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Tail light wiring - 87 GT - for 4 corvette lenses by Jared87GT
Started on: 02-24-2017 07:26 PM
Replies: 19 (469 views)
Last post by: turbo86se on 03-06-2017 06:33 AM
Jared87GT
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Report this Post02-24-2017 07:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am about to get a tail light panel with the 4 round corvette lenses, all 4 with the white center - which is the look i am going for....

but I am unclear about the bulbs and wiring... Can someone help me out with the plan here???

Brake, Reverse, Running lights, and Turn signal... How do I get all of them to work properly?

87 GT
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Report this Post02-24-2017 08:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Need jumper two pins w/ white wires of C500 then turn lights will flash and brake like notch back cars. ignore brake lights.
any service book have this data.

pin are C7 and H8
See my Cave, Terminal Access to remove/add pins w/o cutting wires etc.

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[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 02-24-2017).]

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Jared87GT
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Report this Post02-24-2017 09:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
i can't say I understand that enough to feel like i know what I have to do now...

so the turn signal bulb needs to get modified so that it works as both the brake and the turn signal?
what about the running lights?
will the reverse lights work in all 4 white lenses or just the inside?
when I hit the brake, does it light the white lens??

Thanks!!!
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Report this Post02-24-2017 09:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Never have White lenses on for brakes. That can make you a ticket magnet.
White is Only for Back-up and wired for 2 only. Car should Not have 4 white lenses.

GT Taillights are on brake bulb so easy way is to cut turn circuit then splice brake side of brake socket.
Get a service book to see what to cut and spice in rear of car.
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mr_corean
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Report this Post02-25-2017 05:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
On the clear center housings, the outer ring is just a reflector. It doesn't light up at all. With that in mind you need to decide how you want your final product to look. Do you want brake lights on all four lights or just the outer 2 lights or inner 2 lights? Do you want the same lights to blink as well for your turn signals? Do you want to keep your back up lights? Do you want both lights on a side to blink when you have your turn signal on? If you want to keep your back up lights then 2 of your lights need to be red bulbs and those will be your brake and turn signals. The other 2 would be clear bulbs. As ogre pointed out, you can not put clear bulbs in the spots for your brake or turn signals. Every time you step on your brakes it would look like you just threw your car into reverse.

I added a couple pictures of some lights I have laying around. The clear ones I have don't split open so I included a split red one so you can see what is going on inside the housing. On the red one you see the ridge running around the inside of the lens. On the clear it is the same way except inside the ridge is clear and outside it is a non-transparent reflective surface. It is all light up by the one central bulb still. I wouldn't worry about running four clear lenses, but you will need to use at least a red bulb for the brakes, and you should use an amber for the turn. You could get away with 4 reds just fine if you are going to remove the reverse and want separate turn and brake or all 4 turn and brake. If you are going to keep the reverse and run 2 as both turn and brake in one housing you will need to do some other things to get the bulb to function correctly.

One other thing. The Fiero bulb sockets will go into the Corvette housings just fine. They aren't as tight as they should be though. When I did mine I changed out my sockets with some Corvette ones since I was already cutting and splicing everything back there. The Fiero ones are the ones that are flat with the wires going out the bottom. The Corvette ones are the ones with the wires going out the back. Don't worry about the number of wires in the pictures, that just shows that those 2 sockets are for different things. I just grabbed the first 2 on top of my box.

Once you let us know how you want to final look we can better tell you how to wire it all up.



[This message has been edited by mr_corean (edited 02-25-2017).]

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Jared87GT
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Report this Post02-25-2017 08:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Awesome Mr. Corean! Thank you for all of that!!!!

So, I do like the look of 4 matching, white (clear) center lenses - but I am bummed to hear that the red outer circles do not light up at all....
I was not thinking of a red bulb inside the clear lens before either.

so... I think the inner will act as reverse and the outer will act as brake/turn - skipping the amber and just using a red

but what about running lights? does that still function?

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Report this Post02-26-2017 03:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If I understand correctly you are wanting to still run the 4 clear lenses, do the 2 inners with a clear bulb and the 2 outers with a red bulb. The inners are simple. Just shove the Fiero reverse lights in them. The outers you will need to do some more work. I believe there is a way to jumper something at the c500, as ogre mentioned above, to get the GT lights to work like the notchies. This will put the brakes and blinkers as working together. I don't know if you need to splice the brake and blinker lines together with this but that an easy experiment. I do know that you can't just splice the two together without the jumper and have it work correctly. When you turn on the blinker they just go solid like a brake light. Another option is to run a trailer adapter that is designed to take separate brake and blinker bulbs on a tow vehicle and run them through one bulb on a trailer correctly. They are at any autozone type place for around $20-$30. The running lights will still work as they should. The bulbs actually have 2 filaments in them. One is lit when the running lights are on, and the other lights up as well when the brakes or blinker are on. The two together is how it gets the brighter look. I actually wired a couple LED rings into my housings that work as my running and brake lights and left the center bulb as the blinker so I'm far from an expert on how to get this working in a somewhat stock setup. I'm happy to help though since I went through this pain once before as well.
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Report this Post02-26-2017 03:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
ya - i gotta find more about this c500 and jumper business - but it does sound like the trailer connectors are a fine idea too.

