LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; ...
  1. #1
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    Intro:
    This is a DIY for an LED swap.. includes the following lights:
    -map light
    -driver and passenger door lights
    -rear seat dome
    -trunk interior
    -reverse lights
    -licence plate lights
    -under the dash on driver and passenger sides

    I bought all the LEDs from http://www.superbrightleds.com/ and item list is as follows:
    ē 194 4LED Map (2qty)
    ē 44mm 9LED Festoons Driver/ Pass Front Doors, Rear Dome, Trunk (4qty)
    ē 3157 25LED Matrix Reverse Lights (2qty)
    ē 194 5LED Licence Plate (2qty)
    ē 44mm 9LED Rigid Loop Festoons Under Dash (2qty)
    ē *optional* 194 5LED Corner Headlamp (2qty) ĖI bought them, but have not replace them yet
    Total time spent: 1hr 45m
    Difficulty (scale 1-10, 1 easy- 10 hard): 6


    Reverse Lights:
    Bill of materials:
    -ratchet
    -10mm socket
    -socket extender
    -clean rags/ old t-shirts
    -car keys (fob)
    -Slotted screw driver
    -(2qty) 3157-W25 Matrix LED



    Start by removing the trunk lid carpet, there are 8 plugs in total (1 large, 2 medium, and 5 small sized), the 1 large plug is located near the trunk latch (has a slot in it), this plug can be unscrewed, all other can by pulled out.



    When pulling the plugs out, pull on the carpet around the plugs and shift the carpet back and forth, as you can see in the picture the plugs have Ďteethí and by shifting the carpet it allows one side of the teeth through the hole and then the other.



    I have laid out the plugs in the same pattern they are on the trunk, if you get them mixed up itís no big deal since the larger plug wonít go in the small plug holes, and the small plugs will slide freely into the larger holes.
    With the carpet removed the trunk will raise up a bit, watch and make sure the trunk corners (near the hinges) donít scratch the car, mine had more than enough clearance but just a word of caution to watch for it.
    Have the rags/ old shirt with you now. And what I did to stop the trunk from raising up too high while I was trying to work and balance the bezel from falling (at 5í8Ē I had a slight height disadvantage). I lowered the trunk to a nice working height, I then tied the trunk at this height, just put a string/twine through the male/ female trunk latch.
    Also have your keys/fob with you.




    You will now see 8 nuts/washers/ bolt, using a 10mm socket loosen off all 8 nuts. When the nut/washer is near the end of the screw be careful that it doesnít fall down inside the trunk lid.
    Again Iíve laid out the layout of the nuts on the trunk, but you donít have to worry about that since they are all the same thread pitch and size.
    Push up on the ends of each of the screw and the bezel will pop up off the trunk lid.




    On the trunk lid there will be a bunch of wires (green, black, yellow, white) that lead through the trunk up into the bezel. Push the soft grey rubber seal that the wires run though up into the bezel side of the trunk lid (this will give you more play with the bezel/ more room to work).




    This same group of wires sort of weaves through 3 ďclipsĒ on the bezel, move the wires off the clips, this will also allow more room to work. Carefully lift the bezel off the trunk lid, once the screws are clear of the holes, rotate the bezel so it faces you (so the license plate side is pointing towards the front of the car), and place the rags between the trunk lid/ bezel/ screw so that nothing gets scratched. I always kept a hand on the bezel while I worked so it didnít fall over and scratch the car or pull on the wires. (got pretty tough holding it, trying to take pictures, and work at the same time).



    On the left side youíll see 2 black and 2 green wires leading into a black fixture that is mounted to the grey reverse light lamp. This fixture is on a twist lock system, twist this black fixture counter-clockwise about 1/8 of a turn and pull it out of the lamp. Youíll see the bulb is in the fixture.




    Look inside the fixture and youíll see on each side of the bulbs wedge base there is a groove with a prong holding the bulb in place. Carefully with a small slotted screw driver push back on each prong (be sure not to put any pressure on the glass bulb). This was a bit tricky getting the bulbs out, I firmly held the bulb and rocked it back and forth while trying to pull it out and eventually the prong slipped out of the groove and the bulb slide out.
    Take the 3157-W25 Matrix LED and push it into the fixture, make sure you apply even pressure across the face/ LEDs so nothing crack or breaks. On mine,I couldnít get the new bulbs into full depth, they slide in just far enough that the prong was just on the edge of the groove.
    Put the black fixture with the new LED back into the lamp, remember it uses a twist lock and there are three tabs, each a different size so align each tab with its corresponding slot, push in and twist clockwise.
    Do the same on the other reverse light. To make sure they work, lock/unlock the car and they should flash.


    License Plate Lights: (assuming you have just done the reverse lights)

    Bill of Materials:
    -(2qty) WLED-NW5 194
    -10mm socket
    -ratchet
    -socket extender
    -keys



    The license plate lights have 2 black and 2 (or maybe it was 1) yellow wires leading into them. They work on the same twist lock setup up as the reverse lights.



