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996 C2 Tail light swap over to LED Tail light Tutorial

6 posts in this topic

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I just completed installation of the made in Taiwan smoke led tail lights on my MY01 C4, and I wanted to share some information I hadn't seen elsewhere. I have also attached some photos: (1) before; (2) half and half; (3) & (4) after; (5) connection diagram for new tail light housing; (6) transparency problem; (7) - (9) truck door edge guard solution.

With respect to the small side marker bulb wire that has caused some to blow fuses, I just lined up the red wires on the male and female ends and plugged them together (photo 5). No blown fuses, hyperflash or ABS/PSM warning lights.

I had not seen a good diagram of how to hook up the the lights on the new tail light housing, so I have labelled how I hooked them up in photo 5 (note: top of photo is bottom of tail light housing). In a nutshell: (1) small side marker bulb wires (far left) plug into the corresponding wiring harness connectors (as others have commented, this does not get plugged back into the socket); (2) double light led leads connect to black brake/tail light harness sockets; (3) single light led leads connect to orange turn signal harness sockets; (4) existing reverse light sockets and bulbs are connected to the lower (top of photo) clear chamber; and (5) fog light sockets are connected to the upper (bottom of photo) clear chamber (I used the amber turn signal bulb for the fog light on the driver's side so it would not be confused with a reverse light).

After installing the new tail light housings, I discovered a design flaw: unlike the stock lenses, the aftermarket lenses (at least the smoke ones) are transparent at the edge. As a result you can see the unfinished edge of rear quarter panel and the tail light connecting grommet through the lenses (photo 6). After my initial disappointment, I started to think about a solution since I really liked the lenses otherwise. Initially, I thought about using lens tint spray to darken the edges. Given the limited space to work for proper taping, the fact that the surface is grooved, and that this solution would be non-reversible, I decided to use a different approach.

Door edge molding to the rescue (photos 7-9). Applying black rubber door edge molding to the unfinished edge under the lenses provides a finished look and hides the transition from the body to the lenses. This was a relatively easy fix, and I am pleased with the result.

Overall, I really like the look and functionality of the new tail lights.










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