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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this idea from a thread on the Tex that was about cheap mods for Mk4 owners. Basically, as an intro, this mod has basically no function. It's only real purpose was for it to be my first mod on my car, and being somewhat experienced with electronics, it seemed like a good idea. Also, this mod is extremely cheap, i did it for less than ~$35; what i had in my wallet at the time. The only time consuming part of this mod was figuring everything out, like POS/NEG, where to run the wires, what to buy, getting distracted by Youtube, Facebook, JJ etc., and cleaning out my car. This mod took me 6 hours, but for someone without ADD, this can probably be done in 2 or less.

*disclaimer* I'm not responsible for any damage you may incur to yourself or your car, as any work on yor car should be done by a VW licensed mechanic. Not like they'd do this for you, but i have to say it so no one sues me.*/disclamer*

Ok, i guess we'll start off with needed tools/materials.
T-20 torx bit or screw-driver like i found laying around.
This is what you'll use to take apart the interior, so it's manditory.
12mm socket for undoing the battery and power source stud.
Pliars. when don't you need pliars?
Needle-nosed pliars for wiring the light.
It's best if the pliars have a cutter twoards the base; you can use that to strip
the wires.
Lighting Yeah, you're making a light, but until it works, you'll need to see what you're
doing. I used both a shop light and a flash light.
Metal Clothes-Hanger Anyone who has wired anything knows why.
Now on to materials.
Logisys CCFL Light These are normally used in computers to show off all of your fancy video cards, but we're going to use it to show off all of our passengers feet. You could
buy an LED strip, but those were 3x the price when i was looking in the store. These Flourescent lights need a transformer, which is included, but they were only $5.
Wires I used 18 guage wire, and i think it came out nicely. easy to bend, easy to splice.
Tape, electrical or otherwise for marking wires
Velcro for mounting the light. In retrospect, i'd have used something with a little bit stronger sticky-backing.
Automotive Rocker Switch Mine was rated at 12V, 30A. Got it at Radio Shack for like 4 bucks.If you want to use the same switch i did, it was part# 275-0018. Identifyable by it's oval shape and the red LED representing "on."

if i think of anything else i'll detail it with the pictures.

FIRST STEP!
take off the underside of the trim on the driver's side.
On this DIY, http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?967146, follow steps 43-48. That gives you easy access to all of the wiring you'll need to use.
End result of that:


Now that you've got room to breathe, Cut a piece of wire, and make sure it is a pretty good length. I didn't measure anything, everything was freehand guesstimation, and it turned out pretty good. Next step is to Put a ring terminal on your wire.


Strip the wire, put it into the plastic end of the terminal, and crimp. After the terminal is on the wire, screw it onto the 75X stud that is on the row of terminals behind the Fuse Box. Label this wire with Red tape, as this will be your Positive lead.


I don't have a picture for this step, but the next thing to do is cut more wire, put another terminal on it, and screw it onto the bolt in the top left of the above picture. That stud is grounded, and will serve as your negative wire. PLEASE LABEL IT! if you switch the wires around, bad stuff happens. trust me.

*IF YOU HAVE TRACTION CONTROL, YOU CAN'T DO THESE NEXT FEW STEPS. you have to have a blank switch spot next to your Hazards in order to do this.*

Next, take out the cup-holder. This step isn't manditory, but it makes it easier to work inside the dash. To do this, open the cup holder, and observe the two tabs on the left and right, that are normally concealed by the door. Use 2 Flat Head screw drivers to pop the tabs and slide the cup-holder straight out.

Now use one of those flat head screw drivers to pop out the blank switch spot.s houldn't take much effort.

Next step requires that Coat Hanger! told you you'd need one. Straighten out the hanger, and make a hook on one end. Put either wire in the hook, and close it tightly to secure the wire in the hook. feed the hanger through the hole in the side of the Center Console above the radio. (It is somewhat triangle-shaped, and is where the wires for the Hazards goes through.) I found that "pre-curving" the hanger to go through that hole and towards the hole made by the missing switch made it easier. You may need to grap the hanger and re-direct it when it gets closer to I'm sorry, but i forgot to take pictures of this part. *also, i didn't do this, but you could probably run both wires at once, so long as you LABELED THEM like i told you to.*

Now the moderately hard part. Take the plastic filler piece from the empty switch spot, and mark the center. Take a Uni-Bit, and drill a hole that is the mounting diameter of whatever switch you got. Once the hole is drilled, you can put the nut on the inside of the piece. The plastic thing holds the nut tight enough so that you can take the switch from the front of the plastic peice, and twist to screw it in. Screw until it's tight and parallel to the top of the filler piece.

Next step is to use some of those Sta-Con type terminals that i told you to get :D to connect each wire to the back of your switch.

You can go ahead and hook up the positive wire normally, but you'll need to do something special with the negative wire. And i don't mean Forrest Gump special either.

To hook the Negative wire up to your switch, you'll need to cut another length of wire, long enough to go back out the hole and to the other side.Then, you twist the ends of this wire and the existing ground wire together and put the twisty end in a Sta-Con. NOW you can plug it into the switch. Be sure to run it under the steering wheel with the Clothes-Hanger.

Once you have the Positive and Negative wires hooked up to the switch, it's time to cut some more wire!

