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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I always thought it was cheap-o of Mazda to not add the LED door pull lighting to the rear doors and felt that would have really made the car a bit more complete in respect to the interior lighting..
So I added LED’s to the door pull and door cup holders and here’s how I went about it.

I used 3mm blue LEDs and wired them myself with 1K ohm ( instead of 470 Ohm, to keep things dimmer) resistors in series but pre-wired ready to go +12 volt LED’s are available. I saw a 4 pack at Advance Auto for $9.99
Use anything you want here, but to keep things on the dimmer side I used the single 3mm types.

Here’s a step by step guide with pics so let’s jump right in…
First remove the door panels
Pop the cover behind the door lever and remove the screw behind it
Next remove the silver handle trims starting at the bottom and work your way up.
Remove the 2 screws you now see
Next remove the window switch plate, and disconnect the wire harness going to the window switch
Now, starting at the lower side, closest to the door jamb, beneath the window switch, pop the cover going around the perimeter of the panel then lift upwards but do not pull it fully away yet.
The door lever housing pops out the front of the panel, rotate the lever housing and you can fully remove the door panel
Let’s make some LED holes and here’s where I put them
This is looking at the upper handle from the rear of the panel, where you see my hand at the top of the pic is where the door lever goes. There is a hole to the right and a bit lower to the screw you see here. ( sorry for the blurry pic) Drill a hole to the front side from this hole, and you’ll come out here. This is to pass the led wires through to the back of the panel
LED assembly/ I used about 8-10 inches of wire per lead and made 4 units total
Let’s install these LED’s.
Although the LED’s fit snugly I used a little hot glue to secure them to be safe
The biggest challenge I felt was passing wires through the door jamb connectors and hence I decided to obtain ground from inside the door and run only one wire, 12V, through the connectors.
I must ammend this threaad as the ground i used was not a true ground. Either find a bolt inside the door that is ground or run a second wire through the connector to get grounnd from inside the car
I tied the neg side of each LED together and the pos side of each LED together to a single connector each. I then connected the ground side of the LED’s to the ground wire from the window switch and used large shrink tubing to insulate the connector. I did the neg side only for now; the pos side will get shrink tubing right before the panel gets put back on

See part 2 below
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295 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Adding Door Pull / Cup Holder LEDs to Rear Doors Prt 2

Now to run one wire for each door, start by removing the rear scuff plate and front scuff plate, they pop right off
Next is the large black panel, where the seat belt pre tensioner’s are and covers the inside door jamb
Start from the rear and pull, then the front and pull, work your way up. There are only the two lower clips and two upper clips, the sides are held in place by the heavy weld seam
and these tabs, be careful and take your time
Here you see the whole door and inside exposed. The wire harness goes through the weather boots, through the door jamb connectors and out the door jamb inside the car
Peel back the weather boot from the door jamb connector
Push down on the lock tab and work your way around the connector, the connector backs straight out. I forgot to take a pic of this, but see the curved mold line with a vertical mold line just above the lock tab? Drill a hole here
I fed the wire through the wire guide, into the crinkle boot and out to the connector plate and through the drilled hole in said plate, then pulled all the slack through
This is a view from inside the car of the connector in the door jamb, see that arrow pointing up and the square opening just below it? That’s where your wire goes
The connector goes back into the door jamb, the wire goes through the hole that you drilled in the plate and the wire then goes through the square hole on the connector
I ran the wire down to the floor along the harness and tucked it under the edge of the mouse fur carpet, running towards the front of the car. Then under the panel ahead of the front scuff plates you popped off earlier, up to the fuse box on the drivers side and behind the center console on the passenger side.
Drop the passenger upper foot well panel and follow the cross member brace that runs behind the console, then up to the fuse box
Replace all the panels you took off in reverse order. The large center panel has two clips on the bottom and two pegs at the top but the sides are held in place by the welt seam. Pull the seal outwards and over the clips on the center panel
When removing the door panels I broke 2 fasteners on each door, the same 2 on each side actually and I found these replacement fasteners for Nissan’s but these fit just fine. The white one is from the Mazda and the gray one is from the Dorman package. They were $2.50 for a pack of 4 pcs and I found them at Autozone and Advance had them too..
I connected the pos wire to the pos lead of the LED’s and shrink tubed these before fully re-installing the door panel
Lastly, to allow for the LED and wire in the door handle, cut away the rib on the back side of the silver trim.
For power I had originally planned to tap into the same circuit with the factory front handle pull LED’s but after some thought I decided to put them on their own switch. It isn’t often that I have people in the back so it made more sense to have them on a separate circuit.
I have already modified the 2 small button blanks next to the DSC/AFS switches for my “on demand” dual color foot well lighting, and I had made the large button into a rocker but that never really worked well, the physics to allow it to operate properly just wasn’t there and have it look untouched. I found at Advance Auto an LED “touch” switch that happened to fit just right into the large switch hole. The LED’s on the switch were really bright and the switch face was hardly aesthetically pleasing so to kill two birds with one stone, I used a tinted piece of clear plastic to give it a better look and to dim the light output of the switches LED’s. The plastic did not interfere with the operation of the switch either (to my surprise)
I tapped into the “switched” 12V pwr socket (the one above the shifter) via an Add-A-Circuit. The first pic is no pwr, the second its powered but switched “off”(red led) the next is the switch “on” ( blue led) the next pic w/o the plastic cover and the last shows the plastic cover half on. The LED switch is a snug fit but is not locked into place so when taking the car in for service, I push the switch fully into the hole, where it bottoms out just enough to allow the original black cover to sit on top flush so it looks like I never touched it. I had modified this cover to about 1/8” for the rocker switch attempt.

If you want to know more about converting this button blank to accommodate a switch, then I recommend you read jricesterenater’s excellent thread “Making the Big Non-Functional Dash Button Functional” in the HOW TO section…text book write up

And the results!

Peanutbutter Jelly!!!
361 Posts
awesome, I've thought about this for a while but also to illuminate the front door holders as well but electrical work and figuring out resistances etc is new to me and I didn't know where to begin.

121 Posts
Wow, amazing. This is a great writeup even for just door disassembly. I doubt I'll ever go this far, but I maybe I'll give it a try after I get my other lighting stuff squared away and figure out why my hatch aux power keeps shorting out.

253 Posts
ZOMG! Thats alot of work for led's in the back lol. Nice writeup.

295 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Well, I wuz bored and since I don"t have the spare $$ for any real mods, it kept me entertained and since I also have exhausted all the other ambient lighting in the front, it kinda made sense.
Enjoy and thanks!
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