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Add some light to your rear shelf & trunk
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Thread: Add some light to your rear shelf & trunk

  1. #1
    Senior Member sonicsdaman's Avatar
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    Cool Add some light to your rear shelf & trunk

    Lets not lie to our self's the trunk lights in our little shoe boxes are terrible. Luckily for everyone here I'm cheap and like to be able to see things . So let me start by saying that I and the forums are not responsible if you blow your car up attempting this 'simple' mod.

    Tools needed: Flat head screwdriver, Soldering Iron, Wire cutters/Stripers, Multi-meter, Hot Glue gun optional.

    Now that the scary stuff is out of the way.... I purchased some waterproof 12v LED strip lights similar to these only just 2 and under 4$ with prime free shipping(see toldya, cheap) as for the wire I used some 18 gauge(or smaller) speaker wire that I had laying around. If you don't have any Homedepot/lowes sells it by the foot.

    First thing I did was remove the rear deck/shelf, we should all know how to do this by now but if not fold the seats down and pull/push up.
    The lights I got had some 3m sticky backing which I didn't trust so I also put a few blobs of industrial hot glue.





    With the glue cooling I took out the existing OEM light(driver side, behind the beats sub if you have it). The light is held in with a single clip. A small flat head or body panel tool will pop the bottom end right out. Then simply pull down and out. Before you can remove the light from the car you'll need test polarity( you may need to close and reopen the trunk/hatch for the light to come back on) and remove the connector on the top of the fixture, a little white pin on the top inside closest to the clear cover. Push it down and the connector will slide right out.



    If you don't know how to test polarity it's simple first thing you need is a tester( you can pick up a cheapy one at Harbor Freight). Set it to DC v and put the red end in/on one of the pins, and the black end on any ground(the nuts/bolts behind the seats work great). Mark which ever side gives you a reading of about 12v with a "+" and the other(should stay 0 or -.1) with a "-" .

    With the fixture out of the car you need to remove the clear plastic from the white, gingerly pull up on the pivot pin to remove.

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attac...9&d=1560340763


    The next step you can do 1 of a few ways, the way I describe below, or cut, splice, and solder the connector inside the car, in the trunk....

    The next bit will vary depending on where you want to solder the connections, what color wire you have(make sure that the positive side of the LED strips(in my case red) connect to the positive side on the fixture housing), how much wire you have/leave, and soldering capabilities.

    For my self I used a solder drop technique to attach the wires to the side ports(see photo below). Solder drop is pretty much how it sounds you put enough solder on the tip of the iron to have it 'drop' onto what you want connected. Be cautious though as if you miss you can melt the plastic. After both sides are connected tape around the plastic but be careful not to cover the pivot pins for the clear plastic cover or the pin for the clip release(standard electrical tape fits between them).




    Next, test to make sure you didn't swap polarities and have a good connection on your solder joints.




    Now for where to hide the wires. If you want to use the little hole in the plastic trim you will need to run the wire through it before you solder the LED lights to the un-soldered end. Or you can do what I did and solder everything up before thinking about that and then run the wires out of the side slots that you used to pop the light out originally.( I recommend running the wire through the hole and soldering in the trunk)




    Once you have the wires where you want with how ever long you want( I left a few feet for a service loop so I can remove and store the shelf need be. You can also use a quick connect end for easier removal) go ahead and solder up the LED strips to the other end of the wires. I also used some more hot glue to hold the wires in place on the bottom side of the shelf.
    If you're like me and left a service loop you can use some Velcro straps to tie up the loop to the trunk carpet. If you don't have Velcro a rubber band will work just fine.




    Last step and it is 100% optional go have a beer(if of age), you deserve it
    Here it is all finished.





    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by sonicsdaman; 06-06-2019 at 06:39 AM.
    2004 - Mazda Rx8 (Dorito powa)
    2012 - Fiat Abarth

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    adventurepilot (06-17-2019), Ando (06-12-2019), Fiat500USA (06-16-2019)

  3. #2
    Senior Member sonicsdaman's Avatar
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    Dont know what happened to the photos or why I can't edit my own thread but below is how it originally looked

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicsdaman View Post
    Lets not lie to our self's the trunk lights in our little shoe boxes are terrible. Luckily for everyone here I'm cheap and like to be able to see things . So let me start by saying that I and the forums are not responsible if you blow your car up attempting this 'simple' mod.

    Tools needed: Flat head screwdriver, Soldering Iron, Wire cutters/Stripers, Multi-meter, Hot Glue gun optional.

