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Old 02-19-2022, 10:29 PM   #1
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Installing LED Taillights on 1998 Thomas Bus

Aloha All,

I've been chugging away at the conversion of my bus to an RV and today's issue is LED Taillights.

I got the LED headlights off of Amazon and they simply plugged in with no issues and took all of 10 minutes to install both.

Not so lucky on the rear Amber and Red 7" Round Taillights.

For the Amber lights, my bus has a single wire and bulb with a grounding "ring/tab" inside the lens. The replacement LED Amber light I got comes with 3 wires and no instructions on what to do. Not on the box or in the box.

Any clue on how to hook up 3 wires to a 1 wire system and burn my bus to the ground? I'd call the taillight manufacturer but they are in China.

I'm including some pictures for reference. I cruised around Youtube but didn't see any videos that had my set up.
Attached Thumbnails
light1.JPG   light2.JPG   replacementlight.JPG  

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Old 02-20-2022, 07:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CritiqueThisBus View Post
Aloha All,

I've been chugging away at the conversion of my bus to an RV and today's issue is LED Taillights.

I got the LED headlights off of Amazon and they simply plugged in with no issues and took all of 10 minutes to install both.

Not so lucky on the rear Amber and Red 7" Round Taillights.

For the Amber lights, my bus has a single wire and bulb with a grounding "ring/tab" inside the lens. The replacement LED Amber light I got comes with 3 wires and no instructions on what to do. Not on the box or in the box.

Any clue on how to hook up 3 wires to a 1 wire system and burn my bus to the ground? I'd call the taillight manufacturer but they are in China.

I'm including some pictures for reference. I cruised around Youtube but didn't see any videos that had my set up.
I would take a guess and say one wire ( black) is ground, second one is running and third wire is signal.

Connect the black to ground (chassis/body) and apply 12v to each other wire, one at a time, to see if one wire results in a brighter light than the other.
You might have the option to have a steady burn (on) amber light.

Btw, can you share the Amazon link for those lamp? I need to replace my lamps on my bus.

Thnkas
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:38 AM   #3
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For 3-wire ambers (which support both turn signals and parking lights) the wiring scheme is typically red=turn, black=park, white=ground. For 3-wire red lights, it's typically red=stop black=tail white=ground.

If you're only wiring the ambers as replacements for turn signals, connect the red wire on the lights to your existing (one) wire from the chassis harness. The white wire just has to ground to the chassis somehow. The black wire you can either alone (don't connect it to anything), or combine with the red. In the latter case, that may or may not activate additional leds, which may or may not make your turn signals brighter.

You won't burn down anything doing this, and if for some unexpected reason the manufacturer decided to swap colors from what's conventional, the worst that will happen is the lights won't come on (so make sure they do before completing your install).
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:57 AM   #4
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Btw, can you share the Amazon link for those lamp? I need to replace my lamps on my bus.

Here's the link to the Ambers I bought from amazon.


https://www.amazon.com/Partsam-Trail...d_bap_d_rp_3_t
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
For 3-wire ambers (which support both turn signals and parking lights) the wiring scheme is typically red=turn, black=park, white=ground. For 3-wire red lights, it's typically red=stop black=tail white=ground.

If you're only wiring the ambers as replacements for turn signals, connect the red wire on the lights to your existing (one) wire from the chassis harness. The white wire just has to ground to the chassis somehow. The black wire you can either alone (don't connect it to anything), or combine with the red. In the latter case, that may or may not activate additional leds, which may or may not make your turn signals brighter.

You won't burn down anything doing this, and if for some unexpected reason the manufacturer decided to swap colors from what's conventional, the worst that will happen is the lights won't come on (so make sure they do before completing your install).
Thank you. I will give it a try.
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Old 02-20-2022, 11:14 AM   #6
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The Amazon description tells you white is ground, red is high power and black is low power.
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Old 02-20-2022, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmythomas View Post
The Amazon description tells you white is ground, red is high power and black is low power.
i used the same lights and jimmy has it correct.
they dont come with instructions but the amazon link does have the wiring colors labled.
easy enough.
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:19 PM   #8
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i converted my lites also to led i put a screw and nut with a ring terminal into the hole on the ground strap on the back side to ground mine. the unused hole by the bulb. you should be able to use a bolt and nut on one of the mount bolts by drilling a small hole thru the base bring the wire back inside and then use a ring terminal to a mount screw. i just used bulbs in mine
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Old 02-20-2022, 09:23 PM   #9
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and he is right as the chinese do not follow our color codes
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