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A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: oldqmguy ()
Date: February 02, 2019 12:44PM

Looking over the latest posts here on the forum it seems that more Corvair owners are converting some or all of their lighting to LED.

This is something I started doing over 2 years ago when I spotted Pilot 1157 LED's in packages of 2 for $14.99 at Walmart! I found this an interesting project, with several twists and turns along the way.

Being an old electronic engineer as well as an old Corvair Nut, I knew that "LED" was a abbreviation for "Light Emitting Diode" (they were being researched in several College Labs when I was in school, trying to see IF they could be made into a practical device).

One of the problems I found in converting the Stop/Turn 1157's to an LED version was getting one that would fit in the Corvair socket. IF this could be done, did it shine its 'light' in the correct direction? I found several that would 'fit the socket' but directed the light in the wrong direction, so it was not visible in daylight and dim at night!

Others would 'fit' but were too long to allow the lens to be installed!

After playing with the Expensive LED's I figured why not try the "$14.99 Special?" I found that the Pilot LED's were of the right length and there brightness and direction worked well in the Corvair sockets.

I keep mentioning 'Corvair sockets' because I like to Keep It Simple (Stupid), known as the "KISS" method. I did most of the testing on my workbench and if it would fit, I would try it in the car. I found that I had to do one 'modification' to make the Pilot LED's fit. Once I did that they went right in and look great. I currently have every light except the Headlight changed to LED's.

After I got the Pilot LED's to work I went back to Walmart only to find that they no longer handled Pilot Bulbs. I DID find them on the Internet and was able to buy them at the same price.

Now my questions for people using "other" LED's:

Did you install them in "Corvair Sockets" without modification?
Did you make modifications to the Socket or Housing?
Did you have to change the Socket or Housing and to what?
Have you found an LED version of our 5-3/4" Headlights?

Thanks for your answers!!! grinning smiley

Dale cool smiley

Dale E. Smiley CPBE
Life Member The Society of Broadcast Engineers
RETIRED Broadcast Engineer
CERTIFIED CORVAIR NUT
CORSA/Circle City Corvairs/Corvair Performance Group
Avon, Indiana
WB9SFF
1967 4-Door Monza PG!

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: February 02, 2019 01:33PM

I changed my brake/tail/turn signal, backup, and front turn signals to LED. No modifications were needed. I did have to swap the flasher unit for one that was LED compatible.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Norman, OK

<a href="[www.wunderground.com] src="[weathersticker.wunderground.com]; alt="Click for Norman, Oklahoma Forecast" height="90" width="160"></a>

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: February 02, 2019 02:05PM

I did not modify any sockets, another current thread has all the sources. As for headlights, I'm working on it. I have these, the main problem is the large heat sink on the back.

[www.amazon.com]


Its been very cold here and no fun heating the garage, but I hand held the babies and they will light up your life and your neighbors house.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: larry202br ()
Date: February 02, 2019 02:53PM

I had to try three different types of LEDs to find one that would fit in the tach spot, most were too tall, and hit the plastic lens in the tach housing.

1961 rampside with a 65 / 67 110 engine, car four speed.
1965 convertible
1966 Custom two door/four door

KC0SKX
Olathe, ks
HACOA

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: February 02, 2019 03:32PM

I used projector type bulbs in the rear... both for Tail / Turn and Backups...

I modified the LM rear sockets to this... just cut another hole and plug the other..

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: February 02, 2019 04:59PM

larry202br Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I had to try three different types of LEDs to find
> one that would fit in the tach spot, most were too
> tall, and hit the plastic lens in the tach
> housing.
Plastic is to keep bulb heat from affecting the tach, I pulled mine you don't need them with LEDs.

This is what I used in my turn signal, high beam and hazard flasher. They will fit behind the tach lens.


BTW, more than bright enough with the top down.

[www.ebay.com]

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2019 04:59PM by jjohnsonjo.

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: oldqmguy ()
Date: February 03, 2019 08:51AM

Thanks for the information! grinning smileygrinning smiley

I am always interested so any more answers will be welcome!

