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1st gen turn signals to running lights with Switchback LEDs (a how to)

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by mtucker, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Apr 7, 2010 at 11:27 PM
    #1
    mtucker

    mtucker [OP] Tacoma addict

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    Replaced chrome badges with Sockmonkey black badges, painted billet grill black, K&N cold air intake, my corner light turn signal circuit, Speedfreek traction bars, RAAMaudio BXT/Ensolite, Stereo: Kenwood KIV-701 USB/Bluetooth deck, 10" Pioneer shallow sub behind the rear seat, Infinity 6822cf 6x8 front and rear doors, Fosgate P400-2 (sub), US Acoustics USX-4065 (four main speakers)
    There were a few people from this thread http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st-gen-tacomas/83454-1st-gen-head-tail-light-mods-lets-see-em.html
    that wanted a write up on how to install the Switchback LED bulbs from V-LED.com. These bulbs go into your turn signals sockets and light up white for running lights, but still go to yellow/off for turn signals.

    Application:
    2001-2004 1st generation Tacomas. The pre-2001 years don't have the same turn signal socket. You could replace the sockets or use a different switchback bulb, but this write-up is specifically for 2001-2004 trucks.

    Part #:
    The 2nd gen switchbacks VLED sells went obsolete. They now use this part 3157CK_42_HV_WA_5K for the 5K color.
    http://www.vleds.com/3157ck-42-hv-wa-5k.html
    There is also a 6K color. They advertise these new ones as HVA (high visibility amber). The 2nd gen VLED switchbacks had very bright white LEDs and the amber LEDs were OK. It looks like the HVAs improve on the brightness of the amber. I have not tried the HVA version yet.
    OLD part #s for reference:
    Original V-LED part # (note these are no longer sold) 3157_60_WA2_CK_5K Note that we need the "CK" style bulbs (AKA SWACK style) as our sockets are a bit different from the standard 3157 style socket.
    2nd gen VLED part # 3157_42_WA2_CK_5K is a good replacement (no longer sold). The 2nd generation had impressively bright white LEDs. The brightness of the amber LEDs was fine/OK.

    Necessary changes:
    If you just plug in the V-LED switchback bulbs, you get LED amber turn signals. To light up the white LEDs for running lights, you need to run 12V down to your turn signals. The 2001-2004 Tacomas used a dual filament socket (has room for three wires), but Toyota only put two wires in for a single filament. You will be adding a wire to the empty spot on the socket.

    Known problems: The switchback bulbs look for the turn signal voltage to know when they should turn off the white LEDs and flash the yellow LEDs. It is common for the white LEDs to go off briefly when you hit the brakes or switch into reverse. What happens is the rear driver's side light housing has a so-so ground and a bit of voltage develops on the ground when the brake lights or reverse lights are first turned on. That voltage travels through the rear driver's side bulb filament and to the "hot" side of the left turn signal. The switchbacks see that voltage and think you turned on your turn signal for a split second (the white LEDs then turn off for a second). There are two ways to get around this.
    1. Add a ground wire from the rear driver's side light housing to the frame. This provides a better ground and keeps the voltage spike low. This is what I did..... partly because I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on and this help me prove it was the voltage spike I was seeing on the ground.
    2. Change your rear brake bulbs to LEDs (they not only draw a lot less current, but don't have the big surge current when they first turn on). TW user DKA confirmed that replacing the brake lights with LEDs took care of the "winking" problem when applying the brakes. Another possible option is replacing the rear turn signal bulbs with LED. They should keep the voltage spike from the brake bulbs from getting to the "hot" of the turn signals. This should also take care of the "winking" when the reverse lights come on. I don't believe this has been tested.
    Anytime you change your turn signals to LED you will get the dreaded hyper blink because the relay circuit thinks your turn signal is burned out (because the LEDs draw so much less current than incandescent bulbs). I highly recommend changing your turn signal relay to one meant for LEDs..... easy and doesn't need hot energy wasting load resistors. Here is one place that sells the LED relays http://www.autolumination.com/equalizers.htm

    Here is the V-LED switchback bulb. You can see the amber and white LEDs.
    [​IMG]


    Reach up behind the valence and unscrew the socket from the turn signal housing. The socket and stock bulb hang from the wires. Unplug the bulb.
    [​IMG]


    Use a screwdriver to pry up on the tab to slide the socket apart. Ignore the blue quick-splice piece on my turn signal wire. That is for something else.
    [​IMG]


    Looking at the socket, you can see two of the three holes have contacts in them. One hole looks big because it does not have a contact. This is where the added wire will go.
    [​IMG]


    Pull the rubber plug out of the unused hole. You may want to put a slice in this plug so it will form better around the wire you are about to add.
    [​IMG]


    If you can find an extra contact for this socket, great. I did not. I fed the new wire in (18AWG wire) through the socket (from the back) and then bent the wire to form a hoaky spring type contact. Pull the wire back through until your created spring contact is about as deep in the hole as the two stock ones. Don't forget to put that rubber plug back in. It will keep water out of the hole and help keep the wire in place. TW user frizzman got a spare connector with wires so he didn't have to make a contact out of wire. This would be cleaner and easier than trying to form your own.
    [​IMG]


