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Some kind of... TN Member
2010 Corolla S
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192 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:welcome: 14.4k/28.8k/56k warning

I know the puddle lighting that is available for purchase in retail usually uses a series of single lights mounted underneath the sideskirts, but i wanted a uniform lighting that resembles underbody lighting kits. Some will say this isn't real puddle lighting. Oh well.





Video of it in action:


This method:
-Will only turn on when the car is unlocked or any door is opened. (Unlock lit duration matches dome light duration)
-Does not require drilling (unless you choose an alternate method of mounting your stripz)
-Requires patience
-Is relativley Low Cost (~$30 for materials if you have the tools beforehand)
-Is only visible at dusk and is best viewed at nighttime

Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for anything... ever.

I didn't take pictures as i was installing them, only after, i suppose... keep that in mind :dunno: ;)



[CLICK ME]READ THIS THREAD BECAUSE IT IS HELPFUL!!! YOU WILL REFERENCE IT!!!

Materials:

- 4 x [CLICK ME]1 Meter LED Strips [CLICK ME]ebay Link or 2 x 5 Meter LED Strips (First option will require very precise soldering, option 2 requires only cutting but carries a greater cost with greater waste)
-50 ft of 18-24 Gauge insulated wiring (TWO COLORS/TWISTED PAIR) (you probably wont need all 50ft, but its always good to have more)
-Heatshrink Wire Wrapping
-O shaped electrical blade connector
-Mounting Method: Quick Drying Epoxy, U-brackets that are fitting of size to the led strips, or Super-Glue (not really recommended, but will work)
-Wire clothes hanger
-Scotch Tape
-Electrical tape
-Silicone Sealant

-Optional Two-Way Switch to have a kill switch
-Optional In-Line Fuse Holder w/ 5-10a fuse

Tools:
-Flathead Screwdriver or Plastic Prying tools
-Wire strippers and cutters
-Soldering Iron
-HeatGun or powerful HairDryer or a lighter

THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFOREHAND:
-Test your LED strips to make sure they are in working order (all it takes is a 9v battery and you should immediately be able to tell which LEDS are working and if any of them are defective)
-Remove the negative terminal from your battery

Now we can begin... Pry open the little driver side panel to gain access to the wiring behind it. Use Prying tools or a flathead screwdriver with a piece of cloth or paper on it to prevent scuffing interior plastic.


You'll see these wires (jacked Dim's picz :D )
Find the pictured harness
You're going to tap into the grey wire



Run it under the footwell near the steering column and through the firewall grommet.
Here's how to get a wire trough the firewall:
This is the view looking upwards in the driver side footwell.
See where the yellow wire goes? That's the firewall grommet. (you wont have a yellow wire yet, but whatever color wire you choose will be the one that matches my yellow wire)


Get even closer and you'll see it better:


Take your wire hanger, cut off the hanging part so that you have a long piece of hard wire. Straighten it out. and poke it through that little rubber grommet. Starting from the inside(driver footwell)

You will see it come through under the hood here:


Closer Shot:


poke and push it enough to get the hangar to show up on the exterior. Pull it towards the exterior about a foot out.

Now go back to the drivers seat footwell and tape the wire you want (you only need one color/one wire, so if you bought the twisted pair of wiring, untwist one color from the pair, choose a color for "ground" usually black) to pull to the outside, to the hangar with scotch tape. use a fair amount of tape because you want it to be secure.

Once it is secure, exit the vehicle and go to the exterior and pull the wire hangar towards the outside. This may require a lot of strength... do you even lift?

Get enough wiring pulled out to reach the battery terminal AFTER WIRE MANAGEMENT (so test fit the wiring along the sides of the engine bay or wherever you want to hide them, if you want to hide them at all)

Now you can tap and solder the grey wire (the one from the inside) to the wire you just ran outside into the engine bay.

OPTIONALLY Install the switch at this point if you want one.


Make sure you wrap up any exposed wiring with electrical tape, or heat shrink wrap.


Now leave all that there for a second, and now were going to work on getting the wiring from the passenger side skirt (driver side is just a mirror image so the work is the same)

A general idea of where were running the wires:




This opening leads up the door hinge area and can kinda hide wires.
Use the clothes hanger method again to get both colors/wires of the twisted pair of wires through the opening. (from the bottom of the side skirt)


You'll run your wires up and it will look like this:






Run them all the way to the battery terminal (and lengthen accordingly, factoring in wire management)

Do this for both sides.

Now that all the wiring is now near the battery terminal, you want to solder the wire you ran out through the firewall, to the others of the same color that you have run up the side skirts. Heatshrink wrap that.

