HOW TO: Install Accent Lighting (w/ switch) - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 47 Old January 19th, 2010, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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HOW TO: Install Accent Lighting (w/ switch)

A member asked me how I installed my accent lighting and since 5000 characters is the PM limit, I figured it would be easier to share this with all of you.

This is for 99-04 models and this is my first how-to. Earlier and later models are fairly similar but, I apologize, I have no vehicles to use as references as far as taking apart/reassembling the interior goes. I further apologize for not having more pictures. I did this install a few months back and was just recently asked how I had done it. I'd like to thank Wraitherx for helping me with the basics (and more specifics) of wiring. I will attempt to get more pictures soon.

Parts:
2x 15light LED strips = $5 on ebay
Black coated wire = $4 at Walmart
Red coated wire = $4 at Walmart
LED switch (squarish mounting area, 3 prong) = $8 at AZ

*You can use any color of wire, I simply used red (+) and black (-) so that I would have no future problems if I needed to change things*

You'll need some other little things just wire cutters (or a knife), electrical tape, super glue, and zip ties.

Before I go through how it's wired, here are a few pics..
Driver's side:

Passenger's side:

Switch:


Please don't look at the length of this and decide it's not worth it. I'm just going to go into as much detail as possible to make sure you know exactly what you're doing

Ok here we go!

DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY!! This will make things go much smoother. No chance of blowing fuses and what not if there's no power to your wires. You can do this with the battery connected, but remember that these ports always get power.

Now you need to decide where you want your switch. I found it very easy to remove the accessory port in next to the parking brake because I could use the wires from the port plus I didn't have to cut any new holes for the switch. Another option is the cigar lighter on the shifter bezel.

Picked your point? Good, take the center console apart. I'll assume you're using the accessory port as it's more complicated to get to. It's very simple *pic reference below*:
--The shifter bezel is held by 4 clips. Grab hold of where the upper 2 clips are marked and gently but firmly pull towards the rear of the car. Each side should make a popping noise when the clips let go. If one side doesn't make a noise but is loose, the clip may have fallen off previously. Now grab where the lower clips are marked and pull upwards and towards the rear of the car. Again 2 popping noises and it will move freely. **NOTE: The clips may fall off. Locate them as soon as the bezel is off and push them back on. The bezel will not sit right without them and they generally like to slide down into the footwells and hide under the floor mats.** I left it attached to the shifter but you can simply twist the shift knob until it comes off then slide the shifter bezel off for more working room. If you chose to use remove the cigar lighter and put the switch there, ignore the rest of this and skip down to the green section.
--The cup holder is easy. Grab on the passenger side toward the front of the holder. pull upwards and it should pop and seem loose except for one point at the rear. Hold it at a 45 degree angle and pull towards the front of the car. The holder should slide out easily.
--Now open up the armrest. You'll see 2 rubber stops. Pull them out and you'll find 2 phillips screws. Unscrew them and keep the screws and mounts in a safe place. Now grab the inside of the console near where the screws where and pull up until it pops and the front side moves up and down with resistance from the back side. Now grab the back side and do the same thing. Once it pops it you should be able to pull it right out.


USING THE CIGAR LIGHTER
This is a much simpler install but more difficult to hit the switch which driving if you have a manual transmission. First of all, unplug the cigar lighter and cut the connector off the wires *read below, removal is the same as accessory port.* With the cigar lighter removed you can fit the switch into the hole. Run the power/ground wires (that were connected to the cigar lighter) to the power and ground prongs on your switch. Now run the wires from the LED strips from the footwells to behind the center console (they easily slide behind). The power wires from the lights will go to the load prong and the ground will go to the ground prong. Go ahead and plug in your battery and give them a test run. If one strip is not working, check that you haven't mixed up the wires. If all is good, read near the bottom for mounting the lights, securing the switch, and reinstalled the shifter bezel.


Now you'll need to remove the accessory port. Honestly, this is a PITA. Start by unplugging the connector in the back. Cut the wires attached to the connector and set the connector aside. Now for the actual accessory port. I couldn't get this out intact to save my life. There are 2 small clips keeping the port from simply sliding right out of the whole. I used a flat head screwdriver to break off one of the clips and it came out easily. With a little patience I'm sure you could get the clips squeezed in enough to slide the port out, but I have no plans of reusing the port.

