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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who have no idea what the subject line means, I have ordered parts off the 2008+ Mountaineer/Taurus X/Sable tail light configuration and will be actually committing to the project of converting my regular tail lights into some funky LED action.

Currently, this project is pretty common among Ranger and Corvette owners. The idea is a brighter, more reliable bulb that hopefully will not require replacing ever, while at the same time offering a pretty interesting appearance when the turn signals are activated or the brakes pressed. It's the same bulbs they use in the 2010+ Mustangs, which probably explains the crazy price hike of the part. It used to be $39 out of the dealership, but now it's $95. Times' a changin'.

The parts I am receiving are:
1. Two Sylvania/Osram L1224R (r for red) LED bulbs
2. Two harnesses for the L1224R bulbs
3. Two 4157 bulb sockets. The plastic piece that aligns with the tail light assembly to ensure an airtight fit will be the pieces required for the project.

Tools that I have:
- a small handsaw/blade

Tools that I don't have, and might need:
- a dremel
- glue

Patience is virtue. I'm pretty stoked. I will do periodic updates instead of one big slappity post.
 

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Good luck Tang!!!
In your overhead costs you may want to consider some capuccino coffees for a very particular guy whose assistance you will need sooner or later. :taz:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SUVord said:
Good luck Tang!!!
In your overhead costs you may want to consider some capuccino coffees for a very particular guy whose assistance you will need sooner or later. :taz:
Note taken. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update:

Connector cut-outs installed, are drying with some glue on the tail lamps.

Osram LEDs installed and tested: NO HYPERFLASH! :D

Although, without the engine running, the fusebox in the engine bay seems to tick loud when the hazards are turned on, not like I remember it...

My sister helped me with the install. Hopefully the tail lamps will be all dried after a night so that they will actually hold the bulb in place. Those bulbs are heavy with the metal heat sinks.
 

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No hyperflash? That means no resistors!!!

:yahoo:

And I love the flickering when the tail lamps are on (when "dim").

OK, now I'm REALLY interested. It looks like I'll be tackling this project as well, when I can find some time.

Thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll have some videos and pictures up when I get my camera back.

My current install is a bit crude, but, for now, it will have to do.

When on, the running lights appear dimmer than before, but when the turn signals are on or the brake is depressed.... holy light-show! I am still on the fence about whether the resulting effect is brighter though. It appear that the reflector in the middle of the Escape's assembly ruins some of the dispersement (spelling?).

The shape of the Escape's reflector causes some install issues. The heatsink of the bulb is wide and the brake reflector housing extends quite a bit backwards.

The rubber seals will be doing their job keeping moisture out like a pro, though. If you use heavy duty electrical tape for a "temporary install", you could be done with this in an hour and change.

For now, one of the adapters is good to go but the other fell off, so one bulb is attached legitimatelly and the other is held in place by a lot of electrical tape. The bulb that is legitimatelly attached points down a little bit though, so, in the future, I'm going to go back, hack away at the adapter, and likely reinstall it.
 

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Two questions:

1) There's an opening in the tail lamp reflector that allows the standard bulb to be seen from the side. Do the Osram LED lamps emit as much light from the side as a standard bulb? If not, a separate side marker might be necessary.

2) Do the heat sinks touch the body when the tail lamp is reinstalled, or is there at least some space around them?

If I do this, I'm going to use the hollowed-out-ring-from-an-extra-socket idea, since I can also connect the LED harness to the remaining plug portion of the extra socket assembly. Then the harnesses and LED bulbs can be removed and the stock bulbs reinstalled when I sell the 'scape, as if nothing was ever done to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had someone try to hollow out the socket but not only did he end up ruining it, the sockets we had were practically bulletproof.

Unfortunately, there is housing-to-heatsink contact... but not car body-to-heatsink contact. The lights have rubber protectors along the side and I'm wondering if that was its purpose.

Brightness out the side is at least 2x the original. I love walking away from my car and remote-locking the car to see the flare. It's crazy. If anything, it could also be additional reflection from the inside-portion of the reflector that amplifies the brightness. If that made sense, woohoo!

Again, videos to come... when I get my camera back.

edit: just got some pizza and took a picture on my way back in. There is definitely enough flare from the bulb itself, before you count the reflector into play. The running lights seem darker though, but that allows for a larger contrast when the brakes are applied.
 

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Here's another "I wonder".

The heat sink on these lamps can be removed, exposing the circuit board. From what I can see, there are four SMD LEDs on it.

