DIY: Installing 3rd Gen Switchback
Okay....so I spent a bit of time researching and figuring out how to complete the front running light/turn signal "switchback" LED bulb transfer. Gotta say VERY happy with the results. Although I know that there are plenty of suggestions and locations where to get your replacement LEDs, I got mine from ijdmtoy.com. They are local to me here in So Cal, have great selections, and are VERY helpful with selection as well as installation. Here is the link to the bulbs I ordered:
60-SMD 7440 Single Filament Switchback LED Bulbs For Turn Signal
Since I ordered numerous other bulbs, ijdmtoy evidently was generous and actually INCLUDED two 6 ohm resistors with my order. That was way cool.
As they had a "mysterious" extra wire protruding from the base, I called up ijdmtoy to inquire. What I found out was I was just ignorant and did not look at the "installation instructions" that were on the page where the bulbs were located. Bottom line, once I read over that, I figured I was ready to tackle the job. Looking at the owner's manual, I saw that to replace the signal lights you need to go in through the wheel well. Knowing I had to do some wiring, I elected to pull the front wheel to allow easy access. I jacked the nose up and looked it all over, and determined that I needed to get the whole front portion of the inner lining loose. That was easy for almost all of it; the simple little plastic snap clips came out simply. However, to really gain easy access, I needed to get access to one phillips screw that was actually underneath the nose pan fairing. I have included a couple pictures of what I am describing. I took one screw and one plastic clip off of the nose pan, and then took a screwdriver and removed the one screw. That allowed the whole inner fenderwell plastic to drop free. The first picture shows the front pan that needs to be unscrewed. The second shows the bolt that needs to be removed. Although almost impossible to see, the next shows a phillips screwdriver inserted to the screw needed to remove the rest of the liner. Once that was done, the entire fender liner can be pulled down and free (photo 4). Once all was free it was easy to look in and pull the stock bulb from its socket. At this point it was time to figure out how to wire things up. I cut the black outer lining back a bit to allow easier acces to the wires (photo 5). I then stripped a small portion of each wire (photo 6). I will save you the details; just suffice it to say that the "spare" small red wire coming out of the socket of the bulb needs to be spliced into the GREEN wire of the socket, and the resistor needs to be tapped from one red wire into the other. Prior to doing any final wiring, I looked into mounting the resistors. As a safeguard, I soldered pigtails onto the ends of the resistors to ensure there was sufficient lead length (photo 7). Looking at mounting potential, I saw that there was an open structural member running from the outer fender to the inner engine bay with nothing really attached (photos 8 and 9, LH and RH respectively). I marked the holes with a sharpie, drilled the holes, and then mounted the resistors with some surplus small sheet metal screws (photo 10).I then wrapped all of the wires together, then soldered and taped them over after checking to ensure everything worked. As I have evidently exceeded my limit here, I will finish up in a follow up installation.
Once all was soldered, taped up, and mounted, all that was left was to insert the new bulb into the receptacle, and that into the socket. The bulbs went in pretty tough, but with enough pressure, they locked in nicely. Once done, I VERY carefully inserted the assembly into the socket, making sure there was sufficient slack in the thin red wire to not cut it when I locked it into place.
Once everything was done and checked, I simply buttoned everything back up again. I am VERY happy with the results. I have included a few pics, although with a poor camera it doesn't do justice.
If anyone else is still interested in this switchback LED conversion, it is far easier than this.
1) Get two 7440 Load resistor plug and play.
2) Get two 6ohm resistors
3) Tap each of the p&p load resistors and add one 6ohm resistors in "parallel"
4) Put the p&p resistors (along with the parallel resistors) in the back, and add two 7440 LEDs as well.
So total 4 resistors in the back turn signal, 2 each side, both parallel.
5) Put the switchback 7443 bulbs in the front in the OEM plug (pull the wheel well plastic a bit & thats all).
Boom. You are done with both LED front and rear turn signal, and front white parking light. Somebody in some other thread (can't find now) mentioned that the mazda cpu only checks total load instead of individual load for the turn signals, so this is a nice trick to fool the cpu.
* No OEM wire splicing
* Totally reversible
* Did I say No OEM wire splicing
No OEM wire splicing!!!
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