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Old 07-27-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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DIY LED third brake light retrofit

After i saw the aftermarket LED third brake lights for the 986 I decided to make my own.

The original 986 third light only lights up in the middle portion which is nice, however i wanted mine to light up all the way and with LED technology.

 photo IMG_37961339024162.jpg


The portion that does not light up is made of the same red plastic, obviously there is no reflector behind it and is covered with silver paint which make it look good. Is still a lens with texture. The hardest part of this is removing this paint. I tried to dremel it, use paint solvent but i wanted to preserve the optical properties of this lens so i scraped the paint (while i was watching TV ) carefully with a screw driver . It is insane but is the safest.

I use a led strip, but I did not want it to look aftermarket. I want a OEM look and bright result. I use this led strip.This leds are brighter, with a wide light beam and close between each other. I bought a LED strip at Autozone originally but this LEDs where not bright enough, i am sure they are fine for other use but not for this.

 photo xenon-white-led-strip-5m-bright-5050-smd.jpg


Picture don't make justice on how it looks. All i can say is that they are brighter that the old incandescent setup and visible when is very sunny outside. Because of the nature of this led strip (Wide light beam) no reflector is necessary. The OEM lens diffuses the light and eventhoug you can see the each individual LED it looks in my opinion very good.

Happy Boxtering !!

 photo IMG_9461.jpg

 photo IMG_9459.jpg

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Old 07-27-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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Fantastic post!! Where did you buy the strip? It has leads ready for 12v?
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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Ya it looks very prof and OEM. Now the taillights look old tech- got a fix for that???
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:08 PM   #4
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Thank you!! I got this LED strip in a electronic supply here in Houston. I got 24 inches which is long enough, (it was like $35) actually i bend the tip 1/2 inch because it was to long and if you cut it you kill 3 LEDS. so basically i have one single led bended towards the inside.

Buying Online is the way to go . The picture i attached is exactly how mine look. The Surface LEDs are bigger than standard LED strips , the call them High Power Led strips.

This LED strips are always 12V, I just plug in mine.

Last edited by Manuell; 07-27-2014 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:16 PM   #5
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Thank You. I actually going to redesign the inside of the taillights using my 3D printer and high power LEDs.
I am just waiting for a forum member who generously will donate and old set of OEM Tail lights for this project so i can still drive the car while i am doing the project.


http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/53025-986-led-retrofit.html
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
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Kewl, just saw that

Manuel - what you need is the DEPO taillight. Gut them and use as solid body for your retrofit. Well if sending a brand new (3D) model to injection molding is out of the question for you, those are the ones that I'd use for prototyping. The 986's stockers are filled with ABS... you'll dremel for the rest of your life. The depo model seems to be a little bit more forgiving (you can fill them with anything really)
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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Thank you, This is a great advice and insight. I have been following your posts, Your HID projectors are fantastic. That was a magnificent execution.

I hope somebody will donate a set of taillights for the prototype, that will be awesome
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:54 PM   #8
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Manuell stop following me or don't mention, or it becomes spooky mate

Nobody donate depo tail lights. People love their depo TLs. And that is the whole idea of you using the depo tail lights. I'd say get your own they are inexpensive, for prototyping purposes it can't go any cheaper than that anyway!

Also, get some of your creations known to the 996 crowd if you care to share. Car lights matters for many tricked 996s

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:11 AM   #9
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Nice!

That brake light is great! Truly improves both appearance and function. Looks oem, but better! (Kinda like 986's headlights)
Does the housing still protect the light/LED electronics from weather/dust, or did you have to leave it open to fit the strip?
Also, could you provide specifics of the best LED strip to use, for those of us less skilled at such projects?
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:22 AM   #10
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AWESOME! Did something similar to this on my motorcycle, using a strip of led lights I mean.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenLinkage View Post
That brake light is great! Truly improves both appearance and function. Looks oem, but better! (Kinda like 986's headlights)
Does the housing still protect the light/LED electronics from weather/dust, or did you have to leave it open to fit the strip?
Also, could you provide specifics of the best LED strip to use, for those of us less skilled at such projects?
Sweet!

ebay/keywords: "Strip 5630 SMD"

You possibly won't need a full roll In any case, let me know if anyone tries to screw you. I can grab a set for you and ship your way presto. Those are made in my backyard here.

I'm 10min driving away from that famous auto-store "district". A place you wouldn't have enough of one full week to see it all It's something like 20sq/km commercial zone.... only auto parts!
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:24 AM   #12
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Comes in 3 diff modes.

TEST before put on car. Some of these products can go extremely hot and may (or not) need heat management. Careful, some are better than other..

I'd ask Manuell which ones he's been using to be on the safe side.

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Last edited by Nine8Six; 07-28-2014 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenLinkage View Post
That brake light is great! Truly improves both appearance and function. Looks oem, but better! (Kinda like 986's headlights)
Does the housing still protect the light/LED electronics from weather/dust, or did you have to leave it open to fit the strip?
Also, could you provide specifics of the best LED strip to use, for those of us less skilled at such projects?
Thank You for your kind words.

Well, there is only housing just in the middle where the old incandescent bulbs used to be. The good news is that The led strip is water and Weatherproof. I attached the LED strip to the red lens with 3M aluminum tape, after that i installed the OEM black plastic cover that is part of the third light assembly so you can obscure what it inside the third light.


About the led. Nine8Six is right. Those leds come in different sizes, SMD3528, SMD 5050 and the like, this numbers refer to the size of the LED in millimeters , the higher this number the brighter. So when you purchase your Led strip make sure you get at least 24 inches length for this project, RED color and have and LED type higher that SMD3528 which is small n and low power (the kind of stuff you find in AutoZone and is used for accent light ). A good seller will always specify the LED type.

I got this info about this LEDs if you are interested:

What is the difference between 3528 LEDs and 5050 LEDs |SMD 5050 SMD 3528

Happy Boxtering

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