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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to replace the map lights, trunk light, and license plate light with LED bulbs.

(Sorry for some of the photos being blurry; crappy camera in low light conditions.)


LED bulb info:
Map/Dome Light Bulbs: 4410-x9 or RL4410-xHP9 Festoon (see below for explanation)
Trunk Light Bulb: RL4410-xHP9 Festoon
License Plate Bulb: High Power SMD WLED-xHP5 (194 type) 360-degree Wedge Base



Tools recommended:
small pry tool
Phillips screwdriver
needle-nose pliers
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First up, the map/dome lights:

I have seen it said that you need to check your existing bulbs to know what type of LED to get. If you have the little loops on each end that hold the bulb in place, you need the rigid-loop festoons (RL4410-xHP9). If not, they say you need the regular festoons (4410-x9). It looks to me, though, like you can make the rigid-loop bulbs work in either setup, as I show in this writeup. Life probably would have been easier for me if I had ordered the regular festoons, but since the trunk light was the rigid-loop type, and it was so easy to check (that thing pops right off), I assumed the map lights must have been the same and never checked them before ordering the bulbs. I was wrong, but made it work anyway.

Before you start, now would be a good time to turn your interior light rocker switch all the way down to let the bulbs cool off a bit.

First you need to pry off the plastic switch/cover things. This is more easily done with a pry tool, like the small trim removal tool I'm using here:


Start with the inside front corner (closest to the mirror and center). Once you get that corner pried off, grab it and pry off the other side front corner (closest to the mirror and left). The back part (farthest from windshield) just slides out after that.



What you can see in front of the bulb is the heat shield, which we will no longer be needing (LEDs don't get hot). Pry that sucker out any way you can; you're just going to throw it away.



Now you can actually see the bulb in there. I was surprised to see that these bulbs are different from the trunk light bulb; they have the metal caps on the ends as opposed to the rigid loops.


No need to send back the LEDs and get regular festoon bulbs, though. Upon further examination, the incandescents actually are rigid loop type bulbs, they just have those metal caps over the loops. Those caps will pull right off with a little help from your fingernails, or if your nails are kept short, you can just grab some needle-nose pliers, clamp on the loop on one end, and pull the cap off the other end.


Those caps will then slide over the ends of the LEDs. It's a tight fit, but they will go.


The trick here is that the little loop on the ends has to make contact with the tiny tabs on the caps, and they have to make contact in exactly the right way, which takes a little finesse. I used the closed needle-nose pliers to push in the tab things to make sure they made good contact with the loops. In the pic, you can just see the loop poking through the tabs:


I was extremely close to getting out the soldering iron at least twice, but eventually got them worked out. Just keep trying them in the socket to see if they stay lit; if not, keep working on that cap. Eventually, you'll get it just right.



Once you get it right, the great news is, you get to do it again!


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(continued...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Next up, the trunk light:

Hopefully you haven't had the trunk open long, otherwise that bulb is going to be pretty hot. If so, you can jam something into the trunk latch to fool the light and turn it off to let it cool down.


The light is located right under the rear deck, right in the middle.


My small panel tool or a flat head screwdriver can pry the housing off quickly. Just start at the end closest to you; it comes right off.


Now this bulb doesn't have those stupid caps, so you can just pull the bulb out and do a quick swap.


Nice, cool white light instead of the warm incandescent, but in all honesty, the LED is really no brighter than the incandescent once you pop the housing back in.


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And finally, the license plate light:

The plastic cover is held in place by two Phillips-head screws. Just unscrew them and you can pull the entire thing out of the hole.


Give the plastic cover about 1/8 turn, and it will come off the housing.


That little bulb just slides out, but it might be a little stubborn. One of those grippy things that opens jars can help here. Then, just push the LED bulb in the socket.


You can test it by turning on the parking lights.


Now for the fun part. Put the plastic cover back on, turn it so that it's tight, and stick it back up where it belongs. And here you're thinking, "Now wtf?" It's not easy to get those screws back in, but it can be done. Just get one side in, which isn't terribly difficult, and that will at least hold that side in place while you wrestle with the plastic cover sliding around, never quite staying where you need it to be. Just put the second screw in and try your best to hold the cover in place. Once you catch the thread with the screw, you're golden.
 

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nice write up. thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
good write up! thanks for taking the time. (love the vanity plate too!)
:satan:
nice write up. thanks...
No problem; just trying to give a little back.

The trunk light is still miserably dim. So, I'm going to put in one of those LED strips from my other writeup (http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f39/led-install-footwell-rear-cabin-writeup-42897/). Should be real easy to just tap into the existing trunk light wires. I'll post that up, too, when I get around to doing it.
 

