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View Poll Results: have aftermarket LEDs in your projects crapped out???
no way man, theyre rated at 2MM hours 4 14.29%
just a few, maybe two dots a year 5 17.86%
yes. often, WTH 3 10.71%
why does a peacock have all 'dem feathers 16 57.14%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-29-2012, 05:18 PM   #1
burkart
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Default Retrofitting Red LED lightbar from Cadillac STS - Cheap DIY

hey dudes and dudettes

im pretty pleased with my latest LED mod and would like to share it with everybody. i'd love to hear good feedback or questions...

most of this was posted in another thread- just tying it together here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tommybu...th/7125810299/

i found afew cadillac sts's in a junkyard and ripped out the huge long LED center stop lamp. its pretty interesting how it works. basically uses reflectors to siluate a contuniuos band of light. it is actually four long skinny circuit boards, connected by their wiring.

anyway, i put it in my rear glass area- 3m heavy duty double stick taped. i spliced into the spoiler brake light


if interested.. here's more info on the re-purposed cadillac STS light bar - DIY LED taillight behind glass mod.

i snapped some pics of the lightbar parts. it's made up of 4 skinny circuit boards with about 10 LEDs each. these are all linked by their wiring. there are 50 or so lenses that clip on to each LED section of the boards.


in these new pics with the trunk open, you can see my setup. it is exactly 3 circuitboards wide, so i trimmed off the extra board. (*damn didnt realize how enormous the 91-09 STS/SLS bitches were) - 4 boards.


with the lenses attached, the LEDs are amazing when viewed from behind at traffic level. theyre prismactic.


my setup is two layers of boards, one with the reflector lenses, one without. the OEM reliability of the LEDs gives me confidence that they'll last. i dont recall ever seeing a caddy with its lightbar out, in fact.


THE WHAT:
- replacing or supplementing current taillights with STS LED lightbar. can be retrofitted in many shapes and permutations.

WHY:
- OEM LEDs dont burn out like crappy amazon or ebay lights. yes, even the fancy ebay/amazon LEDs. here's a spoiler alert: all aftermarket LEDs are total garbage and wont stay lit a month, let alone a lifetime
- stopping light is a good way to personalize vehicle
- long continuous lightbar look - visually lowers car.

parts needed:
scissors, flathead screwdriver (huge), electrical tape, double sided tape,

...... AND one or two of the long strip LED taillamp CHMSL from a most cadillacs made between 1991 and now. STS SLS pref.


WHEN
: takes about 20 mintes once you have the light bar


WHERE
- salvage yard or used auto parts store, aka u-pull-it, etc. places where you can roam the lot, free to remove any part. they rign you up at the register on way out. usually dirt cheap

HOW:
- the shroud around the STS taillamp is fiberglass and is a 10-15 minute job to remove. shove in the flathead and pry the painted area away from the plastic red part. keep jacking it away, pull a bit. its ok iuf you break the red plastic piece- you dont really need that anyway.
- once it is loose, snip the two wires and use the flathjead to unhook each of the circuit boards. these are the actual LEDs. keep all the mini plastic lenses.
- decide the look you want, flat or angled, then position the lightbars behind the rear glass.
- use double sticky foam tape to mount it.
- wire splice into existing CHMSL.

goodluck and let me know any questions - share pics if you do it!



20120429_152908 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120429_152925 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120428_201037 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


http://www.flickr.com/photos/tommybu...th/7125810299/
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Last edited by burkart; 05-10-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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or if afeared of the salvage yard, you could buy one new. this one doesnt fold up as easily as mine tho...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-Cadillac...071180&vxp=mtr
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:24 PM   #3
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figured out how to embed pics here. =]




20120429_132554 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120429_132625 by tommyburkart, on Flickr

Last edited by burkart; 05-09-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Think this can be done to an 04 Wrx as well?
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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Can be done to any car, it's simply an LED light bar that's hooked up to the brake lights and attached to the rear window by any means you find fitting.

Very similar setup to the trucks who buy the LED bar that sits under the tailgate.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HinshawWRX View Post
Can be done to any car, it's simply an LED light bar that's hooked up to the brake lights and attached to the rear window by any means you find fitting.

