Chinese Passat LED tail light retrofit

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
I have secured a set of Chinese market LED tail lights. I'm going to document the install in this thread. I'll start off by saying these will not be plug and play on a US market car.

So let's take a look at the fixtures:

No flash:


Flash:


Like the US lights they have side reflectors; however there is no side marker light.

The inner fixtures have the "eyebrow" of LEDs and a ring around the middle, the middle, and on the driver's side a rear fog light (LED). The outer fixtures are similar but have a turn signal bulb and reverse light bulb.

Pinouts
Outer:
(looking at the plug on the back of the fixture, key up)
Code:
5 3 1
6 4 2
Code:
1 - Eyebrow & Rim +
2 - Eyebrow, Rim, & Inner +
3 - LED Ground
4 - Turn Signal +
5 - Bulb Ground
6 - Reverse +
Inner:
(looking at the plug on the back of the fixture, key up)
Code:
3 1 
4 2
Code:
1 - Eyebrow & Rim +
2 - Ground
3 - Inner +
4 - Rear Fog + (N/C on Passenger side)
Here are pictures of the lights in operation!
Rear Fog:


Inner:


Eyebrow & Ring (inner is not lit)


Turn signal:


Reverse light:


Eyebrow + ring (inner is not lit):


And finally, all the LEDs on the outer fixture:


Additionally, here is some info on the connectors on the back of the fixtures:

Code:
Inner 3Pin:
US Car Harness: 7N0 972 703
Opposite: 5K0 972 713
Opposite Repair wire: 000 979 132 E (need 2)

Outer 4Pin:
US Car Harness: 7N0 972 704
Opposite: NONE :(

China outer:
Fixture Plug: 3C0 972 733
Harness Plug: 1J0 972 723
Harness Repair wire: 000 979 133 E

China Inner:
Fixture Plug: 1J0 972 732
Harness Plug: 1J0 972 722
Harness Repair wire: 000 979 133 E
I'm still gathering information on the proper wiring, and coding for the body control module. My intent is to make as few modifications / cuts to the car's wiring as possible. We'll see how feasible that is once I get some wiring diagrams.


--------------------


Condensing info from other posts:

VeeDub and I decided not to do amber turn signals. We wanted the lights set up like they were from the factory, but to have the inner portion of the fixture only come on when the fixture is bright. To do this I used a Curt Manufacturing 56201 trailer light controller. This required running a constant power wire to the trunk. I also ran a wire back for the rear fog light.

Here is how I ended up connecting the lights:



That arrangement duplicates the inner and outer fixtures. The center portion of the fixture only comes on when the light is bright. Additionally, I converted the amber turn signal into an additional brake light by installing a clear lamp in place of the amber one. Note that the original amber lamps are the type that have offset pins... I just cut off one of the pins on a 1156 clear lamp to make it fit.

That diagram has a few omissions. First it doesn't show the load resistors I had to install to simulate the bulbs that were on the inner fixtures. IIRC I used 50 ohm resistors. I used metal zip ties to attach them to the structure of the trunk lid which lets the trunk lid act as a heatsink, without that they would get too hot and burn out!

Second it doesn't show how I have the rear fog light connected up front. I connected the light switch to the BCM which got the light in the cluster working, and then tapped into that wire to drive a relay which sends power back to the fog light.

Some pictures from the install: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=4104074&postcount=97

Hooked up and working:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su2KqrlpJ9E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udul36tZdyY

A final note: Some people have hooked up these lights so the inner fixtures are hooked right up to the original inner wires, and the same with the outers. This is dangerous and should not be attempted. Hooking the lights up in this way makes the inner fixtures run at brake light brightness all the time, which obscures the brake lights. Additionally, the inner portion of the fixture is only designed to be on when the light is "bright". Having it on all the time reduces the contract between the running light and brake light significantly. I initially had the inner fixtures running through resistors to dim them down. This was somewhat acceptable but it's so easy to install the trailer light controller I can only recommend doing this in that fashion.

Thanks,

-Jason
 
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compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
So this is going to be abbreviated for now.

