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-   -   Full led tail light swap (http://986forum.com/forums/diy-project-guides/64348-full-led-tail-light-swap.html)

fox986 11-16-2016 07:04 AM

Full led tail light swap
 
I had a brake light bulb burn out on my newly acquired 986, so I swapped all the rear bulbs with leds.
Porsche bulbs are the reverse of normal polarity (+ and -), so normal leds won't work, unless the polarity is reversed, or the leds are not polar sensitive.
Superbrightleds.com has a selection of polar non-sensitive bulbs.

I used these for brake, turn, and reverse bulbs:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-18-smd-led-tower-ba15s-retrofit-car/163/

I used these for tail/running lights:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-smd-led-tower-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/206/#/tab/Specifications

I used these for rear and side markers:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-led-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/199/#/tab/Specifications

I used this adapter to use the mini wedge style bulb for my tail/running:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/vehicle-bulb-sockets-adapters/filter/Base_Type,BA15S,1,4681:

And I also used this flasher to eliminate hyper-flash:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flashers-load-resistors/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher/782/836/

http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps1uwiiv4g.jpg

I didn't need to remove the whole tail light assembly in order to change the bulbs, there is a release to slide the bulb holder out.
In my case, the drivers side didn't want to come out easily, so I removed the housing.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psdj5of8mr.jpg

Here with the new leds in: I did not change the fog bulb because I never plan on using it (it works).
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psy2rzik8i.jpg

Here is the reverse light in comparison, the new led is on the left (drivers side), old halogen on the right.
The leds are not noticeably brighter than the old halogens, but more pure to their color. In this case, the reverse leds are in cool white.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psd1pkmpca.jpg

Here is the tail/running lights in comparison, led on left (driver).
The pics aren't the best, the camera and lighting are poor, but you can see the difference in color.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psv0z97yz3.jpg

Here's a close up of the tail/running and the rear marker lights. The led is on top.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...pszy9llrqi.jpg

Here is the brake lights in comparison. Since I couldn't press the brakes and see the lights, was just me, I took a picture of the brake lights reflection on the garage door.
The led is on the right in the picture (drivers side). Not much brighter, but red-er.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psuuq7jpn7.jpg

Here is the turn signal in comparison. Led on left (drivers).
The led turn bulb flashes instantly, as the halogen flashes with more of a delay in brightness.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psmvcchfqu.jpg

I also swapped the front side marker bulbs to amber leds.
The leds hide the amber color in the clear lens, looks cleaner.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psnvpffdxp.jpg

The top pic is the halogen, note the amber hue.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...pspwjzwsho.jpg

Meir 11-16-2016 04:19 PM

Nice job.
Did you keep the regular turn signal bulbs on the front (headlights)?

lkchris 11-16-2016 04:48 PM

Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.

fox986 11-16-2016 05:22 PM

@Meir Yes, the front turn signals are still halogen, but I plan on swapping them soon.

@lkchris Yes, the polarity is reversed. There are plenty of people who have run into this while trying to swap leds into a Porsche. Some have opted to re-wire the connector to fix this. Here's an example on this forum:
http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/38262-led-bulbs-depo-lights.html

http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psbcuueczu.png

JayG 11-16-2016 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lkchris (Post 516787)
Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.

At least for the tail lights, I believe you are incorrect for our cars. The center post is negative and the side is positive. That is why most LEDs won't work
The shell side is what is switched and the center is common.


I have no idea if other German cars are the same

particlewave 11-16-2016 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lkchris (Post 516787)
Porsche bulbs are same as all German cars and are NOT "reverse polarity."

Center post is positive, side shell is negative.

You are 100% incorrect.

Our bulbs are reverse polarity. Center post is negative.

geraintthomas 11-17-2016 12:52 AM

If you ever find your LED's aren't as bright as they should be, buy Cree LED bulbs instead. They're a little more expensive, but they are enormously bright. I've got Cree LED turn signals and they're gorgeous.

Meir 11-17-2016 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fox986 (Post 516790)
@Meir Yes, the front turn signals are still halogen, but I plan on swapping them soon.