Now the two exposed wires you have left, solder them together with a new piece of wire of the same color that will be tapping the positive terminal of your battery.
OPTIONALLY Solder in a fuse at this point if you want one.
Here's mine attached to the positive terminal with an O-Shaped Blade Connector with an inline fuse wired in:


Tidy up all the wiring in the engine bay. Now you're done messing with the engine bay, the only thing left is to mount the LED strips and solder the wiring to the strips.

When working under your car while lying down, make sure you have a pillow so you don't strain your head and neck.


Attach the strips under your car, make sure they are as far in towards the center of the car as possible, or else the LEDs will show when you look at the side of the car from a distance.

Make sure you thoroughly clean the area that you will be using whatever adhesive on.
I used quick drying Epoxy (a two-part mix [resin+ hardener] super strong adhesive).

The 3M tape that is provided with most strips will not handle the bottom of the car well.

Test the polarity of each strip because a few strips i ordered were wired wrong (wrong color for positive and negative).

Solder the two 1 Meter long strips together if you did not purchase a 5 meter strip. Test with a 9v battery to make sure your connections are correct.

At this point i'm all out of pictures for these parts...

All i can say is:
Solder the wiring to the correct polarity
Heatstrink wrap the wiring and apply silicone sealant to the ends of the wrap to give it a nice seal.
and lastly Mount your strips to each side with whatever mounting method you choose.
LED strips can be cut every 3 LEDs, make sure you trim your strips because whether you bought 4x 1M strips or 2x 5M strips, they will both have excess you must cut off.

Now reattach the negative terminal to your battery and set your dome light to "auto".

If done correctly , it should now work. :eek:
You should now feel like a very important person when entering and exiting your vehicle. :rofl:

Let me know if i should correct/clarify/revise anything. This is my first DIY!
 

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Some kind of... TN Member
2010 Corolla S
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192 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
reserved

note: raising your car isn't necessary, but it sure as heck makes it easier.

*credz to Dimaoala for a lot of the content

here are some night shots (weird colors are because of christmas lights :lol: )





it's so blurry, but the effect is displayed correctly

 

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Looks great! I doubt I'll do it but is a very neat project! (And a great write up too btw :thumbsup:)

For you wiring guru's, is the fuse needed, since wouldn't the gray wire be fused? Or is that a false assumption?
 

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Some kind of... TN Member
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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192 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Pics of your rear in the afternoon?

Is that plastidip/pain/vinyl on the rear lip?
aw i totally forgot about this. :disappoin



there you go!

it's plastidip.

i got the idea from a photo of someones SW Corolla (i forgot who or where) who put flat black vinyl on theirs, but when i emailed and called some vinyl shops for a quote, they wanted anywhere from 80-130 dollars for a simple piece of vinyl like that... I was like: you gotta be kidding me. :wtf:

So i bought a can of PlastiDip for 6 dollars :lol:
 

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2009 Corolla LE
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513 Posts
I did this a couple days ago. Pain in the ass to be honest. I wired it differently for now. I used the power from our cig lighter in the middle console. I also have a switch too. FYI----I do NOT drive with them on in case anyone wants to start thrashing me about it hahaha but sooner or later I'll wire it to the map light

Pics in a few mins ;)
 

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Some kind of... TN Member
2010 Corolla S
Joined
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192 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I did this a couple days ago. Pain in the ass to be honest. I wired it differently for now. I used the power from our cig lighter in the middle console. I also have a switch too. FYI----I do NOT drive with them on in case anyone wants to start thrashing me about it hahaha but sooner or later I'll wire it to the map light

Pics in a few mins ;)
Blue theme!
Sick!! :thumbsup:

Changing the wiring shouldn't be too bad, at least you got the hard part out of the way ;)
 

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aw i totally forgot about this. :disappoin



there you go!

it's plastidip.

i got the idea from a photo of someones SW Corolla (i forgot who or where) who put flat black vinyl on theirs, but when i emailed and called some vinyl shops for a quote, they wanted anywhere from 80-130 dollars for a simple piece of vinyl like that... I was like: you gotta be kidding me. :wtf:

So i bought a can of PlastiDip for 6 dollars :lol:
Not too bad, I've been thinking of this look.

Any 3/4 angles? Lol :)
 

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greetings, after about 2 years of having parts for this I go to work on it today, guess what, take cover off, pull plug off, only 3 wires, it is a 2012. pink, gray, blk/white. I just stopped. anyone do this on a 2012. I guessing it is same ? tap into gray and be done with it? any guidance would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
 

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Official TN Lurker
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greetings, after about 2 years of having parts for this I go to work on it today, guess what, take cover off, pull plug off, only 3 wires, it is a 2012. pink, gray, blk/white. I just stopped. anyone do this on a 2012. I guessing it is same ? tap into gray and be done with it? any guidance would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
I have a 12 as well I don't remember if I had 3 or 4 on the plug. I did this mod around the time of this thread originally and haven't had any issues.
 
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