Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics
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Cadillac DTS Forum - 2006 through 2012 Discussion, Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; So this is my experience with removing the front bumper and headlights, as well as replacing and standard lamp in ...
  1. #1
    5.0 lsc's Avatar
    5.0 lsc is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    So this is my experience with removing the front bumper and headlights, as well as replacing and standard lamp in the car with led replacements. If you would like to do the front lights, the bumper will have to come off. It will be easier if the front of the car is on jackstands and the wheels are taken off, but I decided to do this while keeping the wheels on. It took about 20 minutes tops to take the front bumper off, not as hard as it sounds.
    -First, take the clips off the plastic radiator cover.

    -This will reveal the clips above the grill.

    -Then get underneath the car and remove all the clips holding the bottom of the bumper to the wind deflector.

    -Once removed, it can be pushed down and out of the way.

    -Next you will go to each wheel well and remove all of the clips holding the wheel skin to the bumper. Then bend/move the wheel skin out of the way. It helps to turn the wheels one way for better access.

    -Looking past the wheel skin and at the inside of the bumper, you will see 2 nuts and 1 bolt on each side. The nuts will have to be loosened about half way, and the bolt completely removed. Spraying oil on these helped alot, mine were rusted as you can see.

    -You will then have to push the side of the bumper forward, untill the 2 stems are released from their keyholes. These all may be corroded, so pushing and pulling back and forth somewhat violently may help release them.


    -Once both sides are released, you can move to the front of the car and lightly pull the whole bumper off and disconnect the light and parking sensor harnesses.

    -Continue to remove the 3 front bolts for the headlight housing.

    -The 4th bolt is behind the headlight housing and extremely hard to get to. You will need a few extensions to crack it loose. It should come out/be started by hand though.

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    5.0 lsc's Avatar
    5.0 lsc is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    -Now, here are my pictures of the LEDS. First, the doors. These will be 42mm festoon leds. I ordered mine from superbrightleds. NATURAL WHITE (5000k) matched the rest of the domes perfectly. The cool white (6000k) was to blueish, warm white (4300k) is too yellowish. Trust me, i learned the hard way. This is the only site I could find these bulbs in the correct shade of white.



    -The 2 liscense plate lights,trunk, and glovebox are a little tricky to find the correct shade. I ordered a few sets off of ebay. Most were the blueish "cool white (6000k)" that didnt match. It's frustrating to get this info from most sellers. Eventually youll find the correct ones. The glove box is easy to install, however I feel like the cutout should be enlarged to show more light. The bulb holders for the plate are not very deep, so make sure to get ones that fit or the socket wont fit and twist in.

    -Now the front of the car was by far the hardest and most expensive. It turns out that my xenons were a little closer to warm white (4300k) leds than the interior's natural white(5000k) leds. I ended up installing warm white leds for the small parking lights, and natural white (5000k) leds for the turn signal, corner lamp, and fogs. Not only do you have to remove the bumper and headlight housing, but you also have to find a solution for the hyper blink associated with installing front turn signal leds. My temporary-permanent fix was to run to wires, one connected to the turn signal wire, the other to the ground, up from the headlight harness and into the engine bay. I then used 2 of the 4 wire leads from the factory 4157(3157) halogen lamps buying replacement sockets from autozone, and connected the turn (brighter) filament leads to the wires I ran. I then got 2 small turn signal lenses from a nissan at a junkyard, painted them black, and installed the sockets into the lense and tied them off safely in the engine bay. If my meter is correct the car wants about 1.4 ohms in line with the leds order to flash correctly. I ordered a par of high-temp resistors from the seller tinyheaven on ebay, but they ended being way off and didnt work. Im still looking for the correct resistor to install. The cornering lights are just standard 3157 led replacements. They are actually single filament 3156 bulbs, but in for leds a 3157 replaces them as well.





    -As for the fog lights, our DTS's use h12 bulbs, which are not very common. I went with the natural white (5000k) h10/9005 leds from vleds. They are NOT the same bulbs. The harnesses are, but they do not fit in the housings. I wont even say what I had to do to fit them in there. The fogs are up to you.


