(approx) 30 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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Hey, guys. Adam here with americanmuscle.com and today, we're taking a quick look at, and of course, installing the Raxiom Vector 2 Version 2 Taillights in a Smoked Finish, available for the '05 to '09 Mustang.You should be checking these out if you're looking to modernize the rear-end look of your early S197 which, let's all admit it, they're pretty outdated at this point. Those factory taillights are the red, reflective, very traditional, outdated technology. They're really not that bright. And after upwards of 15-plus years, they're getting pretty dull at that. Now, these taillights here look a lot like the first generation S550 or the early S550s with the tri-bar styling that's a little protruded out from the actual taillight housing and the LED technology built-in is gonna be a lot brighter and a lot more attractive. These are one of the most popular taillight options out there for the S197 body style. So if you're looking to pick one up, the smoked finish gives you a nice aggressive look at the rear end.Now, there's a couple of really key things I wanna point out about this particular set here. This is an updated version from the Vector 2s we've seen previously. You've got a couple of reflectors in between each of those tri-bar lights. Your reverse light is now the innermost bar here. This entire bar lights up in a bright white when you put it in reverse and you also get built-in sequentials. Now, that's huge. Sequentials are extremely popular for those New Edge and early S197 owners looking to pick up those separate harnesses. Now it's actually built into the LED technology. You don't have to transfer over a single thing from the factory light and you don't have to pick up anything separately to make them work.As soon as you plug them in, your turn signals and your brake lights will illuminate in sequence from inside out. Now, that's something that I really like, and I know a lot of guys out there are gonna love that as well. It's a really popular option for this vehicle. Of course, they're sold as a pair and the price tag comes in right around 400 bucks for the set. Now, it's a little bit more expensive than some of the entry-level options in the category, but keep in mind, the LED technology is a lot brighter and more attractive, sequentials being built in, nothing has to transfer over, and it's a direct plug and play harness. So really big bonuses for a price tag that, in my opinion, is well worth it.The install gets one out of three wrenches on our difficult to meet her here, and it will take you about 30 minutes to an hour from start to finish. Very simple hand tools will do the trick like 1/4-inch ratchet and an 11-millimeter socket. And really, that's just about it. I'm gonna show you guys from start to finish. Let's get started.All right. The only tool needed for this install is a ratchet and an 11-millimeter deep socket.All right. First step, pop your trunk open. We're gonna have to remove this black plastic trim going from one side to the other all around the trunk latch. Now, we've already removed the one side, so on this side, basically what you're doing is unscrewing this thumb plastic screw. And once it comes all the way out, you can set it down in your trunk, pop the plastic piece off, and set it aside.All right. Next step, you're gonna peel back this carpet liner to reveal three bolts. There's one up top, one in the middle, and then one toward the outside of the vehicle here. All right. So what you wanna do now is grab an 11-millimeter deep socket and 1/4-inch ratchet and get these guys off. Once you crack it loose, you can do it by hand. All right. And then one up top. All right. Next, disconnect the wiring harness clip here. Just like that. Now, we can pull our taillight out. All right. Now, as you pull the taillight out from the outside, you wanna push the wiring harness grommet through to the outside of the vehicle with it, sort of, like a waterproof seal. So you see that crushes in there. Pull this out and set it aside.All right. So we got our factory taillight off of the driver's side of our '06 GT behind me. And it's on the table next to our Vector 2 from Raxiom. Now, I wanna take you through some similarities and differences here. And I got to say, it is completely different than your factory taillight, aside from the fact that it uses all OEM quality materials and has that same plastic black trim on the top to fill in that gap under your trunk lid. Now, this new Raxiom option here is gonna completely change not only the finish of the lens, but also the technology inside. The factory lens here is a red polycarbonate clear lens. This option here from Raxiom has a dark smoked polycarbonate lens, both impact-resistant, both UV-resistant, so it's not gonna fade over time, but it is a little bit more aggressive.Now, as you can see, this Raxiom option, the Vector 2, is looking really, really similar to the first generation S550 taillights that you see from those newer Mustangs. Now, it's got that same tri-bar design, it's a little bit more extruded from the surface, it's got more of a 3D effect to it. Whereas the factory S197 option we have here, it uses a very traditional old school flat design with the tri-bar design. So it's keeping that same history of the iconic tri-bar, just modernizing it a lot. Now, the LEDs inside here are a huge upgrade to your factory incandescent bulbs. The LEDs are gonna be a lot brighter, a lot more attractive, and a more vibrant red. Each of these three bars is gonna light up for your brake lights. Your turn signals will be a sequential built into the new harness at the back.No need to pick up a sequential harness separately. And for your reverse light, the innermost tri-bar light there is going to light up in a bright white. Now, the cool thing about that is you're not transferring over any factory reverse light bulbs, like some of the other talents in the category would require, so you do have a all-encompassing LED technology.Lastly, for the install, it really could not be any easier. If you look at the back of this here, there's one harness coming off of it with a factory-style connector. It's got a new grommet for the weatherproof seal, and there's no bulbs on the back. If you look at your factory light, very different. This has the projector-style housing where it's bulged out for each one. It's got each individual socket. LED's already built-in, nothing transferred over. So what do you say we pop our trunk back open and install this guy? I just plug and play?All right. First step here for the install is to feed the harness back through that hole and fill it with that grommet. Now, you might have to go from the inside and pull the grommet through just to make sure it's got that seal. And then from there, we're gonna plug it in. Once that wiring is out of the way, we can install the taillight, putting those three studs back through the factory holes All right. Next up, grab those factory 11-millimeter nuts, and we're just gonna basically thread them back onto the new studs. You can pretty much get it all the way down to the bottom by hand and then tighten it up with your socket. All right. And the last one is at the top. All right. Once that's tightened down, put the carpet trim back in, repeat on the other side.That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the Raxiom Vector 2 Version 2 Taillights in the Smoked Finish, available for the '05 to '09 Mustang. And, again, you can pick yours up right here at americanmuscle.com.
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(approx) 30 Minutes
Simple installation for anyone.
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