@lkchris Yes, the polarity is reversed. There are plenty of people who have run into this while trying to swap leds into a Porsche. Some have opted to re-wire the connector to fix this. Here's an example on this forum:
http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/38262-led-bulbs-depo-lights.html

http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psbcuueczu.png

Thanks.
Reason for asking is me wondering if the relay will " behave" with 4 LED bulbs.
The link to the other thread you posted looks familiar :D
I ended up reversing polarity on the bulbs, and using resistors.
The relay I had at the time, didn't work for me.

madmodz 11-17-2016 06:43 PM

I read somewhere that the brake LEDs do not allow to the cruise control to work properly due to the voltage being much lower and the CC not picking it up when you brake.

fox986 11-17-2016 07:21 PM

@Meir I was wondering the same thing. The relay says "for LED" so I'm hoping it will behave.

@Madmodz I read that as well. I will test it and confirm.

Has anyone ever modded the rear fog lights to turn on as running lights? I've seen people wire them to brake lights, or wire them to both turn on. I think with a less bright bulb, they would bridge the gap of light between the rear marker and the running light.

Disaster 11-19-2016 02:33 AM

I tried LED's several times as straight swaps and everytime they were dimmer than the stock bulbs because they didn't light the reflector well and wasted a ton of light going in wrong directions. It looks like they've improved since the last time I tried about 4 years ago...though the brake lights still look dimmer.

One advantage of LED's, that isn't always mentioned, is their nearly instant on. We think of incandescent bulbs as instant but the reality is they ramp to brightness. The difference can yield a couple tenths of a second to react, about 18 feet at 60mph, which can mean the difference between a miss and several thousand dollars worth of damage to your bumper

LED vs. Incandescent tail lights

Quote:

Originally Posted by fox986 (Post 516724)
I had a brake light bulb burn out on my newly acquired 986, so I swapped all the rear bulbs with leds.
Porsche bulbs are the reverse of normal polarity (+ and -), so normal leds won't work, unless the polarity is reversed, or the leds are not polar sensitive.
Superbrightleds.com has a selection of polar non-sensitive bulbs.

I used these for brake, turn, and reverse bulbs:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1156-led-bulb-18-smd-led-tower-ba15s-retrofit-car/163/

I used these for tail/running lights:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-smd-led-tower-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/206/#/tab/Specifications

I used these for rear and side markers:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/miniature-wedge-base/194-led-bulb-5-led-miniature-wedge-retrofit-car/199/#/tab/Specifications

I used this adapter to use the mini wedge style bulb for my tail/running:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/vehicle-bulb-sockets-adapters/filter/Base_Type,BA15S,1,4681:

And I also used this flasher to eliminate hyper-flash:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/flashers-load-resistors/cf13gl-02-led-bulb-electronic-flasher/782/836/

http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps1uwiiv4g.jpg

I didn't need to remove the whole tail light assembly in order to change the bulbs, there is a release to slide the bulb holder out.
In my case, the drivers side didn't want to come out easily, so I removed the housing.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psdj5of8mr.jpg

Here with the new leds in: I did not change the fog bulb because I never plan on using it (it works).
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psy2rzik8i.jpg

Here is the reverse light in comparison, the new led is on the left (drivers side), old halogen on the right.
The leds are not noticeably brighter than the old halogens, but more pure to their color. In this case, the reverse leds are in cool white.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psd1pkmpca.jpg

Here is the tail/running lights in comparison, led on left (driver).
The pics aren't the best, the camera and lighting are poor, but you can see the difference in color.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psv0z97yz3.jpg

Here's a close up of the tail/running and the rear marker lights. The led is on top.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...pszy9llrqi.jpg

Here is the brake lights in comparison. Since I couldn't press the brakes and see the lights, was just me, I took a picture of the brake lights reflection on the garage door.
The led is on the right in the picture (drivers side). Not much brighter, but red-er.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psuuq7jpn7.jpg

Here is the turn signal in comparison. Led on left (drivers).
The led turn bulb flashes instantly, as the halogen flashes with more of a delay in brightness.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psmvcchfqu.jpg

I also swapped the front side marker bulbs to amber leds.
The leds hide the amber color in the clear lens, looks cleaner.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...psnvpffdxp.jpg

The top pic is the halogen, note the amber hue.
http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/a...pspwjzwsho.jpg


Dubaday 01-11-2017 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fox986 (Post 516916)
@Meir I was wondering the same thing. The relay says "for LED" so I'm hoping it will behave.

Has this relay been working for you? I have LED's for my side markers and they seem to blink uncontrollably. I'm wondering if this will fix it.

Thank you,
Randy

WorkInProgressK 01-11-2017 12:08 PM

About the blinking uncontrollably.

