Posts Tagged ‘wedge bulbs’

Honda OEM side marker lights install guide (with video on the cutting process)

1x touch-up paint

1x Philips screw driver

1x Lombard0’s side marker template, download it HERE

1x 3′ of string  (OPTIONAL)

Preparing the template

Lombard0’s template contains the template for both the driver side and passenger side fender. Simply cut the template in half, at the center and use them accordingly.

1. Mask off the fender you’ll be working on with painter’s masking tape. For this guide, we’ll start with the passenger side.

2. Print out Lombard0’s template and carefully cut out the side marker template.

3. OPTIONAL: Take a 3′ of string and align it so that it’s parallel with the accent mark on the door, then tape up the string in place. This will be your guide to aligning Lombard0’s template correctly. If you are in a well lit area and are confident, you can simply use just your eyes to align the template with the accent line.

4. Take Lombard0’s template and align it with the fender line and accent line:

5. Carefully trace the side marker cut-out from the template onto the masked surface of your fender:

6. Double check to make sure the tracing is clear and precise, then remove the string and template from the fender.

7. Chances are, your side marker lights did not include bulbs. Twist the connector off the side marker light and insert a 194/168 amber wedge bulb into the socket. Set the connector and harness aside.

8. Install a metal cut-off disc on your rotary tool, put on your safety goggles and proceed to the next step.

9. Partially remove the inner fender lining by removing these two self-tapping screws:

Cutting the fender

1. Begin cutting the inner rectangle from the side marker cut-out as illustrated with your rotary tool set at high speed:

Take your time to ensure that the cut is precise. When cutting, you want to cut just a bit INSIDE of the traced line. If the hole you’ve cut is too small, you can always widen it up later. If you cut the hole too wide from the start, it can lead to mounting problems.

2. Next, cut out the left and right notches at medium speed.

Right notch cut:

Left notch cut:

3. Carefully grind out the rounded corners by slowly using the cut-off wheel set at medium speed in a stroking motion.

4. The untuned side marker mounting hole:

If you want, you can attach a sanding bit to your rotary tool and sand off the edges of the hole. If not, test fit the side marker light to make sure that it fits snug into the hole. Do not mount the side marker light just yet, simply place it into the hole.

Make sure to insert the side marker light in the correct orientation. You may have to make several widening and smoothing attempts before you can mount the side marker lights securely. Generally, the entire cutting process, including widening and smoothing the hole takes approximately 25 minutes per fender.

5. If the hole is too small, widen it up before continuing. Once you’ve confirmed the hole you’ve just cut compliments the side marker, apply a coat of touch up paint along the exposed metal edge.

Then wait an hour for the paint to dry. At this point, you can start on the opposite fender.

Here’s a video of the cutting process:
6. Once the touch-up paint dries completely, partially remove your inner fender liner.

7. Snap the side marker light (with wiring harness disconnected) in place into the mounting hole, then reach your hand behind the fender and squeeze the pinch tab on the side marker light while pulling it in from the inside and using your other hand to push it in from the outside. You can use a small flathead screwdriver to push in the pinch tab instead.The side marker light should snap into place:

(if you still have masking tape on your fender, now is the time to peel them off)

8. Reach behind the fender and plug the light socket from the wiring harness into the side marker light.

If you have a 2002-2004 RSX:

  • Route the 2-pin plug end of the wire through the large hole on the vehicle’s chassis, then plug rubber grommet into the large hole on the chassis frame. Plug the translucent wire tie clip onto into the smaller hole on the chassis that’s about 6″ apart and adjacent from the larger grommet hole.

If you have a 2005-2006 RSX:

  • The holes described in the preceding steps for the 2002-2004 models are occupied by a similar harness:

    Simply pull the wiring harness’ 2-pin plug outside of the fender through the openings near the hood hinge.

And the 2-pin plug should extend into the engine bay as follow:

(shown with OPTIONAL 2-pin male connector w/pigtails)

Making the connections

You can cut off the 2-pin plugs from the side marker and directly splice the wires onto your signal light wires. But to retain an OEM-style installation within the scope of this guide, I kept the plugs and created complimenting 2-pin male connectors with pigtails.

