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Old 09-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #1
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Simple LED Turn Signal Mod

Notes and updates for readers of this thread:

11-28-10
It has been determined that the Tridon EP35 is NOT interchangable with the EP34! Tests by reddog indicate that, while they are both electronic flashers designed for LED turn signals, the EP35 is an ISO flasher - it's pinout is compatible to vehicles built in (or for) North America! Be sure to purchase a JSOstyle flasher designed for use in your Samurai!

Using the wrong type of flasher will Destroy the flasher unit that you just purchased!!!

If you are installing LED turn signals for any vehicle, be sure to to research exactly what type of turn signal is used for that vehicle (ISO or JSO) before purchasing the flasher unit! The difference between JSO and ISO is explained below, in this post.

09-28-08
As the thread developed during the week after this first post was made, some very important information was added to the thread.

The process is still simple and safe.

Just be sure to read all the posts thoroughly to get the full story about LED turn signal conversions BEFORE spending money on LED Lights! - Ack

<End of Post Updates>

Here is a simple LED conversion that I did on my Samurai that required NO harness hacking, NO resistors and easy-to-get parts! And, as a bonus, IT WORKS!

First some IMPORTANT background - which you should DEFINITELY read: (edited 11-28-10 by ack)

Several years ago, kevinofcanada did a LED conversion using the Grote 44890 electronic flasher unit. It worked but it required you to modify the wiring behind the flasher socket in order to make it work. Studying the diagrams and description, I discovered that this was due to the fact that the Grote flasher uses the ISO flasher connector configuration.

The Samurai (and most Asian imports) use the JSO configuration - "J" standing for Japan.

Here is a picture showing the wiring difference between the ISO and JSO pinouts. Even though the connector patterns look identical, note that the function of two pins are different:




See how +12 and Ground are swapped between the two pinout types?
It would be a good logical assumption that, if you could find an electronic JSO flasher, you could use it to sucessfully drive LED turn signals instead of resorting to resistors.


About using * parallel* Resistors...

Editorial note by Ack: It was pointed out ot me by Merlin93 that series resistance limits current flow while parallel resistance INCREASES current flow. The increase of current flow tricks the mechanical flasher unit into working properly. Electronic flashers are not dependent on current flow to work properly.

My bad....

1. Resistors wired in parallel to LED lamps are used to "trick" a mechanical flasher into thinking that LED lamps are actually incadescant lamps by making the circuit draw higher currents without producing any more light from the lamps.

There are three problems with using resistors in this fashion:

1. Resistors wired in *parallel* with LED lamps draw nearly the same (and possibly more) current as regular bulbs. Where is the savings in battery load in that?

2. You have to hack the harness in order to install resistors. This is extra work that enevitably can cause extra problems down the road - so to speak - if not done properly.

3. Resistors generate heat. The byproduct of resistance in any electrical circuit is heat. Using a resistor wired in *parallel* with your LED turn lamps - even with a heat sink mounted to the resistor - generates heat. Heat is the main cause of fires. Do you see where I am going with this?

Back to the JSO electronic flasher...

If you could find a flasher with the proper pin configuration that does not depend on the resistive load that is attached to it, you would have a flasher that would drive low-current-consuming LED lamps. A flasher like Tridon's EP34 flasher should - and does - work.

So, here it is.

Everything that you need to know about wiring LED turn signals for your Samurai:



Parts List:
LED lamps Available at truck stops, heavy truck dealers, Tractor Supply, many auto parts stores.

Tridon EP34 Electronic Flasher unit or similar unit with JSO - not ISO - pinouts. Available at Advance Auto Parts, NAPA, rockauto.com and other auto parts stores.

Installation notes:
If your truck is like mine, your wiring harness for the front bumper Driving/Turn Signal lamps will be black with corrosion when you cut off the old lamp fixture and strip off the insulation on the ends. Take time to use a fine sandpaper to cut through the black corrosion to reveal the clean copper beneath.

Tin all wire ends with rosin-core (not acid core!) solder before attaching the wires as indicated in the graphic above.

If you have some, slip insulating heat-shrink tubing over one of the wires before soldering each splice together. Afterwards, use a heavy-duty hair dryer on the heat shrink tubing to seal the wiring joint. Otherwise, tightly wrap the joints with electrical tape to protect from electrical shorts and corrosion.

Sand all ground connections clean of any debris or corrosion before attaching the ground wire to the body - which you have also sanded to expose bare metal. the fastening bolt is probably too rusty to conduct well.

