Map Light LED Conversion w/ Pics



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Thread: Map Light LED Conversion w/ Pics

  1. #1
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    Map Light LED Conversion w/ Pics

    There is another thread on here somewhere where I believe Bulldog did this conversion. I just did it today and thought I'd share the process and pics.

    First, there aren't any direct fit LED's for the PC579 bulbs. I followed Bulldog's advice (Thanks, Bulldog!) and got a pair of WLED-CWHP6 cool white bulbs from Superbrightleds.com . The pair of bulbs were $14.29 including the shipping. They are 6-LED bulbs and are not polarity conscious. They replace the standard 579 bulbs that don't have an integral socket like the PC579. There are bigger bulbs available (more LED's) but I don't know for sure if they would fit into the holes in the console.

    The following photos somehow got out of order but I think you can figure it out. The third picture shows the LED next to the original bulb and socket. The process is to clip the wires from the old bulb and remove it from it's socket - Pic 2. Then solder some thin copper wire leads to the contacts of the new LED - Pic 4 (I just used strands form some 18 gauge wire). Then insert the new LED into the old socket - you can push it in with a little force. Then solder the new copper leads to the contacts where the incandescent bulb's leads were originally attached - Pic 1. You may have to rough up the metal there as it's a bit hard to solder to.

    Clip the excess wire and that's about it. The last photo shows the console with an LED in the left and the standard bulb in the right for comparison.

    The other dome lights and liftgate lights are easy. Just pop in an LED that replaces a 578 Festoon type bulb.

    Bill
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    Last edited by Dodgeboy77; 04-05-2011 at 08:19 PM.
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 3.3 flex-fuel V6

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    blupupher (04-05-2011), BrianS (10-21-2012), FamilyGuy76 (04-06-2011), Rodger (07-09-2012)

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  4. #2
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    Dim-able?

    -Jim

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    Dont they offer the type that do not have to be hacked also?
    2001 Chrysler Voyager 145500 4cyl 3 Speed

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    As far as being dim-able - yes. When the van turns the lights off when you lock the doors or turn on the ignition, they go down gradually like the stock bulbs, if that's what you meant.

    As far as having LED's available that don't need to be hacked to fit - I don't think so. That PC579 bulb is a weirdo. It's a regular 579 bulb but solidly wired into a plastic screw-in socket. If I could get empty 579 sockets that would take a standard push-in 579 bulb, then all would be good. Does anyone know of a socket like that?

    Anyway, it wasn't much of a hack and only took me about 5-10 minutes per bulb. Fortunately, the LED's fit snugly into the original sockets and the wiring was easy.

    What started this project was that I changed the two dome lights (578 bulbs) to LED's because I use the van for camping and want to be able to leave the lights on for a few hours at a time without worrying about battery drain (or heat damaging the plastic lamp housing). An LED bulb would take days to drain the battery and runs cool. Once I swapped the dome lights to LED's, I wanted to make the map lights match.
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 3.3 flex-fuel V6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodgeboy77 View Post
    Does anyone know of a socket like that?
    They do exist. My previous van (04 T&C) had them and I was able to use normal T10 plug-in LED bulbs. Don't know if they were factory or changed by a previous owner.
    2005 DGC

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    <<They do exist. My previous van (04 T&C) had them and I was able to use normal T10 plug-in LED bulbs.>>

    That would be great. I thought the T10 socket was smaller than what the map lights use. Anyone have a source?
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 3.3 flex-fuel V6

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    The T10 bulbs have a base 10mm wide. The LEDs you used are 9mm.

    I think these are the sockets you're looking for:
    http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...ts.html#photos
    2005 DGC

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    The problem isn't the base of the bulbs - it's the socket size. The map light's socket is bigger than normal. It has a diameter of 15mm. The picture below shows the map light's socket next to what I think is a regular T10 socket (from the back of an '85 Dodge instrument cluster). You can see the difference in size. The diameter of the smaller socket is 12mm and it uses a 194 bulb or equivalent. When I say diameter I mean the small diameter of the socket where it fits into the hole.



    The smaller sockets are easily available. If someone knows a source for the big ones I'd be happy to know about it.

    Bill
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 3.3 flex-fuel V6

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    I had a bit of a breakthrough today with this socket thing. The local auto parts store had ordered a box of Wagner PC579 bulbs just to have around. These are the ones you can buy from Rockauto.com but only in boxes of 10. I looked at what they ordered today and was happily surprised to see that the Wagner units are conventional sockets with removable 579 bulbs. In other words, the bulbs pull out.

    Even though I already had my LED's soldered into the old sockets, I bought a pair of these anyway for $3.20 each. I un-soldered the LED's and slipped them right into these new sockets. Pictures below:





    BTW, I found out why I was having trouble finding 15mm twist sockets: They are 5/8" twist sockets. I wrongly figured they'd be metric. The ones I thought were 12mm are actually 1/2". Companies like JT&T (2597F) and PICO (5458pt) make 5/8" twist sockets but they probably take some filing to make fit as the tangs are a bit different.

    Even if you don't want to switch to LED's it would be good to use the Wagner bulbs if you need to replace one. Then if you need to change the bulb again, all you need is the easily available 579 bare bulb.
    2001 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, 3.3 flex-fuel V6

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    Are the LEDs bright enough?

    Most I looked into were kinda dim.

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