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LED front reflector/sidelight installation


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#1 jep350z

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 21:36

I haven't had my Azure Blue 350Z Roadster GT very long but one thing I didn't like was the orange reflectors:

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One of them had come unclipped and I realised I'd have to pretty much remove the front bumper to get to it properly, so thought I may as well replace it something better at the same time.  In the UK, a set of clear reflectors was ~£70 and a set with LEDs installed was almost £100 on top of that, so I looked further afiield and ordered a set of LED reflectors for £50 including delivery from Taiwan.  I found a couple of How-to guides on the forum but both seemed to have different bits missing, so here's my record of what I did.

Tools required for removal: 10mm socket wrench and a flat head screwdriver
Additional tools if you're fitting LED reflectors: wire cutters, wire strippers, crimpers

1. Removing the bumper

Open the bonnet.  There are six plastic clips along the front edge at the top of the bumper.  Remove them by using the screwdriver to prise the centre up a short way (not all the way) and then wiggle them out of the hole.  Then remove the six screws underneath the front of the car with the 10mm socket wrench.

On each side of the car there are a further two bolts underneath where the bumper meets the wheel liner.  Take these out and then pull back the wheel liner to remove another two 10mm screws which hold the bumper to the wing.  These screws are a few inches apart and facing directly upwards.  It is much easier to reach them if you put the steering on full lock i.e. turn the wheels to the left to get to the screws on right hand side, and vice versa.

With all of those bolts (10), screws (4) and clips (6) removed, the front bumper comes away from the car pretty easily.  I've got light washers installed in my bumper but I left those attached and just rested the bumper down on some cloth in front of the car.  It looks like the car has collapsed in the photo.  The black piece of high density foam in the foreground sits on a beam under the top of the bumper.

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2. Wiring the LED reflectors

You could wire these to a separate switch, or into the switched power of the car if you want them as driving lights that are always on.  I wanted them as come on with my sidelights.  This is pretty straightforward to wire in.  I chose the left hand side headlamp and connected onto the power supply to the sidelight.  The sidelight has two wires going to it - one black and one green and white.  The latter is the switched 12V supply so that's the one you want.  The photo below is taken from in front of the passenger wheel with the front of the car to the left.

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The back of the sidelight is a grey tube and you can see where I clipped in a red wire - the blue piece of plastic is clipped over the existing wire and cuts into to make the connection with the new wire.  This is wired up to the red wire on the LHS LED reflector and then I ran more red wire across to the RHS LED reflector.  I then connected a black wire between the two black wires on the reflectors and then took the other end into the car and attached the other end to a bolt in the bodywork a little way in front of the battery box.  You can see in the photo I put in a bullet connector along this wire so if for any reason I have to disable the lights, I can do that quickly and easily.

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3. Installing the LED reflectors

There are two screws holding each of the original reflectors in place.  Remove these and the reflectors slide out pretty easily.  

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Slide the new ones in and replace the screws.

4. Testing the LED reflectors

Pretty obvious but test everything before putting it all back together.  Pull all the wires where you've made connections to make sure they are not loose.  Use cable ties to tidy away all the loose wire in the bumper - I drilled small holes at the bottom of the grille (in the inside of the bumper) and passed cable ties through them to tie the wire out of sight underneath.

Front view:

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Side view:

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These LED reflectors have the six LEDs facing sideways so it's very bright from the side of the car, and perhaps 20% of the light also gets reflected forwards because of the shape of the reflector.

5. Fixing the bumper

I slid the bumper back into place and put a couple of the plastic clips back to roughly hold it in place.  I then did each side - top two screws inside the wheel arch and then the two bolts at the bottom - and then did the six bolts under the bottom lip.  Lastly, put the remaining plastic clips back in.

6. Admire your handiwork

I reckon this took about an hour to take everything apart, about an hour to do all the wiring and testing, and then about 30-40 minutes to put it back together again.  I've only got a couple of pictures of the car on the driveway so far, but here's what it looks like in the dark with sidelights on (note how the LEDs illuminate the wall and fence to the side quite a lot):

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and here's with the headlights on as well (with quite a bit of reflected light from the fence behind me).

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For £50 and less than 3 hours work, I'm really pleased with this install.  The Taiwanese units seem well-made and arrived in just a few days.  Fingers crossed the LEDs prove reliable and long-lasting.

Here's a photo of the LED sidelights turned off.

