~ Idea: Color lights to enhance the looks of the engine bay, Fiero side scoop and car interior
~ Concept: Use of bright body color LEDs in a way that the effect is seen with minimum visibility of the light source.
~ Parts: 1. "Clear Water" LEDs 2.2V - peak power 60,000mcd @ 100mA - Color red 2. 220ohm resistors (your application most likely require different resistance, depending on type and number of LEDs, connection method and power source) 3. LED socket - depending on your application, decide between the simple 'socket' type which leaves the entire LED exposed (more surrounding light effect) or the 'screw housing' type which blocks the diameter of the led and creates a more direct beam effect. 4. Wires and heat shrinks (insulation sleeves) (Beginners tip: don’t forget to put the sleeve on the wire before connecting/soldering and far away from the heat source) 5. Wire clamps (tapping) 6. 2 Rocker switches (on-off-on) with plastic holder bracket
~ Some of the parts used ~
~ Tools: Drill, 5mm metal drill bit, hot glue gun, wire cutters, solder, 3rd hand tool (really helps with soldering) insulation tape, courage
~ To plan and calculate your LED setup you can use the following info and links:
~ Installation and wiring: (Depending on the function you prefer) 1. I used the wires running to the trunk light, this way when the trunk is closed all lights turn OFF. These wires run from the engine compartment to the trunk rail on the D/S of the engine bay. 2. Wire each LED to (+) source with a proper resistor
3. Wire ground wires from the trunk light source to a 3 position rocker switch (I've installed the switch away from eye-sight)
4. Choose your desired illumination subject. (in this example it’s the Fiero upper plenum) Test aim your light source, make sure you get the object lit properly with minimum shadowing. Choose the angle that utilizes the most of the LED beam (done best in a dark environment) 5. The next step is not for the faint of heart LOL, Punch mark your drill point, AND... drill your Fiero trunk wall away … (pay attention to wires and hoses) you get 1 chance to drill it right, if its off you’ll have to use glue to hold the LED in the right direction. 4. Test fit your LEDs in place and inspect illumination, when result is satisfying set LEDs in place (use of hot glue is optional)
~ 3 Trunk wall LEDs facing the engine ~
~ Angled drill detail ~
5. For the deck-lid lock LED you’ll need to run a power (+) wire through the deck-lid beam. There is a wiring harness running through there so be careful. (I used a metal wire to "fish" the wire up and it wasn’t that difficult) 6. Ground (-) is supplied by the deck-lid switch (this LED is always ON until you close the trunk and the ground is cut off, I didn't bother with figuring that bug out)
~ Trunk lock wire in deck-lid beam (blue line) ~
~ Trunk lock LED mounted with double sided tape to lock ~
Note: If you're looking for an easy way do this and don't care too much for "perfect" results, one or two LEDs from this angle would cover the entire engine just fine.
~ Engine bay lights operation: 1. Show mode - Up Position = All LEDs ON 2. Daily use - Down position = Stock trunk light ON 3. Override - Center position = All lights are OFF 4. Master override - Trunk closed switch overrides all lights to OFF
1. Drill hole through center back wall of side scoop and set the LED in place. (Estimated installation time 46 seconds)
~ Wiring: In order to achieve the dual function light I’ve used 2 alternate current sources. 1. Wire (+) source 1 from constant battery source to rocker switch 2. Wire (+) source 2 from side marker light to rocker switch
3. Wire (+) from rocker switch to LED with proper resistor 4. Wire (ground) constant wire to LED
~ Wires in a protective plastic tube inside the wheel well (black tube)~
~ LED wired in place ~
(Sorry, the hand model was sick that day )
~ Operation: 1. Show mode - Up Position = Scoop light ON 2. Drive mode - Down position = Scoop light turns ON when marker lights are on 3. Override - Center position = Scoop light OFF
~ Night shots... These are the actual shots (no Photoshop) the red LED over red plenum comes out glowing in a 1 sec exposure of my digital camera…
**Please note that a forward facing RED light is not legal for street use, I would recommend Using an amber LED for street usage**
~ Interior red lights ~
To follow the lighting theme of my Fiero I’ve replaced all interior white lights to exact replacement red bulbs, and placed designated rubber red caps on the dome lights.
Suggestions and comments are always welcome, please share your own similar projects.
Good luck, and enjoy the drive
***Disclaimer: This is an amateur write-up of my ideas. Information here is provided for explanation of the general idea, I’m not a car electrician nor will I’ll be held responsible for any damage to your car, electrical components, your garage going in a blaze or destruction of your marriage life Please use at your owe risk - Thanks.***
[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 03-05-2007).]
Look Nice .just this one on this pic .. I would be worried about ..Is it cop friendly ..I know the police around here would make me take it off in minute ..but look cool do ..I love the engine bay ..Good job well done ..Rob
[This message has been edited by Newbfiero (edited 03-05-2007).]
Now that would be getting into Ricer terittory Looks good just the way it is.
By Law it saw no red lights on the front of the car, but if you put the LED inside the bumper and only see the glow effect on the radiator and not the actual bulb, would that be legal? I've seen it done to one of the new Chargers, makes it look like he's running a little on the warm side. Plus you get people driving around with red neons doing the same effect.
