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Exterior LED light conversion

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Ok, I have seen people in several threads talk about converting not only their interior bulbs over to LED but also doing all of the exterior bulbs.  Unfortunately, I have yet to actually see one done, so I decided to give it a go and swap them all over (minus the headlights of course).  It took a bit of time to try and make sure I sourced the right bulbs, but I believe I have all of the correct bulbs, as I was able to change over one full side of the truck to all LED bulbs. 

Regretfully, I ran into a small issue when doing the swap.  I found that out of my four side marker lights, one of the rears was badly rusted out, and one of the fronts had a small amount of water pooled up inside.  I tried to remove the bulb from the rusted out rear assembly, but the bulb separated from the base, and my efforts to remove the base ended up ruining it.  As for the front, I was able to remove the old bulb, dry up the moisture and install the LED.  After swapping over it tested fine (nice bright amber light), however, a few days later I noticed that the light was barely illuminating, so I went to pull the LED bulb to check it, and I cannot remove it.  It just doesn't seem to want to move at all, so I'm waiting for it to warm up a bit later this week/weekend, and then try using some WD-40 or PB Blaster to see if that may lubricate it enough to be able to remove it, and NO, I will not be turning the lights on while there is any spray lubricant in there, as I don't know how electrically conductive it is and don't want to find out.

Having gone through all of this, I am hoping that someone knows where I could source a set of side marker light assemblies (fronts and rears) so that I can simply replace them and have properly functioning side markers (I need to have them repaired/replaced before the truck has to go through NY State safety inspection, or it's automatically going to fail and will not be able to be registered).

Thanks in advance to those who've read through this far, and more so for anyone who is able to help me source a replacement set!!

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I'm sorry I cant help your search but am very interested in your led research. Any chance you could post up here the specs of the leds you have used? Sounds like a great, reliable cheap mod 

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I have successfully converted every bulb in my 620 to LED including the headlights...well except for the license plate lamp because I need to trace the wiring - but I have the bulb. Don't forget to pick up a new solid state flasher unit designed to work with LED's or your turn signals will blink too quickly and you look like a chowderhead.

 

Originally I bought bulbs from Amazon, but had lots of problems with the quality. I went back and bought everything from superbrightLEDS.com. The bulbs they list for the 620 in the vehicle finder are correct:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/vehicle/1974-nissan-620-pickup-vehicle-led-lights?make=55&model=264&year=1974

 

I buy amber LEDs for the front turn signals and front markers and red for the rear, clear for dome, backup and headlights.

 

I had the exact same problem as you with the side markers - the sockets rusted out on one and the spring was weak. I cleaned them with a small wire brush in my dremel and even added no-ox-id to the socket to increase electrical connectivity, but nothing worked so I just kept my eyes open for sidemarkers.  Checking on Ebay, it looked like the Z markers were the same and much cheaper and plentiful than 620's so I bought one, but it did not fit and the components were different.

 

It took about 6 Mos, but I ran into a guy at Eagle Rock who had a set of 4 for sale, I only needed one - so good news for you - I think I have 3 left! I'm not sure what condition they are in and I have to move a bunch of stuff in the garage to get to my 620 stash, so give me until early next week and I'll pull them down and send you pics.

 

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Edited by FrankRizzo
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RE: LED lighting draws much less power and lasts much longer than standard incandescent lighting. The lower current draw will cause what is known as hyperflashing, where the LED bulb will blink faster than the stock bulb. This can be fixed with a flasher or load resistor. Read more here.

 

This is wrong. Nissan flashers are load dependent in that the current draw through the flasher warms a bi-metallic strip that warps and breaks the connection. It cools quickly and the contacts connect and it repeats at a set rate. If you add even more load, something like trailer lights it will flash faster. LEDs draw much less power than incandescent bulbs so the flasher will either flash slower or more likely not at all. This is the reason for their use... if a bulb blows the system stops flashing. I replace all my flashers with electronic ones from wrecking yards. These are a solid state on off delay flasher that are unaffected by number of bulbs or current draw. The down side is if a bulb burns out it keeps flashing the others regardless.

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X2 on superbrightleds.com

 

Good advice on the flasher too. It is commonly overlooked.

 

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9 hours ago, FrankRizzo said:

I have successfully converted every bulb in my 620 to LED including the headlights...well except for the license plate lamp because I need to trace the wiring - but I have the bulb. Don't forget to pick up a new solid state flasher unit designed to work with LED's or your turn signals will blink too quickly and you look like a chowderhead.

