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Converted to LED brake light bulbs, very happy

Joined
5 January 2012
Messages
199
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Hi, all,

All of our other cars either have LED OEM brake lights or have been converted to LEDs over the years. So, moving our new 1991 NSX to LEDs was high on the priority list - we believe that the fast-responding LEDs are better for safety.

The project is complete, and we are very happy with the results.

We chose two sets of Putco Nova 1157 bulbs, in red. (We installed Putco Nova bulbs into our Miata and they have been bright and reliable.) Not bad for $71.87/pair:

http://www.amazon.com/Putco-1157-Type-Nova-Replacement/dp/B0042FVS9G

Installation was straightforward. As expected, we got the BRAKE LAMP error on the dashboard. Following the advice elsewhere on Prime and grounding the right-side white/green wire with a blue clip solved that problem. We didn't need to cut the wire.

The result: Nice bright fast-acting LED brake lights, quite a bit brighter than OEM incandescent, for under $150.

We left the third set of tail lights (the ones closest to the center of the car) as incandescent bulbs. We didn't see any benefit to changing those out.

Also: We purchased the "NSX Interior LED White Bulb Conversion Kit" from Euro Boutique - http://www.euroboutique.us/store_nsx_interior_led.html - and are again delighted with the results (though my back aches from bending/twisting to install the footwell bulb).

Those bulbs arrived yesterday and I installed them early this morning. My wife noticed instantly that the door lights were much brighter.

Not sure what to do next!
 
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Pictures of the tail lights - all four combinations, with the tail lights on/off and brake lights on/off. They show more of a bright central dot on the photos than they do when you look at them.

And also the door light.
 

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can you please post a pic of how you grounded the green white wire so I can see exactly which wire and how to ground it. I'm having the same brake lamp error. Thanks
 
You wouldn't happen to have taken a Side-by-side of the OEM bulbs would you? Like left side taillights with LEDs, right side with OEM incandescent?
 
When the brake pedal is depressed does the brake lights do a decent job of lighting up so that the person in the rear with their headlights shining on ur tail lights can see the difference between lit and not lit at night?

It was a problem for me with my NSX in depicting enough contrast between the 2 that I almost got rear ended and the guy told me.

Last thing u want is to get rear ended....
 
When the brake pedal is depressed does the brake lights do a decent job of lighting up so that the person in the rear with their headlights shining on ur tail lights can see the difference between lit and not lit at night?

It was a problem for me with my NSX in depicting enough contrast between the 2 that I almost got rear ended and the guy told me.

Last thing u want is to get rear ended....

Good point Bat, that is very important!
 
BATMANs,

The answer is "yes." During the installation I put on the LED bulbs on one side and left the OEM incandescent on the other (and no, didn't take photos), and we looked at the lights several different ways, including with the TSX's headlights shining on them as we took turns putting the tail lights/brake lights on off. Darn it, why can't we have a remote control for that?

We both agreed that the LED bulbs were brighter and more contrasty - also the LEDs were more attention-getting because they turned on faster and more abruptly.

Not to say that it's the same contrast as with the incandescents, but it seemed very clear to us. (Of course, this is during a test when we knew what was going on.)

That's the same conclusion that we've come to each time, including with the Miata and with a 1996 Jeep Cherokee (long since traded) which was the first car we "upgraded" to LEDs. Bottom line: I feel safer with the LEDs.

I'll take a photo of the wiring when I get home tonight.
 
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Pictures! The blue wire is the ground that I added. I used a round lug and a nut to ground to the chassis. It connects to the white/green wire on the passenger side tail light assembly.
 

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Pictures! The blue wire is the ground that I added. I used a round lug and a nut to ground to the chassis. It connects to the white/green wire on the passenger side tail light assembly.

Looks like a great idea! Where did you get the blue clip? And you didn't cut the wires at all?
 
Looks like a great idea! Where did you get the blue clip? And you didn't cut the wires at all?

That's a common wire splice available at most any auto parts, electronics store. It's important to get the correct size for the gauge of wire you are splicing to. There are two slots inside, one pass through and one that doesn't which allows you to splice to a wire without cutting it . You just open it up and push the OEM wire down into the pass through slot and the new wire in the other. Then just use a pair of pliers to squeese the metal pin down into the plastic.

