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Old 02-06-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
BlueSteele's Avatar
Drives: 2010 Camaro
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pearland, TX
Posts: 611
DIY custom ABL

You will need the following:

- 4 Pilot Automotive CZ-184B light ropes
- Gorilla Glue Super Glue
- Acetone
- 15 ft. of 20 gauge wire
- Soldering gun and solder
- Electrical tape and/or heat shrink
- Electrical spade connectors
- 25 amp on/off rocker switch
- Drill with small drill bits
- Zip ties

Disconnect the battery. Remove the door panels. There should be a thread on how to do this and I’ll try to recall what I remember. Remove all screws from the door panel borders, the screw underneath the rubber mat of the door and the hidden screw behind the door handle plate.

After the screws are out, start at one corner of the door panel and use a flathead screwdriver (with cloth around it) and pry the panel from the corner. If all screws were properly removed, it should be easy to run your hand inside the open gap and along the border, pulling where you feel pressure. After the panel is free, lift the rear high enough to clear the door lock knob. Disconnect the power window switch, mirror switch, trunk release switch, and door handle cable. The door handle cable is a little tricky because you have to remove the retaining green clip, pull slack from the cable, pull the interior door handle and slip the cable ball out of the interior door handle hinge (it's easier done than written).

Once the door panel is off, drill a hole big enough for the light rope to pass through as close as you feel comfortable where the door meets the dash.

Cut off the plastic cap on the light rope because it's too fat and not needed. At the other end, drill another where the cloth insert meets teh armrest and drill at an angle. Drill at an angle so you do not scratch the armrest.

The light rope package comes with super glue but it was too watery for me; instead I used Gorilla Glue Super Glue (not the regular Gorilla Glue). Run the light rope from inside the panel (at the upper corner) and run the rope along the crease. Insert the light rope in the other hole above the armrest. Once you have your length, put a thin line of glue on the light rope and press it into the crease. After the rope is glued in place, put a piece of tape about every 2 inches to secure it while it dries.

Once the glue is completely dry, remove the tape and finish the wiring on the backside of the panel. If you got sloppy with the glue don’t worry, buy some acetone and rub into excess glue, it should come right off. Run enough slack to where you can mount the inverter box (the white box attached to the rope) to the underside of the power window switch block. Wipe the area with rubbing alcohol where the box is going, allow it to dry, and apply the double sided tape. After the box is mounted comes the fun wiring part.

Cut the wires off as close as possible to the cigarette lighter switch of the light rope. The red is the positive and the black is the ground. Since my car is a 1LT I do not have heated mirrors. If you look at the guts of the door you will see an unused 2 pin plug with two wires going to it (black and purple if I remember correctly). This is the plug for the heated mirrors. To be safe, take a multimeter and do a resistance or continuity check by placing one test lead to a pin of the plug and the other to any bare metal surface of the car. If there is a beep or a reading of zero ohms, or a really low ohm reading (less than 50 ohms), then that wire is connected to ground. If not, put the test lead on the other pin and repeat. I cut off the plug and spliced the black wire of the light rope to the ground wire of the heated mirror and used heat shrink to cover the splice (you can also wrap it up with electrical tape). Coil the excess silver wire and light rope somewhere out of the way on the backside of the door panel. I secured the slack around the bracket for the speaker by the mirror. You will need to splice some 20 gauge wire to the positive wire (red) of the light rope long enough to reach from the door to the cigarette lighter by the traction control button.

Cut a hole in the leading edge of the door panel (the part of the panel closest to the door hinges) so the wire you added onto the rope can go from the door to the car.

I drilled a small hole in the lower part of the interior body plate. Remove the door step plastic by pulling up on it and then remove the corner plastic piece by pulling on it as well.

With the plastic cover out of the way, route the wire through the hole and along the dash.

I added some extra heat shrink to the wire where it rests on the drilled hole for extra insulation. This is the hardest and most complex wire running of this project. The dash is much easier.

For the 4” part to the left of the instrument panel, remove the fuse panel door and pull the dash trim upward and out of the dash. I ran the light rope through one of the unused dash trim slots.

From the corner, measure the length for the light rope to be used, cut the length needed and coil up the excess inside the fuse panel.

Drill a slot into the side of the dash trim piece (high speed to keep fraying to a minimum) and super glue the light rope in the crease.

Mount the white box somewhere out of the way and as close as possible to the lowest part of the dash.

Cut the wire near the cigarette light switch again and strip the ground wire (black) about 3/8”. Partially undo a bolt from the dash frame and re-tighten the bolt with bare ground wire between the bolt head and the frame.

Then, splice the red wire of the light rope onto the positive wire of the light rope coming from the door (there should be enough slack to reach it) and cover the splice with electrical tape.

Repeat these steps for the passenger door and the other dash trim.

There is enough slack in red and black wires of the passenger side dash trim to reach the cigarette lighter. Ground the black wire to the dash frame (just like the other side) and splice the positive wire coming from the passenger door light rope onto the positive wire for the main dash trim light.

Now is the time to hook up these lights to power. Remove the center console by removing the side covers and push up along the border of the center console. There are six friction pins on the console. Once the console trim is off remove the cigarette lighter. Buy a toggle switch and bore out the hole of the cigarette cover hole so the switch will fit inside it. You will have to cut off some corners of the switch base plate.

Cut and remove the connector for the cigarette lighter and strip the red and black wires of the cigarette lighter. The red is positive and black is negative. Buy some electrical spade connectors and crimp them to the positive and negative wires of the cigarette lighter. The switch should clearly label voltage input, ground, and voltage output. Crimp both wires from the left and right sides of the light ropes into one spade and attach it to the voltage output pin of the switch. Slide the positive wire of the cigarette lighter onto the voltage input pin and the ground of the cigarette lighter to the ground pin of the switch.

Double check everything and make sure everything fits and is put back together properly. Re-connect the battery and flip the switch.

Also, this is a really long and compilcatedly written article. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, please do not and ask me any questions you might have because I know my writing sucks. Thanks, good luck and my apologies for the length.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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Drives: 2011 Camaro IOM 2SS/RS
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Decatur, Illinois
Posts: 2,601
Awesome DIY thanks for this.

Any pictures of it lit up and at night? How bright is the dash at night? During driving
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
first one

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Drives: SSRS - black, GFX, SSX wheels
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: IN
Posts: 935
Thanks for letting me know your progress on this DIY. Nice write up, I'm just uncomfortable with the drilling.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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Drives: 2010 Camaro
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pearland, TX
Posts: 611
If you want pics at night, look at the pics in my album. There is no windshield glare unless I slouch way down in the seat, eye level with the top of the steering wheel. My night time photo taking skills suck so bear with the terrible night time shots in my album.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:00 AM   #5
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Drives: 2011 Camaro IOM 2SS/RS
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Decatur, Illinois
Posts: 2,601
Nice job. Looks great.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:05 AM   #6
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Drives: 2LT/RS
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 13,036
wow that looks sooo badass
Consult your doctor before taking Camaro
Side effects include Sudden increase in Heart Rate, Insomnia and occasional hallucinations
If you experience Permagrin exceeding 4 hours after taking Camaro, seek immediate Camaro5 Help
CAMARO Bringing excitment back into the Garage
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