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Diode Dynamics interior lights

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by FAB Cruiser, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. FAB Cruiser

    FAB Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    I've seen a lot on this on the international threads but thought I'd see if there's a UK perspective.

    I wanted to go over to LED interior lighting and ordered the DD kit from Steeda UK.

    I was planning to do this myself. After all, what can be so difficult about replacing a few bulbs? - WRONG - It's a right pain in the arse!

    The difficultly is removing the overhead Map Light Dome. If you look at the videos from major suppliers (e.g. CJ Pony Part), you just give it a 'little shimmy' and it pulls off. The reality is it's held on by evil metal clips with barbs that grip into the plastic when you pull on the dome. Many forum members in the US have broken the plastic trying this, and then it's impossible to get the dome to fit snugly again, with a replacement costing hundreds of dollars.

    I just went back to Steeda and they said you should ALWAYS (their capitals) get professional to do every job, which wasn't particularly helpful. I have a number of cars and do a lot of the work myself including changing bulbs. DD themselves said they have no specific information on the issue apart from suggesting prying out the lenses rather than dropping the whole dome.

    Anyway, has anyone found a solution to this, or has anyone found a supplier (Ford or independent) that has the expertise or tool (if one exists) to change these bloody bulbs without breaking anything?

    Oh, one other thing. My car is a 2017. I believe 2018+ may be slightly different with an additional 2 clips.

    Any tips appreciated.

    Cheers
    David
     
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  2. PeterE

    PeterE Well-Known Member

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    David, I used the DD kit but direct from them in the US on my MY17, I agree that removing the map light cover is a complete PITA - it took me ages using gentle persuasion to release it as it semed to almost come away then no further. It took me over half an hour (losing my rag towards the end :angry: as I passed the "I wish I'd never done this stage") but eventually it came away.

    Unfortunately as you identify it now does not sit back in situ as closely as it did before and I really can't remember how it finally came away from the fixings, so, I'm not being much practical help to you I'm afraid - just sympathetic!

    Peter
     
  3. SteveS

    SteveS ...Bon Scott Land...

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    I don't remember it being too much trouble, but it was four years ago! The glove box bulb was a right faff however and the boot light lens was prone to breaking.
     
  4. Harebear72

    Harebear72 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2016 and I seem to remember only taking off the clear light covers and changing the bulbs, did not take the whole unit off.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    FAB Cruiser

    FAB Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I'm leaning towards that approach. That's whats DD suggested. Worse case is you get a little nick where you pry the lens out. The thought of that dome being loose or dropping off while driving scares me.
     
  6. Rapid Red

    Rapid Red Well-Known Member

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    I've not considered changing interior lighting. What is the attraction, motivation, curious ?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    FAB Cruiser

    FAB Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    Two reasons. Firstly the standard lights are very dim. Secondly, I have the lighting in the car set to blue (so the dash, door threshold plates, footwells, door pulls etc) It looks really cool and I wanted all the lighting to be the same colour so when I open the door at evening car meets it's a symphony of blue! You may take the view that it's a complete waste of time and money. My wife would agree! :crackup:
     
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  8. Chumley

    Chumley Well-Known Member

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    I just did these tonight. Not sure I would bother if I had to do all over again! The vanity lights are whiter and brighter but the nature of the LED's make them very directional. The plastic lens is not very uniformly lit. As far as the map lights, I watched the same videos that made it look simple and I REALLY had to pull to get the housing loose. The problem is the metal clip begins to slide off the map light assembly but not the plastic "hole" on the car. I pulled it down an inch or so and used a needle nose to pinch the clip and it released. At first it didn't look like it would seat firmly putting it back but that was because the metal clips were not seated back down in place properly. THANKFULLY nothing broke.

    I tried the lens removal method first and it worked great on one side but pushed the socket into the map light area on the other requiring the removal. Oh, and I blew a fuse somehow on the final vanity light replacement! I'm sure the glove box and trunk light will be 10x harder than they should be too!
     
  9. Chumley

    Chumley Well-Known Member

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    To be honest on most cars I've had it's literally 2 minutes work and you get a brighter, more "modern" looking light. Map lights, glove box lights, even trunk and reverse lights actually become usable - and like I said, it's USUALLY a few minutes work and not much $$.
     
  10. Pero

    Pero Well-Known Member

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    ^ Exactly what happened to me!

    I have pushed damn lamp holder deep into housing during inserting LED bulb.
    Then it was necessary to remove the dome.

    Succeeded after 1/2 hour of cursing. But as others reporting, the dome is not seating flush any more.

    The gap between dome's edge and ceiling lining is minor. Nobody can see it, really.

    But I know it's there, maliciously staring at me all the time :devil:.
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    FAB Cruiser

    FAB Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    So I successfully replaced the map light bulbs this evening with a different approach. I popped off the lenses with a small flat head screwdriver and finger nail (easy and no damage). The clips are at 10 and 2 o’clock towards the rear when looking up. Then I carefully removed the tin reflectors and the bulbs. So to avoid the problem others have had with pushing the holders into the dome due to the tightness of the LEDS, I used a craft knife to pare away some of the plastic on the shoulders of the LED. I also used some pliers to make the metal connectors flatter against the LED’s plastic. Next I positioned the LED in the holder until it just lit up giving me more light to work with. Then I slid the screwdriver between the bulb holder and one of it’s clips to make it more difficult for it to slide into the dome and at the same time gently nudged the LED home . I did have to trim the LED plastic a couple of times to get it to slide in smoothly, but not too much to make it loose. Then I put everything back together. 15 minutes each side and the dome hasn’t had to be removed at all!

    Hope this saves someone a lot of pain in the future! By the way, I couldn’t replace the bulb in the boot as it was already a sealed 2 x LED unit from stock.

    I may post this on the relevant US forum as well.

    Cheers
    David
     
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  12. Pero

    Pero Well-Known Member

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    OP, congratulation for useful solution.
    But does LED sits now firm enough inside the holder not to rattle and blink or even fall out during vibrations?
     
  13. Slopoke

    Slopoke Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the factory service manual. It states to first lower the headliner, I'm assuming to get to the back side of the clips to release them from their slots.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    FAB Cruiser

    FAB Cruiser Well-Known Member

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    I only shaved a small amount of plastic on the LED so there wasn’t enough pressure to pop the holder inside the dome. It’s still firm and a much tighter fit that the original glass bulbs.
     
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  15. Chappers

    Chappers Well-Known Member

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    i did it this way with a plastic pry tool went in fairly easy if i recall
     
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