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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So its been a long time since I last posted. Oddly enough since then I have a bachelors in Mechanical Engineering so my options for car mods seems to be endless and also more expensive. Since I was younger, I always encouraged to do LED halos for my Tail lights and headlights. So within the past year I did my headlights exactly how 7t2vette did his in another thread (except mine are switchbacks for a blinker) and turned out wonderful!
Wheel Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Vehicle
Automotive lighting Amber Gold Material property Automotive tire

But now the tail lights.....

I have a 76 and the tail lights are designed much different than the ones in the other thread. I wanted to get new ones since my old ones were cracked and not so bright. (especially for the kids on their phones these days) So this post is for those guys that have the 76 design of the "sealed" tai lights that won't come apart. I went through some trial and error but figured out a way to get a whole new set of tail lights with halos for under 200 dollars!! I used acrylic and amazon LED halos that are all readily available, All you'll need to do is get acrylic glue and go to a UPS store (or similar) to have them laser cut the files I made. I took off the old lenses carefully prying with a screwdriver and a dremel. I took the metal rings off and used a torch to melt out all the old plastic stuck inside and was able to reuse them for my project. I was then left with these housings.

Bathroom sink Wood Circle Audio equipment Electronic device
Automotive lighting Fluid Tableware Cookware and bakeware Automotive wheel system


Next I measured all the necessary dimensions and created a computer model using 1/4 in, 1/8 in and 1/16 in plexiglass (or acrylic, same stuff) I have access to a laser cutter at my university so I was able to go through some trial and error to get them to fit just right. I'll post links and descriptions of everything I bought at the end if you'd like to do the same mod.
After trial and error I ended up with these. I used all 4 lights as brake lights and all 4 have halos as tail lights. Then i used the reverse tail light pod as a reverse light and a blinker with a switchback halo.

Here are the tail lights. ( later on I had to drill small holes in the back of them next to the original light connectors to run the wire through the tail light housing on the car itself)

Table Light Lighting Audio equipment Pink


Heres the blinker.
Colorfulness Automotive lighting Light Amber Visual effect lighting


heres the reverse light.

Automotive lighting Light Blue Purple Visual effect lighting


Here is the final product installed.
Wheel Automotive parking light Car Tire Automotive tail & brake light
Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting


I had to redo a lot of the wiring in the back but it was super simple and can always revert back to the original ways.
All I had to do is run a wire from the white wire on my brake switch to the back of the car for the brake lights. then with that connected it would make the wire that originally is for the brake/blinker, turn into just a blinker. The tail light power you can pick up from the original tail light power for both sets of lights. and the reverse light is pretty self explanatory. after that its just making your connections good and covered with heat shrink and you are good to go. If you want more specifics on the wiring diagram and the laser cutter files feel free to email me at [email protected] or text me at 501-891-2629. I am very happy with how they turned out and am excited that I was able to create something that clearly does not exist in the market currently unless you like trailer lights for tail lights.

Here are the links to everything I bought on amazon for these lights.

for the Outside pod tail light
2 Wire Connector, MUYI 5 Kit Electric Connector 18 AWG Connectors Waterproof Electrical Connector 1.0mm² Wire Harness 1.5mm Series Terminal

For the inside pod tail light/reverse/blinker
MUYI 5 Sets 18AWG Waterproof Electrical Connectors Kit 1.5mm Series Terminal and Rubber Seal with 10cm Wire Weatherpack Connectors (4 pin)

For the Reverse tail light brake light
iBrightstar Newest 9-30V Extremely Bright 1156 1141 1003 BA15S LED Bulbs Replacement for Rv Tail Brake Lights, Brilliant Red

For the Brake wire. Don't need this much wire but I can always use extra.
Southwire 55667223 Primary Wire, 18-Gauge Bulk Spool, 100-Feet, White

For the Acrylic
2 Pack 1/4" Dark Red Translucent Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet 8"x12" Cast 6mm Thick Nominal Size AZM
RED Acrylic Transparent # 2423-1/8" Thick - Pick Your Size (12" X 24")

