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· Registered
Camry
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10,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just installed a set of cold cathode computer lights in my trunk. They are much brighter than the tiny bulb that comes stock. I managed to put the light in, in a way that does not require me to tamper with the wiring in the car; no cutting or T-taps were neccessary.

This is the kit that I bought. I cut the computer connectors off already here.


I then proceded to cut the switch off, soldered on a 5x20mm fuse holder on to the positive lead, and covered up the connection with heatshrink. I used a 250V 1A fuse(does not need to be slow burn). When the tubes are lit, the draw is about 700ma. I don't know if it is higher on start up so I used a slow burn fuse originally. I did a setup with 1A fast blow and it work as well so that would be the better option.


This is the stock bulb holder for the trunk light. It is easily removed by squeezing the sides in and then disconnecting the wiring harness. I found that I could fit 1/8" quick disconnect terminals between the plastic side and the electrical contacts. The bulb normally fits in the middle. The arrows indicate where the terminals fit. This solution does not require cutting any wiring.

Thanks to lolitsalan for above photo

Terminals in the bulb holder.


Terminals crimped on to the leads and ready to install in the car.


Bulb holder reinstalled in the vehicle. Check polarity using a multimeter or look at the wiring harness to determine polarity of the socket. The black wire with white stripe is the ground wire.



Testing the light before putting everything in place.


I used 3M foam tape to mount the cathode tubes and the ballast. This light is on the driver side of the vehicle.


Ballast mounted in the trunk. All the wires are tucked under a piece of metal including the fuse holder.


Due to the that piece of metal where I tucked all the wires being on the passenger side of the trunk, I could not mount the tube the same way that I mounted the other tube.


Install finished, now wait until for the sun to go down to see the difference. I did not take any before photos so I am not going to post a comparison photo. But here is th result.



Now I just need some wire loom to make the wiring look nicer.

FAQ:
Q: Where did you get the 1/8" disconnects? I can't find them anywhere.
A: I bought the 1/8" disconnects from a hardware store that sold them in baggies of two. I don't know who they're made by and I can't get any more from that store because I now live 540 miles away. I was able to set someone up using 3/16" connectors so that will work also if that's all you can find.

Q: Can I use 1/4" disconnects instead of 1/8" disconnects?
A: I don't know. I haven't tried it. If you have a pair of side cuts, you can probably cut the 1/4" down to 1/8" but I haven't tried this.

Q: Where did you get the 5x20 mm GMA fuse holder?
A: I bought this from some random electronic parts store. It's a fairly common item. If you cannot find a GMA fuse holder, you can use a 1/4" x 1-1/4" AGC fuse holder instead. It does the exact same thing but it's slightly larger than the GMA fuse holders. I chose the GMA fuse holder primarily for compactness.

Littelfuse makes a fuse holder for 5x20mm fuse. Part number 150274.
Digikey has these for about US$3 each.

Radioshack may have them also.

Q: Do I need to use a fuse holder and fuse?
A: No, you don't need a fuse to make it work, but I highly recommend it. I used it to prevent potential fires and damage to the electrical system. The circuit is fused elsewhere in the car, but the fuse rating is much higher and will take longer to blow if it blows at all as a result of malfunction of the light. I'm not going to say that the 1A fuse I used will prevent all possible damage to the carsystem; but it should blow sooner than the higher rated fuse elsewhere on that circuit in case of malfunction.

Q: Where did you get a 12V fuse? Will a 250V fuse work?
A: I used a 250V fuse and it will work just fine. The voltage rating is the maximum voltage that the fuse can operate; not the voltage that the fuse needs to operate.

Q: Does the tape hold up when it gets hot?
A: The 3M tape I used has held up fine but other members' experiences have been mixed. My car has sat through one summer in the Mojave Desert and the tape has been fine. By summer, I mean 110F to 120F during the day and maybe 100F in the shade and dropping to about 90F around 10pm and 70F at dawn. I was never parked in the shade since trees don't grow well in the Mojave Desert. The inside of the car reached even higher temperatures given that I managed to get a 1st degree burn on my hand from the shift knob. As far as cold, the coldest weather in the Mojave that the car experienced was about 15F (yes, it snows in the desert from time to time). As of 3/21/2010 the original tape is still holding everything in place.
 

