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How to install LED lights in Avanti tail lights

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  • Electrical: How to install LED lights in Avanti tail lights

    I`ve been restoring my Avanti for the last year and a half, and when I was installing the tail lights I realized how dim they were. I had seen the LED replacements for sale so I thought I would give them a try. Here is how the lights looked with the old #1157 bulbs. And yes, I fixed the gasket.
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    And this is how they looked with the LEDs

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    Here`s what you get.

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    After removing the tail lights, Remove the lens.

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    Then turn the housing over. There are two bosses that the screws were in, using a 1/8" drill bit drill thru the one opposite the one with the white reflector. The directions recommend using a 7/64" drill bit, but a 1/8" works better.

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    This is where the hole comes out in the housing.
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    Then ,using a Dremmel tool with a cutting disc, cut a slot in the housing about 1/2" up from the bottom of the housing and about 1/4" wide in the side with the reflector.

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    Next put a dab of silicone sealer in the slot you cut and insert the circuit board in the slot. Put the supplied screw thru the board on the other end and install the plastic spacer between the board and housing and screw it in.

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    Now just reinstall the lights in the car and you`re done.

  • #2
    Looks Great. What/who is the source of the light strips?
    thx
    64 GT Hawk (K7)
    1970 Avanti (R3)

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    • #3
      Looks good. Quite a difference.

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      • #4
        ]
        Originally posted by 64V-K7 View Post
        Looks Great. What/who is the source of the light strips?
        thx
        I got them from http://www.avantiparts.biz

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        • #5
          I like them, you'll see them on my 74. Thanks for the post.

          Bob

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          • #6
            That's all well and good, but leds are pretty directional, and not very visable from the side, or even several degrees off axis (from directly behind). Also you WILL HAVE to replace the mechanical turn signal flasher with an electronic one. There are newer CREE LEDs that are much much brighter than and array of these.
            Bez Auto Alchemy
            573-318-8948
            http://bezautoalchemy.com


            "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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            • #7
              Brad, I expect you mean CREE replacements for the 1157 bulbs? Have you tried them? I expect you would still need the electronic flasher?

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              • #8
                I have those same LED boards in my Avanti and I mounted them at a slight outboard angle so they would be viewable from the side. They work quite well. I didn't change the flasher unit (at first) as they flashed normally...but who knows what kind of flasher unit was installed? I ended up changing the flasher anyway as I wanted a loud flasher.

                I just mounted an LED center mounted third brake light in the back glass as well. It works well but I haven't taken any photos of it yet. Since Avantis have the same lights do triple-duty...running lights, brake lights and turn signals, I had two ways to wire it...either use a logic board in line to keep the functions separate or wire the third brake light directly to the brake light switch. I chose the brake light switch. It was a bit more work but a better way to do it.
                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                  That's all well and good, but leds are pretty directional, and not very visable from the side, or even several degrees off axis (from directly behind). Also you WILL HAVE to replace the mechanical turn signal flasher with an electronic one. There are newer CREE LEDs that are much much brighter than and array of these.
                  The directional issue is very true for LED bulbs that replace the incandescents, but Bob Ziff has addressed that problem with his LEDs. He has been making and selling these for a long time.
                  I tried LED bulbs in my '84 Avanti and they weren't satisfactory at all. They are bright if you lie on the ground behind the car, but not so bright from the view of a driver behind you. The second problem with them was the extra brightness you get when braking or turn signaling with an incandescent isn't there with the LED. Daytime is fair, but with the taillights on you can barely tell they are flashing.
                  I didn't have to change the flasher on my car, but I never even checked to see if it was electronic or mechanical.
                  Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                  '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                  • #10
                    I haven't found any replacements in the brighter LEDs . They should be available, but I haven't found them. it takes a multi angle array to diffuse in all directions. The reason Ziffs works (well) is because of the reflection off of the inside of the chrome housing.
                    Bez Auto Alchemy
                    573-318-8948
                    http://bezautoalchemy.com


                    "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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