**Note: I attached all wires by simply twisting together 2 ends and making sure they were very well taped together -vibrations from the car will shake the connections loose and there is a fire risk if you just leave the wires exposed-**

With the accessory port out, it's time to start the install. Those 2 wires you had to cut to remove the connector now need to be stripped down about 1/4 inch to reveal enough wire to work with. Grab your red and black wires and measure out how much you'll need to reach from where the switch will be, to about where the shifter is at. You'll need 2 lengths of red wire and 2 lengths of black wire (red will be positive and black will be ground). Strip 1/4 inch off of all the ends so the wires are ready to go.

Back to the wires from the accessory port. At this point they will not reach up to where the switch is going to be mounted. Put the switch in the hole and cut 2 lengths of wire (1 red 1 black) that are long enough to reach up to the switch without having much slack. Too much slack will cause problems when the console is reinstalled. Look at both of the wires from the port and (I think) the ground wire should be black, thus the power will be the more colorful wire. Attach the lengths of wire accordingly to the wires from the port. Now attach those wires to the switch (positive to power, ground to ground -a 3 prong switch will have power, load, and ground prongs. Read the packaging to determine which is which on your swtich-). Now take your longer lengths of wire and connect them to the switch as well (black to ground, red to load).

Now grab your LED strips and make sure you have a power and ground cable running to both sides of the shifter. Your LED strips will have 2 wires (power and ground) and are generally red and black (red is power, black is ground). Start with the driver's side. Looking inside the center console, to the left of the shifter you shoul be able to see down to footwell which makes it very easy to slide the wires from the LED strip up into the center console. Attach the power/ground wires to the longer power/ground wires running from the switch. Leave the LED strip sitting in the footwell for now. Go over the the passanger side and run the wiring from the LED strip the same way you did before and attach the wires. Again, leave the LED strip in the footwell for now.

At this point you can reconnect your battery and flip the switch to ensure the switch and LED strips are working properly. If one strip doesn't turn on, check that you haven't mixed up the wires.

Now go back to the driver's side and grab the LED strip. On the back there is generally a strip of double sided tape. Peel the packing off and find a nice place to mount the strip where it's not easily visible from a normal point of view. I chose to mount it just before the dash ends. Cut a few pieces of electrical tape and use them as extra support for the lights. Ghetto, I know but the double sided tape that comes with the lights won't hold them up for very long on it's own. Over to the passenger's side you can take the back side of the tape off as well but cut 2 strips of electrical tape (about 1.5 inches long) and put them on both ends of the LED strip. I found a good place to mount the strip is on a fairly thick wire running under the dash, just past where the dash ends. Wrap the tape around the wire and consider another piece of tape if you feel the LED strip is sagging a bit **NOTE: You can cover individual lights with electrical tape if you feel the lighting is too bright for your preference**

Back to the switch, it probably doesn't move a whole lot due to the short wires holding it in place but put a dab of super glue on each corner of the mounting surface and push it up against the console. Hold it there for a minute to let the glue get a good hold and in the mean time use your free hand to wipe up and glue that may have seeped out from under the edges.

Before you go putting everything back together, zip tie your wires together and make sure they're pulled out of the way of parts that need to be reinstalled. I used pieces of electrical tape to keep them from moving around.

Go ahead and put your center console back together. The shifter bezel should pop back in easily, just push where each clip is and give it a gentle tug to make sure they're all snapped in place. Insert the cup holder from the rear first (there should be a plastic tab that will go in then the rest will snap in easily). Take the compartment from under the armrest and set it in place. Push it down and it should snap into place. Put the screws + rubber stops back in and..

YOU'RE DONE! If you drive with them on, it will feel odd for a while but once you get used to it you'll never want them off at night (it's pretty damn dark in your car without them!). Now enjoy your new lights!