1. Take two 18-awg T-Taps and attach one onto the GRN/YEL wire of the signal light on your passenger side. Attach the other T-Tap to the GRN/RED wire of the signal light on the driver side:

2. Cut two pieces of 18 awg wires at 2′ a piece and crimp on an 18 awg male quick disconnect at the end of each of the wires.

3. Plug these wires into the T-taps you’ve just attached in step #1.

4. Connect the wires you’ve tapped onto your turn signal wires with the GRN/YEL wire on the side marker wiring harness. For the BLK wire on the side marker light wiring harness, you can simply ground it onto any bolt on the chassis. For this project, I grounded the wire to the fender bolt within the engine bay located closest to the hood hinge secured through a fork terminal connect.

5. Wrap the entire 2′ wire with wire loom, then tape both ends securely with black vinyl electrical tape.

Testing the connections

Once all the connections is verified and tucked away neatly, insert your key and turn the ignition to the II position, then flip on the left and right signals. The side marker lights should blink in synch with either the left or right signal.

Next, press the emergency indicator button. Both side marker lights should blink in synch with your signal lights. Remove your key from the ignition and press the emergency indicator button. Again, the signal lights, including your side marker lights, should all blink in synch.

Once you’ve verified that your installation passes the test, you can wrap up the install and call it a day.

Side marker lights as parking lights

If you want to wire your side marker lights so that they stay on with your parking lights instead of blinking with your turn signal, simply splice the power wire onto your parking light wire instead of the blinker wire. This is the RED/YEL wire coming out of your parking light sockets. If you prefer to wire it this way, be sure to pick up a set of amber LED 168 or 194 wedge bulbs. The OEM set up was not designed to have the side marker lights wired to operate as parking lights. By operating the side marker lights as parking lights with ordinary filament bulb, you will risk overheating the side marker housings and sockets, potentially melting plastic parts and create an inadvertent short. LED bulbs stay cool all the time so it’s more safe and efficient.

Side marker lights that stays on and blinks

Another option is to wire your side marker lights so that they stay on with your parking lights and also blink with your turn signal. To do this, connect the GRN/YEL wire from the side marker light to the RED/YEL wire of your parking light, then connect the BLK wire from the side marker light to the GRN/YEL, GRN/RED wire of the turn signal lights. Remember to use amber LED 168/194 bulb to avoid overheating the side marker housing. A thing to note when wiring this way: your side markers will stay on with your parking lights, but when you signal, it will alternate with your front and rear turn signals instead of blinking in synchronization. That is when your front and rear signals are lit, your side markers will remain off. When your front and rear turn signals are off, your side markers will turn on.

Completed install


05-’06 Acura RSX taillight rewiring guide

2x T-Taps, 22awg
2x male quick disconnects, 22awg
2x butt-connectors, 22awg
1x roll of wire, 22awg
1x hacksaw

1 wire stripper/cutter

1x salvaged wire plug from any Honda/Acura with at least two pigtails (wires with terminal)

You should be able to find most of the electrical parts at your local RadioShack or AutoZone. I found most of mine in my tool shack . A good place to order bulk of electrical component is Mouser, Inc.. Simply a great company, no doubt. For the sockets, wedge bulbs and plugs, you can order it from Delray Acura. Just punch in the provided part numbers and add to cart. So far, I’ve found that Delray offered the most economical price for these parts.

And finally, you need two pigtails to complete the mod. I just salvaged mine from a 4-pin plug with wires from a Civic power window wire harness at a local junkyard. You can order these pigtails from Acura too, but I don’t think it’s worth the $9.00+ per bag of 10 pigtails they are charging (after all, you don’t need 10 pigtails).

I. Working with the taillight plugs and sockets

The first thing you want to do is remove two pigtails from the salvaged plug. To do this, take a small screw driver or probe and pop out the wire retainer on the salvaged plug as follows:

With the retainer removed, take your mini screwdriver or probe and dislodge the wires from its housing. If you have a terminal release tool, even better. This is a bit tricky so take your time not to damage the wire terminal or plug. If you damage the plug in the process, you’ll probably have to saw it in half to remove the pigtail:

This is what a pigtail looks like:

Three other pigtails:

If your pigtail is long enough, i.e. 8.0″ or longer, you can skip the step below and jump right onto attaching the male quick-disconnect at opposite end of the pigtail.

