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Saloon tail light options?

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Old Dec 5th, 2018, 08:06   #1

Last Online: May 18th, 2019 22:16
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Cheshire
Default Saloon tail light options?

Hi all,

Got several issues with my 91' saloon's rear lights.

Getting the 'bulb out' light, which then stays on, whenever I operate brakes. Trouble is brake lights are fine with new bulbs. Having looked at the tail lights and fiddled with the earth to no avail, the plastic printed circuit board is pretty manky, as per many videos on youtube show.
So I guess one option is to 'hardwire' them as per this video, doing away with the circuit board:

However, most the the bottom clusters are also filled with water (which I'm guessing has led to circuit crustiness). So I guess I could also drill a small hole in said clusters as a drain?

But then... my clusters are also pretty scratched, warped with heat etc and look a bit worn out, so perhaps time to invest in new clusters?

Problem here being, they seem to be readily available in the US and on continent, but can't find any from the usual suppliers here in the UK? Anybody know anywhere that stocks them?

Charlton Volvo do a left one, but no right:

These guys in Germany do left and right? I presume its the same light pattern as the UK spec 240?

Anybody know anywhere else in UK that can get a new set?

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Old Dec 5th, 2018, 10:03   #2
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Last Online: Yesterday 21:06
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Location: Asgard, Cheshire

They should be identical. The only caveat is that the lighting pattern changed in, I think 1990, with the tail lights becoming separated and, IIRC, the stop and rear fog lights swapping positions.
Interestingly, the German ones are GLT ones; they have a black surround whereas the other models have a satin chrome surroun.
I might have at least one rear lamp cluster in my garage, but it won't be perfect and might be the wrong version for your car. Let me know if you're interested.
loki_the_glt - Skipper of the Exxon Valdez, driver of Sweden's finest sporting saloon - and pining for another Slant-4.

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Old Dec 5th, 2018, 10:21   #3
Stephen Edwin
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Last Online: Yesterday 19:02
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Thurrock

I don't know about the different rear light units, sorry. Loki has explained.

A couple of simple things though.

Re the bulb failure warning light, doe your car have a high level brake light? I have heard that has to be "factored in" by the bulb warning system. If it is original to the car, then if that bulb is not working, the system will detect that. If it is an accessory, the bulb warning system will detect an inbalance between left and right....that's how the bulb failure works. Oh and are all the brke light bulbs in definitely good condition, no filament weaknesses, and of matching quality?

Re water. Where is it coming from? Is water getting past the seal between the light unit and car body, or ..... ???

Good luck.
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Old Dec 6th, 2018, 02:58   #4
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Last Online: May 19th, 2019 05:56
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I replaced a leaky rear light on my estate this year with a new unit complete with a new circuit board, seal, and bulbs included. I ordered it from Skandix. The aftermarket ones are less than a hundred euros each. It's the easiest solution. I've got the wrong tail lights on my 1990 saloon: I got used ones off an '86. Surgery is needed to make them work correctly, as Volvo changed them in about 1990. You have to cut the white plastic bulb holder out of the old one and glue it in to the new one after you've cut out the same sized hole in it. I didn't bother doing the surgery, which means the warning light is on when the headlights are on, and the rear lights are brighter than they should be.
Present: 1990 240GL saloon, 1992 240 estate
Past: 1988 240GL; 1971 144DL; 1972 145DL
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Old Dec 6th, 2018, 07:57   #5

Last Online: May 18th, 2019 22:16
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Location: Cheshire

Thanks folks.

So the German ones seem OK and Skandix can probably sort me out. Good to know.

I need to have a poke about and see if I can see where water is getting in. I imagine the black, gummy, sealant stuff that separates the different plastic blocks is letting water in. Can see where else it'd be coming from.
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Old Dec 14th, 2018, 20:16   #6
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Default bulbs

check bulbs are the correct ampage..??
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