SN95 Export Taillight Wiring Write Up

FivepointSlow

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This write up has been done a few times but you may have run into the problem I did when I was researching this project, that all the old write-ups for 96-98 vertical exports lead to dead links. An unfortunate reality to abandoned forums. I wanted to share what I found and how I achieved this mod so others don't have to dig through the internet and reach out to others in hopes someone can walk them through it.

This write up can be used for all 96-04 Mustangs with vertical taillights and 94-95 horizontal taillights if you can ignore the presence of an extra light bulb.
94-95 guys can also go here for a detailed write up on their horizontal taillights.
http://www.chythar.net/mustang/mustang_94-95_export_taillight_installation.html

PART 1.1
Firstly we need to tackle the wiring harness on the taillights themselves.
It should be noted I am not using the export harness. I am using what I would imagine we can refer to as the US or North American harness. If you are using the export harness skip to PART 1.2
The problem with this harness is 2 fold. For one the harness is not equipped with the socket for the amber turn signal, this is because your stock taillight assemblies came with that socket blocked off as that part of the taillight is used as a reflector with no bulb.
US taillight assembly
UiCSDEZ.jpg
Export taillight assembly
guHJmMt.jpg
To modify this harness you will need either a second set of harness' or the appropriate pigtails. I picked up another set of harness' off of someone who upgraded to the Raxiom Sequential harness on their car. You can also find these harness in your local U-Pick salvage yard or from a part out vehicle.
xjCI953.jpg
This is what we need to achieve, This is identical to your stock harness but with the addition of a grey 2 tab socket from the donor harness. The amount of tabs are important. Luckily the export turn signal socket uses the same socket as the reverse bulbs, so the reverse sockets from the donor harness' will be used as our new turn signal sockets.

To add the reverse socket onto your harness as a turn signal bulb we have to tap the black wire into another ground in the harness, it doesn't matter where this is done in the harness as all of the black wires in the harness merge into a single ground wire by the time it reaches the pigtail on the body side of the harness. The other wire on the new socket needs to be lengthened so it can follow the harness, go through the rubber grommet, and end right before the end of the body side pigtail. I ended mine about 1.5 inches from the end of the harness.
Now that the new socket is grounded and the power wire for it is ran along the length of the harness, we need to cut the brake/turn signal wire of our harness. The color of this wire may vary from year to year, on my car it was green/purple on one side and orange/green on the other.
You can easily tell regardless of color because the grounds will always be black and the parking light should always be brown, but to double check the parking wires will go into the middle of your sockets (Labeled Minor) and the brake wires will go to the outside of the socket (Labeled Major) shown here
4cVJuL7.jpg
Once you've identified which color wire you need to cut, you will see at the end of the harness there are 2 of the same wire that go into 1 pin in the connector. We want to cut both wires, and attach the 2 wires coming from the connector to the new wire we just ran to the new socket. This will be your turn signal wire.
Now you can tape up the harness and make it look nice and neat again but don't forget to leave the 2 cut wires sticking out of the harness, I used a bullet connector for these as we are going to run them farther and tap into the third brake light wiring for a brake light signal. I wanted to keep the taillight assemblies easily removable if need be down the road so I chose to use the bullet connector as oppose to a butt connector or soldering, but this is up to you.
cs93cNT.jpg

OPTIONAL: What I ended up doing while I had the extra pigtails from the donor harness, was replaced the grey 3 tab socket with a black 3 tab socket from the donor harness so I could run a 3157 bulb instead of a 3156 bulb, this allows the inner most red bulb to still act as a parking light but now in addition we can use the brighter filament as an additional brake light
X1KkocI.jpg
Match the ground and parking light wires to the previous wires for that socket location, and simply tap the pigtail next to it for the brake signal.
BG5LIYM.jpg

PART 1.2
If you are using your stock US harness, you can skip to PART 2
If you are using the Export harness, the wiring is much simpler. All we have to do is cut the body connector off your old stock harness, and match the wires accordingly, connecting ground (black), parking (brown), reverse(can vary), and turn signal(can vary) to each other. To verify what color your turn signal is check the wires coming out of that socket on the taillights, and connect that to the 2 wires that share the same pin in the body connector, and do the same with the reverse but connect that to the single wire left in the harness.
Wrap up the harness and leave the 2 brake light wires sticking out so you can run them farther in the next part.

PART 2
Now the wiring for the taillight assemblies is done, and we can reinstall the taillights onto the vehicle.
We now need to get a brake signal to the taillights. The easiest way I found to do this was to inspect the third brake light, identify the 2 bulbs used for the brake light, and the color of the wire that is not ground(black). Follow this wire to the grey connector and now identify the color of the wire on the other side of that connector. Mine was red/green.
Now we know what color wire we will need to tap into. Follow the trunk harness to behind the trunk side panel and find that connector, unplug the connector so it is easier to work with, and tap into the wire you need (in my case red/green). I added another bullet connector to allow for the easy removal of that plug in the future. Now run a wire to the left taillight assembly, and then from there to the right assembly. I used 14ga wiring as that is what I had, stock I believe all of the taillight wiring is 18 or 16ga, just don't use anything smaller than stock to prevent any potential hot wiring.

