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Full Tail Replacement with LED HAW's

Discussion in 'Emergency Vehicle Equipment' started by Zapp Brannigan, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    This will be a long-winded thread. Will be sure to do a tl;dr at the bottom.

    First things first. I have wanted to do the Quad Turn/Tail Modification for some time, also wanted to incorporate LEDs into the mod/upgrade. So a little background....

    A couple links to previous mods/discussions on Quad S/T/T Mods
    http://gmtnation.com/forums/threads...s-on-the-cheap-halogen-and-led-verified.3155/
    http://gmtnation.com/forums/threads/tb-quads-plus-turns-a-new-solution.1574/
    http://gmtnation.com/forums/threads/gmt-360-quad-tail-lights-modification.11821/

    My initial install I placed some StrobesNMore LED HAWs into the reverse section of my tail lights, in Blue/Amber. 8 diodes in each Hideaway, aka HAW (they look distorted from lens and reflector, no warping on them)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Video:
    [​IMG]

    Of course I was not satisfied, and then the Feniex Cannon (now called Cannon 120) came out with (12) 4-watt diodes in each HAW, and just swapped the SNM HAWs out for those.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Soooooo I have also wanted to incorporate one of the methods to get the Quad Tail Lights, but so much work to tie in all these different items, and myself not having the patience to screw around with any of the methods I have found between GMTN and originally on the Voy.

    I had ORIGINALLY wanted to get a clear lens tail light, replace the running/Brake light with a Red LED, the Turn light with an Amber, and then have clear reverse, but put an additional BLUE LED in the reverse section, to keep the Blue/Amber alternating display. Well the only way to accomplish this was to purchase an Aftermarket LED tail light replacement unit, remove the lens, and resecure it to a stock housing, since no replacements were made with stock type reflectors with clear lenses. Not cost effective, time consuming, and I would almost definitely screw the whole thing up.

    In doing my research for this alternate option (Quad Turn/Tail plus tail light replacement), here are the methods I wish to employ, and I hope the techies/electricians here can guide me through, telling me what is correct, wrong, feasible, and/or just stupid.

    I want to start by purchasing the correct adapter to come off the factory harness which I believe I found from a previous thread, the Delphi GT150 MAF, to avoid cutting the factory harness.

    The LED HAWs will be replacing the bulbs and the board at the back of the housing. I am going to be using the Feniex Cannon 360. Those not familiar, the Cannon series have 3 inputs, each sequentially overriding the previous. So if there is power to Input 1, and power remains to that input, once power is applied to Input 2, control is overridden, and the pattern selected for Input 2 will display (same for Input 3, overriding Input 2).

    In figuring out the wiring sequence for these, I needed to know how the control for the tail lights worked. Are the signals coming from the BCM? I know the flasher relay is under the dash, and to avoid Hyperflash, I am going to replace it with the Novita LM486.

    All inputs would have to have to power 2 LED HAWs to create the quad function.

    If I took the inputs from the factory harness, for Running/Parking light, and wired it to Input #1 on the Cannons, I Would have to set the pattern to steady burn, with only half the diodes illuminated, AND use a resistor to make that even more dim (I have found some people using different resistors, one person used a 3W 75Ω, another used a 0.5W 33Ω resistor).

    For Input #2 I would wire a separate control wire to activate the warning pattern so that it would override the parking light.

    Input #3 is going to be the troublemaker. Since I am limited to the 3 inputs, this would have to control Brake AND Turn, and I obviously want these to override Warning patterns. I need to figure out how to accomplish this. Even using 2 separate power sources (brake and turn) into the single input, the power from the brake would be constant and not allow the turn to display. Maybe some setup with relays?

    The only SIMPLE solution would be to just wire them up to how the stock lights are set up, Top light doing Parking/running, Warning, and Brake, center light running and turn, but I would be sad I could not get the Quad S/T/T.

    What other option(s) could I utilize? Modifying the tailboards is out, keeping them in and the LED HAWs would not leave enough room behind the housing.

    Edit: Never really thought of/considered this as a potential option, does anyone think this would be of any assistance?
    http://www.able2products.com/update/11_1005stt_v1.htm
    http://www.able2products.com/pdfs/11_1005stt_instructions.pdf

    I thank those who actually read this whole thing, your eyes are probably bleeding, and have a headache.

    tl;dr
    1) Want Quad S/T/T.
    2) Doing full LED Hideaway Warning light replacement.
    3) LED HAW's only have 3 inputs.
    4) Will purchase proper turn flasher replacement module to avoid hyperflash.
    5) Need to figure correct resistor to dim down the HAW for park/run lights.
    6) Need to figure how to get from factory harness, to having turn signal on one side of vehicle disable brake for same side, in which case some problems alleviated; or get this to work BEFORE factory harness, seeing as (see #7 below)...
    7) Modifying board on back of tail light impractical/impossible.

    Thanks for any and all input, hope I provided enough information, will happily provide any more I can if needed!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
    dmanns67 likes this.
  2. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    First thing that came to mind (and there may be a better way to do this) is to run a pair of wires from the flasher back to the rear of the truck that are tapped into the turn left and turn right ON signals. That is the steady +12V to the flasher module that then the flasher outputs the blinking +12V to the bulbs. Then on each side run the brake through the NC contacts of a relay, and have that signal ON wire run the coil. When the turn signal is engaged, the coil energizes, flipping the relay to the NO contact, so that the LEDs get their power from the blinker input instead of the brake input.
     
  3. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input. Definitely confusing to read at first, but I am pretty sure I get where you are coming from. I do not understand electrical diagrams (but having both parents electrical engineers is helpful)! This is definitely an involved process, but I look forward to understanding and seeing it (since I am more visual learner than anything).

    From previous searches (and the old forum) I found these docs with wires and functions.
     

    Attached Files: Download all post attachments

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  4. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so a little bit more information, based off Sparky's reply...

    I have installed a controller/relay unit for controlling my current warning lights. It has options for (+) and (-) Inputs, computer control to activate or deactivate Outputs, and I think I can tie all this in.

    The controller is the Feniex 4200, although I have the original version where the outputs are hooked up a little differently (some grouped outputs were 'ungrouped' in the most recent version, to allow more individual output control). I cannot attach a copy of the original instructions that match the hardware in my first version, so here is a link to the manual for the current version.

    SO..... Assuming I understand how the power/signals come from the column turn signal wires, and the brake wire....
    Crude Tail Light.png

    1) +12V Inputs from Brake Pedal, Left, and Right signal wires from column/under dash
    2) Output from controller to both (L) Brake lights, to one control wire
    3) Output from controller to both (R) Brake lights, to one control wire
    4) Factory Harness to same control wire as both (L) Brake Lights (w/diode)
    5) Factory Harness to same control wire as both (R) Brake Lights (w/diode)
    6) Brake power for all lights will come from the 4200 Controller
    7) Turn power for each side to come from individual wires in Factory Harness
    8) Constant +12V from (L) Turn wire from column will make the 4200 Controller disable output power to (L) Brake signal.
    9) Constant +12V from (R) Turn wire from column will make the 4200 Controller disable output power to (R) Brake signal.
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I think you're on the right track.
     
  6. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!! I am (somewhat) mechanically/technically inclined, however I am a visual learner, and writing about and seeing are 2 different things. I am SO thankful you spurred me to think of using an existing thing I have to overcome this challenge!!
     
  7. djthumper

    djthumper Administrator

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  8. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    I thought at first, but since the input from the turn feed would disable the output, I figured it would be a closed (or open?) relay, whatever lack of continuity would be, in a relay.

    I suppose either way it wouldn't hurt, right?
     
  9. djthumper

    djthumper Administrator

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    Adding them would not hurt. Even if there are diodes in the controller.
     
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I wouldn't have thought of diodes just because of the relays, but you're right it can't hurt.
     
  11. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    So in addition to the above tail light mod, I am installing an LED Off-Road bar to the front of my truck. I was HOPING to incorporate the 4200 Controller with a +12V input signal from the High Beam Switch to activate one of the relays to power the bar.

    I have enough OUTPUTS free, but all 3 of my +12V inputs are tied up for the Tail Light Mod.

    I have tried searching, but maybe the criteria I am putting in is not good enough. Is there a Ground (-) trigger for the High Beams, because I DO have an open (-) Input on my controller that could trigger a relay.

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  12. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    Why not just run a regular relay for it?
     
  13. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Because I wish to also have manual control of it through my controller. My controller has a constant +12V source, and I don't need to add in any other buttons/switches when I have plenty in that already.
     
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    Got it.
    Well I think - not positive (see what I did there) - that most of the stuff controlled by the BCM (lights included) are controlled via the ground side, not the +12V side. You may be able to tap in on that end.
     
  15. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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  16. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    And to be honest... I read it but it didn't process until I went back in and re-read your reply this morning! :rotfl:
     
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  17. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Ok a couple more questions, since my electrical experience is quite limited...

    1) Since the BCM apparently uses ground side to control, without a relay inside the BCM activated, is the circuit not complete, and once the circuit is completed the relay makes a pathway that the ground would be able to activate a different Ground triggered relay?

    2) Would it also work if I tapped into the ground-wire from the High Beams themselves?

    3) What about the relay under the hood in the fuse box? If I tapped into one of the pins on the relay, I assume one is ground, and would it then be active once High beams triggered?
     
  18. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    The BCM does not use a relay inside. It is all solid state stuff with transistors and such. Same basic end result, but not the same implementation. As such, there is some limit on what you can tie into it.

    I have not dug deeply into the wiring schematics, but the way I understand it thus far (and someone feel free to correct me) is the BCM controls ground side, which is tied to the ground of the relay coil to complete the circuit and activate the relay. I believe you could tap in there. Test with a meter to double check.

    However, that relay under the hood is controlling the positive side of the circuit to the high beam bulbs themselves, not the ground side, so tapping into ground at the high beams would get you an always active ground.
     
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  19. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. I have enough electrical knowledge to be dangerous lol, so I get a lot of the concepts, which is why I wanted to ask what I did, how I did, and I am glad it was (hopefully) easily understood.

    I have tried searching for the schematics myself for the BCM, and I think the one I am attaching here is the appropriate one. I have never looked at the BCM itself, so figuring where to physically tap into would be my next step. Are there individual grounds for each application, or a common ground? It would not be very helpful if there is a shared ground.
    BCM - references 2 of 3_This Is IT2.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  20. djthumper

    djthumper Administrator

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    Sparky knows just enough to be dangerous as well... Maybe we will be calling you JR soon. :blinkhuh:
     
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  21. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    Now you know why I have the username I do... hehehe
     
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  22. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Ya know, I had an inkling....
     
  23. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to keep nagging you guys, but hopefully one of you has an answer. How does the BCM get grounded? How about individual actions (i.e. the relay I am looking to tap into)? Anyone have pictures of the grounding area(s)? I would go checking, but I do not want to start fussing with the BCM and screw it up.

    TIA
     
  24. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    That dotted line box is the BCM itself. Those "relays" are figurative to show how they act, they aren't physical relays inside the BCM. You would tap into the wire on the outside of the dotted box (above your circled area). They go to a common ground inside the BCM however each wire connected along there is individually controlled. So tapping into wire 1969 (black/white stripe it looks like) will give you a controlled ground. Hitting high beams closes the internal BCM "switch" which makes that wire then grounded. When the high beams are turned off that wire is effectively connected to nothing as the "switch" in the BCM is open.
     
  25. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Oh is that how it works? Hmm, based off all the schematics and everything I had found, I was under the interpretation that the Blk/Wh was a (+) signal wire which enacted a relay in the BCM to create a ground, and that I would have to find the outgoing ground wire as it passed out the far side of the BCM (again, with the belief the other wire was a (+) signal). I did think this was odd that the relay in the fuse box would actuate ANOTHER relay in the BCM to ground out, but hey, like I said, honestly have no idea about the BCM or how they work.
     
  26. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    If it was a positive wire, and that was a ground in the BCM, and the BCM closed that switch, you'd have a short circuit :wink:

    If you notice, some of the other stuff in the PCM are indeed switched power supply controls, which means those lines are positive instead of grounds (such as the Backup Lamp Supply Voltage, below it).
     
  27. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    I guess that makes sense, never really had considered that. Again, I have a basic understanding, but sometimes I get focused on certain details and then I forget to think some other aspects.

    Thank you for the clarification!
     
  28. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    SUCCESS!!!!

    Last night, mounted and wired up the LED off-road bar, got the controller to work with the ground trigger (found correct wire and didn't screw anything up)!

    So the way the controller/relay unit I have is currently programmed, high-beam activation triggers the bar, and, a manual button press on the controllers faceplate can also activate it. I am considering reprogramming it so that the trigger wire activates the "button", so that it can be turned off if I do not want it to be on with the high-beams. As it stands right now, once the high-beam comes on, the bar will stay on, I have no option to shut it off without disengaging the high-beam switch.
     
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  29. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Low-beams only

    [​IMG]

    LED Offroad Bar only

    [​IMG]

    High-beam and LED Bar

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    No more work accomplished since my last post, as winter was delayed here in NY, and eventually hit, now that weather is improving, I hope to get some more of this work started!
     
  31. swede

    swede Gold Supporter

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    Another thing to remember when you tampering with PCM, BCM or other modules, a lot of controls and wires are only 5 volt instead of 12 volt. And most things are as sparky sad controlled on the ground side when it comes to the 5 volt circuit.
     
  32. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the clarification/reminder! I make sure to double and triple check everything I do on here first, and read through as I go. Thankfully the one wire I needed from the BCM was a signal wire to my device, and no need to apply current TO it!
     
  33. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    So after pondering over and over and over for HOURS at work the other night, I think I came upon a different, and more practical solution for wiring this all up!

    In doing so I can accomplish Quad S/T/T, in addition to the Warning light function!

    I will draw up a diagram tonight while at work (if I actually get some sleep today), but here is my thinking:

    1) Each spot of the tail light will be replaced with a Feniex Cannon 360 LED HideAWay

    2) Each LED HAW has 3 inputs, sequentially overriding control of the previous (Mode 2 overrides Mode 1, Mode 3 overrides control of Mode 2)

    3) The tail lights will have the boards removes, and direct wiring to the factory harness (or with an adapter)

    4) Input 1 on the RED HAW's will be tail/running light. This will require some resistors to drop down the intensity of the HAW's (and from factory harness will power 2 HAW's each, as LED this should not be a problem as they have lower Amp draw, yes/no??)

    5) Input 2 on the RED HAW's will activate the Warning Pattern on the TOP set (unless I decide to have both top and bottom REDs flash in that mode)

    6) Since there is only INPUT 3 left and I still need Brake AND Turn, I plan to use a Tail Light Converter which should solve a LOT of programming, and wiring headaches on the controller, and my brain. This again, will allow QUAD Stop/Turn.

    7) To prevent the loss of current/signal to Input 3, which would allow(+) current to Input 2 for Warning pattern, the constant +12V from the signal switch will be wired into a Controller unit/brain Input, signaling to disable the power to the Input #2 on the LED HAW's, shutting down warning function. Thus preventing warning pattern to activate every time the current from the turn signal is in the OFF portion of the flash (hopefully this made sense and did not confuse anyone any more lol)

    8) Braking power will be constant +12V to Input #3, overriding control of Inputs 1 & 2, therefor no disabling of Input #2 is required (so no signal to Input of Controller/Brain unit should be necessary)

    9) Parking Gear/Brake signal will go to an open Input on the Controller/Brain unit, so as to disable some functions of the warning/flashing when in park. This is pretty common in the Emergency Services, called 'Park/Kill', and per a regulation (somewhere I cannot locate on no sleep), flashing WHITE lights are supposed to be disabled when in park (i.e. flashing headlights), and since I plan to have the REV lights flash when in warning mode, parking will disable those.

    I think I covered all the bases, again, later tonight I will draw up a diagram, and see if y'all think it will work correctly!
     
  34. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I think I got it all in here! It is a hodgepodge, I apologize in advance, but I hope it is readable, and I will be happy to clarify any question.

    Hopefully you gurus can look this over and let me know if I am off my rocker, or kinda have my marbles together haha!!

    If the image is too small, I can try and get a larger/more readable version up.

    Schematic.png
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  35. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I think I get what you're doing and I think it makes sense. The only part I don't quite get is #7. If IN2 overrides IN1, and IN3 overrides IN2, and IN2 is only used for emergency usage, why would you get an emergency pattern during the turn signal on IN3 if emergency isn't active?

    Perhaps I'm reading it wrong but it sounds to me like the way you've got it hooked up now is the turn/brake would override all red emergency pattern on the back. Correct me if I'm wrong. Just a thought here, but maybe it would be better to have only the middle lights (or top if you prefer) connected to emergency, not top and middle both. Have the emergency pattern on IN3. That way regardless of whether you're hitting brakes or not you still have emergency lights flashing on the back in the middle set. During normal driving you would have quad brake/turn, during emergency usage you have single brake/turn. Just thinking out loud.

    Another thought on the parking light dimming circuits - it may be better to use an LED driver instead of resistors to get the dimmed brightness as a resistor to get it dimmed correctly could be fairly large to dissipate the heat from that much current draw (LEDs are certainly less than incandescent but still that much may need a fair bit).
     
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  36. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Sparky, thank you for your reply!! I am glad I am not completely off-base here! I am going to reply to your individual points in-line with your quote.

     
  37. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I kinda stalled my project last year. Tried to sort out a few details, and I think I came up with a pretty good solution.

    Updated my schematic with the clarified details.

    Schematic 2.png

    Steps Done Towards Install
    1) Purchased the Novita LM486 LED Flasher module to help avoid Hyperflash.

    I was not 100% sure if I would need this or not, since I plan on wiring the 2 separate HAWs on each side together to flash. Since NORMALLY only 1 bulb flashes on turn signal, and the 2 lower draw LEDs will be wired together, maybe it would increase the draw enough?

    Either way, I have it just in case.

    2) I purchased a Hopkins Trailer Tail Light Converter, which will allow both turn signal & brake function commands on one single input.

    3) Purchased (2) Delphi GT150 Female Connector pigtails to plug into the factory taillight harness, and avoid cutting and splicing.

    4) Have an old abused set of tail lights I am using to mock-up the lights, figure out how much and where to trim to get the LED HAWs to sit far enough inside the housing to best utilize the reflector. (I HAD a couple videos, don't know what I did with them :Banghead:)

    Things I Still Need To Figure Out Or Purchase

    1) I have multiple .PDF Service manuals, including:
    a) 2002 Wiring
    b) 2004 Wiring
    c) 2006 Wiring
    d) 2004 Exterior Lights wiring

    I have a 2005 LS (figures, right?) So unless either the '04 or '05 wiring is the same, I do not want to pick a wrong wire and royally screw myself!

    2) I THINK.... I figured out MOST wiring (where I need to tap into for power for specific functions) based of a couple PDFs from the old site, installers use for aftermarket alarms/remotes, but wanted to confirm with actual schematics as listed above.
    a) Ignition - Pink OR White wire in Ignition Harness
    b) Left Turn - (+) 12V (constant) Dark Green @ turn signal switch or flasher
    c) Right Turn - (+) 12V (constant) Light Green @ turn signal switch or flasher

    3) I need to determine
    a) Either the (+) or (-) for the Park/Neutral switch (is this the same as the Parking Brake, or
    is the parking brake also known as the Emergency or hand brake?)
    b) (+) signal for headlights (and not power signal for the DRL).
     
  38. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    I don't think the chassis wiring changed much, lighting-wise anyway.

    The parking brake is also known as the emergency or hand brake. It isn't the same as the park/neutral switch, that's on the transmission.
     
  39. Zapp Brannigan

    Zapp Brannigan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sparky, I was pretty sure that was the case the more I read into it, just wanted to double check!
     

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