Monday, February 13, 2012

Mini-DIY: Red Illumination Ignition Surround

Turns out, on the R33, there is a small light bulb situated in a clear plastic bracket that surrounds the ignition key. I have been told that the R34 did not have this feature. Too bad (and whatever, they got the ignition immobilizer!)

Anyway, when lit, the clear plastic extends the light all the way around.

I never did like this white color. It seemed so out of place in a car with a red themed interior. (Did Nissan forget to change this for the Series 3?) I briefly toyed with the idea of changing this to one of those red "Ignition Start" buttons, but decided that I would have to figure out a way to lock the steering wheel and provide a lock for the ignition, and so that idea was quickly rejected.

Anyway, all I had to do was pop off the steering column cover (there are about 8 screws on the bottom side), and then the illumination ring simply lifts out.

Here is how it looks, without the cover:

And here is the ring, detached:

And here is the bulb, with the stock white light.

Going with the red theme, I went ahead and replaced this bulb with a red LED.
However for some reason the LED was not as bright as the bulb, so I had to get creative and use some reflective film that my buddy Russ had given me for another project:

The end result was:

One interesting thing I noticed when doing this is, this light turns on when you unlock the doors, and turns off when you lock the doors. This proved useful in another project, which I plan to detail in my next post. Stay tuned!


Neal Hartman said...

My light ring is greenish. It goes off about 10 seconds or so after I lock the door. I do, however like your red ring.

Aki said...

Interesting Neal. Will have to check it out at the next Daikoku meet, whenever that is!

Matt said...

Great mod Aki, just what the interior needed!

Aki said...

Matt, then you will like my next post very much!

Loki said...

Love it Aki and I'm going to try to the same mod for my BCNR33 ;).

Couldn't help reading your reply to Matt, so it's safe to say that we can't wait to read your next entry! :)

Loki said...

Er try to do the same mod to my BCNR33 I meant! ;)

Aki said...

Thanks Jamil - now what's this about you selling your R33?

Loki said...

Oh you heard? I'm finding it hard to drive all of my cars, what with the S13 now up and running.

Also expecting a Volkswagen Golf R in the garage sometime soon, so I'm going to have my hands full!

I'm of two minds at the moment, with a lot of my Skyline friends asking me to keep the BCNR33.

Miguel said...

You can't sell your R33!
You know if you do what will happen next right? You'll want to build something else!

Anonymous said...

what size led bulb does it use? mine just burnt out and i want to replace it with a led

Aki said...

sorry don't have a size/spec. Bought online, was described as "for 12V car use" but I think was 3mm diameter - it had two leads coming out of it, pretty straightforward...

Skodajocky said...


Nice job but I have a question: Is this type of ring specific to series 3 R33?
I have a serie 1 GTR33 and I don't remember such a "transparent" ring.
I must check but is there a reference for this plastic ring?
As i'm still working on the car, it will be interesting if I can made the change now.

Thanks for the blog and the informations in it. It's a pleasure to read it.


Aki said...

Joachim - thanks for the kind comments! When I looked at a friend's car once, he had the same ring. Can you double check yours please and let me know?



Skodajocky said...

I was able to see the car today but as I was in a bit of a hurry I forgot to check.
But while we were talking about the recovering of my dashboard, my brother-in-law showed me the cigarette lighter which has such a ring so I presume that also will be the case for the ignition.
I'll try to check it out next time I go in the car.
Anyway, I don't remember any light during the 2 months I drove before the motor broke.
That will be a good occasion to check and fix it.

Skodajocky said...


I finally was able to check it today.
So i can confirm that serie 1 had that system too.

Aki said...


What a relief! Thanks for your comments and the update!