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Well here are the pics I mentioned from the install yesterday. There's a lot and I apologize to those with slow connections but I wanted to show as much detail as I could. Again, keep in mind you DO NOT have to go to such great lengths to do this modification. However, this is probably the most permanent and sealed method outside of the factory.

  1. These are some of the tools I used for the install. Just your basic large and small needle nose pliers, side cutters, trim tools, small ratchet, 8mm and 10mm sockets, wire loom, heat shrink tubing, bulk wire, wire stripper tool, butane torch, etc. You may not need all of these tools but I liked to get them out just in case. The less time you spend going to your toolbox the less time you spend on the job:D.
  2. The clip removal tool (looks like a pair of jaw pliers) is available from MATCO Tools HERE. They are a GODSEND when it comes to removing the Honda push pin clips.
  3. Also shown is a MATCO Tools Logic Probe. This is in many ways better than a standard test light because you can test grounds AND power without having to change aligator clips or worry about damaging a circuit. A green light indicates a ground, a red light indicated power. Logic probes are powered units which can be used on most of the car's circuits. I still wouldn't go probing delicate ECU circuits with it, but for most other electrical diagnosis work they are great.
  4. Hilighted push pin clip locations you need to take out for bumper removal.
  5. Push pin clip locations for bumper removal
  6. Push pin clip locations for bumper removal
 

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  1. Push pin pliers in action. Very useful tool to have in your arsenal.
  2. The screw in the wheelwell takes either a Phillips screwdriver or an 8mm socket to remove. I had to use the 8mm socket because the Phillips notching in the head was full of dirt.
  3. The center panel over the hood latch simply lifts up and out around the hood release lever.
  4. Center hood latch panel cover removed.
  5. Underneath the hood latch panel is one lone clip.
  6. In the last pictures I've shown you an example of the new style of Honda clips. Depending on the year of your Element, you may have the old design which has two notches cut out in the base which allowed a set of push pin pliers or a screwdriver to slide in from the side to pop up the center pin. However, Honda has gone to a new design which features a locking-style metal clip and the pin base no longer has the notches to allow easier tool access. However, Honda in their infinite wisdom has indexed the center pin with two lines to show where the locking plates are not located so as to allow the pin to be pryed up. If you try to pry up where the lines are not located it is more difficult which, at face value doesn't sound like much, but when you are in a shop on the clock and have to remove MANY of them which may or may not be jammed up with dirt and/or road debris, the time spent mucking with them does add up.

    A small flat head screwdriver usually suffices to pop the center pin up enough to get a tool on it. The only caveat to this design is the locking plates as I said which over time will fill up with dirt and road debris and jam the center pin. I've had to use a flat chisel and decapitate many of them on dirt road vehicles.
 

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  1. Clips in the lower part of the bumper
  2. Bolts at the wheelwell corners. The yellow arrows show where you can reach in with your fingers to help align the splashshield and speednuts on the bumper for re-installation.
  3. Once the bumper has been fully un-bolted from the body and you have un-hooked all accessories and items attached to it, with the help of an assistant pull the bumper from the wheelwell corners straight out to the front. You will see where the bumper secures to for re-installation. The finished product should look like this.
  4. Headlight removal is done by removing three bolts. One is located up top by the hood bumpstop.
  5. The second headlight bolt is located to the side of the headlight
  6. The third headlight bolt is located down below and secures to the front crossmember.
    Also, be careful as there are aligning tabs on the headlight which, upon re-installation, must be inserted into their respective locations on the front crossmember and rad cradle assembly to properly align the headlight.

    Also, before re-installing the headlight be sure to lubricate the bolt holes and the bolts themselves with a quality weather-resistant lubricant or anti-seize. Honda's 6M bolts just love to snap off in the most un-ideal of locations :lol:.
 

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  1. Unclip the signal/parking light sockets
  2. Unclip the headlight socket and place the headlight assembly in a safe location
  3. Pry out the sidemarker from the fender. I used a trim tool to remove the sidemarker. Simply insert the tool in the top near the rear of the sidemarker and give the tool a twist to pry out the back of the unit.
  4. Remove the tape from the wire loom
  5. Remove the wires from the looming
  6. Remove the harness plug inner cap by inserting a small flat tip screwdriver into the square opening and prying out on it (I've shown the pic for the headlight signal bulb socket but you do the same with the sidemarker plug)
 

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  1. Using a trim tool or pliers, un-clip the sidemarker wiring harness from the inner fender panel
  2. Pull out harness as required to facilitate ease of work. In the picture I had already de-pinned the wire but you can do this before or after unclipping the harness from the inner fender panel whichever you find works best for you. Honda provides enough length to the harness without it unclipped to allow harness or bulb access.
  3. Remove the inner clip from the sidemarker plug
  4. Locate the terminal locking tab inside the plug
  5. Using a small flat tip precision screwdriver, lift up on the locking tab
  6. Carefully pull out the terminal from the rear of the plug. Note the orientation of the terminal in the plug during removal so you can reinsert it the proper way. If not, the terminal may not lock into place upon reassembly
 

