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2/10/13 12:14am - Original Message: 'LED conversion'
dyoes
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Zachary, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 L-48 Auto. Just your basic Vette. GM crate motor w/vortec heads and intake. Crane cam. Scorpion rockers, Edelbrock carb. Lots of parts still in boxes... :(

Joined: 1/27/2013
Posts: 201
I have been looking for LED tails for my '74, but have not found any that looked "stock." The pre-74 bumper rear-end cars have aftermarket units that appear mostly stock, but I couldn't find any for the later cars except for the "bubble" lenses which I don't care for.

I've made my own, if anyone is interested. Start with a submersible trailer tail from Harbor Freight ($20, currently on sale for $13).

 
 
Using a knife, carefully pry the red lens away from the unit, exposing the circuit boards and LEDs. Trim it with a dremel as shown in the pic below. You will have to trim the electrical plug on the rear, but it's self explanatory once you get into it. Run wires out of the back.

Remove your Vette's stock taillight lens in the same way you did the Harbor Freight Unit. Don't be nervous, the glue from the factory was terrible and it'll pop right off. (Bit of damage you see on mine was when I dropped it and it came apart, which was the inspiration for the conversion!) 

 
 
I used epoxy to hold it in place, then hot glue around the edges to keep in centered and act as a "shock absorber."

Using a plastic-weld 2 part epoxy, I reglued the lens back to the unit. (I hope I never have to disassemble it, because it is NOT coming back apart!!) 

 
 
Nice and bright! And looks totally stock until it lights up. Haven't put them back in the car yet, but one of them lit up a dark room with just a 9v battery as a test source.
 

I threaded the wiring leads through a grommet, and glued it in place of the standard bulb mount.

Total cost: $30, including the epoxy.

All the best, Darryl

~~~Save the Wave~~~

 
(large images converted to clickable links - Norsky)


|UPDATED|2/9/2013 9:14:27 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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2/9/13 2:14pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Outstanding! Thanks for doing a nice picture by picture explaination! ebo

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Evil Smileebo
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2/9/13 3:11pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
eldredjames Lifetime Member
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Temple City, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 Daytona Yellow. 350 / Automatic.

Joined: 10/3/2010
Posts: 361
Thanks Darryl!Thumbs Up

I hope you post a picture once you get them lit up on your car.

Jim


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2/9/13 4:03pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Great job, now the rush will be on for everyone of us to find some extra lenses so we can do that as well. I to didnt like the bubble lens but will have to give your method a try! Great instruction!
Rodney


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2/9/13 6:03pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
corvette440hp Lifetime Member
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Joined: 7/2/2006
Posts: 8205
Pretty cool...............ThanksClap

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2/9/13 7:25pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
That is somethging to look into! vI have been looking for LED taillights for my 79 for some time!
 
Barry
 
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2/10/13 3:15pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
I never realized the rubber bumper taillight lenses were glued to the housings.

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2/10/13 9:01pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
Only on 74 up!
 
Barry
 
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2/10/13 9:47pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
dyoes
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Zachary, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 L-48 Auto. Just your basic Vette. GM crate motor w/vortec heads and intake. Crane cam. Scorpion rockers, Edelbrock carb. Lots of parts still in boxes... :(

Joined: 1/27/2013
Posts: 201
One thing I forgot to mention: you'll need to change out the flasher units in the car to new, electronic units (plug and play) or the new LED lights will flash very, very fast... They don't pull enough current to make the old thermal ones work.  Or, just put a resistor in line to add current.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-x-LED-Signal-Flasher-Fix-Load-Gold-Resistor-50W-6-OHM-High-Power-Gold-/370754060996?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5652aa02c4&vxp=mtr

I think I'm going to eliminate my backup lights, and put two more of these in the rear.  Unique, but easy to change back to stock if I choose to.


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"Let them that don't want none have memories of not gettin' any."
- Brother Dave Gardner

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2/11/13 1:40am - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
ROCKRDR
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Lakeside, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Stingray

Joined: 7/23/2012
Posts: 126
I like it, I have been slowly converting mine to all led..

Great write up ..thanks


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1975 Corvette Coupe 
My first Vette.....trying to fix stuff

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https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B6uOAIjGf3cWejQ5TjNkcVRybGs/edit
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2/11/13 11:09am - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
Ron 78 Lifetime Member
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BINGHAMTON, NY - USA

Vette(s):


Joined: 7/19/2003
Posts: 3805
Ya better check with the DMV b-4 you elimanate your back up lights a lot of states say you gotta have them or they wont pass inspectionStern Smile

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2/11/13 1:28pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
knotacare
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Newark, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1968 Conv, 454HO,500HP-600TQ, TKO-600,3:70 HD rear,hotrod air, custom paint & suspension,1973 Ruby Red,T-top, 383 Stroker, TK)-500,frame off restro, 1977 Yellow (1 of 51 ) L-48 4 spd, 99% original.

Joined: 7/26/2004
Posts: 453
I installed them on my 68 2 yrs ago....they are bright and do the job.
 

Check them out here

(modified large image to link-aapple)





|UPDATED|2/11/2013 10:28:12 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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2/11/13 9:44pm - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
dyoes
Former Member
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Zachary, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 L-48 Auto. Just your basic Vette. GM crate motor w/vortec heads and intake. Crane cam. Scorpion rockers, Edelbrock carb. Lots of parts still in boxes... :(

Joined: 1/27/2013
Posts: 201
Not a problem here in Loosey-Anna. Antique cars don't need an inspection. But good advice for those that still need the sticker.

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"Let them that don't want none have memories of not gettin' any."
- Brother Dave Gardner

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2/12/13 7:19am - Reply: 'Re: LED conversion'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
Great "how to" article, thanks for posting.  North Carolina does not require back-up lights either.

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Save The Wave


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