DIY: Lighted Passenger Window Switches by: GoldenCoupe
· 2 spools of 18 gauge electrical wire (I chose black and red)
· Male and female quick disconnects (3 pairs blue for neg., 3 pairs red for pos., 1 extra male red, and 1 extra male blue
· 2 t-taps
· Super glue
· 3 3mm LED’s (I chose green because they were the closest match to OEM controls)
· 3 470 Ohm resistors
· Wire ties
· Preferably busted master window switch
· Shrink wrap for exposed resistor
· Drill w/ small bit (to make holes for LED prongs)
· Solder iron and solder
· A few beers
· Very skinny eye glass repair screwdriver
· 9 volt battery for testing
· Wire splicers
Tearing your car apart to install lighted passenger window switches like the ones the new Civics have
I will just start off by saying that my car was already gutted out because I was in the process of doing my interior swap. With that noted, here’s what I think you will need to remove: lower dash cover, door panel(s), door rails (lower), rear side panels (coupes), and rear seat (coupe & sedan I would assume). Now you can either decide to do the easy stuff first or the hard, whichever floats your boat.
After removing the door panel(s), and or rear side panels, localize the switches and remove them. With all 3 switches in your hand begin to remove the “sticker” rear seal. It is merely glued on so don’t be scared. After this is done you will notice that these switches were practically made to be lighted.
Get your busted master switch and remove the window buttons from it. They snap off, just be careful! The buttons on the passenger switches remove the same way. Now let’s make the master buttons clear: (you can leave this step out if you can find a way to replicate the OEM light color with it’s diffuser). Get your eyeglass repair screwdriver and push it into the “window” from the exterior of the button. This will make the window and the diffuser pop out from the inside of the button. Some of the buttons have the diffuser built into the window and others are just laid on top of one another. If they’re built in, get your screwdriver and merely scrape the green color off of it. After that is complete insert the now cleared windows back into the buttons the way they came out. Put the now cleared buttons onto the passenger switches. This is when you’ll want to kill Honda for not doing this when they made our cars; so obvious it slaps you in the face!
Now get the “stickers” and position the LED prongs directly in the middle, the prongs will leave a “dent” in the adhesive. Use this as your guide and drill two holes large enough to accommodate the LED prongs. Make sure there is still a small piece of plastic in-between the two prong holes to keep the LED in place. Now get that super glue and put a tiny dab on the bottom (flat part) of the LED and insert the prongs into place. Make sure the LED is resting on the adhesive part of the “sticker”. This is for added security in the LED not moving or falling out.
Note: I learned that filing the “round” or globe of the LED to flat more evenly distributes the light. Do this next!
Now wire that mother up…You will notice in an LED there are two “filaments”, the small one is your positive, so solder the resistor to this prong. Add about 3 inches of wire to each prong (compensate on the neg. terminal to make up for the resistors space). Now before you add your quick disconnects, test on a 9v battery to make sure it works! Sit back, take a breath, and admire your craftsmanship!
Now put some shrink-wrap to cover your solder points and resistors. Now bend the wires to lay flat against the body of the switch and secure them to the male part of the window switch with a wire tie pulled very tight!
You’re almost done!! Get your trusty super glue and seal up that sticker since that old adhesive doesn’t work very well anymore. That sums up the “easy” part!
In case you haven’t already figured it out, the hard part is yanking your car to pieces. Now this process will be harder for sedans since you all have 3 doors to fight with. We will be making one circuit for all 3 lights. So technically there will be one long wire running through the car coupling at each LED, hence the reason for 3 resistors. I toyed with the idea of one resistor for all three lights but I didn’t like the end result. The lights will be very dim since they will be sharing an already low power supply. Deciding where to splice power from: since I have an LS, I have the courtesy lights control/Fogs/TCS switch, which gives me a source for the dash lights. T-tap into the source you decide. Red (pos.) goes into red/blk., and black (neg.) goes into red.
This setup is pretty typical in any switch/light source you tap into. I chose what I did because it was closest to the main car harness, which takes me to the rear of the car.
As I said, it will be harder for sedans because you will have to run 4 wires in through the doors wire channels. Secure the wires to the main harness every twelve inches or so beneath the carpet. When you get to a connection point, cut the wire and strip both black wires and both red wires and crimp them to a designated female coupler thus continuing the line. Secure this to a main harness, preferably the harness with the window controls. Continue to run out of the door the way you entered and run the wires beneath the carpet under the rear seat, securing the same as before. This same process goes for coupes, only it’s 300 times easier
! Continue this along the passenger side of the car never breaking the circuit. Now, you can choose if really anal to install a fuse at the beginning of the circuit. I decided to leave it out just because I was being lazy.
Now reinstall everything you removed and plug in your now wired switches. Turn on the parking lights and watch those babies glow. Now dim your dash lights and watch them dim as well.