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Let there be light! (June 2016)



Now that the car was running, driving, and looking good with a bumper tuck, it was time to tackle the lights.


The turn signals, parking lights, license plate lights, and one brake light didn't work.  I essentially had headlights and one brake light.


I started with the license plate lights, picked up a set of cheap LED license plate bolt lights:



They really suck to put in though.  If your current lights are in good shape, just consider putting LEDs in them.  Mine were in really bad shape, so this is the route I went.


I cut the old lights off the license plate bracket, drilled out the upper bolt holes so these would fit through, hit the bracket with a fresh coat of paint, then mounted it all up:



Then I went see if they worked, and......nothing.  Check for voltage - nothing.


Check the fuse, it's blown.  Put in another fuse and it pops when I try again.


Start checking the wiring in the trunk, and I find that a genius previous owner had connected the unused side marker light connections TOGETHER (the marker lights were removed from the car)


Unplugged them on both sides, new fuse, and they worked.  Now onto the tail lights.


One side was unplugged, there was speaker wire running from one taillight to the other and a bad attempt at trying to wire in some led strips as lights in place of the burned out sockets.


I pulled the housings out, and they were in bad shape.  Melted sockets, cracks, and poor contacts.  Decided some rewiring was in order, as well as some LED bulbs.


Bought some 1157 sockets:


I originally tried some Dorman sockets, but after mounting, found they were way too deep and couldn't fit the back on the housings.


The sockets I bought were a TIGHT fit when mounted on the top.


The 1157 is a dual filament bulb, so it allows a dual function - one filament for normal parking/tail light, other filament for brake lights.  So now instead of one brake light on each side, I now have two, and they are much brighter than stock bulbs.


I bought the following from

2x 1157-R18-T: Red dual filament tail/brake light
2x 1156-A18-T: Amber single filament turn signal
2x 1156-R18-T: Red single Filament Brake lights


I used a dremel to cut up the top socket to fit these, sanded the housing, painted them white, soldered in the wires (one to original tail light wire, one to brake light)


Why white and not silver?  White is more reflective than silver, and I also happened to have a can of white spray paint already.






Tail lights only:



Brake lights on:



I installed a new EL13 flasher and my turn signals were working again.  I also needed a new hazard switch.


The headlights will be upgraded in a future post


Updated totals:

Fuses $20.00
LED Plate Lights $7.00
LEDs $80.00
Flasher $13.00
Brake light sockets $10.00
Hazard switch $47.00
Running Total $7,338.00



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