WARNING for those with ECR LED tail lamps - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 7th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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WARNING for those with ECR LED tail lamps

If you are running ECR/ Truck-Lite 95-97 style round LED units and have done any DIY wiring to connect the lamps and you live in an area (like the mid-west) where they spread that liquid crap on the roads you need to make sure you have waterproof connectors where your tail harness meets the LEDs wiring.

This is not an issue if you have ECR plug and play units. Our connectors are sealed and you will not have an issue.

If you have done your own wiring and connectors and you just have standard crimp connectors of some sort, you will have a failure of the lamps. You need to switch the connectors out for a fully waterproof epoxy sealed type.

We just had a set of LEDs returned from a customer in OH where the units failed after 2 winters.

We investigated the issue that looked like water got into the sealed unit somehow, and found that the road surface conditioner (salt/ calcium chloride/ crap) got into the wire via a poor connector and then traveled all the way up the wire and then into the back of the LED unit, where it then trashed the circuit board of the sealed LED unit.
These same units tested underwater still showed them as 100% sealed. The crud went up the wire internally.

This is NOT A FAILURE OF THE LED unit. It is a failure of the DIY wiring.

Please make sure the connectors you have used are full sealed (and that doesn't mean electrical tape).

Thanks!!!

Mike, ECR
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  #2  
Old July 7th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Wow, that is some seriously motivated water.

You are saying that enough water travelled all the way up the inside of a wire to rust out the inside of the LED unit? I know you are a wizard with everything regarding Land Rovers, but this sounds a bit extreme.

In any case, I would suggest everyone with ANY the LED units (DIY or not) take a look at the connection where the wires go into the back and make sure it is completely sealed. That sounds like a more reasonable explanation.

Of course, I did not have the opportunity to conduct some CSI level forensics on the unit, so any response that I have no idea what I am talking about would be completely justified.

Thanks for letting us know about the issue. That would be heartbreaking to discover after it was too late. I absolutely love my LED lights from ECR.
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  #3  
Old July 7th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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I agree with Mikes diagnosis. Seen the same issue on many components with corrosion traveling through the wiring.
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  #4  
Old July 7th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozman
Wow, that is some seriously motivated water.

You are saying that enough water travelled all the way up the inside of a wire to rust out the inside of the LED unit? I know you are a wizard with everything regarding Land Rovers, but this sounds a bit extreme.

In any case, I would suggest everyone with ANY the LED units (DIY or not) take a look at the connection where the wires go into the back and make sure it is completely sealed. That sounds like a more reasonable explanation.

Of course, I did not have the opportunity to conduct some CSI level forensics on the unit, so any response that I have no idea what I am talking about would be completely justified.

Thanks for letting us know about the issue. That would be heartbreaking to discover after it was too late. I absolutely love my LED lights from ECR.

This is not a "maybe" or "my theory", it is a fact in regards to what killed this lamp, and will kill others if the connections are not sealed (and that doesn't mean tape or silicone).
The wires were conducting water/crud up them like a tube. The wires are corroded to black at the connector end and the same wire is also corroded to black where it meets the circuit board.

I had the other lamp that failed from water/crud ingress in a bucket of water for 2 days and it is still 100% sealed around the lens and the seal where the wires go in. After 2 days underwater no water was in the unit itself. The rust pattern and such shows the water entered the unit where the wire case ends and then gravity took it down. Keep in mind this is not just water, it is nasty stuff they put on the road in the mid-west and other places. The trucks we see from IL and OH have the most corrosion af any we see (expect the Nantucket cars). The customer had standard crimp connectors on the wires and even with heat-shrink and tape that is not a sealed connection by any means.
In most cases with those cheap crimp connectors a few inches of wire will be black with corrosion, but in this case the corrosion went all the way up the wire (about 4 inches). It happens quite often in wiring that is in a tough spot, sadly.
We see this a lot with cheap-o add on trailer wiring, so it isn't a case of "if"... this is what happened.

I just wanted to mention it in case anyone who bought any DIY LEDs used cheap connectors, then your LEDS may suffer the same fate, and it is not the fault of the LEDs, it is the fault of the wiring connector.

Change to quality epoxy lined connectors (you crimp them and then heat them) and you'll be set.





Follow-up Post:

Here are some images:

The image of the back of the black LED base shows no water trail from where the wires are sealed.

The back side of the LED circuit board shows no water trails, only corrosion at the bottom where water pooled

The front side of the LED circuit board shows the trail of water/corrosion and if you look where the yellow arrow points you will see just how black the inside of that red wire is, as it has been "conducting" water into the sealed LED unit via an un-sealed electrical connection.

Seal'm up.

Thanks to the customer who sent these lights back. If he hadn't we would have never known about this issue, as we have never installed any DIY connected LED units here.
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  #5  
Old July 7th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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If you weren't busy telling people that they need lifts on their trucks you could have told everyone this when they bought their lights.

Couldn't resist and I am bored at work.
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  #6  
Old July 7th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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The sad thing is I have seen similar corrosion on stock lights with the stock connectors (although that stuff may be going from the unsealed light to the connector whereas here it is the opposite). My left FRONT is currently wonky intermittently even though I replaced the bulb holder so I think I have to use one of my repair kits on the harness (ground seems ok). The repair orders that came with my truck show that most of the rear lights were fixed already. Poor design if you ask me (OTOH the 93/94 lights always seem fine).