I have been looking into the Headlight situation and the best I can find is from VintageCarLEDs.com. They have three versions of the 5.75" Lights and when the "Corvair Fund" grows a little I will probably try one of their sets!

If you have tried these, or another brand/model please let me know!

Thanks!

Dale cool smiley

Dale E. Smiley CPBE
Life Member The Society of Broadcast Engineers
RETIRED Broadcast Engineer
CERTIFIED CORVAIR NUT
CORSA/Circle City Corvairs/Corvair Performance Group
Avon, Indiana
WB9SFF
1967 4-Door Monza PG!

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: February 03, 2019 12:05PM

jjohnsonjo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> larry202br Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I had to try three different types of LEDs to
> find
> > one that would fit in the tach spot, most were
> too
> > tall, and hit the plastic lens in the tach
> > housing.
> Plastic is to keep bulb heat from affecting the
> tach, I pulled mine you don't need them with
> LEDs.
>
> This is what I used in my turn signal, high beam
> and hazard flasher. They will fit behind the tach
> lens.
>
>
> BTW, more than bright enough with the top down.
>
> [www.ebay.com]-
> Ice-Blue-5050-LED-BA9S-Instrument-Gague-Light-Bulb
> -1815-/262702308570?hash=item3d2a471cda
Headlamp - Thanks J.O. for the tip. I've looked at LED headlamps over the last five years. They are getting better, but in the past they had either a poor light pattern, inadequate illumination, or were short lived due to heat issues. The better units were only available in 7" round and were several hundred dollars A PIECE!! I hope you keep us posted with how they work out.

Tachometer - Even the newer incandescent bulbs are too tall to fit the tachometer due to the plastic bulb shield. I've heard a number of opinions as to why the plastic bulb shields were installed. The most logical explanation is they were used to keep debris out of the tachometer during shipping. GM didn't want the added labor of removing shipping plugs when the lamps were installed. So the tachometer company installed the inner bulb cover to seal the hole and allow the bulb to be installed with out the extra step of pulling off covers. I know from experience the tachometer meters are intolerant of dirt and ESPECIALLY any metal particles. When install the bulb sockets - put a little electrical grease on the socket tabs to keep them form shaving metal loose (yes the metal that comes loose is practically nothing, but it took me hours to find a binding problem in a meter that was caused by very little metal powder on the meter armature magnet).

Bottom line - just remove the bulb covers. Not needed as long as the bulb socket is in place.

As far as any heat goes ---- these units were designed to operate in cars in January in Minnesota to July in Arizona. I've never encountered any thermal sensitivity in the tachometers I've worked on.

P.S. - I've QUIT working on tachometers - too labor intensive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2019 12:13PM by 66vairman.

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: February 03, 2019 02:17PM

66vairman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>> As far as any heat goes ---- these units were
> designed to operate in cars in January in
> Minnesota to July in Arizona. I've never
> encountered any thermal sensitivity in the
> tachometers I've worked on.
>

I have read this in several places and other GM tachs plus the Corsa Tach. It is not the absolute heat generated by the bulb, It is the thermal eddy currents they create that can affect the accuracy in several positions. Can't say its a fact, a lot of stuff gets written. I guessing since you have work on these you noticed it not good to have fan blowing on them when they are out of the case. I still work on them, but only for me. You could never make money and the repair is not always reliable, so I have three spares.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jjohnsonjo ()
Date: February 04, 2019 08:26AM

oldqmguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the information! grinning smileygrinning smiley
>
> I am always interested so any more answers will be
> welcome!
>
> I have been looking into the Headlight situation
> and the best I can find is from
> VintageCarLEDs.com. They have three versions of
> the 5.75" Lights and when the "Corvair Fund" grows
> a little I will probably try one of their sets!
>
> If you have tried these, or another brand/model
> please let me know!
>
> Thanks!
>
> Dale cool smiley

I have looked at the ones that Vintage LEDs offers. They look like a light that was designed for Quartz bulbs and then stuck LED bulbs in them. The light scatter problems from LEDs are terrible. Unless you have a reflector that was engineered just for a LED you will have a very bright light right in front of you and nothing down the road. You will also blind oncoming cars. I put LEDs in my Sorento with projector lenses. I tried three brands until I found one that was satisfactory, actually way beyond satisfactory. They are adjustable in the socket. Unfortunately hey were also the most expensive, but worth it. That is why I'm working with the Harley lights, they are projectors and designed for LED source lighting.