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Hope this helps anyone considering a similar mod.  Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

James

Edited by jep350z, 24 December 2012 - 16:19.


#2 John tarantula

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 22:44

:thumbs:  nice write up, thanks!
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#3 Bobbyheinz

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 22:48

Top write up mate...I wimped out and got someone to do it for me. I've got the same LED side markers

PS when I added them to my insurance it went UP £60!
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#4 DoogyRev

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 23:06

Looks great  B)

And nice write up  :thumbs:
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#5 Dblock

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 23:31

Awesome write up. I want to do this now.  :thumbs:

#6 jumping350

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:53

are they clear leds? or blue?? ive got blue ones and havent wired in yet but doing some wiring soon so will give it a go after seeing this  :thumbs:

#7 jep350z

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:17

Thanks for the comments.  They are white LEDs but the reflection of the blue body work around the slot gives it a blue tinge in the forward facing photos.

James

#8 Mikesding

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:19

Judging by the photos it looks like the LEDs point to the side instead of forward? Is that correct?

Great write up though mate will bookmark this page!
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#9 jep350z

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:21

@Mikesding - thanks - yes, they point to the side

#10 glrnet

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:51

Nice job, great write up, nice colour :D  :thumbs:
photo 17



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#11 Dblock

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 15:33

Could I ask where you guys got yours? Couldn't find anything on eBay really.

#12 jep350z

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 16:42

Search eBay for "NISSAN 350Z WHITE LED BUMPER REFLECTOR" and scroll down to find International Sellers.

James
Posted Image
Azure Blue 2006 Roadster GT
LED reflectors - Z centre caps - Z Badge

#13 taffyjason

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:45

Bobbyheinz said:

Top write up mate...I wimped out and got someone to do it for me. I've got the same LED side markers

PS when I added them to my insurance it went UP £60!

That's mad when you think about it, they make a brilliant safety feature, when do you never notice someone in your rear view mirror with DLR LED's? ...who are you insured with?

#14 FUG

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 18:42

look good mate, nice and bright.

get some white led sidelights to compliment them now  :thumbs:
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#15 jep350z

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 18:56

@FUG: Good idea - I've found some on eBay for only a few quid - 8 SMD LEDs, four facing forward, two on each side.

This is tempting.  Are they reliable and legal?  And will they be heat resistant enough from the main lights?

James
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#16 DannyP

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 21:42

Looks  B) I'm not usually a fan of running lights but this looks really good. May have even convinced me to not have clear reflectors but do this instead. Good work and write up :thumbs:

#17 FUG

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:22

jep350z said:

@FUG: Good idea - I've found some on eBay for only a few quid - 8 SMD LEDs, four facing forward, two on each side.

This is tempting.  Are they reliable and legal?  And will they be heat resistant enough from the main lights?

James

I know quite a few people on here run LED side lights. I have white LEDs in the number plate holder but white 501 bulbs for sidelights so I know they are E marked and legal. Could be worth having a look around. Don't get them too bright!
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#18 octet

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:27

jep350z said:

Search eBay for "NISSAN 350Z WHITE LED BUMPER REFLECTOR" and scroll down to find International Sellers.

James


http://www.ebay.co.u...m/JDM-2006-2008 ... 730wt_1180
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#19 jep350z

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 17:20

@octet: yes, they're the ones (wasn't sure on the netiquette of providing a link) - looks like you've already got one (on the rear only I take it from your photo...?)

@FUG: Too bright is what I'm worried about!

Can anyone provide a link to a good value, reliable set of LED sidelights?
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#20 Plummerman

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 19:28

jep350z said:

@octet: yes, they're the ones (wasn't sure on the netiquette of providing a link) - looks like you've already got one (on the rear only I take it from your photo...?)

@FUG: Too bright is what I'm worried about!

Can anyone provide a link to a good value, reliable set of LED sidelights?

Hiya mate,

I ordered a pair of this fella a week or so ago, got the USPS confirmation through yesterday there on route

He has got an eBay site listing as well, so good old Paypal protection


http://m.facebook.co...pireDude350zLed ... 07150&_rdr

His Names bobby, nice chap.. I got a load of nismo decals thrown in as well because he made me wait as he dropped a bollock :thumbs:  can't grumble at that..

I'll have a look for his eBay listing for you



Here you go. 03- 05 sides.
http://item.mobilewe...ay.co.uk/viewit ... 0568853219


06-09 side on this one..
http://item.mobilewe...ay.co.uk/viewit ... 4263279099




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