Ignition switch lighting - DIY

Old 01-23-2005, 08:20 PM
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grmnxtc's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Corona, CA
Posts: 728
Default Ignition switch lighting - DIY

This is a follow up to the thread here where I'd asked about lighting around the ingition switch.
Fellow Rennlisters pointed me to an older thread that described an "OEM" light above, which seems to be on later model year cars... but not all.

Well I futzed about with this little problem yesterday and here goes with my DIY install.

I decided on a white LED as the best light source, as I didn' want the hassle of replacing bulbs sometime down the road.

On the way home Friday, stopped off at Radio Shack and bought the LED, the mounting clips and a pack of 1K ohm resistors.

Then wired up the LED with about 2ft of cable using a red and black wire.
The Red wire connects to the long leg on the LED, the Black via the 1K resistor to the shorter one

Then added some heatshrink to "tidy it all up" and remove the risk of shorting.
Connected to a 9v battery (red is +ve) to ensure the LED worked.

Now on to the car.
Pop the hood and remove Fuse # 11 (controls the interior lights) to save any "oops!".
Then pulled out the two left intruments to gain access to the cables behind.
Didn't find any spare floating internal lighting wires (My car is a 95 yr, maybe later models have something?) but found that the PVC insulated loom running to the front hood bracket has the right wires to tap into.
I Made a small incision into the PVC (Very carefully!! to allow me to add my wires into the sleeving). No real need to do this... just being tidy.

The started to thread my new LED wires into the hole.
As I say, I could have just fed these to the hood arm and tie wrapped, but I didn't.

Now under the hood is the connector for the luggage compartment light and the Windscreen jet heaters.
This is where to tap into, as the engine compartment light comes on with the dome light, and stays on for about 20 seconds after you open the door.

A closer look (Red is +12V fused via #11) and the Brown/White wire is the timed switched GND for the dome light.

Then with the cables fed through, I split the insulation back a little, and butt spliced into the cable Red/Red and Black/Brown-White.
Then replaced the insulation, wrapped it with PVC tape and reconnected.

Inside the car drilled a 1/4" dia hole for the LED to mount.
Note on mine you can see the locations (just to the left and right) where some other (unkown) switches would be located.
The Vinyl just rests over the metal shell of the dash so the LED is mounted a little off of center to avoid these postions (I might find a use for them later!)

Then pushed the LED through from above, added the moutning clip and pushed it up and back to it's final mounting position.

Then put the instruments back in, replace the fuse and open the door!

Hope that helps anyone else looking at doing this.

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