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Old 09-11-2009, 02:30 AM   #1
evanjfrancis
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How To: Install Door Pocket LEDs

Alright, so before we get to the installation I'll make a few notes. First off, this is just a guide. You can route your wires differently. My car doesn't have power windows, so if yours does it may have some more wiring going through these areas that mine doesnt. You can choose to either solder or crimp (i soldered), and you can choose whether you want to use an add-a-circuit or just tap into a wire. This is just to give you an idea. Also, if you bought prewired LEDs, the darker wire is always ground. Traditionally red is power and black is ground, but the darker wire is almost ALWAYS the ground wire, making the other the power. And with that, here we go.

Here's what we're going for, one super bright LED in each door pocket. Note that this was taken with an iPhone at night with lights on. In person when in the car at night, they light up even better and look really cool.



Materials Needed
-Wire Strippers (radioshack, $4)
-Wire, I used 20 Gage (30ft spool at radioshack, $7)
-Add-A-Circuit (advance auto, $5)
-Fuses (advance auto, $5. I used 7.5A but you can use 5 if you want)
-LEDs (anyhwere, I chose oznium.com because I like the prewired superfluxes)
-Wire Cutters (radioshack, $4)
-Drill

1.) Get some power.
For powering the LEDs, I used an add-a-circuit. If you don't know what it is, just go to advance auto (or any auto store) and get one, or look it up online. Pretty much you take a fuse out of your fuse box, which is located down and to the left of your steering wheel, and put the add-a-circuit in its place. Then you put the fuse that you took out into the bottom slot of the add-a-circuit, and your new fuse that you just bought into the top slot. There is a wire coming out of the add-a-circuit, and that second fuse that you just added is for that wire. This wire provides 12V power. I used the fuse slot for brake lights, so they turn on when you insert the key and turn it, and turn off with the car, eliminating the need of a switch. This gives it a real OEM feel.

2.) Putting the LED in the passenger door pocket.
Well start with the pasenger's door, just because I only took pics for this side. The driver's side is even easier because it's really close to the fuse box and easy to get at. To remove the door panel, there are torx bolts going around the edge of the door. Since I didn't have a torx screw driver, I just used a normal one that fit and that worked fine as well. Remove all of them (there are like 8 or 9 of them), and now your door panel should be able to be pried off 4 or 5 inches away from the door or so. This is all you'll need. Now, with a drill smaller than the size of the LED, drill a small hole in the door pocket. Now, grab the LEDs (they should have at least 6 inches wired to them, if you didn't buy prewired ones, just do this yourself, remembering to use a resistor before the LED), and snake the wire through first, until they come out and you grab them from below the door panel, and pull the wire all the way through until the LED is tight against the door pocket.




3.)Get the LEDs wire inside the car.
First off, you'll want to add a few ft of wire to the wire coming from LED, as you need it to get through the door and all the way to the fusebox on the driver's side. I added about 9ft. at this point. (WARNING: Turn off the car and make sure your fuse isn't getting power when you're working on it!!!). Now that you have some wire to work with, there is a rubber grommet type thing near the inner hinge for the door. You can pop it off to reveal a hole with some foam behind it. If you simply push this foam back a little, you can find your way down to the electrical unit on the right side of the footwell (not sure what it is), and eventually get it all the way to the passenger footwell . I wrapped the head of the wire to a coat hanger and then used that to snake it down there. It was a little tough to find the right spot, but I got it through. After the wires through, you can put the rubber grommet back on the hole. I had to cut a small notch in the inner edge of grommet so that the wire could pass through it and it still sat flush. In this picture the rubber grommet is back on already. With the wire in place, open your door all the way and make sure it has enough slack to not be tight even when the door is totally open. Now, use electrical tape to wrap the wire that isn't either behind the door panel or in the car, protecting the exposed wire from anything that may happen. Open and close the door a couple times to make sure it isn't getting pinched or cut on anything. Once the wire's set, you can put your torx screws back into the door panel to secure it to the door again.

After being fed through the grommet.


Wrapped with electrical tape to protect it.


