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Rear Interior Light
|How long does this take?||????|
This is a fairly simple modification, but involves cutting your headliner. There is lots of scope for expensive mistakes, so take lots of care. Measure everything multiple times, and don't proceed on any step without a lot of checking.
- Light unit (Finis Code 4363929 - with map lights) - or try eBay for the single light version
- Surround (Finis Code 1256557)
- Sharp craft knife or Stanley knife
- Small flat-bladed screwdriver
- Three different coloured lengths of reasonable thickness wire (rated at more than 1A, or 2A if you're fitting maplights too), about 130cm each minimum
- Wire strippers
- Retracting metal tape measure
- Six female red spade connectors (take your light along to make sure you get the right size)
- Three male red spade connectors
- Crimping tool or soldering equipment
- Heatshrink, ideally
- Insulating tape
- Some foam blocks, expanded polystyrene or similar padding
Fit the surround
The surround has fold-out clips that fix to the headlining. Don't break these off or over-flex them.
Check that the light will fit into the surround - you will need to move the clips for this. There were two bits of plastic that stopped mine from fitting properly. I cut the offending bits of plastic off and it fitted. Take the light out of the surround.
Mark out where you want to place your rear light. The hatchback rear light is roughly 34cm from the back of the headlining to the back edge of the fitted surround, with the switch towards the rear of the car. Make sure you have it central and straight, too! If you choose to have it further forward, watch out for the central roof beam which you can feel by pressing the headliner up. You're unlikely to want the light that far forward, though.
Cut out the shape of the surround with the knife. Push it through the headlining firmly but in a controlled manner - you don't want a dent in your roof sheet metal! Cut with a sawing action. Start by making the hole too small and gradually make it bigger until it is a perfect fit. Don't permanently fit the surround yet.
Now make up some blocks of foam or other padding to fit between the headlining and the roof at the rear and sides of the hole (not the front, as the wiring will be coming from there!). This is to hold the headlining in position when the swithc is being operated - it prevents the light unit knocking into the roof metal.
Prepare the wiring
Build an "extension" wiring loom as shown, but long enough to reach from front to rear. Colour obviously doesn't matter, but make sure you know what's what at both ends.
Remove the front overhead console
Take out the front light using a small flat screwdriver in the recess at the front. Disconnect the wiring.
Open the sunglasses holder and look up at the rear edge - you'll see two black clips latching the console in. Release those with the screwdriver and carefully pull out the console. It's held in with metal clips onto the front edge of the headliner, so you need to pull down and backwards. If it's the first time it's come out, it'll be quite stiff. Be gentle - you don't want to damage the headlining.
Now remove the black housing of the sunglasses holder - it's held on with two squares of rigid velcro (a bit like kids' stickle-bricks). Just pull it down firmly and remove.
Install the wiring
From the front, unroll the tape measure above the headlining towards the rear. You'll probably find it hits the central beam. Reach in as far as you can and gently push the headlining down to get the tape measure underneath and towards your rear lamp hole.
Once the tape is out of the rear hole, fix the Y-pieces of the three wires to it with insulating tape, and carefully pull it back towards the front of the car. You should now have three female spades at the back and three male & three female spades at the front.
Fit the rear surround. You may need to reduce the thickness of the headlining to get the surround's clips to clip over properly.
Replace the black sunglasses housing, with your new wiring going around the side to emerge at the front by the existing wiring. The housing just presses back onto the velcro: try to line it up exactly.
Re-fit the overhead console with the interior light wiring (original and new) dangling out of the hole.
At this point, you should disconnect the battery negative lead or at least pull the interior light fuse. I did it all live but took great care. Your call.
Plug the three female spades to the rear light, noting which colour wire goes where. The single connection on the lamp is 12V live, and the two together are door ajar ground and permanent ground.
Now connect the same colour wires to the corresponding terminals on the front lamp, and plug the male spades into the matching connections on the original connector. If there is any exposed metal in these connections, insulate it well. Make sure the spades are properly mated - if they are the type with a hole in the middle, they should click into place.
Replace the battery connection or fuse, and check the lights operate correctly in all nine combinations of front and rear switch.
If all is well, fit both lamp units into place and enjoy your extra illumination.