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Ambient Lighting for Footwells


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Ambient lighting installed this weekend. I drove a 2010 V6 rental a few weeks back (while hood scoop #5 was being installed) and the wife loved the effect. I thought it was pretty classy too!

 

I began researching and found this topic at MustangSource Ambient Lighting. Decided on a DIY setup rather than spending $275 on Ford's half-baked retrofit kit (what, no rear footwell lights!) In total I spent about $70 for parts. Am using blue LED's to match my preferred MyColor dash lights.

 

I guess some of you '08 owners may have ambient lighting as I think it became optional in that model year. Us '07 owners did not have the option, and the early '07 builds (like mine) do not have the underdash tabs for easy placement of an LED. But a little ingenuity can overcome! Fortunately, the empty PRND321 harness was available under my console for easy access to a headlight switched power source. The LED's operate any time the headlights are on and also when the door is unlocked via remote.

 

Thought about also pulling power from the door open circuit (i.e. the map light) to give extra courtesy function. But I couldn't easily find the circuit and I read somewhere it's a negative trigger system (controlled by the ground wire). If anyone can point me in the right direction for this circuit I think it's possible to also run the LED's off this power source, thus providing a dual courtesy light/ambient light function. I had it working that way during a bench test using two diodes as the logic "gatekeeper" (deciding which power source to use). But my bench test was wired as a 12v+ system, not a negative trigger system. Any Stang electrical gurus out there?

 

I'll try to grab some night pictures and post a parts list and other tips over the next few days.

 

 

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Ambient lighting installed this weekend. I drove a 2010 V6 rental a few weeks back (while hood scoop #5 was being installed) and the wife loved the effect. I thought it was pretty classy too!

 

I began researching and found this topic at MustangSource Ambient Lighting. Decided on a DIY setup rather than spending $275 on Ford's half-baked retrofit kit (what, no rear footwell lights!) In total I spent about $70 for parts. Am using blue LED's to match my preferred MyColor dash lights.

 

I guess some of you '08 owners may have ambient lighting as I think it became optional in that model year. Us '07 owners did not have the option, and the early '07 builds (like mine) do not have the underdash tabs for easy placement of an LED. But a little ingenuity can overcome! Fortunately, the empty PRND321 harness was available under my console for easy access to a headlight switched power source. The LED's operate any time the headlights are on and also when the door is unlocked via remote.

 

Thought about also pulling power from the door open circuit (i.e. the map light) to give extra courtesy function. But I couldn't easily find the circuit and I read somewhere it's a negative trigger system (controlled by the ground wire). If anyone can point me in the right direction for this circuit I think it's possible to also run the LED's off this power source, thus providing a dual courtesy light/ambient light function. I had it working that way during a bench test using two diodes as the logic "gatekeeper" (deciding which power source to use). But my bench test was wired as a 12v+ system, not a negative trigger system. Any Stang electrical gurus out there?

 

I'll try to grab some night pictures and post a parts list and other tips over the next few days.

 

 

Smart man Just makes it feel great when you make it yourself !!! But make sure you always keep the fire extinguisher :extinguish: close by you. I use the old school method for checking for live wire. I touch my tongue to the wire but dont do this if you have a pacer maker or a bottle of moon shine in your pocket !!! :hysterical:

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which one is the prndl set, i have a stick coupe is their only one extra set of wires under there? does the dimmer affect it at all?

 

 

You can tap off the headlight switch but a chilton manual with show you where it is. Or I can drive over and show you and never Leave !!!!!!! :drool:

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which one is the prndl set, i have a stick coupe is their only one extra set of wires under there? does the dimmer affect it at all?

 

 

 

In manual cars the PRND321 harness is simply not connected to anything. It's under the console. It has six or eight wires, the headlight power is blue/red on one end. It's there to provide power to the auto transmission selector light. The black ground is over/under the power wire. The remaining wires serve other auto tranny functions. I used a standard wire tap for power.

 

The LED's dim with the dimmer switch, like the dash lights, auto tranny selector lights, etc.

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Parts list, all purchased from Advance Auto Parts:

 

(4) Dorman Blue LED $10 each link to mfr, panel mount, 2 mounted under dash, 2 mounted in rear of console pointing at rear footwells. LED's provide a nice diffused light, not overly bright as compared to the Optx Pods. However, I'll probably mount a Pod in the trunk wired to trunk open/close.

(1) Dorman Blue LED Rocker Switch $10 link to mfr, mounted in console storage compartment (serves purpose of providing light in compartment and allow on/off of ambient lighting)

(1) HyperLED blue LED's (set of 4, only 1 used) $10 link to Advanced Auto, mounted in rear of cup holder, similar to Ford retro fit kit. Located using template in Ford install instructions. LED is very bright and this mounting spot seems a little high with light bleeding onto dash. Mount about an inch lower is my recommendation. I'll either shift position or add an in-line resistor to dim LED.

