Technostalgia LED Tail Lights – DIY Guide
- 10MM socket and/or 10MM wrench
- Pry tool
- Razor or knife
- Pliers (for show mode hookup)
- Electrical tape (for show mode hookup)
- Wire nuts (2) (for show mode hookup)
- Wire connector (1) (for show mode hookup)
- SPST switch (for show mode hookup)
- Electrical wire (2-3 feet) (for show mode hookup)
* This product comes with the best instructions I’ve ever seen….color photos and detailed step-by-step info. This DIY guide will help you get over the few bumps I encountered.
Step 1: Remove carpet from trunk area.
Step 2: Remove spare cover and spare (or foam with inflator).
Step 3: Remove the six handnuts use to hold cargo net in place.
Step 4: Remove the trunk interior panel. There are two clips that help to hold this in place, lift upwards to detach these clips. Be careful not to damage the weather stripping.
Step 5: Remove the push rivet holding the carpet in place and pull carpet back so that you can view the wire and rubber grommet coming from the rear lights into the trunk. *The kit included two new rivets (one for each side), so I just cut my push rivets off.
Step 6: Remove the 3 push-fasteners holding the plastic access door to the tail lamps. You will reuse these, so be careful removing them. A pry tool makes the removal very easy.
Step 7: Once the push-fasteners are removed, then remove the plastic access door.
Step 8: Removing the four plastic bezels. BE VERY CAREFUL, THEY BREAK EASY! Each bezel has 6 tabs holding it in place. DO NOT BEND THE TABS AS THEY WILL BREAK. I removed mine without any problems by pushing the top tabs toward the back of the car, creating a small gap between the bezel and the tail light. I then inserted my pry tool wrapped in a damp shammy cloth into this gap and gently applied pressure until the bezel “popped” out. DO NOT USE A SCREWDRIVER AS YOU WILL DAMAGE YOUR BEZEL AND/OR BUMPER.
Step 9: Remove the light bulb socket from each tail light and unplug it from the harness.
Step 10: Remove the bulb from the light bulb socket.
Step 11: Remove the three nuts (10MM socket or wrench) holding each tail light in place. On the outside lights, the far outside nut is really hard to get to, so I removed the other two first then wedged my hand into the hole and pushed the light toward the front of the car. This released enough pressure on the nut that it could be turned by hand and removed.
Step 12: Disconnect each tail light harness.
Step 13: Push the rubber grommet into the trunk area and thread the wire harness into the trunk.
Step 14: CAREFULLY cut a hole in the grommet so that you can insert the new harness through it. **My car is a convertible and my passenger side grommet and harness had very little slack, making it very difficult to cut a hole in the grommet. Be careful you don’t cut yourself like I did!
Step 15: Pass one end (both connectors) of the new harness through the hole you cut in the grommet. Make sure the harness end with pink and purple wires is on the driver’s side of the car.
Step 16: Push the old and new harness back into the tail light area and reseat the rubber grommet into place.
Step 17: Before placing the new lights into your car, be sure to set the switch position to the desired setting. ALL LIGHT MUST HAVE THE SAME SETTING FOR THEM TO WORK. It’s confusing because OFF means ON. So, if you want all the features, turn everything OFF (which was the default setting for me).
OFF – RapidFire Brake Light ON
ON – RapidFire Brake Light OFF
OFF – Sequential Turn Signal ON
ON – Sequential Turn Signal OFF
Step 18: Connect the four light bulb sockets to each light. Make sure the end of the connector that has one metal prong points in the direction of the harness socket on the light bulb socket. The side with two metal prongs points to the top side of the light bulb socket. *In the directions it mentions a “ramp” and I had a hard time understanding what they were talking about.
Step 19: Connect the light bulb socket to the rear of each light prior to placing the tail light in the bumper. It would be really hard to connect these once the light is in place.
Step 20: Peel the paper off both flanges and press firmly to attach the bracket to the car.
Step 21: Insert each light and make all three connections (original wiring harness to light bulb socket, new harness and smaller connection from unit behind flange).
Step 22: Connect the pink wire that is in your trunk to the positive (+/red) terminal on your battery.
Step 23: VERY IMPORTANT – TEST THE LIGHTS NOW BEFORE YOU FINISHING RECONNECTING EVERYTHING!!!!
If you plan to install the “show mode” option, continue to step 24. If not, then skip to step 27.
Step 24 (show mode): Cut a 2-3 foot section of electrical wire and connect one end to a wire connector, crimp connector end with pliers.
Step 25 (show mode): Connect the other end of this wire to the SPST switch, then connect the purple wire from the new wiring harness to the other wire on the SPST switch. Use a wire nut on each connection, then use electrical tape to secure the wire nut.
Step 26 (show mode): Connect the wire connecter from step 24 to the negative terminal on your battery. If your PST has an On/Off indicator, test the switch now and ensure off is off. If your “off” actually turns the “show mode” on, switch the two cables connected to the SPST switch. Put the SPST switch in a place where it will be easy to move when you’re replacing the space cover and carpet.
Step 27: Replace the three nuts on the back of each light. *I gave up trying to connect the lower nut on each light. Way too tight in the hole now with all these new wires. I spoke with the manufacturer and they said if you take the rear bumper off, it will make it much easier to install these lights. I wish I knew this from the start, just 4 bolts and the rear bumper comes off!!
Step 28: Replace the four tail light bezels.
Step 29: Replace the plastic access door above each light and insert the three push fasteners.
Step 30: Replace the trunk interior panel.
Step 31: Replace the six handnuts that hold the trunk interior panel in place.
Step 32: Replace the spare (or foam with inflator) and spare cover.
Step 33: Replace the carpet from trunk area.
Step 34: Now set the SPST switch (if you installed one) on the edge of the rear panel for easy access at shows.
Quick Demo After Install:
Show Mode Setup:
* This product is a MUST HAVE for Camaro owners!!!
Ease of Installation:
A direct link to these lights on Apex’s website:
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