Originally posted by drumwzrd: What is great about this is that you can do this for under $20.00.....Take it from me, I'm an electronics guy..it is time consuming but worth every minute!!! GREAT JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are right on the money...literally
Originally posted by Lucky13: so for the interior you just replaced the 4 stock lights with red aftermarket lights? Thats too easy.. Know of a store where they would sell these parts?
You are right as well, cheap and easy...Your local "Canadian Tire" (in Canada) / "Wall-Mart" etc. should have the color bulbs, I found the rubber bulb covers in a surplus store.
Originally posted by F-I-E-R-O:What, no LEDs in the door handle pockets?
All in good time my friend...not in the door handles but in the tires valve caps for sure LMAO...
Very Nice Job! The plenum looks like an "Alien" heart when it's lit up like that - cool effect!
I put a small LED in the blank spot of the rear defrost switch. I picked up a plate with no defroster switch and drilled a hole for the LED in the middle and put a toggle switch below. It blinks - when the switch is turned "on" to be a "fake" car alarm! I used a seperate 9v battery - that hides in behind the switch assembly.
[This message has been edited by DrCPU (edited 03-07-2007).]
Originally posted by Mister: All in good time my friend...not in the door handles but in the tires valve caps for sure LMAO...
Don't they throw off your wheel balance? I seem to remember putting what I thought was a set of "cool" looking valve stem caps on a Toyota pickup once and I could have sworn that it didn't drive as smooth as before...
Originally posted by DrCPU: I put a small LED....It blinks…." to be a "fake" car alarm!....Dave
My take on those bright blinking LEDs, I think they attract more trouble and attention then they help… If a pro thief wants a car, he'll take it. I'd rather him not noticing it in a dark parking lot because of a bright blinking LED . In your case DrCPU, it would be very hard to miss. Your Fiero is very slick and shiny… I would sleep in it with a Tommy-gun LOL
Originally posted by Emc209i : Forget entirely about cops, think about the old woman who might mistake it for a brake light.
I understand your concern. One can notice the side scoop from the side and the front. Looking at the pics below, please tell me if you (anyone) can mistake it for a brake light?
I would say the Amber marker lights are dominant from the front, and from the side you have a red marker light 1m to the back.
Originally posted by proff: what about using different colour LEDs to suit the cars that are not red
I cannot agree with you more (In the build section I mentioned "body color LEDs" Thanks.
Originally posted by Alex4mula: Man, this is so cool! I'm sorry but very soon I'll copy your idea
LOL you are more then welcome, I cannot contribute much knowledge in the Tech section so I'll try and give my share in this manner. You guys helped me more then once.
Originally posted by F-I-E-R-O: Don't they throw off your wheel balance
I hope you understood I was kidding. and yes I would assume they would effect the balance in a few grams… hopefully not "21 grams"
[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 03-08-2007).]
Love that LED setup. Looks like the setup on the coming up Audi R8. I think I'm going to do something like that too.
Not quite sure if I would do white or do red LED's like yours. I'm trying for the setup to be functional as well and light up the engine all pretty. (I'm assuming the principle is the same, no matter what color LED's I use)
Originally posted by Austrian Import:Mister, Love that LED setup. Looks like the setup on the coming up Audi R8. I think I'm going to do something like that too.
Thanks A.I, that is a big compliment considering the reference
Originally posted by Austrian Import:Not quite sure if I would do white or do red LED's like yours. I'm trying for the setup to be functional as well and light up the engine all pretty. (I'm assuming the principle is the same, no matter what color LED's I use)-M
Your custom setup would work in any color, just make sure you get the resistor calculation right. That's all. Please post when you have it done.
[This message has been edited by Mister (edited 03-21-2007).]
One thing you might want to consider, especially in the engine bay, is invert coning the LEDs. The standard LEDs have a domed tip designed to focus light in a concentrated, directional manner. What I use for my submarine models is LED lights with the tip ground flat. That helps disperse the light in a more even manner, more like an incandescent. If you want even more dispersion, use a Dremel with a standard drill bit and drill into the now-flattened tip (carefully) to create an Inverted Cone. Looks like this when you're done:
One thing you might want to consider, especially in the engine bay, is invert coning the LEDs. The standard LEDs have a domed tip designed to focus light in a concentrated, directional manner. What I use for my submarine models is LED lights with the tip ground flat. That helps disperse the light in a more even manner, more like an incandescent. If you want even more dispersion, use a Dremel with a standard drill bit and drill into the now-flattened tip (carefully) to create an Inverted Cone. This will scatter the light more evenly.
Just a suggestion. Maybe you already did it.
Cool idea. I remember reading on case modding websites and magazines about grinding down LED's. Now I know why they do that. Making even ambient light should be really cool.
I probably won't have time for at least a week to attempt this project. I should probably start researching early next week about what LED's to use...
Mister, you're welcome. :-) Good work is always appreciated..
Originally posted by BullRider:One thing you might want to consider,...LED lights with the tip ground flat. That helps disperse the light in a more even manner....Just a suggestion. Maybe you already did it.
5 days after...
Thanks to the info from BullRider, I've improved the LED set-up with another EASY mod.
The modification - shaving off the LED tip with some sand paper (very easy, the LED material is very delicate)
LED Before / after comparison
LED lighted after mod
Red LED stock effect
Red LED 'after modification' effect, the beam is wider and the light is "soft"
Engine center LED effect before (top LED off)
Engine center 'Shaved LED tip' effect after (top LED off)