One of my turn signals is out. The 308 has two amber bulbs each side. Since one had failed and I had the correct replacements in LED form, I changed out all the incandescent bulbs to LED versions
There are sound reasons for switching to LED bulbs in this location. The incandescent bulbs get hot enough that they heat the plastic lenses which are often already quite old and brittle. Replacement lenses are $250 a pop… so $1000 for all four rear lights. LEDs don’t get particularly hot so will be less harmful to the lenses. LEDs also need less current than the original bulbs, and less current means less heat and less stress on the old Italian electrics.
I first replaced the original mechanical flasher in unit with a solid state version would be compatible with LEDs. I had changed the front bulbs and dash bulbs earlier so by changing the rears, I would have no incandescent bulbs in the circuit any more so the flasher needed to be changed. The flasher is on the relay panel in the dash. The correct unit was available from my local auto parts store:
Next, to change the rear bulbs:
Access to the rear bulbs is through the small zippered, carpeted luggage compartment behind the engine. Removing the carpet and fiberglass panel reveals the rear lights and wiring. It’s all a bit crude back there. The wiring is untidy and the lamp hardware is basic. Digging further down below the carpet will reveal a melamine ‘table top’ which was used as a heat shield on North American 308s above the catalytic convertors. The entire interior of the rear-end has a very and-made feel to it.
Removing the bulb holders shows from the rear how the turn signals are lit by two bulbs, top and bottom, while the center bulb is for the reversing lights. Note the N.A. sticker indicating that these lights are for the North American market.
From the interior of the luggage space we can also see the negative volume of one of the 308’s most iconic features – its cut-off Kamm tail and the curved crease where it meets the rear wing. The last task is to refit the glass fiber panels to which the carpet attaches with snaps.
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