    Now that the scary stuff is out of the way.... I purchased some waterproof 12v LED strip lights similar to these only just 2 and under 4$ with prime free shipping(see toldya, cheap) as for the wire I used some 18 gauge(or smaller) speaker wire that I had laying around. If you don't have any Homedepot/lowes sells it by the foot.

    First thing I did was remove the rear deck/shelf, we should all know how to do this by now but if not fold the seats down and pull/push up.
    The lights I got had some 3m sticky backing which I didn't trust so I also put a few blobs of industrial hot glue.

    [img]http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=34146&d=1560340731[/img]




    With the glue cooling I took out the existing OEM light(driver side, behind the beats sub if you have it). The light is held in with a single clip. A small flat head or body panel tool will pop the bottom end right out. Then simply pull down and out. Before you can remove the light from the car you'll need test polarity( you may need to close and reopen the trunk/hatch for the light to come back on) and remove the connector on the top of the fixture, a little white pin on the top inside closest to the clear cover. Push it down and the connector will slide right out.

    (fixture removed from car)


    If you don't know how to test polarity it's simple first thing you need is a tester( you can pick up a cheapy one at Harbor Freight). Set it to DC v and put the red end in/on one of the pins, and the black end on any ground(the nuts/bolts behind the seats work great). Mark which ever side gives you a reading of about 12v with a "+" and the other(should stay 0 or -.1) with a "-" .

    With the fixture out of the car you need to remove the clear plastic from the white, gingerly pull up on the pivot pin to remove.




    The next step you can do 1 of a few ways, the way I describe below, or cut, splice, and solder the connector inside the car, in the trunk....

    The next bit will vary depending on where you want to solder the connections, what color wire you have(make sure that the positive side of the LED strips(in my case red) connect to the positive side on the fixture housing), how much wire you have/leave, and soldering capabilities.

    For my self I used a solder drop technique to attach the wires to the side ports(see photo below). Solder drop is pretty much how it sounds you put enough solder on the tip of the iron to have it 'drop' onto what you want connected. Be cautious though as if you miss you can melt the plastic. After both sides are connected tape around the plastic but be careful not to cover the pivot pins for the clear plastic cover or the pin for the clip release(standard electrical tape fits between them).




    Next, test to make sure you didn't swap polarities and have a good connection on your solder joints.




    Now for where to hide the wires. If you want to use the little hole in the plastic trim you will need to run the wire through it before you solder the LED lights to the un-soldered end. Or you can do what I did and solder everything up before thinking about that and then run the wires out of the side slots that you used to pop the light out originally.( I recommend running the wire through the hole and soldering in the trunk)




    Once you have the wires where you want with how ever long you want( I left a few feet for a service loop so I can remove and store the shelf need be. You can also use a quick connect end for easier removal) go ahead and solder up the LED strips to the other end of the wires. I also used some more hot glue to hold the wires in place on the bottom side of the shelf.
    If you're like me and left a service loop you can use some Velcro straps to tie up the loop to the trunk carpet. If you don't have Velcro a rubber band will work just fine.

    [img]http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=34153&d=1560340806[/img]


    Last step and it is 100% optional go have a beer(if of age), you deserve it
    Here it is all finished.





    2004 - Mazda Rx8 (Dorito powa)
    2012 - Fiat Abarth

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    Ando (06-12-2019)

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    No worries. I'll fix it when I get home late tonight. Looks like something happened when you edited the post. You get around 24 hours to edit posts ( which is a lot longer time than a typical Autoguide forums typical time measured in minutes) After that you can send me the edits and I'll take care of it.
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    Very interesting.
    I've toyed with the idea of adding some battery powered leds in that location, but probably would want to reinforce the cover in some way first.

  8. #5
    Senior Member bryanintowson's Avatar
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    Looks good. Did you experience any ghosting of the LEDs?

  9. #6
    Senior Member sonicsdaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlkfiat View Post
    Very interesting.
    I've toyed with the idea of adding some battery powered leds in that location, but probably would want to reinforce the cover in some way first.
    I thought about a battery pack led but I'm lazy and didn't want to fuss batteries and having to turn the light on when I want/need it.

    I'm not sure how you would reinforce the shelf but I think I'm an odd man out as I put things on it alot more than I care to admit and I(so far) have had no issues with it

    Quote Originally Posted by bryanintowson View Post
    Looks good. Did you experience any ghosting of the LEDs?
    Thanks.

    None that I took notice to, I can drop the seat down and look once it's dark out.
    2004 - Mazda Rx8 (Dorito powa)
    2012 - Fiat Abarth

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