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Author Topic: Changing turn & Stop lamps to LED  (Read 6140 times)
NCbob
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« on: May 12, 2006, 08:36:06 AM »

After searching for replacement lenses for my turn and stop lamps (to no avail) I'm considering converting both to 24V LED's.  But this is a new world to me.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I get the feeling that it ain't gonna be that easy.

It strikes me that all the LED stop and tail lights I've seen have 3 leads while the incandescant's have either only 1 (internally grounded) or 2 (externally grounded).  And the question also comes to mind...will I need a special flasher to operate these new lamps? Another question is:  Will I also have to change the side (marker) turn signal lamps in order to keep the complete circuit LED?

I've searched all over the 'net (including this board) and can't find the info I'm looking for.

I'll need (4) 5" (2 Amber and 2 Red) + the two side markers (Amber) for the turn circuit and (2) 7"  LED's for the Stop lamps.

Oh, my bus is an MC5A.

Has anyone done this...please?

NCbob
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orangepeel91
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 08:53:16 AM »

Even though I havn't taken delivery of my bus yet it does have LEd stop etc already. Trucklite is the only source for the big 7" lights. You do NOT want to know what they cost. If you do this you will be glad you only have two of them. It has just the rear lights as LED. The side and front turn signals are still regular lightbulbs along with all the roof markers. The turn signals work as normal. I don't know what would happen with all LED. Also if you do not want to replace the entire light there are LED replacements for lightbulbs available that work in the original fixture.
Sean
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Rich (Prevost)
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 10:57:02 AM »

We have a couple of options on your 5A. The big 7" is not expensive through us. I think it's around $50 IN 24V. The 4" are around $35ea. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks

Rich
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2006, 11:06:58 AM »

Bob,

Busswarrior on the BNO fleamarket(April 16) had some 7" listed for $20 each.

Don't know he he still has any though.

Cliff
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2006, 01:17:02 PM »

NCbob, I just suffered through the same experience with my 1984 9. Here is what I did. I was able to secure 4 inch and 7 inch LEDs 24 volt from:

 http://www.etruckpart.com/index.htm

When ordering see if you can get the slimmer version of the 7 inch light. Each 7 inch light was $44.00 The red and amber 4 inch lights were 24+ per.  The pigtail connections were important to me as they are water tight, yet replaceable. In addition, these lights come with a lifetime warranty! They are rated specifically for 24 volt systems so I maintain my warranty. The wiring followed my schematic and I was able to make several grounds into one common ground connection. Made it look better and professional. I also wanted to make sure I could keep the original housing and not have to make modifications the original look of the bus.

Each light works awesome and look fantastic, particularly at night. I went with the lights with the most LED per lamp as I wanted brightness and visibility.

I have only run into a bit of a problem with the front turn signal lamps. The original housing unit and light assembly are not standard sizes. I have found a standard LED lamp and will modify a 5 inch stainless steel washer to act as a retainer for the lamp.  They too look awesome at night and are 24 volts.

I can send you pictures if desired.

Good luck! Grin

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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NCbob
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2006, 02:07:49 PM »

Thanks for the replies guys... I'm sure there'll be more...but  Grant if you have the time I'd sure love to see those 7" Stop lights!
One of my BIG concerns is the heavy fog we have here in the mountains.  I don't want somone to commit vehicular sodomy into my polished engine compartment doors.   My e-mail is in my profile.  Thanks.  NCbob
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2006, 04:40:23 PM »

I have two 7" on each side that were originally sealed lights.  I changed them to LED (about $250 for the four).  The first thing I did was to try the turn indicator to make sure it would work-and it did.  Love the look and the brightness (I run with lights on).  Good LUck, TomC
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2006, 06:27:55 PM »

Thanks for the replies guys... I'm sure there'll be more...but  Grant if you have the time I'd sure love to see those 7" Stop lights!
One of my BIG concerns is the heavy fog we have here in the mountains.  I don't want somone to commit vehicular sodomy into my polished engine compartment doors.   My e-mail is in my profile.  Thanks.  NCbob

Post the pics here.  I'd like to see them installed in an MC9 also.
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Fred Mc
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2006, 10:17:21 PM »

I put those 7 inch leds on my horse trailer. They were $35 Canadian at Prnicess Auto.

There are BRIGHT!!

Fred Mc.
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BJ
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2006, 06:10:22 AM »

Grantgoold   thanks for the info. Ordered the red 4" with everything but the mounting brks. do I need that also?
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grantgoold
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2006, 08:47:30 AM »

BJ, it all depends on how you will mount the lights. If they are going into the standard rear light assembly then the units I have are mounted using the standard 4 inch rubber grommet. Other applications like the front do not fit!  Good luck. If mom will let me sneak away to the bus today, I will take some pictures of the rear units and post them.

