Pontiac Firebird 1967-2002 - brighter taillights




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blacknyellow
02-26-2012, 06:54 PM
hey guys i have a 99 ta and my taillights do not seem to be very bright during the day. which bulbs or tricks do you guys recommend to get them a little brighter?
Any help is greatly appreciated because I do not want to have someone crash into my baby


blacknyellow
02-27-2012, 05:27 PM
bump, almost had another rearend encounter today

Paul Bell
02-27-2012, 05:51 PM
The 2057 lamp is the original "correct" listed S8 wedge based bulb for your car. It has 32/2 candle power.

The 2357 lamp plugs right in and is 40/3 candle power.

Stay away from the "long life" lamps they have at Auto Zone and Pep Boys. Longer life means lower wattage/lower candlepower.

While the 2357 is brighter, you may not notice a huge difference. Do one side and compare to the other.


VinR1
02-27-2012, 11:17 PM
These are what Im using
http://store.candlepower.com/p3457.html

under bright noon sun with running lights on
http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-25161103.jpg

brakes applied
http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-25161041.jpg

VinR1
02-27-2012, 11:19 PM
Oh, and before someone asks, I have a 98+ taillight harness

blacknyellow
02-28-2012, 12:08 AM
ok thanks guys ill go to advance tomorow!
would it help if i unplugged the little bulb on the outer most pigtail? could it draw a little more power from the other two?
your help is greatly appreciated

VinR1
02-28-2012, 02:12 PM
ok thanks guys ill go to advance tomorow!
would it help if i unplugged the little bulb on the outer most pigtail? could it draw a little more power from the other two?
your help is greatly appreciated

I didnt notice a difference - in fact, after those pics, I cut that running light harness off both sides and wired in a 2057/3457 harness ($12/ea). Had to slightly open up the holes in the taillights but five minutes and a razor is all it took. I'm using regular 2057 bulbs in the outer holes and there is a noticible difference in brightness compared to my 3457 bulbs so as soon as I get around to it, I'll put in some brighter bulbs... either way, I have three bulbs on each side doing the brake/turn signal duties instead of 2/ea...

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-11131340.jpg

here you can see where I tapped into the next harness' turn signal wire

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-11143450.jpg

blacknyellow
02-28-2012, 02:53 PM
Oh wow i didnt even think of that! Nice thought!
Is there any way you could take a picture of it illuminated? Couldn't you just splice the new pigtail into the small outer bulbs' power and ground wires?

EDIT: i understand

Paul Bell
02-28-2012, 02:54 PM
Side note: the 2357, 3357 and 3457 lamps have the same 40/3 CP. The difference is the material their bases are made of. These all directly interchange with the lower 32/2 CP 2057.

If you run across a -K bulb, it's long life because it has Krypton gas in the envelope.

Paul Bell
02-28-2012, 02:59 PM
This is a great idea! As the outer bulb opening is originally for a marker lamp, how did you get it to accept the bigger socket? Can you post a pic of just the hole without the lamp?

I'm gonna do this!
http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-11131340.jpg

blacknyellow
02-28-2012, 03:16 PM
STICKY!
great job VINR1, and your service for our country is greatly appreciated!

read were VINR1 said he used a razor black to widen the hole for the bigger pigtail. That can fairly easily be figured out when doing the modification.

VinR1
02-28-2012, 03:59 PM
its not hard at all - I took an index card and laid it on top of one of the other, larger holes and with a pencil, made a rubbing which gave an exact impression. Cut it out, lay it over the smaller outer hole, and make an outline with same pencil. I used a good sharp razor, heated the tip with a cig lighter, and it cut right through the plastic like warm butter.

TIP: cut the hole slightly smaller so the socket will fit nice and tight. Its easier to shave off a little more than to have a socket bouncing around inside a hole that is too big. Also, if you look close, you'll see how I oriented the socket so it will come in contact with the flat piece of plastic above the hole. That keeps it nice and tight and neither of mine have moved even a mm in the ~8mos since I did them

if you just use the two running light wires, you'll have bright running lights... if you want brake/blinker capabilities, wire into the yellow (drivers side) and green (passenger side) wires

the generic sockets (I got mine at O'Reilly's) have three black wires coming out. If you point the socket away from you (looking at the flat back side) with the wires pointing down, from left to right the wires are signal/brake, running, and ground

anything else, lemme know

VinR1
02-28-2012, 04:04 PM
oh, and if anyone cares, I repainted the grids on my LT1 tails and went over with a flat clear - also used the USMC EGA instead of the Firebird logo in the center, with the same flat clear

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa423/vmohed/2011-08-24210304.jpg

Paul Bell
02-28-2012, 06:09 PM
Very nice Vin, thanks!