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I'm considering replacing the light bulbs in my '88 Spider with LED's, to increase the brightness of the dash cluster lights, and possibly the exterior running lights as well.

When I talked with one of the companies, they suggested I consider replacing the "Flasher" relay to ensure they operate correctly. I've looked at the ones they sell, and either I'm missing something or just blind, but I don't find any of their relays that seem to match the"pins" of the original relay.

So any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I'm in the final stages of a ground up restoration and want to get her on the road before the summer passes.
 

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just my opinion and taste: I tried many times LEDs for dashes , interior lighting, even for the turn signals, etc. Leds, were from different sourses, too. Well, really freaky results...very bad feeling, nothing to compare with the original.
However, if you wanna do it anyway it is your choice, of course. Try first with some and check the light appearence. As for the flasher unit it must have a different connections layout tahn the original anyway and you need to have in hand its connections diagramm.
 

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If you don't want to mess with rewiring the flasher unit harness, I'm fairly certain that some of the LED places offer an in~line resistor that pops in behind the bulb or nearby that allows the use of the factory flasher unit.
It's even possible to get a LED that has the appropriate resistors built right into it so no messing with flasher unit or wiring is neccisary. Literally swap the bulbs is all that's needed.

That being said, turn signals would likely be the last thing I'd ever put LEDs in.
They aren't on long enough to warrant any sort of battery/draw/voltage drop conservation, can be finiky AFA thier requirements like the need to fiddle resistance or flasher to even get them to function, aren't something you'll readily find out on the road in a gas station or parts counter should one *need replacement, and tend to be **not as visible at off angles compared to a standard incandecent.


* 'but they never need replacing and will outlast a conventional bulb many times over'
If they never need replacement, why measure them against incandecent lifespan to begin with? (there's brand new cars around here that from the factory were designed to use LEDs that already have sections or individual LEDs burnt out on thier exterior lamps)

You wanna see short lifespan, hook one up w/o the ideal resistor in the circut.
You'll never even see it flash as it blows.

** Straight on most all are good. Some have splayed diodes, patterned diodes, spring loaded arms, whatever to get a broader feild of view, but none will match a standard incadencent bulb for feild of view visibility.
For an immediate example, look at the LED indicator on your PC tower or laptop.
Straight on its bright as all get out, but gets ever decreasingly visible as you angle away from directly on.

An LED is directional light while an incandecent is radiant light. Think flashlight vs lamp with shade removed. The former is a focal beam while the latter is 360 degree radiance. They both make light, but only one can light up a whole room as opposed to a small area.


Might not seem to matter, but when one gets smoked by another vehicle because they didn't see the signal due to not being at a good angle, it will indeed be a 'what did we learn' moment.
 

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just my opinion and taste: I tried many times LEDs for dashes , interior lighting, even for the turn signals, etc. Leds, were from different sources, too. Well, really freaky results...very bad feeling, nothing to compare with the original.
However, if you wanna do it anyway it is your choice, of course. Try first with some and check the light appearance. As for the flasher unit it must have a different connections layout than the original anyway and you need to have in hand its connections diagramm.
After reading these responses, I'm probably going to go with just the cluster and interior lights. I'm not trying to make this restoration a "low-rider" project, but just easier to see and read the gauges at night. Out here in New Mexico, night time driving is really NIGHT time. Basically pitch black on the roadways unless you are in an urban area.
 

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I don't recall the link but someone on this forum did a really thorough job of testing and coming up with the best solution for LEDs in the instruments. Maybe look around for that instead of starting from scratch.
 

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Interior Lights

I found an interior festoon-type light in LED that is quite a bit brighter. It comes in both clear and frosted and would work for engine bay and trunk also for more light. The color is "strange" as cited above compared to incandescent but it is rarely on and the extra light in these apps works well when yoiu neded it. I'd probably not change the instrument lights personally. The clear is Sylvania #6418 and the frosted is 6411.
 

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Shadow14 said:
I'm considering replacing the light bulbs in my '88 Spider with LED's, to increase the brightness of the dash cluster lights, and possibly the exterior running lights as well. When I talked with one of the companies, they suggested I consider replacing the "Flasher" relay to ensure they operate correctly.
Since old-time flashers are triggered by current, if you replace your exterior bulbs with LED's, the flasher won't flash. So you need to substitute an electronic flasher, or reduce the resistance in the LED's circuit so that more current will flow.

However, if you only replace your dash bulbs with LED's, the flasher won't know the difference.

If you don't want to mess with rewiring the flasher unit harness, I'm fairly certain that some of the LED places offer an in~line resistor that pops in behind the bulb or nearby that allows the use of the factory flasher unit.
Better not add the resistor "in~line" - that will increase the resistance. The resistors need to be in parallel with the LED's in order to reduce the resistance. See: http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/flashers-load-resistors/page/2/

 

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I wouldn't try replacing the amber signal lights, they need a resistor to prevent them from flashing too fast.

However, I just replaced the reverse lights, the front parking lights (or whatever you call the white ones that are next to the front signal lights), the red running lights and the brake lights with great results. I got the elite series from http://www.m4products.com/, they are a little pricy, but the warm white lights are the same color as the originals just a lot brighter with less tax on the electrical system and less heat.

For the brake lights I got the red ones, (I read that you need to use red LED lights behind red lenses.) Again super bright, good color.

I was skeptical at first, but now I'm sold.

I used size 1156 for all these lights and they fit just fine. You can even get 5% off with the code "rvgeeks5" and they offer free shipping on orders over $50.

I wish I took a picture of the comparison

I mostly did this because my battery light always comes on when I put the car in reverse... It doesn't anymore.