For now I didn't want to spend $100 on connectors and repair wires, so I made my adapters with spades from autozone:



You can see how I tinned the end of the wire, and also cut a bit of it out. There are only 6 strands left. This is the perfect size to go into the harness connector. I potted the wires to the connectors with some hot glue, if I need to change it later I can use a heat gun to remove it.

{continued later}
 
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Niner

duplicate account, banned
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
How much $$$ for those dealio's? $300? The dude selling those on vw whoretex is local to me, has family in Winnetka, CA, sister and Mom. me Likey!
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I'm surprised it took you this long to start modding. What's it been, two weeks?
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Niner - double that $300 and then some. Just because they're Chinese doesn't mean they're cheap! These are the real deal VW tail lights.
 

Niner

duplicate account, banned
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
I drive so slow and frugally that everyone passes me... plus, you trained me to drive as much as possible without using the brakes. I rarely drive at night much any more... sad... no one would really get much of a chance to see my fancy LED rear tail lights.

Just saying... YMMV, I'm not much of a night owl these days. But they sure do look nice.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Sounds like you should be driving with the hazard lights on! ;) Depending on how you hook these up and code the module, you could have some wicked bright LED 4-way blinkers. :D
 

kydsid

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Location
Texas
TDI
2012 Passat
That ain't cheap at all. Can't wait to see what this looks like on the car. I was just thinking last night that the Hyundai :rolleyes: in front of me had nice tail lights.
 

Niner

duplicate account, banned
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Sounds like you should be driving with the hazard lights on! ;) Depending on how you hook these up and code the module, you could have some wicked bright LED 4-way blinkers. :D
Damnmit, about wrecked my screen with coffee and creamer! Not so early in the morning! :eek:
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Half and half.


Parking lights


Parking lights + brakes
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
... None :S
The camera doesn't show how much brighter the LEDs are than the bulbs.

I'm not doing the full install for now... they just emulate the US lights. NO coding changes were required. How-to to follow.

-J
 

Niner

duplicate account, banned
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Super nice on the front end, afraid they'd get stolen off the front of my car around my neighborhood, though. Enterprising little thugs in the neighborhood would have those up for sale on Ebay or Craigslist in no time. I see them missing off of MB's around the Valley in L.A. too.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Turns out you passed me on I-95 South one afternoon a week before we picked up our Passat. I specifically remember thinking that the Tungsten Silver with tint was an awesome combination.

Looking forward to meeting up and sharing some mod ideas. :cool:
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
They don't make LED headlights for the Passat. They have HID projectors with LED DRLs in China. $$$
 

physicshogon

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Location
Virginia
TDI
2012 Passat
They don't make LED headlights for the Passat. They have HID projectors with LED DRLs in China. $$$
Yes, those are the ones that i'm referring to--as in the photo above. But I've seen pricing on them a couple months ago and if I remember correctly, each side was about $550 so I won't be making the modification anytime soon.
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Hmm... $550 per side isn't that bad as long as they aren't screwed up factory rejects. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of the Chinese market items that are making their way to the US are factory rejects (our tail lights are not perfect :().
 

psd1

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
OR
TDI
2006 Jetta 2013 Passat SE 6Man
Hmm... $550 per side isn't that bad as long as they aren't screwed up factory rejects. Unfortunately it seems like a lot of the Chinese market items that are making their way to the US are factory rejects (our tail lights are not perfect :().
$1100 for heads that will probably require more $ to get working properly "isn't bad"...we must come from different neighborhoods! :D
 

jaredaggie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Location
Aggieland, Texas
TDI
2000 ALH, Black, 5M; 2013 Passat TDI 2.0 6MT
These look awesome. Are the license plate light bulbs LED on the passat?

Also, wonder what bulbs go in these housings? Perhaps just replacing the bulbs with some good quality LED bulbs would make them better and suffice w/o the cost, give the brisk LED blink etc? Granted, they wouldn't look as good.

Anyone figure out where to get these Chinese brake lights?
 
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