Underbody Side Puddle (courtesy) Light Installation DIY:
When I saw puddle (courtesy) lights on several threads on this site, I knew I wanted to have those on my car as well, so I could have a little more light when unlocking/opening the door at night. The coolness factor is definitely up there in my opinion, and when done right, looks stock. You won’t be able to see the actual strip lights unless you bend all of the way down and look underneath.
-LED strip lights of your choice: I ordered 2 of the 5,000K 48-inch 72 LED strip light set from vleds.com
http://www.v-leds.com/Strip-Lights-LED/ ... 46996.html
If the strip lights are out of stock, you can purchase another color/length, or keep checking back to see if they have the ones you want in stock.
-Power Drill with different widths drill bits
-A thin metal apparatus (like a straight hangar) or use fish tape.
-Thin hard object like a spatula
-3M Strip Caulk (or equivalent)
-Speaker wire - ~1ft (You’ll need long enough to make it from the end of the strip light wires to the footwell light wires)
-Wire stripper – something like this one:
-Soldering gun or iron with flux – something like this one:
Use car ramp and make a front tire go up it.
Take off the kick plate carefully, using a thin hard object like a spatula (pops off) - shown here:
Take tabs off underneath the kickplate (you only need the front exposed) so the carpet is pulled back and the frame is exposed.
Use the size drill bit that can be used to get the thin metal apparatus that you will use to “thread” the strip light wire through the bottom and top holes you will drill.
Drill as straight as possible a hole from the top to the bottom of the car frame as shown here:
Have a long enough drill bit to drill the top and bottom of the car frame at the same time so it is infinitely easier to fish the strip light wire through.
Important side note: Make sure to take care and not have the drill bit get loose and go inside of the top hole or you will have to use some thin metal object with strip caulk at the end of it to get the drill bit out (that is what I had to use when a bit got loose and fell in the top hole, causing the bit to get stuck in the car frame). Not fun at all.
Cut off the strip lights contact (the rectangular piece shown below)
so the wire is now showing. You will need the piece off so you can soldier the wire leads to the footwell light wire leads. It should look like this:
Wrap some electrical tape around the strip light wire end and a thin metal apparatus.
Fish/thread the two taped pieces through the bottom of the car to the top of the drilled holes. Pull it through and then take off the tape from the thin metal apparatus.
Use of a friend is nice, so you can fish the taped pieces through the bottom of the car and your friend can look on the top for when the pieces are at the hole so your friend can pull it up.
Use enough 3M Strip Caulk to fill in the holes you drilled as shown here:
Use rubbing alcohol to clean the underbody of the car so the tape backing of the strip lights will bond better. Shown here:
Take off tape backing of strip lights and carefully place the lights from the front to the back of the car. I have it so it is a 3ft strip for the front door, and 1ft for the back door, hence was the reason why I purchased a 4ft strip. Shown here:
Once that’s done, go inside the car and take off footwell light cover (pops right off). Unplug footwell light plug, shown here:
As you see, you also need to take off part of rubber shielding to footwell light wire to expose the wires inside. Use some snips/sharp scissors as shown here:
Important side note: Make sure that you know the footwell lights are activated when testing the wires/lights to solder (the interior lights turn off ~10 minutes of the doors being open). Just close all car doors and open to reactivate the footwell light operation if you notice that the interior lights are off.
Strip end of speaker wires with wire stripper:
Strip the end of the strip light wires with wire stripper the same way.
Solder the bare strip light wires to the stripped ends of the speaker wires. Put electrical tape over the solder. Shown here:
Strip the other end of the speaker wire housing and part of the footwell light housing so the wires are bare as shown here:
Before soldering the other end of the speaker wires after exposing them, wrap them around the footwell light bare wires with your fingers first and see if the strip light turns on (note the red arrows – you’ll be connecting so the wires meet). If they don’t turn on, change the wires to the other configuration and see if they light up. Once they light up, they will look like this:
Solder the connection and put electrical tape over it.
Zip tie up the wires so they aren’t seen once you put on the kick plate as shown here:
Put the footwell light plug back on footwell light cover, put cover back on.
Put tabs under kick plate back on, and put kick plate back on.
Roll your car down the car ramp and roll up the other side so you can install the strip lights on the other side.
At night they look like this:
Marvel at your creation and receive oohs and ahhs from the peanut gallery when unlocking or opening your doors at night.