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 bought the United Pacific sequential tail light kit from Summit Racing for around $50. It comes with a module for each side that controls 3 led tail lights each. I am using the Sylvania Zevo LED 1157 "bulbs". Six are required for the rear and they are around $20 for a two pack or $10 each.

    One of the reasons for doing is that the person who had the car before me installed Ron Francis wiring kit for the 65 Skylark. The sockets that came with the kit did not fit the tail lights worth a damn and would fall out on occasion. I finally found a 1157 bulb socket that works. It is a Pico 5404PT. Fits like a glove.

    I have everything pretty much installed except for running the wire up to the brake light switch. So I tried just the lights alone and they are much improved. They are plenty bright even on a bright sunny day. Maybe I will finish the stoplights and sequential turn signal tomorrow. Only one wire to run. Hehehehe

    One more thing I bought the amber Putco 241157A-360 Putco Plasma LED Light Bulbs for the front turn signals. These things are expensive at $70 per pair but I thought I would give them a try. They are supposed to be very bright.

    Last but not least I bought two United Pacific Turn signal flashers. These are made for LED's but you can have bulbs. They are rated at 20 amps. The reason for 2 is that the Ron Francis kit comes with 2 flashers. The extra one is for emergency 4 corner flashing.
     
    angelorayhurst likes this.
  2. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I just realized I could test the blinkers without the brake switch hooked up. Guess what? As of now they only blink and are not sequential. I will go ahead and hook up the brake light switch wire and see what happens.
     
    angelorayhurst likes this.
  3. angelorayhurst

    angelorayhurst Well-Known Member

    I am interested in this. Let me know how it turns out.
     
  4. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Ok, I wired it all up but the turn signals are not sequential. They are just like normal lights with all three blinking at the same time. I know the brake light works but will have to have the wife come out hit the brakes while the turn signals are on and see what happens. I need to get a hold of United Pacific and see what they say. I am even using the United Pacific flasher made for LED's. Right now I have the amber 1157 bulbs up front but I do not see where that would make a difference.
     
  5. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Is there a switch on (or in) the control box to select sequential/non sequential?
     
  6. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    No there is not.

    Here us an update. With the brake lights on the turn signals do not work. I cannot see a difference between the running lights and the stop lights. The brightness is all the same to me. Both modules are behaving the same way. I have sent an email to United Pacific explaining the situation and I hope to hear back in a couple of days. I can go ahead and bypass the modules and run the car like normal because I now have the turn signal flashers designed for the LEDs installed and amber 1157 bulbs like I currently have in the front. The flashers are good up to 20 amps which is way, way more current than I need with the LED's in the rear.
     
  7. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Another update. I have a spare 1965 Skylark tail light assembly. So I took the sequential module out of the car along with the LED lights and bench tested it using the spare tail light assemble. For one thing the lights always come on bright IE the stop light. No tail light if I use the module. If I hooked power up directly to the LED I could get either the stop light portion or the tail light portion. The sequential part did not work no matter what. Hard to believe both modules are defective in exactly the same way. The wiring is pretty straight forward and hard to mess up.
     
  8. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Is the module designed for LEDs? How many wires go into each module and what are they labeled?
     
  9. BuckeyeBuicks

    BuckeyeBuicks Well-Known Member

    Keep us updated on this , I was planning the same thing for my 65 skylark GS. I am far from a wiring guru so I may stick with the stock set up. I have enough problems keeping all the tail lights working like they should the way it is!
     
  10. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Yes it is only designed for LEDs. I will see if I can upload the schematic. One module for each side and the kit comes with both modules.

    Sequitial tail lights.jpg Sequitial tail lights.jpg
     
  11. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Ok, that's interesting. The output of the brake light switch normally goes to the turn signal switch which is how the brake lights flash when the turn signal is on. They separated those two things to get the turn signal (and park light) information from the original 1157 socket and the brake light information directly from the brake light switch. If you cut the brake light switch output wire and ran a separate wire (yellow) from the brake light switch to the sequencer it should work per their instructions.

    I don't understand how they power the sequencer with just the turn signal on with no parking light and no brake lights on, the power would be going off and on via the flasher. I would say remove the flasher and jumper the pins in the fuse box to give a steady 12 V when the turn signal is on except one thing, you still need the flasher for the front turn signals. It seems like the there needs to be another 12 V wire going to the sequencer to power the logic.
     
  12. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Just had an idea. Check the 1157 socket that connects to the sequencer and make sure the socket/shell is grounded. Your former lights may have been getting their ground from the light housing and not the socket. That's the only way the sequencer can get a ground.
     