For the Vinyl protector so it won't scratch
VViViD 3M Clear Paint Protection Vinyl Film 12 Inch Wide Choose Your Size Including Tools (12 Inch x 48 Inch (Incl. Detailer & 2X Black Felts))

These are good connectors though some may have other opinions. I've just never had an issue with them.
Kuject 240Pcs T Tap Wire Connectors, 24-10 AWG Quick Splice Electric Wire Terminals, Self-Stripping Insulated Male Quick Disconnect Spade Terminals Assortment Kit with Case

These are for the outside pod brake lights
iBrightstar Newest 9-30V Super Bright Low Power 1157 2357 2057 7528 BAY15D LED Bulbs with Projector replacement for Stop Tail Brake Lights,Brilliant Red

And these Aren't necessary I just used them as a buffer between the pod and the lenses
Danco Perfect Match 59849 Rubber Packing Sheets, 6" x 6"

And here are the Halos,

QasimLED 1 Pair 90MM 60SMD COB LED Angel Eyes Headlight Halo Ring Warning Lamps with Cotton Plastic Cover Red 9-30V DC
Qasim 1-Pair 60MM White+Amber Switchback 72SMD 4014 LED Halo Ring Angel Eyes Led Lights 12V
Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Diagram
 

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That is great JD. It looks like that ME degree is paying off. You will never stop now. I hope you got a good job where you can use your talents
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is great JD. It looks like that ME degree is paying off. You will never stop now. I hope you got a good job where you can use your talents
Thanks! It's always awesome to have a vision for a mod and see it happen! Only thing stopping me is my bank account! Unfortunately I haven't gotten a job yet. I'm still trying to find companies in my area able to accept me with the odd transition phase I'm at in the military currently. Maybe I'll have to add this to the resume lol
 

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"Working independantly on mechanical and electrical systems" The would sound good on a resume' Good luck on getting a great job. If you had the money, what other mods would you plan on doing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Working independantly on mechanical and electrical systems" The would sound good on a resume' Good luck on getting a great job. If you had the money, what other mods would you plan on doing?
I've been toying around with a ball valve type exhaust cutouts or maybe electromagnet ones? so that its 100% sealed and won't take up room unlike most cut outs. But I also need to get a new steering wheel hub adapter that will let me use modern smaller steering wheels while still able to keep my horn and telescoping abilities. ( I have the '76 vega steering wheel still)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I also still need to create a thread, but I was able to fit electric headlight actuators using the original vacuum pods with 90lb 2in actuators that live inside the pods. I've had them for about 2 years now and only spent about 60 dollars in total with some minor metal fab to get it to work. I think the equivalent on the market is about ~500 dollars~ and takes about 10 seconds to lift. Mine take 3 seconds.
 

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Would this mod work on a canbus system? Could one modify it to be compatible with canbus. I know it takes special LED’s for that system so the computer recognizes them so u don’t get a check light warning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Would this mod work on a canbus system? Could one modify it to be compatible with canbus. I know it takes special LED’s for that system so the computer recognizes them so u don’t get a check light warning.
It's possible I think. If I were you I would just use a relay with a signal wire from the tail lights instead of actually solely using that wire for the tail light. I can't imagine the car being able to recognize a relay tapped into the tail light portion. I don't know too much about that system however. You could just play around with the lights first and see what happens before you get knee deep in changing out the lenses.
 

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If I get anytime this winter might give it a try. Computers they make life so much easer don’t they. I guess I could pull off license plate light. Sure that light is not monitored by the canbus system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If I get anytime this winter might give it a try. Computers they make life so much easer don’t they. I guess I could pull off license plate light. Sure that light is not monitored by the canbus system.
They definitely do make it much easier! I switched mine to a tuned port injection system with OBD1 about 5 years ago. Still starts on the first try even after sitting for months!

Grabbing off the license plate would definitely work.
 
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