Grab the old bulb and measure the resistance across the poles. Now measure the new bulbs resistance. Now you have two choices. Add the resistance in series and in parallel.
The type of circuit will define the resistance needed. If I remember correctly series is additions x=y+z and parallel is 1/x=1/y+1/z. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The reason why it blinks is that most flashers are Amperage sensitive. Have very low resistance causes the amperage of the circuit to skyrocket requiring the circuit to reset more often. Now knowing that you could fine tune your blinkers to your taste by switching resistances. Now what I don't know is if the left and right sides are on the same circuit and if they are, when you are in double. you could in theory make them blink at different speed, but I would imagine its one circuit.

Dubaday 01-11-2017 01:42 PM

Sorry, I don't understand much when it comes to currents/electricity and how they work.
I'm so confused :confused:

All I know is that about 5 months ago, one of my bulbs for the side marker went out, so I replaced both side markers with LED bulbs.
Also changed out my dome and door lights with LED bulbs as well.
Everything seemed to work fine until just last weekend, I noticed my side markers pulsating like a disco ball.

I'm wondering if it's the bulb going bad, or is it the lack of me not changing the relay to compensate for the LED replacements...

Quote:

Originally Posted by WorkInProgressK (Post 522320)
About the blinking uncontrollably.

Grab the old bulb and measure the resistance across the poles. Now measure the new bulbs resistance. Now you have two choices. Add the resistance in series and in parallel.
The type of circuit will define the resistance needed. If I remember correctly series is additions x=y+z and parallel is 1/x=1/y+1/z. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The reason why it blinks is that most flashers are Amperage sensitive. Have very low resistance causes the amperage of the circuit to skyrocket requiring the circuit to reset more often. Now knowing that you could fine tune your blinkers to your taste by switching resistances. Now what I don't know is if the left and right sides are on the same circuit and if they are, when you are in double. you could in theory make them blink at different speed, but I would imagine its one circuit.


lkchris 01-11-2017 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by particlewave (Post 516797)
You are 100% incorrect.

Our bulbs are reverse polarity. Center post is negative.

It's not the bulbs that are different, it's the bulb holder.

But yes, not much help ... sorry.

particlewave 01-11-2017 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lkchris (Post 522335)
It's not the bulbs that are different, it's the bulb holder.

But yes, not much help ... sorry.

Incandescent bulbs don't have a polarity, but this thread is not discussing incandescent bulbs. ;)

WorkInProgressK 01-11-2017 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dubaday (Post 522333)
Sorry, I don't understand much when it comes to currents/electricity and how they work.
I'm so confused :confused:

All I know is that about 5 months ago, one of my bulbs for the side marker went out, so I replaced both side markers with LED bulbs.
Also changed out my dome and door lights with LED bulbs as well.
Everything seemed to work fine until just last weekend, I noticed my side markers pulsating like a disco ball.

I'm wondering if it's the bulb going bad, or is it the lack of me not changing the relay to compensate for the LED replacements...

No worries. The relay is fine, its the local circuit that needs more load.

You need to use an filament bulb. LED bulbs have a 50% chance of working and if they work they work incorrectly for the use most of the time.

LED Light emitting diodes act like a "light emitting" check valve. Filament bulbs work like a water dam. LEDs don't restrict, filaments do. Now your issue is that you don't restrict the current enough. This is where most of the time you need something custom.

particlewave 01-11-2017 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WorkInProgressK (Post 522344)
No worries. The relay is fine, its the local circuit that needs more load.

You need to use an filament bulb. LED bulbs have a 50% chance of working and if they work they work incorrectly for the use most of the time.

LED Light emitting diodes act like a "light emitting" check valve. Filament bulbs work like a water dam. LEDs don't restrict, filaments do. Now your issue is that you don't restrict the current enough. This is where most of the time you need something custom.

That's what power resistors are for.
Add them in parallel only. A series connection will dim an LED bulb that is already designed for 12V use.

Side markers on this car do not function as blinkers, so the point is moot. There is no relay and it's not a turn signal. Dubaday has a failing LED side marker that is flickering. A resistor will not fix that.

Dubaday 01-11-2017 09:28 PM

replacing them with a new one did the trick
(old one top, new on bottom)
http://986forum.com/forums/uploads02...1484201611.jpg
http://986forum.com/forums/uploads02...1484201596.jpg
http://986forum.com/forums/uploads02...1484202403.jpg

:o :cheers:


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