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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Just installed LEDs inside

Just like the title says, I just finished. I got the bulbs today in the mail from Autolumination.com and was SO excited. I used justing1319's great tips and pics from this thread. However, I ran into every problem I read about.

Just let me begin by saying that the driver's side door light was a bitch and a half. In short, I would rather pay a complete stranger to kick me in the nuts than do that again. Just like everyone else, the goddam socket fell into the door. Basically, you can't avoid it (let me know if I'm wrong). Unlike the passenger door which sits securely in the door, the socket on the driver's side is just pushed from the inside out - and simply sits there. That means pulling out a bulb is no problem but trying to push the other one in... well, your day just got a whole lot less fun. Seeing as how it gets dark now at 5pm, and I just couldn't wait to do this, the ensuing drama in the dark was un-amusing.

When this happens, proceed to unscrewing the two screws around the door handle (one in the handle assembly, one under the cover inside where you reach to pull the door shut). Peeling away the sticker in the latter caused it to rip (use nice pics and instructions, here). Oh well, I will have to get my hands on another somehow... After that, you unscrew the last one right by the stupid socket that fell in and start to peel the door back. Make sure you didn't leave any screws just sitting in their places because when the door finally gives and pops... bye bye screw. You can actually peel the door back by undoing only this last screw but you can't peel it back that far and bigger hands will get a nice squeeze when reaching in there. My hands are smaller and it hurt like a bizzitch. Once inside, push the socket back through, hold it there while you get the new light in. Remember, there is a proper polarity with the LEDs so be sure to test them before you start screwing the screws back in (if they don't work, unplug and reverse). In addition, when working with these lights, remember that they auto-shut off after 5 minutes so don't sit there bitching about the lights not working before closing all the doors and opening them again to be sure.

The rear dome lights inside are easy if you follow justin's instructions (link above). But you can see in his pics that you don't want to start poking without knowing where the clip is because the casing is easily damaged. So, study his pic to see where the clip lays... in between the switch and the lens, but the majority of it being towards the lens. Use a small and thin screwdriver to keep the damage minimal and don't pry too much. If you don't feel the clip right away, stop prying! Hint: the angle is almost straight up. If you can find something firm and flat, like a stiff little sheet of metal, that might cause less damage also (even small screwdriver heads have a thicker body that will push in the edges of the molding). Once you tested the lights out, you can try to massage any part of the molding you may have bent up so it doesn't look so bad once you get it back in.

The front is actually easier. Take note, the proper screwdriver is a T-25. This IS NOT a HEX. It is a star shaped tool. Make sure you have one because many people don't even know what it is... much less have one laying around. Also, when you unscrew be sure to catch the loose screws or you will have to stop to hunt for them under the seat. I actually found that once unscrewed, the thing almost came off by itself. It loosened enough that I didn't have to pry with the screwdriver. If you don't see this happen, try giving it a little pull, then you will find enough clearance to get your fingers on both clips. Push in, and pull down firmly. There are a couple of stubborn clips in the front that will give (the side facing the rear of the car).

Other than that, nothing more to add. Well, except these:

Avoid doing this at night. You might get results immediately but working with a flashlight, bulbs, screws, and screwdrivers may be a challenge unless you're Dr. Octopus. Trust me. If you can't help it and must do this at night, I recommend the HUGE ass Mag Lite flashlight. It somes in handy when you are on your knees in the driveway looking for the screw you catapulted from the door.

Umm... don't look directly at the lit LEDs. Yes, I did (I was in awe). Yes, I have been seeing red and blue dots for hours.

Don't leave tools laying around inside the car. Place them inside the center console over the radio or on the floor. You don't want to find out what happens to your ass or your leather seats when you sit on a screwdriver. (no, this didn't happen to me :P )

Make sure your hands are clean or you may dirty the bulbs and/or nice fabric around the dome assemblies.

