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Unread 10-28-2007, 11:50 AM   #1
Cobra Jeep
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My version of LED tailights (writeup, lots of pics)

Well after seeing all the nice bright LED tailights everyone has, I decided to do some of my own. I liked the LED's, and how bright they are. But, I DO NOT like the flush mount round ones everyone does. Just my personal prefrence. Not only do I not like the look, I also do not like that fact you lose your side marker, backup and tag lights. So I figured I would do it a little diffrently.
I like the stock jeep tail light the best. Plus I have some cool guards around them. With my YJ being a 93, the old ones were getting, well, old. The housings were cracked, leaked water, and had striped out lens screws. I saw all the nice replacements out there, but could not find any that were the stock style. I did finally find some at 4 wheel drive hardware, but for $70 each! I think not. I ended up scoreing a set of almost new tailights for cheap off here to replace my old ones. I said to myself, surely I could find a way to put LED's into a stock tailight housing. Well while at the local tractor supply I happened to run across some LED lights for a trailer. They have LED's for the side marker, and the drivers side has some for the tag.



They seemed pretty close the the size of the Jeep housings, only they did not have backup lights. So I picked one up to take apart to see how its made. I was wondering if I could put the guts out of it, into the Jeep housing. I took the lens off and the LED's are on a nice little one peice unit. (passenger side shown)



After taking the lens off and the old bulb out, I started the test fitting. I had to remove a clear reflector from the inside of the housing. (red circle) To allow the side marker LED's to have enough room.



After the first test fit I had to cut the corners off the LED insert (red circles) and then move the side marker LED's up one hole. (blue circle) The side marker LED's are held on with two screws, I just moved it up one hole, and used one screw.



I also had to do a little bit of trimming to the inside of the housing to get the assembly to set flush. (no pics) But the peice I had to trim was the peice that held the clear lens inside the housing. Now they sit in there nice and flush. It took a couple trys before I could get the lens to set flush.



Next came the wireing. The LED inserts have 3 wires, one for tail, one for brake/signal, and then a white one for ground. I took a pick and puled the peice out of the stock bulb socket, then cut the end off, and hooked the wires there. The white wire has a round terminal on it that will go under one of the mounting bolts. (drivers side shown)



Now I was ready to mount them and test them. They turned out real nice, and are real bright. I kinda like the look it gives the stock tailights.



Only problems I ran into was I got the tail and brake/signal wires crosed on the drivers side and had to go back and re-do them. (got in a hurry and didnt test before I crimped the wires on) I also had to get a new flasher. But all and all I am very happy with them. And I came out cheap too. The driver side light was $22, and the passenger side was $18.

Hope you enjoyed my writeup, and I will try to answer any question anyone might have.

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Unread 10-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #2
rustywrangler
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Looks good man.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 12:03 PM   #3
King03Kev
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I saw the same lights at auto parts store and was wondering if they would fit. Now I know. Nice job!
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Unread 10-28-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
timatoe
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Nice looking setup.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
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Very cool. Definitely a lot cheaper than stock-style LED lights, and they look awesome. I still plan on doing flush mounts though.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #6
Mr.B
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I like it alot. I assume you left in the stock backup lights. Is there any problem without the side reflecter in?
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Unread 10-28-2007, 02:33 PM   #7
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very nice. I will have to add that to my cool things to do list on my Jeep.
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Unread 10-28-2007, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.B
I like it alot. I assume you left in the stock backup lights. Is there any problem without the side reflecter in?
Yes, I left the backup lights alone. I have some aftermarket super bright ones. As for the side marker. Only thing I removed was a clear inner lens (shown in the pic) the outer red lens is still there. The side LED's are up aganst the red lens and are real bright. Only thing is they dont flash with the signal, but I dont see that being a problem.
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'79 Cherokee Chief, 401 MPFI fuel injection, T-18/D-20 and hydroboost. Otherwise stock.
Future mods: NV4500, NP205, high pinion D60 front and smooth bottom D60 rear, e-lockers front & rear. SOA with 35X12.50's
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Unread 10-28-2007, 11:39 PM   #9
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It's been some time since I took my tail light apart. I thought that there was a reflector/separator type thing in there for the side light, and that is what you removed. I guess there isn't one there since there is only one tail light originally.
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My Jeep

'89 XJ Laredo Bone Stock

Member:The Wrecking Crew

Ham license:
KB6(tooeasytosearch)

Everyone is Welcome
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Sanderson
You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You're dangerous and depraved, and you ought to be taken outside and shot!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beefstew
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Unread 10-30-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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The stock jeep housing had that reflector in it. You can see it in the 3rd pic. I put a red circle around it, but it didnt show up too good. The housing the LED's came in had no sutch lens. And the side marker LED's stick out to the side a little bit, as seen in the 2nd pic. So the clear lens in the stock jeep housing had to go, to allow enough room for the side marker LED's to fit in there.
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'93 YJ 4.0L, AX-15, NP-231HD/SYE, 8.8in rear, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckle/brake conversion, hydroboost. Warn M10000 winch. Hope to some day build a stroker for it.

'79 Cherokee Chief, 401 MPFI fuel injection, T-18/D-20 and hydroboost. Otherwise stock.
Future mods: NV4500, NP205, high pinion D60 front and smooth bottom D60 rear, e-lockers front & rear. SOA with 35X12.50's
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Unread 10-30-2007, 06:58 PM   #11
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looks good man
1
i have two questions,
1) is there still illumination under the driverside light for the tail light?
2) why did you have to get a new flasher?
thanks,
dave
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Unread 10-30-2007, 09:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_dj1
looks good man
1
i have two questions,
1) is there still illumination under the driverside light for the tail light?
2) why did you have to get a new flasher?
thanks,
dave
if you look in the pic youll see the back of the drivers side light has 5 leds on it they are clear to light up the plate
as for the flasher leds create less resistance and will cause the flasher to flash fast like when there is a bulb out
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Unread 10-30-2007, 09:45 PM   #13
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Very nice job COBRA JEEP
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Unread 10-31-2007, 07:51 PM   #14
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Yep, meansv100 pretty much answered it.

Thanks for the compliments!
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'93 YJ 4.0L, AX-15, NP-231HD/SYE, 8.8in rear, OME 2.5 lift, WJ knuckle/brake conversion, hydroboost. Warn M10000 winch. Hope to some day build a stroker for it.

'79 Cherokee Chief, 401 MPFI fuel injection, T-18/D-20 and hydroboost. Otherwise stock.
Future mods: NV4500, NP205, high pinion D60 front and smooth bottom D60 rear, e-lockers front & rear. SOA with 35X12.50's
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Unread 11-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #15
NewhampshireYJ
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Sweet idea im doing that tomorrow. I might try to get a small strip of leds and use it for the backup lights. They look awesome.
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