although I think i've had a change of heart. I think I will skip the reverse lights and do brakes in all 4 lenses (red bulb with clear/white lenses still) and let the turn signals be on the outer. everything red, no amber.
trickier wiring, but i think if i figure out this jumper thing I can get the rest done easy.

what then with the reverse? i don't really care, but i guess state inspection might one day. I could always just swap sockets and bulbs around for a day. haha
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Report this Post02-28-2017 04:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jared87GT:

ya - i gotta find more about this c500 and jumper business - but it does sound like the trailer connectors are a fine idea too.

although I think i've had a change of heart. I think I will skip the reverse lights and do brakes in all 4 lenses (red bulb with clear/white lenses still) and let the turn signals be on the outer. everything red, no amber.
trickier wiring, but i think if i figure out this jumper thing I can get the rest done easy.

what then with the reverse? i don't really care, but i guess state inspection might one day. I could always just swap sockets and bulbs around for a day. haha


For reverse you can look up your state laws on if they are even required. If so or you just want them you can put some where the reflectors are down in the bumper. I've seen several people put some ebay lights for only a couple bucks in there. Just extend the reverse light wiring a foot or so and you are good to go. The brakes in all 4 won't be any tougher than if you still had reverse in two of the lenses. On the inners just plug in a couple of the lights form the Fiero brake lenses. No other changes to wiring or anything necessary. The only thing that will need to be potentially changed is on the outers that will be both blinkers and brakes. Once again, I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think that if you do the jumper on the c500 it will cause all your brake or blinkers to work as both. That will possibly make it impossible to have one do brakes only and the other do both brakes and blinkers. I would probably leave the c500 terminal alone and do the trailer unit on the outside set of lights only leaving the insides stock. That will allow the insides to continue to work as stock like you want and the outsides will be able to work as a dual function. The trailer kit is basically a small little box that has inputs for ground, running, brake, and blinker and out puts for only ground, running, brake/blinker. You would need 2 kits though, one for each side since you want the inner lights to be brake only.

Like I said, double check everything I said since this is not the route that I took when I did mine. I do believe it is the correct route based on my research when I was deciding how to do mine.

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Report this Post02-28-2017 11:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You may pass local laws/rules but drive thru/into another county or state and easy to become a ticket magnet.
For Cars and Light Trucks for back...
Many states is 2 BU lights but some allow one to work and pass inspection etc.
Most states min 2 brake, turn, and park/tail/running lights and must work.
Min 2 Reflectors are require in some states.
(Heavy Trucks and Buses have more issues and most must meet USDOT rules for Interstate travel.)

Corvette lights are a set that work together on Corvette...
Corvette red do not have red reflectors. Red is DOT labeled for Park Turn Brake and tail/running light for Corvette. By using 4 in a Fiero isn't a problem by itself because have reflectors in the bumper. BU light to replace the Fiero reflectors isn't legal is some states for various reasons, more so if the mod red lights do not have reflectors.
Corvette BU lights have the reflectors used by Corvette and DOT labeled for such. (DOT codes are in my Cave, Lighbulbs)

Removing Backup lights then expect to get Sued after you hit anything or worse anyone in a parking lot etc because White lights are a Warning to others not just for you to see when you back up. Insurance won't help people doing iffy/illegal mods. (Note that hitting anything backing up on the street will get you a ticket or worse in most places.)
Fiero has huge blind spots to backup as it is.
GT rear vent/window is suppose to help but OE tint often doesn't and many tinted even darker or have opaque them. The blind spots are huge and can hind big trucks easy.
Many can see Fiero BU lights even when hidden in the blind spots and you can't see them.
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Jared87GT
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Report this Post02-28-2017 12:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Orge! All of that is something I've been considering so it's great to hear!
here's my plan...

all 4 clear center lenses - brakes working for all 4 - turn signals for the outer - and I will ignore the reverse lights.
I will use trailer wire harnesses to get it all hooked up right and not do anything with a c500 jumper.
However, I will leave the ability to swap the inner brake for reverse at a moment's notice. I will leave the reverse sockets connected, but pull and save the bulbs so I can just swap it out for inspection.
I will not touch the rear red reflectors in the bumper, but I do wonder if I can wire in little bright whites inside my license plate space that will work and legally pass as reverse lights

any concerns or additional thoughts???
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Report this Post02-28-2017 12:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jared87GT:
but I do wonder if I can wire in little bright whites inside my license plate space that will work and legally pass as reverse lights
likely no because Fiero tag is too low for a start. BU lights could be next to tag on others cars because tag is mounted higher.

Adding DIY lights can cause problems to pass inspection etc.
Legal lights, even aftermarket fixtures, have DOT labels and missing this data alone can fail inspection.
Odd mods scream attention in a bad way for inspector and often cause them to look for DOT labels.
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Report this Post02-28-2017 12:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
ha! fine by me - i'll just stick with my "ready to swap reverse lights back in" plan - easy.
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Report this Post03-01-2017 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jared87GT:

ha! fine by me - i'll just stick with my "ready to swap reverse lights back in" plan - easy.


