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Taillight 12-volt Halogen Conversion

September 23, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair

By John Kent

After cleaning all contacts and fuses and relining the lights, though improved it was still unacceptable. Converting the car to 12 volts was not an option so I compromised and converted just the brake/turn signals to 12 volt and installed 20 watt halogen bulbs. IT IS SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER.

  • Two 6 to 12volt inverters, 30 watt.
    JC Whitney part 81zx3904b. $89.99 each

  • One Hella conversion Kit
    170-81140 at $28.50 from PUMA, Eastlake, Oh.
    800-354-3552. One kit does both rear brake lights.


  • Spare bulb is $8.95
I installed an inverter in each brake light line near the rear light. The
inverters are potted with epoxy and sealed. I mounted on the fender brace.
This can be done by removing bullet connector from brake light. Obtain
bullet connector and sleeve and solder to the inverter leads with necessary
wire. The unit can thus be installed with the ability to return to original if ever needed.

I carry two spare 12 volt 21 watt brake light bulbs. Osram-Sylvania. (Used
on 928). Bulbs are single contact and brighter than 6volt 18 watt, but not
equal to the Halogen. My travel kit still has the 6v bulbs for emergency
if the inverter should fail.

I elected not to deal with the front turn signals. My problem was with drivers behind me not seeing the brake or turn signal in the daylight! With a light colored car, (min is Dolphin grey), the contrast is poor. I still use all
red rather than Euro lens in rear.