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Old 09/11/2006, 10:49 PM   #1
EBS
 

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Question about LED sequential lights

I installed the LED sequential taillights and flasher from Mustang Project. When the engine is not running, the lights work as expected in brake, turn signal, and lights-on modes. When the engine is running, however, function of the lights is erratic in all three modes. Has anyone else had this experience or does anyone have a diagnostic impression? Functions with the old flasher and bulbs are fine.
Ed
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Old 09/12/2006, 05:10 AM   #2
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Yep - I have just been corresponding with the guys at MSP about this very Issue , they have provided some guides as to why.

If your running a MSD setup , this can cause issues as well apparently.

Get hold of them and they will try and walk you through the issues , just like mine. Mine is NOT resolved yet and i have reverted to the Lamps as they are more forgiving.

68 J/R code special - 2007 Turbo Territory - Mercedes CLK 2008
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Old 09/12/2006, 11:51 AM   #3
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The LED, (Light Emitting Diode) is an electrical part that is very sensitive to "noise" within the wiring, a circuit, or outside electrical disruptions. It is "voltage driven", not amperage driven, like incandescent bulbs.

It's like when your alternator/dist/plugs makes noise on your old AM radio. A capacitor was attached to the voltage regulator to (hopefully) squeltch the noise.

The same (as I read from GT Bandit) must be happening with the MSD distributor--and affecting the LEDs. A large capacitor may help.

I would ask that owners first go over their taillight wiring, sockets and ground first, before going to LEDs. LEDs are not a fix-all for taillight problems. If you clean all the contacts of the wiring--and the connectors--you should have very good taillights, just like original.

Paul N.
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Old 09/12/2006, 06:53 PM   #4
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put a radio noise suppression filter in-line with the power connection. Make sure you are getting a good ground connection. Route the wire from the tach away from any of the ignition related wires. It's a noise problem. You may have to route the wire going to the tach inside a copper braided hollow wire which is grounded. The braid acts as a noise shield.

I have the LED seqeuntial lights and have no problems. Don't have the MSD unit though. Paul is right about the regular lights being bright but there is still No comparison with the LEDS.
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Old 09/12/2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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Is there a noticable difference in light quality and dispersion with the LEDs vs. incandescent?

I know that those little scallops (and I don't mean at "Red Lobster") cast into the back of the red lenses are meant to repeat the 6 bulb's brightness, but do the LEDs look about the same?

I'm wondering--because the original use of six bulbs for a circuit usually meant to handle the load of two bulbs (stock coupe vs. GT/CS) is a little bit much for that gauge of wire. LEDs use a lot less amperage (about 20-30 milliamps each) than an 1157 bulb. So, this might be a good thing to help out that borderline wire gauge and amperage problem for the CS--especially when ANY loss of good ground ("Earth" for those in OZ and UK), and poor contacts will give you a less-than-good taillights.

(from your run-on sentence king),
Paul N.
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Old 09/12/2006, 10:34 PM   #6
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I have no tach. I don't know about an MSD setup, since I don't know what "MSD" means. I've ensured that the ground wire for the taillights is securely attached to bare metal and have inspected the visible wires - no obvious problems. One light bulb socket is loosened and probably needs to be replaced; where does one buy appropriate new sockets? Any other suggestions about noise suppression? I appreciate all the comments.
Ed
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Old 09/13/2006, 04:29 AM   #7
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Since the lights are affected by voltage and the problem occurs only when the car is running could either the alternator or the voltage regulator be the problem?
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Old 09/13/2006, 05:22 AM   #8
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if the tailights are affected by a bad alternator or voltage regulator you should see the headlights pulsing in brightness also; more so since the headlights take a lot more current. Check the ground of the relay unit. Check the ground to the chassis and to the motor. A poor ground in any place in the path of charge flow can make for some strange behavior.
The LED's are much brighter than the regular bulbs with less current used.
The drawback is the concentrated points of lights rather than the more pleasing diffused glow of the incandensents. I don't care for the slow blinking speed of the sequential lights either. One day I will get around to calling the company and asking if there is some reason they chose that particular rate and would they mind changing it or telling me how to change it myself.
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Old 09/13/2006, 06:11 AM   #9
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They sent me a faster flasher unit after I complained to them about the slow blinking speed. IMO the new flasher is too fast but it's better than the slow one.
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Old 09/13/2006, 07:17 AM   #10
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MSD = MULTIPLE SPARK DISCHARGE i think , but its a brand name for a Ignition transformer essentially