J.O.

65 Corsa Turbo Vert
79 Honda XL 500S
69 Honda CL 160 D
2010 BMW F 650 GS
2003 Bounder 36D
2013 KIA Optima SX turbo-AKA ZIPPY (wife,s car)
69 Newport Holiday Sailboat
Baja 150 dune buggy cart
Coleman HS 500 UTV
2016 KIA Sorento SXL Turbo

Bethlehem,Pa


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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: February 04, 2019 11:44AM

oldqmguy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the information! grinning smileygrinning smiley
>
> I am always interested so any more answers will be
> welcome!
>
> I have been looking into the Headlight situation
> and the best I can find is from
> VintageCarLEDs.com. They have three versions of
> the 5.75" Lights and when the "Corvair Fund" grows
> a little I will probably try one of their sets!
>
> If you have tried these, or another brand/model
> please let me know!
>
> Thanks!
>
> Dale cool smiley

When it comes to H-4 conversion housings with L.E.D.s in them, I would be careful.
If the L.E.D. placement has not been thoroughly engineered vs just put together and thrown in the socket, you might end up with some lights like I saw last Summer.
Here is a quote from another L.E.D. thread here on the forum.
I stated,
"Just got back last week, from a week of vacation.
On my trip, I encountered an older (70's) Jacked-up Chevy 4X4.
He was driving slower than I was, and I was pulling a trailer!
The road in front of him was completely dark!
As I passed him I saw the headlights, and noticed the pattern, or rather lack of pattern that they were projecting.
The only light he had was about 6 very bright, 2 foot by 2 foot squares, that were randomly scattered on the road in front of him!
It was really strange looking, to say the least.
After I got past him, I realized that he had aftermarket L.E.D. headlights.
They "LOOKED" really cool!
But I think he was regretting buying them.
I know I would have ! ! !"

.
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza - 140 4-spd. driver
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dualy, approaching 400K
17'Terry

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: oldqmguy ()
Date: February 04, 2019 01:10PM

I am aware of the 'horror stories' about using LED's as Headlights and wanted to see if anyone here had any experience trying the available "LED Headlights" on our Corvairs!? confused smiley

I have spent a large amount of time on this list and others concerning Headlights and the ones offered by www.vintagecarleds.com seem to be the best thing available. They are NOT cheap, and the entire 'light' seems to be designed from the ground up so they work like a 'real' headlight! eye rolling smiley

The only way to tell is to buy a set, put them in the car and see "what" they do! eye popping smiley

I have an area where I can turn on the normal (incandescent) headlights, take pictures and make measurements of their light pattern, then put in the LED units and take pictures and measurements, then compare them to see the changes.

Using this test area I won't have to drive down the road and take a chance of endangering myself or others!!! hot smiley

I am hoping to find a set that will replace the incandescent bulbs, provide as much or better light and NOT blind oncoming drivers. drinking smiley

All it takes is money!!! grinning smiley

Dale cool smiley

Dale E. Smiley CPBE
Life Member The Society of Broadcast Engineers
RETIRED Broadcast Engineer
CERTIFIED CORVAIR NUT
CORSA/Circle City Corvairs/Corvair Performance Group
Avon, Indiana
WB9SFF
1967 4-Door Monza PG!