I hope to be able to get the fronts done in the next two weeks.
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2006, 05:33:45 PM »

As promised here are the pictures of the rear LED lamps
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2006, 05:47:25 PM »

Here's something interesting.  An LED conversion/update kit from MCI.  Price has to be scary.  I'll find out tomorrow.

http://www.mcicoach.com/Parts-Service-Support/partsSpecialsNewsLED.htm
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2006, 08:55:27 PM »

I just ordered 2 4" red led's from etruckparts (thanks for the info on this board) and they were very reasonable priced with all the hook up (pigtails) and gskt for around $42.00
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2006, 06:04:54 AM »

Here's something interesting.  An LED conversion/update kit from MCI.  Price has to be scary.  I'll find out tomorrow.

http://http://www.mcicoach.com/Parts-Service-Support/partsSpecialsNewsLED.htm


The MCI kit is $1609.38 if you buy online through the MCI parts store.  A little steep if you ask me.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2006, 10:15:55 AM »

I failed to say that I was able to completely rehab the back taillight system including polishing the housings, building watertight connections and purchase the 6 LEDs for less that $250.00. As mentioned before the LEDs have a lifetime warranty.  A far cry from the $1600.00 + price and other much more expensive options I have seen.

Grant

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Grant Goold
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2006, 04:13:04 PM »

I failed to say that I was able to completely rehab the back taillight system including polishing the housings, building watertight connections and purchase the 6 LEDs for less that $250.00. As mentioned before the LEDs have a lifetime warranty.  A far cry from the $1600.00 + price and other much more expensive options I have seen.

Grant



I'm following your lead on this.  I have yet to figure out how they price bus parts.  The parts that I think should be expensive are dirt cheap and the parts that you'd think are common, almost "auto parts store" type parts are out of sight.  Hell, I could side my house with MC9 windshields almost cheaper than real siding. Smiley  A windshield is cheaper than a front marker light assembly.  Go figure.
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belfert
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2006, 05:28:17 AM »

This is sorta off the topic, but who makes good LED marker lights?  Gumpy bought some that are junk and I want to avoid that.

I am missing one marker light completely and another one only works with the turn signal, but not the parking lights.  Since I need replacements, I might as well go LED.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2006, 06:40:24 AM »

This is sorta off the topic, but who makes good LED marker lights?  Gumpy bought some that are junk and I want to avoid that.

I am missing one marker light completely and another one only works with the turn signal, but not the parking lights.  Since I need replacements, I might as well go LED.

Brian Elfert
Brian, 2 names come to mind on this first check with J.D. since he is so close. Also call Rich at International Bus Parts I don't have his # handy but I know he advertises and post's here regularly so the # is here somewhere or I'll bet Jack Conrad or some of the others know it by heart! Knuckle
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belfert
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2006, 07:38:51 AM »

[Brian, 2 names come to mind on this first check with J.D. since he is so close. Also call Rich at International Bus Parts I don't have his # handy but I know he advertises and post's here regularly so the # is here somewhere or I'll bet Jack Conrad or some of the others know it by heart! Knuckle

JD and Rich probably have the right parts, but the price might be a premium.  I'm hoping to get some other options.  I'll probably call IBP today.

Brian Elfert
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2006, 08:08:24 AM »

For  marker lights, I'd just get some ultrabright leds and the correct resistor, remove the bulb from your current marker light and solder the LED in.  If you scuff the LED up with sandpaper it will emit light in all directions and it works really well.
Cost: Under 25c each !  I did this on my Crown and it's simple, reliable, and easy to do (if you can solder)

For red, get these: http://cgi.ebay.com/PURE-Yellow-LEDs-20PCS-x-5000MCD-Ultra-Bright-5mm-Led_W0QQitemZ7618983512QQcategoryZ66953QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem
For amber, get these: http://cgi.ebay.com/PURE-RED-LEDs-20PCS-x-8000MCD-Ultra-Bright-5mm-Led_W0QQitemZ7618983442QQcategoryZ66948QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

The above LEds are $3.24 for twenty, free shiping from Hong Kong. I've used this seller many times before and he's reliable and has great product.

For the resistors, use 470 ohms on 12 volt systems and 1K on 24 volt systems.  1/4 watt size is fine for either.

The LED's have polarity- the longer of it's two leads goes to (+). The resistor goes in series with the LED and can be put on either lead.

