So, I painted my brake calipers and put a chrome Mercedes Benz decal on it. Now it looks brand new! I also painted the center hub and the dust shield as well. Figured I share the result with you guys. I used VHT High Temp wheel paint in "Graphite". Got it at AutoZone. Looks really good in person, especially with the flakes in it.
Monday, May 5, 2014
DIY - Puddle Lights on 2009 Mercedes C300 (W204)
Part A: Removing Side Skirts
Step 1: Take off plastic pins from the front of the side skirts and the rear of the side skirts. On the front, you'll see two plastic pins. On the rear, you'll see one on top, there's another one on the underside. These pins are a two part pin, so pry up the center part first before prying off the outer part.
Step 2: Remove the 8 plastic tabs underneath the side skirts. Just use a flathead screwdriver (must be a short screwdriver due to clearance between the ground and the sideskirts) or a coin to twist these counterclockwise and they should pop off.
*Note* There are two of these tabs on each of the rubber jack points (front and rear). No need to remove those, they do not connect to the sideskirts.
Step 3: Pop the sideskirts off the white plastic holders. They are tricky to pop off, but the trick is to pull upwards because the sideskirts have a ridge that goes over a slot on the white plastic holders.
PART B: Installing puddle lights into the sideskirts.
Step 1: Mark the areas where you want the puddle lights to be. I am doing 5 lights per side, so I'll have 5 marks. I marked mines by marking the two end points first, then calculate the middle point from measuring the distance between the two end point and dividing it by 2. Then I measured the distance between the middle point to the end point and divide that by two to get the position for the last two puddle lights. Make sure to measure the distance vertically as well when you're marking to ensure the puddle lights aren't staggered. They should all be in the same line.
*Note* I marked my holes further in to avoid being in the line of the holes for the tabs on the sideskirts. You don't want it there because that's the part of the sideskirt that sits flush with the car when you mount it back, which means there won't be any room for puddle lights in that area.
Step 2: Using a drill and a 1" Hole Saw Bit (you can buy these at Lowes or Home Depot), drill out the holes you marked. This part is easy, just make sure you create a pilot hole first so that you don't mess up the position of your hole.
Step 3: The puddle lights kit will come with plastic brackets. You won't need it, Just run the lights through the hole. Then put the crush washer over it and then put the nut over it and tighten. The puddle lights should sit flush on the sideskirts.
Step 4: After you install all 5 puddle lights, connect them all together. This is obvious, but each wire comes pre-crimped with male and female connectors. Just match the colors when connecting them together. In this tutorial, I will show you how to wire to the rear dome light, so I made sure to connect the puddle lights up so that the last puddle light will have the extra wires handing out at the rear of the sideskirts.
PART C: Running the wires inside the car:
Step 1: Pop off the last white plastic sideskirt holder from the rear. Then pop off the door sill from the rear door and the rubber/fabric molding piece that goes around the door. After doing this, it will expose some openings that the wires can go through. I don't have a picture of this, but on the side of the rear seats, there is a plastic trim piece, once you pop off the rubber/fabric door molding, you'll see that this plastic trim piece clips onto the chassis of the car with a couple of metal clips. On the metal clip closest to the door sill, run the wires through the gap that this clip is on. If you run the wires just right, you'll eventually see it come out from the opening where the white plastic holder was. Be patient, this took me a couple of minutes, it would be a lot easier if I had something stiff to fish the wires through, but I didn't have anything stiff and thin enough, so I just fished it by jamming wires until I eventually saw it from the hole.
Step 2: Drill two holes on the white plastic holder piece so you can run the wires through it. You have to drill the two holes in the center area of the holder so that when you pop it back, it doesn't pinch the wires. You cannot utilize the holes that's already there.
Step 3: Run the rest of the wires along the door all the way up to the headliner. Then on the headliner, you need to pop off the dome light. It's easy to pop this off, the whole assembly comes off as one piece. It's held together by 4 clips, just pry each corner and it'll come off. Be gentle though, you don't want to damage the headliner.
Step 4: Wire up the puddle lights wiring to the plug. The positive will go the red/purple wire, and the negative goes to the brown wire.
Step 4. Plug the plug back into the dome light assembly and push/clip the dome assembly back onto the headliner. Then connect the wiring on the sideskirts to the wiring you ran to the dome light. Re-install the sideskirts and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
*Note* It was hard as hell getting the sideskirts back on, make sure to tuck the sideskirts underneath all the black plastic pieces mounted below the car. If you don't tuck it underneath the black plastic pieces, the tabs will never go back in. Also, the black plastic pieces are meant to hold the sideskirts in place and prevent water from getting into it, which can damage the puddle lights, so make sure you put it back together correctly. To get the sideskirts back on to the white plastic holders, you'll have to lift it up and then drop it down into the holder. I would recommend getting the middle part of the sideskirts on first, then work your way to the sides. If you don't do this (like I did), it becomes really hard to get it back onto the slip because the door pins in down in a way that there is no way to lift it up high enough to drop it down on the holder.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the DIY. Goodluck!
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