Bottom line IMHO is that someone needs to come up with a boot or something to protect the backs of the lights.
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  #7  
Old July 7th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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Fill the connector with dilectric grease and your worries will be over.
I used to fight with my tail light each winter, but since I filled the connectors... no issues.
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  #8  
Old July 7th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Yup, that is amazing. Sorry for chiming in incorrectly, and thanks for posting the additional pics.

Maybe you can add the proper connectors to the DIY package, at an additional cost?
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  #9  
Old July 7th, 2009, 08:32 PM
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The "proper" connectors is a matter of choice - I really like WeatherPacks and set my truck up with them, as well as the ones I did in the group buy. I've got the crimping tool, so I'd be happy to install good connectors for anyone who needs them.
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  #10  
Old July 14th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Do you have a source for the epoxy lined connectors, I can't seem to find them.

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECR
This is not a "maybe" or "my theory", it is a fact in regards to what killed this lamp, and will kill others if the connections are not sealed (and that doesn't mean tape or silicone).
The wires were conducting water/crud up them like a tube. The wires are corroded to black at the connector end and the same wire is also corroded to black where it meets the circuit board.

I had the other lamp that failed from water/crud ingress in a bucket of water for 2 days and it is still 100% sealed around the lens and the seal where the wires go in. After 2 days underwater no water was in the unit itself. The rust pattern and such shows the water entered the unit where the wire case ends and then gravity took it down. Keep in mind this is not just water, it is nasty stuff they put on the road in the mid-west and other places. The trucks we see from IL and OH have the most corrosion af any we see (expect the Nantucket cars). The customer had standard crimp connectors on the wires and even with heat-shrink and tape that is not a sealed connection by any means.
In most cases with those cheap crimp connectors a few inches of wire will be black with corrosion, but in this case the corrosion went all the way up the wire (about 4 inches). It happens quite often in wiring that is in a tough spot, sadly.
We see this a lot with cheap-o add on trailer wiring, so it isn't a case of "if"... this is what happened.

I just wanted to mention it in case anyone who bought any DIY LEDs used cheap connectors, then your LEDS may suffer the same fate, and it is not the fault of the LEDs, it is the fault of the wiring connector.

Change to quality epoxy lined connectors (you crimp them and then heat them) and you'll be set.





Follow-up Post:

Here are some images:

The image of the back of the black LED base shows no water trail from where the wires are sealed.

The back side of the LED circuit board shows no water trails, only corrosion at the bottom where water pooled

The front side of the LED circuit board shows the trail of water/corrosion and if you look where the yellow arrow points you will see just how black the inside of that red wire is, as it has been "conducting" water into the sealed LED unit via an un-sealed electrical connection.

Seal'm up.

Thanks to the customer who sent these lights back. If he hadn't we would have never known about this issue, as we have never installed any DIY connected LED units here.
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  #11  
Old July 14th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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I've bought them at autoparts stores, marine stores, and Lowe's. They're sold as "weatherproof" and have a translucent colored plastic part. Its best to order them in quantities from mcmaster though, all the other places gouge badly.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf
If you weren't busy telling people that they need lifts on their trucks you could have told everyone this when they bought their lights.

Couldn't resist and I am bored at work.
**Might have been missed or misconstrued. This was a joke because of the "How can I tell if my truck has a lift thread"
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  #13  
Old July 14th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1
Do you have a source for the epoxy lined connectors, I can't seem to find them.

Thanks

We use epoxy lined units from ANCOR for anything under the car that needs a connection (that isn't a factory connector).
You can get them from various sources.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjf
**Might have been missed or misconstrued. This was a joke because of the "How can I tell if my truck has a lift thread"
Oh, I got it... just trying to forget some of the loons on the board.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Many thanks, I just saw them at West Marine, they were pricey. I still can find the oversizEd female connectors though.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1
I just saw them at West Marine, they were pricey.
Pricey compared to a new set of LED lamps??
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:53 PM
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I don't have the lamps, I was just going to do all my connections over with them. The pricey was more directed at Wesy Marine.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Yeah everything there tends to be about 5x the actual cost. like that 1/0 batter cable that they wanted to sell me for $12.50/ft... I asked them if it came with a free vial of crack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaco1
I don't have the lamps, I was just going to do all my connections over with them. The pricey was more directed at Wesy Marine.
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  #18  
Old September 22nd, 2009, 07:55 AM
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[QUOTE=ECR]We use epoxy lined units from ANCOR for anything under the car that needs a connection (that isn't a factory connector).
You can get them from various sources.


beware that ANCOR (as a company) has been sold and that connections in ANCOR brand boxes may not be the high quality normally associated with that brand name. The new company owners have substituted stock and the current version is badly made offshore crap and the heat activated adhesive is poorly applied if present at all. There is some old stock floating around that will show up (the genuine article each connector is stamped with the brand name) and as this is written the issue is being worked on (my GF is an ANCOR distributor/retailer).
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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  #19  
Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:05 AM
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As with everything... once something works really well... they find a way to screw it up.
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  #20  
Old September 22nd, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Thas' right. It's being worked on. I think that once the lack of sales generated by trying to sell crap find there way onto the right spreadsheet they will get the quality parts back. Will know more by early October. There is still a pile of backstock out there but Lovey sells a pile of it and is currently low on most. The boatbuilders /fishermen / local Rover shops, wont use anything else.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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