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Fog Light Conversion

- UPDATE -

Since this article was written the paint on my bulb has faded and cracked and is now an orange colour rather than red (and actually failed an MOT because of this), therefore I do not recommend you paint your bulb as it is a bit of a waste of time.

I have found one place in the U.S. that sells direct replacement red bulbs (for the wedge mount 12v 21W): www.lightlens.com. Please note that they have a really awful shopping site and although there is a "Purchase" button next to items this does not seem to add items to your shopping cart, it only takes you to the "shopping" part of the site where you have to search for the item you want and THEN add it to your cart etc. The bulbs I got were LB7440RJ (Wedge Mount, 12V 21W) 7440 Red Japanese "No Fade" Bulbs.

????

If your surf has different bulbs (I know some do) then you may be able to find replacement red LED bulbs here: www.ultraleds.co.uk

If anyone finds replacement red capless 12v 21W bulbs in the UK please let me know and I can put details here.


I did not like the look of the dangling fog-light that came on my Surf and I knew it would be torn off sooner or later when driving off-road, so I decided to remove it and convert the off-side reverse light to a fog light. This involves cutting the wire to the reverse light and connecting up the wire from the existing fog light switch. You then need to paint the reverse light bulb with clear red paint.

Depending upon where your existing foglight switch wire is, you may need to remove some of the rear trim.

Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Cross-head & flat-bladed screwdrivers
  • Wire cutters & strippers
  • Electrical crimping tool
  • Wire
  • Electrical spade connectors/scotch locks
  • Zip-ties
  • Drill (possibly needed depending on where you are feeding the wire from your fog light switch)
  • Clear red enamel paint (see table below)

The paint needed is clear red enamel or acrylic modeling paint (used to paint light clusters on model cars etc). You should be able to get this from a model shop, although I could not find anywhere local so I ended up ordering from Model Shop Direct. One 14ml tin is enough to do several bulbs. The table below lists paint manufacturer and their colour codes for clear red paint, any of these should do the job:


First, identify the wire that controls the reverse light:

On the outside of the vehicle, remove the reverse light/number plate lens by removing the two cross-head screws and carefully prising with a flat-bladed screwdriver. See which wire controls the reverse light (on mine it was the red and yellow wire).

Remove the bulb for painting.

Lower the tailgate and pull off the carpeted panel.

Using a cross-head screwdriver, remove the 5 screws holding the black metal panel in place.

Carefully peel off the plastic sheeting - if you are careful and put it somewhere safe you will be able to stick it back on again later.

 
     

Find the wire that goes to your existing fog light, you will need to feed this into the rear tailgate.

I ran mine from the rear of the vehicle through the plastic cap (A) and down to where the other wires for the tailgate go (B).

I could not seem to remove the plastic cover (C) on the tailgate so I ran the wire into the tailgate through another hole (D).

Ensure the wire will not get trapped or stretched when you close the tailgate.

 
     

Shut the tailgate, do up the rear window, then climb inside the back of the vehicle to gain access to the connectors.

Remove the correct wire from the white connector (either cut the wire or simply pull hard). If you cut the wire ensure you leave enough wire to connect to using a spade connector etc.

 
     

Take the wire you fed into the tailgate earlier and feed it to the side of the door.

You need to feed it around the window runner (A) and on to the reverse light.

Connect your fog light switch wire to the reverse light wire using a suitable spade connector or scotch lock.

Use zip-ties where necessary to ensure the wire is not going to move or get caught by the window mechanism.

Operate the window to ensure everything is OK.

Put the tailgate back together together again.

 

 
     

- NO LONGER RECCOMENDED, SEE UPDATE AT TOP OF PAGE -

Now you just need to paint the bulb (see the table at the top of the page for details of the paint needed).

I used Revell Enamel, and simply jammed the bulb into a small cardboard box which enabled me to dip it upside down in the tin of paint.

You will need to do three coats. Allow a few hours between coats and at least 24 hours before you try to touch the bulb.

 

Disclaimer

I have taken a lot of time to ensure the information above is correct, but please remember vehicle manufacturers make alterations and design changes during the production run of a vehicle. No liability can be accepted for loss, damage or injury caused by any errors in, or omissions from, the information given above.

If you think any information is incorrect, confusing, misleading or incomplete, please feel free to contact me.


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