfelr said:

RQB3263....looks like you added a second socket ....VERY NICE....these sockets are available at Car Quest cheap,,,,

Yep.  WAAAY too much time on my hands.  :D  Retirement is wonderful!

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Interesting discussion, but not quite enough info... I converted my backup lights to tail lights 3 or 4 years ago using replacement LED bulbs, but can't remember details; I like your implementations better

Jim78, if I understand correctly, you ended up with a (pair of) double-wide panels you assembled for the backup light positions; but you then had 2 bulb bases, so:

1) could you give urls to the arrays you purchased? (same question to Wildfeir).... I've been searching Amazon and SuperBrightLeds, but unable to find the arrays you used.

update... I did find this one: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-36-led-pcb-lamp-ba15s-retrofit-car/501/  ($2.88? can that be right?)

 2) how did you wire the pair of bulb bases to the Avanti harness? (eg, how did you route the wiring from the Avanti harness to the backup/tail lights?)

    

**********************************************************************

The wiring I came up with was cumbersome, far less than ideal (unfortunately I didn't take good pics of that aspect)

 

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Edited by WayneC
question on price of bulb array

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Thanks to all the contributors in this thread. I now know what I'm going to do to put tail lights in my 74 and have ordered the parts from superbrightleds. 

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RQB3263 WILDFELR ....BILL....ILL GET BACK TO YOU HERE ON THE SOURCE OF THE LED units ....maybe later today ....they were purchased for me so i dont have a receipt....later.....BILL

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RQB3263....81 AVANTI 11 BILL.....Here is the source of the my 24 LED  approx   3" x 1"...

<www.mpja.com>    item 32035 op      $4.95 ea.

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22 hours ago, WayneC said:

Interesting discussion, but not quite enough info... I converted my backup lights to tail lights 3 or 4 years ago using replacement LED bulbs, but can't remember details; I like your implementations better

Jim78, if I understand correctly, you ended up with a (pair of) double-wide panels you assembled for the backup light positions; but you then had 2 bulb bases, so:

1) could you give urls to the arrays you purchased? (same question to Wildfeir).... I've been searching Amazon and SuperBrightLeds, but unable to find the arrays you used.

update... I did find this one: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-36-led-pcb-lamp-ba15s-retrofit-car/501/  ($2.88? can that be right?)

 2) how did you wire the pair of bulb bases to the Avanti harness? (eg, how did you route the wiring from the Avanti harness to the backup/tail lights?)

    

**********************************************************************

The wiring I came up with was cumbersome, far less than ideal (unfortunately I didn't take good pics of that aspect)

 

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2_640x480.jpg.ce35d336629f93dae452a8c36d4a6de0.jpg

4_640x480.jpg.df25b8a9e28314256db1797510922797.jpg

5a318a483a571_5_640x480cropped.jpg.827177b4ad6ad420c876eae5e858f5f3.jpg

 

 

 

The single-brightness 1156 type white grid that I used is the white, 100 degree beam angle version of

https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-36-led-pcb-lamp-ba15s-retrofit-car/501/

The dual-brightness 1157 type red grid is the 100 degree beam angle version of

https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-36-led-pcb-lamp-bay15d-retrofit-car/175/#/attributes/43

It should be noted that LEDs are by nature very directional, which is why I selected the wider beam angles.  I also fabricated the bracket so that the grids are vertical when the trunk is closed (since the lenses are not).  I wired mine so that the low level red comes on with the head/park lights, and the high level comes on with the brake and/or turn signal.  In my installation, the wiring to the B/U sockets remained unchanged.  I picked up the head/park voltage at the left tail light socket and ran that to both new 1157 type sockets.  The brake/turn voltage was spliced into at each existing tail light socket.  Ground was already available at the B/U light sockets on the trunk lid.  So, I added three new wires to the existing harness going to the trunk lid.  Didn't do anything special with the new wires.  I hope that this answers your questions.

Since your installation doesn't include B/U lights, it should be much simpler.  I had questioned whether it was worth the effort to do the dual color thing, since I really don't see why one really needs B/U lights on an Avanti.  But, it became more of an engineering exercise to be "cute" and have both functions in the same housing.  If I had decided to go with red lenses and a single level of brightness (brake and turn only), it would have been a simpler matter to just plug in a red LED 1156 type bulb, and use the existing socket, wired to the respective brake/turn wires of the original tail lights.   There are a few different ways to skin that cat.

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The superbrightleds.com 1157 board used by Jim shows only 1 in stock; dunno if they just ran out or if its discontinued

Edited by WayneC

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Wow!  What a great response.  However, after digesting everyone's ideas, I think I will go with the simplest approach.  The 1157 red LED bulbs with an electronic flasher will have to do.  Anything more complicated will be way above my pay grade.  Regardless, I will have brake lights that are brighter than what I have now.

Thanks again everyone!

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Ted I would also like to make it simple.  My '83 had red lenses in the backup space that operated only as taillights.  I converted them to an 1157 bulb for tail, stop and signal light use.  People tell me that the lights appear dim from a distance.  Would you care to reflect on how yours turned out and where did you find the bulbs and particular the electronic flasher -- I assume that the electronic flasher eliminates the little converter on each bulb?

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