My *nix world

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

After installing the rear fog light on my Nissan Murano 2009 (USA model) I thought it would worth sharing my experience with you.

First I should mention that my car had already installed the OEM front fog lights so I had already the fog lights combination switch and the fog lights relay.

Since my rear bumper was not prepared to support the OEM rear fog lights lamp like the European models (see picture on left below) I had to find other solution. So I found these $14 cheapy bumper LED tail/brake/fog lamps that fits perfectly to my Nissan Murano. Ideally you should retrofit or change the bumper and use an OEM rear fog lamp instead. Till then...

Installing rear fog light on Nissan MuranoInstalling rear fog light on Nissan Murano

 

These LED lamps has 24 x 3528 SMD light emitting diodes which draws ~ 0.3A @12V (so the total power is ca. 3.8W). They have three wires (black=ground, white=tail, red=brake) in order to provide two lighting modes: tail (less intensity) and brake (more intensity). The brake mode would be the optimal candidate for our setup.

Since the car came with the front fog lights it came also with the respective relay/15A fuse. So when you turn ON your front fog lights combination switch it sends a signal to the car's BCM that if certain conditions are met it forwards the front fog light request via CAN to the IPDM front fog light relay and therefore the front fog lamps are supplied with 12V from battery:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

So if we want to integrate our lamps into the existent system we should run a wire from the IPDM front fog light wires after the relay to the vehicle's rear bumper. Then the bumper should be removed such that we can replace the old reflex reflectors with our new lamps. That should work.

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Note: you should disconnect the battery terminals before starting the job.

Now, as for the running the wire from the IPDM (located on the engine compartment) to the vehicle's rear the only safe method is through the vehicle firewall:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

This rubber gourmet is pretty stiff, it can't be penetrated that easy. Please note, DO NOT use any spear-like sharp object to penetrate the gourmet (see screwdriver) because you might cut the other existent wires which obviously would damage your car (there is an exception, see below).

In order to run the wire through the firewall gourmet I improvised a tool known as electrician fishing wire. What I used was a steel clothes hanger (3mm thick and 1m  long) which has its ends polished. At first I used a sharp spear-like object only to sting a little bit (like 2mm) the gourmet. Then I used my improvised  clothes hanger and pushed gently against the gourmet until I felt that it just pierced the gourmet.

In order to access the metallic spear end on the driver side of the firewall I had to remove the instrument lower panel (the one under the steering wheel).

Some remover tools that would be necessary (although a flat screwdriver with a soft cloth under the metallic tip would do also the job):

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Start by  removing the hood opener lever fixing bolt (A)  then pull back the instrument panel (it's fixed within some plastic clips). The disconnect the harness connector and the aspirator duct (yes, there is a small ventilation duct at 10cm down of the ignition key socket).

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

But first you have to remove the instrument side finisher (just pull it gently):

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Now you should see the firewall harness gourmet on the driver side:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Right below the harness gourmet there is a 5mm thick isolation carpet that can be splitted just enough to stick your finger in order to find the spear other end. Hopefully there is no snake under that carpet. Just kidding :-)))

If you found it (the spear not the snake) then try to push the spear just few more centimeters (from engine towards the driver side) until you can grab it from within the driver side. DO NOT pull the whole spear in the passengers compartment, we still need the other end on the engine compartment.

Since my LEDs draws only 0.3A I used a 18AWG wire which should be safe upto 16A. Please note that the front fog light fuse is 15A so anyway, the fuse will blow before the wire melts down. If you wonder when the wire could draw such current (despite our load being only 0.3A) the answer is a SHORT. In case of a short between our wire the the (grounded) chassis the current will flow through this wire until it melts down or the battery has no more electrical energy stored. So please note that if you would not follow my setup here you should consider using an inline fuse that is lower than your wire's max. supported amperage.

We tape strongly one wire's end to the spear end (on the passenger compartment) by running the wire along the spear like 5-10cm then rolling electrical tape around this bundle. Then on move to the engine side and pull back the spear by turning/twisting it gently to the left and right while pulling it. Hopefully when get the whole spear back in the engine's compartment the wire is still connected to the spear. Mine was. Now you have one wire's end to the engine compartment.

I run the wire underneath the driver front kicking plate inner panel along the existent OEM harness:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

In order to do that you have to remove that kicking plate inner panel by disengaging those pawls and metal clips from the body panel by using a removal tool (I used a panel clip remover tool but a panel remover lever would also do the job; even a flat screwdriver if you place a soft cloth under the metallic tip).