Very similar setup to the trucks who buy the LED bar that sits under the tailgate.
agreed. however....... this looks alot classier than pickup truck / aftermarket strip lighting. installed behind the glass- its totally invisible until illuminated. it also has a very interesting look bc of the lenses on each LED

Last edited by burkart; 05-09-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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I personally don't like the look but props for completing it!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:44 PM   #8
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hey guys,
no love for the LED lightbar? can be installed onto any Rex...

i grabbed another one today from an STS in junk, Wisconsin and took some pictures this time of the removal process.


20120509_104355 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120509_104402 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120509_104407 by tommyburkart, on Flickr

Last edited by burkart; 08-25-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
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i also learned alittle more about how it works. this is really nerdy, admittedly.

the LEDs are red in the first place, but then listen to all the steps to make it a red beam of light -- when seen from behind...
- in addition to having mini clip on lenses 1-inch away from every 72 LED bulb on the circuit board, the LED circuit boards are mounted at a 45 degree angle pointing toward sky.
- the red light passes through the lenses upward and outward, then reflects off a mirror downward again
- the light is now on its way out-- finally passing through the red plastic piece. this is heavily tinted dark red and has some reflectors in it as well.

also occurs to me: there is no way to change out these 'bulbs' like any other lamp. the whole assembly is a sealed unit, sortof a throwback....

bodes well for their longevity tho
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #10
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more pics. this one is complete (w/ red plastic watertight assembly) and i'm trying to sell it on ebay...


20120510_111849 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120510_111643 by tommyburkart, on Flickr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280878768385...84.m1555.l2649
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Last edited by burkart; 06-20-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #12
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dont think its really necessary to have a 3rd brake light that big, but good job on completing your own diy.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #13
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thanks! not strictly needed but it looks cool in my opinion.

my original plan was to unplug the stop lamp in the spoiler so braking would look like this:


20120429_152854 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


i havent yet tho bc i dont want to get rearended
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #14
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update on this:

i made a shroud out of aluminum tape for this LED light bar in my rear glass area. the LEDs are stick circuitboards though - and the metal tape caused shorts galore.

since replaced. i dont have good pics of it but here are some. also, my new LED badge bezel


20120719_110804 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120719_110701 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120724_075810 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


20120724_075805 by tommyburkart, on Flickr
ill try to take some at night.

Last edited by burkart; 07-25-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #15
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STi badge? o_0
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #16
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yea thats just for fun.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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this ispretty nerdy but i also ued one of the boards in my fireplace.......... wired to computer fan 12v so t goes to sleep w/ computer......


car LEDs plugged into computer- red fireplace by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:33 AM   #18
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Last edited by burkart; 11-23-2012 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #19
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that is useless, stupid and distracting
rice
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:41 PM   #20
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clever
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #21
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@chasewrx bought my extra superflux LED boards and did the install on his WRX sedan. i think it looks pretty good!


photo by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #22
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if i saw it on the highway, i would think:


0809082333afj4 by tommyburkart, on Flickr


asi_bentley_rear by tommyburkart, on Flickr


bentley-continental-gt-hybrid-rear1 by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:22 PM   #23
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i cruised around ebay for the right product .. and found it for just $99. better / cheaper than i expected.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/05-09-CADILL...sories&vxp=mtr

even better might be this one

http://www.ebay.com/itm/08-09-10-11-...sories&vxp=mtr
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:36 AM   #25
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my lightbar is still going strong and doing great!

to recap: i used 2 cadillac sts 2005 rear light bars, stacked.

i was at a pick-n-pull last week and found a 2007 cadillac SRX with its lightbar intact. i pried it off and bought it for $20. it is the exact size of the inside of my tailgate window glass.

if the original lightbar burns out i plan to switch to this one.


DIY LED Center Brake Light - 03-07 Cadillac SRX high-mounted stop lamp red by tommyburkart, on Flickr


DIY LED Center Brake Light - 03-07 Cadillac SRX high-mounted stop lamp red by tommyburkart, on Flickr
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