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How to install underhood light - walkthrough with pics and part numbers

Discussion in 'How-To' started by DuffManRHA, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. DuffManRHA

    DuffManRHA The cake is not a lie. Established Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Temecula, CA
    So like many people, I didn't like the absence of an underhood light for cases of dead batteries, making quick changes of stuff under the hood, or just being able to show off the motor at night. Here are some pics and walkthrough on how I installed mine.

    Keep in mind that I have not cleaned the engine bay in a loooooong time, so I am quite aware that it is dirty. Also, the cam covers are coming off to be powdercoated, but I had started stripping off the old paint and had to put it back together early since my other car crapped out.

    All the wires that you will see are both the underhood light and the gauge install, all of which will be properly wrapped in convoluted tubing, but wanted to take some pics before doing so in order to see where the wires are routed. Finally, as you'll see the stock bulb is not that bright but now that I have the part installed, I can put in a LED bulb setup that fits a standard T3 bulb socket and is MUCH brighter.

    Here are the parts I bought from Foxresto.com and my local dealer for the pigtail :



    Started of course by removing the blanket and figuring out where to mount it. I chose this location since I could re-use one of the stock pushtab locations, so all I had to do was drill a hole in the hood "support" to make room of that locating prong on the light assembly using my dremel and small bit. Doesn't need to look pretty since the hood blanket will cover everything as you'll see later :


    Testing the wiring and mercury switch inside to make sure it lights when hood is up and turns off when closed (which it does, about 18" before it slams shut) :



    For wiring the part up, it doesn't matter which is ground and which is hot since its a simple lamp, and I had lots of blue wire left over from my gauge install, so I used that as my hot and black for ground. For a cleaner look, I used some large heatshrink (I think 5/16"?) about 7" or 8" long and fed it over the wire and heated it up. It doesn't fit super tight around the wires, but rather works as a nicer looking cover than convoluted tubing would look (which will be used later on the wiring in the engine bay). I also used small pieces of smaller 1/4" heat shrink and they were about 1/2" - 3/4" long, in order to hold the wires together. I did this instead of using zip ties in case they wires move around under the blanket, this way they won't make clicking noises like hard plastic zip ties would against the hood :



    I fed the pigtail through the slightly enlarged hole I made in the hood blanket, and cut just enough in order for the pushpin and the locating pin on the light assembly to fit, and curled the wires around enough to make the 180 degree turn back under the hood blanket :


    Here is a closeup of the install, and as you can see it sits flush against the hood blanket with no wires showing and no parts of the actual hood showing, as you would normally see on a Mustang that came from the factory with a light, another reason I like this better than a true stock setup :


    Finally I ran the wires along the driver's side of the engine bay and hooked up the hot side straight to the battery, and the negative to one of the ground screws right next to the battery. The yellow wire that you see that is grounded is actually a bypass for the stock oil pressure sender that I removed to make room for an Autometer oil pressure sender in its place for a true gauge. This way the stock gauge reads normal for aesthetic reasons, and in case the EEC takes info from it as well, it doesn't change anything for the computer either (I don't know if this is true or not, but doesn't hurt) :


    And here is the final product that lights up when the hood is about 1/4 of the way raised and turns off properly :


    Since it is just a mercury switch, I can replace the bulb with something brighter like this later on :


    Didn't take long at all to do this, and since its a Ford part it looks completely stock which is the look I like, personally. I soldered and heatshrinked all my connections so there are no butt connectors or electrical tape to come loose later on down the road - in fact, I solder and heatshrink everything electrical I do, including the gauge install I'll post later, and the only connectors I use are the "end terminals" like spade connectors, ring terminals, etc. If anyone has any questions on how to install or just some clarification, just let me know!
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
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