94-04 CDC Light Bar Installation
CDC Light Bar Installation
1. General Information and Ordering Information
2. Package Contents from CDC
3. Tools Needed
4. Back Seat Removal
5. Remove Interior Panels
6. Drilling Holds in the Door Jam
7. Drilling Holes in the Panels
8. Putting the Interior Back Together
9. Wiring the New Brake Light
10. Finishing Up
If you happen to have a 1994-2004 Mustang Convertible then you have probably thought about a light bar for your vehicle. I know it sounds crazy to cut holes in your interior and tear apart your rear seat… but in the end its really not all that bad and the work goes by quickly for the most part. On the scale of 1-10 this install is a 3. You will need a couple tools you may not have at your disposal, but nothing super crazy. You will also find having a friend during a couple stages would be very helpful.
Classic Design Concepts makes the best light bar on the market. I would recommend them over anyone else. If you are interested in a Roush brand light bar then fear not. Classic Design Concepts makes the Roush Light bars for Roush. Also, if you have ever looked closely at a Classic Design Concepts light bar on the drivers side there will be a Badge with a CDC logo. If you purchase the Roush version or you simply call CDC directly to order they can remove this badge for you at no additional cost. The final step will be color matching. If you call them they will send you out samples for you to choose from.
For 99-04 your only real choice is the Midnight color if its the dark interior (Dark or Medium Charcoal for example). You can request CDC mail you a sample color or two and try them out. This is what I did and it worked great. Once you have the color and all details simply place your order. You may see some places that offer Roush seat belt loops to replace your stock ones. The Stock seatbelt loops will not work very well if you wish to recline your seat. The edge of the belt loop will hit the light bar. CDC tells you to modify the stock seat belt loops if you do not purchase the Roush versions (90 dollars each). The other alternative is to simply remove them all together. If you do not mind the CDC logo badge then you can order from many places and perhaps save on shipping so look around. You can even order a light bar with out the brake light as well if that is what you prefer. I find that without the switch so the brake light doesn’t light up it is not all that bad. Keep this in mind when ordering as you may wish to pick up the little switch to turn off the light bar’s brake light while the top is up. This can be installed easily down the road so you can give it a try first.
Once you have your light bar double check your package for damage. When I received mine the box was open on the top. All of the items they shipped for installation were wrapped up with the light bar so nothing was missing. Make sure everything is there and there are no marks or other damage to the light bar.
What you get from Classic Design Concepts to go along with your light bar is wrapped around the light bar in the middle. Do not cut away the wrapping, simply find the end and peal it off to keep from damaging the light bar. In the installation package you will find:
2. Patterns for using to mark holes for drilling into your body panels (4 total 2 pages per side)
3. Two dark blue electrical connectors for the new brake light (if applicable)
4. Two light blue electrical connectors for the new brake light (if applicable)
5. Two pop rivets
6. Four washers
7. Four bolts
8. Two black metal plates, one marked with an R and one with an L
Once you are happy with the package contents you need to round up the tools needed for the job. Some you may can get around but I recommend having all of them to ensure the job is done correctly.
1. Socket Set (7mm to 10mm (18mm if 03/04))
2. Ratchet/Wrenches and a couple Extensions for removal of bolts
3. Wire Crimper
5. Putty Knife
6. Screw Drivers (Flat head)
7. Pop Rivet Tool
8. Torx Bit set (T-25 through T-50) it varies year to year
9. Drill thats powerful enough to drill through some metal
10. 1/8″, 19/64″, 13/32″ Drill Bit
11. Center Punch and Hammer
12. 3/4″, 1″, and 1 3/4″ Hole saw bits (the round cup looking ones that slide over the drill bit!)
13. Interior Trim Panel Removal tools. Some may skip here but they are EXTREMELY useful here.
14. The help of a friend or two at given stages
15. Silicon in case some of your foam pads have fallen off of your interior panels
Now that you have all the tools and items needed its time to get to work! Slide your front seats forward, if you really want to you can remove the front seats by removing the 4 bolts at each corner and lifting up and unplugging the power supply if the seat is powered. Then sit the seat off to the side. The first step is removing the back seat. Its not that difficult, the hardest part is taking your time to find the little buttons that you have to push in to pop up the bottom part of the seat. Take a screw driver and run under the edge of the seat. About 10 inches in from the side you will hit a spot. That spot is where the button is. If you push the front of the bump that you hit so you push backwards to the back of the car you will push in the button. When you do this pull up and the seat will raise right up. Do both sides and the entire bottom of the back seat slides right up and out. Once the bottom of the seat is out of the way you can remove the bolts holding the bottom of the rear seat in place. Its 10mm or 18mm bolts depending on year. Once the bolts at the bottom area of the seat are removed slide up and out with the seat. A friend here will help keep the seat from scratching the paint on removal from the car. Check for money! you may be surprised what you will find under your back seat.
