LED Light Kit Install - Walk Through - Defender Source
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Old October 13th, 2016, 11:27 AM
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LED Light Kit Install - Walk Through

There are a lot of threads about problems people encountered when trying to replace their lights (mostly the turn signals / flashers causing problems) with LEDs. I figured I would document my replacement effort in the hopes it helps someone else going forward.

Tools and equipment: LED light kit (obviously), flat head, Philips screwdriver, wire strippers, crimpers, heat shrink seal, dielectric grease, silicone, power drill + suitable bit.

I bought a set of 733 MM LED Style Wipac lights for the brakes, signals, and parking lights. Part # DA1192 and it ran me $184 on EBay and came with a working signal relay.

I bought 7" round LED headlights from SuiTech on Amazon but wiring for many comparable lights will be similar. Choose ones you like. Mine cost about $185.

1) Take a small flat head screwdriver and pop off the old / existing plastic covers for the turn signals and brake lights in the rear. Repeat the same in the front. Mine were a bit stuck but there is a small slot at the bottom of each that gave me room for a small flathead. I wasnít too worried about cracking the plastic since I was looking to replace the set, but everything came off without issue.

2) Unscrew the retaining plates / mount for all lights. Itís ok to let the lights hang from the cords at this point. There should be ample slack to work with unless someone has already cut into your wires during a previous mod.



3) This might differ if you have a newer truck but my existing brake and turn lights did not have plugs. They were wired as a unit so I had to cut and splice. Maybe you will be lucky and have a plug but if not, making new connections is not hard. I just cut off the factory plugs.


4) I recommend a little Dielectric grease on each of the connections if you use terminals. This will help prevent corrosion. You can get it at Home Depot, Amazon, or most Auto Stores.


5) I started with the turn signal since there are only 2 wires (live and ground). Splice the wires together and test that it flashes (donít worry about the flash rate for now). If it does not work then try grounding directly to a valid ground on the chassis. I found that the LEDs are more picky about a good ground than the old bulbs which seem to be able to ground through one another to a common ground.


6) Same idea with the brake lights but there are 3 wires. One is ground, one is the rear running lights that go on with your headlights, and the final is the brake light. Youíll need a friend to test the brake for you since you canít readily see the rear while applying the brake (maybe you can back up to a wall if you have no friends to help). Your colors may differ but there doesnít seem to be any harm to guessing wrong a time or two. Just keep the connection quick release or hand wrapped until you get it right. I finalized all my connections with crush connectors and marine rated heat shrink (available on Amazon).


7) Up front the turn signals are the same as the rear, and the white parking lights are also simple two wires.


8) You need to remove the front turn signals and parking lights as well as the 2 retaining screws in the plastic light surround to access the headlight harness.

9) Before you do the headlights you might want to check the level of the existing lights. Park about 25 ft from a wall and use painters tape to mark the brightest point / center of each headlamp. This way when you install the new lights you can line up the new bright points with the old ones.

10) Once you remove the surround you will find a few retaining screws holding the headlight in place. Note that the screws at 9pm and 12pm position are leveling screws used to align the light once re-installed. You may want to loosen these to ease the removal of the headlamp but you donít need to take them all the way out.

11) Once you remove the headlight you need to remove the chrome harness. Mine was a tad corroded so I hit it with some steel wool / polish and shined it up. Make sure you donít lose the retaining clips and screws for the harness since it will be needed on the new light as well.


12) Here I was pleased/surprised that I DID have a plug and it worked with the pins/plugs for the new headlight. Iím not going to get into wiring the halo light in this post. Only focused on low and high beams for now.

13) Once you confirm the headlights work for low and high beam, reverse what you did to take out the headlights to reinstall them. You can level/align them to your preferences / legal requirements.

14) Now go to the fuse panel in front of the shifter and remove the knobs to release the retaining plate.



15) Find the flasher relay (black box, mine was wired with a metal clip and ground to the retaining plate.


16) Replace the relay with the one from Wipac or whomever makes your light. They sell them on Ebay for $10 if your kit did not come with one. You will need this relay or the flash rate wonít be right/legal. You can install resistors instead but this is silly since it increases the power demand of the lights and LEDs are appealing in part because they are so energy efficient. You could probably get away with leaving the parking lights all night and not kill your battery with LEDs (I do not endorse this, just saying).


