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New Ambient Light (Self Install)

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by Roberth78, March 25, 2014.

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    1. Roberth78

      Roberth78 New Member

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      Hey everyone...

      So I finally did the ambient light install. After careful consideration, I opted to not do the Ford OEM Ambient Light Kit available from their accessory store. I used the Sylvannia ZEVO Led kit. It was $35 for the starter kit (remote, controller, two 12" light strips, extension cords, splitter and a few installation accessories). Then I needed the extension kit (additional $25), which included two more strips, cords, and install accessories (Install accessories included alcohol pads and some 3M double side tape). The kit is originally for your car's cigarette lighter, but the optional installation stated in the instructions, state that it CAN be pulled apart and hard wired into car lighting (12V source) and ground.

      As we know, our outlets stay on all the time, so of course that wasn't going to work, because I couldn't imagine pulling it and turning off every single time I used the lighting. I was sure I would leave them on at some point....So decided to hard wire (elsewhere)...

      I was able to score the install directions from the FORD ambient kit and was able to see exactly what they do (on paper anyways...)

      After some poking around, and scoring a wire schematic for the Explorer from a ford technician online, I found the BCM with wire 18! This wire was needed to control the OEM LED kit with the parking lights etc...and is stated in the install directions... so now when the lights go on at dusk or when your under a tunnel, etc with auto headlights turned on, the LED kit lights up the car, along with the normal operation of car lighting...

      So the BCM pin 18 is located up near the fuse box... yes its a pain to get to... we all know that... remove the black panel (on a 2014), grab a flashlight, contort your body to get up in there, and you will see it (then curse from getting the damn seat track jabbed into your back for 15 minutes). :)

      I have placed a picture in the below link with a red circle of the BCM. I was able to remove the bundle, (spring loaded bundle harness) and confirm pin 18 was a yellow green wire. Out of the back of the harness (closer and facing the firewall), there is a thick bundle of wires, and peeling back a bit of the electrical tape, there is easy access to it...There are two Yellow-green wires in this bundle. One is a 22 gauge and the other is a 20 gauge. There is a pretty clear enough distinction of the two when you look at each wire (despite the 20 vs 22). I was able to sort through the thick wire bundle and used a toothpick to push these guys forward from the bundle and then look at the wires separately just to confirm there was a difference and help confirm I had the correct wire.

      I attached a t-tap to the 22 gauge, which you will see there are a ton up there using this method under the dash. And ran the positive wire from the LED ZEVO controller.

      Then I attached the ground to the grounding location in the instructions (by removing driver's side scuff plate). You will see it in there. very easy to get to.

      Again, this was done using FORD instructions for this kit, just didn't use/buy the kit.

      What I didn't get in the install was the cup holder lighting which requires a drill and just didn't need it there to be honest. Plus I was too worried about drilling into the plastic and not being able to correct it if i messed up. Remember the FORD accessory kit does NOT include the LIMITED light rings. Its a small LED light (2) that gets drilled in and not as nice (IMO)... That was the major reason I opted to not do the FORD kit.

      Take a look at the pics below in the link (hopefully works). I just shot a couple pics because it was late already. But the install took about 2 hrs max... i kept stopping to talk and check on my boys so I'm sure I would have finished quicker.

      The controller is controlled by a remote control that "sees" a tiny eye that pops out literally less than quarter inch from where the drivers middle foot panel (where the radio console is) meets the rug. I tucked the controller away in here as well. and just tucked in all of the wires. There is some room in there to tuck it away.

      Ill take a few more pics of the finished project tomorrow when it is daytime. was tired tonight, but wanted to share my LED project! :)

      https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2lage46g7e2fk1r/NKtD2bCKmY
       
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    3. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      Looks good, nice job!
       
    4. Jay13

      Jay13 New Member

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      Looks good! Could you post the install instructions from Ford?
       
    5. Roberth78

      Roberth78 New Member

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      Thanks! I can share the document for sure just not sure how to load the document on here.
       
