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How-to: LED tail retrofit

Old 06-27-2008, 02:21 PM
  #31  
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Not to hijack this or anything, but you mentioned moving the plate, if your plate holes line up this works well. Sorry about the quality, it's a 5 year old pic, I don't even think it was a 1 megapixel camera.




Also with the LED in the tail, you could probably just drill a single white LED in the bottom of the lens to light the plate, that is how my undertail is and it's plenty bright.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:19 AM
  #32  
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I've thought about that but I'm not sure.

I think i might buy both of these and see which one I prefer....

http://www.maxxima.com/m42205wcl-specs.html





-or-

http://www.maxxima.com/LED-300CL-specs.html



I'm leaning towards the first one though but the second one looks cleaner.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:45 PM
  #33  
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I haven't installed these yet, but I liked the idea. The LEDs replace the lic plate bolts.
Attached Thumbnails How-to: LED tail retrofit-kif_0038.jpg  
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:54 PM
  #34  
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Yeah I've seen those as well. Only thing is my tag is mounted from the bottom on a hinge. I suppose I could use those and just bolt them in place of my top holes on the tag if I were to go with those on mine. Let me know how yours goes. I'd like to see pics when you get them installed and lit up.
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:54 PM
  #35  
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Will do, but it's probably weeks away. Low on my priorities. Waiting on some nuts to replace the rounded off ones on the shock linkage. They were torqued way more than 33lbs. Oh, and if you're tempted to unscrew the rearview mirror from the stalk, don't. No captive nut, a spring, washer, then nut. No way to put it back on without cutting into the plastic. Sheez!
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:17 PM
  #36  
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i might have missed it but, what did you use to seal the housing back up? just silicone or was it the nissan stuff you mentioned in the other post?

thanks
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:38 AM
  #37  
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I simply slide the red lens back over the housing and pushed it together as tight as I could. Then I reheated the housing edge until I got it soft enough that I could slide the lens onto the housing to lock in the "ribs" in the slots. Then I went around the housing edge and pushed hard to make the sealant 'squash' in the channel to make for a even tighter seal. I kept pressure on the housing edge until it was cool to the touch. After that I laid down some rubber butyl just as an extra measure for a good weathertight seal. Although I don't think its necessary if you reheat and seal the housing good as there is enough of the stock sealant to reuse and get a good reseal. It's just a preference to apply more sealant just "in case" you know .

I'm not a big fan of RTV silicone as its messy and stinks. It works and all but you need to amke sure to clean the area you're applying the silicone as it will/can come off later on a few months out. I much prefer rubber butyl as its cleaner and looks stock for the most part. Just a preference
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:44 AM
  #38  
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LOL, I guess this how-to is doing its job. A member on sportbikes.net did my mod on his CBR F3 after seeing my post.....

The F3 has a much more fluted lens so it's not as noticeable as the SH but it still came out good IMO....

Lights on....




Brake on...

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Old 07-01-2008, 11:05 PM
  #39  
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Has anyone tried experimenting with Cree, Seoul and Luxeon emitters with a driver board? They are super bright depending on the current levels you run it at.
The Cree Q5 puts out 260 lumens (white) when driven at 1000mA. The colored ones, red and amber, put out a bit less when driven at spec but it's still bright as hell.
They'd have to be mounted on a considerable heatsink, seeing as how running lights / brake lights are always on.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:18 AM
  #40  
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Hi Anto,
I'm running 2 Luxeon 3s. I made the bracket from aluminum and put thermal paste between that and the LEDs for heat transfer. There shouldn't be that much heat in the LEDs in the running light mode if you're running them at 1/4 current. However the resistor for the running light will get hotter than the one for the brake. I used 10w resistors. Here's a shot of them taken with camera flash.
This video doesn't have Hak's production value (no music), but it shows the LEDs in daylight.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ci1ngUx60k
Attached Thumbnails How-to: LED tail retrofit-cimg2176.jpg  

Last edited by Gregw; 07-02-2008 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:37 PM
  #41  
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Congrats on a great How-to! Moved to KB and stickied.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:18 AM
  #42  
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Thanks Greg. Hopefully it will help someone out if they decide to do it on here.
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:54 AM
  #43  
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Hak's the man!

I went out last night on my bike and bought pretty much the exact same LED assembly, the only difference was there being no mounting points, but I epoxyed it and it was fine.

I actually figured a way to integrate a license plate LED bar into it. I like the white LED plate lights, but most LEDs are a cool white, which looks a bit ricer to me. The new Lexus & some BMW cars have warm white LEDs, and I want that.