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jetcat ()
Date: February 06, 2019 12:22AM

I'm surprised that no one makes a PWM dimmer for LEDs that works off the light power switch reostat for the instrument lighting. My new VDO clock uses an internal one and the LED dims perfectly with the reostat. Until there is something available, I like the JKL 1816 bulbs in the tach and speedo. They are tall and run hot so this is what I did to modify the tach lighting. I since modified the tips to Acrylic Cabochons to magnify the light forward. Also note the heat shield on both sides of the lights. Now my tach and speedometer better match my VDO fuel, vacuum and clock gauges in my Corsa dash. All uniformly dim with the reostat.

Bob
Paso Robles, CA

Central Coast Corsa
1966 Turbo Corsa convertible
1966 Corsa 140 coupe but now with 110hp heads.

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: azdave ()
Date: February 06, 2019 05:17AM

jetcat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm surprised that no one makes a PWM dimmer for
> LEDs that works off the light power switch rheostat
> for the instrument lighting.

Working on that.

There was little demand until recently for a PWM dimmer solution. Some of the first PNP LEDs bulbs were so dim that no one needed anything but the brightest setting in which case the OEM dimmer was just turned to max output and left there. Now that LEDs are getting bright and dependable, they are often a little too bright for night driving. As people have noticed, the OEM rheostat was meant for dimming filament bulbs. When you turn the dimmer knob with LEDs you get an all-or-none type of light output.

I breadboarded a prototype last weekend and have a few parts on the way from Mouser to make what I hope will be a simple plug-n-play PWM solution. If my design works as planned, it will install in under 5 minutes and will not require any soldering or changes to the wiring harness.

I'll report back when I have the next version up and running and probably find a few pioneers here to test them.

Dave W. / Gilbert Arizona
65 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4
66 Corsa 140/4 w/factory A/C
66 Corsa 455 Toro V8
65 Monza Convertible 110/4
66 Monza Convertible 140/4 A/C
65 Monza 4DR 140/PG w/factory A/C
65 Monza 4DR EJ20T/5



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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: jetcat ()
Date: February 06, 2019 08:54AM

azdave Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jetcat Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I'm surprised that no one makes a PWM dimmer
> for
> > LEDs that works off the light power switch
> rheostat
> > for the instrument lighting.
>
> Working on that.
>
> There was little demand until recently for a PWM
> dimmer solution. Some of the first PNP LEDs bulbs
> were so dim that no one needed anything but the
> brightest setting in which case the OEM dimmer was
> just turned to max output and left there. Now that
> LEDs are getting bright and dependable, they are
> often a little too bright for night driving. As
> people have noticed, the OEM rheostat was meant
> for dimming filament bulbs. When you turn the
> dimmer knob with LEDs you get an all-or-none type
> of light output.
>
> I breadboarded a prototype last weekend and have a
> few parts on the way from Mouser to make what I
> hope will be a simple plug-n-play PWM solution. If
> my design works as planned, it will install in
> under 5 minutes and will not require any soldering
> or changes to the wiring harness.
>
> I'll report back when I have the next version up
> and running and probably find a few pioneers here
> to test them.


Awesome Dave, glad your working on that. With the nice bright LEDs that are available now, this will be a great solution for dimming them. Let us know how you're proceeding.

Bob
Paso Robles, CA

Central Coast Corsa
1966 Turbo Corsa convertible
1966 Corsa 140 coupe but now with 110hp heads.

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Re: A 'few' LED Questions? confused smiley
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 07, 2019 01:49PM

I haven't done any upgrades on the Corvair lighting but my daily is a 2004 Jeep, I drive 40 miles to work in rural darkness and the Jeep lights were less than stellar. I did some research and found some LED replacements with good reviews although not cheap, $125 for 2. There is a little scatter light problem right in front of the car, shadow areas but the light where you actually drive is good and the high beams are impressive, on a dark road with no other cars they light up the road at least 1000 feet I kid you not. You know those guys with super bright lights than won't dim them, I give them back the brights and they back off. I don't remember the brand but I'll try and remember to find the box and let y'all know and we can see if they are making anything for the older cars. I've been using them about a year now.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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