17) Now, go check all your lights to see whatís working. If you did the wiring correctly then the brake lights should be fine, headlights too. I ran into problems with my turn signal. This is a well documented issue with some Defenders but I had to search around a few forums to find solutions. Basically there is a tell tale / indicator bulb in the dash panel (the <-- --> green light that flashes when you use your signals). Some current leaks through the bulb and with the low power demand of the LED is lights up the other side (the current leaks with the incandescent bulbs too but you wonít get enough to light up). If you remove this bulb it will fix the turn signals. But it means your flashers donít work. I believe this means you fail an MOT but will probably pass a U.S. state or city inspection (not encouraging this, just being realistic about the depth of checks I generally see when I get a vehicle inspected). Iíve been in touch with boltonbits (UK) via their EBay store. They have an ďLED indicator fix kitĒ for 15 GBP delivered in the UK mainland (more for shipping stateside). Thereís also an option to solder in some diodes to prevent the current leak behind the tell tale bulbÖdepends on your wiring savvy.

18) If someone comes up with another solution for the indicator light / flashers Iíd love to hear it!

19) Assuming you are happy with your wiring then itís time to mount the new lights. Maybe you will get lucky and the new lights will have holes that match the old. Mine did not. I took painters tape and placed it on my car to protect the paint. Then I put the new light in place, and used a pencil to make the location of the holes.

20) Double and triple check the size of your bit vs the screws. I used some scrap metal for testing. I drilled right through the painters tape to prevent flaking of my Defender paint and ensure I drilled the right spots. Rinse and repeat until all the holes are set.

21) Use some kind of anti-corrosion agent on the holes, both old and new. I also applied a bit of silicon to mine since the spray from the tires will otherwise blast the back of the light and make it all gross over time. I have a black truck so I bought black silicone. You wonít see it anyway but Iím picky.

22) Reinstall all the lights by tucking the wires in place and screwing the retaining bolts/screws in place. Test the lights once more.


23) Enjoy! Now people can actually see you and you can see the road (if not your instrument panel but thatís another thread).
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  #2  
Old October 13th, 2016, 12:34 PM
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Great write up!

With regards to #17 what led relay are you using? If it's the adjustable one try turning it down all the way. I had issues with the trailer indicator flashing but was able to correct that by adjusting the relay.
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  #3  
Old October 13th, 2016, 02:24 PM
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Sweet.
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  #4  
Old October 13th, 2016, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelemt View Post
Great write up!

With regards to #17 what led relay are you using? If it's the adjustable one try turning it down all the way. I had issues with the trailer indicator flashing but was able to correct that by adjusting the relay.
Using the adjustable relay that came with the Wipac signal/brake light kit. I toyed with the adjustment dial and didn't see any different in flash rate. I didn't think of whether it might impact my flashers. Thanks for the tip.

I ordered some LED dash indicator bulbs from superbrightleds online and they come in next week. I'm hoping I might get lucky with a $1 bulb vs the 20GBP boltonbits wants to charge me. If I find a fix using cheap replacement LED bulbs or by toying with the relay rate I will post an update.
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  #5  
Old October 13th, 2016, 05:03 PM
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Paul B
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Fantastic write up! I will hopefully be doing the same in Feb when I get my 110.
I'll be checking back for updates.
Nice Rover btw.


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  #6  
Old November 24th, 2016, 07:35 AM
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Hi Bear, I bought the same Wipac kit like yours. I am n the middle of rebuilding my engine and tranny so have not gotten to electrics as yet. I bought this landy and striped it down right away, never drove it more than a lap around the block.

Electrics were all ok when I checked, but I have a lot of upgrades to do and huge bit of electronic installations to do as well.

I am trying to figure out where and how the voltage leak you speak of occurs. If you have bad grounds, it will cause what's referred to a a potential difference between a ground and B- which technically is voltage.

The signal circuitry also incorporates the hazard light switch and wiring, so there are a few areas the leak though voltage might occur. IMO, the "fix kit" with diodes and possibly caps, is a bandaid approach, the leak though should be fixed without the need for this.

