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Light it up!

Lighting upgrades are 99% complete!

After installing LEDs on the instruments, time to fix and upgrade the dashboard controls:

HVAC:



The difference is quite dramatic.



Fixed the occasionally working hazard button illumination. Brand new OEM bulb and cleaned contact, it hasn't failed so far. Lighter and ashtray illumination was out, so I soldered a mini bulb for the lighter, but for the sake of simplicity I used a mini regular bulb. Ashtray has now LED (it is a mini t5 bulb just like the HVAC, again white, but it looks blue because of the lens)



This is my view now. I'm very happy with the result!



Sadly, it did not go smoothly. I found out one of the clips for the panel was already broken, and to make it worse, I cracked it below the clock
Now that's a bummer. A junkyard hunt is in order...



Speaking of junkyards, I finally got my hands on a very good trunk light! I don't have it - base model life! - there's has a blank piece of trim instead:



And here's how the light looks:



Since there was a connector back there, I wrongfully assumed it was for the light, but it is not plug and play after all... That connector is for the rear speakers



I need to do some investigation on how to wire the light. The switch is already there, since the dome light turns on when the rear hatch is opened. Kinda strange to have it, but no wiring seems to exist for the trunk illumination... Did Toyota really went for the trouble of making two different harnesses that just differ on the wiring for that light? Even with the switch already? That is weird...
 

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1997 Corolla
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Does that light come on with the door switches? Or is it simply on or off according to its own switch?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Good question. Seems the switch is for either always off or on only when the door is open:



Oh, and I found a pristine owner's manual :)
It was cheaper ordering the english version from Germany than buying a well used Portuguese version. Which is basically a direct translation, so no losses there.

Can't figure why people throw the manual away. A lot of useful information there.
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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Light it up!
The switch is already there, since the dome light turns on when the rear hatch is opened. Kinda strange to have it, but no wiring seems to exist for the trunk illumination... Did Toyota really went for the trouble of making two different harnesses that just differ on the wiring for that light? Even with the switch already? That is weird...
I'm confused about having the switch already there. Is there another switch that turns on that light, or only the one that is part of the housing? Otherwise I'm willing to bet the wiring you need is going to plug into the same spot as in the sedans. No need to redesign anything that way. Sedans had two different wiring harnesses, one with trunk light, one without so I'd expect yours to be the same way.


 

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1997 Corolla
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Thanks I have to check what's going in there. My job will be somewhat easier since I already have the trunk switch. Pic is not very good but there it is, it already controls the dome light so it's just a matter of wiring. Something I'm not very good at

Enviado do meu HM 1SW através de Tapatalk
The dome light requires Positive and Negative current. I believe you will find that the dome light switches on your car are wired into the Negative side of the circuit.
Here in 'Murica, we can get cheap electrical multi-meters for cheap, and one of those would be invaluable for you now.
Here is a thread of mine which has some posts which explain the inside light system.
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/130-corolla-7th-generation-1993-1997/848289-inside-light-problems.html
The ceiling light bulb always has 12V+.
With the switch set to "On," the ceiling light gets its ground from where it bolts to the car, and illuminates.
When you move the switch to "Door," opening the door will actuate the door switch, which completes the ground path to the light.
The "Off" position offers no ground.
So it sounds like you need a constant 12V+ for your new light, and then that switched Ground signal from the door light switches.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
The dome light requires Positive and Negative current. I believe you will find that the dome light switches on your car are wired into the Negative side of the circuit.
Here in 'Murica, we can get cheap electrical multi-meters for cheap, and one of those would be invaluable for you now.
Here is a thread of mine which has some posts which explain the inside light system.
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/130-corolla-7th-generation-1993-1997/848289-inside-light-problems.html
The ceiling light bulb always has 12V+.
With the switch set to "On," the ceiling light gets its ground from where it bolts to the car, and illuminates.
When you move the switch to "Door," opening the door will actuate the door switch, which completes the ground path to the light.
The "Off" position offers no ground.
So it sounds like you need a constant 12V+ for your new light, and then that switched Ground signal from the door light switches.
Since the switch only has two positions, OFF and DOOR function, it all makes sense, so you don't forget you light on after closing the back door.

