Good news guys, I finally recovered a lot of my server files that I lost a few years ago. I was able to recover all of the ProjectGS DIY's I thought were lost for good. Did a low level recovery on the half dead hard drive lol. Anyways, what this means is that my DIY site will be alive and kicking again soon. I just need to get all the files sorted out and re-hosted.
ProjectGS DIY: Custom bright LED license plate lighting mod.
This guide just shows you the steps to actually modify the light itself. I was going to take pictures of the light removal process, but it's night time and I couldn't get any good pictures. Maybe if I do it again later on, I will take some pix of the removal and installation process.
I tried all those normal 5LED and the 9LED SMD modules in this picture, they just simply didn't do the trick. Not bright enough becuase the lighting power is being wasted, and I didn't want to spend the $50 to buy that license plate light replacement module. Those are aftermarket, and could possibly leak down the road. I decided to stick with the OEM ones and modify them. I spent about $5 a piece on these 6LED 5050 SMD boards. The light is all directed downwards instead of being wasted by being spread out in a circle like the normal 194 style replacements.
First off clean it off so you can see what you're doing inside the light housing. Also mark the top that is going to be facing up. You want the board to be pointing the opposite way or else you will be shining the light inside the trunk instead of onto the license plate.
Now clean out the inside with isopropyl alcohol so the double side tape will stick. There is years of dirt and grease built up in there, and the double side tape won't want to stick to it. I found this out the hard way lol.
Now get rid of that crap double side tape they include on the lights. Get some real 3M high strength molding adhesive. It takes a bit of work to get to this light, so you really don't want it falling out a few weeks down the road.
After some experimentation, I found this is the best place to apply the tape. You will pretty much be wedging the board in the light housing.
This is kind of like playing the game of putting a ship in the bottle lol. Just take it slow and it will fit in there. It's a pretty tight squeeze.
Sucess! Now time to maneuver it so it sits flat. This photo shows the tape in non optimal position. This was one of the earlier attempts.
This is a picture of the LED board mounted properly inside the housing. Make sure it sits flush with the bottom side or else the light output will be weak. I experimented a few times and this is the best combo.
All done and back on the car