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Old 05-01-2015, 02:23 PM
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04+ Ranger LED engine bay lighting

Back around 2004, Ford got the not so great idea to strip a bunch of lighting from the Ranger for reasons I can only speculate on. Subsequently, I've made it my passion to not only put back what should have been there from day one but add additional and better performing lighting when appropriate. This means in part, that all lighting in my vehicle other than instrumentation, is LED.

Below is how I went about modifying a light assembly and installing LED lighting in the engine bay. The full intent of this build was for the final result to look very close to professional, OEM quality, much like what one expect if it rolled out the door from the factory. This write up does not include each and every nitty gritty detail, it does assume that the person building and installing this on their vehicle is able to look at the pics and answer minor questions and address minor details on their own, and if not able to resolve or if curious, just ask.

Pics below, with relevant comments about the pic below it.




^^^^ OEM Ford light assembly used in previous model years. No install provision for this on 04+ Rangers and if you have an insulation blanket under your hood, there is no cutout for this. Stock #906 bulb output = 75 lumens.




^^^^ The assembly to be modded and installed. These are found in early - mid 90's GM cars under the hood. Buick makes a great donor. Grab a pigtail with about 3" of wiring. Also, note that these come in two mount configurations; you will want the one depicted here and not the side mounted version. Stock 562 bulb output = 75 lumens.




^^^^ This are the completed modded parts ready for assembly. Installed are two LED panels, 29mm x 44mm bought off of ebay. Each LED panel has 24 SMD 5630 LED's, white, at about 6000K; together they will deliver about 900 - 1000 lumens based on other 5630 SMD LED's specs. The LED panels are mounted to a piece of 1/8" clear plexiglass that was notched at two ends and sized to fit in two notches I made in the OEM light assembly lens. The panels are secured to the plexiglass panel using double sided foam tape; the tape that came with the panels was not thick enough so plan on replacing it with thicker material (found in hardware stores). The wiring passes between the LED panels and exits the unit by passing through removed sections of the double sided foam that you will have to cut (and before attaching the LED panel to the plexiglass). To preserve options holes were drilled in the plexiglass above where the wires are soldered to the LED panel. Also, if you look closely you will note that the plexiglass panel needs to be slightly notched in four spots to clear the four tabs on the mounting lens. Take your time building the plexiglass plate and modding the lens, this is the part where patience will yield a very professional, OEM appearing result.

On the grey base of the assembly, you will note that the female portion of the LED wiring has been installed. This wiring was ran through a small 3/32" hole drilled into the grey assembly. After the wiring was soldered to the #562 bulb contacts on the grey base and the male portion of the wiring built for the LED's (now mounted on the plexiglass), a small dab of adhesive was applied to the noted 3/32" hole + wires and where the wires exit the plexiglass/LED panels. Those are very small, fine braided wires, extra attach strength and resistance to vibration damage is therefore a good plan. Below are more pics showing details of the fabbed LED panel, the modded lens and how they engage with one another.

*Suggestion: Solder the wiring on the LED panels before attaching them to the plexiglass. Also, LED's are polarity specific, pay attention to this and build accordingly.













^^^^ Assembling the unit.




^^^^ Completed LED engine bay light on left, unmodded engine bay light on right.



Now it's time to build a mount for this light assembly under the hood. Noting that there are two large "tabs" at the side of the hood back towards the firewall, this was determined to be the best location based pre-installation lighting tests and the objective of an OEM look.





^^^^ Here is the completed mount. It was constructed using three pieces of 1/8" thick X 3/4" wide aluminum bar stock, stainless flat head screws + hardware in a 4-40 thread. Each of the three pieces is the width of the light assembly and the mount holes are both centered on the assembly and determined using the footprint of the light assembly. To facilitate assembly, I threaded one of those Al plates and screwed into it, securing everything to the hood. The objective here is to provide two studs to mount the light assembly to and spacers to provide clearance from the insulation blanket. The screws were installed using a right angle screwdriver. Thick tape was placed over the screw heads when done to prevent abrasion from tearing the insulation blanket.




^^^^ Another view of the completed mount.



Now it's time to do wiring. The GM lamp assembly uses two wires, one hot and one ground. There are many ways a person can wire this and many places to tap into the wiring; whatever you choose make sure it is properly fused and that the fuse is properly located. For this build, I opted to do it OEM Ford style, this meant tapping into the BSR circuit and the result is that light will time out after 30 minutes.



^^^^ This is the left side of the dash with the access door panel removed. In the pic you can see a four wire connector (two of which are doubled up on in the pic) that is attached to the dimmer/dome light switch. The bottom wire on this is the BSR circuit, it is light green with an orange stripe. The tapping in was done by extracting the pin from the connector for access, wrapping the new wire for the hood light around a bit of this pin, soldering, then reassembling. The wire was secured to the existing main harness and wrapped with friction tape as needed to eliminate abrasion and vibration that may result in reliability issues. Access through the firewall was made at the rubber grommet that the main wire harness passes through. To do this, I smoothed off the tip of a piece of 1/8" or so round rod and carefully, being mindful to NOT scrape the existing wire harness, fished it through from the engine bay side. Penetration was made between the existing harness and the rubber grommet. The new wire was then taped to the rod and the rod and the wire were pulled back into the engine bay.




