Going to replace those crappy license plate lights... | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Going to replace those crappy license plate lights...

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by coonmanx, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Got some universal ones from Super LEDs. They just come with two wires coming off of them so you can splice them in to existing wire. Also they attach the same way with two screws. Will have to see if the holes match up or I need to drill a new one. But will be great to get rid of the stock ones that have sockets that crumble with age. Will update when I get to it. It's on my to do list. Working on changing a battery clamp today. I bought this car last year and am going through all of the things that previous owner failed to do as part of regular or decent maintenance. The other day that was finding that passenger side brake pads had gone metal to metal and were also missing the rattle clip as well. Replacing rotors and pads and installing new hardware very shortly....
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  2. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Super Bright LEDs that is... LOL. A few photos. I can always remove that black cover as well. It covers half of the LEDs because they could be mounted vertically and the ones in the ZX2 are mounted horizontally... PLDC0693.JPG PLDC0694.JPG
  3. Jennifer A Carter

    Jennifer A Carter New Member

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    I've been thinking about doing the same thing. Can you post some pictures of the finished look when you get done with the install?
  4. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Will do. They were cheap too. But look like good quality.
  5. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    So the screw centers are 1 and 5/8 inch apart on the old ones and 2 inches apart on the new ones. So it looks like I will be drilling a couple of holes. Shouldn't be hard but won't get to it today. I did get the battery posts cleaned off and installed a new clamp today on the negative side. A small amount of corrosion on the wire itself that I can see going down and it is wrapped with electrical tape as well. Just didn't feel like opening that can of worms today...
    denisond3 likes this.
  6. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Going to see if I can get this done today. Will charge up the portable drill. Not only are the sockets on the stock ones crappy but also those wires are super thin as well. Will probably use a solder iron and solder the wires together for a good connection. I do have a battery powered soldering iron handy.
  7. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Finally got around to doing this and it was easy peasy, for the most part. I made the mistake of soldering wires together before I realized that white wire went to black wire and black wire went to red wire. LEDs will only work one way. Other than that just pried off the old crappy ones with a pliers, used the new ones as a template to drill a couple of very small holes and then installed. Here is a photo of the finished product. Will see how they work tonight when the sun goes down....
    PLDC0704.JPG
    Pizzaman5000 likes this.
  8. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    When I pulled the old ones out the sockets basically disintegrated. Such crappy stuff.
  9. Jennifer A Carter

    Jennifer A Carter New Member

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    They look amazing, and it doesn't sound like it's too much work. How long did it take, start to finish, to install those? How do they look at night? Also, did the lights come with any screws?
    I'm thinking about doing those and my interior dome light at the same time.
  10. Swift

    Swift FEOA Donator

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    I personally want less of a chance for people to see my plate. Enough light to be legal and I am good.
    But, great job on the install.
  11. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Didn't take long at all. I messed up the first one by not checking to make sure that they were wired correctly before soldering the wires together. Of course you really don't need to solder the wires but I thought that was an easy way to go since I have a portable battery powered solder gun. So I would say less than an hour for both sides and without any slip ups they could probably be done in a half hour time. They come with screws so you just have to have a drill bit that is the right size so when you drill the holes the screws will fit tightly in those holes. I went and got a cheap set at Harbor Freight for $6 since I didn't have the correct size bit to begin with. I moved the small gasket to the inside and then used the base as a template for where to drill those holes.

    They do look great at night. Last night was my first chance to see them and the license plate lit up perfectly. There were two color choices and I got "natural white".

    BTW, when I removed the old ones they were burnt and basically just fell apart in my hand. Real crap stuff...
    Pizzaman5000 likes this.
  12. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Just wanted to say that if you do this job you want to cut the old wires as close to the old bulb sockets as possible. That way you will have plenty of wire to work with when you splice in the new ones...

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