Edit: I ran to the car to check the fusebox and compare it with Chris94's picture, but remembered it is at the paint shop to fix the rust beneath the windshield, before the new glass goes in.
Yes, my corolla has some rust after all... :crying:
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
I'm confused about having the switch already there. Is there another switch that turns on that light, or only the one that is part of the housing? Otherwise I'm willing to bet the wiring you need is going to plug into the same spot as in the sedans. No need to redesign anything that way. Sedans had two different wiring harnesses, one with trunk light, one without so I'd expect yours to be the same way.


Looks like I already have that blue and yellow wire (ignore the dust)... Need to dig deeper, find where it ends



Among the confusion of wires there's an unplugged blue connector down there. Does anybody has an idea what it is for? It seems OEM...

 

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1997 Corolla CE
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I wonder if you do have the plug, but it's back further and taped off to the main harness. Have you removed that panel completely?
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
No, but that was my idea immediately. Follow the wiring loom to the back. Unfortunately I was running out of time to do it.

Just for the sake of covering all basis I tried that blue unknown connector. Definitely not that, so it remains unknown to me.

Edit: following morning, removed the panel between the shelf and c pillar. And there was the sneaky bastard. Jammed on that area near the wheel arch, definitely not reachable from the hole for the light - that's why I did not see it there before. There are two groups of wires that separate from the main harness, one for the left rear speaker (probably) and the other the one I needed.



Success!





Huge thanks, if it wasn't for your picture of the wiring below the fusebox I'd still be back and forth with this job
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Update time!

Finally got around to install the storage compartment and cup holder from the 8th gen Corolla. As far as I know, 7th gen euro models either never came with the cup holder, or it was a very rare option. In its place is just a blank piece of trim.

So it should be a straight bolt on job, as judging by the tutorials, right?

Wrong! Found a small difference in that area between US and EU models... The cupholder assembly is actually one piece with the lower part of the dash!



Either I was going to give up and sell it, or do some carnage...



After a lot of test fitting, measuring, dremmeling, sanding, more test fitting, ad even some heavy duty gluing I got it right.



Thankfully storage compartment just needed minor adjusting to fit our brackets. Unfortunately the door developed a small crack and I put it back with some epoxy.

It's finally in! Only thing left, it needs paint to blend in with the interior. I have to find a matt finish paint, as the usual black plastic paint is too glossy



Meanwhile some setbacks. Found my brake master cylinder is bad and needs replacing, and with my little mechanical experience it's not something I'm too comfortable to tackle. So it's going to be done by a professional - which won't come cheap ...

I tried to aim the headlights, and the mechanism is also bad... Rotating the screws produces no result whatsoever. Probably they need replacement too, and I may use this as an excuse to install JDM units. I really dig the look of the ones with the black housing. But they won't be easy to find, and will be more expensive than replicas of my standard euro units
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Exactly. I don't think it will be very easy to find good ones, but if I do... They may look good on paper, but it's the fitment and light output that worries me the most. I don't want to sacrifice the function just for the looks.

Alternatively, for standard euro lights there's a wide selection of aftermarket spare parts (brands like TYC, van wezel, stark, diederichs, prasco, johns) but I don't know which are the best among these, some might be as bad as the eBay ones.
The safest, but costliest way is to choose koito (OEM) or hella. But new ones are expensive, and used may also have issues with the adjusting mechanism. I don't feel issues in seeing at night, but now its something that's bugging me.

Enviado do meu HM 1SW através de Tapatalk
 

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1996 Toyota Corolla
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OEM is always best. They don't have issues with adjustment out of the box, sounds like someone stripped the internal adjuster on yours (can be fixed if you're up for a challenge). But no aftermarket company has really done good optical design, they always perform worse than OEM headlights. If you want good light output, grab a set of OEM used or new.

Otherwise, TYC isn't bad.
 

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