Author Topic: Forester Rocker panel Puddle Light Kit Install  (Read 2695 times)

April 24, 2014, 09:37:54 AM
Read 2695 times

SniperHilton

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I've been browsing around the webs looking at customisations for my S-Ed Fozzie, and saw the Puddle Light Kit which I really liked.

So I contacted SSA for a quotation on the kit... and was shocked the cost!!!

 R4982.52 Incl. !!!

So fished about a bit more - and found some on line tutorials, and the pricing shipped from the States.

Landed cost +- R2000.00 including shipping.

With viewing the tutorials on other sites, I figured this wouldn't be difficult to do with a home built kit...

So here is what you will need...


Materials:
1) 4 x truck LED clearance lights. ( I got mine from Africa Truck Parts at R 62.70 incl)
2) 4m Red electrical wire - 22 Gauge. ( Had in my garage but -+ R15) two core should work too
3) 4m Black electrical wire - 22 Gauge. ( Had in my garage but -+ R15)
4) Silicon.
5) Electrical Tape.
6) 8 x 3mm Philips head bolts with nuts

Tools:
1) Philips Screw driver
2) Slotted  Screw driver
3) Wire cutters
4) Pliers
5) Torch
6) Drill with 8mm bit and 3mm bit

Preperation:

Wipe Down the wheel wells and the Rocker Panels on both sides
Turn your wheels to allow access to the front wheel wells, and remove the three screw type plugs

 - just less than a half a turn with a little pressure should release the plug, and then just pull it out. Turn to the opposite direction to access the other side.
Remove the next two pop-in plugs moving upwards and forwards through the wheel, with the flat side of a slotted screwdriver, just to allow access to the back of the wheel well.

You will see a harness bundle within the opening you have exposed, there will be a pinkish coloured tape holding a blanked off connector plug to the harness, release this plug

 - it is wired directly to the interior light, grab one of your LEDs and test the plug - Remember the LEDs are polarity sensitive. unlock your car and the lamp should light up and dim off when you lock your car.

Now, using the slotted screw driver remove the two rocker panels

( the black strip from beneath the doors) by removing the pop-in plugs

, and then pulling gently away from the car -  there are five plastic clips beneath the doors.


Now here is a tricky part - according to some people, some of the panels have a premarked area to drill for the Puddle Lights, some don't.
Mine had a small circle marked on the inside lip of the panel.

With both panels side by side we can now mark where to put the LEDs so there are even on both sides
Measure up the lamps on the outside of the panel and Drill an 8mm hole where you prefer your lamps to be fitted, push the LED wires through the hole and mark the mounting screw holes
Here is where the bolts are used, instead of using the screws supplied with the LEDs, I used the bolts in a reversed manner ( ie. nut towards the bottom) as to not damage the body work of the vehicle.

Wiring up:

Run a length of each Black and Red Wire down the length of the panel for connecting the LEDs.
I soldered the connections and used heat shrink, but I'm sure electrical tape will be just fine. starting from the back, connect up the rear LED, and using electrical tape, tape the wires into the corner of the rocker panel to keep things neat, split the wires near the front LED and solder in the wires for the lamp.
Test the connection again, if everything is working right, get some silicon in the drilled hole the the wires are heading through to ensure water resistance.
Now you can fit the rocker panel back to your vehicle.

Connecting:

With the panel refitted to the car, the end of the wire should be exposed at the wheel well, below where the connector is located.

Disconnect your battery to prevent any funny things happening.
I completely removed the connector and soldered the wires in, but you could also use tap splices (might not be as water resistant as the solder and heat shrink/tape.



Before closing up the wheel well,  reconnect your battery, and give the lights one more test by unlocking/locking your car.
If all is well, go ahead and replace the pop-in plugs and the screw plugs beneath the rocker panel and inside the wheel well.