^^^^ It's time to finish up under the hood. Mount the light assembly to the mount that was built earlier. Now it's time to complete the wiring. In this build, the positive wire (BSR circuit) was routed along existing wiring and up to the light. A ground wire was routed next to the positive wire and along the existing wiring. To support convenient troubleshooting down the road if ever needed, the ground wire was attached to the proper connector and secured at ground point G103 (this is just forward of the battery junction box). Next, plastic conduit was placed over these wires from the firewall up to the new light assembly. Friction tape was used to secure the conduit to OEM wiring and as needed at other locations. Finally, the pigtail for the light assembly is soldered to the wiring and marine grade shrink wrap is used to seal the splices. If you are careful with measurements and your planning, the conduit will cover ALL of the wiring leading to the light. Also, note that the conduit/wiring for the light is secured to the hood hinge to keep it out of the way. At this point you will have an operational engine bay light.

This is the completed setup but with the OEM #562 lamp installed.




^^^^ Here is the completed setup with the LED panel installed.




^^^^ The final result with LED's at night and with no other lighting in the area. Enjoy! And if you really enjoy it, build another one and install it on the other tab.
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-Life is far too short to be serious all the time. So if you can't stop and laugh at yourself along the way, give me a call and I'll do it for you.

04 Ranger Fx4 Level II, 5R55E, Sonic Blue Pearl, loaded.


Useful Ford Vehicle Resources:

Owners Manuals >>> http://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandse...owner-manuals/
Build Information (click on "vehicle") >>> https://www.etis.ford.com/
Wiring schematics and TSB's (click on "technical information") >>> http://bbbind.com/
Repair guides, includes schematics w/connector pinouts >>> http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/r...nfoLanding.jsp
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:59 PM
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Nice write up Bill.
I might have to gather up the stuff and do that on mine.
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:04 PM
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Thanks! I'm actually in the middle of implementing about 12 upgrades, right now, all at once. If there is interest I may post more. People seem intrigued by LED's and for good reason. I've been asked to do a write up on that but I can't really. The reason for this is, each application is unique and takes effort, trial and error, and sometimes failure, to determine the right bulb for the application. Once that is figured out, you could paint the world. Anyhow, if you're curious about anything, let me know. BTW, heated seats are nice, very nice.
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-Bill

-Life is far too short to be serious all the time. So if you can't stop and laugh at yourself along the way, give me a call and I'll do it for you.

04 Ranger Fx4 Level II, 5R55E, Sonic Blue Pearl, loaded.


Useful Ford Vehicle Resources:

Owners Manuals >>> http://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandse...owner-manuals/
Build Information (click on "vehicle") >>> https://www.etis.ford.com/
Wiring schematics and TSB's (click on "technical information") >>> http://bbbind.com/
Repair guides, includes schematics w/connector pinouts >>> http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/r...nfoLanding.jsp
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Old 05-01-2015, 03:53 PM
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That looks pretty neat Bill ..... you keep that engine bay tidy enough to eat your lunch off.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:30 PM
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That is a great writeup Bill...thanks for taking the time to do it!
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:37 PM
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NP, hopefully others will be inspired as well as benefit from it.
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-Bill

-Life is far too short to be serious all the time. So if you can't stop and laugh at yourself along the way, give me a call and I'll do it for you.

04 Ranger Fx4 Level II, 5R55E, Sonic Blue Pearl, loaded.


Useful Ford Vehicle Resources:

Owners Manuals >>> http://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandse...owner-manuals/
Build Information (click on "vehicle") >>> https://www.etis.ford.com/
Wiring schematics and TSB's (click on "technical information") >>> http://bbbind.com/
Repair guides, includes schematics w/connector pinouts >>> http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/r...nfoLanding.jsp
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:41 PM
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Made the thread a sticky Bill so it's more easily seen....again, great writeup!
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:46 PM
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Thanks!
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-Bill

-Life is far too short to be serious all the time. So if you can't stop and laugh at yourself along the way, give me a call and I'll do it for you.

04 Ranger Fx4 Level II, 5R55E, Sonic Blue Pearl, loaded.


Useful Ford Vehicle Resources:

Owners Manuals >>> http://www.fleet.ford.com/partsandse...owner-manuals/
Build Information (click on "vehicle") >>> https://www.etis.ford.com/
Wiring schematics and TSB's (click on "technical information") >>> http://bbbind.com/
Repair guides, includes schematics w/connector pinouts >>> http://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/r...nfoLanding.jsp
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