How to Install LED Taillights on a 1965-1966 Mustang

How to Install LED Taillights on a 1965-1966 Mustang

Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Alison Smith

When it comes to basic installs for your classic Mustang, we always get questions about LED taillights. LED taillights can improve safety on the road and enhance your 1965-1966 Mustang’s appearance. They’re an affordable and easy way to add a touch of modern to your classic pony. Best of all, the whole installation only takes about an hour.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In the steps below, we’ll show you how to install this LED taillight kit for 1965-1966 Mustangs. The kit comes with new chrome bezels, body pads, gaskets, taillight assemblies, and a new flasher for the LEDs.

These taillights have 68 LED bulbs, so they’ll be way brighter than OEM. The best part about these taillights? They’re direct fit replacements for a plug-and-play installation.

Required Tools:

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Razor Blade/Scraper

Step 1: Remove Taillight Bezel & Lens

Starting on one side, remove the old taillight bezel and lens. There are four screws on the outside, one in each corner. Remove each screw using a Phillips screwdriver. Hang on to the screws as you’ll need to reuse them for the new taillights. Then, simply pop the bezel and lens off the car.

Removing taillight bezel and lens on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 2: Remove Gasket

Remove the old gasket that was underneath the bezel. If there’s any gunk left, scrape it off using a razor blade. It doesn’t have to be perfect but you don’t want to have any big chunks either.

Removing taillight gasket on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 3: Replace Body Pad (Optional)

The taillight kit comes with a body pad, which is the foam that goes underneath the taillight housing. As long as your old taillights are working and the taillight bodies are in good shape, you don’t have to worry about replacing the body housing or pads. If you want to replace the pad, you can detach the housing by removing the hardware from inside the trunk.

Taillight housing on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 4: Connect Wiring Harness

Grab the wiring harness to connect it to the factory socket. Push it in and turn just like you would a normal bulb. Make sure it locks in place.

Connecting taillight wiring harness on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 5: Test Before Reassembly

Before putting the taillight back together, it’s a good idea to give the light a quick test to make sure it’s working. If it’s not, simply pull out the socket, turn it 180 degrees, and reinstall.

Testing LED taillight before reassembly on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 6: Add Gasket

Slide the new gasket over the taillight housing and align properly before placing the lens back on.

Adding gasket to new LED taillight on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 7: Install New Bezel

Install the new chrome taillight bezels using the four screws you saved from Step 1. We recommend getting all the screws started before tightening them down.

Installing new taillight bezel on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 8: Repeat Process on Other Side

After you’ve got one side done, repeat the same process on the other side.

Completing LED taillight installation on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 9: Disconnect Old Flasher

Since LEDs draw a lot less current than the factory bulbs, some kits come with a new flasher. You’ll want to remove the factory flasher and replace it with the new one. The factory flasher is located behind the driver’s side front air vent. Reach up to pull it out of the clip, then disconnect the old flasher.

Disconnecting old flasher for taillights on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 10: Connect New Flasher

With the old flasher removed, you can now connect the new flasher. Once it’s plugged in, clip it back into the factory location.

Connecting new LED taillight flasher on 1965-1966 Mustang

Step 11: Ground Flasher Wire

Take the flasher wire and ground it to complete the installation.

Attaching ground wire for new LED taillights on 1965-1966 Mustang

Considerations for Your Taillight Install

When it comes to replacing your classic Mustang’s taillights, you’ve got options. LED taillights are a great restomod option that can add modern styling and enhance safety. But for a truer restoration, you may want to go with OEM replacements instead. Either way, swapping out any broken or dim lights with new ones will increase your pony’s curb appeal. For more classic Mustang how-to guides, check out:

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Please Note: This guide is a tool to help you install parts on your vehicle. If you don’t feel confident performing this installation on your own, please have a professional install the parts for you.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.