Hey, guys, Adam here with americanmuscle.
And today we're taking a closer look at, installing, and light testing the Raxiom LED tail lights, available for the '08 to '14 Challengers.
On our 2013 RT right next to me here is theRaxiom LEDs, and you should be checking these out if you're looking to upgrade the rearend, not straying too far from the OEM look, but really just upgrading the lighting technology.
From here, you're getting rid of those factoryincandescent bulbs and replacing them with super bright, way more attractive, modernLEDs.
Now, the big highlight with these tail lightsis the LED running light, right? As you can see here, we've just got our taillights on, no brake lights, and we're showing off the really thick surrounding LED runninglight design.
Now, that running light on each side is surroundingwhat is a light bar of LEDs that will operate as your brake light, turn signals, and yourhazards.
Of course, in the center there, just likeyour factory OEM ones, those are gonna be your reverse lights.
You actually are going to be reusing the factoryreverse light bulbs, they'll twist right into your new housing.
Now, these aren't stick-on LEDs, they aren'treplaced LEDs, as far as actually putting them into the factory housing, you are completelyreplacing the entire factory tail light, this entire bar going across the rear end is comingout, and you're putting your new Raxioms in place.
Now, the Raxiom housing is extremely similarto the OEM styling, it's got the red interior, lots of reflectivity.
It's also got a clear lens at the back endthat is extremely similar to OEM.
So, when the lights are off, you might notrecognize that it's an aftermarket tail light.
When the lights go on, that's when you seethe super bright red LEDs flashing right in your face.
So, if you're looking for a rear end replacementthat can look OEM, or pass as OEM, but really light up and be a lot brighter and more attractive, this is a great way to go.
It doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, itreally just enhances that technology and modernizes it.
Now, this kit comes in right around 500 bucks.
Now, the install gets one out of three wrencheson our difficult to meter.
There's no cutting, it's a direct plug andplay, which is a huge bonus with this tail light kit, it's gonna take you about an hour, maybe two, from start to finish.
I love when Raxiom comes out with these lightsthat you don't have to cut, and splice, and wiring together, and solder, and test, andmake sure it still works.
I love when it's a direct plug and play, you'rereusing your factory harness.
The LED connectors will plug right into thefactory bulb socket where the incandescent bulb was originally located, so it makes itreally simple.
The only thing you'll have to cut, and it'snot even for every model, is their trunk latch button.
If your Challenger is equipped from the factorywith the trunk button, the release button here, you will have to cut out that oval.
Now, the oval already has that template pre-moldedinto the plastic, so you're really just following the lines with the utility knife or somethingsimilar to get that to cut out.
Now, it doesn't have to be the most beautifulcut in the world.
I used the utility knife, and it wasn't completelyperfect, but once you pop this guy in, it overlaps and doesn't show any rough edges.
So, it looks absolutely flawless when it isall said and done even if the cut isn't perfect.
Now, for guys who do not have that factorytrunk button at the back end above your tail lights, you don't have to worry about that, you can skip right on over it.
I'm gonna walk you through every step of thisprocess including that cutting, because we obviously do have that button, really notthat hard, we'll tackle it in three pieces, let's get to it.
Tools used in this install include a ratchet, extension, panel removal tool, flat-head screwdriver, T20 Torx bit, and a utility knife or cuttingtool of choice.
First up, of course, is to pop open your trunk.
Now, as you know, in the Challenger they arein three sections, the one main section here is on the trunk lid and the other two actuallystay down when you pop your trunk.
So, first up here, let's pop this guy open, we're gonna focus on this one up here, uninstalling that first.
Once that's out and disconnected, we'll comeback down and do the passenger and driver sides connected to the rest of our bumper.
So, step one, we have a couple of twist offswe have to take care of, there are four of them, then we're gonna pop off the bumpstops.
So, as far as those twist offs go, there areone here, one on the other side, and then in the middle as well on both sides of thetrunk latch.
