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Total LEDs! Well almost...


swindon_alan

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**** Note: this thread could apply in general to earlier or later Esprit models but there is some specific V8 information included ***

The continuing annoyance of noticing and replacing blown filament bulbs on vehicles is one of my pet hates. So I decided that when I got my V8 back from repair, I would have a blitz and replace all of the bulbs with LEDs and (hopefully) never have to change one again. Easier said than done! There's quite a few gotchas and if I had to remove and replace the instrument binnacle one more time I think I would have done my back in with undoing and tightening that evil bolt underneath the dash :angry:

Notes for each bulb/type below, including my source but of course there are many more sellers available! Don't forget that LEDs are "handed", you may have to take them out and rotate them 180 degrees if they don't work at first to get the anode connected to the positive feed.

Headlights and front fog lights

The "well almost" in the title refers to the headlights and fog lights, I have left them as filament style as I believe the law requires (can't retro fit HIDs either I don't think without headlamp washers and self levelling and even then probably not unless they are manufacturer's and certified blah blah?), but have upgraded the H1/H3/H4 bulbs to hi-white xenons.

External lights

Front sidelights:

10X-T10-W5W-501-194-Xenon-White-LED-Side-Interior-Number-Plate-Light-Bulb-UK

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/370763382422

Stop/tail:

2x-1157-BAY15D-T25-P21-5W-50-SMD-1206-LED-Brake-Turn-Stop-Tail-Light-Bulbs-White
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331559317624

High Level Stop Light. I decided to add one, the car is two years older than the first date required by law, went for a Carbuilder 60 LED type:

xDSC_0130.thumb.jpg.7cb61db50d0226dfe863
http://www.carbuildersolutions.com/uk/60-led-high-level-third-brake-light

I used Loose Cannon's approach to get the wires through the rear canopy and using the existing rear window demister routing, grommets etc. This saved drilling any holes. The HLSL is attached by number plate sticky pads, so everything is reversible back to original. Discretely wired into the nearside stop light inside the boot. Fitting measurements for this particular HLSL:

60_LED_HLSL_dimensions.thumb.jpg.bbb072a

DSC_0191.thumb.jpg.4f2db09a4540bc4ce9bcb

Reversing lights:

2x-BA15S-P21W-1156-382-9-LED-Car-Tail-Brake-Turn-Signal-Light-Bulb-DC-12V-White
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371278139306

Rear fog lights:

2X-1156-BA15S-13-SMD-5050-R10W-LED-White-Car-Light-Bulb-Fog-Brake-Reverse-Lamps
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111041612927

Number plate festoons:

f9c920b3-442f-4b56-ac9e-24c087a1f2d1.jpg

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271845715463

Indicators

These are something of a special case as you have to change components inside as well as externally to get them to work properly. By trial and error I got there in the end.

First up, change the indicator relay (buried in the binnacle) for a solid state one otherwise the indicators will flash like crazy because of the very low current consumption of the LEDs:

Solid_State_Flasher_Relay.thumb.JPG.c5bc

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181707664784

While the binnacle is off sort out the indicator tell tale with an LED bulb and some diodes while you are there. This stops all of your indicators working at once due to the switched polarity of the single tell tale which turns it into an effective short circuit. You can use a cheapo bridge rectifier or a pair of diodes:

Indicator_tell_tale_diodes.thumb.jpg.883

My bridge option: http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/w005-15a-silicon-bridge-rectifier-aq94c

And assembled with spade connectors to suit the original wiring:

DSC_0147.thumb.jpg.377cd26ee3aa21ee2713b

Individual diode option: 2 x http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/1n4001s-1a-silicon-rectifier-ql73q

Front & rear indicators as per rear fog lights.

Side indicator repeaters, these are quite sexy as you have a single LED facing in each direction, rather than just throwing the light out sideways:

5led10pc.jpg
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290699342297

Interior lights

Interior/bonnet/boot/doors festoon as above for number plate lights.

3W switch illumination/small tell tales. Note that the tell tales only have one sided contacts, so check the ones that you remove and snip off any surplus wire on the replacements otherwise you will blow the sidelight fuse, like I did! B****y binnacle off again!

T5_WHITE_10_ace.jpg

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351228050789

A small length of tight fitting plastic tubing is essential for getting the switch illumination bulbs out (push on) and in (twist off).

DSC_0187.thumb.jpg.2be7f85bcf95a2f7a21e8

5W instruments/HVAC panel/large tell tales/map reading lights as per front sidelights above, but frost the front of the instrument and HVAC LEDs with some coarse sandpaper otherwise you will get bright spots on the dials.