Before attaching the ground wire, apply dielectric grease to contacting surfaces to prevent corrosion on the contacting surfaces. A solid ground connection will go far in making this a successful mod!

Finally, remove your old flasher unit and install the new JSO-style electronic flasher unit - the EP34 or similar.

Here is a video version of this mod:

http://www.youtube.com/v/w57JFIvxpHM&hl=en&fs=1

I hope that this helps!
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Last edited by ack; 02-23-2014 at 07:12 AM. Reason: I cna't SPEL! Plus I have runonsentenceitis!
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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I'm in the middle of my conversion and found the EP34 the way to go too

My taillights sockets were corroded and the lights wouldn't work half the time. Finding good replacements was difficult if not expensive. The rears I found fitted nicely in place of my taillights. I just had to add a yellow turnsignal. It was a quick and easy job.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ack< great write-up!
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:31 PM   #4
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Looks like a good idea. Any thoughts on just swapping the pos. and neg. wires in the connector? Seems like an easier way of making it work, at least cheaper.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
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I say this should be a sticky. real good info ACK
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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ISO/JSO wiring flop

Quote:
Originally Posted by phloop View Post
Looks like a good idea. Any thoughts on just swapping the pos. and neg. wires in the connector? Seems like an easier way of making it work, at least cheaper.
While I suppose that you could swap the wires on the back of the socket, it just seems simpler to go to the local auto parts store and buy the Tridon EP34. They are priced anywhere from 10-15 bucks, you can find one at most auto parts stores (NAPA, Advance and RockAuto.com are three) and you avoid the possibility of accidently screwing up the electrical system.

I vote for easy!
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
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Good information!

Do you know if it will work if I have LED's in front and stock lights in the back?
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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leds up front stock in the rear...

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jung View Post
Good information!

Do you know if it will work if I have LED's in front and stock lights in the back?
Strange that you should ask this, John.

That is exactly the setup that I have. LEDS on the front bumper and similar but traditional bulb units on the rear bumper.

Yes, it works properly!
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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Nice Setup I will do mine next......
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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Great information! Thanks for taking the time to share!
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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im gonna have to save this post cuz the way things are looking with my build im gonna have to have several LED's tucked in small spaces...thanks!
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #12
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LED lamps in general...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ittybitty View Post
im gonna have to save this post cuz the way things are looking with my build im gonna have to have several LED's tucked in small spaces...thanks!
Ittybitty:

It appears from your post that you are considering LED illumination that does not have to do with turn signals.

I need to mention to you - and others who might be considering the use of LEDs for nighttime rock crawling or general clearance lighting - that automotive LED lamps that you can buy buy at auto parts stores and truck stops are not just a bunch of LEDs wired to a plus and minus terminal on the back of the lamp fixture. They have circuitry inside that makes them work with 12 volt DC power.

There are two methods of hooking up LEDs to a 12 volt source:

1. The use of dropping resistors. This method can be easily spotted on some fixtures by spotting small resistors under the lamps lense next to the individual LEDS themselves. It's a cheap way to lower the voltage drop across a LED to keep it from being destroyed by high voltages. Most LEDs like 1.2 - 1.8 volts DC across them. The dropping resistor - of a specific value - makes that happen.

2. A current-limiting regulator circuit. This does the same thing as the resistor method, only better and more efficiently. It costs more to use a current-limiting regulator, but the results are better.

The point to all this?? If you plan to used LEDs to light up your wheel wells, it is simpler to find prebuilt LED lamps designed for automotive use than to try building them yourself unless you have some training in electronics.

I hope that this helps!
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:03 PM   #13
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Will this work on rear taillights also. Mine flash really fast when on the brake and signal together. Do I need to get seperate tails and turns for the rear? I saw the link but it shows a converter and I did not know where to get one of those.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #14
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converters, tail lights...

if you use completely separate lamps for tail, brake and turn signals - like the Samurai has - you do not need a converter.

If you use a combination stop/tail/turn lamp, you need the converter.

You can find the converter - or one just like it - at just about any auto parts store. I purchased one for another project at my local O'Reilly's Auto Parts store. Just ask the guy/gal behind the counter for a trailer light converter.

With or without a converter, the LED lamp mod described above WILL work.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
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I have these for rock lights. I got the kit for $20 and couldn't pass it up.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:33 AM   #16
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Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:47 PM   #17
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I did the tail light-blinker combo... will this make my flashers work?

GO Panthers!
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I did the tail light-blinker combo... will this make my flashers work?

