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Fitting Interior Door Handle LEDs for the Holden VE II Commodore

  • White LED fitted to the interior door handle of a VE Calais
    The following document describes how to add 5mm LEDs to the VE interior door trim, to illuminate the interior door handles, as well as the door pockets.

    Please note : This modification uses the existing door lamp wiring, which is available on Calais, Statesman and Caprice Models.
    Other models may require new wiring to be added from the interior (Body Control Module), through the door wiring harness ducting, in to the door.
    This modification rates as one of the best modifications you can do, in terms of bang for buck.
  • Parts required for all models
    Parts required 5mm High Brightness LEDs (can be purchased cheaply on eBay)
    560 Ohm Resistors (Can be purchased cheaply from eBay, or Jaycar)
    A couple of meters of figure 8 cable (Or any suitable cable).
    A length of heatshrink
    Some electrical tape
    Some duct tape

    Tools Required
    Soldering iron
    Solder
    Hot glue gun, and some hot glue
    Small Flat headed screwdriver
    Phillips headed screwdriver
    Wire clippers.
  • Before we begin pulling apart the vehicles interior, we will need to solder the resistors, and cable on to the LEDs.
    1) Cut the longer leg of the LED about 5mm from the top of the LED.
    2) Cut one side of a resistor approximately 5mm from the resistor. 3) Solder the Cut Leg of the Resistor to the Cut Leg of the LED. Use pliers, or a paper clip to hold the LED and Resistor together whilst completing this step.

    4) cut 1cm of heat shrink tubing and cover the resistor Leg of the LED, from the LED, to the end of the resistor
    5) Solder a length (Around 1m) of Figure 8 cable (Or any cable for that matter) to the end of the LED, and heatshrink.
    NOTE : Ensure that the cable used to connect to the LED has some sort of polarity marking.
    (I.E. Make sure there is some way to identify what side of the cable is connected to the positive side of the LED, and which side is connected to the negative side of the LED).
    6) Repeat the above steps to create the required number of LEDs for the conversion.
    (Note You will need 2 for the front door handles, 2 for the back door handles, 8 for the front door pockets, and 6 for the rear door pockets).
  • The next step is to remove the door trim for both the front doors.
    The front door trims are held in place by a number of screws, and plastic clips.
    1) Remove the plastic screw cover located inside the interior door handle using a suitable tool such as small flat bladed screwdriver.
    2) Remove the screw located behind the plastic screw cover, using a hex key, or a suitable flat bladed screwdriver.
    3) Locate and remove the screws located between below the arm rest, and around door trim, as seen in the following images.

    4) Next, begin pulling the door trim outward, away from the door, starting at the top of the door trim, near the door glass.
    This will disengage the top clips holding the door trim in place.
    5) Next, continue pulling the door trim outward, using the armrest handle to unclip the door trim from the door.
    6) Finally remove the door trim panel from the door to allow easy access to the door handle connecting cables.
    7) Disconnect the door handle and lock connecting cables by lifting the cable connector upwards, and sliding the cable ball joint out of the connector hole.
    8) Disconnect the Door Lamp wiring connectors (Where fitted).
    9) Finally, remove the door trim completely from the door
  • The rear door trims are held in place by a number of screws, and plastic clips.
    1) Remove the plastic screw cover located inside the interior door handle using a suitable tool such as small flat bladed screwdriver.
    2) Remove the screw located behind the plastic screw cover, using a hex key, or a suitable flat bladed screwdriver.
    3) Locate and remove the screws located between below the arm rest, and around door trim, as seen in the following images. [album]14826[/album] 4) Next, begin pulling the door trim outward, away from the door, starting at the top of the door trim, near the door glass.
    This will disengage the top clips holding the door trim in place.
    5) Next, continue pulling the door trim outward, using the armrest handle to unclip the door trim from the door.
    6) Finally partially remove the door trim panel from the door to allow easy access to the door handle connecting cables.
    7) Disconnect the door handle and lock connecting cables by lifting the cable connector upwards, and sliding the cable ball joint out of the connector hole.
    8) Disconnect the Door Lamp wiring connectors (Where fitted).
    9) Finally, unplug the power window wiring connector from the power window switch.
    10) Remove the rear door trim completely from the door.
  • With the door trim items removed, you can now begin to fit the prepared LEDs to the Door trim pieces.
    Firstly, you will need to drill a 5mm hole at the top of the door handle trim piece to allow fitting of the LED.

