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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone installed the footwell illumination kit themselves? If so, any tips? My kit arrived today and the instructions had many more trim removal steps than I was anticipating. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Don't use screwdrivers as pry tools. If you don't have a set, get some plastic panel removing tools. They will definitely help with removing the side panels that cap the sides of the dashboard and the plastic rivet stuck into the carpet area of the lower right kick panel. Other than that it's all like Legos. Have fun.

Sometimes those little plastic rivets (usually white or green) that join a trim piece to metal stay attached to the metal when you remove a piece of trim. Those need to be pried off of the metal (with the aforementioned tools) and placed back onto the plastic trim piece before popping it back on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Thanks! I will pickup a set os nylon tools. Any recommendations?

I will probably work on this next weekend and post in process pictures for those that are interested.
 

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Thanks! I will pickup a set os nylon tools. Any recommendations?

I will probably work on this next weekend and post in process pictures for those that are interested.
There are so many tool kits out there and they all seem good enough to get the job done. Take a look at a set like the one below.
https://www.amazon.com/ARISD-Panel-...94401&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=panel+tools&psc=1

I have a similar set in red. It did not come with the metal tool with the handle. Out of all of those, I use the "forked" tools 99% of the time. I especially use the one with a two-pronged "fork" on one end and a slim flat piece on the other end (the second to last in the picture). Another good common use for this tool is for changing the air filter. You need to remove a couple of fasteners to get to the air box. The tool I mentioned can be used to unscrew the fasteners, then flip it around to use the forked end to pry the fastener out. It's much more elegant than hacking away at things with a screwdriver.
 

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Has anyone installed the footwell illumination kit themselves? If so, any tips? My kit arrived today and the instructions had many more trim removal steps than I was anticipating. Any help would be appreciated!
I searched the forums and couldn't find a write up about it. Thought I might after a couple years. Rather than starting a new thread, I'll just post here from my experience. I didn't plan on doing a write up, but as I got going I thought it could be a good idea for others. I purchased the Subaru Footwell Illumination Kit. I can't recall which site I got the instructions from, but I know one of the parts purchase sites has the instructions attached for many accessories. This was from the previous part #:


As has been mentioned, make sure to have trim removal tools. The most time consuming part was getting the factory illumination control harness unplugged. It was a pain. I could push the tiny button in as hard as I wanted, but it just didn't seem to be enough. Of course, I didn't want to damage any of the wires, or housing for it either, so it was a process of being gentle, yet firm to provide counter support. Miraculously something different eventually happened as I was about to say screw it and quit. It came free. The dash pieces were easy to remove. Be careful when removing the inner glove box frame- the molded clips are easily bent as the plastic is soft. The kick panel and side sill plate are secured by the green clips. Under the side sill, I had 2 stay in the metal. These had to be pried out gently and placed back into the side sill before replacing it.

Most of the installation trim removal is so the wire can be secured behind the dash. I suppose, it could be installed by just removing the lower driver's panel and the lower passenger trim panel. The driver's panel needs to be removed so one can access the power supply. The lower passenger trim needs to be removed because that is where it mounts. The wire could be zip tied behind the head unit/HVAC instead of needing to remove all of the panels.

Pardon the cell phone quality pictures.
Removing the driver's side, side trim:
Vehicle door Vehicle Auto part Car Technology


The backside of the lower drivers dash piece. There is one screw on the lower right that has to be removed for it to come free. The rest are all of the clips similar to the above trim piece. Finally got the pesky plug out!:
Footwear Shoe Auto part Personal protective equipment Sportswear


Passenger trim piece removed showing the clips used in the trim panels:
Technology Electronic instrument Electronic device Bumper Auto part

Bumper Automotive exterior Vehicle Car Auto part


Side Sill Trim removed to allow kick panel to be removed:
Bumper Automotive exterior Vehicle door Auto part Car


Clips in the side sill plate:
Green Table Room Indoor games and sports Longboard
Bumper


Kick panel clips and behind the panel. This is removed to help remove the glove box inner frame.
Green Sport venue


This shows behind the kick panel, and it shows the passenger lower trim removed. (This trim piece is what the passenger side light mounts onto)
Auto part Automotive lighting Fictional character Subcompact car Vehicle


The light mounted on the lower passenger trim piece. The clips to the trim are ones that can just be pushed to release. They are visible from the outside of the trim piece. These could be broken easily if pulled on. The light (blue casing below) mounts in a twist in place prefab hole.
Automotive exterior Bumper Grille


I didn't get pictures of the glove box frame removed, but the glove box needs to be removed: Open the glove box, pull off the plunger and squeeze the sides together to free the glove box. It will open wide and can be gently pulled off the hinge. There are 6 Phillips head screws that need to be removed. Don't forget to remove the glove box light. The light wiring can be fed from the driver's side through to the passenger side just behind the HVAC system. There are wire groups that the light wire can be zip tied to. (Sorry I didn't get pictures of this step. Wasn't planning to do a write up until the passenger side was put together).
 

