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Old 09-11-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
13lade
 
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DIY: Trunklighting with an LED strip **EASY!!**

As most of us know, the incandescent bulb in the trunk is practically useless. So, I also put in a 5050 LED in place of the incandescent, which made it noticeably better, but did not get the entire trunk well lit.

So if you want HUGE amounts of light, here is an EXTREMELY easy and fast DIY to get a light strip in there.

Also, if you were ever looking for a simple DIY to learn soldering, this is one for you! I am a novice solder-er myself, but this is one DIY where soldering is FAR easier than trying to use T-taps.

Before Light strip:
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After Light strip:
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Materials needed:
1. Light strip (I used XenithXenon's strip and LED bulb, they really should make it a kit since they work so well for this)

2. Solder iron (I got mine from Radio shack with some solder and a few extras for less than $10)

3. Electrical tape/Masking tape/Zip ties: for holding the strip in place temporarily and securing the wiring.

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STEP 1: Open the trunk and leave it open for around 5 minutes or so, until the trunk light turns off. It will do so automatically. ITs important to do this because its VERY easy to short-circuit the light due to the structure of the housing

STEP 2: Use screwdriver to pop out the light housing. There is a slot on the side to place your screwdriver. Disconnect it from the harness (push pin on red-wire side and slide out).

STEP 3: Cut the wire that came with your light strip. If your using XenithXenon's strip, the side of the wire WITHOUT the stripe goes to the side of the housing where the BLACK wire comes in from the harness. Solder the wire to the metal on each side as shown. Your other option is to put T-taps on the harness wiring, but this is a MUCH bigger PITA to do in my opinion.

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STEP 4: Test your light in various places using the masking tape or electrical tape. Once you find a spot you like, secure with the 3M backing on the light strip. Make sure your wire will reach there before securing! If not you can always extend the wire with some extra. The pic below shows the difference with the incandescent bulb and the light strip.

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STEP 5: Ziptie the wire to the harness and pass the wire up through and out one of the holes in the trunk near where you want to mount the strip. If the edge of metal looks rough, put some electrical tape around the edge and around the wire where it comes through. Ziptie wire where it seems appropriate to avoid any dangling wiring or possible points of friction.

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STEP 6: Connect interface of wire to light strip. Light it up!
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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Nice work, Looks great!!!!!!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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That's hot.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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Looks good!!
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Nice job.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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where did u get your trunk liner from and how much both look good
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:08 PM   #7
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That's hot.
is paris hilton here?........
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:15 PM   #8
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That's a good look.
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
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where did u get your trunk liner from and how much both look good
Thanks for the kind words guys....

The trunk liner came with the car i got used... i believe its a GM accessory part.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:01 PM   #10
Ivan @ Southwest Speed
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Very BA!!

(Short for Bad Ass!)

Nice work,
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:01 AM   #11
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Wow thats a smart mod lol... i found my trunk light was very dim... this will be an awesome mod! Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:58 PM   #12
Phase V
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I got a light strip from AAC and hopefully I can get to doing it this weekend
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:54 AM   #13
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did the lights this morning and WoW! Love You AAC!!! I connected the wires to the mount like 13lade. way better than trying T-taps
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:28 AM   #14
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Looks awesome man! I used the red xenithxenons led strip for my footwells a since I have the IOM interior also, and thought about doing the same for the trunk... Glad to see a pic of how good it looks!

Q for you PhaseV, are your Lloyds mats with the red logo or orange logo? I cant tell which would match best with the IOM leather/stitching?
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:29 PM   #15
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I liked this idea so much I decided to try it my self but I used a different method of tapping into the factory light. The way I did it there is no soldering and this mod can be undone with no evidence it was ever there.


I pried up the two tabs, stripped the ends of the wires (short) and positioned them under the tabs and then pressed the tabs back down capturing the wires. I gave a tug and they held so I went with it. I hope the photos convey my method.








Also there is an opening to either side of the stock light position where the new wire can be snaked through.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:37 AM   #16
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PAUL SS, I don't have a man crush, but, you're awesome. LOL. thanks for the pointers.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #17
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PAUL SS, I don't have a man crush, but, you're awesome. LOL. thanks for the pointers.
Thanks, I hope I was clear enough. I had a bad time taking good enough pictures to post otherwise I wouls have put more up.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:14 AM   #18
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Just a word of caution to you Paul SS... Connections that seem to hold well on the bench don't always do so under the vibration of the road. This is why the good stereo/autostarter shops never use t-taps and solder all connections.

As I said, this is one of the easiest mods to do to learn soldering... Practice on some spare wire a few times first and you'll get it. Once I did that, it took me 3 minutes to solder the wires to the housing of the trunk light.

Regardless of how you do it, I hope you guys found it as useful as I did.
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:44 AM   #19
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Just a word of caution to you Paul SS... Connections that seem to hold well on the bench don't always do so under the vibration of the road. This is why the good stereo/autostarter shops never use t-taps and solder all connections.

As I said, this is one of the easiest mods to do to learn soldering... Practice on some spare wire a few times first and you'll get it. Once I did that, it took me 3 minutes to solder the wires to the housing of the trunk light.

Regardless of how you do it, I hope you guys found it as useful as I did.
I will be checking those connections from time to time, if I see that it is not secure I will go to plan B. Pry the tabs up again, drill a small hole to insert the bare wire below the tab, insert the wire and push the tab back down to create an interference fit.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:50 PM   #20
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This looks like an awesome idea, but I have another idea on wiring it up. autolumination.com sells (and likely found elsewhere) sell 194 empty bases for LED use... all you need is 2 short solid wires (heck, a small gauge paper clip would be good) to solder to the stranded wire and feed into the base, then you have a complete plug and play solution.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:23 PM   #21
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I have a stupid question. Is the trunk light ALWAYS on? It's not connected to any kind of pin switch? Has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:41 PM   #22
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Nevermind, I figured out what I did. I told you it was a stupid question. Lol
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #23
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I googled AAC and couldnt find the website. Could someone please provide the web address?
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:06 PM   #24
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I googled AAC and couldnt find the website. Could someone please provide the web address?

I believe it's http://www.advancedautomotiveconcepts.com/
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:27 PM   #25
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Thank you!
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