BTW, legal or not, I also added a second yellow LED into my front markers that are on the front- left and right sides, and hooked them to the turn signals.  The LED's  add  a great turn signal feature to the side markers without having to put on more doodahs on the side of the bus.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2006, 08:12:26 AM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca
belfert
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2006, 08:47:16 AM »

I've seen LED marker lights for like $7 so trying to save a buck by making my own doesn't really make sense.  Besides, I am missing the entire marker light assembly on one side so I have to replace that.

My Dina is wired from the factory for the rear side marker lights to blink when the turn signal is activated so I presume it is legal to do so.

Brian Elfert
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2006, 10:23:23 AM »

Well for me, $7 vs 25c times 13 markers is a lot of bucks.  And I preserved the original look by not sticking new markers on my '62 bus.
But that's just "my way".. of course new ones might be simpler for some...

Smiley

Gary
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1962 Crown
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2006, 02:12:52 PM »

You have to take into accout=nt that that is an entire upgrade to MCI96/102A3 tailights, including new rear corner pannels.

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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2006, 02:42:35 PM »

For  marker lights, I'd just get some ultrabright leds and the correct resistor, remove the bulb from your current marker light and solder the LED in.  If you scuff the LED up with sandpaper it will emit light in all directions and it works really well.
Cost: Under 25c each !  I did this on my Crown and it's simple, reliable, and easy to do (if you can solder)

For red, get these: http://http://cgi.ebay.com/PURE-Yellow-LEDs-20PCS-x-5000MCD-Ultra-Bright-5mm-Led_W0QQitemZ7618983512QQcategoryZ66953QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem
For amber, get these: http://http://cgi.ebay.com/PURE-RED-LEDs-20PCS-x-8000MCD-Ultra-Bright-5mm-Led_W0QQitemZ7618983442QQcategoryZ66948QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem

The above LEds are $3.24 for twenty, free shiping from Hong Kong. I've used this seller many times before and he's reliable and has great product.

For the resistors, use 470 ohms on 12 volt systems and 1K on 24 volt systems.  1/4 watt size is fine for either.

The LED's have polarity- the longer of it's two leads goes to (+). The resistor goes in series with the LED and can be put on either lead.

BTW, legal or not, I also added a second yellow LED into my front markers that are on the front- left and right sides, and hooked them to the turn signals.  The LED's  add  a great turn signal feature to the side markers without having to put on more doodahs on the side of the bus.



How many LED's did you use for each light?  I'm guessing you did an array and not just one LED per light.
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gumpy
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2006, 07:30:11 AM »

Check Digikey.com, also. They have a good selection and are American, so shipping is typically faster than from HK. Not sure how their prices compare to the HK link. That's a pretty good price on them, including free shipping.

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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2006, 10:19:39 AM »

Ross, I used just ONE Led per marker. Mine were 5000mcd intensity.  These days the ultrabright LED's are just what they are advertised to be... damned bright.  My single LED markers are actually brighter than the old bulbs used to be.  In fact these days you have to be careful not to get an LED that is too bright... they're making some 10,000mcd+ ones and they could be too bright for a marker!!!  Those Leds that I recommended in my above post are well bright enough to do markers with, no problem!

Gumpy, yes Digikey is a good source but you'll pay a LOT more  with their minimum fees, etc, than that hong kong connection.  The Hong Kong items routinely arrive to me within 7 days of placing the order. 'bout as good as Digikey using UPS, but a lot cheaper....
I buy a lot from them and I'm nothing but happy with the service and the product.  Keep the middleman out of the loop!!!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2006, 10:24:19 AM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2006, 03:51:19 PM »

led's from truck (whatever) great service, arrived in a matter of days and the cost was reasonable. Now the question I have after receiving the 4" red for tail lights on my MC8 should I have ordered the mounting plates also? Or will I be able to mount them as is. Has anyone done this yet? (silly question) With the mounting plates will I be able to mount them in the original tail light holes? please advise...
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2006, 06:12:01 PM »

This is sorta off the topic, but who makes good LED marker lights?  Gumpy bought some that are junk and I want to avoid that.

I am missing one marker light completely and another one only works with the turn signal, but not the parking lights.  Since I need replacements, I might as well go LED.