One last thing... a question I hope people can chime in with: After opening up the door and getting the socket back through, and then tightening everything back up, if I grab the door and move it in and out rapidly (like opening and closing it), I can hear a rattle. I thought I fudged up but it happens on the passenger door, too, and that wasn't opened up at all. Is this normal for anyone else? It does not happen with the rears...
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 08:22 PM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

Based on your experience I will leave mine stock. Thanks for sharing.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

LOL. No, it was a pain in the ass but DEFINITELY worth it. The car is sweet. I JUST came in from outside... I simply sat in the car for a few minutes soaking it all in. What an ambience... blue inside, and red for the doors.

Actually, aside from the driver's side door, it wasn't that bad. Just some common sense (my eyes hurt again) and the rest should be ok.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 08:56 PM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

hey sorry to hear about the trouble but thanks for the warning because i just purchased some blue leds and now im just waiting for them to come in.....do you have any pics?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

I didn't take pics - justin from the original link (see my original post) posted some great shots of the process and the result. :)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2003, 10:23 PM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

Hm. No CEL with the installed CAI, no sockets falling inside doors when installing LEDs... I must be lucky! Knock on wood...


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2003, 12:16 AM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

I did the exact same thing as you. Blue interior with red leds on the doors. It's a sweet effect ain't it? :)

I think I ran into all of the same problems too, but they really weren't that bad. I totally messed up my parking light attempt, but I finished everything else in about an hour and a half... at night... with a Big Ass Mag Lite. I took off the stupid rubber foam covering in the door handle (for the driver's side socket) but then realized that I could get the socket back in without doing that. Just unclipped the clips at the bottom of the door and pulled back a bit. I used a very fine grit sandpaper to get the edges of the ceiling console to look basically normal again (I think it's impossible to not chunk it... I wonder how a mazda mechanic does it...)

Also, the screws in the sunglass holder are T-20 torx screws I believe, not T-25s (at least I used a T-20 and it fit pretty well). Thanks for the great descriptions of the process, though. It may not be loads of fun but the end result is well worth it.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2003, 01:53 PM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

Hmm, Interesting. Of all the LEDs I replaced, including front parking, rear parking, license plate, and interior lights, I thought the doors were the easiest. I just put a screwdriver and pressed in the front clip of the lense holder, then just pulled the bulb out, pushed in the LED bulb and put the cover back on. Maybe the socket will push through if you twisted it. Like there needs to be grooves that align right to push it through.

As for the torx screws in the front. I didn't have such a screwdriver, so I just took a tool that had multiple allen head sizes and just used a regular allen screwdriver (6 sided).

The hardest I thought was the front parking lights (driver side had to take the airbox out). And the side bumper markers, you have to pull the fender lining back.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2003, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Replying to Topic 'Just installed LEDs inside'

QUOTE
Quote:
Originally posted by CvilleSix

I used a very fine grit sandpaper to get the edges of the ceiling console to look basically normal again (I think it's impossible to not chunk it... I wonder how a mazda mechanic does it...)

Also, the screws in the sunglass holder are T-20 torx screws I believe, not T-25s (at least I used a T-20 and it fit pretty well). Thanks for the great descriptions of the process, though. It may not be loads of fun but the end result is well worth it.[/b]
The Mazda mechanic has it made. When he finds out he messed it up, he will either not say anything (most people wouldn't notice, unlike us anal guys ;) )or just run to parts and get a new one - leaving the ones who know about the PITA process wondering how he pulled it off without damage :).

I will have to check on the screw size later. I had read it was 20 but found it kinda loose when I went out there. What I used was the 25...

Whyzor, you have to tell me, how the hell did you manage not to push that socket in. Yes, the driver side was the first side I did, leading me to try to twist initially. The second the whole socket began to give, I promptly stopped and reversed. After that, however, thre was no preventing it. Even getting the socket back in, I tried everything I could and it just did not seem like there was any proper alignment for it to stay there. I am going to assume that the driver side was first for just aboute veryone and maybe everyone initially and instinctively tried to twist...

Lastly, did anyone check to see if their door rattled??
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2003, 03:06 AM
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Reading Topic: Just installed LEDs inside

what colors did you guys use for the parking lights? I would think that changing those bulbs up would have the best effect from the outside... anyone have any pics of the parking lights?
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