1965 Buick Skylark: I am Installing Sequential LED Tail Lights

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by 1989GTA, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I have decided to make up a sequential tail light setup myself. Basically all you need is two 12v on delay relay modules per side. I ordered 2 of them to play with. If it works I will order two more for the other side. The tail lights will be all by themselves and do not need to go through the module.

    The inside taillights are powered by the solid state flasher as always. The center tail lights will be powered by the first on delay relay module. It will be powered by the same wire that goes to the inside tail light. The outside tail lights will be powered by the 2nd on delay relay module. This one will get its power from the output of the first relay module which is the same wire that goes to the center light. I will have to play with the on delay timers to get it just right. These modules run around $9 each on Amazon and other places. They do say automotive.

    Also if I understand this correctly it appears that when the brakes are applied you will get one sequential event and then the brake lights will stay on until the brake pedal is released.
     
  2. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Yes, that's the way I would do it with the brake light starting in the center going to the middle and ending up on the outside for each press of the pedal or flash of the turn signal. I would do it with a 555 clock IC driving flip flops that run reed relays. That way the frequency can be adjusted.

    Feel free to send me one of your original modules to see if I can figure it out.
     
  3. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I might wind up sending you a module or two. I believe the relay modules that I bought are using the 555 integrated circuit. It delays the relay pulling in and has an adjustable pot. The lowest setting is .15 sec which is probably close to being right on considering the speed of the flasher I have installed. Also when the power is gone of course it all resets.
     
  4. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    The two relay modules came in today. If this works out I will order another two for the other side. Here is a picture of the relay module. It is smaller than I thought which is a good thing.

    Relay Module - Copy.jpg
     
  5. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

  6. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Way cool!
     
  7. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    See Below
     

    Attached Files:

  8. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Sequential Relay Boards - Copy (2).jpg Here is a picture of one unit all wired up. The bottom Molex connector goes to the outside tail light. The center Molex connector goes to the center tail light. The top Molex connector goes to the inside tail light. I plan on tiewrapping this to the existing factory wire harness.

    View attachment 370076
     
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  9. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I went ahead and installed one side to see how it will work. One problem. The flasher is to fast. The outside light never gets to flash. So I need to buy and adjustable LED flasher. The ones I have seen are for motorcycles and are good for up to 42W. That should be OK. The lowest setting is 55 times per second which sounds good to me. I wanted to slow the flash rate down anyways and this might be the way to go. I will go ahead and place an order and see what it works out.
     
  10. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    How will you tie that into the factory harness?
     
  11. 64 skylark mike

    64 skylark mike Well-Known Member

    Just curious, could the tail light harness from Mustangs be used to do this? My daughter's 2011 Mustang has factory sequential tail lights.
     
  12. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I do not know. They may have a different flasher.
     
  13. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Good question. When I bought the car it had wire nuts connecting the "new" 1157 tail light sockets to the factory harness. Those 1157 sockets did not quite fit right so I replaced them. The wire nuts were are little shaky so I used .093" Molex connectors as I had the tool for crimping them. Those were two pin Molex connectors.

    With the new kit it required a ground wire. So I converted over to 3 pin Molex connectors with position 3 being the ground. Position 2 the tail lights and position 1 the brake light/turn signals. What was not shown in the upper picture was a Y connector. Well, after looking at it I redesigned harness somewhat and eliminated the Y connector and I will post a picture of the latest rendition. See the picture below.

    Going from left to right here are the connectors. The outside tail light, the center tail light, the inside tail light and the one on the far right goes to the factory harness. You can use any of the 3 factory harness positions but you need to add the stoplight wire to the inside tail light. I also add ground wires for the modules and those are light green in the picture. The brown wire is for the tail lights. The far right shows a dark green and that is the stop light wire from the original harness. I am just to lazy to change it to a yellow wire. The yellow wires are the stop light/turn signal.

    Sequential 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  14. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Most flashers are bi-metalic. They also make electronic flashers that are made for semi trucks that flash at the same speed regardless of how many lights are loading it. I had one in my 72 C10 and it was about as slow as they come. It may work and could be cheaper than an adjustable one.
     
  15. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Thank you for the tip. I am not sure the adjustable flashers I order will work. We shall see. I have been searching hi and low and might have to modify a flasher to slow the it down.
     
  16. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    The "slower" flashers came in today. The problem is the "on" part of the flasher does not seem to be all that much longer than the flashers they replaced. However it is enough that all 3 lights on the passenger side now work in sequence. Only the inner two work on the drivers side. The outside one never comes on even though the module is getting juice. The power to it is just not quite on long enough. I have seen a 3 prong unit that might work. I going by the pictures on youtube. I think the 3rd prong is a ground and I might be able to cut if off and make it work. I would have to reroute the ground somehow.
     
  17. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I tried one more thing. I have 3 two watt 1157 LED's that draw a little more power than the Sylvania units. So I installed them in the drivers side to see what would happen with a slight increase in the power draw. I did not see any difference. Back to the flasher.
     
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  18. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Today I took apart one of the United Pacific solid state flashers. It does appear to have a relay. The big capacitor is 50uf at 50vdc. So I bought a 4.7uf capacitor and soldered it in parallel to the big capacitor. I tried it and visually I could not see any difference in the duration of the flasher even though there may have been some. So tomorrow I will buy some larger capacitors and see what happens.
     
  19. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I had a 2nd United Pacific LED flasher so I took the 50uf capacitor out of it and soldered it onto the 50uf capacitor that I am using to test with. No difference in the timing of the flasher that I could see. Drat it. I will order 2 more of the adjustable type and see if I can modify them.
     
  20. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    The 3 prong LED adjustable flashers came in today. Same problem as the others. The on time voltage to the lights is not long enough. All I ask for is a quarter of a second more on time. Hehehe. I will have to look into another route.

    Edit: With these flashers the B does not stand for battery. It is the ground. The L is for load. This flasher is labeled backwards for the power hook up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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