Now the trunk side of the wiring is done. But we are not done yet!
Currently we have a problem. Your turn signals work as intended, however when the brakes are applied the turn signals will illuminate aswell.
wZ9X6Ij.jpg
This is because we are using the old brake/turn signal wire for our turn signals, and we need to convert this wire into a turn signal only wire.
 

FivepointSlow

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PART 3
Now we need to get under the dash.
The wire we need to disconnect is the same wire we found in our 3rd brake light wiring, in my case it is red/green.
There are 2 options here, I chose the difficult one but at the time I did this it was guaranteed I disconnected the correct wire as I wasn't sure of the color.
Option 1
Remove the knee panel under the steering wheel, along with the metal bracket behind it, there is a total of 4 8mm bolts to get these 2 pieces off, 2 bolts per piece. This allows access to a harness that is tucked right next to the steering column, it is unfortunately not accessible from the top side through the cluster. For easier access you can also drop the steering column, but I am 6'1" with large hands and managed to get up there to find and disconnect the wire. I am also 22 years old so your flexibility and mileage on that route may vary.
From under the dash without dropping the column, we want that red/green wire that matches our third brake light, but regardless of the color it is located on the bottom right side of the harness. you can unplug the harness and remove that pin, or cut the wire, either route you go just make sure to tape the end or ends of the wire up so prevent it from arching or grounding as this wire carries power when the brakes are applied!
r9M6q5j.jpg
If you choose to drop the steering column, it is 4 bolts and will allow you to access this same connector from the top side. From this direction you want that same wire but it is now located on the bottom left of the harness. You can disconnect it from either side of this connector.
Option 2 Thanks to http://www.chythar.net/mustang/mustang_94-95_export_taillight_installation.html for this additional info and pics from the 94-95 write up.
We know what color wire we are looking for, at the time I did this I wasn't sure about color but I knew which pin in the steering column harness I was looking for.
But we can disconnect this wire from the a harness in the drivers kick panel, which is much more economical to access.
Remove the kick panel and find the black distribution block.
step_5_brake_feed_a.jpg
Remove the block and flip it around. Inspect the wires coming from the bottom of the block, you will find there are 2 wires that match the description of the wire we are looking for, one feeds to the computer and one feeds to the turn signals that we want to disconnect.
step_5_brake_feed_b.jpg
The one we DO want to disconnect is pin #36, which will be the one closer to the black wire. The one we DO NOT want to disconnect is closer to the brown wire in that block is pin #40
The pin #'s are labeled on the edge of the block. If for whatever reason yours isn't readable or not labeled, the wire we are disconnecting is 2 wires away from the black wire in the corner of the block, closer to the bracket for the block.
In this picture you can see the wire he disconnected on the left and the wire we DO NOT want to cut on the right.
step_5_brake_feed_c.jpg
Lastly before we button everything up, we need to replace the flasher unit, this is under the dash on the drivers side, it is yellow and just above the OBDII port so you can't miss it. Replace the stock one with a relay from Napa part #EP-27
guide-99032-cust-01.jpg

And now we are done! button up your drivers seat area and we are good to go.
 
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FivepointSlow

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Finished product (with further modification as described in step 1.1 optional)
Turn signal + Running lights
8Bvn0fP.jpg

Turn Signal + Brake lights
7OXMjyu.jpg

Brake lights
gTvjufz.jpg
 

ProjectGunshū

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Excellent write up. Curious as to why you used the 2-wire socket for the signal, as compared to the 3-wire brake light socket. Using the "major" wire would have resulted in a brighter signal light, and making the signal not be overpowered by the brake lights. That was the plan for my car, when I do export tail lights. Just a thought. It would also look more uniform, with the front signals being the brighter ones.
 

FivepointSlow

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Excellent write up. Curious as to why you used the 2-wire socket for the signal, as compared to the 3-wire brake light socket. The only difference between the 2 sockets is that the 3156 socket is missing a minor signal. Using the "major" wire would have resulted in a brighter signal light, and making the signal not be overpowered by the brake lights. That was the plan for my car, when I do export tail lights. Just a thought. It would also look more uniform, with the front signals being the brighter ones.
The 2 wire socket uses the "major" wire for a 3156 bulb. A 3156 bulb is as bright when on as a 3157 bulb when powered by the major circuit.
I didnt have much of a choice tho- as the amber turn signal socket only accepts a 2 tab socket, and the only 2 tab socket on the wiring harness is the reverse bulbs, the red running/brake lights all use 3 tab sockets, one of which is a 3156 bulb and the other 2 are 3157 bulbs.

