Install LED tail light assemblies on our 01 Ford Super duty
Looking on line for some remodel items I'm helping out with, stumbled upon LED taillights assemblies for less than half price so jumped. As much as I like LEDs, never could justify cost for aftermarket taillight housings. Actually these ended up less than replacement LED bulbs I was looking at. Though kinda excited, I ordered assuming something wrong with them and would be returning.
2 days later they arrived. Um--they are all but brand new, never installed. I've had fair to good luck ordering 'used' items, customer returns thru Amazon warehouse deals, sometimes not. But I figured for $45 if they worked worth a scratch or having to fix something=but as I said they appeared new. I tested before doing anything else and they are flawless. I'm kinda puzzled why so heavily discounted but stoked. Nuff preamble
NOT a recomendation-just what I used
Lights are Spec-D Tuning LT-F15097RLED-TM Ford F150 F250 Red Clear Led Tail Lights
When I opened the instructions my first thought was -Oh, that's why so cheap, mislabeled-they are for a F150. Got on line getting ready to return but found they are the correct part-just instructions don't list the 99-07 F250 to F550 they also fit. Cool. Liking them. Not too blingy, wish the lower reflector was also behind red lens instead of clear, looks a bit tunerish but that would be my only real dislike with the lights. Not too much different than the stock lights. They also came with resistors so they wont hyper flash with factory wiring.
One of the issues many state with these lights is the resistors were pre attached to back of light- right where the truck has a cross bar in the receiving hole. Unfortunately some cut the bar? most though figure out just remove resistor and place out of the way. My the resistors came loose in a separate bag so that's a plus. Resistors get hot so they will get mounted to truck. I did note the wires do not have any strain relief- run directly to soldered joints on boards- so don't be tweaking on them. Should be fine once installed. Second is inspecting all silicone areas ensuring they are sealing as intended. The black & yellow wires that plug into the resistors go thru a pretty large hole that isn't sealed. I drive in a lot of dust and have serious spider problem at home- I am sealing the holes- hopefully doesn't cause to overly heat.
The lights use stock plugs, the LED tail/brake plugs into socket instead of the regular bulb. The back ups though are not LED, reuses standard bulb. I was going to order replacement LED bulbs but other than cost and not really needed I want to mount
I'm mounting the resistors to the trucks body, wires are more than long enough to allow. Other pre-assembly items, I cleaned all the trucks receptacles, silicone the lights pass thru wire hole as mentioned. Also silicone where black and yellow wires enter into the plug ends. Lightly coated gaskets, terminals with dielectric grease. I also slowly, running screws in/out a bit at a time until seated, pre threaded the 2 mounting screw bosses in new light housings.
After locating where I wanted the resistors, high-dry and out of the way decided to add a screw. I really want to ensure these don't fall onto plastic light housing. The included double tape is like gooey rubber-might work. As I'm drilling moved it up as high as I could and still drill. Peeled the doubled side tape-stuck on and then set the screw. Note I did have to bend terminals to fit. Used some 3M tape to immobilize wires.
Then its just a matter of plugging light into stock receptacle, mount receptacle in housing, plug in the inline resistors, secure back up light receptacle, and mount light. Highly recommend lubing the 2 push snap in aliment pins both on light and hole in truck, makes removal way easier. Thread 2 mounting screws- SNUG until they contact, and light doesn't move but don't over tighten.
With drivers side installed eagerly tested to SEE the difference between factory incandescent and new LED.
Very bright midday sun shining on lights, factory passenger side can barley tell its on-even with the flashers. Picture doesn't really show but the new LEDS are very bright. Now were really stoked. Noted the back up also seems way more bright too but the lens isn't fluted. SO I cant say until dark if OK, brighter because lenses is clear but may not focus downward... on to passenger side
Same procedure, mount resistor,
Secure wire. Nice resistors though kind of self defeating as they 'burn' off extra power. If power savings were the real goal then changing trucks flasher to an electronic one for leds would be more beneficial. However would also need to change front signals to LED. Done
Few details turned a 30 minute job into a 2 hour but worth it. Spent some time 'playing with the new lights. Waiting till dark to really see them
'Put your eyes out kid' and this is just tail lights!
Glad I hadn't bought LED bulbs for the backups. I was concerned the non fluted lens would not direct light where needed but the internal reflectors do an amazing job. Pretty surprised, twice as bright and more shining on the ground instead of just ambient lighting stock lights put out. More happy with the amount directed out toward sides where you can see in mirror, with more shining further back.
LEDs! Hopefully they last. Kept my old housings- Though I like the look of fixtures using LEDs -reminiscent of old bubble glass reflectors, its the visual brightness and reaction time that's the real motivation. Truck power load really isn't a consideration. If any issues with new lights Ill swap LEDs into stock housings. But for now-happy camper.
Took a couple of weeks but noted the rearward reflectors- don't
The side reflectors, which I didn't like the little round reflectors behind the clear section of B/U lenses, can be seen a block away.
The rearward reflector behind top section of red lenses simply do not reflect. I can only surmise it's because they are behind red lenses?-don't know.
All I do know is I have zero rear reflectors. What fooled me is taking pictures, 3 pictures up, flash on, they do pickup on camera.
However headlights, streetlight, flashlight or any other source including the sun, they simply do not show. -
Digging thru junk dug out several old reflectors. Everything, round, oval looks like poo and stuck on. Even heated one to bend matching body contour-still looked bad. Went to auto parts for options, picked up some smaller rectangular reflectors and some reflective tape.
The smaller rectangles still looked like poo so I cut the reflective tape to fit on body behind bumper. Kinda works but depending on angle can be obscured. Resigned my self to mounting the reflectors on body. Noted the boat trailer had same small reflectors but had a frame. So pulled one of the frames off- perfect fit to new lenses.So mounted them . Briefly thought of heating shaping to mount horizontaly -looks better, just time.
Hit the flash on camera- that'll work for now. Too bad the built in reflectors only show with camera...not a happy camera.
Obviously hokey-really don't like and will pursue something else. Meantime I have reflectors. Looking around noted most of the after market taillights use a separate reflector mounted behind lenses instead of being part of the molded plastic (like stock). I assume because available in clear, smoke or red lenses, mounting a separate reflector behind solves mfg process- clear or smoke seams to work, doesnt work behind red-least these. Not sure how they received DOT certification....
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