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  1. Using your logic probe, test the BLK wire terminal to ensure you have a ground. On the MATCO probes, the green light should illuminate (**NOTE**Now, these steps can be skipped if you don't have a test light or logic probe. I did so simply for example purposes and to ensure I had all proper grounds and power circuits).
  2. On the GRN/RED wire terminal with the signal light flashing, the probe should alternate between the red light when the signal is ON and the green light when the signal is OFF (**NOTE** The LEFT side is shown. If you are working on the RIGHT side, the signal wire will be GRN/YLW, but either side the wire you are going to use will be the one in the middle on the plug).
  3. On the RED/YLW wire, with the parking lights ON, the red light should illuminate steady.
  4. As explained previous, insert a small flat tip precision screwdriver into the square opening and pry out the inner plug clip
  5. Separate the inner clip from the harness and place aside in a safe location
 

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  1. Once removed, strip off the ends of the wires (**NOTE** The ground wire and the tap wire for the sidemarker are shown. You don't have to remove the ground wire from the sidemarker plug but I did so I could work with it on the bench)
  2. Twist the ends of the wires together for form a "Western Union" joint.
  3. Seeing as how I was working alone and that my alien genetics did not brandish me with a third hand this time around, I had to improvise and make my own soldering station :D. This setup allowed me to hold the wire with one hand and apply the solder with the other. If you are going to do it this way, ensure you have everything ready to go when you put the pliers on the gun as it will not take long for the tip to reach working temperature.
  4. Using the techniques shown which I posted earlier, lay the wire on the soldering gun when it has reached the optimum temperature (the tip will start to smoke after you have tinned it) and apply your solder to the joint. I prepped the joint with acid flux paste and used 60/40 rosin core solder.
  5. Tada!!!!!
  6. Apply heat shrink tubing to the joint. I used adhesive lined tubing to ensure a weathertight seal.
 

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  1. Heat the tubing up until it shrinks onto the joint and the adhesive flows out of the ends. When the adhesive has cooled a bit you can flatten it out with your fingers so it will not bulge the wire loom or electrical tape.
  2. On the sidemarker harness, fold over the ground wire you left behind from the cut and press it tight with pliers or your fingers.
  3. Apply a piece of heat shrink tubing over it and ensure that both ends will be sealed when heated. Ensure the adhesive flows out and flatten with your fingers when it has cooled enough to touch (**NOTE** This is not necessary but IMO for the utmost in protecting the integrity of the vehicle wiring harness, it is always best to seal off any exposed/un-used sections of wire to prevent corrosion development)
  4. There's a hole near the top corner of the headlight/front fender body area which is large enough to run the wire through with loom that is out of the way from others parts of the engine and body. I chose to route mine through this hole.
  5. Add wire loom to the entire length of the tap wire and tape the ends up so they will stay closed.
  6. Tape up the ends to the existing wiring harness.
 

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  1. Once the tap wire has been routed from the sidemarker to the headlight harness and you have de-pinned the center signal wire from the signal light harness plug, expose a section of wire on the GRN/RED signal wire (or GRN/YLW for the RIGHT side) and wrap the end of the sidemarker tap wire around it as shown.
  2. Solder the joint as described earlier.
  3. Complete the connection by applying heat shrink tubing. This is why the connector needs to be de-pinned to allow the tubing to be slid on. If you do not wish to use hear shrink tubing then you should wrap the joint securely with a quality electrical tape.
  4. Tape up as necessary and/or apply wire loom to any new/existing wiring.
  5. Ensure all wire routing is secure and out of the way from moving/hot engine components. As well, ensure that the wiring and loom will not interfere with the removal of other components and that you have enough length to allow the headlight or harness to be removed for bulb changes or other service work.
 

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The finished product should operate like this:

  • With parking lights ON and signal light OFF, sidemarker is ON
  • With parking lights are ON and signal light ON, sidemarker will be OFF whenever signal light is ON
  • With the parking lights OFF, sidemarker will be OFF. When the signal light is activated, the sidemarker will be ON in unison with the signal light ON.
Again, I'm not saying my way is the best way and that you are wrong if you don't do it this way because it is obvious by the responses of people in this thread that the tap-and-tape method does work and lasts IF sealed properly. However, for those out there who are anal to a fault like me and have the time/desire to make the finished product look like it was installed at the factory OR simply want the peace of mind knowing the connections and wiring are as durable and will stand the test of time along like the OEM wiring harness, this is a quality method to perform the flashing sidemarker modification.

Also, as per the Daniel Stern Lighting website, this modification SHOULD NOT cause issues with the Honda signal light circuitry IF installed properly and provided all connections created are of good quality.

As with ANY electrical modification or installation, it is only as good as the wiring it's hooked up to. So use common sense when performing any electrical modification or repair as poor grounds, too small wire gauge for the operating current required or excess resistance anywhere in the circuit CAN AND WILL cause problems. This will result in operation issues, possible damage to the circuit, delicate computer controls or the vehicle itself which could ultimately result in a possible electrical fire. It is FAR better to take your time and do it right NO MATTER WHICH WAY YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT than to set any speed records trying to get the install done before the kids finish their breakfast in the morning.