I converted 1 red light socket til a 3157 bulb so they all function as brake lights, but I am still using halogen bulbs so they arent any brighter. You can see the amber turn signal just fine even in the daylight.

I'm not sure what you mean by the front signals being brighter. As this write up only involved the taillights on the back side of the car.
 

Wood's 5.0

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@FivepointSlow Well done, sir, and I applaud you. Very well written and documented with corresponding pictures. I also compliment you from the original thread on explaining why it's not just a "plug & play" or "take a meter and figure it out in 10 minutes" kind of thing. I remember Ron, the Ford Senior Master Tech that did mine oh-so-long-ago complaining on how involved this mod actually was. It was over my head then as it is now. My OCD would not let me live with the presence of an extra bulb so I asked him to eliminate it which resulted in the dreaded hyper-flash ever since. I searched for years looking for a "trailer flasher" but never could find one until I came across Diode Dynamics last year and ordered theirs. As you mentioned, it is for LEDs so it should take the reduced amp draw into account and eliminate the hyper-flash. I have not installed it yet but hope it will. Good to know there is another option in the EP-27 Trailering flasher from NAPA. Wish I had that great little piece of info 18 years ago. Anyway, great write-up and nice ride you have there, BTW. :cool:
 

FivepointSlow

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@FivepointSlow Well done, sir, and I applaud you. Very well written and documented with corresponding pictures. I also compliment you from the original thread on explaining why it's not just a "plug & play" or "take a meter and figure it out in 10 minutes" kind of thing. I remember Ron, the Ford Senior Master Tech that did mine oh-so-long-ago complaining on how involved this mod actually was. It was over my head then as it is now. My OCD would not let me live with the presence of an extra bulb so I asked him to eliminate it which resulted in the dreaded hyper-flash ever since. I searched for years looking for a "trailer flasher" but never could find one until I came across Diode Dynamics last year and ordered theirs. As you mentioned, it is for LEDs so it should take the reduced amp draw into account and eliminate the hyper-flash. I have not installed it yet but hope it will. Good to know there is another option in the EP-27 Trailering flasher from NAPA. Wish I had that great little piece of info 18 years ago. Anyway, great write-up and nice ride you have there, BTW. :cool:
Thanks man. The napa flasher is for a single bulb taillight, but so happens to also be the same socket type as our stock flashers, so it works just great!
I wish it was all a plug and play thing... LOL but once you understand what needs to be done it's not terrible at all. And with the added knowledge of exactly what wire needs to be disconnected hopefully anyone who uses this on their own car doesnt have to worry and test all the wires as I did.
 

FivepointSlow

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Should also be noted I am currently using white bulbs in the amber housings stolen from the reverse lights when I put LEDs in there... I still need to pickup amber bulbs. So that may make the bulbs appear a bit brighter, not sure, but currently in person they dont look as amber as they do in the pics
 

ProjectGunshū

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You answered all my questions. From what I remember, the reverse light socket said minor, but last time I looked at it was 3 months ago when I modified my tails to have all 3 lights illuminate. So I can't be certain, and you did just do it, so no argument here.
 

FivepointSlow

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You answered all my questions. From what I remember, the reverse light socket said minor, but last time I looked at it was 3 months ago when I modified my tails to have all 3 lights illuminate. So I can't be certain, and you did just do it, so no argument here.
The 3156 sockets I guess use the same mold so the plastic part of the 3156 and 3157 sockets are identical, they both have ground, minor, major labels. But the 3156 sockets just lack the middle minor wire.
 

ProjectGunshū

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The 3156 sockets I guess use the same mold so the plastic part of the 3156 and 3157 sockets are identical, they both have ground, minor, major labels. But the 3156 sockets just lack the middle minor wire.
I wouldn't be surprised. Like I said, last time I looked at them was 4 months ago. I will definitely use this write-up in the future. Many thanks once again.
 

Bitza

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Where did you get the export taillights?
 

Bitza

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Cheers. I used to own a 94 GT over in Oman, but it was a US spec. Now I'm back in NZ and own a 95 GT Japanese Export Version.
 

abood89

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Really want to thank you about this great written! Tbh in last couple of years I’ve shared the thread to many customers who bought from me lights. They’re really happy. Thanks again man!
 

abood89

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Cheers. I used to own a 94 GT over in Oman, but it was a US spec. Now I'm back in NZ and own a 95 GT Japanese Export Version.
Yessir you’re right, our Ford dealerships in Oman were selling US spec. Actually all countries in Middle East.
Even that we have Japanese specs in the streets. Local merchants Imported them from Japan to Oman.
 

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