Finished the last of the blinker swapping over the weekend. Learned a little more and broke my two-ish year streak of problem free car projects
Quick recap - I put in sequential taillight LEDs and swapped for LED sidemarkers recently. That left the orange bulbs hanging in the front to be replaced! Which is where catastrophe hit.
The bulb fell out of the housing connector as I was pulling it out. It was reachable for a bit, then fell down in to the lower part of the housing - which is currently where it will live and the problem is “fixed.” The lower part of the headlight housing (circled in red) contains some electronics and motors for the headlamps that do that neato turning with the car business. I suspect, at some point, the bulb will bounce around in to one of those and cause issues. I did buy a grabber tool (thanks oppo fb) in case this ever happens again. Currently, it’s not visible and not causing harm so there it stays.
Anyway, on with the show:
The bulbs required resistors so I picked up a couple t20 plug-n-play kits. Mazda was prepared for me to do that and made the blinker connector ever so slightly different than the generic connector I picked up. Took a couple minutes to compare the connectors, then I hacked off a few millimeters of plastic from the kit and they fit perfectly. I am comfortable with wiring/electrical, but I wanted the simplicity of reverting to stock or whatever if needed in a flash, this allowed for that.
Side note: this post isn’t a plug for the kits, but I do have two kits with the same amber bulbs available for sale if anyone is interested - $25 shipped in the US
I debated on the size and number of LEDs for a good bit. I was originally considering a smaller bulb, but wanted to make sure that I retained/improved upon the blinkers purpose. I am glad I didn’t go with the largest option I found (27 LEDs) as I think it would have stuck out too much. Turns out 18 is super bright and just enough to not look terribly ridiculous. For anyone interested, I considered a 13 and a 9 LED bulb as well.
This was exactly what I wanted in the end! Cleaned up orange free headlights, but amber when on.
Turns out I really like the darkness of the parking garage and the moody photos it sets me up for
And with this swap, anything that is blinker related is now an LED. I’ve been poking around and noticing a few other things I’d like to play with so I’m not sure what I will do next. I am enjoying how easy everything on this car is. It’s all so accessible! (looking at you Fiat).