**Please do not forget to turn your lights off when you leave your car. Leaving them on will obviously drain your battery**

Last edited by McQueen; February 15th, 2010 at 02:52 AM.
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post #2 of 47 Old January 19th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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good right up...but your last few lines are a bit off...sure for a while the lights are nice...but after about 6 months they get tiresome and you wish it was dark...at least i did and removed my blue ones...reps sir for you...
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post #3 of 47 Old January 19th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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sticky this shit!




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post #4 of 47 Old January 19th, 2010, 10:05 PM
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hmm cheap summer project i may do

nice writeup btw

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post #5 of 47 Old January 19th, 2010, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6er_w/a_Vengance View Post
good right up...but your last few lines are a bit off...sure for a while the lights are nice...but after about 6 months they get tiresome and you wish it was dark...at least i did and removed my blue ones...reps sir for you...
I've had them in for 3 months now, changed colors once then changed back, and haven't gotten tired of them yet. I'm sure I'll eventually get tired of them but at that point I'll just leave the switch in the off position My gf loves them though lol
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post #6 of 47 Old January 20th, 2010, 01:32 AM
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thankss!! repped

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post #7 of 47 Old February 3rd, 2010, 04:20 PM
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Good write up! I am going to buy some on eBay now. But I have a question, Can i just tap the ground and power into the wires on the cig lighter in the shifter bezel and then install a switch on the wires that would run to the led's? Basically i would want to use the wires from the cig to keep the install as simple as possible but still have use of the power port to power my GPS. Thanks
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post #8 of 47 Old February 3rd, 2010, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southfour View Post
Good write up! I am going to buy some on eBay now. But I have a question, Can i just tap the ground and power into the wires on the cig lighter in the shifter bezel and then install a switch on the wires that would run to the led's? Basically i would want to use the wires from the cig to keep the install as simple as possible but still have use of the power port to power my GPS. Thanks
Yes you can definitely do that. You can tap any 12v power source (both power and ground or find a good ground elsewhere). If you want to remove the cigar lighter and put a switch in its hole, that works well. If you want to simple tap the wires from the cigar lighter, you can cut a hole in the bezel to put the switch in. I'm personally not daring enough to go cutting my bezel up, but if you're down for it then you can still have both your cigar lighter and accessory port still installed and working along with your lights.
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post #9 of 47 Old February 11th, 2010, 01:48 AM
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i have a spare bezel and almost every other easily removable interior trim/bezel because im going to paint them but i want to keep the stock ones too. I was thinking of wiring it to a toggle switch on a switch plate that had my engine start, sub cut off and possibly some trunk LED's. Any suggesitons of where to put the switch panel without cutting anything major?
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post #10 of 47 Old February 11th, 2010, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southfour View Post
i have a spare bezel and almost every other easily removable interior trim/bezel because im going to paint them but i want to keep the stock ones too. I was thinking of wiring it to a toggle switch on a switch plate that had my engine start, sub cut off and possibly some trunk LED's. Any suggesitons of where to put the switch panel without cutting anything major?
Switch plate like the thing Megawatts made? You could always pick up an aftermarket single din headunit and install that then use the empty bottom slot to mount the switch plate.

Edit: Here's Megawatts switch plate: https://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums...w-project.html
I think he's trying to see if there's any interest in them and if so he might make a few and sell them to members here.
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post #11 of 47 Old February 11th, 2010, 06:16 PM
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i have a 2000 v6 right now but im saving to buy a 01-04 GT. I have converted my 2000 to a 01 center console (the 01+ interior is way better, double din etc)

Well anyway i want to make something that would be able to go into an 01-04 aswell. i was thinking something about this size

EDIT:

the pic was huge, so this is the link

http://www.stangpods.com/images/060_1___2__0mz1.jpg


where the far left led would be a toggle switch, then 2 more toggles and the far right would be an engine start. I already have the engine start button. It looks alot better in person.




and my only 2 problems is where to mount it, and how to wire the engine start.

