LED lights upgrade
One of the weakness of old classic cars are the candlelight bulbs. These old bulbs are using a relatively high amount of power, prone to fail and their light is far from optimal.
Luckily, the LED technology advanced really fast since the 80s. Those times when we had only typical red LEDs in electronics are far behind. These days we can buy inexpensive, although very powerful, energy efficient LED lights just in almost every colors with every kind of sockets.
Upgrading the conventional light bulbs on an 1979 Camaro to LED lights will keep the appearance original, while it will add much better visibility & safety. Not speaking about convenience; the lifespan of an LED light is about 25–100k hours, which means you can keep the lights on for 8 years non-stop before they stop working. A LED upgrade is most likely the last lighting related purchase you ever have to do for your car.
Lights what you need:
- 4 Amber LEDs with 1157 sockets (front and back indicator lights)
- 2 Red LEDs with 1157 sockets (brake lights)
- 2 Red LEDs with 194 sockets (rear positional lights)
- 2 White LEDs with 1156 sockets (reverse lights)
- 2 Amber LEDs with 194 sockets (front side positional lights)
Things to consider:
Changing the indicator lights to LED will change the blinking into digital style instead of the analogue incandescent pulsing style. If you replace the amber indicator lights, you’ll also need to replace both the hazard and the turn signal relays as well:
This relay will work properly both with incandescent bulbs and with LED lights, or even with a combination of both. The polarity is also matching the vehicle’s system.
Replacing the Relays
The relays can be found under the dash. The hazard relay is at the bottom left corner of the fuse box, the turn signal relay is a blue plastic box behind the heater control panel attached to a metal bar. Simply replace the relays with the new relays. You can leave the original blue turn signal relay in place if it’s hard to remove. Don’t forget to attach the wire at the top of the new relay to the ground. One good ground point is a screw at the top right corner of the fuse box; both wires from the both of the new relays will reach it easily.
Testing the Relays
Turning on the hazard should flash all the amber lights around the car. However, the turn signal lights can be tested only if the ignition key is in “on” position.
Replacing the rear light bulbs
In order to replace the rear light bulbs, you need to remove the rear lights by unscrewing the 6 wing nuts on each side of the car inside the trunk. Once these wing nuts removed, the lights can be moved out and you can access the back of each bulb socket. Gently turn up the back of the socket, and you can pull it out with the bulb. Then replace the lights in each socket. Make sure you put the 1157 socket ones to the parking & turn signal lights, and the 1156 ones to the reverse light. Test everything before you are putting it back. No tools required for this operation.