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Can Haz Cheezburger

June 23rd, 2008

Today I installed the “Cheeseburger” style LED tail and backup lights.

Rather than pay outlandish prices and shipping for them via a British vendor, my friend Colby imported a bunch from China.   He’s selling them here.   They are quite nicely made and seem to be robust with quality gasketing and weep holes.  They are exact fits into the existing mount and grommet holes.   Mounting hardware is stainless steel.  My only complaint was 2 of them did not include mounting hardware (2 4mm nuts and some washers, as well as the screws that hold the lens on).   I could have very well lost them when transporting the lights to the shop.  Update:  Colby found the screw packets on his workbench.    They must have fallen out while we were bench testing the lights.

Here’s a shot comparing the old and new.    I have the brake pedal pressed.

It’s a little hard to objectively compare brightness with a photo, but this shot pretty much captures the difference in brightness.    The old one was a dim glow while the new LED light was almost too bright to look at.   I took these pictures off the centerline, behind the LED light, so it may be an slightly unfair comparison.   In person, the new LED lights are noticeably brighter.

It’s a bit less about half as bright when just the running lights are on.

The turn signals also work, with the existing stock blinker module.

Update:   Oddly, the right turn turn signal doesn’t flash when the running lights are on.   The current draw of the cheeseburgers must be right on the edge of what will work with the stock mechanical blinker module.    A 10W ballast resistor of 10 ohms connected from the flasher terminal to ground should fix this.   For 24V systems you’d want to use a ~40 ohm resistor.   I need to verify the appropriate resistor values  next time I go to the shop.

I didn’t get a photo of the backup light, but it is pretty good.   The old light was a reflector light (like a headlight), so it was fairly bright.

Getting everything to blink correctly was a challenge.   Trög is a mess of crappy wiring done by the Tollarp folks who did the fire truck conversion.  Crap such as lots of unsoldered/uncrimped connections barely held together with electrical tape or wires run willy nilly with extra lengths of wire woven thru the existing Volvo wiring.     Add various modifications and equipment removals over the day and it’s really hairy.   I spent a fair bit of time tracking down a completely incorrectly wired front indicator light which caused the right brake light to blink when the left turn signal was on!

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