    The added wire (the green in the last picture) has to go to a 12V source. This could be the cigarette lighter circuit (so the running lights come on as soon as you start your truck) or you could wire it to the corner lights (would only come on if your parking lights or headlights are on). I have mine so they come on if the ignition is on. Put your socket back together and screw it back into the turn signal housing. Here is the V-LED bulb lit up white with the headlights on.
    [​IMG]


    The white LEDs are more white/blue than my headlights. The LEDs would probably match HIDs well or a incandescent bulb like the Philips Crystal Vision bulbs. Like other LED turn signals, they will cause hyper blink without a "load resistor" or similar. I modified the flasher relay circuit ( http://www.customtacos.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1670194 ), but load resistors would be the easy fix.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0J7Bxkq0g8

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  2. Apr 7, 2010 at 11:35 PM
    #2
    RPain

    RPain Well-Known Member

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    very nice write up
     
  3. Apr 8, 2010 at 8:13 AM
    #3
    Fuzzyman81

    Fuzzyman81 The New Guy

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    Nice write up - I just looked at the price of those bulbs.. wow
     
  4. Apr 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM
    #4
    ak47

    ak47 v.hey its my Avatar avatar.v

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    nice soundtrack lol.
    i got all the beer you can drink if you take a road trip up here and do mine!
     
  5. Apr 8, 2010 at 8:26 AM
    #5
    01tacoprerunner

    01tacoprerunner Lifted 'n Locked 4WD Prerunner

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    Sweet write up man, thanks, i might just have to do this, But $54.99 for a pair of the bulbs that s expensive!!!
     
  6. Apr 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM
    #6
    brg88tx

    brg88tx Well-Known Member

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    i would like mine to stay running amber (when i turned on my parking lamps), how would i go about doing that?
     
  7. Apr 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM
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    747

    747 function > form

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    Sweet!
     
  8. Apr 8, 2010 at 5:20 PM
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    blake1012

    blake1012 Go Braves!

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    subscribed.
     
  9. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:04 PM
    #9
    kumaWRX

    kumaWRX Well-Known Member

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    That is badass!
     
  10. Apr 9, 2010 at 12:40 AM
    #10
    supremetaco2

    supremetaco2 Well-Known Member

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    concrete jungle, oahu
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    +hp, lifted, lights, dif breather mod, debadged, shorty antenna...
    wow very nice job man :thumbsup:
     
  11. Apr 26, 2010 at 11:17 PM
    #11
    dka

    dka Well-Known Member

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    i did this mod today and for some reason when ever i tap the brake either 1 or both or the white leds goes completely off has anyone ever ran into this problem ...(ohh and i spliced into the parking light wire the green 1)
     
  12. Apr 27, 2010 at 12:05 AM
    #12
    MiikeyD

    MiikeyD The Green Machine

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    dude ... that is fucking sick.. GREAT JOB imma do that now thats legit (sorry im in awe and am basking in the awesomeness of the mod)
     
  13. Apr 27, 2010 at 12:20 AM
    #13
    mtucker

    mtucker [OP] Tacoma addict

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    Do the white LEDs turn off for about a second and then back on? If so, then you are probably getting a voltage spike on the turn signal wire that makes the switchback bulbs think you turned on the blinker for a split second. I noticed this only on my driver's side bulb which helped me diagnose the problem. This looks like this is the rule instead of the exception for these bulbs on our trucks.

    You can do one of two things.
    1. Solder a wire to your right (driver's side) rear turn signal socket (the ground of it) and run that to a nearby bolt that goes into the frame. I used about two feet of 16AWG wire.
    2. Switch either your rear turn signal bulbs or rear brake bulbs to LED (I have not confirmed this fix, but it should work).

    For the full (long story) check this link
    http://www.customtacos.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1717705&postcount=38

    Matt
     
  14. Apr 27, 2010 at 12:26 AM
    #14
    dka

    dka Well-Known Member

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    ill try the second option i got a extra set of bulbs
    edit.. i got the wrong bulbs ill prob order some brake light leds ...
    so i ordered some 1157 dual intensity from superbrightleds so i hope it works
     
  15. Apr 27, 2010 at 1:19 AM
    #15
    dka

    dka Well-Known Member

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    OHH and FYI to whomever buys off v-led there is a coupon to enter its E936K3 and u get 10% off
     
  16. Apr 28, 2010 at 9:27 PM
    #16
    Mr.Fahrenheit

    Mr.Fahrenheit Dennis = sinneD

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    the discount works, just bought some. i really like the way this looks and am gonna do it!!
     
  17. Apr 30, 2010 at 8:08 PM
    #17
    dka

    dka Well-Known Member

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    well i got my led rear bulbs in and installed them and they seem to be the fix ill post im anytghing happens
     
  18. May 1, 2010 at 7:53 AM
    #18
    mtucker

    mtucker [OP] Tacoma addict

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    Good to hear. Using LED rear brake lights or turn signals should fix the problem. For the record, you replaced your rear brake lights?

    Matt
     
  19. May 1, 2010 at 10:40 PM
    #19
    dka

    dka Well-Known Member

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    yes i used the 1157leds in the rear brake lights dont forget to get the dual intensity bulbs
     
  20. May 11, 2010 at 10:08 AM
    #20
    only_K

    only_K 1st Gen. Pride

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    wonder if it will be relitavely the same for a 99
     
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