After the back seat is out of the way you will need to remove the two back interior panels. This is where those nice push pin removal tools come in very handy. If you do not have any you should slowly work them out with a flat head screw driver or some other tool you can find as best you can. They come out rather easy, but be careful pulling on them to hard. I would start keeping items in a cup so they don’t get lost when you go to reinstall everything.
You will notice where the panels meet where the top of the back seat was a couple of push pins on each side. I had a couple spots that had missing push pins as well.
Once those are removed look where the convertible top weather stripping is and in that area facing backwards on the interior panel is a push pin that has to be removed.
Now notice where the rear quarter window rolls up. There will be a little rubber seal that goes to the painted part of the door and over to the interior panel. Remove the two little black push pins on the interior panel. There will be a rivet holding this item to the metal body of the car so you can not remove it from the painted part of the car and the interior panel.
Pull up the door guard rail by wiggling side to side as you pull up wards in the area where the interior panel meets it. There will be little clips under it so make sure they don’t fall out or become lost. You can place them back on the painted part of the body where they were.
Remove the seat belt bolt at the floor behind the front seats. After removed the seat belt will slide out. Be sure to keep the rubber fitting and the bolt together. Place them back in the hole so they don’t become lost.
After that you can trace the seat belt up where it goes into the interior panel. You will notice under the seat belt a little clip that you can pull up where the seat belt hold is on the interior panel. Slide it up and out and place it somewhere safe until reinstall. After that is removed use an interior panel removal tool and pop out the top speaker grill. This will be the one connected with the opening in the interior panel that the little clip you just removed shows. There will be 3 clips holding in the speaker grill just be careful and it should pop out rather easy.
After that you can slowly pull up and out on the rear panel to remove it. There are two clips holding the panel on that are located on the front edge at the door jam. Be gentle here and pull the front panel outwards in that direction rather than side to side as much. These little clips can pop off, as we will remove one anyway. As you slide the panel out there will be a black foam part glued to it. Try not to tear it off. If you do use some silicon or something to re-glue it and let it cure while you continue with the next few steps or wait until you drill the holes on the panel then take a break while it cures.
Now that the interior panels are out of the way we can mark and drill the holes where the light bar will be bolted to. Take out the two plates that came with the light bar. One will have an R for right and the other an L for left. For creating a template we will reverse them. Use the L bracket for the right side and the R bracket for the left side.
When the brackets are installed they will face backwards so that the nuts on them face toward the back of the car. They are offset so the nuts are not centered. This is critical to ensure the holes are in the correct position.
Take the R bracket and put it on the drivers side (the left side) face it so the bolts face outwards. You will notice on the door jam a little hole. The same little hole will be on the bracket. This is the alignment hole where the rivet will eventually go. Use this hole to line the bracket up on the door jam with the nuts facing towards the front of the car. Once you have the bracket placed flat up on the door jam align it with the body line so its parallel. This is important that its parallel with the body line on the outside edge of the door jam. There were two little holes in my case but only one made any since to use as the other made it so that the bracket was extremely low. Once the alignment is correct use a magic marker to mark the holes.
Unplug and remove the speaker housings. They have three 7mm bolts holding them in. Remove them and sit them off to the side. You will notice a black plastic item on the inner part of the door jam towards the top. Pull it back slowly and black sticky stuff will be seen. Pull it back so you have access to the area behind the door jam where the bracket will go.
Take a center punch and mark the holes and then proceed to drill with the 1/8th drill bit. Once both holes are drilled take the bracket with the correct side marked (If on drivers side this will be the L bracket) and slide it inside the door jam so the nuts face backwards. Make sure both nut holes line up with the holes you drilled. Once you are satisfied you can continue to drill the hole out so the end result is a hole slightly bigger than the threads of the nut so the bolt can slide through the hole and into the bracket. If you drill it out a little bigger you have a little wiggle room in case everything does not line up 100% perfectly. Since the little hole where the rivet goes is already there the top to bottom placement of the bracket is correct. The only issue here is side to side.
Once both sides are drilled you can test fit the light bar. I would leave the plastic wrap on it to protect it. Get a friend or two to help you lower the light bar into position. Take the bracket from the back side of the door jam with the nuts facing backwards making sure you use the correct side and try bolting up the light bar on each side. This will allow you to find out if you have any binding issues before reinstalling the interior panels. Once you are happy with the fit you can proceed. If you need to drill one or both holes a little bigger then now is your chance. Once happy remove light bar and place to the side.
