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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #901
Holy cow I haven't posted here in a while! My current side project is to install the rear license plate lights I stripped off of the 1975 Manta I had on my rear bumperless GT. I'm currently using 2 combos of LED lights from China that attach to the license plate bolts. The one on top lights up the plate and the one at the bottom is pointed straight back and is a dual reverse light/3rd brake light. The last one works fine, but the top one doesn't light up the plate evenly and it's so close to the surface of the plate that the plate's raised letters cause shadows. I needed a light set up that protruded farther away from the body.:

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So, I juiced up the Manta lights on my work bench and found the light dispersal to be less than optimal also.:

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I took them apart to see what kind of bulb they had, so that I could buy brighter LED bulbs and they had weird bulbs with large bases, like our GT Park/Turn lights, but small glass bulbs on them(BA 15S). I went to the Superbright LED website and they had a nice car look up feature that took me right to the bulb I needed.:


Click on the bulb of your choice and all their available bulbs come up. I clicked the rear license plate one and this is what came up:


Holy Bejeesus! SIXTY-SEVEN LEDs x 2, just for your license plate! I've got the 47-LED type in my Park/Turn lights and they light up those Opel lenses like a ball of fire. You'll be able to see my license plate from space! Of course I bought a pair.

Then I took a look at the Manta license plate light lens assemblies and found them to be incredibly poorly designed to reflect light, much like the side rear marker lights on GT's, which mostly light up the inside of the car instead of the lens. No reflector at all and painted dull primer gray on the inside, maybe 1/3 of the light actually made it out the window in the assembly to light up your plate. So I found some chromed sheet metal I had laying around and made some reflectors to put behind them and glued them in place with Goop. Now I just have to wait for the bulbs to arrive to try them out.

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Opeler
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2,995 Posts
<snip> The last one works fine, but the top one doesn't light up the plate evenly and it's so close to the surface of the plate that the plate's raised letters cause shadows. I needed a light set up that protruded farther away from the body.: <snip>

Do you try spacers between LED light and license plate to see how it affected illumination?
Two longer bolts with jam nuts could determine the best spacer height.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #903
Notice how the light doesn't light up the sides of the plate. The LED's are too directional and aren't set up for wide dispersal. It's just a cheap light that is starting to degrade and I think the Manta ones will match the styling of the car better. I like to change my mods, so that I have a new project to keep things interesting.
 

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Opeler
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2,995 Posts
Thanks for the answer.
Long time ago, I thought of purchasing those LED License plate Lights, but never ordered them.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #905
I didn't want to screw them to the body as a permanent mod and was, instead, going to make a backing plate for the license plate with 2 ears sticking out the sides to mount the lights to. But then I noticed that the PO had made an utterly useless recessed license plate indentation. So now I'm thinking that I will have to mount them to the body. I'll wait until the bulbs arrive and see how they light up things and tape the light assemblies to the car to see if I like how things look. I could easily make a backing plate with bent ears that would suspend the lights 1/2" farther out, but I want to see how things look first. I may discover that the LED bulbs are too bright or suck in some other way and I scrap the project. That's the way mods go, sometimes they succeed and sometimes they just suck. :)
 

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Über Genius
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8,874 Posts
Just to post some relevant info for those who aren't aware...
BA15S is the size and type of the bulb base.
BA=Bayonet
15=the diameter of the base
S=single base lug

An 1156 bulb is still a BA15S. The variable is the wattage and voltage listing.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #907
Yes. They seem to be rated at a lower wattage compared to 1156's. They say 5W on them, they are the original German bulbs. I used to use dual Mustang reverse lights on a previous GT(They mount nicely to the bottom curve of the rear panel) and they had 50W bulbs in them, even though they were a small size.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #909
I'm replacing the carpets and doing long overdue(10 years) Spring cleaning of my living room and Opel room. Uh-oh. All my car show trophies, Opel display items, and beer steins are seriously dusty and dirty. Do I lovingly hand clean and polish all the nooks and crannies of my hard won trophies, hard drank from beer steins, and Opel brick-a-brack? Hell no! That's for girls. I'm a dude. Garden hose time!
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RunOpel
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1,204 Posts
I dare to say Gordo, if you were to crank the engine up, that kitty would jump 10 feet :) You certainly have accumulated your fare share of knick knacks over the years :)
 

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Opeler
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2,995 Posts
I would have parked in back area of parking lot. When blue Chevrolet 4 X 4 owner selects R (Run) instead of D (Drive), Chevy will stop moving at your GT windshield.

Hope is more Opel parts and eBay. I am trying to keep my USPS Delivery man employeed.
It took years to train him. Do not want my neighbors to get my parts and tools.
 

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Registered
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421 Posts
Man, I love and hate your car every time I see it.

I hate it because it's utterly incommon with my own tastes. I don't think I would have made a single change that you made on yours, to mine. There is nothing I envy in it, there's nothing inspiring in it, there's nothing imitable in it. Not one bit of the bodywork, not your lust for chrome, not the wheels, not the interior, not the spoiler, not even the color. I don't want a single thing about it.

But I love it because nose to tail it's consistently amazing of being the best of what it is. It's thematically flawless. Every bit of it is tweaked and customized to your vision of what was perfect for you. Nothing is sacred, nothing is left unpersonalized. It's a superb example of what an owner's car can be and what anyone could pursue in their own vision.
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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14,123 Posts
Discussion Starter #919
From a Facebook post:

Gordo's License Plate Light Redo Adventure!

I prefer the bumperless look on a GT's rear end, but that means you have to come up with a new way to illuminate the license plate. I also don't like the oem reverse light. So, when I made my GTX car, I bought various kinds of lights that fasten to the license plate bolts. First, I used license plate bolts that had one LED in them. They sucked and didn't light the plate up enough, so later I found strip LED lights that fasten to the bolts and I also got a combination reverse/3rd brake light type. The plate light was on top and the reverse/3rd brake light was on the bottom. That worked better, but the light didn't illuminate the first and last letters on the plate at all. The top one had a black plastic structure and the bottom one was all metal with chromed brackets.

The top light's lens had started to get foggy and the bottom light's chrome brackets had started to rust, so it was time for a new idea. I also didn't like how the light fixtures partially obscured the words at the top and bottom of the plate. A few months back you may recall that I had stripped the license plate lights off of a '75 Manta I had, but I didn't like how weak the light was. I tried adding multi-LED bulbs and reflectors inside them, but they still sucked a little, plus they were 50 year old brittle plastic. So I searched eBay and found LED lights that were almost identical to the Manta ones. They have stainless steel bases, so no rust worries, and the lenses were just like the Manta ones: Chromed clear plastic.

After a year, I finally conquered my engine troubles and could get back to the fun projects like this one. I test mounted the new lights, lit them up, and found them acceptable and I removed the rusty bolt brackets from the bottom light and mounted it directly to the plate with chromed wire ties. I like the new better functioning look.

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RunOpel
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1,204 Posts
That looks awesome Gordo, I like it much better than the before :) The light is not so glaring on the license plate.
 
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