Lastly, crack open a cold one and spend the next 15 mins unlocking and locking you car just because is looks cool. 8)


Total Cost:
LEDs x 4    - R 250.80
Wire          - R   30.00
Beers x 3  - R   45.00
                   R 325. 80

Some Images courtesy of John Perkins
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 11:41:42 AM by SniperHilton »


2013 Forester S-Edition | Chett Tuned - 1.2BAR | TNT DumpPipe | Zorst

April 24, 2014, 10:34:10 AM
Reply #1

TheRookie

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2012 Kia Cerato (His)
2006 Fozz XT Tuned and vf35'd(Hers)

April 24, 2014, 10:53:36 AM
Reply #2

SniperHilton

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« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 11:01:57 AM by SniperHilton »


2013 Forester S-Edition | Chett Tuned - 1.2BAR | TNT DumpPipe | Zorst

April 24, 2014, 11:10:56 AM
Reply #3

Jacques

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2006 Forester XT MT - 20G'd

April 24, 2014, 01:04:06 PM
Reply #4

Veneficus

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Just make very very sure you properly insulate everything
the Rocker panel becomes very wet which is why Subaru themselves had to do recall on some of the lights
2007 2.5XT Manual (and boy did I have to search for manual one)

April 24, 2014, 02:40:06 PM
Reply #5

SniperHilton

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Indeed Veneficus, this is why I used the heat-shrink and the silicon sealing, if one where foreseeing water-crossings etc. I would not recommend a mod like this.
A well soldered joint and well wrapped with proper electrical tape should be watertight, just dont get lazy halfway through.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2014, 02:41:45 PM by SniperHilton »


2013 Forester S-Edition | Chett Tuned - 1.2BAR | TNT DumpPipe | Zorst

April 24, 2014, 05:52:39 PM
Reply #6

Dash

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Brilliant Hilton, thanks for writing that up.
2006 Forester XT with 20G turbo
2013 Outback 2.0D CVT
ex- 2007 Forester XT
ex 2008 modified Forester ProDrive
ex-2006 Forester XT

April 24, 2014, 08:47:38 PM
Reply #7

mauritsvw

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2012 Forester XS MT - Steel Silver (Vossie 1)
2006 Forester XT AT - Platinum Silver (Vossie 2)
Ex 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS Sportwagon - Aqua Blue (Scoob y)

April 27, 2014, 12:43:01 PM
Reply #8

Bravofox

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Nice tutorial!

Do you have pics of the model of LED lights that you used?

May also be a good idea to use self-vulcanising tape instead of normal electrical tape, since they live in the wet. Kind of expensive to buy a roll for such a small project, but I have it also in my "garage" :)
But heat shrink, as you used, works the best and looks tidy.

Also, does not seem like a good idea buying the OEM apart from being crazy expensive : http://www.tflcar.com/2013/01/subaru-recall-for-634000-vehicles/
2015 Outback 3.6R-S
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April 29, 2014, 09:04:24 AM
Reply #9

Veneficus

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That is the recall I mentioned earlier

Should be resolved on the current OEM ones since it was traced to issue with insulation and was error with supplier

Does not make the OEM's price worth it though
2007 2.5XT Manual (and boy did I have to search for manual one)

April 29, 2014, 02:27:01 PM
Reply #10

SniperHilton

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Sure thing BravoFox

I used the White Ones



2013 Forester S-Edition | Chett Tuned - 1.2BAR | TNT DumpPipe | Zorst

May 08, 2014, 01:13:52 PM
Reply #11

PieterT

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Cool - This will be my next light mod  - Have been planning to wire led's to the rear doors as I had done the front for puddle lighting, but have been put off so far by the necessity to open both doors - Now that you have shown us were the wires are, this will be much easier!!

After this my car will be completely lit all round!!

Maybe an engine bay led strip for those unforeseen dark road problems? Then again not required - thus is a Subaru not a Land Rover!
2012 Subaru Forester 2.0D Premium - Steel Silver

July 03, 2014, 01:28:30 PM
Reply #12

PieterT

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At last I got round to do this as well, I used 1.2m led strips, gives a lot of light, but will be more susceptible to damage.

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2012 Subaru Forester 2.0D Premium - Steel Silver

January 27, 2015, 09:14:55 AM
Reply #13

SniperHilton

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Has anyone else done this?
If you have lets see some pics.

Mine are still working perfectly, and come in very handy - especially for the wife when wearing her heels...


2013 Forester S-Edition | Chett Tuned - 1.2BAR | TNT DumpPipe | Zorst

January 27, 2015, 09:32:45 AM
Reply #14

PieterT

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Mine is also still working very well - It gives a lot of light and helps with wife's heels, dog poo when parking on the lawn, kids toys dropping underneath the car, changing flat tire in the middle of nowhere.
2012 Subaru Forester 2.0D Premium - Steel Silver