 

Originally I bought bulbs from Amazon, but had lots of problems with the quality. I went back and bought everything from superbrightLEDS.com. The bulbs they list for the 620 in the vehicle finder are correct:

https://www.superbrightleds.com/vehicle/1974-nissan-620-pickup-vehicle-led-lights?make=55&model=264&year=1974

 

I buy amber LEDs for the front turn signals and front markers and red for the rear, clear for dome, backup and headlights.

 

I had the exact same problem as you with the side markers - the sockets rusted out on one and the spring was weak. I cleaned them with a small wire brush in my dremel and even added no-ox-id to the socket to increase electrical connectivity, but nothing worked so I just kept my eyes open for sidemarkers.  Checking on Ebay, it looked like the Z markers were the same and much cheaper and plentiful than 620's so I bought one, but it did not fit and the components were different.

 

It took about 6 Mos, but I ran into a guy at Eagle Rock who had a set of 4 for sale, I only needed one - so good news for you - I think I have 3 left! I'm not sure what condition they are in and I have to move a bunch of stuff in the garage to get to my 620 stash, so give me until early next week and I'll pull them down and send you pics.

 

.

 

FrankRizzo, you would be a savior if you can find them!  I haven't checked all 4 markers, but I know that I need at least one amber front and one red rear assembly.  If you want, you can send me a PM once you track them down early next week.

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good news/bad news....I have two side markers and I think one is the bad one that came off my truck. PM me your addy and I'll UPS 'em to you mid week, next week. Special bonus: you get a free Z-car side marker!!!

 

 

Edit: they are interchangeable front/rear. You have to carefully remove the black rubber gasket/housing and they are swapable.

 

 

64G54c6.jpg

Edited by FrankRizzo
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On 3/7/2019 at 10:15 AM, datzenmike said:

RE: LED lighting draws much less power and lasts much longer than standard incandescent lighting. The lower current draw will cause what is known as hyperflashing, where the LED bulb will blink faster than the stock bulb. This can be fixed with a flasher or load resistor. Read more here.

 

This is wrong. Nissan flashers are load dependent in that the current draw through the flasher warms a bi-metallic strip that warps and breaks the connection. It cools quickly and the contacts connect and it repeats at a set rate. If you add even more load, something like trailer lights it will flash faster. LEDs draw much less power than incandescent bulbs so the flasher will either flash slower or more likely not at all. This is the reason for their use... if a bulb blows the system stops flashing. I replace all my flashers with electronic ones from wrecking yards. These are a solid state on off delay flasher that are unaffected by number of bulbs or current draw. The down side is if a bulb burns out it keeps flashing the others regardless.

 

Datzenmike, do you happen to have a specific flasher model number that I can search for or know what vehicle they come from?  I purchased the flasher that superbrightleds.com had said would work for the 620 (it's a smaller red 2 pin flasher unit - basically a shrunk down version of what the 620 currently has), but unfortunately it doesn't cause the bulbs to flash at all.  For kicks and giggles I put the old big red flasher unit back in (that was working with the incandescent bulbs) and it behaves the same way.  It doesn't matter which flasher unit I use but the signal lights just stay on.  So after having changed over the fronts and rears completely (still have to sort out the side markers), I now have to manually toggle the turn signal indicator arm on and off to simulate the flashing while driving.  This should pose for an interesting drive home in the morning after work!

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Too bad info on flashers is so confusing. I have had the same problem with so-called "LED" flashers. The one's I buy come from Napa. I'd have to dig up the part number though.

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Hey guys, i had the same issue with the side markers. Rather than trying to find OEM replacements, i found LED side markers that for me fit and look nice. I didnt have to modify the mounting holes and the markers themselves are sealed to keep water out. Hopefully my links work. I plan to change them later, but i think they look ok for now. Maybe do clear on all 4 corners. 

Truck: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vLhiQoBRDQ9h7qw17

LEDs: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/marker-clearance/low-profile-peterbilt-led-truck-and-trailer-lights-6-led-side-clearance-lights-w-12-high-flux-leds-pigtail-connector/600/

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By the way, i did my front LED turn signals amber. Rear i only changed the outer bulb to LED reds. They flash fine with the stock flasher and as a bonus i get a scanning affect like the Mustangs rear tail lights when they flash and during braking. The inside bulb is still old school. 

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Ok, well I managed to get in touch with superbrightleds.com and told them that the flasher that they had recommended to me based off of the picture of my OEM unit was not causing the turn signals to flash, but to simply stay on solid.  The technician looked and found that there was another 2 pin flasher that was actually the reverse of the unit they initially recommended.  I ordered it and it arrived today.  Plugged it in and voila! I have flashing turn signal indicators now!  The only downside is that when I pull the hazard lights button, they just come on but don't flash, along with the unsatisfying fact that there is no audible turn signal clicking (minor, but hard to get used to right now).  Thankfully I don't need the 4-way flashers too often, but I'm not sure if that is something that they have to check for the yearly state inspection.