Mike
 
Exactly. I have a big box of blue clips that I bought at least a decade ago - probably from JC Whitney - which work on a lot of automotive wiring. I also have red clips, which are for smaller-gauge wire. You can get them at your favorite auto parts store, or maybe at Radio Shack.

I didn't cut any wires. A thread somewhere on Prime said that it was necessary, but it proved not to be the case.
 
Not sure if I did anything wrong but it didn't work for me. The brake light lamp doesn't bother me but what does is that it disables the cruise control when the lights are on.
 

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Not sure if I did anything wrong but it didn't work for me. The brake light lamp doesn't bother me but what does is that it disables the cruise control when the lights are on.

Odd. Since I never use cruise control (in fact, haven't never even tried it on the NSX, it's just not my thing), I have no idea if grounding that wire disabled it on mine. If I think of it, maybe I'll test it next time I'm on the highway!
 
Odd. Since I never use cruise control (in fact, haven't never even tried it on the NSX, it's just not my thing), I have no idea if grounding that wire disabled it on mine. If I think of it, maybe I'll test it next time I'm on the highway!

well if your brake light lamp is no longer on then the cruise control shouldn't be disabled.
 
Not sure if I did anything wrong but it didn't work for me. The brake light lamp doesn't bother me but what does is that it disables the cruise control when the lights are on.

nsxtacey, Can you post a better picture? I can't tell from the other one if you are even in the correct location. You seeing the same color wires from that plug as the ones in postfix's picture above? You can actually see in his picture which pin position in the plug he connected to, you can check that to make sure you connected to the correct wire.

Mike






This may help.
876dc343.jpg
 
nsxtacey, Can you post a better picture? I can't tell from the other one if you are even in the correct location. You seeing the same color wires from that plug as the ones in postfix's picture above? You can actually see in his picture which pin position in the plug he connected to, you can check that to make sure you connected to the correct wire.

Mike






This may help.

Nothing happens if I turn the ignition to on. The brake light error light comes on when I press on the brake pedal and when I turn on the parking lights. Hope these are better pics. I'm not sure where the sensor is. Thanks for the help.
 

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Nothing happens if I turn the ignition to on. The brake light error light comes on when I press on the brake pedal and when I turn on the parking lights. Hope these are better pics. I'm not sure where the sensor is. Thanks for the help.

I could be more helpful if my car was around but it's 700 miles away so i will try.

Still can't tell from the pictures. You should be connected to the White/Green stripe wire on the passenger side. Looking at the white plug on the harness that the White/Green stripe wire goes in to. The wire on the opposite side of the plug is what color?
 
the other pics are with my blackberry, these are with my iphone so much better
Did I do anything wrong because I'm still getting the brake lamp when I press the brake. I bolted down the ground wire but still didn't help
 

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Much better. Can you see the wire color i was asking about in my last post? Is it Orange/ White stripe?


Mike
 
yes the other plug has a white and orange wire. I was told in another post that is the wire to ground but that didn't work for me either.
 
yes the other plug has a white and orange wire. I was told in another post that is the wire to ground but that didn't work for me either.

Awesome, then we are in sync. Yes the White/Green stripe wire changes to the Orange/ White stripe at the plug so they are the same wire.

Here is what i want you to do. Disconnect the white harness plug. You need to rig up another temporary ground wire and touch it to the pin in the harness plug for the Orange/ White stripe wire. Be careful that you only touch that pin, and keep them touching. While you are keeping them in contact, have someone else turn the key to on and touch the brakes. See if you have the light.

If you have no help, then remove the blue splice from the White/Green stripe wire that you made earlier and move it to the Orange/ White stripe wire. With the harness plug disconnected, turn the key to on and touch the brakes. See if you have the light.


Mike
 
Awesome, then we are in sync. Yes the White/Green stripe wire changes to the Orange/ White stripe at the plug so they are the same wire.

Here is what i want you to do. Disconnect the white harness plug. You need to rig up another temporary ground wire and touch it to the pin in the harness plug for the Orange/ White stripe wire. Be careful that you only touch that pin, and keep them touching. While you are keeping them in contact, have someone else turn the key to on and touch the brakes. See if you have the light.

If you have no help, then remove the blue splice from the White/Green stripe wire that you made earlier and move it to the Orange/ White stripe wire. With the harness plug disconnected, turn the key to on and touch the brakes. See if you have the light.


Mike

So don't ground the white and green wire no more? Or ground both?
 
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