 

Installation requires complete removal of console for mounting of rear console lights, rocker and cupholder LED. Very straight forward actually. The under dash LED's took a little more creativity. I purchased a 1 1/4" x 12" galvanized tie down strap from Lowes that was already pre drilled for 1/2" hole and smaller screw holes. Find one that has some flex. I used about 3 inches off each end. Install the LED into a large hole (drill out the 1/2" hole to 9/16"). The passenger side easily attached to one of the glove box screws. Then bend the strap slightly to point LED straight down. The driver side has no screw under the steering column on the dash. For now I've attached using double sided tape for testing. If necessary I'll figure out a more permanent mounting solution. Note that the LED's are fairly tall but there is room under the dash to fit the LED's between the dash edge and large bundled harness. Cable tie the wires along the dash edge then run under the console to the cup holder area. Another note: Use female spade terminal ends on the LED's and switch. Much easier and secure.

 

All wires join in the cupholder area. You will be wiring in parallel to make sure each LED gets equal voltage and limit LED failure to one bulb. Join all LED power leads and connect to the switch Load terminal (use a pigtail from the switch will make this easier). Don't forget the top of the console where you mounted the small cupholder LED. The lead wire is sufficiently long to reach if sitting nearby. Join all LED ground leads and connect to the switch Ground terminal (use pigtail from the switch). Add a separate ground lead to this bundle for chassis ground. I connected the chassis ground to the E brake mounting bolt. Finally, connect the switch Power terminal to the PRND321 harness. I used a simple wire tap for this. Note: For security I wire nutted all the joined power and ground leads into separate bundles then fully taped each assembly.

 

That's the short hand version. It was a time consuming project but reasonably easy. I'm happy to answer any questions.

 

By the way I tried to take some night pictures but they didn't come out well. Refer to the various pictures in the MustangSource forum. My finished product looks very similar to the blue LED examples others have posted.

Edited by ZepDad
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Further update. After more searching on various forums, I think I can tap directly into the harness under the map light housing for my second power source (will run down the A pillar). Not sure why I didn't think of this earlier, the negative trigger comment made it seem more complicated. Anyway, this should allow the LED's to also function on door open as traditional courtesy lights. As mentioned above it will require inline diodes to control the active power source (map light or head light). I have a wiring diagram--thanks to my son the electrical engineer (obvious proud papa plug!)--and I will share if everything works as planned. I've also located a simple power distribution block that will help clean up the wire bird nest under the console. It's a work in progress that's for sure. I will definitely take some install pictures when I open everything back up for phase 2. And since I'll have the map light open I've ordered some blue LED bulbs to take the interior lighting project one more step.

 

More to follow....

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  • 4 weeks later...

Final wiring diagram attached with install notes. This became a much more involved (and expensive) project then I originally intended but the result is very pleasing. The LED's operate as ambient lights when the headlights are switched on, and as courtesy lights when a door is opened. Review the schematic and let me know if any questions.

 

I will point you to a few parts that I recommend if you are considering the install:

Hongfa HFS33 Solid State Relay (critical for silent operation during voltage rise/drop in the door circuit, $25 shipped is expensive for relay but it is ruggedly constructed with easy screw terminals)

Article about Hongfa relay

LED Power Distribution Block (simplifies installation of multiple LED's, available with 10 or 20 prewired LED's. I cut off supplied LED's and used lead wires for my own panel mount LED's)

Black 16mm Panel Mount LED (click through to catalog page to view, expensive $17 LED's but black color and flush mount is perfect for rear console)

 

As an add on to the project I installed blue LED map lights (very cool!) and one additional LED in the center of the map light housing to provide an ambient "top down" effect. Installed with Keystone low profile 1/4" clear lens cap View here part #8679 for professional look. (These caps are also perfect for the cupholder LED). Depending on LED you use it may be a little bright at night or bother you when looking in rear view mirror. Add an inline resistor or a small rocker switch to turn LED off for longer night driving. My plan is to use mini SPDT on-off-on switch to have full brightness-off-lower brightness options. This switch will work nicely SPDT On-Off-On Mini Rocker.

 

I'm also considering door map pocket LED's (like the 2010 factory ambient lighting system). I'm not sure about pulling a wire through the door harness though. From what I read it's pretty difficult. Using the power window circuit is an option but it's an ignition controlled circuit and the LED would always be on when the engine is running. Plan B, since I installed the Shelby Kicker subwoofers, is to possibly use the side of the speaker leads that were cut for the Shelby install. This wire could be unhooked from the sub amp and wired into my system. Ahhh...something for the next rainy day.

 

I hope you find this useful and learn something from my mistakes! Questions welcome.

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post-16875-127406187274_thumb.jpg

Edited by ZepDad
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  • 2 years later...

Question..

Has anyone tried to link RGB LEDs to the MYCOLOR DASH for the Ambiant Footwell lights?

I am wondering if I can get the 4 wires needed to run the + Cathoide, Red, Blue and Green elements and connect

RGB 4 lead LEDs to the DASH Cluster so the footwell lights change as well.....

 

If the current driver can not handle the extra load then maybe use 3 transisters to act as an amp to change the

voltage for the added RGB leads.

 

Need wiring diagrams to attempt, anyone have them for the MyColor Dash?

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