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kris4christ2 02-16-2011 02:06 PM

How-To: Trunk Button LED
Tools/Materials Required:

1. Small Flathead Screwdriver
2. Dremel and Small (Sanding or Grinding) Bit [when I find the paper, I'll update the specific # of the one I used.]
3. Pre-Wired Surface Mount LED (Available through
* It may be possible to use a 3mm led - try at your own risk.*

Note: I would say it's an Intermediate Level Mod. REQUIRES PATIENCE AND TIME. You CANNOT Rush This Mod or you might screw it up, have to get another trunk button, then start all over (if you have never used a dremel before, then practice first! If you can, get a junk trunk button to practice with).

I have a 2005; the prior years shouldn't be too different from my setup, but 2008+ I have no idea about. **Some pictures are Thumbnails because 1) they are showing different angles, and 2) they are not necessary for everyone to check out, so I don't want them taking up so much space.

OK, first things first. You have to remove the trunk button. [:0]

The Trunk Button should pull out of the trim towards you. If you'd like, remove the obnoxiously big curved trim - it is clipped in except for one bolt towards the bottom left of the headlight switch. (This also requires other panels to be removed. I won't go into detail here because I already had my car taken apart, but if you need the information let me know.)

Don't yank too far out because of the trunk wiring. (You may or may not have to unbolt it depending on if you can get your fingers/hand behind the trunk button.) Push it out from the inside, and disconnect the wiring if you haven't done so.

Here's what you have: (this was taken after I finished, so ignore that wire for now =p )

We'll give it Three Parts: Front, Middle, and Back.

Remove the Back Part, Carefully, by using the very small flathead screwdriver to pry apart the two sides with tabs. When you do so, there's a white squishy piece which I assume contacts both ends to make it work. (It only goes on one way in case it falls, which it probably will.)

Next, separate the Middle part from the Front. Again, use the screwdriver and slightly pry between the walls on the inside apart to detach them. (All three pieces only attach Properly one way, in case you drop them or think they are backwards when reinstalling.)

Looking on the inside of the Front piece you will see this:

There are 3 Lines/Legs, a Tripod if you will, blocking the Car Image, with a Star shape in the center. (This is probably to keep that white squishy piece from making good contact with the leads.) Well, we're going to cut/sand one of the Legs/Lines away. I chose the "top" Line. The reason for this is becase there are 6 small tabs at the "base" of the Front piece, 3 each on the two sides with the short walls. This prevents the Middle piece from going too far against the Front. The top line hits one of the long walls and doesn't have any of those tabs in the way (our LED will be going there).

**UPDATE** - I ended up sanding away the "star" and most of all three lines to get a brighter light dead center; but, then it ended up being WAY Too bright, and I had to stick some bits of scotch tape and paper to lower the intensity a bit.. so be careful what you choose to do. And, I used hot glue to keep the light in place.*

Here's the attachment I used on my dremel. The smaller the better.

TAKE YOUR TIME WITH THIS STEP. You need steady hands. Do not go through the White Plastic; don't stay in one spot too long, or it may create too much heat and melt something that's not being cut. Do not hit the walls too much and make them jagged.

Now, with sanding away the top line, you will also be cutting a hole in the long wall at the bottom of it. Only make it big enough to fit the Surface Mount LED through snug; you don't want it moving around (if anything though, you can use a dab of hot glue to secure it). *Also, the LED comes with double sided tape on it, but it won't really do anything for you here.* The Surface Mount LED is just thin enough, and isn't higher than those Base Tabs; thus the Middle Piece will be free to move as normal against the Front piece.

After you finish dremeling, put the SM LED into the new hole, secure it, and TEST the LED. Temporarily attach the positive and negative wires to your Accessory power and ground. Make sure the light is right and still positioned how you want it. Also "push" the button to assure it's not being snagged on anything. - -

Next, attach the Front and Middle pieces together. Then attach the Back piece. (Remember they will only fit one way.)
Once you have the one-piece trunk button, Test the releasing Function of the Trunk Button by shortly attaching it back to the vehicle wires/clip.

If everything works properly, (disconnect the button from vehicle wires) continue to the next step - Hooking up the LED and installing Quick Connects/Disconnects. WITHOUT this Step, if you ever need to remove your dash trim again, you'll be cutting the wires, or have the trim in your way. Or you would just have to leave the LED wires on the front of the trim to always be seen, or cut a line in your trim so the wires can just slide out - but why would you want that?!

Hooking up the LED wires: The Surface Mount LED and the Trunk Button only have two wires (I think it's safe to say, they are the Positive/Power and Negative/Ground.) I don't believe attaching the LED positive wire to the button's power wire would be good (if it worked, I assume it would always stay illuminated). What I did was hook up the LED to an Accessory wire (one of the two Orange/Black wires on the kick panel harness). They power the interior lights (only when the light switch is turned on) - headlight switch, instrument cluster, gear selector, etc. If you follow the wires though, you could tap into them somewhere else a little higher up by the steering column. Once you connect the positive wire to whichever Acc Power source, connect your Ground (pick one), and you're all set.

Install the quick disconnects where you prefer, whether higher up behind where the trunk button sits, or lower down by the kick panel (where I placed them, so I have more room to disconnect in the future). Your wire layout will be like this:

I used these fully insulated disconnects, but I'm sure the other styles would work just as fine, all you have to do is tape them up to prevent any shorting out.

Once the wiring is all taken care of, with the trunk button/LED Detached, place it through the trim hole. If it does not go all the way in because of the LED wire/tape, you can slightly sand a little bit away of the top of the hole.

Put the LED wires through the hole of the "frame" following the Trunk Button power/ground wires (Black/Yellow). All that's left to do is reconnect the wire ends and you're finished. [woot] [woot]

OFF -----
ON ------

kris4christ2 02-17-2011 07:26 AM

If anyone has ideas or suggestions for this, feel free to post them up [thumb]

Also, are there any Focus's with the Trunk Button already lit up?

scrammer 03-05-2011 06:31 AM

im not fully understanding what this mod is for.
do you now NOT have a trunk release button?

id like to see pics of the led mounted and installed.

ill sticky this for a minute

Now534 03-06-2011 09:09 PM

Its simply to illuminate the switch like the window switches. The Trunk Release should still work as normal.

kris4christ2 03-06-2011 09:48 PM


Originally Posted by Now534 (Post 3583124)
Its simply to illuminate the switch like the window switches. The Trunk Release should still work as normal.


My button does not have a light. Does yours?

And, of course it still works like normal - Fully Functional and fits in the dash trim. But, I'm still working on things, so it's not put all back together.

kris4christ2 03-06-2011 09:51 PM


Originally Posted by scrammer (Post 3581359)
id like to see pics of the led mounted and installed.

I have the two pics showing it illuminated, then pictures showing the Surface Mount LED inside the switch...

Now534 03-06-2011 10:06 PM

mine doesn't either i've been meaning to go to the junkyard and pick an extra or 2 to convert

kris4christ2 03-06-2011 10:12 PM

i don't think any Focus has them. it wasn't set up for a light or anything like the window switches, nor was there room for one.

Now534 03-06-2011 10:35 PM

im working on a LED swap for the switches with some extra switches here haven't gone very far yet though

kris4christ2 03-07-2011 06:40 AM

as long as you started :) take your time with the light mods. i have pics in my albums of my various finished lights.

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