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Old 03-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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How-To Light up your door handles...

This is another of a few How-Tos to come from me in the next few weeks...

this one is to light up your inside door handles, this one requires a little bit of dexterity...

oh and i'm sorry for no pictures of during install, i'l get a few showing the wiring and all that later on, but i didn't think about getting them during install as i was in a hurry to beat the sunlight.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

Wire (I used 16 gauge but really the smaller the easier it will be to wire, but harder to solder)
Soldering iron
3mm LEDs (your choice of color, you may also go with 5mm for brighter glow but it will be harder to hide)
12v Resistors
Shrink tubeing or electric tape
Drill with 7/64 drill bit
Optional: glue of some sort, I used gorilla glue.


Ok first off pop your door handle covers off, this can be done using a flathead screwdriver to the bottom center of it, between the cover and the rest(if you've ever taking your doors off you'll know how already).

Next drill holes, i used two but you may do up to five if you want a REALLY bright area.

Now depending on where and how many of these little holes you drilled taek something, i used a small peice of wire, and measure aprox the distance of the holes and cut bridging wires from each, don't worry if you measure from hole to hol exactly, you'll have PLENTY of slack when you are done.

Now where the dexterity comes in play. solder the LEDs and resitor into a circuit.

the way it goes is like this...
12vsupply-------resistors-----LED----2ndLED---(or more)-----ground
you only need one resistor in the line to make them all work right, and it MUST be before the first one. this way you have less wires in such a small area. make sure to insulate the sides of the LED tails so they won't touch, and when soldering, you don't need a whole lot.. i found that one out. the more you solder the better you will get though trust me.

now take your LEDs and put them in the holes predrilled, you'll find they won't fit... that is ok, what you want to do is take that drill and open it up a little.. a snug fit is perfect a loose fit is ok too. here's why....
what I did was i got a decent fit going and put a dab of gorilla glue on it.. not a whole ton, just one drop, it's enough to hold it in throughout regular use and door vibrations (speakers, road, opening and closing) but thin enough that you can pop it loose if need be later with a little chipping or whatnot. to hold the LEDs in place if it is a loose fit (while the glue drys) just get some tape and tape around the handle, you should be able to make it hold it tight enough overnight.

if you choose not to use glue, get some good tape and try to make it a snug fit.

now run your wires up the handle and thru the little opening under your switches, from there wire it anyway you like.. mine go thru my door jams to a central switch that all my lights will be hooked up to.

it is a bit of a tight fit yes, but it does fit, and it gives an interesting look, definitly a custom look.

end look: (using 2 3mm bright blue LEDs)::

and yes i did a blue LED swap to the window buttons.. i've been a busy little bee lately..

Former Home of the Blue Light Special
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