below is the email i received from the supplier

Hi Shaun,

We will get you fixed one way or the other. We stand behind our product 100%. First of all let me be absolutely clear on the symptoms.

1) With the engine off everything works perfectly? If not tell me what is different.
2) What kind of alternator/regulator/ignition system do you have? Standard or high performance?
3) When the engine is running what does work? Nothing no lights at all or some features like brakes etc?

We had a similar problem back about 2 years ago. Ive included this guys email. He had a custom ignition system with an MSD and other stuff. This in of itself was not the problem but apparently he had poor grounds. He added a ground shield as he describes below.

I would also like you to check the voltage at the lamp sockets if you have access to a voltmeter. A bad ground or a funny regulator/ignition system might cause similar problems.

Best regards,






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard,

Hi, Well I've been busy checking thing's out again. (Just can't get this out of my mind) Well here we go TEST #3475860.1/2....Got to thinking that I should shield the MSD cables some how, But how would I do this. hhhhmmmmm looking around in the garage I found some of that stainless braided hose like stuff, that stuff you cover your radiator and heater hoses with. So I took the Battery cables that come from the MSD and slid the covering over them and made me a drain wire on one end to ground. Mounted everything back in place and guess what happened when I started the car up....Nothing still have the problem there, Now this was the cable I could move around next to the main wire harness and make the problem come and go. So what the heck? I'll just continue on and do another set of wires coming out of the MSD, so I pick the pickup wires from the Distributor to the MSD. I ran them through some of that braided stuff put a drain wire on one end to ground started the car and guess what happened this time........nothing same problem still there. Now I'm thinking that this is not going to help so I should just quit and say the heck with this idea.............. NO WAY............ I'm not a quitter, this problem is not going to get the best of me. I want these to work because they are COOL. Well I got the 2 wires that go to the COIL but I know this is not going to do anything but what the heck I might as well shield them too. After I get them covered and add a drain wire to ground I then started the car. Welllllllll............. the lights seem to work better with the engine RUNNING, Try them with the lights ON.......They STILL WORK.....what the heck this is not right, it can't be the coil wires doing this....NO WAY.......did I FIX my noise problem........I think that I did......... the more I try them they seem to work GREAT. So all this time it was the 2 wires going from the MSD to the coil. This is one of those things that I will have to put in the memory bank.
I don't know if you sent out the new and improved kit yet? If you did do you want to try them or just send them back? Let me know. Also I going to want to buy another flasher module from you so I can replace my four way flash with it. May you could send me some extra flyers and I could pass them out at the car shows I go to. Been getting asked a lot of question about these. Like what kind of cars do you make these for, I tell them Mustang only right now. Would like to give you a call and talk to you about what I found, when would be a good time to call? I work till 2:30pm (central time) all most every day so I could call you any time after that. I have free long distance on my cell so there is no problem me calling you. Let me know what works for you.

Thanks again

68 J/R code special - 2007 Turbo Territory - Mercedes CLK 2008
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Old 09/13/2006, 07:41 AM   #11
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Cool

One possible troubleshooting technique would be to check suspect wires/connections with a simple ferrite bead which is a snap-on type. With your car and lights "on" and with the "problem" manifesting itself, simply try applying the ferrite to the suspect wire(s) and see if the problem (susceptibility) goes away when you have the bead on the right wire. Then, you can focus on improving whatever deficiency that wire/connection may have - a) grounding (it's good to verify w/ an Ohm meter), or you could implement b) shielding (braided copper wire sleeve grounded at both ends, or even aluminum foil can sometimes work - also gnd'd at both ends), and last c) filtering (at the "victim" end, tail lights, or at the "source" end, ignition system), some devices sold in automotive stores and electronic stores (Radio Shack, Al & Ed's, etc.), including the capacitor idea Paul mentioned earlier or the ferrite bead (acts more like an inductor) I mentioned above. One or all approaches listed above may be applied to help improve the immunity issue ...

