How To Guide LED shift knob - Club4G Forum : Mitsubishi Eclipse 4G Forums - 2006-2012 Eclipse Authority
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Do It Yourself Guides (Howto) HowTos, Technical Data and Documentation for the 4G Eclipse


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Old February 5th, 2014, 07:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Greg
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Hinesville, GA
Vehicle: 2007/Eclipse/GS
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Army_NJ is a jewel in the roughArmy_NJ is a jewel in the rough
LED shift knob

Hey I came across a how to for an led shift knob for a beamer on reddit and figured I'd repost it here for anyone who may want to adapt it to the eclipse.


[]StoneAgeHitman'95 318ti (RIP), '97 318ti M-Sport (project)*166 points*1 day*ago*

EDIT: As keerf said below, there are far better ways to connect and secure the wires than the way I described. I have little experience with wiring and none at all with soldering, so I took the easy way out. I'm going to go back and do it properly, and I'll update this when I do.

For the record, I have the E36 compact, which is not pre-wired for an illuminated shift knob, so I have no idea if there's an easier, better way to do it on a sedan or coupe. Some cars are pre-wired, and if yours is, then there should be a plug lying around (if not in use) somewhere under the leather shift boot. Plug and play.

First, you're gonna want to buy a shift knob that is wired for illumination. I got mine from ECS Tuning, which has pretty good prices on OEM and Genuine BMW parts. (I don't know much about aftermarket shift knobs, you're on your own there.)

There are a couple different designs you can get. You can buy the*"M-Technic" pattern, which is the M stripes in the upper left corner of the knob. You can get the*///M logo, which I did. (I'm aware that I don't have a true ///M car and that the M-Technic is the one that is stock, but I really like the way it looks and I'm not throwing badges all over the outside, so I can sleep at night.) You can also get a simple 5-speed emblem. All of these come with two wires that stick out of the bottom of the knob and come together in a plug.

Here is how I did it. You will need:

Flathead screwdriver (to pry off the shift boot)Wire cutter/stripperIlluminated shift knobPocket knifeElectrical tape

So once you have your new shift knob, take it out of the packaging and admire it for about fifteen minutes (or maybe that was just me). All you have to do is take off the old shift knob (which may be glued on if the PO of your car is into quick/dirty fixes, but just pull straight up), pop off the leather boot (2 tabs about where the window switches are on each side, 4 total), and remove the foam padding.

You should probably disconnect the battery at this point, as you will be touching bare wiring. I didn't, but I'm an idiot. I'm also here to tell the tale, so take from that what you will.

If you're squeamish about hacking away at wiring under your console, there is another, cleaner way to install this as it would be installed at the factory. See*here*(be aware that you need to make an account to view the pictures he posted). Also, if you don't feel like dropping upwards of $80 on a new shift knob,this*thread documents how a guy took his non-lighted shift knob and DIYed an LED into it.

If you have no qualms about hacking at the wiring in your car, push up lightly but firmly on the driver's side window switch from beneath, and it will pop out of its housing on the center console. Unplug the wires that lead to it. Set the switch somewhere you won't lose it.

Cut off the plug from the shift knob. Leave a lot of wire hanging out, just in case.

You will be color-matching. The red/gray wire from the knob splices to the red/gray wire under the console, and the same for the brown wire. Red/gray is the dimmable lighting, and brown is ground.

Strip about half an inch of plastic off of the two knob wires. This is where it gets a little iffy. To splice the wires together, you will need to somehow strip the plastic from the wires leading to the window switch. There are two ways you can do this.

You can simply cut the wires leading to the switch, strip them, and put it all back together later.

You can scrape away at the plastic using the pocket knife, until you've removed about a half-inch-long segment. I did it this way.

IMPORTANT: before wrapping any wires together, thread the wires from the knob through the boot. If you don't, you will put everything together, realize you still have a shift boot that is sitting next to you, and feel incredibly stupid for missing that. The shift boot does not fit over the knob.

Wrap the bare wires from the knob around the bare wires for the switch. Wrap them tightly, and ensure a good connection. If you mess it up somehow, just cut off a little bit off the wires from the knob and try again. That's why you left so much extra when you cut off the plug. I did in fact need to wire it twice, due to reasons noted in the above paragraph.

Make sure the connection is nice and tight, then wrap in electrical tape. Cover any bare wiring. Hell, no one's going to see it, go to town with the tape. Just make sure that nothing is exposed. The last thing you want is some sort of electrical fire. Bare wiring + carpet = bad. Once you're satisfied that nothing is going to spontaneously combust, reconnect the battery, and test the lighting before reassembling everything. Test it in the dark for dramatic effect. If all is well, (and it should be, it's not a hard mod to do), reconnect the wiring to the window switch, pop that back in, replace the foam around the shifter, fit the knob onto the shifter, and then pop the boot back in.

Congratulations! Your interior looks awesome as hell in the dark.


Source: StoneAgeHitman comments on Best mod you've done for your E36?

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