    Before and After Images for drilling hole around the Door release handle
    The hole should be located roughly around the same area as in the image above.
    Next, fit the LED to the hole, the LED should fit snugly, and the wiring should not foul the interior door handle mechanism.
    Next, using some adhesive, such as a hot glue gun, place a small amount of adhesive on the LED, and the surrounding door handle trim piece to hold the LED in place.
    Finally, use a length of Gaffa tape to hold the electrical wiring down for the LED, on to the door trim piece.
    The electrical wire should be run down through the door trim sound insulation, to roughly the bottom middle of the door. (Near the Door lamp where fitted).
    Duct Taping up the wiring around the door release handle
    Next, you will be fitting the LEDs to the door trim pockets.
    For the front door trims, you will ideally require four LEDs to be fitted, though this number is not an exact science.
    For the Rear door trims, three LEDs will be required, but again, this is not an exact science.

    The 5mm holes for the door pockets should be located just above the door pocket lip, and be evenly space to allow for an even distribution of light inside the door pocket when fitted.

    The following images give you a rough idea of the positions used in this example. Note : In the above images, I have used 2 LEDs for the front door pockets, however I have found the lighting is inadequate,
    and I would strongly recommend using 4 LEDs for the front door pockets.

    Next, fit the prepared LEDs to the drilled holes for the door pockets, and glue in to place.
    Next, place duct tape over the LED wiring to hold the wiring in place (and prevent the wiring from moving within the door trim, and making unwanted noise / rattles).
    Continue the above steps so as you cover the wiring for the extra LEDs that have been added to the door trim..
  • To make removal and re-installation of the door trim as easy as possible, I have opted for cutting off the factory spade connectors
    for the door lamps, and added an after market electrical connector in their place.

    The idea behind this was to have all the door trim wiring fixed and taped to the door trim (to reduce rattles),
    and to have a single electrical connector used to connect the whole door lighting circuit up.

    The electrical connector used in this example can be bought from Jaycar electronics (in Australia),
    or any automotive parts supplier such as SuperCheap Auto (Australia).

    The following image shows the factory spade connectors for the door lamp circuit removed, and the after market wiring connector being fitted in their place.
    Please Note : Heat shrink tubing has been added before the wiring has been twitched together, and the factory foam sheath has been carefully unravelled from the wiring harness for later use.
    Also note that the red (Positive Wire) for the electrical connector has been connected to the blue (Positive) wire on the original door wiring.
    The after market wiring connectors Red wire connector is also covered, and the negative (Black) wire is not covered.
    This will prevent the wiring connector from shorting to ground by preventing the red wire electrical connector from touching any part of the metal chassis.

    Once the wiring has been soldered together, fit eh heat shrink tubing, tape the wiring harness together, and re-wrap the factory harness foam around the wiring harness.
    The next step is to connect the LED wiring, the factory spade connectors for the door lamp, and the after market electrical connector together on the door trim.
    Looking at the above image, you can see that the the LED wiring with the black trace is connected to the Black cable for the after market electrical wiring connector.
    Also note that the factory spade connector black wiring is also connected to the black wire on the after market electrical connector.

    Also note that the heat shrink has been fitted before the wiring loom has been twitched together.

    The final step is to solder the wiring together, fit the heat shrink, and tape the loom to the door trim using gaffa tape.
    Now that you have completed the last step, fit the factory spade connectors to the door lamp (where fitted), and connect the after market wiring connector from the door trim, to the door, and test.
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