I wished my landy was up and running, since the electrics and electronics projects I enjoy. If I can get my hands on a friends 80ies defender, I will pop the signals to do a voltage check on both sides. Mine is a 97 110 and the wiring is different so I might not have an issue if its other than a bad ground or more.

With regards to your head lights, are you happy with their performance? There is so much back and forth on what's the good and bad on LED head light manufacturers. Personally I would go for HIDs, however since the landy does not have separate high/low head lights...you are limited using them.

Don't worry about being picky, I am the same and the guys tell me I have OCD. The truth is, when you are picky and a perfectionist with what you do, your projects mostly comes out well, I am a fanatic when it comes to attention to detail.

Only yesterday I was reminded how good it is to be that way. I sold a brand new RC giant scale airplane with a 6.5 HP purpose built gasoline engine to a guy. He installed the engine and was having issues starting it. I asked him if he checked everything thoroughly and he said yes, since he has been flying for over 30 years, I expected a flawless set up.

So I set up for a start by hand flipping a 24 inch razor sharp propeller...well the engine started and went full bore with maximum revs instantly .....he had the throttle controls reversed. If I was not verse in starting these engines, I could have lost all my fingers in a heart beat. Check, check and recheck....be picky, it pays.

Cheers.

------ Follow up post added November 24th, 2016 09:38 AM ------

Your landy looks great from the few partial pics of it BTW, you should post some pics with the lights fired up...I would put the hazards on and take multiple pics to catch both signals on.

I am guessing that the hole on the right side fender was for an antenna or flag holder if it was a diplomatic vehicle.

Cheers.
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  #7  
Old November 24th, 2016, 07:49 AM
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Doing the same next week. Thanks for the write up!
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  #8  
Old November 24th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC_Bear View Post
Iíve been in touch with boltonbits (UK) via their EBay store. They have an ďLED indicator fix kitĒ for 15 GBP delivered in the UK mainland (more for shipping stateside). Thereís also an option to solder in some diodes to prevent the current leak behind the tell tale bulbÖdepends on your wiring savvy.
DC Bear:
any idea what's included in the boltonbits "LED indicator fix kit". it's probably just two diodes with wire pigtails.

this issue of indicator light bleeding is common to some motorcycles. see links for more info:
https://www.customdynamics.com/pdf/M...ch%20sheet.pdf
LED indicator diode kit installation instructions ‚ÄĘ Matchless Clueless


Super Bright LEDs sells an inexpensive "fix kit" which will save some time/effort in soldering your own kit:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...iode-kit/1190/

here's another source to buy a similar kit:
LED indicator diode kit ‚ÄĘ Matchless Clueless

I'm considering one of these kits, but I would be interested to see if anyone else has a better solution... possibly rewiring with 2 separate indicator lights.
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  #9  
Old November 24th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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The RDX flasher relay fixes all problems without load resistors or diodes.

RDX 4 Pin Flasher Relay for LED WIPAC lamps THE ONE THAT ACTUALLY WORKS Defender | eBay
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  #10  
Old November 24th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
The RDX flasher relay fixes all problems without load resistors or diodes. RDX 4 Pin Flasher Relay for LED WIPAC lamps THE ONE THAT ACTUALLY WORKS Defender | eBay
I have a couple of these I will sell $25 shipped.
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  #11  
Old November 24th, 2016, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston-Rover View Post
DC Bear:
any idea what's included in the boltonbits "LED indicator fix kit". it's probably just two diodes with wire pigtails.

Super Bright LEDs sells an inexpensive "fix kit" which will save some time/effort in soldering your own kit:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...iode-kit/1190/

here's another source to buy a similar kit:
LED indicator diode kit ‚ÄĘ Matchless Clueless

I'm considering one of these kits, but I would be interested to see if anyone else has a better solution... possibly rewiring with 2 separate indicator lights.
I never did order the kit from boltonbits because I felt it was overpriced. I ordered the diode kit from superbrightLEDs that you linked (above). I also ordered an LED bulbs to replace all the indicator lights. $0.95 each and they come in many colors (I got natural white). I have yet to wire the diodes in place. I tried just replacing the bulb with LED and now it lights up only when I signal on the right side haha. If I flip the bulb it lights up only when I signal left. This is (as I understand it) because LEDs are sensitive to polarity whereas older traditional bulbs are not.

