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Old 08-08-2010, 10:28 PM
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Exchanging 1157 bulbs for LED?

I have seen some rear tail lights LED type, that have been advertised as a direct replacement for the old style lights for a 65 mustang. They indicate there is an 1157 connector implying that you can just swap these out, plug the wire from the new LED into your existing wiring, and everything is going to be wonderful.

Can you do this without any further modification of the electrical system?

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Old 08-09-2010, 06:24 AM
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You will probably have to add a resistor to have directionals as the current draw will probably not allow the flasher to work. About 3/4's of the way down the attached page you will find "dummy load". They work as I have them in my car:

http://www.watsons-streetworks.com/leds_taillights.html
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:37 AM
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The other option would be to use an electronic flasher unit with them. I like the electronic flashers, especially for use when towing, because even with the trailer hooked up, the blinking speed stays the same.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:37 AM
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flasher for T I

With the older design flasher systems as stated the resistance of the bulb filliments must be matched to the components used. When a light bulb filiment burns out or you had a poor ground the flasher did not work properly. either not flashing at all or flashing slowly and you were supposed to know to check out your system. Using a trailer tow rated flasher or 3 prong flashers or electronic flasher, your dash indicator lights will flash normally even when you don't have any of the front or rear lights flashings. When you convert to the new system you should increase the frequency of your regular light check-safety check you do on your vehicle. Before backing out of the garage it is easy to check when you see the lights working. A friend was a pilot and had a laminated check list he went thru every time before we flew anywhere. He also had a mental list of everything he checkes before driving his vehicles.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:33 AM
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I would be interested in knowing if the LED 1157 direct replacements really enhance visibility and brightness. I've had some experience with LEDs in electronic applications. The typical LED 'bulb' used in automotive applications are made up of multiple individual LEDs. I have a concern that the size limitations of an 1157 package would not allow enough individual LEDs to make much of a difference. Night operations shouldn't be an issue. In such a small package, I would want to know what the viewing angle limitations are, and how they perform when looking straight at them with the sun behind your back - in other words can that car coming up behind you really see your brake lights when the bright sun is behind you (sunlight washout ). I talked to one guy who said he had to change the lens in his lights to get the brightness he wanted - said the white LED was bright enough to make his brake lights look 'pink' through the stock red lens, and had to go to clear lenses with a red led bulb to make it work to his satisfaction.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:28 AM
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If you are talking about those that just install in the 1157 socket ..... do not waste your $$$ . The 1157 bulbs are better, to me leds do not belong on a vintage hotrod, too modern .
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:15 AM
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I decided to go with the LEDs on my '31 after a very close encounter with a '40 Ford sedan a couple of years ago at NSRA York. The car had blue dots in the OEM fender mount lights. The guy stopped and came within a foot of having the front bumper of my F350 4x4 Off Road version (high bumpers!!)embedded in his trunk lid. The blue dots along with the 1157s were about the brightness of a candle and could hardly be seen on a bright and sunny day.

Now a hijack - while blue dots are 'status' and look nice (I guess)I really dislike what they do to taillight brightness. But that's for another discussion.

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Old 08-09-2010, 12:43 PM
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viewing angle

I have noticed that delivery trucks with LEDtail lites. have poor side viewing brightness. a couple of weeks ago 2 box van trucks were side by side..the one in front of me put on his brakes, I thought he was going to make a left turn so I signaled and moved to the right lane.I was Half way over before I could see the one in the right lane also has brakes lites on. very poor viewing angle of the New lites
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