Footwell Lighting Installed - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-01-2017
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Footwell Lighting Installed

Note: This is a copy of the original thread started by @blktaz but with the pictures embedded in the post to make things easier.
-----------------------------------------------
Footwell Lighting Installed
This is my first write up on a DIY project I completed on the R170. I was looking for help within the forums, but to my surprise there was hardly any threads on the topic and certainly not one showing a step by step of how to install footwell lighting on the R170. You can find my original post here showing the wiring diagram for the dome switch, I wanted to avoid tapping into this and instead use the wiring behind the A-pillar, but as I found out, if I wanted the footwells to come on when either I switch on the overhead lighting or open a door I had to remove the dome light and do some soldering.

I'm by no means an expert on this, I知 not an electrician and to be honest, I知 not completely convinced this is the 'logical' way to go about the mod but as I came to a dead-end, I got stuck in and ended up with something that works and looks neat and I wish to share my method and maybe help anyone who痴 thinking of doing this too.
Things you値l need:

1. LEDs. I went for a pair of 5 x 5050 led smd strips.
2. Small flat head screwdriver to gain access to the dome light module.
3. Medium Philips for the two screws fixing the dome light to the body.
4. A type of prying tool (I find a tyre removing tool for bicycles works really well) to remove the A-pillar covers and the upper windscreen panel.
5. Thinwall wire. I used .5mm 11A , about 1.75m per side. This wire will be more than sufficient for the tiny amount of amperage. Note: The fuse for the circuit is rated at 10Amps.
6. Pliers or wire strippers.

Optional:

1. Soldering Iron. I wouldn't say it痴 necessary, I know some people prefer not to use one.
2. Multimeter.
3. Electrical tape/crimp.
4. Cable ties and sticky back fasteners.
5. 3M tape or other alternative (I used Sellotape sticky fixtures).

Firstly, remove the fuse from the circuit (9) located in the engine bay box. I removed the dome light from the roof lining by taking a small flat head screw diver and inserting it between the plastic cover of the light and the windscreen panel, you値l find four small retention clips (two towards the back closest the windscreen and two on the front). See link for full description on how to gain access to the bulb section and remove the light from the upper windscreen panel.

Next I took my LEDs and extended the length of the wires to around 1.75m, I used all this length for the drivers side, the passengers side ended up taking a shorter route.
Clipboard01.jpg
With the dome light removed from the car, the above picture shows the power and earth wires soldered to the corresponding light circuit, this allows the footwell lights to act the same as the dome light. You can test if your circuit has continuity with a multimeter or a 12v battery. Link to Pelican Parts guide to removing the A-Pillar cover and the upper wind screen panel. You値l need to remove these to run the wiring down into the footwell areas.
Clipboard02.jpg
Upper windscreen panel removed exposing the cable routing. It helps to remove the panel/covers if you have your roof down.

With both left and right LEDs tapped into their respective sides, plug the power connector in and remember to put the fuse back, test if everything is working as it should. The additional power drain these LED strips draw is minimal, I haven稚 witnessed any issues so far. I can appreciate it may look kind of messy, but to me it felt the most logical way to have them act as the dome light would, i.e. power on when the either door opens.
Clipboard03.jpg
To route the wires to the footwells was really easy, I followed the wires already on the driver's side used to power the dome light and take the circuit to the boot for the light there, I then opened the fuse cover and poked the strip all the way to the back where you can then grab it from behind the accelerator pedal. The passenger side was easier still, opening the panel on the passenger's side you will see you can route it straight out of the bottom of the dash.

Routing on the passengers side.
Clipboard04.jpg

And drivers side fuse box
Clipboard05.jpg

And the finished product! I知 really happy with the amount of spread the strips give, makes a huge difference at night when getting in or out. Also the cabin is generally lit more and allows you to see your wonderful SLK
Clipboard06.jpg

Note: The original author offered to respond to PMs for more info, but it doesn't look as if he is active on the forum any more.


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#2 Old 05-01-2017
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Nice thread.
It maybe stating the obvious but adding good quality two pin connectors for the footwel lights close to the interior light, say 150mm, and also the same near the LED strips will make future access much easier to either end of this additional harness.

Also,
The trim panel above the passengers toes, below the glovebox, has to be removed to change the cabin air filter, so if the LED strip is attached to it, there will definitely need to be connector at that end.
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#3 Old 05-02-2017
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Agreed. I'm planning that for my own thread. I'm also looking at small round fittings to fit in the removable panel with holes as these would be a better idea for when you need to replace filters and stuff.

Sent from my Xperia while my back was turned

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#4 Old 05-06-2017
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Thank you so much for adding the pics...........but is there any way to post larger pics?
Specifically, the ones showing where the wiring is attached to the dome fixture.
I'm a little older and can't make out EXACTLY where the attachment points are.

Thanks!
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#5 Old 05-07-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopykissedlucy View Post
Thank you so much for adding the pics...........but is there any way to post larger pics?
Specifically, the ones showing where the wiring is attached to the dome fixture.
I'm a little older and can't make out EXACTLY where the attachment points are.

Thanks!
Those are the ones that I got I'm afraid. However, I'll try to get some more detail from my own car. Your car and mine should both be the same as yours is a facelift model too.

There is more detail in my dome light to LED post which should help.

I'm also researching adding my own LED footwell lighting but slightly more car-friendly with connectors and fittings that suit the car panels better. If you can hang on a bit you may consider my approach a better option.



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#6 Old 05-09-2017
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OK - so a bit more detail on my plans.

In the passenger footwell the top panel of the footwell is perforated with lots of 15mm holes in it.
footwell.jpg

Ive therefore looked at a 'proper' light fitting to add to this as I don't like the idea of gluing a small LED strip to the bottom of the dash. It turns out there are a lot of cheap 'eagle-eye' DRL-style lamps that 'claim' to put out 9W but in fact I measure them as 1W LEDs in a rugged aluminium housing with a 10mm diameter thread. Pretty much perfect for what I want.
unnamed.jpg

So I have purchased four of these - cheap as chips - and tried two out in the car (with an old PP3 battery, so the LEDs are not very bright - the pattern of light looks OK though)
Light.JPG

These look promising so I will proceed with this keeping a detachable panel with connectors etc. and loom the wiring into the dome light so the lights come on when the dome light is on.

May have to think a bit more about the drivers side though as there are no holes there....
drivers_side.JPG

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