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Old 02-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
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Maybe this will help someone else.

Here is how I ended up doing it:
This covers all Ford focus hatchbacks ZX3 and ZX5 models from 2000 to 2007 as they use the same taillights.
I used 3 wire trailer style ribbon cable for the taillight harness.
NAPA LS6474 sockets - you can also buy sockets with a grounding tab at pep boys or autozone etc., NAPA used to carry them but the parts counter man could not find one in the catalog. I went with NAPA echlin as I though they were a tiny bit better quality than the ones available in the other stores. I drilled out a small hole next to one of the tabs that hold the socket in place and soldered a ground wire in place. I then soldered the other wires on the two remaining leads and recorded the color coding. Remember when wiring an 1157 bulb the shorter filament is the brake light and turn signal light. The taller filament is the running/park light.
I purchased 2 1157 LED bulbs at pep boys for 10 bucks apiece. Make sure you get red LEDs behind a red lens. You could also use a regular incandescent bulb.

Note of caution: There are three chambers in the taillight, one with silver reflective parabolic dish in it ( this is the one you want and has the factory bulb in it also) The bottom chamber houses the backup light. THe center chamber has a red reflector in it. However tempting, do not drill into this one. I searched forums spec. geared to focus owners and I found out someone else did drill a hole in this chamber and ended up dislodging the reflector and he could not get it back in position. Plus with no silver reflective material on it, it would not be as bright.
Using a 1 1/8 inch hole saw carefully drill out a hole in the plastic taillight next to the other bulb. The 1 1/8 size is for the NAPA socket, others may be different so test run a hole in a piece of scrap wood or plastic. Use slow speed on the drill and take your time. Do not go at an angle.


Picture:
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc239/ctcampers/Tail.../Focus_Taillight.jpg

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/c...s/IMG_1442.jpg

At this time you might want to wash out the inevitable plastic shavings and let dry inside overnight. A blast from a hairdryer through the holes every now and then helps.

Reinstall light, I did not cut into the rubber grommet that the factory wires pass through instead, I fed the new wires thru between the bottom of the grommet and the metal of the body. I used butyl rubber tape to seal around the whole grommet and the new bulb wires, to keep it watertight.
I fed the passenger side through the body channel under the plastic trim and my terminations are made in the drivers side rear corner and tucked under the carpet.
The 4 wire feed I have routed behind the rear side trim and I removed the door sill cover and fed the wire under the carpet there.

Then on thru the firewall and to the plug to connect up with the MH.

If you can do this when it's not 20 degrees outside
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Maybe this will help someone else.

Here is how I ended up doing it:
This covers all Ford focus hatchbacks ZX3 and ZX5 models from 2000 to 2007 as they use the same taillights.
I used 3 wire trailer style ribbon cable for the taillight harness.
NAPA LS6474 sockets - you can also buy sockets with a grounding tab at pep boys or autozone etc., NAPA used to carry them but the parts counter man could not find one in the catalog. I went with NAPA echlin as I though they were a tiny bit better quality than the ones available in the other stores. I drilled out a small hole next to one of the tabs that hold the socket in place and soldered a ground wire in place. I then soldered the other wires on the two remaining leads and recorded the color coding. Remember when wiring an 1157 bulb the shorter filament is the brake light and turn signal light. The taller filament is the running/park light.
I purchased 2 1157 LED bulbs at pep boys for 10 bucks apiece. Make sure you get red LEDs behind a red lens. You could also use a regular incandescent bulb.

Note of caution: There are three chambers in the taillight, one with silver reflective parabolic dish in it ( this is the one you want and has the factory bulb in it also) The bottom chamber houses the backup light. THe center chamber has a red reflector in it. However tempting, do not drill into this one. I searched forums spec. geared to focus owners and I found out someone else did drill a hole in this chamber and ended up dislodging the reflector and he could not get it back in position. Plus with no silver reflective material on it, it would not be as bright.
Using a 1 1/8 inch hole saw carefully drill out a hole in the plastic taillight next to the other bulb. The 1 1/8 size is for the NAPA socket, others may be different so test run a hole in a piece of scrap wood or plastic. Use slow speed on the drill and take your time. Do not go at an angle.


Picture:
http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc239/ctcampers/Tail.../Focus_Taillight.jpg

http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/c...s/IMG_1442.jpg

At this time you might want to wash out the inevitable plastic shavings and let dry inside overnight. A blast from a hairdryer through the holes every now and then helps.

Reinstall light, I did not cut into the rubber grommet that the factory wires pass through instead, I fed the new wires thru between the bottom of the grommet and the metal of the body. I used butyl rubber tape to seal around the whole grommet and the new bulb wires, to keep it watertight.
I fed the passenger side through the body channel under the plastic trim and my terminations are made in the drivers side rear corner and tucked under the carpet.
The 4 wire feed I have routed behind the rear side trim and I removed the door sill cover and fed the wire under the carpet there.