    These bulbs are significantly easier to replace as there are no annoying prongs to deal with. When I first swapped these bulbs I didnít check to see if they worked, which they didnít, and I had to go back later and fix them. With all the other wedge base LEDs the direction of install didnít matter, though with these it seems it does matter. So do the swap then lock/unlock the car, if it flashes your good, if not take the LED out and flips its orientation, test again. Do the same on the other bulb.
    Ikera likes this.

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  3. #2
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures





    With all 4 lights working, wrap/ weave the group of wires back around the brackets they had been on and push the soft grey rubber seal back through the hole, look at the underside of the trunk and be sure the grey seal is back through properly. Lift the bezel up and remove your rags, carefully align the screws with the holes and lower the bezel back down, if it gets stuck chance are one of the screws/ screw thread are caught on the edge of the hole, lift it back up and try lowering it again. Be sure to keep it level and lower each side equally.
    Using the 10mm socket and extender, put each of the nuts/ washer on, do not over tighten them (position your hand near the actual ratchet mechanism/ socket when tightening so you donít use the full length of the ratchet handle and over torque the nuts). If you tied the trunk in position like I did you can cut the string and raise the trunk up all the way. Position the carpet back on the trunk and insert each plug, remember the top plug with the slot in it can be screwed in (just screw it snug by hand, if you use a screw driver to may over tighten and crack it, or strip the threads).


    Trunk Interior:

    Bill of Materials;
    -(qty 1) 4410-NW9 Festoon
    -slotted screw driver
    -dremel with grinding wheel and cut-off wheel
    -needle nose pliers
    -eye protection (suggested)





    Using a slotted screw driver, carefully pop the clip from each side of the light fixture and remove. The light fixture is plugged into a black plug with 1 blue and 1 red wire; unplug the fixture (use slotted screw driver to help unclip the plug). If the light has been on for a while (since the trunk was open from the previous steps), the bulb will be hot, after unplugging it, let it sit until it has cooled enough.




    Remove the bulb and replace with the Festoon. You can see one of the light brass brackets isnít sitting down flush on the festoon bulb, this is because the festoon is slightly longer than the original bulb.



    Using a dremel with a cutting/ saw wheel and grinding wheel I basically cut down the middle of one of the brass brackets. Cut down until you reach the flat section of the bracket, I then cleaned up the edges with the grinding wheel. Make sure there are no burrs as they will not allow proper contact on the LED.



    Put the festoon bulb in and check the clearance. From cutting, the bracket may have been slightly twister/ bench, using a pair of needle nose pliers I twisted it back straight/ parallel to the other uncut bracket and reformed the shape of it.
    Put the festoon in and have the LEDís pointing outwards (so when installed in the trunk they shine down), plug the fixture back into the car, if it is flickering you either a)need to cut/grind more off the bracket or b) reshape the bracket as there isnít enough contact to the bulb. Re-install the fixture in the trunk and your set.



    **Note: when I bought this bulb, I was going off a list of LEDs recommended by many other people, you may be able to get a shorter festoon that would require no dremel work... if you do go with a shorter festoon (2mm shorter should do the trick) get 3 as you will need short ones for the driver and passenger door lights. The backseat interior dome light uses this longer length.**


    Rear Dome:

    Bill of Materials:
    -slotted screw driver
    -(qty 1) 4410-NW9 Festoon




    Shut the doors so that dome lights turn off and the bulb will not be hot when you go to remove it. On the edge facing the front of the car you will notice two small cut outs in the clear plastic light cover.




    Using a slotted screw driver very carefully pry back on the main housing (donít pry down on the clear light cover as it is a hard plastic and could snap/crack). You can see in my pictures there are two tabs/ clips holding it in place. Pry each side down individually and the cover will come right off.

  4. #3
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures




    Take the bulb out and replace with same style of festoon as the trunk interior bulb. For some reason this light fixture/ brackets is wide enough and needs no dremel modification for the new festoon to fit.
    Open a door to confirm it works.
    Take the clear light cover and put the back two flat tabs in first, then carefully push the front two clips back in. Mine made a hell of a creaking sound when I was pushing the clips back up, to take your time, and donít try to twist the cover, apply firm even pressure on it.


  5. #4
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    Front Door ground Lights:
    Bill of Materials:
    -Rag
    -Slotted screw driver
    -( qty 2) 4410-NW9 Festoon



    Place a rag on the ground directly under the light. Pry down on the clear plastic cover just enough to reveal the cutouts/ clips, using the slotted screw driver, gently push it though the cut so that the clips release. When I had both clips push back the cover popped off the door and since I had a rag on the ground, there were no scratches or cracks on the cover. (Though, I was also holding a camera at the same time, having your hand free to stop the cover from falling will help).




    As you can see in the picture, if you push up on the right side of the light fixture it will pop up inside the door a little and you can pull down on the left side of the fixture and remove it from the door. Unplug the fixture (just like in the trunk light).

    Let the bulb cool and remove. Both these fixtures (passenger and driver side) will need the same dremel/ cut job as the trunk interior light.
    When done cutting the brass bracket plug the fixture in and tap the fixture, tap the ficture with your finger, if it doesnít flicker when you tap it you are good to reinstall, if it does, cut more off/ reshape the bracket or deburr the edges.