  13. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Here is what I did with one unit. I replaced the 1157 socket with a 3 pin molex connector with the third pin being a ground. What the diagram does not show is the plug wires coming out of the module to the 1157 socket has 3 wires. They are red, black and white. White being a ground, red for the turn signal and black for the running lights. Now the yellow wire is the brake light input signal to the module from the brake switch. So those are the 3 12vdc inputs into the module. The red, black and yellow wires.

    The outputs are the black and red wires going to each LED and for a total of 6. Red being the stop and turn signal and the black wire the running lights. I put his on the bench with my spare tail light assemble and tried a number of things all to no avail. I am beginning to think I have a bad batch. I bought this from Summit and they are out of ideas and have sent the emails on to United Pacific to see what they have to say. Summit Racing has been very good so far in trying to help. Their main concern is that I had the grounds correct. With this unit the white wires are grounds.
    Thank you for your input and ideas.

    Edit. One more thing is that the brake light portion of the LED's seem to light up. Not the running light. I will test that tomorrow with my voltmeter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  14. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Here is the interesting reply from United Pacific the maker of the module. By the way I never ever had the incandescent 1157 bulbs in the circuit. IMHO there is an internal short in the module as manufactured. The brake/turn signal output has 12vdc not matter which of the 3 input wires I apply 12vdc to. The running lights only have 3vdc no matter which of the 3 input wires I apply 12vdc to. Here is their reply.

    "Item 90656 is only for LED's, the reason why your lights are flashing when you step on your brakes is because you missed a step on the instructions. The yellow wire has to be plugged into the brake switch."
     
  15. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    Today's update. I got an email back from United Pacific to give them a call. So after the conversation I will be going over to their place for a 10:00am appointment. Turns out I am only a 1/2 hour away from them. I will bring along the failed modules and also 3 of the Sylvania Zevo 1157 LED Bulbs. Now I could see where the Sylvania LED bulbs could be drawing more current than the unit was designed for and cause and internal short. If that is indeed the case then they need to revise and update the current capacity of the unit. I also have two Putco Amber plasma LED bulbs I will take along. These I will eventually put in the front of the car.
     
  16. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I give up. I tried their latest sequential turn signal module and even their LED bulbs that were guaranteed to work. The sequential tail lights still do not work. However with the brakes applied the turn signal does work. That is the only improvement. It appears that the brake light part of the LED is on no matter what signal is applied. I will follow up on this later part later.
     
  17. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    Check from chassis ground (or the negative terminal of your battery if you are still on the bench) to the white wire going from the module to the LED socket. You should read less then an ohm. If not, there is a ground problem.
     
  18. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I will check again. I think I did that because the battery is in the trunk and I was checking for continuity. It would be easy enough to just run a temporary ground wire to the battery from the tail light housing. Right now I have a 1/0 ground wire going from the battery to the engine block. From the engine block to the body and from the engine block to the frame. I have the battery ground in a Y configuration to try and prevent ground loops. It might very well have something to do with the grounds as everything else is very straight forward. I will get back on it tomorrow and try and solve this mystery.
     
  19. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I did a couple of things this morning. One was to run a ground wire straight to the battery from the tail light housing. No difference. The second thing was to bypass the module with the tail light wires. I can really see no reason electrically to run the tail light wire through the module except for convenience when hooking them up. Still no difference. The tail lights flash with the flasher but not sequentially. They do it all at one time.

    On the Summit Racing replies the only one was a negative. He thought the problem was the 2 in 1 1157 type bulb. His did flash sequentially but he had other problems and apparently he gave up with this unit. So I really do not know what the "secret" is with this module.

    I wanted to install the Putco plasma 1157 LED bulb in the front turn signal lights put it will not fit all the way down into the factory socket. I will work on that this afternoon. Glad this car is my "toy".
     
  20. 1989GTA

    1989GTA Silver Level contributor

    I did install the Putco Plasma 1157 LED bulbs for the front turn signals today. The right front has the original factory light bulb socket and has a deeper side than what I have in the back units. The Putco unit did not quite go in far enough to turn do to the old factory design. I did a little aluminum trimming on the bulb so that it would go in a few thou further and if fit perfectly. The drivers side unit had a lot of corrosion when I bought the car and I could not find a replacement, so I had to weld some metal on it and make some repairs to make it water tight. I used a newer style 1157 bulb socket on it and of course the Putco plasma led went right it.

    I will say it was well worth the effort. These Putco Plasma led bulbs are quite a bit brighter than the stander amber 1157 bulbs. I am quite happy how it all turned out and a nice improvement safety wise. Next I will look into the back up lights and see what I can do there. Head lights????
     

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