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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to replace the tail light bulb in my coupe today and as always I did photo documentation and thought I would share with my friends on the forum.

The process is not as difficult as some may have you believe. It took me an hour and that was with picture taking and some OCD cleaning. The most time consuming part was removing the snap connectors for the wheel well liner. I was worried I might break the connector tabs on the carbon tail section. That being said here we go ....





Hope this helps. It also came to my attention when I went to the dealer to purchase the replacement bulb that their documentation was incorrect. It said the bulb replacement was a 3757NA (amber bulb) actually should be 3157LL or 3157K.
 

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I'm sure this will be useful one day, thanks. Crazy tech writeup for a bulb, sheesh. I guess I should be thankful the gas tank does not need dropping.

On a side note, you probably should not handle the bulb with fingers, unless you wiped it with a cleaning solution on install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good point Shadow, actually had latex gloves on during process. This is the old bulb in the photo. Posted it so people can see it calls for 3157K as called for in owners manual. Dealer only had a 3157LL, tech said the LL stand for Long Life. it was 10.00, local parts store only had 3157 (2.98 for two), no K or LL. Guess we will have to see how long it lasts.
 

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Can get LED replacement bulb that may make this a 1 time change ?!
MPinkston great job on procedure! Thanks!

LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you need it I got an engine light a few weeks ago, hooked up my OBD2 and fired up Torque on my Droid and found out it was a P00013 error which shows a faulty Intake or Exhaust solenoid. So I posted a photo doc. You can find it here:

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f12/camshaft-actuator-solenoid-74665/

I also posted one on changing the oil with recommendations on oil filter,
 

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LJ I read somewhere that the LED bulbs make the signal blink faster, I seriously thought about that and figured I may have to swap both rear bulbs out.
yea, not that I pay much attention to electrics, just not my thing, but I know with the Bronco forum changing out to LED's requires a solenoid? change as well, not just plug and play I don't think.

That said, I'd have to check my bulb specs again but I believe the Bronco uses 3157's, so these would be available anywhere for cheap (advantage to using parts that are needed by a vehicle model produced for decades and that sold a million plus every year).

Now if it didn't take an hour for changeout we'd be good.:thumbs:
 

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yea, not that I pay much attention to electrics, just not my thing, but I know with the Bronco forum changing out to LED's requires a solenoid? change as well, not just plug and play I don't think.

That said, I'd have to check my bulb specs again but I believe the Bronco uses 3157's, so these would be available anywhere for cheap (advantage to using parts that are needed by a vehicle model produced for decades and that sold a million plus every year).

Now if it didn't take an hour for changeout we'd be good.:thumbs:
The turn / tail light bulbs are managed and powered by the BCM. The BCM uses software to generate a square wave voltage to the turns that causes the flashing. When the BCM senses a load lower than the expected value resultilng from two bulbs (front and rear) it interprets that as a failed light. It tells the driver that a light has failed by increasing the flash rate. A flast flash is "bulb burned out" attention getter.

When you install an LED bulb, the load is considerably lower than for a standard incandescent bulb. To fool the BCM into sensing a normal condition, a load resister is placed across the LED light to provide the proper resistive load signal to the BCM. It is a very easy process. Once you install the load resister you can use LED bulbs in that circuit and get a normal flash rate.

I have the whole process and pictures in my thread.

For lights that do not flash, like fogs and backup lights, there is no flashing and you do not need the load resister.:thumbs:

The advantages are a light bulb that is essentially good for the life of the car and in many cases a brighter light.

Here is another reference that may be of interest

http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f114/resistor-spider-led-tail-lights-74808/
 

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Agree with everything above, except:

The advantages are a light bulb that is essentially good for the life of the car and in many cases a brighter light.
MOST IF NOT ALL replacement LEDs you can get for your car are dimmer (often MUCH dimmer) than the factory bulb they are supposed to replace. Even the expensive (marketed as) "Cree" hi-po bulbs are barely as bright, and even then, only in a limited throw angle. For that reason I would not recommend getting plug and play LED bulbs for your car.

This is why I went to considerable effort to construct custom LED installations for all my lights... to get the full brightness required for safety, at the same dispersion angle as the originals.
 

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Thanks for the photo how to. It's hard to believe replacing a tail light would be this involved. A couple visible screws in the taillight lens would not bother me.

The battery looks to be a lot of trouble also.
LJ
 

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Thank you - this is a prime example of what I discussed above... why NOT to get LEDs!

Even though this LED bulb might be bright from directly behind the car, it has NO 'side throw' of light. Your taillights will be dim from a 3/4's angle or from the side and you may not be seen. Especially in times of poorer visibility. Also, people behind you will only see a bright 'dot' of light. The reflector area will not be filled-in. Just don't do it!
 

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yeah, it's just like thise LED flashlights. they are blinding if you look at them from dead on but they don't light up the area you are trying to see worth a damn. the standard bulb is the way to go on that.
 

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Agree with everything above, except:



MOST IF NOT ALL replacement LEDs you can get for your car are dimmer (often MUCH dimmer) than the factory bulb they are supposed to replace. Even the expensive (marketed as) "Cree" hi-po bulbs are barely as bright, and even then, only in a limited throw angle. For that reason I would not recommend getting plug and play LED bulbs for your car.

This is why I went to considerable effort to construct custom LED installations for all my lights... to get the full brightness required for safety, at the same dispersion angle as the originals.
Oh no. Mine a SIGNIFICANTLY brighter. I had one LED and one incandescent against the garage door when I first installed them.

I got red spider style LEDs and am VERY happy
 

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Great write up and pictorial!

Us guys in the old Opel world have been swapping out our bulbs for LEDs for a while now. My Opels all have the 47 LED 1156/1157 bulbs. They are so bright it looks like the lenses are on fire. As Rob said, you need to add a load resistor across the terminals or you'll have issues. On old Opels you get the "double flash" of both of the right/left indicators on the dash simultaneously, but the bulbs at the lenses blink normally and only on the side you have activated, so it's merely an annoyance when looking at your dash.

So, what is the symptom we get on our Solstii? Dim blinking of the actual bulb? Slow blinking?

I would like to change out the rear turn and park bulbs for maximum visibility, what are the bulb numbers and has anyone found what/where the maximum number of LED's per bulb are? I buy all my LEDs from Superbright(brite?)
 

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Well, I'll be the test subject for these. I just bought two of these and a pair of load resistors:

http://classic.superbrightleds.com/...ion-45-smd-led-tower-wedge-retrofit-car/903/#

I'm a big fan of the LED bulbs and have them in my Opels. The "good" ones have 40+ LED's, I use 45 LED 1157/1156 bulbs and they are easily 2-3 times brighter, from ALL angles, than the incandescents. I wasn't happy with the brightness of my Coupe's rear lighting, especially when compared to my Opel, so I've been wanting to make this purchase for a while now.

I'll give you guys before and after pics.
 
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