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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been running the plate light LEDs for a while now. I meant to do the writeup sooner, but it slipped my mind.
Parts needed:
1 6 ohm Load Equalizer
http://superlumination.com/equalizers.htm
2 39mm fuse type (AKA festoon) LED bulbs for the plate lights
http://superlumination.com/festoon.htm
some wire ties
2 sheet metal screws
Tools
a drill
phillips screwdriver
pliers
wire cutters/crimpers
soldering iron/solder (optional)
Start by removing the plate light bulb holders, 2 phillips screws in each and they come right out. Then open the trunk, and remove the plastic cover on the trunk latch, it just pops off.

there are 4 phillips screws on the underside of the trunk lid holding the liner on, remove those and pull the front part of the liner down, you do not need to take it all the way off. There are 4 metal clips also securing the liner, when you pull it down, they may get stuck. You may have to use some pliers to get them out of the trunk lid

There is a harness connector with 2 wires (orange and grey) going to it attached to the underside of the trunk lid, right in the middle. I couldn't get a good pic, but you'll find it. Unplug this and peel some of the cloth tape back to expose the wires, the load resistor will need to be spliced into these 2 wires. How you go about doing this is up to you. The LE will come with 2 splice taps, you can use these but I think the wires in the harness are too small for them to work correctly. I like to solder everything so I cut the wires, soldered them and used some heat shrink tubing on them


You now need to mount the Load equalizer somewhere where the heat from it won't bother anything (it gets HOT). I mounted mine to the peice of sheet metal on the trunk lid that hangs down, to the right side of the lid. You need to drill 2 small holes and use sheet metal screws. You can also stick something between the LE and the sheetmetal to dissapate the heat, but it's not absolutely necessary. I used an old piece of PCB board, then put some high temp silicone on back of the PCB to help stop heat from reaching the metal.
You also want to zip tie any wires that are close to where you mounted the LE out of the way to make sure they never touch it. If you mount it where I did you don't have to worry about heat on the liner as there is plenty of space between them. I also had to extend the wires to the LE as the ones on mine were not quite long enough to reach

Now pop the liner back on and screw it back in. Put the LED plate lights into the bulb holders. Unlike the stock bulbs, LED plate lights have to be put in a certain way, mine were not marked so there is no way (other than using diode check with a multimeter) to know wherther they are in correctly until you turn the lights on. If one or both does not work, take them out and turn them around.
This is a bad pic, they do light up the entire plate and don't look "spotty"

It's not too complicated just a little time consuming. You can just go out and buy some of those LED look bulbs, but nothing looks quite the same as LEDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: DIY license plate LEDs (Pretarion)

Just one LE will do it. If you put the LE where I said you basically are using it for both bulbs. The calculation I came up with at the time was 6 ohm, been working fine since
Also there has been some discussion as to whether you can just turn off cold diagnostics for the plate lights with Vag com. One person tried this and the LEDs stayed lit, but the bulb out light stayed on in the dash. This is the only to have the LEDs stay lit and no bulb out indicator.


Modified by blackvento36 at 10:56 PM 1-6-2008
 

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Re: (rabbit07)

Bookmarked!
 

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So you cut the wires, peeled them back a little and re-soldered right? How did you figure out which wires which?
 

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Re: (phx08)

Per normal operation, one is HOT, and the other is ground.
The diagram (above) shows the resistor in parallel.
The resistor is not polarity oriented, you just tap it in as shown in the drawing.



Modified by Tim Birney at 5:48 PM 1-10-2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (Tim Birney)

Quote, originally posted by phx08 »
So you cut the wires, peeled them back a little and re-soldered right? How did you figure out which wires which?
Yep just peeled and soldered. The load equalizer is just there to place a load in the circuit, no polarity.
Quote, originally posted by Tim Birney »
Per normal operation, one is HOT, and the other is ground.
The diagram (above) shows the resistor in parallel.
The resistor is not polarity oriented, you just tap it in as shown in the drawing.
I just want to point out that while the load equalizer technically is a resistor, I don't want people thinking they can just use a radioshack resistor. The LE's function is to place a load in the circuit and waste current as heat. The car isn't looking for resistance, it's looking for load. If you somehow did find a standard resistor in <10ohms, it would burn to a crisp within a second. And resistance above 10ohms wouldn't draw enough power to trick the car. Just trying to save you guys from wasting your time playing with resistors, as I've seen it suggested in other threads.
 

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Re: DIY license plate LEDs (blackvento36)

You now need to mount the Load equalizer somewhere where the heat from it won't bother anything (it gets HOT). I mounted mine to the peice of sheet metal on the trunk lid that hangs down, to the right side of the lid. You need to drill 2 small holes and use sheet metal screws. You can also stick something between the LE and the sheetmetal to dissapate the heat, but it's not absolutely necessary. I used an old piece of PCB board, then put some high temp silicone on back of the PCB to help stop heat from reaching the metal.
You also want to zip tie any wires that are close to where you mounted the LE out of the way to make sure they never touch it. If you mount it where I did you don't have to worry about heat on the liner as there is plenty of space between them. I also had to extend the wires to the LE as the ones on mine were not quite long enough to reach

Justin,
Thanx for such a good write up. I just replaced my license plate lights using your DIY. Except that when I came to this part what I did was I went to Walgreen's and bought the Ove Glove (heat resistant kitchen glove), went home and cut the middle finger off, turned it inside out, put the LE in, with one of the wires coming out from the tip of the finger, and used that as an insulator, to keep the heat away from anything. I did bench test it thou, before I put all back together... ran the car and left the lights on for a good 20 - 30 minutes. Worked out great, just a little heat but very minimal. Just a small different approach to a good DIY. The light output looks great by the way. Thanx again. Cheers http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif.
 

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Re: DIY license plate LEDs (blackvento36)

You now need to mount the Load equalizer somewhere where the heat from it won't bother anything (it gets HOT). I mounted mine to the peice of sheet metal on the trunk lid that hangs down, to the right side of the lid. You need to drill 2 small holes and use sheet metal screws. You can also stick something between the LE and the sheetmetal to dissapate the heat, but it's not absolutely necessary. I used an old piece of PCB board, then put some high temp silicone on back of the PCB to help stop heat from reaching the metal.
You also want to zip tie any wires that are close to where you mounted the LE out of the way to make sure they never touch it. If you mount it where I did you don't have to worry about heat on the liner as there is plenty of space between them. I also had to extend the wires to the LE as the ones on mine were not quite long enough to reach

Justin,
Thanx for such a good write up. I just replaced my license plate lights using your DIY. Except that when I came to this part what I did was I went to Walgreen's and bought the Ove Glove (heat resistant kitchen glove), went home and cut the middle finger off, turned it inside out, put the LE in, with one of the wires coming out from the tip of the finger, and used that as an insulator, to keep the heat away from anything. I did bench test it thou, before I put all back together... ran the car and left the lights on for a good 20 - 30 minutes. Worked out great, just a little heat but very minimal. Just a small different approach to a good DIY. The light output looks great by the way. Thanx again. Cheers
.
Hello,

What is the value of the resistor? 6 Ohms and what about wattage?
 
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