So I found this:


Datasheet here: http://superbrightleds.com/specs/LB3_accents.htm

Which is rated at 4500k and outputs lots of light. The website states it's not weatherproof, but I'm planning to pot the assembly with epoxy anyway. My plan was to mount it right on the bottom of the taillight assembly and route the wires through the inside. It would be perfect for the way my plate is setup as well.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:07 PM
  #44  
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Awesome find Anto! That is the same kind of lighting I am looking for on the plate. Nothing blueish but pure white like like the newer Lexus'. I've bought form them before on other LED stuff for my old car. At $4.95 you can't go wrong, even with making it waterproof later on.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:13 AM
  #45  
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ok guys, the problem is that i am a copycat. i took one look at this article and instantly said, thats what i want to do. so i did, except i have a small twist. i went to NAPA and bought a 6 inch tractor-trailer tail brake light and it has like 12 or 14 LEDs in it, all with fresnels. the thing is this unit is not a surface mount it is one of the metal hole mounts. so for $40 i got one light with a million LEDs and the rubber grommet (Crucial) and the pigtail. i went home and took my bike all apart and then i did the unthinkable, i used a coping saw and a drill to cut out almost all of the reflector. that way i could use the rubber grommet to mount the light just like in the metal side of a dump truck. as much as i liked the idea of retaining stock revertability and putting the LED on the inside of the light, i am WAY more pleased with the super clean professional look that mounting it with the rubber grommet gives it. it was a tight fit to put the light back together but if you get the glue good and warm it isn't so bad. while it is really scary to be cutting apart the $77 factory lens assembly the difficulty of the mod isnt bad. i have included a picture of me holding the lens. what you can see it the backside, of the LED with the white part being the back of the LED. these are DOT approved stop and tail lights so you cant get into any trouble. happy modding
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:24 PM
  #46  
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Here is my LED retrofit. The clear cover is only temporary. I'll keep it for a few days and then swap the OEM red one back.











Thanks to Haknslash for a cool, cheap mod.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:37 AM
  #47  
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LOL! Looks like you sacrificed your computer harddrive to wire up the tail light.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:35 AM
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Lookin' good killemall!
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:31 AM
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Installed the plate lights yesterday. They look nice, not blue tinted. To the eye it actually looks a little warmer than the lexus lights, it may just be me. I still like it better though.
I realized that even though the kelvin ratings are the same through different LED assemblies, colors can be different. That light bar was rated at 4500k. It appears to be closer toward 3000k. The high power WHP light was rated at 4500k, but looks much cooler than this.






Last edited by Anto; 07-15-2008 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:49 AM
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Looks very good to me Anto. I need to get my retro going. This halogen stuff is no fun.
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:44 PM
  #51  
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Very nice mod..... I will be doing the same. What did you use to re-seal the lens? Just a good plastic cement?
Cheers!!
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:50 PM
  #52  
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Steve, he mentioned this on the previous page. There is plenty of sealant left. Re-heat and stick the lens back in. If you want to use extra he uses the Nissan sealant.

I just did this today. Very easy. About an honest hour and you're done.

Can't believe how simple it was.

Thanks Hak, informative and simple write-up.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:34 AM
  #53  
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love that mod.
when in traffic i bet the leds stand out of the crowd.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:40 AM
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I can't tell myself, but my riding buddies say that it is ridiculously bright, which is good in my mind. This and LED turn signals should help keep me noticed from behind.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:55 PM
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Did the mod.... Very cool . Took a couple of hours,but well worth the effort.Cheers Haknslash.... You da Man!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Erik S. View Post
Steve, he mentioned this on the previous page. There is plenty of sealant left. Re-heat and stick the lens back in. If you want to use extra he uses the Nissan sealant.

I just did this today. Very easy. About an honest hour and you're done.

Can't believe how simple it was.

Thanks Hak, informative and simple write-up.
Yup you got it. There should be enough sealant but if you need more, use the Nissan butyl stuff. Very nice and OEM.

Glad you modded yours and like it. Much safer and better looking than stock for sure!

Originally Posted by steve.g View Post
Did the mod.... Very cool . Took a couple of hours,but well worth the effort.Cheers Haknslash.... You da Man!!
You're very much welcome! Glad to share.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:13 AM
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Hak, glad to see you active again.

This mod is so great, after mentioning it and showing it to my dad, he did it on his 94 VFR750, I'll have to get him to take some pictures.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:28 PM
  #58  
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I did this mod today, it worked just like the instructions said so. It was super easy, except I ran out of connectors for the wires, so I had to rig something up; because I did not want to solder them because then I would have to cut the wire in order to get the cowl off..

Next thing is to find some LED's for the license plate light.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:24 PM
  #59  
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this is a mod I am doing ASAP.... to Advanced Auto tomorrow at lunch..!
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 98ILVTR View Post
I did this mod today, it worked just like the instructions said so. It was super easy, except I ran out of connectors for the wires, so I had to rig something up; because I did not want to solder them because then I would have to cut the wire in order to get the cowl off..

Next thing is to find some LED's for the license plate light.
Glad it worked out great for you. Very simple and easy mod to do, but VERY functional in terms of being seen. Plus it just looks cool.
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