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Then I run the wire underneath the central pillar lower garnish:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

and then underneath the rear kicking plate inner panel:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Now you have to run that wire via the luggage floor so we have to remove almost all the luggage assembly:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Start by removing the tonneau cover (13), the luggage floor finisher (7 & 17), the luggage floor finisher center-rear (19), the luggage floor finisher center-front (18) and finally the BOSE sub-woofer and the spare tire. Continue by removing the luggage floor finisher front (10), the luggage floor spacer (8 & 16) and finally the luggage rear plate (1).

Now you should have plenty room to run your wire alongside the OEM harness (on the vehicle driver side):

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Make sure you tape your wire together with the OEM harness, that way we make sure no other component will touch/press/cut our wire when we'll mount back the luggage assembly.

OK, if you followed me so far then you are brave 🙂

Now we have our wire run from the IPDM to the rear bumper. In order to run the wire outside the vehicle (towards the bumper's fog lamps) we need a whole. Fortunately enough there is already such a whole and nonetheless an insulator gourmet that can be used:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Fig. rear bumper gourmet

We would also need to run a ground wire. Since the vehicle chassis is grounded (the negative battery's terminal is connected to the chassis) all we have to do is to found a bolt, unscrew the bolt then connect our ground terminal wire to that bolt then mount it back.

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

We are not done yet. There are still two things due: to replace the OEM reflex reflectors with our new LED lamps and to connect the fog lights wire to the IPDM. In order to replace the old reflex reflectors we have to remove the rear bumper. But to do that we have to remove the tail lamps:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

So we start by removing the rear combination lamp finisher (3) by pulling them gently (they are fixed with some small clips) then we remove the rear lamp mounting bolts. Now we have to pull the lamp to the side but be aware that it is connected to the harness by a wire so take that into account.In order to pull the lamp I used a lever with a soft cloth and I inserted the lever between the lamp edge and the car chassis. After removal just disconnect that connector and store the lamp in a safe place for the time being.

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

After you have removed both rear combination lamps we can remove the rear bumper:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Remove the clips (as in A below) located under rear combination lamp:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Removes the clips (as in A below) of bumper fascia underside:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Finally remove the screw of bumper fascia (as in A below) then pull to release bumper fascia assembly from bumper side bracket. If necessary make sure you ask someone for help (I managed alone quite easily).

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Now remove the reflex reflectors by unscrewing their fixing bracket (A). Keep that bracket for mounting back our custom LED fog lamps!

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

OK, now mount into the rear bumper the new LED fog lights and secure them by using their fixing bracket. I run their wires through a flexible corrugated plastic tubing for protecting them from being damage. At half of its distance I cut a 5mm² whole and then I lead the wire through it:

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Since these wires were too short I had previously extended them by soldering like 1m extension for each and then masking each soldered connection by a shrinking tube. I put another (bigger) shrinking tube to cover all the previously shrunk tubes (just to make sure this is a solid binding) and only then I run these bunch of wires through the flexible hose as in the image above.

Now place the bumper back on its place and make sure you fix it somehow (do not install back all the screw and the other clips, not yet). Insert these wires through the bumper rear gourmet as on the figure above "Rear bumper gourmet". When done then make sure you fix these wires somehow inside (don't let them to slip back outside). Mount the bumper clips located under the rear combination lamp. They should hold the bumper for now.

Connect the fog lamps red wire (or the white wire if you would like less intensity although you need more in case of a fog light) to the wire that you run from the IPDM to the vehicle's rear. Connect the black wire to the one you mounted to the ground. By connecting I mean solder these wires and insulate them with a shrinking tube. You may use also crimp connectors, but soldering is the best. You may even twist the wires and insulated them by using an electrical tape.

OK, the lamps are almost working. Almost. We have to move to the engine compartment and connect our wire to the fog light relay. Open the IPDM cover and locate the connector E345 (the one with 5-pin wires). The last two wires should have the Sky Blue and respectively Gray color. Both these comes from the fog light relay.

Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

I connected mine to the pin-86 (the Sky Blue one) by removing 5mm of its insulation then twisting the new wire around the Sky-Blue copper leads. The I soldered them (they form a T-like shape) and isolate the soldered connection with electrical tape. Put the IPDM cover back.

Now we should be ready for the first test. Connect back the battery terminals and turn on the front fog lights. Does the rear fog lights come on? Mine did from the first try. If the lights do not come on then check again the connections and make sure they are solid and working. Now that everything works mount back all the dismounted components in the reverse order.

Now, if you think that this article was interesting don't forget to rate it. It shows me that you care and thus I will continue write about these things.

 
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Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

Eugen Mihailescu

Founder/programmer/one-man-show at Cubique Software
Always looking to learn more about *nix world, about the fundamental concepts of math, physics, electronics. I am also passionate about programming, database and systems administration. 16+ yrs experience in software development, designing enterprise systems, IT support and troubleshooting.
Installing rear fog light on Nissan Murano

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