Well, some more wire off of the spool. This wire should be about the same length of the wire you twisted onto the negative wire.

That wire will connect to the output of the switch to your light. Sta-Con that B!tch, and hook it up to the switch. Then, we do the Clothes-Hanger Dance again, and run that wire back to the lands of "Under Steering-wheel-ville." once that is done, you can pop that not-so-blank-anymore plastic piece back into it's rightful home, and admire how damn good it looks.

Don't get too excited there, Rodger. You've still got a bit of work to do, even if the hard work is mostly over. Now comes the running of the wires.

I found it easiest to go directly under the Climate Control, and directly above the Ash Tray. The little seam in-between the center console and the extension where the gear-selecter is *seams* to be the perfect place to run the wires. :D Use the Clothes-Hanger again to run the wires from one side to the other. I found that this is easiest if you put the light on one side, and peek through the crack to see the light coming from the other side. That way, you can aim the Clothes-Hanger where you want it to go, instead of just randomly ramming it into the inside of your trim.




Once both wires are over on the correct side (passenger side) you can start to get into the real sh!t. Now you're allowed to open up your CCFL's box. If you got the same bulb i did, you'll notice a blue rectangular prism residing at the bottom of your box. That is the transformer. You'll also notice a switch is already wired into it. "Damnit, now all of that BS i did with that stupid switch that that Derp who wrote the DIY told me to get is worthless!" Not so fast, genius.

That is possibly one of the crappiest switches i've ever seen, so i just cut the wires, and spliced them together to make a continuous circuit.

Now onto the Molex connector. This is the connector with 4 pins. There is both a female and a male. You need to cut the yellow wire and the black wire on either one. (If you look carefully, they're wired in series, so cut the wires leading to the one farthest in the series.) The black wire is ground, the yellow is positive. strip the ends of all four, and twist the ground on the transformer with the ground from the car. Do the same with the positive wires. Now plug in the light. Don't mount the transformer before you plug in the light, You'll thank me for this, trust me.

holy sh!t i typed 10k characters. this will be continued in this post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, now that you've had your beers, and me my Vanilla Coke, lets get back to business.

There is only one more step before you can mount the transformer. As you have probably noticed already, there is some kind of stupid foam underneath the glove box. i don't really know what it's there for, and it probably has a good reason, but i don't like it. i cut the strap that holds it on and took it out. probably will come bite me in the ass later, but that's life.

If you choose to take the foam out, there's a great place for the transformer towards the firewall. there's a tube that comes through the firewall. Just to the right of that is a plastic molded box. the back of that box is flatter than any other vertical face under the glove box, so thats where i mounted it.




Now you get to mount the CCFL! yay for you! you've come all this way, spent massive amounts of money, listened to me ramble on about installing lights, watched me post pictures of LOLcats and retarded horses, and all for this! are you excited!?!?!

you should be.

back to the DIY. now you need to take more velcro, and attach the light to the underside of the glovebox. and you're done. just like that. pretty anti-climactic, huh?




here's the final result.


[video]http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5207598336/in/photostream/[/video]

Anyways, after all of that mental abuse, i'm proud of you for pulling through and getting it done.

thanks for reading my tutorial, i hope it helped.
 

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noice. have the same thing kinda in my car. except i used Blue LED strips and hardwired them to the battery and put a switch inthe same spot
 

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just an idea but would putting the switch in the ashtray spot work as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i only wired it to the 75x stud in case iforget to turn it off. i dont think it has a super huge draw, but it's kind-of a fall-back.

and yeah, you can put the swich wherever you want to, pretty much. that spot just seemed the easiest to me.
 

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I hate to necro a thread but I am working on this and getting info on the vortex is less than easy. I was originally running my amp remote wire off of the 75x. With my kids being in th ecar a lot more often I wanted to add a switch. However when I ground out to the lug in the above picture the wiring gets hot almost immediately like there is too much current on it. Would adding an inline fuse on the source wire alleviate this or do I have another challenge?
 

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I'm good on running the wires. But do you know if a way of doing it without the switch?
It depends on what you want the lights to do and when.

You could try tapping into your running lights or One of the switch above the rear view mirror, so you can toggle it to turn on when the doors are open or whenever you feel light turning them on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You could try tapping into your running lights or One of the switch above the rear view mirror, so you can toggle it to turn on when the doors are open or whenever you feel light turning them on.
If you're going to be using either of these, I'd recommend using a bit more caution, in case those are conservatively fused. A CCFL's transformer may draw enough start-up current to trip the fuse. Probably not the DRL's fuse, but stranger things have happened.

If you still want to head that direction, a small N-channel radio-shack transistor would work. Wire the Gate pin of the transistor to the positive of the cabin light, the Drain pin to the 75x bolt(or similar for MK5), and the Source pin to the positive of your LED/CCFL strip light.

The benifit to this, for those unfamiliar with transistors, is that the transistor is basically a switch that is controlled by electricity instead of your finger. When you switch the light on, that puts +12VDC across the bulb, and if you tie into that, +12VDC onto the gate of the transistor, which then lets current flow from Drain to Source. If setup correctly, current from the Gate pin to the Source pin should be very small, and you have little chance of blowing fuses.

Hell, I might do a DIY of the basics of setting one of these up in the near future.

*also -
I was 16 when I made this DIY
 
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