Fineeeeee, be technical, MX-5 LED Swap. I’ve been slowing changing bulbs out for LEDs in the RF and Friday my latest additions showed up in the mail and they turned out to be way easier to install than I thought - I think I picked up a better method to do it than is recommended, so I am hoping this is helpful for some other ND Miata drivers out there.
First off, I bought some sequential tail lights from iJDMToy a little bit ago because they had more LEDs and were cheaper than the more common ND option. That said, the guy that makes them has products that are creative, impressively well made, and I have a few other bits from him on the car already.
I really liked the sequentials and iJDMToy has quite a few other LED products for the MX-5 (and oddly even more for the Mrs’ CX-5). So as the Bore Master behind @Boring.Cars, I reached out to iJDMToy to ask about doing some sponsored work. They said yes and they sent me the next thing I wanted to pick up, LED Side markers!
Apparently people have been attacking the side marker removal with a trim removal tool or flat head screw driver and coming at it from the outside of the fender. The results, it seems pretty universal, are mega scratches around the lights.
Turns out it’s ridiculously easy to access the housing from the inner fender by turning the wheel to full lock and removing some little plastic holders on the fender liner. The center piece pulls out of the holder, then the rest of it will pull out.
From there, pull the liner back and reach behind to feel for the marker housing. You can just about see it if you want to look for it, but it’s a pretty easy thing to find by feel.
To remove the marker, squeeze the side closest to the interior towards the front of the car (red arrow) and push it out (yellow arrow). The other side of the marker will slide back a bit (blue circle) and the whole unit pops right out quite easily.
And because who doesn’t like a little action, here is the passenger side popping out.
So you’ve gotten this far, what am I actually swapping out? I am putting in a sealed unit LED housing. iJDMToy sent me the smoked version, which has really grown on me over the weekend. They also have a clear OEM looking housing. It’s plug and play and does not cause hyper flashing. They’re difficult to picture on (since they flash and all), but it’s a super sleek line of 36 LEDs that light up versus a single bulb. They feel well made, actually they feel just like the OEM ones do (interesting side note, they’re the same markers from the RX-8).
The whole unit disconnects pretty easily and to install the news ones it’s as simple as reversing the removal steps.
Scratch free and installed in a few minutes. I’ve been on a roll recently with my projects actually staying at their expected install times. It’s kind of nice.
Here is a side by side of the markers. I didn’t notice any massive light output differences. It seems to have a bit more throw to it and I would imagine the LED has a more noticeable light when you’re on the road
I mentioned it was a sleek line, it took a bit to get the right shot of that...BUT HERE IT IS
I am super happy with the results! I was hoping to grab a full scale picture this morning, but it turned out to be a very rainy morning. I am proud to work with iJDMToy and again, they sent me these as part of a sponsorship. That said, I would have bought these and done the exact same write up regardless. Their products are great and I love what they’ve got for the Miata. I mentioned they have stuff for the CX-5 already, but truly they have the full gamut of cars covered if you want to look in to some really clean LED swaps.
Link again so it’s easy to find and in case of Kinja