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Discussion Starter #1
This Focus is hard as hell to find the key slot at night. Maybe it gets better after you get used to it.....but I can't take it any longer. Here's the fix...

Parts needed....an illuminated lighter socket (O-Riley Auto Parts $7). A 12v LED.....Radio Shack $2.



Remove the amber bezel.....the rest of the thing is unused for this mod. That bezel needs to have the flange cut off. You'll only use the outer ring part....I used a Dremel. You can see the flange in this picture before it got cut off.



The LED needs to be filed down to fit in there....very close clearances.



To get the LED into the housing, the two halves need to be separated. Take loose the lower dash cover.....then the three screws that hold the clam-shell together. I didn't completely remove the lower section. You can squeeze the LED in there.....and hold it with strong duct tape.



The amber bezel is then attached to the face of the lock cylinder.....I used two drops of clear glue. Here's a shot in low light....don't have a night shot yet, and I don't know if the single LED will be bright enough. Bench testing at night.....looked bright enough. I'm going to wire this into the dash lights....you could just wire it to be on all the time, or maybe with the dome light. I'll try to get night shots later on....too bright right now.

This is a moderately difficult job, but I think it will be worth the trouble.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
The bezel is totally hidden from the driver's view by the steering wheel. Plus the dome light is often completely off by the time I put the key in.

It might bother the passenger at night....but I doubt it. It's not going to be very bright with a single LED.....I'll find out tonight. I wired it into the dash lights.

Oh.....if anyone actually tries this, don't attempt to use a snipper to cut the amber bezel. It will crack the whole thing for sure.
 

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wow, great idea =) i definitely might have to try this. one question tho... howd you actually remove the amber bezel?
 

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I used to drive this
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This is a really good idea. Night pics needed for sure. Agreed on wiring into the dome light so it shuts off while driving.
 

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Machinery Technician
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great idea.. i really want to see the night pics
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The amber bezel isn't permanently attached to that lighter socket.....you just unscrew the two main pieces and the amber bezel comes right out. No sweat. I'll have to drive this a little bit at night to see if it is visible as a reflection in the windshield. I'll take some photos after dark tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Perfect....that single LED is all that's needed. Not too bright, not too dark. It is not visible from the driver seat with the wheel straight ahead, and there's no reflection in the windshield. Sorry for the slightly blurry photos......

From the driver seat here it is with the steering wheel turned 90 degrees..



And here it is from the passenger seat....



Wired into the dash lights is the way to go for me..... If anybody improves on this setup, please post about it. There are some other threads on this idea, but I don't think I ever saw one that looks OEM. [grinking]
 

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OMGVTAK!
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Awesome idea. I just gave you +1 rep[thumb]
 

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Freeskiing Fanatic!
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damn dude, thats a really good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all.....Those blurry night shots don't do this thing justice. It actually looks a whole lot better in person. Those two shots required about a seven second exposure, and were done from inside the car. I'd have to rig up some sort of solid mount for the camera to remove the blur. I might rig up a tripod and get a shot through the passenger door.

But the photos, blurry as they are, give you an idea of the light level of the single LED, compared to the dash-board lights. Since it's on the dimmer circuit, it's level could be reduced somewhat (it's on high in the photos).

I don't have to grope around now to get the key in the ignition....[:D]

Oh...I've got a few other lights on this circuit. Driver and passenger foot well lighting, rear seat lighting, and glove box lighting. And these extra lights are switched.....so I can turn all the extra lights off if needed, should it be necessary for some reason.
 

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Leave it stock?
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Thanks all.....Those blurry night shots don't do this thing justice. It actually looks a whole lot better in person. Those two shots required about a seven second exposure, and were done from inside the car. I'd have to rig up some sort of solid mount for the camera to remove the blur. I might rig up a tripod and get a shot through the passenger door..
Looks great if u want a solid surface just rest the camera on the shifter and snap a pic.
 

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looks really good, can u get it in different colours, how long did it take you to do? and isit just exactly the same as the lighter one? cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Different color....the amber bezel? I've only seen those things that color. The LED from Radio Shack was also available in red.....but I don't think a red LED shining through an amber bezel would look so good.

Time? A couple hours......if you know how to take off the dash parts, and do the wiring, somewhat less. Mods like this for me are never done in a hurry. I want them right the first time. [thumb]
 

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man, i'd love that in red (whole interior lighting is red, so itd really have to match). can these just be bought at places like advanced auto?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've seen the illuminated lighter sockets at Auto Zone.....but not Advanced Auto Parts. No doubt you could buy one on-line if you had to.

Here's my idea to make a red bezel.....harder than just buying one. O'Riely's and other places sell a "tail light repair kit". This is a 1mm thick sheet of red clear vinyl. It's trim-able with scissors, so you could cut a hole in a section with a sharp hole saw. Then you could trim a ring around the hole. I think you would need to make two of these things to get the right thickness....hold them together with a little glue. The finish of the red plastic is similar to that of the yellow bezel I used....combine that with a red LED, and you've got a lighted red bezel.

However....I'm certain this red lighted bezel would not show up nearly as well as the yellow bezel, which is the sole purpose of this mod. [;)]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nice.....I'll bet that'll look neat. Whatever you do, don't snip on the plastic bezel. Use a grinder of some kind....maybe a sharp razor blade. If I had to do this over, I'd try to find an LED without the plastic housing. You have very little clearance inside the clam-shell. You could try to mount the LED slightly further back than I did.

My LED is mounted right up against the opening. 2 or 3mm further back would make the mounting easier, and would make the lighting more subdued. I was trying for maximum visibility with one LED.....the looks were secondary.

For the wiring.....if you have an automatic it's easy. You simply remove the center consul (5 screws), and splice into the wiring going to the shifter light.
 
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