One of the concerns that some TJ owners have expressed over the years is the lack of passive light reflection that most (all?) LED tail lights lack. I’m sure most of you have noticed that the factory TJ tail lights have a portion of the red lens designed such that it will reflect the headlights of an approaching vehicle when the TJ is parked along the side. This is a function that provides a measure of safety when the parked vehicle does not have its lights turned on. Some owners have installed red reflective tape on the rear bumper to provide reflectivity once a rear LED conversion was performed. I personally didn’t like the look of that (reminded me of a school bus and how they are all taped up) and so have done without since I installed my LED assemblies.
There is now another option available for the round 4″ LED tail light. A reflective mounting flange is available from Mark Lochridge of Gold Coast Distributing Co (805-340-9619). When Mark (he is no stranger) informed me of his new no-modification TJ LED flasher (for ’01 to ’06 models) that he was offering, he sent along a pair of reflective mounting flanges for me to try.
So here are my comments on retrofitting my LED conversion upgrade to make things a little safer for myself and other vehicles that share the road with me.
The mounting flanges come with fiber gaskets. I had some zinc plated screws in my junk drawer which were just the correct length for mounting the flanges onto my tub. The game plan was pretty simple….remove the existing LEDs and their rubber mounting grommets and replace same with the reflective flanges and the same LEDs. You can do this as a retrofit to a previously completed project or install them at the same time you are doing your initial LED upgrade.
My existing installation used rubber mounting grommets to hold the LED lamps securely in the body. They are easily removed by pushing the LED out of the grommets (from inside the fender well) and then unplugging the electrical connectors.
My holes needed a little bit of “clean up” as I hadn’t made them perfectly round during my original installation. Since I was using the rubber grommets, they were a little more forgiving than the mounting flanges. A couple of minutes with the drum sander attachment on the end of my drill was all it took to get a nice fit.
A few test fits with the flange in the hole confirmed I had removed enough of the rough edges to ensure a good fit. This photo just happened to catch the flash a bit and you can see the reflection of it.
With the mounting flange ready to go, I removed it from the body and carefully pressed the LED lamp into the flange. It is a snug fit and the lamp kind of “snaps” into position. The index provided a drill bit to make the mounting screw holes and with the mounting flange used as a hole template, it took only a minute to make the holes. The screws were put into the flange holes and gently tightened. (The flange has a warning not to torque the screws to more than 25 inch pounds…..for those that are wondering, that is NOT very much at all.)
Here you go…..one TJ retrofitted with reflecting mounting flanges for the LED lights. It makes for a safer situation on the road and in regards to looks, I think it looks a little better than the rubber grommets…..either that or I grew tired of them after all these year. <grin>
Many thanks to Mark for making these flanges available. Give him a call for your TJ flasher and LED needs or drop an e-mail to get current pricing.