This will work for inspections, and is easy since all the sockets will twist into the corvette housings. Ogre has a point about getting into an accident while you are in reverse. Chances are it will be your fault if you don't have any sort of reverse lights in place. I don't know about the height requirement for reverse lights, but you could put the reverse in the place of the stock Fiero reflectors due to all 4 of your Corvette lenses having reflectors built into them. Another option could be to put a couple small LED strips on either side of the 3rd brake light. Up under the edge of the rear clip lip. Ebay LED strips are dirt cheap and plenty bright. Would be as high as you could get them so no issues with them being too low. Not sure if they legally have to be closer to the rear of the car though. You would have to run some lines up to them of course, but would only add a little wire extension as far as requirements.

Another option that I was thinking about before, but never brought to fruition, was the use of some switch back LED bulbs. If you don't know what they are look them up but the down and dirty is that they are bulbs designed to be clear/white for a driving light that then changes colors to amber when the blinker is on. An example below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_taIE-FynfI
They have ones that are red and white as well. The idea would be to have it set up so your inner lights are white when in reverse, dim red when in drive, and bright red when on the brakes. You could easily set up the bright vs dim for the brakes with a resistor on the driving wire. The issue that I could see that you would need to sort out would be making sure the red was the default so the driving/brake setting was always on when you had your lights on and the switch function changed that to white. When in reverse you would want those to stay white the entire time and not be trying to change to red when you stepped on the brakes. If you could make sure the bulbs were default red and switched to white I think this would work. Might need another trailer adapter with the blinker line actually running your reverse bulb instead, but it all lines up in my head at least.

Another thought is there are red/amber switch backs. You could run one in your outer lights and have red brakes and amber turns still.

Edit to add video showing red/white reverse switchback set up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFsKkdBjeDM

[This message has been edited by mr_corean (edited 03-01-2017).]

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Jared87GT
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Report this Post03-01-2017 07:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
ya - i'm not too concerned - I dont put many miles on my Fiero since I work from home and only use it for running some local errands or going to church.
I will continue to think of one of these "hidden" ideas to at least accomplish the white light, legal or not - then let legality be my swap idea for now.
but who cares about all of that since i now have my plan to get the lighting setup i want! so excited!
now i just need the parts!!
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Report this Post03-01-2017 02:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you need lenses there is a guy I know that runs a corvette salvage yard out in cali. Has real good prices and will be able to hook you up with what you need. Let me know. I have a few laying around from my swap but not sure I want to let them go.
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Report this Post03-01-2017 03:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jared87GTClick Here to visit Jared87GT's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jared87GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
is it Dino's? I just bought one pair on eBay from him, but I still need another pair at the right price.
these lenses are crazy in price - some are $25/$30 - some people sell even used ones at $80
Let me know if he's got a clean pair and for how much to NC - thanks!!!
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Report this Post03-02-2017 04:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for turbo86seClick Here to Email turbo86seSend a Private Message to turbo86seEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Great thread, as I have the one-piece panel I got on here a year or so ago. I plan to use 2 pairs of red LED taillights (Corvette or maybe even Cobalt?), and use the lower reflectors for the backup lights. Couldn't you use the taillight wiring harness from a notchback? I've got a '87 GT as well.
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Report this Post03-03-2017 12:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mr_coreanSend a Private Message to mr_coreanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jared87GT:

is it Dino's? I just bought one pair on eBay from him, but I still need another pair at the right price.
these lenses are crazy in price - some are $25/$30 - some people sell even used ones at $80
Let me know if he's got a clean pair and for how much to NC - thanks!!!


His name is Steve Allen. He runs SoCalVettes. His number is 619-210-4444. Website is socalvettes.com. Great guy to work with and very good prices.

 
quote
Originally posted by turbo86se:

Great thread, as I have the one-piece panel I got on here a year or so ago. I plan to use 2 pairs of red LED taillights (Corvette or maybe even Cobalt?), and use the lower reflectors for the backup lights. Couldn't you use the taillight wiring harness from a notchback? I've got a '87 GT as well.


Hopefully ogre reads this again and can comment, but I don't think you need to. I think you can do the jumper at the c500 and get the gt lights to work like the notchie. Not 100% sure on that though. With the 4 reds are you doing all 4 blinkers and brakes?
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Report this Post03-06-2017 06:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for turbo86seClick Here to Email turbo86seSend a Private Message to turbo86seEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mr_corean:


Hopefully ogre reads this again and can comment, but I don't think you need to. I think you can do the jumper at the c500 and get the gt lights to work like the notchie. Not 100% sure on that though. With the 4 reds are you doing all 4 blinkers and brakes?


I plan to use all four red led's as blinkers and brakes. I might look into this, just need to find a notchie in a yard somewhere and see how it goes. I already have my Fiero stripped down to bare frame. Right now would be the time to experiment.
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