I also ordered this wired socket for the tell tale light because I figured it will be easier to work with than the stock wiring plate. And it's only $1.00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Landy View Post
I am trying to figure out where and how the voltage leak you speak of occurs. If you have bad grounds, it will cause what's referred to a a potential difference between a ground and B- which technically is voltage.

The signal circuitry also incorporates the hazard light switch and wiring, so there are a few areas the leak though voltage might occur. IMO, the "fix kit" with diodes and possibly caps, is a bandaid approach, the leak though should be fixed without the need for this.
Agree - I am wondering if the hazard switch might be at least partially to blame. The stock switch is notoriously prone to failure. I thought about getting them some Carling switches as I've seen then in many Defenders. But consistent with my particular nature, I wanted custom labels so I got Contura V switches and found out they don't fit in the stock retaining plate (the 3 switch plate below the steering wheel). I bought some sheet aluminum and carved out my own custom plate (pic below, you can see I nicked off one corner by accident but not bad for my first effort). I'll get it powder coated black later.



I spent last weekend changing out my differential fluids, oil, etc and trying to fix a leak in the transfer case. Turns out the PO stripped out the drain plug and tried to patch it with a thread kit. I decided this was no good and used an M14 tap to drill it out / re-thread it for a bigger plug ($9 from NAPA). So far so good but this was a time suck so I have not yet had time to try my hand at rewiring the lights.

The Contura V switches have a different wiring / connection set up so I've been mapping out what I want to do on paper. If anyone is an electrical guru and feel like sharing a diagram you think will work, I don't mind playing guinea pig for the group and reporting results.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Landy View Post
With regards to your head lights, are you happy with their performance? There is so much back and forth on what's the good and bad on LED head light manufacturers. Personally I would go for HIDs, however since the landy does not have separate high/low head lights...you are limited using them.

Don't worry about being picky, I am the same and the guys tell me I have OCD. The truth is, when you are picky and a perfectionist with what you do, your projects mostly comes out well, I am a fanatic when it comes to attention to detail.

Your landy looks great from the few partial pics of it BTW, you should post some pics with the lights fired up...I would put the hazards on and take multiple pics to catch both signals on.

I am guessing that the hole on the right side fender was for an antenna or flag holder if it was a diplomatic vehicle.
Very happy with the headlights so far. They are a massive improvement over the stock lights, but admittedly I haven't compared them to a lot of other LED kits. Still, the range and illumination is great. I did angle them a bit lower than stock because I don't want to blind any oncoming traffic. I've had them out at night many times and yet to get "hate flashed" by oncoming drivers. So I assume I've got them aligned well enough.

I think JW Speaker makes some of the best 7" lights out there. Made in USA and great service and warranty.

Picky has pitfalls but as you said, the end results usually justify the efforts. It's been slow going with some of my projects but I have no regrets about the results.

I think the fender holes are from PO diamond plating. I'm checking the alignment and might order some new plating and get it powder coated black.
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  #12  
Old November 25th, 2016, 09:04 AM
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Bear the panel looks great, even with the over cut, you wont see that anyways its out of sight.

JW Speakers 7" LED head lights are good, great reviews, I will get those instead.

Looking back at your wiring, I would have suggested that you solder pig tails to the harness to accommodate the LED light connectors. If one was to fail or get broken it would be easier to swap out.

I looked at mine a bit more closely and discovered that the same Wipac kit like yours is totally 100% plug and play on my 97 100, the connector, polarity and mounting hole matching is 100% perfect.

The switches you have looks awesome, is the instrument cluster one designed for brightness control....tap up and down for intensity? The wiring harness colors and connectors are different between the 84 and my 97, wished I could have helped you.

You should post a separate thread for the wiring assistance, post what you have done so far on paper and seek help from one the guys who might have the wiring diagram for the 84.

I bought wedge style amber bulbs for my instrument cluster and instrument lights, I don't like the dim green at all. My 7 additional gauges will all be programmed to amber like the BMW color along with the push button switch and USB outlets.

The warning lights I will leave as the way they are, they are bright in the 97 and I have about 40 spare incandescent bulbs for them.

The wedge LEDs I got from Jurassic Classic Auto on amazon, they were cheap and have good reviews, thy are in my pic below.

Cheers Bud and keep up the good work.
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