Hope this has helped you all and props to E SHEN and everyone else in this thread for giving me the inspiration to try this myself :).
 

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This is possibly the simplest mod to do. Took me about 15 minutes (although I didn't quite go through the same painstaking detail as GenYDad :)). Works great!
LOL leave it to me to make it complex like brain surgery :lol:
 

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I guess I missed something.

Why did you need to remove the entire front bumper?

Couldn't a sealed connection be made with Shen's basic description?

You did do a great job in explaining the process though, props for the detail!!!
 

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I guess I missed something.

Why did you need to remove the entire front bumper?

Couldn't a sealed connection be made with Shen's basic description?

You did do a great job in explaining the process though, props for the detail!!!
I removed the front bumper sonthe headlight could be taken out to facilitate easier soldering. Yes it can be done with everything on the vehicle but for the short bit of time it takes to remove the front bumper, to me it's worth it for the space it gives you to work. But as I said you don't have to do all the steps I did. Shen's description will work fine and you can do quality connections with it.

I simply wanted ample room to work and wanted it to be routed and look like the factory installed it.
 

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I guess what I really want to clarify is don't let the length or detail of my posts scare any of you I to thinking it is an über complex and/or time annihilating mod to do because it is not by any means.

I'm just picky as hell so I'm the worst to take as an example:lol:.
 

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I want to do this mod so badly:D

But I don't want to risk accidentally cutting wires that I'm not supposed to, or making my car blow up lol.

I actually opened my hood and looked at all the wires and such, but I kind of lost my enthusiasm right then.

What is a Splice anyway?
 

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I want to do this mod so badly:D

But I don't want to risk accidentally cutting wires that I'm not supposed to, or making my car blow up lol.

I actually opened my hood and looked at all the wires and such, but I kind of lost my enthusiasm right then.

What is a Splice anyway?
It's no where near as bad as I make it look Kaoss:lol:. E Shen's directions are as concise and straightforward as you can get whereas mine are for the OCD among us who have to solder, heat shrink and do it OEM-style :D. Either way works essentially the same so it's your choice.

I don't have the exact electrical dictionary definition but off the top of my head splicing is basically when you make a single connection from two or more wires/connections (join them together) or add a wire(s) onto another wire. You can splice as much as is safe to do so depending on the load the splice must be able to handle. Usually grounds can have several connections but power splices are limited to the load and wire size so you don't increase the resistance in the circuit.

Again, that's just my interpertation of it so the electrical engineers are free to chime in a correct me :D.
 

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not sure if this has been covered, but make sure you remember to cut that black wire. I didn't and blew the fuse! PITA!

FYI it's a 7.5amp fuse in spot #19 under the dash.
 

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Did you remove the whole bumper? And about how long did it take?
This mod doesn't require removing the front bumper cover. You can gain access to the location by popping the side markers out. I generally use a long screw driver and go in from behind and gently push back on the front of the marker while holding the marker with the other hand from the outside. When I feel the marker being forced out I pull it out. This keeps me from marring the paint on my fenders. I then have my access to the headlight/turn signal wire and I tap into it and run the wire back to the side marker to make the connection. Removing the cover is not necessary and I have pretty large hands and I was able to do what was needed to do this. Pretty simple and takes about five minutes per side, maybe.

Adding the side markers that sit behind the front wheels, those can be tapped into the same signal wires at the headlights and would work the same as the side markers for the e-Shen mod. Just a matter of cutting the hole for the flasher unit and running the wire. Several have done this as well and I thought about it but since doing the e-Shen mod it would be over kill though I do plan to add the flashes to my mirrors, the ones that flash from behind the mirror. I plan to do this mod late fall or over the winter since I don't drive my E from Dec. thru Mar.
 

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GenX, that's a great job, and a very professional bit of documentation. Props!!

Two questions: 1) any guess at the approx elapsed time for the mod, without the setup and photography? Couple hours? 2) Have you ever thought about (or heard of) installing corresponding side markers on the rear of the car? I think I'd like to do that, but I think they'd have to be simpler, smaller units rather than the OEM front units. Thoughts? Thanks
With everything all laid out and ready to go, in a shop with a hoist and air for an air ratchet it could be done in an hour if you do the same process I did minus the photo steps.

As for the rear sidemarkers, I am just going to leave the outside of my Element as it is. I like how the lights are on it right now and I honestly think anything more would look too cluttered, which is why I prefer the sidemarker blinking mod because you only have to modify wiring and not cut into any panels or add anything else.

I don't know why Honda didn't make the sidemarkers blink i the first place, and to me, adding addition markers would look silly. But that's just me.

My '95 Civic at home has the JDM fenders with the sidemarkers and they look fine because the Civics then didn't come with them and don't have any lights on the side.
 
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