    6. Rudsther2435

      Rudsther2435 Elite Explorer

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      Looks good

      Looks good, i did the same thing the ford kit was too expensive and I found other aftermarket kits that were much brighter for cheaper, so i decided to light up all the floors!!:D
      Middle Row
      [URL=http://s16.photobucket.com/user/Rudsther/media/20140331_230428_RichtoneHDR.jpg.html]
      Last Row
      [IMG]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/Rudsther/20140331_230428_RichtoneHDR.jpg[/URL][/IMG]
      Front
      [URL=http://s16.photobucket.com/user/Rudsther/media/20140331_230601_RichtoneHDR.jpg.html]
      Middle Row
      [IMG]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/Rudsther/20140331_230601_RichtoneHDR.jpg[/URL][/IMG][​IMG][/URL][/IMG][​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
       
    7. Roberth78

      Roberth78 New Member

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      Looks awesome! Yeah, it's crazy what they charge and I was determined to do it myself! Haha! Awesome job!
       
    8. Jay13

      Jay13 New Member

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    9. tinner

      tinner Active Member

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      Thanks for posting the BCM location schematic, it confirmed what I thought was the power plug for the lighted scuff plates that's on the Sport that light the word Explorer.

      The plugs were taped to the wiring loom running under the scuff plates.

      They run about half price at salvage yards compared to Ford Parts. They are usually in excellent shape as long as the Sport was hit in the front or rear and not T-boned.
       
    10. Roberth78

      Roberth78 New Member

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      Really great to know! :) now you got me wondering if I should go find some!
       
    11. mhikeboy

      mhikeboy Active Member

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      Hi! I have finally decided to tackle this mod and before doing so, I would like to get your opinions please regarding the wiring so here it goes.

      I was thinking that instead of tapping the wires as per the instructions above, I would like to tap it with the wires that light up the gear position (P,R,N,D,M) I have noticed that this also lights up when the door is opened or closed (works in parallel with the dome lights) and it also is kept on when the headlights are on.

      I think this would be a better mode than just having the ambient light on when the headlights are on. What do you guys think? is this possible? if yes, do anyone in here know how I can access this wire and how to tap safely? I am using a single color led strips that has only a positive and negative wire.

      Thanks in advance for any advise.
       
    12. BBex

      BBex New Member

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      Can anyone tell me where the "button" is installed when adding the ambient lighting after market? Do they utilize one of the extra unused buttons in the dash? I am planning to add this feature to my 2017 Explorer XLT, but I dont want some janky button/switch just hanging from the dash. Thanks!
       
    13. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Your post has been moved to this thread. Hopefully it will prove helpful.
      There isn't really a button specifically designated for the aftermarket ambient lighting kit. Also, unless they kit has been changed since it first came out, the aftermarket kit only provides lighting to the front foot wells and console cupholders.
      Adding DVD and ambient lighting to XLT

      Peter
       
    14. BBex

      BBex New Member

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      Thanks Peter. I guess I didn't really pose my question correctly. What I was trying to ask is; "How do you turn on/change the light color on the aftermarket interior light kit?" I am not installing it myself, I bought the kit (Part No: CL8Z-13E700-AA) and am having it installed at the dealership. It is my understanding that it is not integrated with the Sync 3 system like it would be if it were factory installed; or is that inaccurate? Before I spend a ton of money on having this installed, I was hoping to find out more about how the aftermarket kit works/operates. I don't want a bunch of wires and/or a switch just hanging out. Hoping it will be connected to one of the unused switches/buttons in the dash. Thanks!!
       

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    15. Rainlord

      Rainlord Member

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      Anyone have the backup of the pictueres, especially the BCM wire ones? None of the links or the backup links seem to work..
       
    16. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      If you are referring to the ones in post #7 you are correct. They all show 404 (Page Not Found) Error. That sometimes happens when links that were posted a long time ago.
      Unfortunately that member was here last on December 21, 2014 so I doubt you'll see anything from him.

      Peter
       
    17. Rainlord

      Rainlord Member

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      Ah, bummer. Oh well. I ordered a non-Ford ambient kit that I should be able to install in January (sent it to friends I'll visit for Xmas in the US) so I'll post some new pictures with what wires I pick after that, unless someone has a good schematic image/pdf for the 11-15 ones. Particularly looking for one that's 12V hot only during either accessory mode or in Park-only (don't want lights on when driving, personally) :) .
       

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