4.) Get the wire to the fuse box.
This step is simple. I used duct tape and zip ties to secure the wire every once in a while, but basically, I ran the two wires (positive and ground, duh) around the passenger side footwell out of site, below the front edge of the center console, then led it up and around the driver's side footwell to the fuse box. Every 6 inches or so I wrapped both wires together with some electrical tape. This just makes sure that they stay together and don't get all over the place, keeping your install nice and neat. Once your wire is at the fuse box, unscrew one of the bolts in the fuse box a little bit(theres one of the left and one on the right), wrap the ground wire tightly around the screw a couple times below the bolt, then screw in the bolt again, making sure it's tight so that the wire remain in contact with the metal. Now, you can solder or crimp (or whatever method you choose to use) your power wire from your LED (boy, it's made it pretty far at this point) to the add-a-circuit that you got ready earlier. You may want to add a couple of inches of wire to the add-a-circuit's power wire that comes out of it, just to make connecting the power wire from the LEDs easier. At this point, put the key in and test out the LED. If it's grounded and has power from the add-a-circuit, it should light up nice and bright.

Here's how I routed the wire under the center console (it's already gone all the way from the passenger door to here).


5.) The driver's side.
This will be almost exactly the same as the passenger's side. The same grommet is here, but when you push back the foam behind it, you can feel around (again, I used a coat hanger to make it easy), and you can eventually get the wire to come out right next to the fuse box. It's a little hard to find, but incredibly convienent. After removing the door panel screws, drilling the hole, pulling the wire through that hole so the LED is against the pocket, making sure the wire has some slack even when the door is wide open, leading it to the fuse box, and wrapping the exposed wire between the door and the rubber grommet, you're ready to go. Just connect the power to the same power wire that you used from the add-a-circuit for the other LED, and connect the ground to that bolt again (or the other one, you can choose). With power connected and the whole thing grounded, again test it. It should work if you did everything right, this is a fairly simple circuit.


Post-Install Notes:
If you'd like to install a switch (i eventually went in after and installed a switch thats in that pull out compartment above the cig lighter), just cut the wire between the fuse box and the LEDs, extend it as far as you have to, the connect both ends to any switch of your liking. Remember, this was just a guide. You can add many variations to this. This is just to let you know how to do it my way, and how to make the whole thing work.

If you find any mistakes in this How To, or any ways to make it better, let me know!


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Old 09-11-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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you just left the wires out like that?
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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yea , it doesnt seem like a good idea to just leave the wires like that.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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you can run them through the rubber thing by the door hinge. thats where all the other wires are. its a bit of a challenge because it isnt open on the end going into the cabin, its a big plug.

but you can run the wire around the plug an secure it when you shove the plug back in its hole in the frame. it would be a little cleaner than this i think. and you should be able to run the wires behind the dash (without taking it apart) to the other door fairly easily

otherwise, your end result looks pretty nice. i would do it but i use those pockets and the crap i put in there would probably block the light lol
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:46 AM   #5
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Ya like I said this is just an outline. It works just fine for me. I couldhave gone through the grommets in the door panel but was too lazy haha.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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i understand if it works for you thats fine...but IMO if the lights are to be cool and showy (which is basically why we do it lol) then you really dont want wires hanging out, because it takes away from the clean seamless look of everything.
dont get me wrong though, somtimes its unavoidable
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Damn it maybe I'll go back and edit it so that u all are happy =p I'll add more pics too
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
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o/~ I'm gonna CS those wires right outta my pics.. o/~

Ahhh, I personally would try and hide them..just do what you're comfortable with...
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:15 PM   #9
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in your door wiring connector there should be some unused pins or empty pin spaces. i say add the pins and use them for your own wiring!

not to derail topic too much, but adding pins and wires to that wiring harness hose could allow you to add switches somewhere else in the interior and a breakout box in the door pannel. you could then trigger things through that.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:37 PM   #10
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know what's funny is if you have a gun in there it'd give off a shadow of it.....

ANYWAY, um that's great cause I was just thinking of this the other day when I saw that illuminated cupholders thing....

X whatever on the door thing though, the routing I mean. But I'd put it connected to the foglights/city lights (for those of us that don't have foglights) so it can be on only when we want. (wait then I don't want it on city lights. LOL.)
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