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Owner's experiences with installation of rear lighted T

Discussion in 'Interior, Exterior, and Detailing - Sponsored' started by artsci, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I've started this thread for the three volunteers who'll receive a rear lighted T and brightness drive for installation next week. Our goal is for them to post comments and photos on their experiences with the installation. They also will be reviewing the installation instructions for accuracy and clarity and taking additional photos that will help with the installation.

    I'm emailing them the installation instructions this weekend and they'll receive a the same pre-production version of the rear lighted T and brightness drive that SUPRKAR and I installed on our cars at the Hamilton, NJ supercharger on June 22. These are hand-made versions that are fully waterproof, with the same shell, PCB, and red LEDs that will be in the production version.
     
  2. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Rick,

    I received the instructions and did a quick read of them. First question I have is the instructions say to leave the residue from the double stick tape on the car to facilitate placement of the lighted T. Will the lighted T be able to be fully seated against the car with no gaps if you do this? Prior to removing the originally installed T, one places blue tape around the outline of the T. Thus, a guide exists for the proper placement of the lighted T from this tape.

    Second, two small holes have to be drilled in the hatch for the wires to pass through. Although the hatch is made of aluminum, what are your thoughts on coating the inner edge of the holes with some touch-up paint to prevent oxidation, and maybe even placing a sealant in the holes (after the wires are inserted) as an extra precaution to ensure that moisture does not get into the car?

    Thanks for your thoughts. Will contact you to discuss the installation once the lighted T arrives. Installation looks pretty easy but for the re-installation of the hatch liner.
     
  3. rekoh

    rekoh Member

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    I would agree that you would want to address the hole with either some silicon, or some paint. I would also suggest anchoring the wires inside to prevent vibration/rubbing.

    Of course if any of the 3 want to drop out, I would be happy to take your place and show you what I mean when I install it in my car :)
     
  4. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Side note/slightly off topic...when I had to drill a hole in my rear hatch side frame to install the rear camera for my Blackvue dual front/rear dash cam (search the forums here for my info & comments), I did not paint the aluminum where I drilled the hole, but did go and pick up a couple of rubber grommets at my local hardware store, and selected the proper sized one to pop into and line the hole and prevent any chafing or rubbing to the wires. Not sure what size/diameter artsci specifies for the wiring, but you might want to consider this. YMMV.
     
  5. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Good suggestion, JPP.
     
  6. 4SUPER9

    4SUPER9 Active Member

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    A grommet may prevent the LED T from lying flush against the aluminum, no?
     
  7. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Not if one cuts off the "flange" that would sit on the outside of the hatch and you then glue the grommet to the inside of the hatch.
     
  8. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    When I installed the front lighted T, I put some silicone adhesive sealant in the holes I drilled. I'll probably do the same with the rear.
     
  9. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    ...also a good plan...
     
  10. 3pod

    3pod Member

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    #10 3pod, Jul 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Just finished my install. Took about 2 hours which included a lot of photos and small video. By far the hardest part was putting back the large trim piece. Second hardest was removing the top most harness in the large trim piece. None of my clips broke. Also maybe because I don't have the high fidelity sound, I also didn't need to peel pack that matt material which I suspect is sound dampener. I think if you were able to install the front lighted T, the back one should not pose too much of a challenge for you. Just take your time and don't force things.

    I didn't get a chance to apply anything to the two holes I drilled. Didn't read this thread until right now. I'll maybe go back and apply touch up paint from the inside and see if that protects the aluminum some.

    I'll be sending Artsci my photos and a few notes tonight. But here a small clip for you to enjoy!

     
  11. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    @3pod, that looks great!

    When you apply the brakes, the color of the T looks pretty yellow, is that simply a color balance thing on the camera? I remember Rick saying that the colors of the dimmed and bright T very closely matches that of the Model S running/brake lights.

    Good job on the install, super clean! I can't wait to get mine -- only coming by the end of this week probably (I'm in Canada).

    Rob
     
  12. 3pod

    3pod Member

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    It's probably a combination of the camera and the time of day and the position of the car relative to a setting sun.

    In hindsight I should have added a video that includes the tail lights for a color comparison. I will try to do one tonight.

    I don't think it looked orange to me when I looked at it. The color is very close. To my untrained eyes, I would say it has a slight pink tinge to it. That might be caused by the two layers of white colored adhesive on both sides of the t.
     
  13. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    That's great news. So I guess you are very satisfied with the results then. :)

    Thanks for the update!
     
  14. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    You're right, We're now recommending that the residue be removed after the holes have been drilled. We're also recommending that the holes be coated, filled from behind with silicone adhesive/caulk, Goop or some similar material.

    - - - Updated - - -

    For some reason camera shots, even with top digital cameras, make the red look more orange. It's a distortion I don't full understand and even after adjusting the white balance to a number of different settings on my Nikon D7000 it was still way too orange. In real life it's very red.

    Now that several DYI and profession installs have been successful, we'll start taking pre-production orders for the rear T by the end of next week. Haven't confirmed a price yet but it will be close to the front T. We may even offer a front/rear T package.

    In the meantime, here are a few more photos:

    photo 2.JPG

    Lighted T on rear of blue car.jpg
     
  15. Klaus

    Klaus Member

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    Rear Lighted T flashes with right turn signal when lights are off or DRL. See this thread: #29
     
  16. Zextraterrestrial

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    Looks good, I might need to put In an order soon!
     
  17. EBill

    EBill Member

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    I installed the lighted Ts on my RHD in Hong Kong right after delivery. Happy to say that detailed instructions provided by Rick were invaluable. I used the rear lighted T.pdf from 17 July 2014.

    I was installing the Ts right around the corner from the SC. My DS and SC team were impressed with the Ts and liked how the rear one lighting intensity matched both the running lights and brake lights.

    Rear T installation notes:
    I installed the rear T on top of the Xpel wrap with no problem adhering to the wrap. A bit of a challenge was marking where the T should go since the T was removed to install the Xpel. Checking cars from the friendly SC around the corner I got the following measurements:

    The bottom of the T is 3.8 cm from the bottom of the hatch lid. Top of arch is 2.2 cm from the top of the hatch lid. There is a 3mm gap between the arch and the T. The contours of the T also make it pretty easy to fit the T into the right place on the rear of the hatch.

    Good news is the wiring harnesses for this part of the RHD car are in the same location as the LHD models. Other details on my car (first batch of RHD production cars for HK, VIN 46xxx):
    Page 5, section A6 – No black vinyl sheets although I have the premium sound system
    Page 8, section C5 – Blue wire with white strip was tapped for the brake lights
    Page 9, section C8 – Tan with dark blue stripe (same as instructions) was tapped for running lights
    Page 9, section D3 – The hazard warning lights do not activate the T on my RHD model. I suspect that other international spec cars with amber turn lamps are also not activated.

    Tips:

    1. Taking off and installing the large panel is easier with 2 or even 3 people. One person or two persons can hold the panel. The other person should be familiar with disconnecting/connecting the electric clips for items like the speakers, lights, etc.
    2. Get lots of the Auveco clips. I replaced 5.
    3. Use a professional crimping tool to attach the terminals. An example of one of these tools is in the video for mounting the front lighted T. The all in one wire cutters, wire insulation removers and crimping tools are difficult to work with in the tight spaces of the hatch lid. The crimps from the professional tool are a lot better as well.

    Request:
    Please make the leads on the T about 20-30 cm long. The hardest part of the installation for me was crimping the terminals inside the hatch lid, even after I got the right tool mentioned in #3 above.

    Many thanks to Rick for these kits.

    lightedt_r_01.jpg
     

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