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MG TD TF 1500 - Front Running Lights - LED

First tests on completed designs for front running lights are promising; they look to be about twice as bright in normal running light mode and should be MUCH brighter as turn signals. The mount on aluminum brackets which replace the existing inner brackets.

Bad news, with 100 % LEDs the flasher now does NOT appear to operate. Not really a surprise, but I was hoping that it might, and the flasher had worked fine with a mix of incandescent and LED turn signals before adding the front LED running lights.

I'll check to make sure there aren't any wiring issues, but it looks like I'll have to find a no-load electronic flasher that will work with either positive or negative ground.

Not quite "back to the drawing board" but definitely a slight step backwards.

I'll post pictures, maybe tomorrow!
Geoff Baker

Here is a picture. The camera is letting the brighter light overshadow the right hand side running light; it really doesn't appear quite so dramatic to a human eye. I would estimate the light is between two and three times brighter but still much dimmer than a headlamp. But it's clear - the LED is a big improvement; the regular lamp is hardly visible in the photo.

Geoff Baker

I have found a 2 wire flasher that works perfectly with a positive ground 51 MG. It is a solid state two wire unit designed for motorcycles. (It came off my bike!). I've ordered a 3 pin solid state unit hoping that might work, but there is no guarantee.

If the 2 wire unit is the only kind that can actually work with either positive or negative ground, it introduces one more change into the system... to have a working dashboard turn signal indicator lamp, it will need to be rewired to be in parallel with the wire running from the flasher to the directional indicator relay unit. This will mean running another wire from the dashboard lamp back, as it will no longer use a 1 wire / ground power circuit.

I'll do this and test it to see how it works.

Progress, one little bit at a time.
Geoff Baker


Without meaning to complicate things, I think most of us are concerned about illumination at the rear, not the front. At night it will be the TD/TF headlights that provide visibility for oncoming traffic.

I raise this point because a reasonable option to me is to have significantly improved illumination via LEDs at the rear for safety reasons and leave incandescent bulbs in the front, since it looks like the current load provided by the incandescents will also allow the original flasher to remain in use.

Perhaps others who are reading your reports can chime in with their interest in a full LED implementation or just bright LEDs for the rear.

Larry Shoer

Not a problem, Larry.

I can report that the flasher I had installed, a generic electronic flasher, was working OK using both rear LEDs and both front incandescents. I should point out that people here have used different flashers on their MGs and there are different flashers for positive and negative ground, so I'm not going to guarantee that my LEDs will work when mixed with incandescents with all flashers; I think that anyone installing them may have to consider the possibility that they will need a flasher appropriate for LEDs (solid-state, no-load, electronic). These are available in a wide variety of formats (2, 3, 4 pin etc). The only one I've tested to date that definitely works with positive ground is the two-wire flasher, which is available at for under $10. I've ordered a few others to test compatibility.

When complete, I will have instructions for people who find that their flasher does not work with LEDs, and it should work equally well with positive or negative ground. This way, I cover all possible options! Those who find their flasher works fine can just install the taillamps and bypass any other headaches!

I'm making progress with round taillamps. I fabricated my first round bracket, with three mounting holes and a hole for wiring, which will replace the bulb bracket in all round taillamps. I need to make sure there is enough room in the rubber bulb housing for the two current drivers, wires and connectors. It's looking good so far but it is a tighter fit than the rectangular housing, so I'm going to have to talk a TF or TD owner who has round taillamps into letting me test my unit on his car here in Tucson.

But the bracket is complete, with heatsink epoxied to the back and LED on the front. With this I can go to a metal fabricator and get a price on making up a short production run.
Geoff Baker


It has always been my impression that the small red lenses on the top of the front parking lights, were to indicate that the flasher was on. Both left and right parking lamps are visable from the drivers seat. You may consider that a facia mounted flasher light, could be unnecessary, if it complicates the wiring design. Those little red lenses have worked for me over many years, whenever I looked for them.

George Raham
George Raham

Very true, George.

Of course, my 51 TD didn't come with the red lenses :(

A nice design, and someday when I want to spend some money I might try the Moss factory replacements which do contain the red lens.

Geoff Baker

Hi Geoff:
As you know I winter in Tucson and this past winter I met a chap by the name of Seasly who has a beautifully restored 53 TD with round lights. I believe it's either craig at 520-749-4672 or Zack at 520-574-1387. He's a bit crazy though.... He also jumps out of perfectly good airplanes:)
Rod Murray
Rod Murray

This thread was discussed between 19/05/2010 and 20/05/2010

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