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Thread: LT1 Tail Light Modifcation

  1. #1
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    Default LT1 Tail Light Modifcation

    Here is a "how to" on modifying your LT1 style tail lights. This guide is merely for suggestions, and I take no responsible for any damage done to your car or self.

    Here are some videos on how they function. First link is both sides are complete. The 2nd and 3rd link is driver side is complete, passenger side is untouched other than LT1 tail lights in an LS1 car.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03adwxI8TtE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg584oRQ9UA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09HCzoMDa2o

    This is the bulb placement

    As you can see, all the red section now acts as parking and brake lights. The turn signal is placed in the reverse socket, and the reverse is placed in the empty chamber next to its original spot. The blue and green is a dual filament socket & bulb.


    Tools Required/Suggested
    -Wire strippers
    -Wire cutters
    -Electrical and masking tape
    -Pliers
    -Sharpie
    -Drill (5/8" drill bit worked best)
    -Dremel, or something to cut plastic
    -Soldering iron & solder, or equivalent wiring connections
    -Shrink wrap tubes
    -Spare wire
    -Razor blades
    -Silicone
    -An amber 3057 or 3157 bulb
    - a bright ass T10 bulb, I am using a 20 SMD 194 T10 LED bulb

    2002 35th Anniversary Camaro
    SLP CAI&Lid, filter, and ZZP baffle delete
    32/19 WS6 Sway bars w/ poly bushings, BMR STB
    C5 Y2K wheels WS6 hood. Full LED swap

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    Okay getting started.

    1. Making a new hole for the reverse socket.
    Find the center of the chamber and drill a 5/8" hole, should look something like this.


    2. Making the hole accept the socket
    here is a little depending on what socket you go with. I grabbed a socket from an LT1 car last time I was at the JY, it is the parking light one on the end. If you use the LT1 one, you need to cut 4 tabs as I did. if you get one from an LS1 car, you only need to cut 2. I just guesstimated where, used a sharpie to give me some rough lines, and dremeled out the plastic. Here are my results

    Doesn't have to be perfect, I siliconed my socket in to hold it in place and waterproof it.

    Here is a rough fit


    This is the difference between the LT1 vs LS1 parking light. As you can see, 4 vs 2 spokes

    2002 35th Anniversary Camaro
    SLP CAI&Lid, filter, and ZZP baffle delete
    32/19 WS6 Sway bars w/ poly bushings, BMR STB
    C5 Y2K wheels WS6 hood. Full LED swap

  3. #3
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    This is the more involved steps. Would like to note that if you want a slightly easier and less involved process, purchase a similar socket that fits our tail lights, but in a dual filament. This will be your new brake/parking socket and the old reverse socket will not be used. My original plan was to make the reverse into the 194 socket, and then use the old reverse socket and put that into the red where the turn signal originally was. This would work, but wouldn't be able to be park and brake, as it is not a dual filament socket. However the turn signal was. and that doesn't require dual filaments to function. So i cut the turn signal off, used that as brake/parking, and used the old reverse socket as the new turn signal socket.. I'm sorry if thats kind of confusing. But if you look at your tail lights you will see exactly what I mean. here is a picture to demonstrate that.

    The socket on the left is the turn signal, which was the rubber stopper in the middle, the one on the right is the reverse. That center piece is not removable.

    So let's carry on, if you choose to buy a socket to make life a little easier, skip over the steps where I talk about that, if not and you just want to solder up a couple more wires, then read on.

    The wiring is very very easy for our tail lights (at least for my car, 2002 camaro). the black wire is the same for ALL connections, it is the ground, so when you wire up the sockets, always connect black to black, and any other color to the corresponding ones.

    I suggest labeling the sockets with masking tape and a sharpie, as well as labeling the wiring so when you cut the socket off you still know which wires go to what. and to test to make sure the bulbs and sockets work before permanently connecting the wires.
    I started with the reverse and turn signals. They both have black as the "-" and a greenish wire for the "+". Hook the 194 socket up to the reverse wiring. and if you chose not to buy a new socket, use the NON dual filament socket for the turn signals and wire that up.

    For the brake light, there are 3 wires: Blue, brown and black. Black is the common "-", brown is "+" for the parking lights, and blue is "+" for the brake light. Unless you are using crimp connectors, which I advise against, chop off the brake socket leaving as much wire on the socket as possible, but still enough on the harness to be able to solder it back together. I found out the hard way and had to add wire on the first tail light. you will be wiring up the old turn signal and the brake sockets together, and then connecting it back up to the brake/parking wiring. I used the same color wiring to make is as easy as possible to follow, but you can use whatever color you have available.
    First you must take the dual filament socket and pull the rubber stopper out, expose some wire on the extra wire you have, I would use about a foot of wire, and jam it in and then force the stopper back in. Should resemble this

    Now you will need to extend the other 2 wires (black and brown) so that when all is said and done, it will be as long as the 12" blue wire you just made. Once that is set up, splice the 2 sockets together so that black goes to black, blue to blue, and brown to brown, if you didnt use the same color wiring, just make sure you splice the lefts together, middles together, and rights together. Should look like this:


    Then reconnect it to the old wiring, same as before, blue to blue, brown to brown, black to black. Make sure all lights work and work correct (parking and brake) and that you have enough slack in the wire to put both sockets into the tail light housing.


    That is about it, double check to make sure all the bulbs light up properly, make sure all the wires are long enough and the sockets fit into the housing and the housing can get reattached to the car without any binds. Make sure all your connections are secured (I soldered and shrink wrapped all of mine). I siliconed the crap out of the new 194 socket installed for reverse.

    Thanks guys

    2002 35th Anniversary Camaro
    SLP CAI&Lid, filter, and ZZP baffle delete
    32/19 WS6 Sway bars w/ poly bushings, BMR STB
    C5 Y2K wheels WS6 hood. Full LED swap

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    Good write up, glad I don't have to do it lol.
    I don't understand way they left other housing empty, maybe it was used on exports?

    Sent form My SAMSUNG GALAXY S III!

  5. #5
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    nice job mike. Love the creativitiy

    96 Camaro Cam'd anti-Coupe
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  6. #6
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    Thank you gentlemen.

    @Kris, your guess is as good as mine. I thought export models had a completely different look.

    I know in Europe you have to have Amber turn signals. can't have red. Any car I've seen that have red in America has a orange tinted tail light for the turns so I doubt gm even used lt1 tails

    Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk

    2002 35th Anniversary Camaro
    SLP CAI&Lid, filter, and ZZP baffle delete
    32/19 WS6 Sway bars w/ poly bushings, BMR STB
    C5 Y2K wheels WS6 hood. Full LED swap

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