Last edited by Goose!; February 11th, 2010 at 06:20 PM.
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post #12 of 47 Old February 11th, 2010, 10:09 PM
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good write up mayne. i wanna try this sometime.
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post #13 of 47 Old February 11th, 2010, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southfour View Post
i have a 2000 v6 right now but im saving to buy a 01-04 GT. I have converted my 2000 to a 01 center console (the 01+ interior is way better, double din etc)

Well anyway i want to make something that would be able to go into an 01-04 aswell. i was thinking something about this size

EDIT:

the pic was huge, so this is the link

http://www.stangpods.com/images/060_1___2__0mz1.jpg


where the far left led would be a toggle switch, then 2 more toggles and the far right would be an engine start. I already have the engine start button. It looks alot better in person.




and my only 2 problems is where to mount it, and how to wire the engine start.
Well one thing you could so is put the button/switches into the shifter bezel. Without the traction control switch we get a lot of extra room there and if the cigar lighter is of no use to you, you could always remove that and fit a switch in the empty hole (plus the power/ground from the cigar lighter is a great 12v power source). It would obviously require cutting into your shifter bezel but if it's done carefully it could look almost stock. As far as wiring the engine start, I'm not sure how to go about that. Wraitherx could probably help you out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangMyles8996 View Post
good write up mayne. i wanna try this sometime.
Thanks bro
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post #14 of 47 Old February 13th, 2010, 10:52 PM
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Alright. I will post some pics whenever I get it done.
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post #15 of 47 Old February 21st, 2010, 02:15 PM
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nice. whered you get the switch?
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post #16 of 47 Old February 21st, 2010, 08:29 PM
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Mcqueen, I use my cig lighter to charge my ipod, Will using it as a switch make that jack unuseable?




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post #17 of 47 Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southfour View Post
Alright. I will post some pics whenever I get it done.
Sounds good

Quote:
Originally Posted by BossOfDaRich View Post
nice. whered you get the switch?
Advanced Auto Parts. Any of your local auto parts stores will carry switches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stang View Post
Mcqueen, I use my cig lighter to charge my ipod, Will using it as a switch make that jack unuseable?
If you remove the cigarette lighter and put a switch in it's hole, then it'll be unusable. You should still have your accessory port on the center console though to plug in electronics. If you just tap the wires for the cigar lighter then your switch will draw power from the wires and the cigar lighter will still work.
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post #18 of 47 Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:11 AM
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hehe you did something similar to what i did with my stang... i added led lighting to the door handles and the buttons so i didnt have to keep answering people where the frigging things were at night... but i tied mine into the dash lights so i wouldnt have to add a switch...
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post #19 of 47 Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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hehe you did something similar to what i did with my stang... i added led lighting to the door handles and the buttons so i didnt have to keep answering people where the frigging things were at night... but i tied mine into the dash lights so i wouldnt have to add a switch...
Haha yeah it's a bit annoying to always have to tell people where the door handles are. But I wired mine to a switch for legal purposes. It's technically illegal to drive with them on (they're considered "distracting to other drivers") and I figure the more I mod my car, the more likely I am to get pulled over so at least I can make this mod disappear
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post #20 of 47 Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mcqueen View Post
Haha yeah it's a bit annoying to always have to tell people where the door handles are. But I wired mine to a switch for legal purposes. It's technically illegal to drive with them on (they're considered "distracting to other drivers") and I figure the more I mod my car, the more likely I am to get pulled over so at least I can make this mod disappear

the way its written in virginia so long as the light doesnt come up above the where the top of the doors meet the bottom of your windows your alright... i dont find them distracting at all.. 99% of the time after i start driving i forget theyre there... i say 99% of the time cuz recently i had one go out and with it being out its distracted me a little bit... turned out my ground lead fell off... plugged it back in and is working again...

course to me if theyre going to sit there and say my led lighting is "distracting" then my gauge cluster has to be distracting too when its lit up at night.. lol..

i managed to put mine in pretty stealthily during the day you cant see where theyre at less you look for them.. at night they look good... but ive only managed to get a crappy shot of them...

my gauge cluster at night.. (i just couldnt stare at the ugly factory green glow anymore... had to do something)



night shot of the pass door without any extra lighting...



this ones with the dome light on to get it with some better exposure..



door handle one does a pretty good job of lighting up the floor inside... with the door open it got a good shot on the ground...


Last edited by Mustang68; February 22nd, 2010 at 09:37 AM.
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