    ----------

    Here is the end-all list of led replacements for the car.
    Glove box, plate lights, front parking lights,trunk = 194 (ebay)
    Front turn signals, cornering lamps = 3157 (vleds)
    Fog lights = H12 (hard to find, H10 is close but wont fit in housing w/o modification) (vleds)
    Door puddle lights = 42mm Festoon (superbright leds)

  4. #3
    billbill1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    Nice post.
    Glad to see, I'm not the only one that has to contend with the elements, when tinkering.

  5. #4
    ogbuehi is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Not a bad write up. I have a few tips from my experience.

    For the bulbs requiring festoon type led equivalents, I preferred to use 37mm instead of 42mm. The smaller length fit just fine and was much easier than the 42mm to get into the socket.

    For every single socket requiring 194 type bulbs (parking lamps and license plate lamps) make sure you get the smallest profile led bulb you can find. I will try to post a picture of the only type I could get to fit. I was especially upset because I wasted so much money on bulbs that didn't fit only to circle back to the original 194 LEDs I used when I upgraded my Deville. Superbrightleds nor vleds do not have them. I had to hunt them down on eBay.

    The resistor size you need to use to keep the turn signals from hyper flashing is a 6 ohm/50W. Superbrightleds has these. You simply need to wire it into one hot and one of the grounds for the socket. It's a simple splice but you will have to make sure you mount the heatsink to something all metal securely away from anything that can melt (rubber or plastic). All the heat that the standard incandescant bulb would normally emit from the bulb itself will now be discharged through the resistor. So as hot as the regular bulbs get is as hot as this resistor will get. I mounted them to the corner plates with a very small bolt and nut.

    If you want the fog lights to fit you can be very creative and use a pair of dykes to trim the tabs. I just had to figure out which alignment required the least amount of trimming. To do this though, you may have to put the car on jack stands and remove the wheels so that you have a very clear view of the fog light housing to see the what direction and size of each of the slots.
    Castro420 likes this.

  6. #5
    lloydrage is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Great job. Very insightful!

  7. #6
    hunter548 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    Thanks for the write up. I see far too few detailed installs/repairs for our DTS's.

  8. #7
    Andrew224's Avatar
    Andrew224 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    Thanks for the instructions. I used them to change out my headlight bulbs (RockAuto.com has them for about $60 / ea). I did them both because this job was a bit of a pain and I'd prefer not to have to do it again for a while. In any case, you saved me hundreds of dollars! Thank you!

    Andrew Armitage

  9. #8
    Shym3 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    This is a great diy. I just finished after following this step by step. I left the wheels on and turned the wheel to the left and never had to move it again. I also left the fog lights and parking sensors hooked up and that causes the bumper back to lean up and scratched the paint on my fender a little bit. Only took me about an hour and a half to get it apart and a half hour to put it back together. Im no mechanic so most of you will be quicker. Still cant believe Cadillac would build a car with lights so hard to change.

  10. #9
    gmbennett89 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Thanks for the detailed description. I was able to use this and changed my headlight bulbs in a little over an hour.

  11. #10
    Bruffinit is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    I have a 2008 STS. I tried removing the parking light sockets, and only one would break loose 1/8th of a turn. I went to the local Cadillac dealer and the repair person said that the sockets melt to the headlight housing. He told me that if I put pressure on the socket to break it loose, it will break the headlight housing.

    How far do you turn the socket to pull it out? Is it a quarter turn?

    I moved the fuse box, as one person recommended, and that didn't let me get my fat hand in there. With the wheel panels moved, I can access both sockets.

    My frustration to complete the job is to unscrew the socket without breaking it. Any suggestions?

    I enjoy your forum. I saw a recall, but don't think it applies to my STS due to the timeframe.

    Thanks

  12. #11
    TerrBear is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    Isn't it great when an old thread breathes new life?

    I want to swap out my brown fog lights and cornering lights for LED's. All the websites say 9005 for the fogs and 3157 for the cornering lights. The original poster mentions an H12 as the correct fog bulb. An H12 is also cross referenced as a 9055, and I see many listings for those bulbs on eBay. Would these be the right ones? Just want to order the correct bulbs without ending up with multiple sets of unneeded bulbs. I am assuming no resistors are needed. Correct? Also, some write-ups I have seen online say you can get to the back of the fogs by peeling back the wheel liner. Has anybody accessed the fog lights through the wheel well liner?