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Old 09/13/2006, 07:56 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt bandit
....Got to thinking that I should shield the MSD cables some how, But how would I do this. hhhhmmmmm looking around in the garage I found some of that stainless braided hose like stuff, that stuff you cover your radiator and heater hoses with. So I took the Battery cables that come from the MSD and slid the covering over them and made me a drain wire on one end to ground. Mounted everything back in place and guess what happened when I started the car up....Nothing still have the problem there, Now this was the cable I could move around next to the main wire harness and make the problem come and go. So what the heck? I'll just continue on and do another set of wires coming out of the MSD, so I pick the pickup wires from the Distributor to the MSD. I ran them through some of that braided stuff put a drain wire on one end to ground started the car and guess what happened this time........nothing same problem still there. Now I'm thinking that this is not going to help so I should just quit and say the heck with this idea.............. NO WAY............ I'm not a quitter, this problem is not going to get the best of me. I want these to work because they are COOL. Well I got the 2 wires that go to the COIL but I know this is not going to do anything but what the heck I might as well shield them too. After I get them covered and add a drain wire to ground I then started the car. Welllllllll............. the lights seem to work better with the engine RUNNING, Try them with the lights ON.......They STILL WORK.....what the heck this is not right, it can't be the coil wires doing this....NO WAY.......did I FIX my noise problem........I think that I did......... the more I try them they seem to work GREAT. So all this time it was the 2 wires going from the MSD to the coil. This is one of those things that I will have to put in the memory bank....
... looks like you're on the right track ... I think the MSD is a spark performance enhancer - sort of like an amplifier, so shielding the output wires from the MSD unit makes sense ... sounds like you did good ... looks like you applied b) shielding, at the "source" and made some improvements ...

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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Old 09/13/2006, 08:41 AM   #13
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Strange. I'm running a complete electronic ignition set-up to include box, MSD Distributor and MSD Blaster 2 coil and have had no problems with my sequential lights so far (knock on wood). The only problem I've seen is how slow they are but, that doesn't bother me. As for dispersment of light between the two different types (1157's vs Digital), I'll take the Digital's over the 1157"s. The digitals are a heck of a lot brighter both in regular mode and breaking mode. With my regular 1157's, I almost got rearended several times because the lights were hard to see. I know when I purchased my MSD Distributor, the folks at JEG's tried to sell me an electronic capacitor even after I told them I already had the complete box and didn't need the capacitor since everything runs through the box and is regulated from there. Based on that I'm assuming the box is shielding my wiring so the problem hasn't occured.

Don

Last edited by 68gt390; 09/13/2006 at 09:50 AM..

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Old 09/13/2006, 01:35 PM   #14
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68gt390
Strange. I'm running a complete electronic ignition set-up to include box, MSD Distributor and MSD Blaster 2 coil and have had no problems with my sequential lights so far (knock on wood). The only problem I've seen is how slow they are but, that doesn't bother me. As for dispersment of light between the two different types (1157's vs Digital), I'll take the Digital's over the 1157"s. The digitals are a heck of a lot brighter both in regular mode and breaking mode. With my regular 1157's, I almost got rearended several times because the lights were hard to see. I know when I purchased my MSD Distributor, the folks at JEG's tried to sell me an electronic capacitor even after I told them I already had the complete box and didn't need the capacitor since everything runs through the box and is regulated from there. Based on that I'm assuming the box is shielding my wiring so the problem hasn't occured.

Don
It's also possible that maybe your system has some filtering (maybe capacitor) built into it, along with good grounding (especially if it's installed/secured onto the metal firewall giving you a good chassis ground). You may have a good "quiet" system there ...

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
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