Today’s post offers a change of pace from meet and show photos; it’s time for another update on the hatchback! The 5 door’s mod list continues to grow, and the subject of today’s post is another change to the exterior. It’s a small one but was definitely worth the effort.
The last update showed the addition of the Downforce front lip, and today we take a look at the opposite end of the car. To make the car a bit more visible and unique, a set of LED rear reflectors were fitted to replace the non-lit factory pieces. I found these for sale on Instagram, from a fellow Mk3 owner; he had upgraded to a Focus ST and they wouldn’t fit because STs and N/As have different rear reflectors.
I will admit that I don’t really like messing with wiring on cars, but this looked like it would be a really straight-forward install, and it was. Each reflector has three wires which are run behind the rear bumper and get connected to the tail light wiring harnesses. They take the place of the OEM reflectors on the rear valance and add an additional pair of both running and brake lights to the back of the car.
The install requires removing the rear bumper but that’s a pretty easy process on these cars. A small hole has to be drilled into the valance in each reflector pocket to allow the wires to be passed through.
Now, I know you’ll be wondering about it so I’ll explain the bedliner on the bumper. It was applied during the time the original owner had the vehicle but was the only imperfection on the car and the price was dropped because of it. It was obviously there to cover damage (which it didn’t do very well) and on further examination I confirmed what was under it. At some point the lower valance was cracked, which isn’t really a big deal, but instead of replacing the inexpensive part the whole valance and part of the bumper were sprayed with bedliner instead. I see it as a good excuse for a new rear valance (maybe Zetec?) but for now it remains.
Anyway, back to the reflectors. Because the bedliner was also sprayed inside the reflector pockets they don’t sit quite flush but are still secure in the valance and are a really nice update to the back end. From this angle you can make out the LEDs – there are 13 in each reflector.
Of course I had to show a shot of them lit up as well! They were inexpensive, easy to install, look good, and make the car more visible at night so it’s a win all around. I am very happy with these little pieces and would recommend them to others without hesitation. The only “downside”, if you consider it to be one, is that there are a few more wires to disconnect in order to remove the rear bumper.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that more is in store for the hatchback, but the next change will probably be the removal of the Gram Lights in favour of wheels with winter tires. It’s that time of year again!