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  #1  
Old 05-26-2008, 07:40 PM
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Question I'd Like Help with Puddle Lamps

Frist off, what I'd like to do is replace the incandescent bulbs in the outside mirror puddle lamps with LEDs. I suspect they are of the "festoon" type. But I have a problem.

For those of you who've never taken one out, here are three pictures of one of mine: The first is the lens side, you can see one of the two electrical tabs on the tight and the clip that holds it in the mirror housing on the left.
Click the image to open in full size.

This is the backside. The round "sticker" is a coated paper stuck over a small hole in the capsule. My guess it it allows pressure to equalize between the outside and inside, while still supplying a bit of waterproofing. Inside the hole is the back of a reflector - there's no access to the bulb.
Click the image to open in full size.

The third is simply the assembly on edge. The lens is sealed to the black back - it does not unscrew or "pop off".
Click the image to open in full size.

I can't see any way to get into this thing except to cut the lens off the black backing, probably with a razor saw. And, you can't replace the bulb without "opening it".

And here's the real "kicker": According to my dealership, you cannot buy this llittle light assembly by itself! If you ever need to replace a puddle lamp, for any reason, you have to buy a whole new mirror! The light is not stocked and I cannot find it anywhere on the internet. Superb, customer oriented, Ford engineering!

If I had a spare to "play" with, I'd cut one open in a heartbeat. Without the spare, I'm reluctant to try.

RockPick seemed to remember a post one time in the past from someone who had replaced his puddle lamps. I can't find it. Does anyone know where this is or does anyone have a clever idea to get this thing open that I haven't thought of?

Looking forward to any *helpful* replys! (I'm sure there'll be some of the "other" kind too).

- Jack
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2008, 09:10 PM
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First and foremost, great pics and supurb documentation of this KR-specific item, Jack. I'm sorry that I wasn't more help via email...

One suggestion that I have is to email Torrie over at FPN. Torrie has been nothing but helpful for me in the past and may be able to give better information than what your stealership has provided. While they may be absolutely correct in the replacement scenario, hopefully they weren't looking correctly at something and there is another module to snap in there. It seems silly that it wouldn't be replaceable based upon your pictures...

torrie@fastpartsnetwork.com Mention that you made your way to him via f150online.com.

Let us know, Jack. Good luck.

-RP-
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2008, 09:33 PM
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Thanks, RP, for an "enlightened" (enlightening?) response.

Our private converstion could have been improved with pictures, but I didn't want to overload your mailbox. You were actually VERY helpful and are now too.

I can't help but agree with you. These things have got to be available somewhere. Interestingly, aside from the patent numbers on the item, the only other bit of information is "PC/PBT". which says something about the plactic material they are made of. (Very helpful!)

I'll follow up on the lead and let everyone know. In the meantime, if anyone else has some thoughts, I'm wide open to them!

- Jack
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  #4  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:23 PM
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Here's an update on my quest to find puddle lamp modules.

I had a good exchange with Torrie, thanks RockPick. And he came up with a part number. But, when I researched it, the number belongs to a flat rectangular assembly that can only be the turn signal module.

The most interesting thing is that in any "exploded" parts view, the puddle lamp is never shown (but the turn signal module is). I've decided the puddle lamp is just not used a whole lot in Fords and if you want one, you have to buy the mirror to match.

So, I got a bright idea last night and decided to research Lincoln Mark LT mirrors. They ALL have to have puddle lamps, right? Well, guess what? Their diagrams don't show puddle lamps either and there is no source for one in any of the online parts catalogs I know about.

My conclusion: If a puddle lamp fails and you want a replacement, you buy a new mirror assembly (about $200 each - but the left side costs more than the right). Of course, the puddle lamp is just a "show" item - suitable for impressing the ladies, but not much good for anything else. Most of us would probably live without it.

And, I suspect, looking at the brightness of the thing, it is running at a reduced voltage to make it last longer than the truck. I suppose too, if one should actually fail, then there'd be no reason not to try to cut it open to replace the bulb.