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I was going to do a LED trunk lamp replacement but realized that the bulb size would be too small to make any difference. I ended up ordering a two foot length LED strip and just installed it last week. The strip worked out perfectly and is bright enough to light up the entire trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was going to do a LED trunk lamp replacement but realized that the bulb size would be too small to make any difference. I ended up ordering a two foot length LED strip and just installed it last week. The strip worked out perfectly and is bright enough to light up the entire trunk.
Whoa, 2 feet? Damn! I'll bet that trunk is lit up like Christmas now!
 

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Just ordered some for my car. I friend has some in his mustang thought it looked cool
great post too
 

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Gnostic,

I see they now come in multiple "whites"...which one did you order as it appears you have the traditional super bright LED white? Is it the Cool White?
 

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nice write up ... thank you sir
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gnostic,

I see they now come in multiple "whites"...which one did you order as it appears you have the traditional super bright LED white? Is it the Cool White?
Sorry; didn't see this until now... Yes, I have the traditional white ones in Cool White. The other white is meant to resemble incandescent light, which is really a light yellow, and I prefer true white light, like the light you get from fluorescents.
 

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Cool writeup, definitely thinking about changing these out soon. It was one of those things I planned once I got the car to do right away being cheap and pretty easy but just never got around to it. One question though, did you replace the lights in the backs of the seats too?

EDIT: Also, I can't seem to find the trunk light type on superbrightleds.com. Is it the same as the map lights? It seems they only have the 4410-x9 Festoon not the RL4410-xHP9 Festoon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One question though, did you replace the lights in the backs of the seats too?
No, I didn't bother with those pitiful little things. I don't even know what type of bulb is in there. I figured, even if you make them brighter, they're still pointing down the back of the seat to the floor, so what good are they? What I did was put up some LED strips in the back cabin area and it's hella bright back there now. See this thread for how I did that: http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f39/led-install-footwell-rear-cabin-writeup-42897/

Also, I can't seem to find the trunk light type on superbrightleds.com. Is it the same as the map lights? It seems they only have the 4410-x9 Festoon not the RL4410-xHP9 Festoon
If you go to their homepage, click on "12 Volt Car Bulbs," then "Festoon Bulbs and DRLs," then scroll down to where you see "Rigid Loop Festoon bulb with SMD LEDs." These are the rigid-loop bulbs. Click on the "See Prices & Buy" button to, well, see the prices and buy them. You can choose your color there, too.

Just an FYI, though: I'm not real happy with the trunk bulb replacement. It didn't really do much to brighten up the trunk, so I'm probably just going to put up one or two strips back there, too.
 

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Alright cool, Yeah I'm not too worried about making it brighter it just does wonders in the looks department. I'm thinking I'm gonna order a set in cool white, and a set in uv having a plum crazy car and see if thats not too much. I'm thinking it could look pretty cool.

Ah I see, so its under the ones that look like they're paneled. Damn, doesn't seem like they have the uv in those. So the regular "LED Festoon bulbs" Probably wouldn't work then?
 

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Hopefully I'm not over stepping the boundaries but what's the total cost of this mod
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alright cool, Yeah I'm not too worried about making it brighter it just does wonders in the looks department. I'm thinking I'm gonna order a set in cool white, and a set in uv having a plum crazy car and see if thats not too much. I'm thinking it could look pretty cool.

Ah I see, so its under the ones that look like they're paneled. Damn, doesn't seem like they have the uv in those. So the regular "LED Festoon bulbs" Probably wouldn't work then?
Haha my bad for all the questions, I just went and ordered up what I thought was right. They're cheap enough. Thanks for the info.
It's no problem. They are pretty cheap, aren't they?

I don't know about the UV; the regular festoons might just have rigid loops under those cap things on the ends, though, so you might be able to make them work. Just a matter of how to take those caps off and find out what's under them. All they have to do is make contact, so you could get creative in how that happens (soldering, wrapping wire around them and the contacts, etc.).

Post up pics when you get these in; I'd love to see how the UV looks!
 

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Will do. It seems on a couple other threads, people were using the regular festoon lights. So, well see what happens. And for the one asking total price, I just got 2 sets of (2) map lights, and the trunk light for 30 bucks shipped. They're cheap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hopefully I'm not over stepping the boundaries but what's the total cost of this mod
The 4410x9 (map lights) in Cool White is $4.74, and you'd need 2 of those. The RL4410-xHP9 (trunk light) in Cool White is $5.95. The High Power SMD WLED-xHP5 (license plate) in Cool White is also $5.95.

So about $22 total. Some of the colored bulbs are cheaper, others are more expensive, but none of them are over the top.
 

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Nice write up..ordered mine tonight along with an extra 7 inch light bar to mount in the trunk!!!
 
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