Intro: Eyebrow Running Light DIY Project for My Ford Fusion Hybrid
I finally got around to installing LED strips as "eyebrow" running lights. So that others can not only see the end result, but do it themselves, this post will document all the steps.
Step 1: Threading Wires
We threaded the wires for the LED strip between the lens and the front molding. There is a slight gap at the corner of the lens but it required gently lifting the molding slightly to slip the wires in place. To add a little extra protection to the wires against chaffing, we wrapped the wiring in a layer of electrical tape. When wiring the LED strips, several inches of slack was left for each LED strip so that the headlights could be changed when it becomes necessary. To get the passenger side wires over to the fuse box area, we carefully took off the trim housing that the hood brace locks into. This revealed a perfect place to run the wires. We also made sure to avoid the hood latches so that they wouldn't ever catch the wires.
Step 2: Trial Positioning Using Masking Tape
To find the just the right position for the LED strip at the edge of the hood, we taped the strips down with masking tape and closed the hood to try them out. After a little repositioning attempts we finally found the right spot, which is just about 1/4" below the black edge of the headlight lens.
Step 3: Wiring Into Fuse Box
I didn't want to compromise any existing wiring by splicing into wires. Our first plan was to solder to the spare 10 amp fuse labeled as 13/14 in the fuse box under the hood. At first this seemed like it would work good as it lost power when the ignition turned off. It turned out later, after the install was complete that this fuse location didn't lose power when the ignition was turned off unless the HVB was depleted. So I had to come up with a plan "B". Finally I decided to attach the LED strips wire to the automatic windshield wiper 15 amp fuse (#3) as I knew from these forums that the windshield wipers did lose power when the ignition was turned off. To prevent accidentally blowing that fuse at a bad time. We hooked into the power side of the fuse and then wired in a separate 5 amp fuse for the LED strips. Eventually, if I can find one that will work, I'll replace the 5 amp fuse with something smaller (like a 2.5 amp fuse).
We found the fuse box quite difficult to open due to tight space. I also wish Ford would have provided some spare fuse locations we could tap into properly instead of soldering to the fuse. I also wish that there were spare fuse slots that turned off when the ignition was turned off. There didn't seem to be any way to open the underside of the fuse panel to wire stuff in properly. I didn't want to modify the box itself to avoid causing damage.
Step 4: Cleaning Lenses and Heating LED Strips
Once the final position was determined for the LED strips the lenses were carefully cleaned and a heat gun was used to warm up the LED strips so that their adhesive would stick better.
Step 5: Final Position and Securing of the LED Strips
The final position of the LED strips ended up being about 1/4 inch below the black edge of the headlamp assembly.The cut ends of the LED strips were hot glued to the headlamp assembly to ensure they would stay in place and to waterproof them.
Here is a closeup of the LED strip showing its distance from the black edge of the headlamp assembly, the hot glue spot and a couple of the LEDs at the edge of the strip.
Step 6: The Finished Look
Here's the LED "eyebrows" at night. Camera's don't take good pictures of headlights at night. The effect looks way better in real life. Still, it looks like one angry car. Maybe it needs vampire teeth in the grill for Halloween!