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The All About JDM Sidemarkers Thread

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Old 12-05-09, 10:55 PM
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The All About JDM Sidemarkers Thread

OK, this is a mod that some people like and some don’t. I dig it . After doing a decent amount of research on the topic and plenty of first-hand experience, I figured I’d write this up for posterity.

All JDM FD’s came with fender mounted side markers, or side repeaters. They only blink in time with the turn signal – they do NOT turn on with the running lights or in any other situation. I verified this first hand on a real deal RHD JDM car. Of course, you can wire it up any way you want, but that’s how Mazda did it.

Now, there’s another slight difference in lighting between the JDM and US cars. On the ’92-98 front bumpers (the US style front bumper, not the ’99 spec front bumper) there are 2 yellow side markers on the side of the front bumper itself. On the US cars, these light up with the running lights. The JDM cars are NOT LIGHTS, they’re simply reflectors. I noticed this for some time since they just looked different in pics of JDM cars. I finally got my hands on a real set, and sure enough they’re reflectors. I guess Mazda figured you didn’t need a side marker with the turn signal repeater on the side, or it’s just how Japanese lighting laws were written. Retrofitting your car to the JDM setup is easily possible, probably not totally US legal, but I’d be shocked if any cop would notice something that subtle.

The JDM sidemarker with the US sidemarker -



Backside -



To get your hands on the fender side markers, just get the same part for a Mazda Tribute or Mazda Protégé MP3 (I think the Protégé 5 was the same part). Mazda US part number is B01W-51-120, they’re about $36 each. Depo, a company that makes aftermarket “rice lights” and replacement stock lights as well does sell OEM-style side markers, I found a set on Ebay for $25 each, but shipping was a gyp. There are also clear OEM side markers, my JDM fenders came with the clear markers. Supposedly there’s a Mazda part number for it, B33P-51-120, but that doesn’t seem to be a Mazda USA part. If you look on Ebay for “tribute side marker” and “protégé side marker” you’ll find both the yellow and clear examples.

Depo side marker with part number -



Depo colored and mystery clear ones -



Finding the front bumper reflectors is MUCH harder, I watched Ebay for quite some time for a pair and finally got my hands on a set. I don’t know of any source for them.

Installing the side markers involves a few options. First, you can buy JDM front fenders, bolt them on, and there you go. Problem is most front fenders will at least need a paint job and at worst be so mangled from shipping as to be unusable. I’m only using one of the JDM fenders I bought, the other wouldn’t work.

Second, you can cut the holes out for the side marker. This is a rather complicated hole (see pic) and requires some time and finesse. I made a template from my bad JDM fender, laid a lot of blue painter’s tape on the fender, traced onto the tape, then slowly cut out with a Dremel tool. After getting the hole cut, I had to go back in and slowly work the hole larger until the side marker fit nice and snug.



Finally, wiring. Since I elected to go JDM style and have the side markers only light up with the turn signals, I tapped into the front turn signal wiring. Both turn signals have 3 wires – one is the running light, one is ground, one is the flashing turn light. The ground is black, the flashing wire is green with a stripe. I made a neat wiring harness wrapped in quality electrical tape, soldered it into the wires and carefully taped and wrapped it, ran the wires along the factory loom in the fenderwell, zip tied in place, and ended at the side marker.

Note, you really want to take your time running the wiring. The fender well is a harsh place, and it wouldn’t take much for the wires to rub through and short out, or hang down into the tire. Do it right, guys – take the wheels off, pull the fender liners, make a nice clean harness, and zip tie it up there properly. Also, be sure it’s all snug and secure, wires flopping around in the fender will make unwanted noise that could drive you nuts .

Finally, the last problem is the electrical connector to the side marker. This is unlike any other electrical connector on the car, it’s a very small 2-pin female connector. I got SUPER lucky in that the side markers on my JDM fenders had the wires still attached with a healthy 6 inches of wire attached. I just soldered those to my harness and was in business. Most likely Mazda used this connector on other early ’00 cars, a determined trip to the pick and pull junkyard will likely find some. I don’t know of any other source for the connectors.