    Reinstall the bracket in reverse of uninstalling. So clip the clear cover onto the white fixture, insert the right side of the fixture in the door first, then push the left side up. (shown in the picture).
    Do this on both front doors.


  6. #5
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    Under dash/ floor lights:
    Bill of Materials:
    -(2qty) RL4410 NWHP9 rigid loop festoon
    -needle nose pliers
    -something with a point (o-ring pick, even just a sharp pencil)



    As you can see in the picture, the bulb is fastened on each end by means of a wire hoop and two brass tabs/prongs with a barb on it.


    Using your pick/pencil slide the one of the wire hoops out of the barb and push in on the brass prong (somewhat spring loaded), the hoop should slide down past the barb. Do the same on the other prong and the bulb should fall/slide off.



    Compare the old bulb with the new LED, you will see the new LED has a larger diameter; you will need to slightly bend the wire hoops on the new bulb up so they will properly mount in the barbs.


    Iíve shown in the picture roughly how much they will need to be bent up to fit/ work properly.
    Using the needle nose pliers, very carefully, and slowly bend one hoop up, and then the other.
    Hook one of the hoops over a prong (make sure LEDs are pointing down at the floor mat), pull the LED towards the opposite prong and using your pick, push this opposite prong towards the LED so that the other hoop can be attached.



    You will know the hoop is bent up enough if each hoop is sitting inside/on top of the barb.
    The wire on the new LED is slightly thicker than the old bulb, so using the pick is slightly bent/pulled the barb out a bit to help seat the hoops in place better.
    Do this on the other side of the car.

    Ikera likes this.

  7. #6
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    Map Lights:
    Bill of Materials:
    -patients
    -194 6 LED



    This one was a bit tricky simply because you have to put a decent amount of force into it. What you want to do is pull down the entire housing (includes the map lights and sun roof dial). The front of the housing (near windshield) is on hinges, and the side closest to the sun roof has clips that snap onto the roof of the car.



    Concentrate on one corner at a time (from the pictures you can see where the clip is so you know where to focus your efforts). Get your fingers between the housing and the headliner, and firmly pull down on the corner, slight wiggling may help. Be sure you donít just rip it down and also, when I did mine, I used my knuckles/ thumbs and pushed up on the headliner while pulling down on the housing with my fingers, if you use your arms to pull down, you have less control for how far down you pull it, and yuo could rip it off the ceiling.





    Once this corner is detached, do the same to the other corner. With each corner popped out, you can somewhat get a look at the front hinges, gently pop each hinge out.

    You will notice the housing wont flip down much, this is because on the left side there is a black box with a black wire coming out of it, this wire is what is stopping the housing from dropping/ flipping down more, SO DONT PULL AT IT.

    If you look at the picture, you can clearly see the bulbs inside the yellowish coloured sockets. These again use a twist lock. Removed each socket, pull the original bulb from each and install the LEDs. Replace the sockets, confirm lights work by either opening a door or pushing the reading/map light buttons.



    Pop the hinges back in place, then pop the corner brackets back it.

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  8. #7
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    After Pictures














    Ikera likes this.

  9. #8
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures








  10. #9
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    if you want to see a before and after comparison, check out my original thread

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...-pictures.html

  11. #10
    chahockey is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    very nice thread!

  12. #11
    Bluehaze07's Avatar
    Bluehaze07 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    this is the one of the most detailed DIY I have seen in a while. +++ for the OP.

  13. #12
    andrewschenk's Avatar
    andrewschenk is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    thanks guys!
    im never really sure if DIY guides like this make sense to others when i do them. having been the one who did the LED install, the entire thing made sense to me, but to others im not all that confident in myself!
    so im happy to see you guys thought it was good

    i just ordered a Volant CAI (bigdaddycaddy had a sale on ebay, %5 off was enough to persuade me ) and 2 pairs of cadillac seat belt shoulder pads, i dont think a DIY is needed for the velcro shoulder pads , but i will do a little write up with some pictures for the CAI install

  14. #13
    Bluehaze07's Avatar
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewschenk View Post
    thanks guys!
    im never really sure if DIY guides like this make sense to others when i do them. having been the one who did the LED install, the entire thing made sense to me, but to others im not all that confident in myself!
    so im happy to see you guys thought it was good

    i just ordered a Volant CAI (bigdaddycaddy had a sale on ebay, %5 off was enough to persuade me ) and 2 pairs of cadillac seat belt shoulder pads, i dont think a DIY is needed for the velcro shoulder pads , but i will do a little write up with some pictures for the CAI install
    Bought some HIDS from him and something else. he gave me free shipping for being a return cust.

  15. #14
    WickedGoat's Avatar
    WickedGoat is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    You did a nice job on this write up..... Who could ask for more with the detailed pictures and instructions? Thanks for taking the time to do this.... it is much appreciated.

  16. #15
    Temptone1 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: LED Swap - DIY - Tutorial - How To - Lots of Pictures

    That's excellent Andrew...I don't have the guts to try that ...I'll suffer without them..Maybe buy an external light...or none. If this was some Chevy, or funky ol' car I would but it's too intimidating for me.
    Great pix and instructions.

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