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Old 02-03-2015, 02:43 AM   #1
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Replacement Stop/Turn/Tail Lights for 2005 Bambi (19')

Today, I installed new LED tail lights on our 2005 19' Bambi; because two of the four OEM assemblies had numerous LEDs that were defective.

After removing one of the old tail lights and taking some measurements, I discovered that the original lights are standard 4" stop/turn/tail lights that are often used on utility and large semi-trailers.

After a little online shopping, I decided to replace them with Optronics GLOLights (STL101RCB), which are a little unusual, but very bright. When not illuminated, these tail lights have a red outside ring and a clear center lens.

When running lights are on, a solid red ring is displayed and the clear center is dark. Then, when brakes are applied or turn signal or hazard lights are selected, the red LEDS in the clear center section are illuminated, in addition to the red outside ring.

When the running lights are off and the brakes are depressed, all LEDs are lit and the whole tail light illuminates red.

These tail lights are widely available, and I purchased them online for about $18 each. Plus, the vendor I selected provided free shipping.

I should note that installation was simple, but not necessarily easy. While these lights are available as a "bracket mount" assembly, I ordered the "grommet mount" lights; because the OEM bracket mount lights had been over-torqued at the factory, and one of the light housings was broken. I figured that the grommet mount lights didn't use any screws; so I wouldn't have to worry about the housings cracking and water getting into the electronics, which I think may have contributed to the failure of some of the LEDs in the OEM units.

In any case, installing the lights (with grommets) into the existing 4.5" holes in the Bambi's skin was a very tight fit and required a lot of poking and prodding. Upon completion, I discovered that the grommets may not be as flat against the aluminum skin of our Bambi as they would probably be on the steel frame of a semi-trailer. However, the overall appearance looks great to me; and it's water-tight.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:25 AM   #2
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Reference my original comment, above:

"... installing the lights (with grommets) into the existing 4.5" holes in the Bambi's skin was a very tight fit and required a lot of poking and prodding. Upon completion, I discovered that the grommets may not be as flat against the aluminum skin of our Bambi as they would probably be on the steel frame of a semi-trailer."

==========

After investigating to determine why it was so difficult to insert these lights, I discovered that the Optronics GLOLight is about 1/2 to 3/4" thicker than the depth of the 4.5" hole in which the light is installed; and the connector on the back of the light housing was bottoming out against the inner aluminum skin behind the mounting hole.

After I realized my mistake, I modified these lights by cutting about 1/2" off of the connector shell that protrudes out the back of the light housing, which necessitated the fabrication of a modified, 90-degree, low-profile mating connector for the wiring harness.

After performing these customizations, the grommets were easily inserted fully into the 4.5" hole, and the GLOLights popped right into the grommets.

For others contemplating the replacement of their OEM LED tail lights, please note that Optronics GLOLights and mating connectors will require extensive modification before they can be installed properly.

Consequently, while the result will be an Airstream with very unique tail lights (I suspect I will have the only one in existence, due to the amount of rework required), most will find the exact replacement lights to be a much faster and easier installation.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:02 AM   #3
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The following photos show Optronics GLOLights BEFORE and AFTER the tail light housing connector and harness were modified. These pictures are posted as a reference for those who may elect to install these unique LED tail lights, despite them requiring modification to achieve a proper fit.

The tail light shown with a gap between the grommet and the aluminum body is improperly installed and not fully inserted.

The other tail light with the grommet compressed flush with the aluminum skin is properly installed.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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Great post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
The following photos show Optronics GLOLights BEFORE and AFTER the tail light housing connector and harness were modified. These pictures are posted as a reference for those who may elect to install these unique LED tail lights, despite them requiring modification to achieve a proper fit.

The tail light shown with a gap between the grommet and the aluminum body is improperly installed and not fully inserted.

The other tail light with the grommet compressed flush with the aluminum skin is properly installed.
.
It looks like the tail lights where some of them failed top left picture on first post are Kaper. Kaper is a company that updates their products over time they get better as time goes on with a "Next generation light". I have found that when some of these LEDs fail and you what to replace them the next generation from the same company may have a different LED pattern. Then you have to change all of them to keep it from looking odd. Going with a company like Bargman, allows you to change to a style that will be around a while so that if one fails, you will only have to change the one, and they all still look the same. Optronics has some good products and they show some staying power as a company and they are constantly changing their styles. Phoenix great post here and thanks for sharing what you learn.
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