DSC_0146.thumb.jpg.e6fb019e6ad4361bc1386

ECU equipped vehicles only

This was a puzzling problem. After fitting the LEDs to the CEL, anti-lock and coolant warning tell tales they looked fine, came on and went out correctly. However, when it got dark I noticed that they were glowing slightly, very annoying. Then it dawned on me that these ones are electronically driven and not just by an on/off contact. So there is a residual low voltage being applied in the "off" state. This is not enough to illuminate a filament bulb but because LEDs take so little current it would be enough to light them up slightly. Binnacle off yet again...To fix this I soldered wirewound resistors across the LEDs in parallel:

Tell_tale_resistors.thumb.jpg.237adf0832

I won't bore anybody with the calculations but to get an equivalent voltage drop to turn them off while absorbing enough power you need the following:

3W CEL tell tale LED resistor, 3W 68 Ohm
http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/wirewound-3-watt-68-ohm-resistor-w68r

5W ABS and coolant warning tell tale LED resistors, 10W 33 Ohm
http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/wirewound-10-watt-33-ohm-resistor-h33r

Front indicator/sidelight option for S4 on (and could be applied to earlier Esprit models)

An option here is to go for LEDs for the front sidelights and indicators and also add daytime running lights: http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/78181-s4-on-front-led-drls-sidelights-and-indicators-and-elan-m100-too/

 

Illuminating!

Cheers

Alan

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I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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Hi Alan,

  A few years ago i attempted to replace my tail/brake light filament with a LED replacement,they fitted fine and worked reasonably ok if a little dim,the trouble i had was that when the lights were switched on and i was moving the abs tell tail light would come on.My take was that the abs computer sensed via the led that the light was on and therefore the car should be slowing and obviously it wasn't and faulted the system,it did take me a little while to sort that out and in the end i just replaced the led with the oe part.My question is are there better leds now that can some how work around the abs computer?

    Cheers Nick

Simplest things first.

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The combined LED brake/tail lamps I've encountered have a resistor built into them to dim the output when used for tail light. The Delco Moraine ABS ecu sees the voltage on the lamp and thinks there's a problem with the brake switch. You would need to find a LED lamp that uses different clusters for tail and brake to avoid this issue.

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Hi Alan,

  A few years ago i attempted to replace my tail/brake light filament with a LED replacement,they fitted fine and worked reasonably ok if a little dim,the trouble i had was that when the lights were switched on and i was moving the abs tell tail light would come on.My take was that the abs computer sensed via the led that the light was on and therefore the car should be slowing and obviously it wasn't and faulted the system,it did take me a little while to sort that out and in the end i just replaced the led with the oe part.My question is are there better leds now that can some how work around the abs computer?

    Cheers Nick

Interesting Nick! I was musing over why my replacements don't trigger the warning. Then I realised that the S4s has a Delco ABS system and not the Kelsey-Hayes of the V8s. Looking at the circuit diagrams for both, the difference is that the Delco has two inputs from the brake light switch, one either side. The KH only has a stop light side feed. Section JF of the service notes for your car:

S4serror.thumb.jpg.7b74af91bd9128fa75b97

Would suggest that you are right about the ABS ECU noticing something "non standard". It's interesting that it was only sensed when the sidelights were on. That would imply that the combined LED had some connectivity between the stop light side and the rear light side, with the stop light connection no longer being grounded.

Ha - sailorbob has beaten me to the punch!

The combined LED brake/tail lamps I've encountered have a resistor built into them to dim the output when used for tail light. The Delco Moraine ABS ecu sees the voltage on the lamp and thinks there's a problem with the brake switch. You would need to find a LED lamp that uses different clusters for tail and brake to avoid this issue.

Nice one Bob, I concur. Nick - why don't you try one or the type I bought or something similar? They are only a few quid and worth an experiment?

Cheers

Alan

I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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Some photos to see the final effect would be good. :thumbup:

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 10 months later...
  • Gold FFM
On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2015 at 17:26, swindon_alan said:

Interesting Nick! I was musing over why my replacements don't trigger the warning. Then I realised that the S4s has a Delco ABS system and not the Kelsey-Hayes of the V8s. Looking at the circuit diagrams for both, the difference is that the Delco has two inputs from the brake light switch, one either side. The KH only has a stop light side feed. Section JF of the service notes for your car:

S4serror.thumb.jpg.7b74af91bd9128fa75b97

Would suggest that you are right about the ABS ECU noticing something "non standard". It's interesting that it was only sensed when the sidelights were on. That would imply that the combined LED had some connectivity between the stop light side and the rear light side, with the stop light connection no longer being grounded.

Ha - sailorbob has beaten me to the punch!

Nice one Bob, I concur. Nick - why don't you try one or the type I bought or something similar? They are only a few quid and worth an experiment?

Cheers

Alan

 

Digging this one up again, if the ABS ECU is removed, I assume the ABS warning lamp would not illuminate in this instance?

Margate Exotics.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Just to resurrect and update this thread.

On my GT3 I have replaced my brake/tail light bulbs with LEDs but found, as others have done, that with the ignition on, as soon as the side lights are switched on, the ABS illuminates its warning light. (It’s a ‘97 GT3 so has the Delco ABS system)

I concur that this is because of the inner workings of the LED ‘dual’ bulb which is, in fact, only one, and that it effectively back feeds the ABS Controller through the bulb sense wire.

My instinct was to overcome this by simply adding diode in the feed to each brake light, such that power from the side light circuit could not get back to the ABS Controller. Unfortunately the forward voltage drop across the diode seems to be too much for the ABS controller which continued to show a warning.

In order to persuade the ABS Controller that there is a good circuit path to ground I have therefore also added a 4k7 resistor between the anode of the diode and the bulb’s earth wire.

This seems to do the trick.

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