 

FrankRizzo, for the flasher you got from Amazon, do you know if it also functions for your hazard lights?  I really want to make sure that I'm not giving New York State any reason to deny the operation of the truck on their roads for any reason if I can!  I've got some time before it's due for the next yearly inspection, but I'd like to get it figured out well before crunch time.

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Wouldnt you need 2 of those flasher relays?

There should be 1 for the turn signals and a 2nd for the 4 way flashers....

Try the new flasher relay on the 4 way, should make them work too....

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I dont think Ive ever tried the flashers!! I what Crash is correct (and im sure it is) - - I need to swap that one out as well.

I'll check it soon.

Sidemarkers shipped yesterday btw.

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12 hours ago, Crashtd420 said:

Wouldnt you need 2 of those flasher relays?

There should be 1 for the turn signals and a 2nd for the 4 way flashers....

Try the new flasher relay on the 4 way, should make them work too....

I've only noticed the one flasher relay.  You're saying there's a second under the dash?  Is it close to where the first relay is located?

 

I apparently spoke a little too soon about the flasher working.  It works just fine when you don't have the park lights on, but when I left work to go home in the morning, it was dark out, so I had to have the lights on and when I was signaling, the flasher simply stayed on solid.  Spoke with SBL, and they said that I would probably have to install load resistors on each corner in order for them to possibly work.

 

FrankRizzo, I'm still curious to know if your 4 way flashers work or not, and also, can you confirm that the flasher you have actually works with the parking lights off or on?  Also, does it make that infamous turn signal clicking sound, or is it silent like the ones I've tried so far?  Thanks for shipping out the sidemarkers, the weather has been great yesterday and today, so a lot of our snow and ice is melting, but it's supposed to cool down again starting this weekend.

Edited by Spawn

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Ya there should be 2, I looked up a wiring diagram after I posted just to make sure... it shows 2....

I have a 521 so I am not sure where yours would be mounted... mine were one next to the other near the steering column....

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52 minutes ago, Crashtd420 said:

Ya there should be 2, I looked up a wiring diagram after I posted just to make sure... it shows 2....

I have a 521 so I am not sure where yours would be mounted... mine were one next to the other near the steering column....

 

I'll have to have a closer look.  It was a bit of a rat's nest of wires under there, but with the instrument cluster out, perhaps I can get a better view of any additional flasher unit hiding under there.  The one I've been dealing with was simply hanging freely down on the right hand side of the steering column, just to the side of the center of the truck.

 

Would you be able to send a copy of the wiring diagram that you used to look it up with?  I don't have one so it would be nice to see for sure.

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I just went and checked, yep the turn signals and flashers both work fine with the lights on.

There are two flasher units like Crash says, one for the turn signals and one for the 4 way flashers. I used the same relay in the Amazon link for both.

 

If this works you can hear how the click sounds:

 

uBxwUHg.mp4

 

Edit: imgur strips the sound of the video...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by FrankRizzo
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2 hours ago, FrankRizzo said:

I just went and checked, yep the turn signals and flashers both work fine with the lights on.

There are two flasher units like Crash says, one for the turn signals and one for the 4 way flashers. I used the same relay in the Amazon link for both.

 

If this works you can hear how the click sounds:

 

uBxwUHg.mp4

 

Edit: imgur strips the sound of the video...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The video worked but the sound wasn't there... Oh, now I see your edit of the post.

I did find the other flasher and then tested the LED unit in the other flasher position and it let's the 4 way flashers function. I don't think that I like not having an audible clicking for the flashers. I would really like to hear what the flasher unit you purchased from Amazon sounds like. That would let me determine if I want to return the unit I have and get ones like yours or just get a second unit like mine.

 

Edit: one thing I found interesting is that when you have the flashers on, your order most light and the dual unit beside it both flash. For mine only the second bulb over flashes. The outer most unit only lights up when I turn on the parking lights. 🤔

Edited by Spawn

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Lets see if this works better:

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by FrankRizzo
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5 minutes ago, FrankRizzo said:

Lets see if this works better:

 

 

 

 

.

That worked perfectly!  They sounds just like what I expected, so Amazon it is. You said you had to find a good ground for both of these, correct? 

Next thing to figure out is how come your outer lights flash but mine don't. Could it be year related? Mine's a 1977 long bed model,  so maybe it was wired differently, or one of the previous owners modified it incorrectly?

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I just wanted to stop in and say, Great tech thread. :) 

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