  13. #12
    Atavar is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    I am actually thinking of going in the completely opposite direction and putting in some Mitek 100w 3300k yellow bulbs in the fog lights. I am more concerned about actual performance and usefullness than appearance. Up here in the great white north heavy fog and blowing snow are common occurrences. i have read that the yellow light actually does a much better job in fog/mist/snow because it doesn't reflect or glare as much.
    Apparently the yellowish hue of automobile headlights in years past was not so much a technical limitation as it was the result of many scientific studies done to figure out which lighting color was best for driving. Surprisingly even back in the thirties they were completely capable of making bright white lights. Then when they figured out that if you over-rated a bulb and used one that would burn bright white at 24 volts but you ran it at 12 volts you got the desired light temperature and a bulb that lasted much longer.
    I like the color of the OEM HID's for most driving, but I would like something that cut through blowing snow better in the fog lights. I'm thinking that if I skirt the legal issues and use brighter cooler bulbs in the fog lights I'll have the best of both worlds. Plus i think the yellow under white is attractive in it'w own way and eye catching.
    image002.jpg

  14. #13
    ogbuehi is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by TerrBear View Post
    Isn't it great when an old thread breathes new life?

    I want to swap out my brown fog lights and cornering lights for LED's. All the websites say 9005 for the fogs and 3157 for the cornering lights. The original poster mentions an H12 as the correct fog bulb. An H12 is also cross referenced as a 9055, and I see many listings for those bulbs on eBay. Would these be the right ones? Just want to order the correct bulbs without ending up with multiple sets of unneeded bulbs. I am assuming no resistors are needed. Correct? Also, some write-ups I have seen online say you can get to the back of the fogs by peeling back the wheel liner. Has anybody accessed the fog lights through the wheel well liner?
    Good luck with the fog lights. The actual correct bulb is H13 but nobody makes it anymore. So the few sites that would even recommend a foglight bulb for a DTS will incorrectly recommend the H12. As seen in the pictures, the H12 is an exact mirror of the correct layout of the locking tabs. I did some creative engineering to get the HID H12 fog lights to fix and LOCK and seal. And yes, all you have to do is peel back the liner to access the fogs.

  15. #14
    cadillacpaul1979's Avatar
    cadillacpaul1979 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Good luck I've been trying to find H12 or 9055 for months and I can't even eBay doesn't carry correct ones and make sure they are also 55w if not you'll short out the ipdm and have to wait for a reset happened to mine and yes if you peel back the wheel liner you can access them

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0 lsc
    So this is my experience with removing the front bumper and headlights, as well as replacing and standard lamp in the car with led replacements. If you would like to do the front lights, the bumper will have to come off. It will be easier if the front of the car is on jackstands and the wheels are taken off, but I decided to do this while keeping the wheels on. It took about 20 minutes tops to take the front bumper off, not as hard as it sounds. -First, take the clips off the plastic radiator cover. -This will reveal the clips above the grill. -Then get underneath the car and remove all the clips holding the bottom of the bumper to the wind deflector. -Once removed, it can be pushed down and out of the way. -Next you will go to each wheel well and remove all of the clips holding the wheel skin to the bumper. Then bend/move the wheel skin out of the way. It helps to turn the wheels one way for better access. -Looking past the wheel skin and at the inside of the bumper, you will see 2 nuts and 1 bolt on each side. The nuts will have to be loosened about half way, and the bolt completely removed. Spraying oil on these helped alot, mine were rusted as you can see. -You will then have to push the side of the bumper forward, untill the 2 stems are released from their keyholes. These all may be corroded, so pushing and pulling back and forth somewhat violently may help release them. -Once both sides are released, you can move to the front of the car and lightly pull the whole bumper off and disconnect the light and parking sensor harnesses. -Continue to remove the 3 front bolts for the headlight housing. -The 4th bolt is behind the headlight housing and extremely hard to get to. You will need a few extensions to crack it loose. It should come out/be started by hand though.
    I tried H10 for the fogs and as soon as turned them the connector started smoking and you smell it

  16. #15
    ogbuehi is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Detailed bumper removal, headlight removal, every LED lights installation-HQ Pics

    You'll have to wire them straight to the battery. My HID fogs would blow the fuse initially because they pull a surge of current to start up. Just ran a lower gage wire to the battery posts in the engine bay and haven't had any issues with them.

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