Take your rivet gun and pop rivet the bracket using the supplied rivet to the door jam on the inside so it will stay. You can wiggle it side to side on final install if needed, don’t move it much now as we dont want to break the rivet.
Before we start drilling or even marking you will notice two clips on the inside edge of the interior panel where the panel meets the door jam. One of mine fell off, there should be two. Remove the upper one as the bar goes here for the light bar. I used a putty knife and slid it under the edge and slowly got it to pop off.
Use the supplied templates on the panels and a towel or two to keep the panels from becoming scratched up. They have done a great job in helping you line them up so use the marking supplied and some painters tape to tape down the template as you get area aligned. Make sure to check your template using a light source so you can see through it to see that it aligns with body lines or your finger to run it on the edge of the body. Make sure that the template is nice and flat especially around the area that will be drilled. Once you are very satisfied with the placement and alignment use a marking tool or center punch to mark where the center of the holes are.
Use a cup shaped drill bit that fits over an existing drill bit to drill the holes. They make wood hole drill bits that are flat. This will work but I don’t recommend it. If you must use the flat type then place a piece of wood under the area to be drilled and drill into the wood to steady the bit. If its not kept steady as it breaks through the interior panel it will jump and mess up the hole.
Drill the holes from the inside of the panel outwards. Clean up the edge of the holes to remove any left over plastic. Be sure to use a correct 1 inch hole and the 1 and 3/4 hole bits. They will match up the the size on the templates. Use a file to clean up the two over lapping holes where the edges between the hole are.
Put the black plastic part with the nasty black goo back into its place. Reinstall the rear speakers. Double check to ensure they are plugged in. Slowly slide in the interior panels back into place and reverse the above process to reinstall them. For the drivers side take a wire and run it through the two over lapping holes you drilled on top and tie it. We will use this to fish the light bars power wire down the interior panel when we install it. The hardest part is getting the lower clip into the door jam hole. Take your time as to not bend the guide pin and you should be fine. The holes on the interior panel door jam area should line up rather close to the holes where the bracket was drilled go.
Once both interior panels are in take the light bar and tire the wire from above to the end of it and feed it down into the interior panel as you slowly slide the light bar into place. Take the supplied bolts and make sure to use the supplied washers. Start each bolt but leave loose as you will have to make slight adjustments probably. Once all 4 bolts are started you can snug them down side to side. Make sure the light bar is not in any bind and sits flush with the interior panels. When sliding the back seat bottom into place remember to pull your seat belts through the seat as you push it into place. Make sure the seat belt is not binded on the top of the back seat either.
Remove the seat belt loops from the head rest using a torx bit and set aside to modify using template supplied after flattening out the seatbelt loop. You can also leave them off or replace with the Roush version that are rather usless due to the design so the seatbelt just falls out of them.
Take the wire from the light bar and pull it so that you have the most slack you can get. Run it behind the rear seat belt mount and over towards the wiring harness. Take a knife and very carefully cut the tape that is holding the wires into the plastic square harness on the drivers side area. Cut all you can see so the wires come out easy. The first set of wires goes to the stereo system and the second set is the harness you are after. If you do not have the Mach 460 system or similar you may not have but one loom of wire.
Once the wires are pulled out you need to locate the light bar power wire. It can vary from year to year. In my case it was solid green. Be careful as some wire look solid green but have a line of yellow or orange on them. For 94-98 year models look for a red wire with a green stripe and for 99-04 models look for a solid green wire for the power wire. Use the dark blue connectors that wrap around the wire and use a pair of pliers to snap the connector over the wire. Find the solid black wire that is the ground wire. Its a little bigger (or was in my case) so it will be harder to get the dark blue connector over. Take your time here and it will eventually clip together.
Once you have that part done take the light blue connectors and a wire crimper. Place the light blue connectors on the two wires from the light bar. Strip off a little of the coating and then crimp the wire into the connectors. After this simply plug the connectors into the dark blue connectors. Get a friend to step on the brake and ensure the new brake light is lighting up. Once happy use some electrical tape and tape up the harness back into its holder very securely.
Snug down the light bar bolts now that everything is in place. You can pop back in the rear seat as you removed it. Make sure the brackets line up at the top and then bolt in the bottom. Remember to slide your seat belts bottom parts up through the bottom of the back seat. Also, the top seat belt should not be binded behind the seat.
Remove the seat belt loops by the head rests using the correct torx bit and a ratchet. It will be a tight fit but take your time and they will come out. Once the seat belt loops are out replace with the new Roush ones ore modify the stock ones. Modify them by straightening them out and using the supplied template to remove part of the loop and rill a new hole. This shortens the seat belt loop so it clears. Some choose to leave their seat belt loops out all together.
Check the top to make sure no rubbing happens when the top is closed and you are done!