How-to: Replace your 05-08 License Plate Light Housings With OEM Parts - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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How-to: Replace your 05-08 License Plate Light Housings With OEM Parts

Here's what you'll need to do this job:
  1. Westin Automotive License Plate Kit 00007153. $13.54. I bought at rvautoparts.com.
  2. 2 led bulbs. $3.50 I found on ebay under PAIR 3SMD 3 3528 SMD LED T10 W5W 194 168 WHITE INTERIOR DOME WEDGE LIGHT BULB.
  3. Heat Shrink
  4. Wire Sheathing
  5. Wire Crimping Tool + connectors
  6. Primer + Paint. I used products from Automotive Touchup, they have the best matching rattle can paints you can buy hands down.

Like everyone else with an 05/06/07/08 X my license plate lights went out eventually and when I went to replace the bulbs I found that the heat from the halogen bulbs Nissan used completely destroyed the housings. Nissan doesn't sell a replacement kit that fits because they changed the shape of the bumper cutout when they did the facelift in 09.

The company that supplied the bumper and lights to Nissan is Westin and the light kit replacement is part number 00007153. Because they originally supplied Nissan this part is a perfect fit, it even comes with new license plate mounting screws and plastic inserts so if you want to put 4 bolts on your plate, now you can.

Remember that heat destroyed the original housings, I recommend installing leds and just throw the included halogens in the glove box as an emergency spare. I used some very low brightness, white 4k color, leds so that the plate is lit but not overly bright and not bluish.



The only caveat with this kit is that it only comes in chrome, at first I thought it was probably fake plastic chrome but it turns out it's actually metal which is great because that means you can easily paint them. I already painted my bumper last spring so I used leftover paints to match the color. Painting deserves its own how-to but if you're not familiar with it here's what I did.

1. I cut out two small pieces of cardboard from the box the kit came in and put those over the clear plastic windows that the light shines out of.
2. Then I used 600 grit sandpaper to sand the new housings down making sure to get every crevice and angle because these have a lot of those. Once the surface is all scratched up and no longer super shiny I took denatured alcohol and some paper towels and wiped everything down several times to remove all of the dust from the surface.
3. Next, I put them on a baking pan covered with a trash bag and then some paper towels to use as a painting rack. Use a good primer to give them 2-3 good coats waiting 15 min to dry before the next.
4. Spray 2-3 coats of base coat, 15 min between coats.
5. Give it a good spray of clear coat, wet but not running for 2 coats total. Let it completely dry for an hour before installing.



Step 1. Lower the spare tire down and push it out of the way. I didn't disconnect the chain and just slid it forward.

Step 2. Remove the old housings. They have a clamp on the inside of the bumper that's shaped like a L. To remove it, grab the part of the L that is sticking out from the surface and pull it down or up (depending on where it is, if it's below the housing pull it down, if above push it up. It will slide right off and then you can twist and pull out the bulb harness and remove the light housing from outside of the bumper. You should be left with two holes in the bumper and two loose bulb connectors.


Step 3. If your bulb harnesses looked like mine and are corroded the kit comes with all new parts you can use. Rather than replace the entire wiring harness I just cut off the bulb connectors and spliced in the new ones to replace them. Use heat shrink and make sure it's a good watertight connection. I also use wire sheathing over it to make sure nothing rubs the wire coating off.



Step 4. Put some die-electric grease into the bulb connector and install the new LED lights. Once in, go turn the truck lights on to make sure they work, if they are not illuminating pull them out and rotate 180 degrees and put them back in. Confirm they work again and get the new housing and mounting clips ready.


Step 5. Put the new bulb housing on the outside of the bumper and lean under and slide the mounting clip in to hold it. Repeat with the other side and then take your bulb connectors, push them into the housings and turn. You should see them lock into place and you're done!

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Last edited by General_Tarfun; 06-02-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 02:53 PM
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Awesome! Does this kit require splicing on the new bulb housings? The pics on the website look like they come with everything.

https://www.rvautoparts.com/00007153..._p_416320.html


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BlazinGuns View Post
Awesome! Does this kit require splicing on the new bulb housings? The pics on the website look like they come with everything.
It comes with everything, bulbs, hardware, electrical connectors, license plate mounting screws and insert, a complete harness with the clips to mount it already built in that terminates with two wires that have crimp terminals already installed but they also include two splice terminals as well:


The factory harness has a connector on the drivers side near the frame, I didn't bother with replacing the full harness so I didn't pull it off but I think you'd have to splice the new harness in there. In my case I just cut what I needed off the harness and spliced it in.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 05:04 PM
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How-to: Replace your 05/06 License Plate Light Assemblies

Hereís some more pics of me and the kiddo figuring out the lights:




And a pic of the splice location:



And a pic of the mounting clips:



And of course the finished product:




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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 08:12 AM
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2 Questions:
1. When trying to find a replacement housing before finding this thread the parts available fit 1st Gen or '06 and later second Gen...nothing for my '05 (something said the bumper was changed); did anyone have to modify their '05 bumper to fit this kit?
2. If my wiring and sockets are still good can I re-use them with this kit or do I have to splice in the new light sockets?

Thanks,
Austin
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Hervey View Post
2 Questions:
1. When trying to find a replacement housing before finding this thread the parts available fit 1st Gen or '06 and later second Gen...nothing for my '05 (something said the bumper was changed); did anyone have to modify their '05 bumper to fit this kit?
2. If my wiring and sockets are still good can I re-use them with this kit or do I have to splice in the new light sockets?

Thanks,
Austin
You're in the right place. I made this how-to exclusively for those of use who have the old bumper cutout. Nissan changed the shape of the hole these lights go in on the bumper on the later models but if you order the kit I listed in the how-to you won't need to change anything because that kit is the one that fits the 05/06 bumper. If your sockets are still good you don't need to splice anything in, you could just replace the light housings.
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