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How to: 3rd Gen License Plate Light Bulb Replacement

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tullie D, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Jan 19, 2020 at 1:03 PM
    #1
    Tullie D

    Tullie D [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've seen and heard where a lot of folks have difficulty replacing the license plate light bulbs.

    There is a quick, easy way to do it without frustration and cutting up your hands on the sharp edges behind the bumper.

    I use a trim tool like this:

    20200119_143126[1].jpg

    The trim tool can be pressed in beside the lamp housing to release the clip:


    20200119_143406[1].jpg

    Then reach behind the bumper and just push the lamp housing out.

    20200119_143501[1].jpg

    Now you've got it out in the open where it's easy to see and handle. After you've swapped the bulb, the housing simply snaps back into place.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  2. Jan 20, 2020 at 2:20 PM
    #2
    Tacospike

    Tacospike Semi-Unknown Custodial Member

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    That’s helpful, I’ve changed out mine a few times already the hard way
     
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  3. May 16, 2020 at 4:00 PM
    #3
    Fzj80 guy

    Fzj80 guy Member

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    Thank you Tullie D for posting this!! I spent 30 minutes trying to fit my fat hands under the bumper trying the remove the license plate light socket. Despite the cussing and lacerations, I was unsuccessful. I used your method and had both lights replaced with led's in under 5 minutes! Thanks again!!! :cheers:
     
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  4. Nov 29, 2020 at 6:22 PM
    #4
    tclavell

    tclavell Well-Known Member

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    Just a quick thank you bump! Followed your process and was finished in 10 minutes.

    Thank you!
     
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  5. Dec 29, 2020 at 9:18 AM
    #5
    SomeGuyFromNewJersey

    SomeGuyFromNewJersey New Member

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    Thank you Sir.
    I plan to follow your directions this weekend.
     
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  6. Jan 6, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    #6
    Bigeshorte45

    Bigeshorte45 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this!
     
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  7. Mar 4, 2021 at 11:04 AM
    #7
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm late to the game, but I just scraped up my hands doing it the hard way, THEN I found this! I couldn't get the bulb housings back in place tight enough so I'd like to try this method. Did it work for you? Does the trim tool have to be extra thin?
    Thanks!
     
  8. Mar 4, 2021 at 11:09 AM
    #8
    tclavell

    tclavell Well-Known Member

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    it's very easy.. the trim tool just has to be 'wedged' in enough to allow the whole thing to slide out. most trim tools are usually the same thickness, so you should be ok. If you have a trim tool as shown in the instructions, use that.

    RIP @Tullie D
     
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  9. Mar 4, 2021 at 11:23 AM
    #9
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    I think I do! Thanks for the quick reply. It looks like the trim tool goes in closest to the bed. Is it just that one side, or both? Thanks again!
     
  10. Mar 4, 2021 at 11:37 AM
    #10
    tclavell

    tclavell Well-Known Member

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    closest to the bed. From there, the whole housing will slide out, with a little push from underneath/backside, and you can replace the bulb and snap it back in. When I did mine it took about 10 minutes total.
     
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  11. Mar 4, 2021 at 11:47 AM
    #11
    Tacospike

    Tacospike Semi-Unknown Custodial Member

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  12. Mar 4, 2021 at 12:22 PM
    #12
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Perfect, thanks! As soon as the wind stops howling and it warms up a bit, I’ll give it a try.
    I appreciate your replies!
     
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  13. Mar 4, 2021 at 1:47 PM
    #13
    playdixie

    playdixie Miss'ippi fella

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    Got mine installed this afternoon. I'll post more pics this evening for those who might not be sure about how to install. Its honestly not hard. Takes between 20-30 minutes.
     
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  14. Mar 4, 2021 at 1:48 PM
    #14
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to it. Thanks!
     
  15. Mar 6, 2021 at 6:55 AM
    #15
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Well, I must have missed something or I’m doing something incorrectly. I can’t get the light housings out. I can get a trim tool in far enough to get one side (closest to the bed) to pull out a bit, but the other side won’t budge, and when I push the housing from under the bumper, it pops back in place. What am I doing wrong?

    I really want to try to avoid more hand scrapes!

    9712997F-45B0-401F-8585-0B4DC6B1E31D.jpg
     
  16. Mar 6, 2021 at 8:40 AM
    #16
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Any chance you could expand on this? I can't get the darned things out!:mad:. Is it that I'm not pushing the trim tool back far enough? I'm afraid to force it in past the point of resistance, which seems to be about as far as it will go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  17. Mar 6, 2021 at 1:45 PM
    #17
    playdixie

    playdixie Miss'ippi fella

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    Dear God @MillbrookMike. I'm sorry. :frusty::frusty:

    I posted this reply in the completely wrong thread. Please don't hate me!

    I was looking at another thread at same time I was looking at this (separate windows).
     
  18. Mar 6, 2021 at 2:09 PM
    #18
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Hey, no problem. I’ll get it done.....somehow. I may not be able to use my hands when it’s done, but I’ll get it!
     
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  19. Mar 9, 2021 at 8:25 AM
    #19
    MillbrookMike

    MillbrookMike Well-Known Member

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    Well, I got it done, but for me at least, it wasn't as simple as described earlier. I was able to slip the tapered edge of a panel removal tool on the bed side of each light housing. That seemed to be enough to get the clip on that side to push inward and let that side of the housing move forward. However, there was no way to push the housing out from behind without pushing in the clip on the outer side of the housing. To do that, I laid down on my creeper, used a long flat head screwdriver to press it in a bit, then I tapped lightly on the back of the housing. That was enough to pop each one out. I tried tapping the housing without pressing in that second tab and it wouldn't budge. I learned a couple of things in the process. There are three raised sections on the gray piece that holds the bulbs. The larger one actually lines up with a "fin" that's on the housing. That fin is on the bottom of the housing for the left (driver's side) light and on the top for the right (passenger side) light. So if anyone is simply unscrewing the gray pieces, keep that in mind when you're trying to match up the larger raised piece with its corresponding opening. The other thing I learned is something you guys probably already know. Some folks talk about flickering license plate lights. That more likely happens because when you remove the bulbs you probably spread apart the copper terminals holding the bulbs in place. You can simply use a pointed tool or small flathead screwdriver to push the copper terminals inside the housing closer to one another. Then the new bulbs will go in tight. I hope this is helpful for anyone like me who was messing with this for the first time....

    IMG_2119.jpg
    IMG_2120.jpg
    IMG_2121.jpg
    IMG_2122.jpg
     
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