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Continuing: The wire has colored tape marks on it to show areas to use to zip tie it in place. The driver's side is fed behind several items. Pay attention before mounting the clip/light combo to the airbag studs. (I saved the rubber boots from the airbag studs and placed them on screwbacks I had used to mount my Tekonsha P3 brake controller. It is mounted on a spare fuse-box cover. I take it off when not towing and they prevent scraping/poking items.) Below is the white tape area:
Bumper Automotive exterior Auto part Vehicle Automotive lighting

Electronics Technology Electronic device Wire Auto part


Plug in the female end of the light harness to the plug that was removed. Wrap this in the large foam. Plug the male end of the wire harness into the illumination plug on the dash and put everything together. Wait until it's dark outside and then test it. I will say, they are mild, especially the blue color. I have red in my WRX and it stands out much more, but I think the blue works well with all of the other interior lighting in the Ascent. I know this isn't the best write up, but hopefully it gives some sort of direction. I'm sure this could be simpler than what Subaru has made it as most of the trouble goes into allowing for areas to access zip tie points. Overall, my wife likes them. We weren't seeking some super bright floor lights. It just creates a nice ambiance. I certainly would not pay full MSRP + labor for these as it's not worth that much of a difference. While I was fortunate, I would have a few of the green clips and the trim clips available in case any break when removing.
 

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I had the dealer install on my 2020 Ascent. There were two issues:
1) LED under the driver's side was installed backwards. I had to get under there and reposition for proper lighting.
2) The Subaru part photo shows blue lighting that, I believe, is twice as bright as what mine looks like. It's not nearly that bright after installation. I'm not sure if Subaru Parts enhanced the blue lighting under the dash or if they changed the output for the photo.
 

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I had the dealer install on my 2020 Ascent. There were two issues:
1) LED under the driver's side was installed backwards. I had to get under there and reposition for proper lighting.
2) The Subaru part photo shows blue lighting that, I believe, is twice as bright as what mine looks like. It's not nearly that bright after installation. I'm not sure if Subaru Parts enhanced the blue lighting under the dash or if they changed the output for the photo.
I understand that the footwell lighting brightness is controlled by the dashboard brightness setting.
 

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@Snowskis

With some modifications, you can wire it like the normal kit but it's easier to just use the cigarette lighter
 

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2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
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I installed the factory footwell kit this afternoon. The pictures posted by Snowskis really helped me, thank you! I haven't removed these panels before and knowing where the connectors are helped to know where to lever the trim removal tool.

Everyone knows that the carpet grommet unscrews, right? I wasn't sure but didn't want to break anything and unscrewing them is safe.

I set a moving blanket on the floor of the garage to rest the panels. The black plastic scratches easily. I also used a little masking tape here and there just in case the removal tool slipped.

There are two screws on the driver's side lower panel cover, one on the left and one on the right. I think the instructions say simply screw not screws. I'd take those out first.

I glanced at the factory instructions and noticed a torque rating, then re-read them carefully. I've never seen anything measured in foot ounces before. Just to be clear the torque specs are in foot ounces, not foot pounds. My wrench doesn't measure in foot oz so I did "good and snug" with some Loctite.

I spent a couple hours putting the kit in, but it probably oughtn't take that long if you're confident with the trim panels. I was really careful because I'd just not done it before. The effect is subtle but pleasant, very similar to my old Acura. My wife really likes them (very important) and I'm glad I put them in. Glad I did it myself, too.
 

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2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
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It’s not a big deal. Either the terminal blocks aren’t completely plugged in or the harness is broken at the Y junction in which case I can return it and replace it.

Everything else is working well so I’m guessing that I didn’t get the switch plugged in completely.

Would appreciate any advice on the most likely culprit from anyone who’s got some experience with this kit!
 
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