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Door Switch LED Conversions


vroomzoomboom

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because i did this to my truck over a year ago, i figured i would finally make a write up on how i did it.

with the help from Ryan (aka MustangP51) write ups on how to convert you dome light to LED http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2031734#post2031734

Cruise Control button LED http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=214264

Headlight/Wiper/Defrost/Fog LED http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199305

as well as John Griggs’s Ford Ranger LED write ups http://www.cardomain.com/ride/296394

i figured i have some time to kill, and would do one of my own

first off, these are from a 98 Sport. the switches are the same as a 4 door, except the drivers master control switch, but it should be the same.

first, remove the switch assembly from the door.




next, separate the top part of the switch from the bottom, by prying the tabs away from the body



when you get it separated, you will see two springs inside of it. do not lose them, they are used to make the power for the lights, and you will need to reuse them. also, there is no designated side for them, so it will not matter which side you put them back in later.




once they are apart, set the body aside. you will not need it, until you are ready to put everything back together.
now, you will need to pry the rocker off. you can use a small screw driver for this. you may need to wiggle it a little bit, but it will come off.




set them aside as well

now you can start to gut the switch. what you will want to do is, remove the factory resister, bulbs, and most of the metal contact stripping.





i used 5mm LED's in the switches. you will need to drill the holes for the size of LED's that you use. if you look on the switch, there is a small valley where the old lights sat. drill a pilot hole there. that is the center of the old light, and it can be used so everything will line up when you put your LEDs in.




also, what i it did was de-fuse the LEDs by sanding the dome off.



if you notice, i did leave a small metal strip in the switch. this comes into contact with the springs for power, for the lights. i reused both sides. there is a positive and negative side, how ever. this is important, because, if you mix them up, you lights will not work. positive is on the side of the switch that two plastic tabs, negative on the side with one. now place your LEDs into the switch with the positive side of the LED (or longer lead) on the same side of the switch that is positive.

EDIT: if your truck is a 95-97, please read post 9. thanks RickOTR for posting that information!




next, put the white part of the rocker back in. now, bend the leads, following the perimeter of the switch. make sure you stay to the inside, or when you go to put it together, i may not want to snap into place. there should be enough of the leads for them to touch each other. solider them into place with the resister touching the metal strip. sorry for the blurry pictures, my camera is a POS!




and do the same for the other side



now you can snap the bottom of the switch back together with the top and test them. if you have a battery to do this with, it is much easier then having to plug them back into the truck. just make sure you have your polarity correct.



once you know everything works, push the rocker back on, and your done.



once i got the hang of it, it took me about 20 mins to do each switch. some of you are wondering what resister did i use? as far as i know, it is a 470 ohm resistor. the switch that i made here is not one of the ones that i have in my truck (they are blue, these are white ones that i had left over from making my dome lights), but i have had the ones in there for over a year, and have had no problems.

now that you know how to do the door switches, your conversation is now complete. hope this helps all of you out!

 
Last edited:


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Cougarstang

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Excellent writeup. Kinda makes me wish I had illuminated switches :)
 




bp1506

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I used 3mm LED bulbs, worked fine. I believe the stock bulbs were also 3mm. This mod is pretty easy to do.
 




Cougarstang

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btw this may be an electrical n00b question, but how did you get your multimeter to power up the switch?
 




vroomzoomboom

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btw this may be an electrical n00b question, but how did you get your multimeter to power up the switch?
it was the ends from a multimeter hooked to a 12v battery on the bench, don't worry about the noob questions, ask MustangP51 how many questions i have emailed him lately on the "little" project i am working on!!
 




MustangP51

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Looks good, Nice work.

Oh and I'm still waiting to see the outcome of your "little" project. Keep me posted.
 




vroomzoomboom

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thanks ryan, i haven't bugged you lately because one of the controllers went bad on me, so it's at a stand still till a new one comes. but when i am done, you will be the first to see em. after all, your basically the "father" of them, LOL!

oh, i also hope you didn't mind me posting your links to all your other LED conversations here as well.
 




MustangP51

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RickOTR

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FYI... the wiring on 95-97 Explorers is different than on 98-01 Explorers so the positive side is opposite of vroomzoomboom's 98 Explorer. I tried to hook mine up like his and no worky. Moved the resister and positive LED leads to the side with the small tab and it works. Hopefully, I will have some pics up on my cardomain site by next week sometime depending on how busy I am.
 




vroomzoomboom

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FYI... the wiring on 95-97 Explorers is different than on 98-01 Explorers so the positive side is opposite of vroomzoomboom's 98 Explorer. I tried to hook mine up like his and no worky. Moved the resister and positive LED leads to the side with the small tab and it works. Hopefully, I will have some pics up on my cardomain site by next week sometime depending on how busy I am.
thanks for the info! :thumbsup:
 




RickOTR

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Well, I finially got my pics downloaded on my cardomain site for those that are interested in my LED door switches. The pics are not that great because the flash went out on my camera. Let me just say thanks to MustangP51 and vroomzoomboom, I could not have done this without you guys, you're info really helped me out. Also, for those who want to try this, be careful. The tolerances inside for wiring the lights together are very close to the cooper on/off contacts of the switch so use as little solder as possible or you take the chance of shorting something out.
 








b3hr3ns

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Great stuff! Thanks for inspiring me to do this! I just did my 2 front doors. Driver's side on a 4 door eX is easier to do because its a cluster of switches instead of individual ones. (see picture below(sorry about quality, I didn't set up macro on my camera)) and pictures of the finished product. I got my LEDs from ebay, $4.40 free shipping from somewhere in asia, hong cong, I believe. For the cluster, I didn't bother replacing the resistors, wasn't sure what ohm to use, but they work fine so far.

DSC03393.jpg


DSC03398.jpg
 




vroomzoomboom

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i just did some switches for WhiteLimited. each individual switch took me about 15-20 mins, but the master switch for the drivers door, well that took about a hour and a half for me to do. but thanks and glad i was able to help, as well as thanks for posting a pic of the master switch.
 




FishinFord

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i have a slight problem, i did all of my switches with blue leds, both the passenger front and drivers rear work perfectly. The passenger rear, will not light up at all. It light when put on a power supply but not in the switch socket coming from the door, and with my drivers door front, only the window switch and the unlock/lock button work for that side, im confused as to why, do you think its because i changed all the resistors?
-Kug
 




vroomzoomboom

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RickOTR

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i have a slight problem, i did all of my switches with blue leds, both the passenger front and drivers rear work perfectly. The passenger rear, will not light up at all. It light when put on a power supply but not in the switch socket coming from the door, and with my drivers door front, only the window switch and the unlock/lock button work for that side, im confused as to why, do you think its because i changed all the resistors?
-Kug
Like vroomzoomboom said, it could be a polarity problem. However, for me it was a loose connection between the wiring harness connector and the switch itself. I had to tighten up the pigtails on the connector to fit snuggly on the switch. After that, I had no more problems.
 




FishinFord

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yea its definately not the polarity, because if i add direct power to the switch panel they all light up, once i plug it into the cars harness only 3 leds of 10 light up, and the rear door im confused with that one also, how did you tighten up the pigtails? i did clean the contacts with contact cleaner?
-Kug
 




energie

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quick question, why on the stock ones are the positives on the other side of the way you did it?
 


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explorerguy89

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imma do this soon prolly in blue too blue looks best
 




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