LED Taillights… a long time coming.

I finally got around to installing LED taillights in the Javelin this weekend.  This is something I’ve been thinking of for years and even experimented with building my own LED board about 5 years ago. I just never followed through and finished the job.  But, twice this year at the track people have come up to me after a session and said my brake lights weren’t working.  I would then have someone get in the car and press the brake pedal and they would light up.  They were pretty dim though.  I chalked it up to the lights not showing up well on a bright sunny day. So one of the things on my list for Laguna was to get the brake lights brighter and I decided that it was time to get LEDs in there.  Well, in the course of doing this mod I discovered that the reason the brake lights were so dim was that I had REVERSED the park and brake leads to the taillights.  LAME…  If I had just wired it up right the first time the brake lights would have been plenty bright enough even on the sunniest off days.  But, I didn’t figure this out until I had already finished swapping the drivers side over to LEDs.  At that point I had bought all the parts already so I just went ahead and finished the passenger side.

I thought long and hard about how to mount them and finally decided to hang the units in a simple panel that would be sandwiched between the housing and the lens. The nice thing about this approach is there is absolutely no modification to the stock housing. Not even a screw hole added…

The front turn signals are already using LED bulbs.  With the rears now converted to LEDs it meant the stock flasher no longer worked.  Flashers need to see an electrical load and LEDs draw so little current that a regular flasher won’t work.  So I ordered and LED flasher.  The next problem was that the LED flasher was SQUARE and the socket that is built into the fuse panel is ROUND.  So I had to break out the dremel tool and cut away part of the circular cup so the square flasher would fit.  That only took a couple of minutes and with the obstructing plastic removed I could plug the flasher right in.  Pics below tell the story.  Plus I shot a little video to test all the functions of the lights.  Oh, I got the LED lights and the LED flasher from superbright LEDs.

1973 Javelin-street, Electrical, video


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *