LED Interior Lights Swap Blowing Fuse

kcb58h

Member
Daddy always said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Well, I couldn't help myself. All of my interior headliner lights work fine but I like the look of the bright white of LEDs. I bought a $20 set off Amazon and when I installed the first one it blew the 10A fuse. The only troubleshooting info I could find was if they don't work the first time, flip them to correct +/- polarity, but nothing was mentioned regarding the possibility of blowing the fuse. I did replace the fuse and flipped the bulb but got the same result - blown fuse - TWICE. I've only attempted to do this above the driver's door.
I think I can use a multimeter to confirm +/- of bulb and socket, but I'll have to find a how-to on that.
I feel like there's something obvious I'm overlooking. I have had, knock wood, ZERO electrical issues with my '04 EXT. Nor have I made any other electrical modifications. With a fresh fuse, my old bulbs continue to work fine.
Also these are the cheap lights. I don't mind spending more on a better set but other TBers are using these with no problems.
Any possible solutions would be most appreciated.
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Could you post pics of the bulbs you're using? I'm just curious to see what they look like. Do they have pins bent/wrapped around both sides of the base, or just 1 pin on one side of the plastic wedge?

Back when I first swapped LED bulbs in my EXT I blew fuses if I swapped them out when the sockets were hot, but everything was fine if the sockets were powered up after the fact. If you're blowing fuses after installation when voltage hits them, if the pins aren't crooked and touching pins that they shouldn't, I'd lean towards some sort of internal problem with the bulbs themselves.

Not sure how many spare fuses you have, and may be willing to sacrifice, but you could see if different bulbs, in different sockets have the same result or not. Rule out one particular socket, or one or more of the LED bulbs themselves. :twocents:
 

Sparky

Moderator
Some led bulbs have poor QC and the legs stick out so long that they make conact with the reflector around the socket and cause a dead short.
 
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kcb58h

kcb58h

Member
Could you post pics of the bulbs you're using? I'm just curious to see what they look like. Do they have pins bent/wrapped around both sides of the base, or just 1 pin on one side of the plastic wedge?

Back when I first swapped LED bulbs in my EXT I blew fuses if I swapped them out when the sockets were hot, but everything was fine if the sockets were powered up after the fact. If you're blowing fuses after installation when voltage hits them, if the pins aren't crooked and touching pins that they shouldn't, I'd lean towards some sort of internal problem with the bulbs themselves.

Not sure how many spare fuses you have, and may be willing to sacrifice, but you could see if different bulbs, in different sockets have the same result or not. Rule out one particular socket, or one or more of the LED bulbs themselves. :twocents:
The base of the bulb is a plastic tab with 2 micro-gage wires, one on each side, that wrap around the bottom of the tab and then bend back up toward the bulb assembly. They are not secured to the tab in any fashion and if handled roughly could easily be bent out of alignment. Like Sparky described.
Remember those old school xmas tree light bulbs where a pin mashed into a socket but you had to make sure that those tiny wires on the bulb base were aligned to hit on one side or the other (but one wire couldn't touch both) side of the inside of the socket? I'll bet that's what is happening. Those wires are shifting around when the bulb is pressed into place and contacting metallic surfaces they're not supposed to (reflector).
If I were to trim (shorten) and glue (secure) those wires to the plastic tab base of the bulb to keep them secured they would only contact the intended part of the "socket". These bulbs are just a sloppy (cheap) design. I'm not gonna waste the time.
I think a better idea is to find bulb with a more rugged base that's designed to avoid this issue. Anyone, please feel free to offer suggestions, price be damned!
If you look at my build, you'll see I'm already a damned fool for dressing (spending) up a 2wd TB just so it'd look like it should have from the factory.
And to Sparky and BlackShadow, thanks for the response. Season's Greetings!SUNP0005.JPGIMG_0156.JPG
 
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kcb58h

kcb58h

Member
Could you post pics of the bulbs you're using? I'm just curious to see what they look like. Do they have pins bent/wrapped around both sides of the base, or just 1 pin on one side of the plastic wedge?

Back when I first swapped LED bulbs in my EXT I blew fuses if I swapped them out when the sockets were hot, but everything was fine if the sockets were powered up after the fact. If you're blowing fuses after installation when voltage hits them, if the pins aren't crooked and touching pins that they shouldn't, I'd lean towards some sort of internal problem with the bulbs themselves.

Not sure how many spare fuses you have, and may be willing to sacrifice, but you could see if different bulbs, in different sockets have the same result or not. Rule out one particular socket, or one or more of the LED bulbs themselves. :twocents:
 

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Blckshdw

Moderator
Nice looking rig man! :thumbsup:

:undecided: I've bought LED products from that manufacturer before, and haven't had any QC problems, although they weren't the socket style. Another thing to possibly try, is bench testing the bulbs themselves. Usually we'll suggest a 9v battery, and some scrap wire or something like that, but I don't think that would help identify internal problems with the bulbs. I have one of these, variable DC power supply for my test bench. Lets me lower the voltage for testing, so my LED projects aren't so bright when I'm working on them. Also, if there's a short, it beeps at me and shuts off.

I haven't bought plug 'n play LED bulbs in a long time, so I don't have any suggestions there besides build your own :biggrin: Don't listen to me though, I'll get you in trouble. :laugh:
 

Mounce

Well-Known Member
Agree with reflector shorting. I removed the reflectors when I was running the same style. They're not the best design with multiple spots that they can short from.
 

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