Okay, first things first... I spent a lot of time researching, until I found all the information and materials for this unexpensive L.E.D. tail light conversion. It took a lot of trial and error as well, but I am trying to save you this time and effort and let you create and enjoy your own style (or use one of mine) so that more 3/S cars get updated and more owners be happy!
You can leave your diffuser in the tail light or remove it, depending on what your design is.
- For the round tails I used these L.E.D. circles:
2X 60mm Red 15 LEDs SMD Angel Eyes Car Head Light Halo Rings AC257 | eBay
I used 80mm for the outside circles and 60mm for the inside circles. For the turning signal part of the tails you will need to use 75mm or 70mm for the outer circles. The outer circles in the main cluster of the tails are for running lights (dimmer) and brakes (brighter). The inner circles in the main cluster are only for brakes (always bright). The outside circle in the turning signal part of the tails is only for turning signal so it has only the bright function. The inner circle in that part of the tail light is for running lights (dimmer) and for turning signal (bright). I also wanted my tails to look a certain way during the day when they are off, so I used Sharpie to color the inside circles (save the L.E.D.s themselves) in the main cluster and the outside circles in the corner cluster black. You don't have to do it the way I did, I am just letting you know how I did mine. Initially, I used a plastic piece, covered in Din Nok 3D carbon fiber vinyl in place of the diffusers for the round tail light conversion, but later on installed the diffuser underneath the plastic piece, because I was having hard time attaching the plastic piece to the housing well.
- For the Lambo style tails I used these L.E.D. strips (you can use those also for the Audi style tails and other patterns you may create):
For the turning signal (along the top contour of the tails):
LED Waterproof Red x 1 Strip 30cm Car Bike Boat Flexible Grill Aquarium 12V | eBay
For the running lights and the turning signal that is in the corner of the tails (you can cut those to the desired lenght, three L.E.D.s at a time, starting from the back):
5X New Car 24cm 9 44" Red 24 LED Bulb Flexible Lights Strip | eBay
- For fixing the fast blink of the turning signals and for avoiding a warning light on the dash from coming on and some other possible issues, I used these resistors:
Car Load Resistor Fix LED Bulb Fast Flash Controller Turn Signal 50 Watt 6 Ohm | eBay
You will need to use those for all the lights (running, brake and turning signal). The best thing to do is to connect them to the wiring harness of the tails that comes from the car. Splice them inside the tail light bed, before the wires branch out so that one resistor could cover all running lights, all brake lights and the turning signal for each tail light. That way, you will end up using three resistors per tail light in total. You will have to find a way to attach those away from the wires, because they get really hot and might melt the wires or anything plastic that touches them. I screwd them to the white piece that holds the corner quarter panels over the tail lights.
- To achieve the double function for the L.E.D.s, I used the following diodes and resistors:
100 x 1N4007 1A 1000V Rectifier Diode 4 Days Delivery | eBay
Axial Carbon Film Resistor 220 Ohm 1 4W Watt 5 X50pcs | eBay
- For connecting of the tails to the car's wiring, I used the following bayonets:
New 1157 Wire Male Plug with 3 Wires Dual Contact 1P | eBay
- For attaching the L.E.D.s to the inside of the tails, I used a plastic piece covered in DinNok 3D carbon fiber vinyl, such as this one:
12" x 60" Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap 3D Professional Grade Bubble Free Air Release | eBay
- Here is how you achieve the double function for the L.E.D.s:
Rear Running Lights Mod Bareass Choppers Motorcycle Tech Pages
- To bake the tails, preheat the oven on 275F and bake one tail at a time for about 5-7 minutes. After you get the tail out of the oven, use a flat head screw driver to pry out the lens from the housing. First, pry out the main lens and after that pry out the corner light lens. When you are installing back the lenses, first install the corner lens and then the main one. Be careful not to brake the lens. If for some reason the glue hasn't softened enough to easily pry our the lens, stick the tail in the oven for a little bit longer and try again. Do not forget the tail in the oven, because that would melt the lens. Do one tail at a time and do not rush. Reheat the tail as needed if the glue hardens before you could completely pry the lens out (unlikely). Also, remove the diffuser while the tail light is still hot and the glue is stretchy... I routed the wires between the diffuser and the part where it meets the housing, instead of drilling holes in it.
After you have done all the work inside the tail, test it on the car to make sure it operates the way you want it to and after that put the lens back on top (corner lense first) and stick the tail back in the oven to heat up the glue so you can then reseat the lens in its original spot. I suggest that you also use some clear silicone or something else to seal around the edges and the little holes on the housing, where the lens' tabs fit in. Do that after the stock glue has hardened and the lens is seated permanently. For the Lambo style pattern, make sure that you place the horizontal L.E.D. strip exactly between the two reflectors on the red lens or you will get a dimmer and distorted light in that area. Enjoy your awesome L.E.D. tails and buy me a beer when you see me in a 3/S meet one day...
If you have any questions, let me know and I will try to help you out as good as I can.