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Old 05-29-2009, 06:08 AM   #1
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1965 24' Tradewind
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LED Marker light grounding.

I would like to install LED marker lights on my 65 tradewind. The original lights are grounded to the body through the rivets. Can I use the second/extra wire on the LED lights to make a universal ground for all the lights? I would connect the power to the light then connect the ground to a ground wire run it to the next one and so on until they all terminate to a designated area. he tail lights are wired this was because of the plastic housing they are installed into. I have the interior gutted so doing this won't be a probelm. Is there anything that I'm missing? Is it worht the extra effort or should I just ground them to the body like the original lights?

Thanks
Brian
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Either way should work just fine.

When I put LED markers on my 1982 model I drilled a hole in the led housing and fed the ground wire back through so that it could be grounded to the screw that holds the fixture in place.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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I think I would crimp on a round connector.and use the screw to ground. KISS.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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Keep your ground on the outside of the trailer. LEDs do fail and trouble shooting will be a lot easier if everything is where you can get to it later.

I had to route out the back of the fixtures to allow room for the wiring on my LEDs because of the flat foot print of the fixture and the fact that Airstream did not center the holes for the lights.

One of mine has failed in 2 years. The ballast resister was not fully potted and the lead rotted off from moisture.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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I agree - ground through one of the mounting screws - lot's easier to work with, & that's what I did - worked fine..

I had the most difficulty using butt connectors on the POS side, as those wires aren't very long to work with, and I didn't want to pull too much out, lest I damage the connection inside the skin...

Sure do like those LED marker lights - nice and bright, less amperage draw, cooler running, etc...
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:58 AM   #6
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After you do the markers consider the tail lights. I cut out the centers of the stock fixtures and mounted LEDs. They are sequenced to light from the center out as directionals and brakes. No one can claim they did not see them.
http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...imageuser=3144
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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Howie, I did much the same thing...only I kept the Back-up lights intact...wanted to alert my spouse when I'm commin' back...

A PO had installed an oval stop light above the Lic plate, so I put a bright LED unit in that spot also - it's attached to the LH STOP light circuit wo it will blink for extra 'attention' when turning left, as well as coming on when stopping...

Here's my original posted info:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f173...-as-42187.html
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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Here's a pic with everything blazing away...
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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This is all very helpful info. Sounds like the LED's do have some problems with being able to last over time. I know all the semi's and busses use them now so they must be good. But after reading alot on this forum I wonder if there worth the trouble. So do I go the LED route or fall back on the tried and true?

Brian
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #10
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The advantages far out weigh the disadvantages. Yes I have Had one fail because of a manufacturing mistake. The brightness is easily twice as bright. The load is about 15% of a bulb. The cost of replacement is still higher but as filament bulbs continue to clime they will pass shortly, but the current life expectancy overrides that.

I have a 34 ft. trailer and tend to travel late at night. The total load of my trailer burned out the Suburban head light switch. I rebuilt mine but if you go to a Dealer repair kit is $54.00. To keep from burning out another I relayed all trailer light off the trailer batteries removing the load on the switch. The LEDs draw little off the trailer batteries.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #11
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One other factor in LED's favor is that they come to full brightness in a fraction of a second - much quicker than the filiments in bulbs...the difference is very noticable...

Every fraction of a second counts when you're trying to let the guy behind you know you've put on the 'binders'...and are slowing down...

LED's are the only way to go...you might have noticed that more and more new automobiles are fitted with them each model year...there are even LED's being tested for headlights, and with tech improvements, we'll probably see them in new cars within a few years...

I've recently seen LED fog lights as an accessory item in a local auto parts store (Pep Boys)...don't know how bright they are, though...if they can match the output of the 50 watt halagon bulb type fog lights, they'll be useable...

The LED field is changing monthly...even Sam's and Costco are selling LED type AC replacement 'bulbs' for home use these days...
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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To get back to the original question, you don't want to run a ground wire to every light. You double the wiring, and double the chance of failure because of it. The entire trailer is one big ground.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:26 PM   #13
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Thanks Overlander63 that's what I was thinking but I just wanted to make sure. I removed the original lights today and noticed that three of the four lights were not even connected. But since I'm doing a frame up I guess I'll still replace them.

I can't believe all the typo's in my original post. Thanks to everyone who responded for not razzing me.

Brian
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briheath View Post

I can't believe all the typo's in my original post. Thanks to everyone who responded for not razzing me.

Brian
We're laughing with you...
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