Now all that IVA stuff is done and dusted, it’s time to make a few changes, Top of my list is upgrading the brake lights. I am not saying the rear lights are bad, it’s just the driver behind may not be as aware of the awesome power of 70s trailer lights.
I will also add a 3rd brake light, but I haven’t as yet decided what 3rd brake light I will choose, so for now it’s just a rear light upgrade.
There are a few options when it comes to upgrade Caterham LED rear lights: from bulbs, to replacement LED panels. So the first problem is choosing the upgrade I wanted.
While blatting with fellow Caterham owners I have always been underwhelmed with LED bulb upgrades, especially red LED replacement bulbs behind white lenses. Whenever I have driven behind that combination the word that crosses my mind is “forgettable”. So my decision is to use a LED panel.
Just Add Lightness (JAL) https://justaddlightness.co.uk is a local company to me, who produce a high quality LED panel rear light replacement, so I am going to replace my rear lights with their unit.
The JAL replacement unit is made using a modified Caterham rear light unit so is a direct replacement, and a simple plug and play replacement.
However, I have not gone to the extent of covering the wiring for IVA to undo all that hard work with my LED replacements, so the first task was to dismantle the Econoseal connector and apply some heat shrink (as per my original Rear light fitting)
To dismantle the Econoseal, hook out the the yellow locking insert, then lift the little plastic tag holding each wire/connector with a small flat blade screwdriver.
With the Econoseal connector refitted the light unit can be fitted. To remove the original rear light units, I started by removing the grommet inside the inner wing first, then disconnect the Econoseal connectors from the chassis wiring loom with a squeeze and pull. Removing the lens screws and the mounting screw removes the light unit. There was no need to remove the rear wheel, I had sufficient space in the rear wheel arch to do this while my car was on the ground.
Once the light unit was removed, the first task was a bit of cleaning, my car has only covered a few hundred miles, but I could not believe the amount of grime that had collected behind the light.
JAL provide some nylon washers, that go under the light unit mounting screws, which need to be added when it comes to refitting these upgraded units. Therefore refitting starts with the mounting screws (or bolts in my build) followed by wiring connector and grommet. At this stage I tend to test the lights before refitting the lens, but I am not sure that’s strictly necessary.
This is only the start of my LED light upgrades, so I know when I change the front indicators to LED, I will need replace my flasher relay to one that is designed for LED indicators. You will know if you need to change the relay when the flashing speed is too fast. This is an indication that a bulb has blown, but it gets confused because of the low current draw of an LED bulb in comparison to a filament bulb. I strongly recommend you replace the front indicator bulbs and the flasher relay when you replace the rear lights for LED units.