The Corolla AE92 GT-S Project

A website about my ongoing project

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Enginebay lighting

Lighting in the enginebay?

Yep, it seemed a very practical modification to me. There have been occasions that I wished I would have had a light somewhere in the enginebay so I could have seen where a problem was, or to just check the oil even though it's dark early in winter.

Sure, it's always sensible to have a flashlight in the car. But when you need two hands and a light in your mouth trying to see what you're doing. I think you get the picture.


So why not make an easy modification now that I'm at it?

I figured the license plate lighting that sits on the bumper of the E9 Corolla might work. It's already weatherproof and directs a decent amount of light under a angle (which I need with the angle the hood is in when lifted).


When I mount that license plate lighting upside down to the hood of the car and let it shine down into the engine bay, it should give me some light to see what I'm doing under there.

But I needed a baseplate to bolt the lighting to. I couldn't just screw it into the hood itself.


plate for lighting


test fitting lighting


I had some aluminum plate lying around so I used that to bend a baseplate that would fit the hood and where I could mount the lighting to. I used rivets to fasten the plate to the hood. Once it would be painted, it wouldn't stick out as much anymore.

With the placement of the lighting armature, it would fall directly into the space between the engine and the radiator so it wouldn't interfere with anything in the enginebay.


But I don't need the lights to light up continuously. So there has to be a switch in there somewhere that will make the lights come on when the hood is lifted and switch them off when it is closed.

I used a Corolla E9 door switch for this. It has the same function for the interior lighting and is a so called 'Normally closed' switch. When pressed, the connection is broken. When it's not pressed and in it's natural state, it will form a connection. 


So the hood would have to press the switch when it's closed and the lights will turn off. If I were to place the switch on the front crossbeam, the hood could press down on it. I had to drill some holes in the beam to make room for the switch, but it fitted fine there.  



switch installed


switch pressed by hood


And when the hood is closed, the switch is pressed down fully as would have happened with the door where the switch would normally be used for. The connection is broken and the lights will switch off.


This is where I stopped to finish it in a later stage. But the plans for the car have changed since then and so, this is where this modification ended.

A other hood was bought for the car which I was going to use instead of the original one and I wasn't going to make this modification to that hood as well.

And now that the use of the finished car has altered into a nice fun car to drive on nice days. I probably am not going to need a light under the hood.

And this was planned about 10 years ago. Technology has caught up with us since then and some nice, small and bright LED lights would probably do the trick better now than what I had planned.