Brian Elfert
Brian I must of mis-read this question, I thought you were asking where to get quality not cheap as you mentioned "Gumpy bought some that are junk and I want to aviod that" I was merely suggesting the 2 places I knew of that would stand behind what they sell you at the best deal they can make you! As I've always said about J.D., he is not afraid to tell you he can't save you $ on something fearing he'll ose a customer! That's why I call him and sometimes still buy from him even if it's a little cheaper else where, most times even with MCI's free shipping over $100 I still come out better buying from J.D. and paying the shipping myself! Also remember "cheap" ain't always "cheap" especially if ya gotta buy twice to get what ya wanted in the first place, don't get me wrong I like saving $ as much as the next guy but there is the ole saying "ya get what ya pay for!" And from what I've learned from being around buses, is that bus and cheap do not go together in the same sentence!  Just my opinion, don't mean to offend anyone just tell'n it the way I see it! Knuckle
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
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belfert
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« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2006, 07:05:38 PM »

Brian I must of mis-read this question, I thought you were asking where to get quality not cheap as you mentioned "Gumpy bought some that are junk and I want to aviod that" I was merely suggesting the 2 places I knew of that would stand behind what they sell you at the best deal they can make you! As I've always said about J.D., he is not afraid to tell you he can't save you $ on something fearing he'll ose a customer! That's why I call him and sometimes still buy from him even if it's a little cheaper else where, most times even with MCI's free shipping over $100 I still come out better buying from J.D. and paying the shipping myself! Also remember "cheap" ain't always "cheap" especially if ya gotta buy twice to get what ya wanted in the first place, don't get me wrong I like saving $ as much as the next guy but there is the ole saying "ya get what ya pay for!" And from what I've learned from being around buses, is that bus and cheap do not go together in the same sentence!  Just my opinion, don't mean to offend anyone just tell'n it the way I see it! Knuckle

I have no idea if gumpy's marker lights were expensive or cheap.  He just said they aren't very good.

I found out the $7 lights didn't include everything to mount them so they are out.  I haven't had time to pursue the market lights any further yet.  I'll ask JD when I talk to him Monday or Tuesday about the repair parts he ordered for my bus.

I would hate to buy something from JD for say $20 each and find out they are available elsewhere at half the cost.  I'm converting a bus, not running a charter operation.  A charter operation needs to have parts right now and the cost is usually secondary when it means a trip might get cancelled.  I need to save money any reasonable way I can.

Brian Elfert
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NCbob
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2006, 03:49:33 AM »

Hey Grant....those look AWESOME !!!!!  I've discovered that the aluminum housings for all my rear lamps are deterioated to the point where I should consider another housing.  Your bus is a 9 I believe.  I'm wondering if I might be able to adapt the 9 Stop, turn and tail lamp housing to my 5?  I'd have to measure the distance between the peaks of the stainless paneling in order to know.  Do you know this measurement? 

Needless to say I have got a 9 Parts Book so I have no way of knowing what MCI charges for those housings.  I'm probably whistling in the wind.

NCbob
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« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2006, 06:22:02 AM »

NCbob, thanks for the compliments. I am really trying to keep some of the original look of the bus. Yes I have the 9 and just happen to have the bus parked out front. The tail light assembly measures 19 inches top to bottom and 8.5 inches side to side. I can tell you the the housings from MCI are outrageous at about $400.00 per side (yes just the housing). I would try Sam Caylor at Caylor supply in Kansas to see if he has some used assemblies. In the end, if you are going to modify the assemblies to a point of complete change, and you are not really focused on original look, you may even want to watch ebay or other sites for semi truck parts, I have seen complete assemblies for pennies.

I hope to get the front LED lights completed this week.

Good luck!

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2006, 12:13:43 AM »

GRANTGOOLD:   sorry for so many questions but did you remove the standard reflectory housing on the 4"red tailights. Needless to say I haven't looked at anything yet. Just opened the box and said oops! Now what! Great pictures.
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2006, 06:19:09 AM »

BJ, you can ask as many questions as you like. I love learning from others as we struggle to deal with this addiction.  Grin

As far as the rear four inch tail lights, the entire units came out and were replaced with new LED's and the four inch rubber gasket. They fit fine in the rear.

As far as the front four inch turn signals, that is a whole different deal. The fronts are requiring signficant modification with a five inch stainless steel ring to act as a retainer given the odd size of the front housing and limitations to the depth of the light. I will begin working on those as soon as the lights arrive.

Hope this helps.

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
Way in Over My Head!
Citrus Heights, California
belfert
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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2006, 11:44:09 AM »

Brian, 2 names come to mind on this first check with J.D. since he is so close. Also call Rich at International Bus Parts I don't have his # handy but I know he advertises and post's here regularly so the # is here somewhere or I'll bet Jack Conrad or some of the others know it by heart! Knuckle

I tried JD and he doesn't have anything in marker lights, at least not LED.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2006, 10:13:31 AM »


I tried JD and he doesn't have anything in marker lights, at least not LED.

Brian Elfert
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Brian give Rich at IBP a call, not to long ago we talked and he has some that will work on either 12/24 volts! Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Cool  Knuckle Cool Grin Cheesy Wink Smiley[/b]
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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