1) Osram makes those LEDs.
2) I can get any Osram LED in their catalog, including amber.
3) I work with SMD devices all the time (see below).

Do you see where I'm going with this?

:D

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me know when to order another pair for myself, shipped to your address, with intent on front signal install. :D Perhaps another set to do a reverse bulb set. :lol:

"LEDnerds" come to mind.

Is that a picture you took of the heatsink? I didn't realize you already had a set.
(which one are the LEDs? I have my guesses)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LOOK! A video!!! :D

Unfortunately, my fancy camera doesn't have 720p... but it apparently has high frame 360p(or hopefully 480p if I can make it work).

I'll upload some pictures that my sister and I took of the install. She got some amusing me-in-action shots.

(140mb for a 1:45 long video???)
480p quality!

 

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Tang said:
LOOK! A video!!! :D

Unfortunately, my fancy camera doesn't have 720p... but it apparently has high frame 360p(or hopefully 480p if I can make it work).

I'll upload some pictures that my sister and I took of the install. She got some amusing me-in-action shots.

(140mb for a 1:45 long video???)
480p quality!

Now I want to do this!

Tang said:
Let me know when to order another pair for myself, shipped to your address, with intent on front signal install. :D Perhaps another set to do a reverse bulb set. :lol:

"LEDnerds" come to mind.

Is that a picture you took of the heatsink? I didn't realize you already had a set.
(which one are the LEDs? I have my guesses)
:D

If I take them apart and find out that changing the SMD LEDs is possible, we can do this.

And that's a photocell circuit I'm building. They turn on CFLs, LEDs, or incandescents, up to the rating of the alternistor (8A, which is about 600W). But instead of starting dim and getting brighter as the lighting gets darker, this circuit turns lights on suddenly when it gets dark enough, then it takes a little more surrounding light to shut them off (there's a Schmitt Trigger circuit inside). Only one LED is on the board (more pics later) to indicate when the circuit is off (to balance the LED inside the optocoupler that lights when the circuit is on).

Guess what else I found? If you order the Ford part number instead of looking for the model, they're still only $40 each. And the L1230R (used in the Malibu LTZ) is only $36 -- the only difference is a slightly longer center length. Check your PMs for the part number -- I don't want Google picking this up and spreading it all over the internet so Ford raises the price again.

:rant:

I may order the Ford parts today, along with two stock 2010 Escape stop/turn/tail sockets for the conversion.

I still can't believe that there's no hyperflash. That would have been the only thing keeping me from doing the conversion, since resistors would be a step backwards.

:calvin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm a little upset that I paid a premium, but I did get the tail light cut outs from the donor vehicle, and that made my life easier since dremeling the 4157 socket was a no-go.

Sounds like the L1230R might have been a better fit for the way I installed mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys. A closer inspection of the way I installed it makes me think it could be brighter if I had more of the bulb exposed to the reflector. I'm going to try a little something different. jpark's install will result in the maximum brightness, but since I have 1/8th of his tools and handiness, I have to seek alternative methods. haha :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pictures pending. Gotta let the snow melt off the car first.
 

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Actually, don't worry about it, and thanks! I think that the connector is the WPT-777, but the entire Sable harness (which also includes a connector to a 3156/3456 wedge socket and a 921/194 wedge socket) costs $3 less than the WPT-777 connector alone.

:wacko:

I was wondering if I should order the L1230R (Malibu LTZ) modules and play around with the LCL. The extra 6mm might be handy for that, and I can fix the "collar" where the LCL is optimized in the Escape's reflector. But the connector for the L1230R is a 4-pin connector (because GM uses another pin for a less sophisticated method of determining burnout), and if the rear end sticks out too far, it might not clear the tail lamp assembly opening.

So, since the 3057/3157/3457/4157's "bright" LCL is 27mm from the center, and the L1224R's LCL is 24mm (but away from radial dead center because of the optical light tube), my guess is that the L1224R was designed as a direct replacement as long as the rear plane is the same as the standard socket's rear plane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Surprisingly, that makes sense to me, and I think you're right regarding the plane/surface issue. I'm gonna have to get some reflective foil for the dead spots around the bulb in my install method. I wish I knew how to fix the fitment issue.

Strange that the costs are so weird though.

If you can manage the 4157 socket cut-off to fit the L1224R, and it ends up working and fitting alright, do you think you could do it for me? Obviously, I'll pay you for the parts and labor. I can find an alternative use for the ones I am using right now.
 
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