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Discussion Starter #1
Ok since a bunch of you seem to like this idea here it goes.We will start with the parts list as follows .
3 pigtails part#04320-SPO-HOO
2 tailight harnesses part#33502-S3V-AO1
X-acto knife
3 spools of wire 18 ga or 16 ga in different colors
Now before you get started one thing you need to realize is that I am doing this using off the shelf stuff from the dealer you can substitute parts as you wish.The other important thing is that this does require a modification on the tail lights themselves.
Assuming you are using the factory parts here is what you do.Remove both tail lights,this is done by popping off the small covers visible with the hatch open.Remove the screws and take out the tail lights.Now here is the tough part.The lower light socket hole that is normally just a running lamp must be modified to look like the brake/running lamp socket hole.Now this sounds bad but it can be done with a sharp knife and some patience on your part.Once the lower socket hole is like the upper one take the two tail light harnesses you purchased and snip off the sockets for the brake/running lamps leaving enough wire to splice in extension cords .Verify that the new socket sits securely into the modified hole.This will take a bit of work as the lower running lamp uses a very small socket but it can be done.
Ok once you are past this it is time to locate the trailer harness connector.I chose to use the trailer connector as this avoids the brake bulb failure circuit in the truck and is already fully fused for adding light bulbs.The connector is located below the valence panel in the rear hatch opening.It is removed by prying it towards the front of the truck.Once removed there is only one connector on the left hand side this is the trailer connector.It is plugged into a female connector that has no wires coming out of it.Unplug the trailer and then pop off the female empty connector from its mounting.Now take those three pigtails and install them into the empty female connector as follows .If you look at the trailer connector locate the following three wires RED/BLACK WHITE/BLACK SOLID BLACK .The empty female connector has to be popped open to allow you to install the pigtails into it.If you look at the connector look at the side that normally would have wires coming out of it there are two small moveable parts pry them away from the connector body and you are ready to install the pigtails.The pigtails will lock into place as you slide them in then close the parts you just pried away to lock them in place.Now you have to install the pigtails so that when the trailer connector is plugged back into the female connector body you have one pigtail per the wire colors I called out earlier.Ok now that this is done here is what those wires do:
RED/BLACK=running lights
WHITE/BLACK=brake lights
SOLID BLACK=ground
Ok now that you know that decide what colors of wire that you bought are going to be ground ,brake light ,running lamp.So let's start with the ground wire ,splice whatever color you decided to be ground to the new running/brake lamp ground wire on the left side of the truck.Run this wire beneath the interior panels of the truck back to the trailer connector and attach it to the pig tail that is plugged into the BLACK wire on the trailer connector.Repeat this for the right side of the truck and also attach it to the pigtail you attached the left side to.Now go ahead and repeat this again for the running lamp part of the tail light sockets running both new wires back to the pigtail that plugs into the RED/BLACK wire.And once this is done repeat the whole process again for the brake lamp part of each tail lamp socket running both those wires back to the pigtail that plugs into the WHITE/BLACK wire on the trailer connector .Now make certain all your new wires are properly insulated and tucked out of the way and reassemble the truck and your done.Check the lights work properly and go freak out your friend with his MDX and show off your new high visibility brake lights.
Ok it sounds tough but it is really pretty easy the toughest part is getting the sockets in the tail lights.Now remember I used parts I can get a hold of but you can use whatever you feel is adequate .You also do not need to use the pigtails you can just cut the wires at the trailer connector and splice directly I just happen to like this method as it leaves the truck almost stock other than enlarging the holes in the tail lights.
Hope this reasonably easy to follow feel free to ask questions if you need answers.Jens
 

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Thanks Jens! Some Qs for you. In the other thread I think you recommended using one TL wiring harness cuz it's got two tail/brake lights per side. However in your instructions above you list 2 light harnesses and the part # for them. Is this part # for the original TL part you recommended using or is it for the upper MDX tail/brake light harness? If it's the TL harness, do you use a TL bulb, the MDX bulb, or are they all the same? If the lower lights are run through the trailer harness, does this mean that they will blink when I hit the turn signals? I don't want them to blink. Also, if I should ever need to tow a trailer after performing this mod, would it be easy to temporarily disconnect the lower lights so I could run the trailer lights? I'm assuming it would just leave the lower tails dark while running the trailer? Finally, did you actually perform this mod on your demo? If so, how would you assess the improvement? Was my 66% estimate in the ball park? Sorry for all the Qs. Thanks again for your help and great instructions, I think I can do it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gator,I made a mistake when I first thought up how to do this mod.The TL harness will not work as the TL uses only single filament bulbs the part number reflects a MDX tail light harness.The only way you can get a MDX tail light socket is with the harness which is why I suggested using the complete MDX harnesses.You could try to locate a similar socket locally through parts stores,but it must be the type with a small rubber gasket on it or else the tail light assembly may get moisture inside.Unfortuanately I have not as yet located this type of socket in the aftermarket but perhaps you will get lucky.It is I admit an expensive way to get a single light socket but right now it is the only way.The bulb for the add on brake light mod will be the same as the original bulb used in the MDX brake/running lamp socket it is a 21W/5W spade type.Your new brake light will fucntion exactly as your standard brake light and will not flash if you use the turn signals.When an MDX is equipped with a trailer package the dealer installs a small control unit that combines the turn/brake/running light signals to function with the single bulb tail lights that are standard on most trailers.This control unit plugs into the trailer harness so if you used the method I described you can unplug the lower modified running/brake lamp and plug in the trailer control box.This will leave your lower brake/running lamp dark but since you are towing a trailer people will be staring at the trailer lights and not your MDX's tail lights anyway.Since MDXs are in very short supply and we have only a single demo vehicle I was not allowed to try this mod out but I do not foresee any problems.
One additional thing I forgot to mention is that you must run the new wires through the gasket that seals the tail light harness to the body of the truck this can be done easily with a coat hanger and some electrical tape.
 
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