Take the wire stripper and strip the end of the pigtail as shown above. You will connect the end of the pigtail to another strip of wire later.

Cut an 8.0″ strip of wire from your roll of 22 AWG wire and strip both the ends:

With the ends stripped, connect the pigtail to the newly stripped wire with a butt-connector. Simply crimp the butt connector at the middle, securing both wires together:

Or if you want an even more secure connection, you can alternatively solder the stripped ends together and then place a heat-shrinking tube over the soldered area and heat it up to shrink the tubing.

With the 8.0″ wire connected to the pigtail, crimp a male quick disconnect (measuring 22 AWG) at the other end of the 8.0″ wire:

The completed wire set should look something like this:

(The above pic shows a wire set completed with the solder/heat-shrink tube method.)

Next, take the 3-pin socket and look at it from the top where the wedge bulb is inserted. Saw off the tab as depicted:

The reason you need to saw off these two tabs is because they will obstruct the socket from plugging into the taillight compartments securely. At this point, you may optionally use a file and file down the edges from the sawed-off point.

Next, remove the taillight access panel and remove the turn signal socket. Remove the socket / bulb from its plug. The plug should have two wires, GRN/YEL (right side) or GRN/RED (left side) along with a BLK ground wire. Pop off the retainer as you did with the salvaged plug using a probe or a small screwdriver:

Again, using the probe or small screw driver, maneuver both wires out of its retainer:

Next, remove your brake light bulb (outter lens), then remove the socket from its plug and examine the three wires. The black wire is the ground wire, the red/yellow wire is the parking light wire, and the white/black wire is the brake wire:

Using your wirestripper, strip a part of the RED/YEL wire as shown. Use the 22 AWG stripper and strip the wire carefully, you just need to expose the copper wires and that’s it. Be careful NOT to cut the wire:

You can strip any RED/YEL wire from the taillight assembly as they all perform the same function. It is a generally a better idea to strip the RED/YEL wire from your brake lights (outer lens).

Next, take a T-Tap and place it over the stripped portion of the red/yel wire, then snap it shut (you may need to snap it with a pair of plier). Make sure you hear a click to ensure that it is properly secured onto the wire:

With the T-Tap in place, take your wire/pigtail combo and plug the male quick-disconnect into the T-Tap. Cut a piece of wire insulation tube/loom to approximately the same length as the wire/pigtail combo and cover the wire with it:

With all that completed, take the 3-pin plug you’ve ordered and pop up the retainer. Insert the two wires you’ve removed earlier and the pigtail into it: signal, parking light, ground (GRN/RED, RED/YEL, BLK).

Make sure the wires are inserted in the order as pictured below:

One thing you should keep in mind is that the middle wire is always the wire/pigtail wire that’s being tapped to the parking light wire.

Once the wires have been inserted, snap the retainer of the 3-pin plug back into place to secure the wire terminals, then plug the 3-pin plug into the 3-pin socket (with the two sawed off tabs), plug in the wedge bulb and then plug the connector back into your taillight assembly:

Test out your newly rewired taillights by turning on your parking lights. Both circular lens should light up. Flip on the left turn signal with the parking lights on, your left turn signal lens should light up AND blink at the same time. Repeat with the right lens. Next, turn on your emergency blinkers and see if it works without strange flickers.

If you passed all the test, you are good to go. If the blinker either blink to fast, doesn’t blink or flickers, then you probably have the wire mixed up when you inserted them into the 3-pin connector. Remove the retainer and start over.

Don’t forget to store the original bulb/socket and plug in a safe place in case you want to revert back to stock:

Basically, repeat the same process for the opposite taillight. The whole mod took me no more than 30 minutes, including clean up.

Be prepared to blow your turn signal fuse if you accidentally cross the ground and signal/parking light wires while inserting them into the plug. So.. make sure your light switch is off and you have a few 10amp Mini fuses handy just in case!