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Brake lights too dim!


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Hello gents,   In the interest of doing my research (as some members seems to insist on), I'm here to research opinions on brake lights/tail lights.    A car buddy of mine told me this afternoon that my brake lights were very dim.

 

   Some time ago, I bought some cheapie LED 1157 bulbs from ebay in an effort to solve this problem, but as it turned out, the LEDs  were dimmer than the incandescent ones!   SO......if I got more expensive LEDs, would they be brighter? (The Auto Zone has LED 1157s for about $20 each....yikes!     Or, is there a wiring issue, as in corroded wire or weak ground?  OR, is the red lens obscuring the light, or is it just that tail lights weren't that bright in 1963?   I appreciate any constructive input on this issue.

 

   ALSO,  if I didn't already mention, the brake booster/dual master cylinder from OPG is working great, and thanks to Jim Cannon for his help as I worked through the installation and re-plumbing. 

 

Cheers from Tampa,    Rich

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OK,  now I'm learning something.  I went back out tonight after posting, and since it was dark I was able to do some tests. I used both my Riv and my 67 Newport.  The results were the same....the LED bulbs were slightly  brighter, and in both cars they would  not blink. 

 

With regards to the Riviera, both tail lights seemed just fine....I had good running lights, good turn signals, and good brake lights.   Now, this could be that it was dark, and my friend was following me this afternoon in full sunshine.  And, of course, the Riv's tail lights are small.

 

So Jan, does the turn signal flasher just plug into the same place as the stock signal flasher?  And where is that??  On the fuse block northwest of my left foot?  And Jan, I'd love to see some photos of your car in Teal Mist/Black int.  Mine is Teal Mist/white.

 

Cheers from Tampa and thanks as always to all you guys.

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The inexpensive LED’s ground themselves out. I posted an example from YouTube demonstration.

You can be the sharpest pencil in the box, BUT if you neglect a solid ground at the tail light housing you will not be the brightest bulb. Use an 1157 metal bulb socket with pigtail or solder a ground wire to the metal bulb socket for a bright light. Ground the wire to the car body. I went back to incandescent red bulbs and you can see my tail lights from your house.

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   Ditto Turbinator! A few years ago I experimented w LEDs in the taillights & instrument panel, as per discussions on this forum. The dash & console LEDs were a huge success but I had the same problem in the taillights. Before I spent more on bulbs & flasher, I decided to try the low-tech approach. I got great results from cleaning the sockets, grounding them well, & gluing sheets of mylar-type reflective material into the housings. Not quite 21st century quality, but a big difference nevertheless.

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If you haven’t, take the lenses out and clean them. Careful, they will scratch. Both inside and out. I will make a huge difference. My car sits in my garage facing East. So when I get home in the evening the afternoon sun reflects off my tail lights. More than once I have checked to be sure my lights have not been left on. I know they have not, but they reflect really well when they are clean.

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8 hours ago, RIVNIK said:

   Ditto Turbinator! A few years ago I experimented w LEDs in the taillights & instrument panel, as per discussions on this forum. The dash & console LEDs were a huge success but I had the same problem in the taillights. Before I spent more on bulbs & flasher, I decided to try the low-tech approach. I got great results from cleaning the sockets, grounding them well, & gluing sheets of mylar-type reflective material into the housings. Not quite 21st century quality, but a big difference nevertheless.

RIVNIK, thank you for idea to use the Mylar. Great idea.

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OH man,  that looks awesome Jan.  Now some outside pics!  I'll take some interior shots tomorrow and post them.  Wow the black really works nice with the Teal Mist.

 

ALSO,  thanks to everyone for your suggestions and opinions on the tail light issues.   I plan to use those suggestions and others and get this problem solved ASAP.  I have already been rear-ended twice now, with one freshly recommissioned 1969 Volvo 1800 totalled as a result. I loved that car.

 

Cheers from Tampa, and thanks again to all!

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I swapped in LEDs into my brake light housings a while back, but even that wasn't enough so I made a 3rd center brake light like modern cars have.  It is a whole strip of LEDs and it is quite bright, but during the day you don't notice it.

 

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