South Africa

South Africa
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17 June 2013

P38 load space light add on (LED)

As with many vehicles, even in today's expensive cars and including new SUV's I often wonder what they were thinking when it came to load space lighting.....nuff said and can be a long process of why nots.

I guess manufacturers think we rarely use our load space or for a better wording "The boot" I find it weird that they can add lighting to spaces like the door panel storage bit and interior door handles but not give a thought to the boot space, well on our P38s its a breeze to add on and the results are like "Wow, why didn't I do that ages ago"

First up is to give you a idea where the LED light's will be fitted, no pointers here as the pics to follow are clear enough.

Right side panel

Left side panel

Left panel, LED mounted

Right side , LED mounted

The above is a LED mounted on the high level brake light cover.
You cant go lower as the upper tailgate fits flush with the lower tailgate.

There you have it, looks alot better than in the picture.
With the LED mounted on the high level brake light cover it lights up the lower tailgate and the parcel shelf nicely.

Parts needed:
2 or 3 number plate LED lights or what ever you prefer
I went the number plate lights as they are bright and housed in a neat package.
2 screws per light, here I prefer machine screw. (screw with a nut)
Around 1,5 metres of double wire (Basic speaker wire is ok)
Electrical heat shrink wrapping or good insulation tape (I always use wrap)
Solder and soldering iron
And least but not last...brains.

How to go about it:
Flip both seats forward, now remove little covers from the seat belt securing bolt on the plastic covers nearest both rear doors, remove left and right seat belt bolts (17mm) remove 1 retaining round clip that joins the plastic to the rear load space panels,  remove plastic trim covers.

Remove 1 screw each side that joins all three rear panels together.
When re-installing these screws its wise to use a large flat washer to help secure them all together and works well.

Go to rear and remove 3 round clips that secure the finishing top panels to the boot load space side panels.
Remove top panels on either side.

This is where the brains come in.
On either side you will see a wire harness that goes up beneath the panel where the shoulder part of the seat belt is attached, here you are looking for a plain purple wire and a purple with red stripe, these two wires supply a feed when you open the door to turn on the interior lights, simply splice into them and solder the wiring that's needed for the LED units .

Remember that LED lights will only work if they are correctly connected, ie: positive to positive, negative to negative and no you cannot add the negative of the LED unit to the body of the vehicle as the interior lights come on when the earth is applied, in other words there's always a power on state to the positive side of the interior light circuit.

The high level brake light can be easily done without completely removing all the trim, using a firm piece of wire to feed the extra length of cabling required is relatively easy and soldering the wires to the upper tailgate is simple enough as the light simply pops out.

I could easily have added pictures in detail but it can at times look complicated and put you off, all in all without beers on a nice sunny give yourself a hour from start to finish.

Oh if you want to do this addition and have a Vogue P38, the one fitted with the DSP amp in the back I highly recommend you move it at the same time so add on a extra 30mins play time and is shown below.

DSP Amp relocation:

Alot of these amps are failing due to moisture and not age as one would think.

Seeing as you want to do the LED lights then you would be crazy not to relocate the DSP amp.

I'm not going to go into detail here as alot of know how with tools etc is required
The relocation is where it should have been placed originally.

Bending the one mounting point to allow flush fitting with the wheel arch is easy
with a pair of pliers, drill and apply thin foam tape of sorts to seal rivet

Use a nice large fat flat washer to secure amp, a trial run before you drill is ideal by placing panel back in place to make sure it all goes according to plan

Looking down with amp is situ
Bare in mind that this relocation requires the harness tape up to be cut to allow the amp cable to move to its new position, remember to tape up the harness again to prevent any chaffing