Overall, I still think it's not a good example of customer-oriented engineering!

- Jack
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Last edited by JackandJanet; 05-29-2008 at 08:25 PM. Reason: corrected spelling
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Of course, the puddle lamp is just a "show" item - suitable for impressing the ladies, but not much good for anything else.
Jack - I love that quote! Perhaps your wife could speak to mine?!?!
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcconaghie View Post
Jack - I love that quote! Perhaps your wife could speak to mine?!?!
I don't think "impressing the ladies" exactly applies to wives. They've learned WAY too much!

- Jack
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2008, 09:20 PM
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I always thought the lamp was for lighting up the King Ranch logo!
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreedKR View Post
I always thought the lamp was for lighting up the King Ranch logo!
You might be right about that!

Here in Arizona, they're useful in checking for rattlesnakes and scorpions near the doors at night.

- Jack
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2008, 10:50 AM
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Can you take a picture of the lights you're talking about? Owning an FX4, I've never seen them.

I take it they're mounted on the side view mirrors? Have you considered putting lights by the step bars?

Click the image to open in full size.

Poor pic, but you get the idea. Those are AMP Research lights that go with the retracting steps.


- NCSU
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2008, 12:00 PM
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Pictures of the light itself are at the top of this post of course. They fit flush into the underside of the exterior mirrors and come on automatically if you open a door or unlock a door with the keyless entry. Here it is illuminated:
Click the image to open in full size.

I don't care for the yellowish color of the incandescent bulb in it and would like to replace it with an LED. I've done this with the map lights and the dome light, which you can see in the background under the mirror.

I DO like the way your steps are lit. Seems a better lighting solution than what the puddle lamps provide. I suppose I could rig up some kind of lighting on the underside of the rocker panel, but I'd really just like to change the bulbs in the puddle lamps.

- Jack
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2008, 11:41 AM
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I think you might be able to easily get the unit apart if you just heat it up - like in an oven. There's members over on NHTOC that used this method to paint the inside of their Lightning tail lights. As soon as I get the opportunity I'll try it myself. As for the reduced light output - I'll check the voltage with my meter and see if it does get a full 12V
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2008, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houlej View Post
I think you might be able to easily get the unit apart if you just heat it up - like in an oven. There's members over on NHTOC that used this method to paint the inside of their Lightning tail lights. As soon as I get the opportunity I'll try it myself. As for the reduced light output - I'll check the voltage with my meter and see if it does get a full 12V
You might be right about heating to get the unit apart, but I don't think it's held together with the same kind of adhesive as say, the headlight housings. It looks to me like the units are possibly "superglued" together, or assembled with some other kind of adhesive that "welds" the plastic.

If you DO take a puddle lamp out, be careful. The tab that holds it into the mirror is easy to break (I did it on the right side mirror and then used epoxy to fix it).

- Jack
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2008, 04:44 PM
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Well, what's the saying - better late than never? Sorry for the late reply, but since I bought the wife her own '07 Harley F-150 I've had two trucks to mod. And really the only thing left was these pesky puddle lamps. Well, the mystery has been solved. After purchasing a 30 day subscription through Helm Inc. for the F-150 manuals - I actually found a part number for the puddle lamp itself: 2L1Z-13B375-AA and retails for about $ 33 each at your local stealership! Now on to the fun stuff:

I broke down and had to disassemble one of these (it was the ONLY lamp in the trucks that hadn't been converted to LED).

Here is a pic of the lamp taken apart:
Click the image to open in full size.

The lens is sonically welded to the black base housing. I little work with a utility knife and some heat - and voila it came off. The bulb inside is a 31mm festoon.

This is the LED I plan on putting inside the base once I remove the reflector lens (since LED are directional):

Click the image to open in full size.

You are welcome!
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  #14  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:50 PM
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So what was the end result? Did the LED puddle lamp install go well? Looking to do this on my truck, and then eventually replace all the interior lights with LED's as well.
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2009, 11:15 PM
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Yes - it went VERY well for me. See the other thread.

- Jack
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:15 PM


 
 
 
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