Then on thru the firewall and to the plug to connect up with the MH.

If you can do this when it's not 20 degrees outside
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
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Interesting to read about your install. Sure, your experience will be helpful to others. Only thing I would not do is to use a trailer wiring harness and then to jury rig grounding it properly. Sure, do able but these jury rig grounds for example are often the ones that fail, especially over the long haul. Really a bad situation when they fail while you are on the road, traveling. SURE, saves you a few dollars (very few) to get a plain old cheapie trailer harness and jury rig it. It really is the the best bet is to buy a Blue OX BX8869 bulb wiring kit or similar kit that has proper grounding incorporated and not jury rigged. Hmmmm, guess you can tell I have a real issue with jury rigged grounding in particular. Loss of proper grounding is almost always where a problem surfaces.

By the way, smart of you to avoid fooling with the factory rubber grommet. Indeed, why compromise it. Butyl tape for that application is very good.



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Old 02-22-2008, 04:21 AM   #4
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Passing the wire through the firewall was not as easy as the rest of the install. The carpeting would be extremely difficult to remove in order to drill a hole through. I ended up going through the door jamb. There is a plastic cover, located above the current Plug and socket connection that the factory uses to attach the wiring to the door. This plastic cover is attached to an empty short section of plastic tubing. Pop the tub out and you are able to fish the wires from the cockpit very easily. Run them through the center of the tube and replace it. I , again, used butyl tape as it was handy and works well, to seal up the inside of the tube and keep the wires from shifting around.
From there is was a simple task of running the wires under the fender lip inside the engine compartment.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:51 AM   #5
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You have made one very valid point. You have to look very closely at anything you buy today. Many products are designed, fabricated, etc. poorly. They may even be designed and fabricated with another application in mind? If however, as in this case, there is a well made harness that has the grounding wire built into each bulb fixture (4 wire) why would one bother to spend lots of time splicing and soldering a ground wire on a cheaply made after market 3 wire trailer harness? Especially, knowing that "jury rig grounds for example are often the ones that fail, especially over the long haul" as I mentioned earlier. This is nonsensical. And for those unlike us that can't splice and solder..... should they tell a paid installer to spend an hour plus paid time jury rigging a cheaply made 3 wire harness and then pay him/her install time. Or should they tell the installer to install a quality, proven, made specifically for the application, pre-made 4 wire harness. What about the guy who can solder and splice, who's time is worth lots of money. Should he be fooling with a cheap harness for an hour or go the better less time consuming route? Hmmmm... Decisions, decisions..

These decisions have to be weighed and a decision(s) to be made. To each his own. Forums like IRV2.com are terrific as you can glean all kinds of how to's, advice and ideas. It is up to the individual reader to sift through and come up with his plan so to speak.

Obviously, your plan was different then mine which is aok.

Now, others have yet two plans of others to take into consideration.



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Old 02-22-2008, 06:00 AM   #6
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A very interesting post for those that go that route to install such. We are on our second Focus and from reading it looks like wiring and installing diodes is no more time consuming or work than adding bulbs. Just my thoughts.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:05 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by N8XV:
We are on our second Focus and from reading it looks like wiring and installing diodes is no more time consuming or work than adding bulbs. Just my thoughts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, geeeez.. don't get me started on why it is best to avoid cutting/altering a wiring harness on vehicles manufactured today. How it is best to use a non-invasive method that does not alter the vehicles factory wiring or possibly confuse / anger the on board computers of that vehicle...


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Old 02-22-2008, 06:37 AM   #8
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Six of one, half dozen of the other. Both are equally intrusive on the vehicle. Extra light lust a little less so. From answers here, and at other forums, with people that have used both methods,it appears diodes or extra bulbs are equally reliable if done correctly. Diodes use a little bit of juice and reduce the amperage by a small amount, they can also fail as with any electronic component. There is a huge variation in quality from electronic components today. A generalized example is that Japan is a leading supplier in quality capacitor and other components where the Chinese versions are, in alot of cases, subpar.
If I had used diodes, I would have replaced the factory bulb with LED anyway. They are brighter and use less power. They use so much less power they sometimes need a different flasher,or a resistor inline to compensate for the lower draw.

Either way, it is a simple circuit so, of something goes wrong, it is not difficult to troublshoot.

I do agree with bill that if you can avoid cutting into a factory harness by all means do so. I always put in seperate fuse blocks/disconnects if at all possible before tapping into wiring. It is not a question of being bad for the vehicle however, but one of doing things properly. I have seen many nightmares where people have cut and spliced, most of the time without properly labeling the wires or wires that were cut and have a tiny piece of electrical tape on the end, hot wires with nothing to cap the ends so they short out against a ground, bad splices that have corroded, cold solder joints that have allowed corrosion, butt splices that come undone - on and on.
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