Here's the connector -



That's the gist of it. My car's down undergoing some light paint freshening and minor clean body mods (99 spec sideskirts FTW!). Can't wait to get the car back on the road!

Let me know if anything here is unclear. I may try and get better pics of the fender hole in the sun tomorrow, it is an odd duck.

Dale
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Old 12-06-09, 02:13 AM
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Nice, I have been wanting to do this for some time. Is there a way to measure out the exact location on non jdm fenders for the side markers, like measurements of where the hole should be? I have found some pics but not exact straight on side shots to properly scale up the dimensions.
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Old 12-06-09, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DaleClark View Post
..... There are also clear OEM side markers, my JDM fenders came with the clear markers. Supposedly there’s a Mazda part number for it, B33P-51-120, but that doesn’t seem to be a Mazda USA part........
Dale
Nice write-up and thanks. I actually bought a set of yellow JDM markers some years ago but never bothered to install.

One quick comment....
In my State, if the clear side markers are visible to the rear of the car at any time (while moving forward), and if they flash or blink and are visible to the front or rear.... they are NOT legal. It's a technicality, but just thought I'd mention it since other State's MV statutes probably have similar wording.
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Old 12-06-09, 06:24 AM
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i live in australia and i just bought some clear indicators from my local mazda dealer that are exact replacements (well just about) and they were under $30 for the pair only thing that was required for them to fit was to trim off two of the locking/locating ***** on the bulb holder on my car as the new housings only have two slots not four.

the part number here is UM47-51-120

Brad.
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Old 12-06-09, 08:38 AM
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Wonderful write-up. Things like this are where the REAL value of the Forum lies.

Dale....did you have to take a DEEP breath before cutting in to your fender?

I too love the sidemarker lights. My Volvo has them and they are just slicker than a whistle. I don't trust myself to do this project correctly, however.
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Old 12-06-09, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bajaman View Post
Wonderful write-up. Things like this are where the REAL value of the Forum lies.

Dale....did you have to take a DEEP breath before cutting in to your fender?


Took a bigger deep breath to go from this -



To this -



That's no hatch, hood, fenders, front/rear bumpers, fender liners...the doors are the only thing left bolted on.

Next fun part was drilling the holes for the side skirts in the body of the car - shudder. That was measure 10 times cut once!

I'll try and make some measurements on the hole location today.

Dale
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Old 12-06-09, 10:33 AM
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This is a great mod. I had my body shop do it and they did a stellar job. They had to make a template to cut the fender just right. They worked backward from the sidemarker itself. The lights are also availible at corksport. They have both clear and orange lights.
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Old 12-06-09, 11:01 AM
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Damn, Dale. I about **** myself when I take seats and interior pieces/dashes apart for stereo installations....let ALONE major body parts!

You da' MAN!
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Old 11-16-10, 02:20 PM
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Just a FYI Rock Auto has the Tribute side markers for $2.21 a piece!
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Old 11-16-10, 02:45 PM
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This has been added to FAQ thread.
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Old 11-16-10, 03:17 PM
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I have a RHD JDM car... if you want anything else checked out, let me know :P
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Old 11-16-10, 11:21 PM
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Hey Dale I see how you can cut the hole just right if you take your time but how the heck did you cut the little edges? It seams that you cant really fit a Dremel cut off wheel in those small edges.
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Old 11-17-10, 07:31 AM
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Just FYI Dale, european cars were made like JDMs with bumper reflectors and fenders lights
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Old 11-17-10, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by existanzrx7 View Post
Hey Dale I see how you can cut the hole just right if you take your time but how the heck did you cut the little edges? It seams that you cant really fit a Dremel cut off wheel in those small edges.
I used the edge of the Dremel cut-off wheel and just notched it out a little at a time. So, with the disc parallel to the ground, I cut in a few mm's to form the top edge, then again for the bottom edge. Then, just kept coming in sideways like that a little at a time - make a bunch of parallel line cuts, they all add up to a larger notch.

Not too hard all things considered.

Dale
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