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X540 tail light mod with pics!

52216 Views 57 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  RT3360
Hi all,
One of the tings that really bothered me about the X5 series of tractors was that the rear lights were not lights at all, just reflectors! While I think this is fine for the X3 series, the more expensive X5 series should have had lights IMHO!
Well fear not! Here is what I did to get lights... My goals were simple:
1, Must not drill into anything metal
2, Lights must be LED as I already have the halogen headlights using up more power
3, When the lights are off, the tractor must look stock! (I really like the way they styled the rear!)
4, Must look and perform as if JD did it themselves

So I started out with two 1156 replacement LED "bulbs" ($9.99 ea) in RED (white doesn't show very well through the red lens for some reason), two 1156 replacement sockets (3.99 ea) all from Pep Boys. You will also need some 16 ga wire, split loom, electrical tape, two electrical push on terminals, Dremel tool, Glue gun and glue sticks, cardboard for template, Xacto knife and some black zip ties.

Start off by removing the rear tail reflectors:fing20: I used a needle nose to help squeeze the clips that hold it in place. This is what you will find under the reflector. Notice the nice hole already drilled for us!

Put a piece of cardboard behind fender and trace the 4 holes. Now cut out the holes with the Xacto knife and put on back of reflector. Use something sharp to trace where the LARGE hole is. Now put your bulb in the traced circle and trace around the bulb making sure you do not go outside of the hole. CAREFULLY cut the hole out with a Dremel using care not to touch the red reflector. When done it should look like this...

Next you can mount the bulb to the reflector. I hot glued it in place so if I ever needed to change the bulb, it wouldn't be to hard to remove.
Here is what mine looked like...

Wiring is very simple...I grounded both lights to the rear seat pan using the right had grip. I used a "star washer" to make a better connection and a ring terminal. Next I ran the power up under the transmission tunnel and up to the yellow wire coming from the key switch. I used split loom to hid all of my wires and ran them in the same places as the factory. Neatness counts even if you can't see it! (I used to be a car audio/security alarm installer :fing32:)

This is what the back of my X540 looks like now. You can barely see where the bulbs are in this picture. (I enhance this shot so you can see the bulbs through the real life, it is very very hard to see anything was done at all!)

This shot shows what they look like with the garage light dimly...

Here is the same shot in a completely dark garage...

Here is some of what you will always help don't they?:fing32:

So, what do you think???
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Great write up! I've been wanting to do a light kit on my X300 and this certainly makes me want to even more. Perhaps i need to get that bloody scratch fixed in the pan first....
They look really good and excellent pictures.:fing32:

Oh, how do you get your tires so clean, especially between the tread?

Well done with the lights,:fing32: now you gave me some more work on my X540 for the winter. :trink39:
I like it,that would be something for my X 300:thThumbsU
Great job on it and it looks great. slkpk
Nice work Brian!
Nice work, looks great.:fing32:
Very nice work, looks great and :thanku: for the pics and tutorial :fing32:.
Wow thats great! Good job and thanks for all the pics!
Very nice work--and thinking outside the 'box'......

Now you need to install a xm radio on the dash! :p
I put LED markers in, but had to drill through the reflectors. I really like what you did. I may have to "copy" what you did and redo mine. Great job, great write-up, great tractor.
Good thinking! nice job! and thanks for the pics
Many thanks all:thanku:
Yes this mod would work equally well on a X300.:fing32:
The rear lights are bright enough I can see how far to back up in my dark shed:thThumbsU

Hmmm now what should the next mod be? SE seat??? Front fenders??? :trink39:
Now you need to install a xm radio on the dash! :p
Don't tempt would be too easy! Check out my bicycle:fing32:
Old picture...I have since changed the XM radio to a newer model but you get the idea...

More pics here:

And yea, I have a problem where I can't leave anything alone!:banghead3
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Very nice job on the lights! As always your mod does exactly what you set out for it! As the Colonel always said on the "A" Team, "I love it when a plan comes together like this!"
Nice mod!

The only thing I can say, is that for what the X300's cost, a couple of freakin' taillights should be standard equipment! :eck34:
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