· 2GR FTW
2007 Toyota Camry SE
Joined
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1,567 Posts
Wow, looks great. I was debating between blue or white, I felt white wouldn't be bright enough, but it looks GREAT! Except my wiring is more messy, I might even consider swapping to white.




 

· Registered
Camry
Joined
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10,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Netforcer said:
looks good, can't believe the double sided tape sticks... I had to zip tie mine
I cleaned all surfaces with denatured alcohol before applying the tape. I don't know how long it'll last though. I guess in a few months when summer rolls around, I'll find out. The temperature will rise to about 120 during the day and drop to about 70 during the night.
 

· Registered
Joined
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145 Posts
smilepak said:
Hmm are these the same light used in computer cases by those retro freak too? Maybe Fry's eletronics have them. I might pick up a couple to do it in the trunk too.
Might I suggest going to this website instead?

www.xpcgear.com

And look under case mods at the left.

Their prices are much cheaper than most other places I've seen. I'm in for a couple sets myself.
 

· Registered
2015 Subaru WRX STI
Joined
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4,483 Posts
I have the same exact kit that I got for my computer a year or so ago, but mine was blue. I installed it under my dash a few months ago, but it was stupid so I disconnected it, now its just lying among a bunch of wires hidden up under the dash, haha
 

· crazydesiforever
07 Blue Camry
Joined
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267 Posts
To buy the lights pre-wired and all I would highly suggest oznium.com
I used them for the interior lights and will use them for my trunk light this weekend!!!
 

· Registered
mtlc gry 07 SE
Joined
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468 Posts
HELP!!!

I accidentally switched around the wires (connected red to black, black to red) and now the plug won't work! I tried putting the original bulb in the socket, but it won't light up anymore! Is there a fuse that I can replace?????? Did I just fuck my car wiring?!?!?

I just installed a set of cold cathode computer lights in my trunk. They are much brighter than the tiny bulb that comes stock. I managed to put the light in, in a way that does not require me to tamper with the wiring in the car; no cutting or T-taps were neccessary.

This is the kit that I bought. I cut the computer connectors off already here.


I then proceded to cut the switch off, soldered on a 5x20mm fuse holder on to the positive lead, and covered up the connection with heatshrink. I used a 250V 1A slow burn fuse. When the tubes are lit, the ballast draws about 700ma. I don't know if it is higher on start up so I used a slow burn fuse.


This is the stock bulb holder for the trunk light. It is easily removed by squeezing the sides in and then disconnecting the wiring harness. I found that I could fit 1/8" quick disconnect terminals between the plastic side and the electrical contacts. The bulb normally fits in the middle. The arrows indicate where the terminals fit. This solution does not require me to cut any wiring in my car.


Terminals in the bulb holder.


Terminals crimped on to the leads and ready to install in the car.


Bulb holder reinstalled in the vehicle. The positive (red) lead is towards rear of the trunk IIRC. A multimeter is helpful here, or just remember which side corresponds to the black and red wire on the wiring harness.



Testing the light before putting everything in place.


I used 3M foam tape to mount the cathode tubes and the ballast. This light is on the driver side of the vehicle.


Ballast mounted in the trunk. All the wires are tucked under a piece of metal including the fuse holder.


Due to the that piece of metal where I tucked all the wires being on the passenger side of the trunk, I could not mount the tube the same way that I mounted the other tube.


Install finished, now wait until for the sun to go down to see the difference. I did not take any before photos so I am not going to post a comparison photo. But here is th result.



Now I just need some wire loom to make the wiring look nicer.
 

· Baby's got a new skirt
2007 Camry LE
Joined
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2,397 Posts
I had to zip tie mine two. I have 2 x-tra cathodes up for grabs if anyone wants them. They are white, just like the OP's. They are uncut too.

Anyone who is interested, PM me.

PS. MCeatalot, they look good bro.
 

· Registered
Camry
Joined
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10,019 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HELP!!!

I accidentally switched around the wires (connected red to black, black to red) and now the plug won't work! I tried putting the original bulb in the socket, but it won't light up anymore! Is there a fuse that I can replace?????? Did I just fuck my car wiring?!?!?
You probably blew a fuse somewhere. Check the fuses at the panel by your left knee when in the driver seat, or the fuses under the hood.
 
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