View Full Version : Led Bulbs

10-21-2015, 09:53 AM
Can I install LED bulbs in the tail light of my 65 Bird? These are the type that fit in the existing sockets. Concerned that brake lights & directionals will work with these.

Joe Johnston
10-21-2015, 10:22 AM
A qualified, "Yes you can" depending on the brand or style.

>due to the directional light output of LED's, they may focus the light straight back and not illuminate the entire area as well as the originals

>an electronic flasher may be required - but the original may work if the front turn signals are still original and draw enough current to make the original flasher unit function

>inline resistors may be used to eliminate the need to buy an electronic flasher

>this may not apply at all with sequential turn signals.

>I tried them on my 63 and went back to the 1257 as the old style bulbs were brighter because the light comes out all the way around and gets reflected from the bowl housing of a 63. Your application and LED style may be different and the only way to know is to try it and see if it meets your satisfaction.

10-22-2015, 12:11 AM
It depends on the 'bulbs' you buy and how you install them.

If you use your existing flasher unit, you need an 8-ohm resistor for each bulb to 'dump' most of the current so your flasher unit will work. The Parking Light side needs no resistor.

In addition to the resistors you need diodes in series with each filament so there will be no back feed to the 'other' bulbs on the same branch.

I made a video for one of our members in CA:


This video contains the drawing I made including bullet connectors, resistors and diodes.

Beware of cheap LED bulbs on eBay. I got some that stab in (modern wedge base) and the plastic bases melted. They used too small of wattage resistor in the base and it just cooked. The company sent me four more, so I altered them.

I like using arrays of 5050 LEDs. 5050=5mm X 5mm LEDs. If you look at a 5050 LED, it's actually three-in-one to give lots of light. - Dave

10-22-2015, 04:46 PM
Thanks guys, I' think I'll stay with the regular bulbs.