It also comes on when I have too many electrical systems running... It still does that, but it seems to be less so now.

Bonus... The lights should last a REALLY long time.
 

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You can get everything you need at this website.
I converted my lights to LED when I did my restoration. Because of the low resistance of the bulbs, you will need to get a flasher set up for the LED. The website has them.

The lights are much brighter with LEDs including the brake and turn signals. The bulbs are rather expensive.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/
 

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You can get everything you need at this website.
I converted my lights to LED when I did my restoration. Because of the low resistance of the bulbs, you will need to get a flasher set up for the LED. The website has them.

The lights are much brighter with LEDs including the brake and turn signals. The bulbs are rather expensive.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/
I am in the process of converting my 87 Quad to LEDs but the one thing still missing is the Flasher. Do you have a part number for the LED flasher? I would prefer to use that versus using inline resistors.
 

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I would avoid LED for the signal lights. They aren't on that long and honestly they aren't hard to replace. Whether you get an in line resistor or a light with a resistor built in your dealing with a device that create excess heat. I would be concerned putting something like that in the socket, a new fixture is really expensive compared to new lightbulbs. I don't see the benefit.

If you really need LEDs for you signal lights, then the something you could do, is get a replacement relay designed to be used with them (if you can find one that fits).

I got my marker lights from super bright LEDs, since m4 didn't have that size light in red and amber, but fit the other lights, I really like the one's I got from m4. The elite series are brighter, less expensive, and they seem like they are of better quality. Plus they are a bit shorter, so the are more similar to the original size bulb. The closest brightness equivalent I saw at super bright led looked like the might be too long for the fixture (as did the non elite series from m4).

My 2 cents.
 

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I would avoid LED for the signal lights. ....Whether you get an in line resistor or a light with a resistor built in your dealing with a device that create excess heat.
Guys: The resistor needs to be in parallel with the LED, not in series (e.g., in line). You are trying the decrease the resistance of the circuit so that enough current will flow to trigger the old-fashioned, thermal flasher.

Heat from this resistor should not be an issue; basically you are trying to equal the wattage of the old bulb. So there is no more heat produced from the LED (which runs stone cold) plus its resistor than from the bulb they replaced.

If you really need LEDs for you signal lights, then the something you could do, is get a replacement relay designed to be used with them
I agree with this suggestion. SuperBright sells an electronic flasher that works OK. Electronic flashers solve a lot of problems, even if you retain incandescent bulbs throughout.
 

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This makes it easy.

Full daylight in my garage. LED on in driver's parklamp. Stock in passenger side.

Flasher was plug and play in my 1978 Spider
 

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This makes it easy.

Full daylight in my garage. LED on in driver's parklamp. Stock in passenger side.

Flasher was plug and play in my 1978 Spider
I used the same LED flasher to replace the 3-pin OEM on my ‘69 Spider after converting external bulbs to LED’s but I get no flash. The turn signal bulb lights but stays lit. Is there something else I need to address?
 

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The turn signal bulb in the dash?
 

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kiwiokie said:
I used the same LED flasher to replace the 3-pin OEM on my ‘69 Spider
A '69 spider has two indicator bulbs in the dash, so I would expect it to use a two terminal flasher, not a three. The relevant schematic is the one on the upper right of the diagram below (taken from the SuperBright site - note that the LED polarities are drawn reversed). If kiwiokie has used a 3-terminal FL3 flasher, I'm puzzled what he connected to the "P" terminal. Might that be the problem?

A 3-terminal flasher, like the FL3, is typically used on a car with a single indicator light, like slowcreek's '78 spider. That schematic is at the middle right in the diagram below.

 

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Here are some pics of the original unit that was attached to the steering column. Hope I switched out the right thing! Wiring was 31 - black, 49 red/black and 49a green/black.
Jeez, I don't know what to tell you. I pulled out my Autobooks manual, and checked out the wiring schematics. They don't have one for a 1750 spider, but do have one for a 1600 spider, which shows a two terminal flasher. It also suggests the wires to the flasher are all solid colors, which I know isn't correct.

I know that terminal 49 goes to +12v and 49a goes to the turn signal switch which sends power to the lights. But where flasher terminal #31 should go to is a bit of a mystery. Typing "turn signal flasher pin 31" into google produced this schematic:



But I'm skeptical that the black wire connected to pin #31 on your old flasher went to ground. I don't think those old school, thermal flashers used a ground connection.

The wiring diagrams in my Autobooks manual for Sprints and Berlinas (which have a single turn signal indicator bulb and a 3-terminal flasher) show that third flasher terminal going to the indicator bulb (like the schematic in post #16). Unfortunately, the pin #'s (e.g., 49, 49a, etc.) aren't labeled on these diagrams.

Please confirm that your '69 spider has two, separate indicator lights for the L and R turn signals (like my '66). If it has a single indicator, then it's simple: pin #31 connects to that. I assume you connected the red/black wire to pin #49 on the new flasher, and the green/black to #49a, regardless of where those pins are located on the new flasher.
 

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Thanks for your help Jay. Yes definitely has two indicator lights on dash for left and right turn signals. I will get back under there tonight and confirm the wiring as I did connect based on the physical locations of the pins. Access and visibility under there is not ideal or comfortable!
 

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The flasher pictured says for American cars and does not have a clicking sound. The other says for Japanese and has a clicking sound. Anyone tried the Japanese one? I would prefer clicking. It's always those American cars that are running around with their turn signals left on. The car manufacturers would do well to install the clicking ones to not make their drivers look like idiots.
 

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