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Old 12-04-2003, 08:50 AM
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Brighter tail lights and blinkers

My '40 Ford pickup has stock lights all around. I am concerned about them not being seen at night. Is there a brighter bulb that could be used ?

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Old 12-04-2003, 08:57 AM
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You might try and paint the inside of your light housing white or put some aluminum foil around the inside to help,there are bright bulbs but I feel like they don't last very long.
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Old 12-04-2003, 09:37 AM
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I painted the insides of the tail lights on the 36 (I am using 39 tear drops) white after I tried bright bulbs. One of them lasted one day and would not fit tight in the socket as the 1157 did. With the white paint they are well seen from behind, I know cause I followed in another car when the wife drove the hot rod.
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:03 AM
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If you have not already done it, clean the lenses with polishing compound.The difference is "night and day".
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:23 PM
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Have you considered the LED's? A little more expensive but worth it if you don't want to get rearended. And you know if you get hit...chances are the other person won't have insurance. Here is a site for LED's. LED lamps

Kevin
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Old 12-04-2003, 02:50 PM
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go with the led lights like kevin45 said or go with din lights. there amazingly bright. ( i think there called din lights)
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:05 AM
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Be careful which LED lights you go with, they are not all created equal, some are not as bright as others.

Vince
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:18 AM
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I have a 1940 ford coupe and have experienced the same problem.

The fenders are fiberglass. I relocated the taillights lower so they are not pointing toward the sky. That helps.

I painted the housing silver and used a 1157. Not bright enough.

I tried the LED kit that has 40 LEDS and claims to fit in. The LEDs are mounted on a circuit board tightly grouped in a circle and have a socket similar to a 1157. At first I thought it was going to be the answer for only $80.00. Some problems arose.

1) The light socket had to be repositioned in the housing because of the tunnel shape of the housing.

2) The circular shape of the LED did not diffuse the light and created a round looking taillight. Ruining the beautiful chevron shape of the taillights.

3) The dual function of the LEDs at some time had stopped functioning. After later inspection cleaning, checking, etc it became clear the LEDs were blinking but very dim.

4) Called the manufacture and was told they were not under warranty. They offered me the chance to buy another set WITH NO DISCOUNT.

Finally after searching the Internet I found people are using a 2357 bulb. It is 25% brighter in brake light mode and the other filament is the same as a 1157. They do not have as long a life but they are not expensive and plug right in. I also had to reposition the socket but I did not put back to stock I have it closer to the lens. It works real good.
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:26 AM
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Evltrwin, did you run a ground from your tail light housing, mounted in the fiberglass fenders they are not grounded therefore they may be dim anyway. just my 0.02 worth.
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:56 AM
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The taillight housings are grounded properly.

The LED's worked right when first installed. I had them for 2 years. I don't know how long they had been broken. The car does not see that many miles (it snows here).

Replaced them with the 2357 and no problem with wiring.

I would not say that I would never use LED's again. Its just too much sacrifice as I pointed out. The chevron look of the lens is ruined at night and the cost is too high for product that breaks.

If I made a totally custom taillights I would reconsider LEDs but not from the same manufacture.

Last edited by evltwin; 12-05-2003 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 12-05-2003, 03:47 PM
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I saw a post or heard from a guy that cut up an old music cd or one of them AOL cd's and used it as a reflector for more light.
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Old 12-05-2003, 04:20 PM
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How about white reflector material, I was going to use it to add reflectors into my taillights

Regards
Mark
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Old 12-06-2003, 03:13 AM
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Hey, Mark

I put aluminum foil in mine with new lenses and 1157's and they are plenty bright! But just to be sure I'm getting seen, I put in these great LED's that are made to go in the bedrolls:



You can buy the Bedroll lights Here

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:01 AM
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evltwin, what was the barand name of the LED lamps you bought. I have not purchased any yet, but would very much appreciate a "heads up" on the particular brand that you had a bad experience with. If you do not feel comfortable mentioning the name brand here, I would appreciate an email.

Thanks
vince
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Old 12-08-2003, 02:59 PM
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The answer is Halogen bulbs. Bob Drake of Oregon provides these pricey, but well worth it bulbs that go right into your stock or repro tail light cans. I have been running them for at least 10 years and have some complaints that they are too bright. Ron Frances is another source, but is more costly and he sells a relay kit that supposedly extends the life of your stoplight switch. I have one of these installed on my PU, but not on the Coupe. Have not had any problems with the Coupe after four years and 26000 miles. Did not have any problems with the PU in ten years and about 100,000 miles but was rewiring anyway so....

Trees
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