GO Panthers!
Yes. The flasher circuit uses the same flasher unit and turn signal circuit for your flasher/hazard signals - assuming totally stock wiring. That's another benefit to this system. You don't make any major changes or additions to the wiring other than replacing the lamp fixture itself.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:05 PM   #19
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:28 PM   #20
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From all I read the Tridon ep34 will not fix hiperflashing if youhave all LED's But I have not tested this yet. But I heard of a mod for the ep34 to fix this. Here is what I found out not sure if it is right or wrong. But I had it saved in my Zuk Documents. BUT REMEMBER I CAN NOT CONFIRM OR DENY...............YET

This is an easy, cost effective solution to the problem for people with LED blinkers. I got a Tridon EP34 flasher from Advance Auto Parts (it's also available at Autozone, Pep Boys, etc). I pryed it open carefully with a small slotted screwdriver. After opening up the cover, you will find a chip inside. Go ahead and cut or unsolder pin 7 of the chip from the circuit board. (You don't have to use a socket as shown in the picture)



Next, remove the OEM flasher located under the dash. It's about 7 inches to the left of the steering column. Make sure to push the tab in to pull it out.

After that, pop the cover back on the modded unit and plug it directly into the socket where the OEM one went.

WARNING: Do not do this to the OEM flasher relay because it will not work and will mess up entire relay unit. I learned this the hard way
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:49 PM   #21
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This is good info.

I just thought about lights today...

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Old 10-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #22
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Hey Ack, how do I get my front turn signals to be also running lights? (2" led rounds)
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:32 PM   #23
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LED turn signals on 4 corners -crazyatvn

Yes, the post that crazyatvn found about modding the Tridon EP34 IS TRUE!

The Tridon EP34 is not set up to operate with LED lamps both front and rear.

Since I do not have LED lamps on my back bumper, the problem of getting a truck equipped with LED turn signals on all four corners to flash properly did not rear it's ugly head. My bad on that...

The following is a link to the data sheet of the Amtel U643B IC pictured in the modification.

http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/p...ts/doc4727.pdf

On page 5, pin 7 is listed as the "Lamp Outage Detection" pin. There is a bunch of math that describes how to determine the correct resistance for shunt resistor, R3, in the diagram on page 3 of the document. If you try to do the math on this, you discover that, in order to mod the EP34 so that it works with LEDs both front and rear, you need a resistor with a value of 40 milliOhms. That's right, .040 Ohms! Try to find a resistor with THAT value!




See the arching strip of metal that goes from next to pin 7 over to the edge of the board? That, dear reader, is a 30 MilliOhm resistor!

So the author of the mod simply lifted (or cut) pin 7 so that the flasher will not blink fast no matter how small a load is connected to it!

Unfortunately, this mod defeats the "lamp out - blink fast" feature.

Is this illegal?

I don't know.

I know this, though: LEDs last far longer than regular bulbs. Ultimately I, as the owner of a vehicle, am responsible for the funtioning of all required signalling equipment on that vehicle in the State of Missouri. This is probably the case in all 50 states. The mod cannot be easily detected by a normal vehicle inspection.

So, if a fast flash situation never rears it's ugly head through proper vehicle maintenence and the modification is not easy to detect, who's gonna know??

Of course, it's your decision as to whether you want to make this mod...

Finally, there may be some confusion here about the difference between putting high-wattage resistors in parallel with a regular flasher and a itty-bitty-valued resistor in a sense circuit on the electronic flasher to "do the same thing" - eliminate fast flashing. The difference is that the big honkin' resistors in parallel draw lots of current, require hacking the wiring harness and can cause a fire (see first post). The itty-bitty-valued resistor presents practically zero load (does not waste energy), is inside flasher instead of a part of a hacked wiring harness and won't burn your Samurai down.

Now where did I put my small diagonal cutters...
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Last edited by ack; 10-05-2008 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tintopzook View Post
Hey Ack, how do I get my front turn signals to be also running lights? (2" led rounds)
If they are two-wire fixtures, you can't easily make them both running lights and turn lights.

You need to buy a dual-function round LED lamp with three wires on the connector (Turn, Running and Ground) to solve your problem. Alternatively, you could add another set of LED lamps for turn signals.

Sorry about that...
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:10 AM   #25
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OK so break it down for me....I just put the ep34 on my sammi and it fixed the fast flash on my lamps when I have the blinker on with the brake on. So I was wanting to use LED's front and rear. If I cut the pin on the ep34 like the pic shows will it work and is it safe? I do not care about the inspection who has ever checked if your fast flash works.....nobody to my knowledge.
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