So, really, it's just by hand, it's a littlewing nut.
We're just gonna on thread it, and I'm actuallygonna set them inside the trunk.
Now, these bumpstops are more like two stepclips.
What you're gonna do is take a panel removaltool, a flat-head screwdriver works just as well, this is just a little easier.
Go to that top section, and you're gonna prythat upward toward you, and then go underneath of that and pull it out in one piece, it'sa big plastic clip, do the same thing for the other one.
Now, on the side of your middle section herethere's a plastic panel, what we're gonna do is pull this guy off.
Now, ours has seen better days, so it's prettyeasy to pull off.
If you need a panel removal tool, it's a goodtime to use that too, but this guy just unsnaps.
Do the same thing on the other side.
All right, guys.
Now, underneath of where that plastic panelwas, if you go in this indent, there's a T20 Torx screw that we have to get out.
So, grab your T20 socket, I'm gonna use anextension and a ratchet to get this guy off.
Now, once it's out, you just wanna be a littlecareful, try not to drop it in there, and then repeat for the other side.
So, at this point, we have the two screwsout, we can lift up, we can pry the light off, and then we'll unplug the harness andset it aside.
You wanna put firm but somewhat gentle pressureon it, you don't wanna break any clips.
Once it's up, you can see a lot of wiringharnesses, right here you have a little light clip, gonna unplug that harness, just likethat.
All right, guys.
Now, what we're gonna do is follow this harnessdown, and you can see there's a rubber grommet that goes underneath.
What we can do is pretty easily go right hereto our trunk latch, we're gonna pry this carpet liner down and around it, that way we canget underneath.
Now, underneath, you'll find this little harnessclip here, which is the other end of that one up top, we're gonna disconnect this guy.
From this, we're gonna use a flat-head screwdriverto lift up on the locking tab, and disconnect it.
Now, what we can do is head back up top, andwe're gonna pull this rubber grommet out, and disconnect, now we can set our tail lightaside.
Now, what we can do is focus on our othersections here inside the bumper, we're gonna go inside the trunk and remove another oneof these twist off clips with our hands, we can just twist it all off and set it aside.
What this is gonna do is allow us to peelback this liner to expose the back of that tail light.
We have another one of those twist offs underneathof that liner we just pulled back, so let's get that out of the way.
Now, from the outside, we have this littleplastic panel we have to pop off.
I'm gonna use a panel removal tool, I'm gonnatry to slide this in here, just pry back, and it releases some of those clips, there'stwo of them.
Can see those little guys, pull straight backwith a little pressure, it'll pop off.
From there, let's pull our tail light.
So, as you can see, we have a connector here, and another one peeking through that hole there.
So, let's pinch and disconnect this, and thenlet's grab that flat-head to remove this guy.
Just got my flat-head here, I'm just gonnalift up on that locking tab, and pull back.
Now, we can repeat this for the other side.
Well, we got a factory tail lights off ofour '13 RT behind me, it's on the table next to our Raxiom LEDs, I wanna take it throughsome of the similarities and differences between the two kits, and there are quite a few.
Now, as far as the look, off at first glance, they might look very similar, but if you look closer at the designs, you can see they arevery very different.
The factory light I have in front of me, wehave, of course, the middle section factory ones and aftermarket.
As far as the bumper lights go, you can seethe factory one has that Dodge logo in the middle there where the reverse light wouldbe, it's also using factory incandescent bulbs, very outdated at this point, right? We wanna see LEDs, we want the brighter, moreattractive technology, and that's what you're getting here in your Raxiom.
This also has that built-in running lightbar, which is super unique to the Challenger, right? We don't see this on a lot of these factoryChallengers, building that into your tail light here does really stand out.
Now, one thing I really do like about thisis not only the fact that it has the updated modern LED technology, but it's using allfactory quality materials.
As far as the mounting process, and the trim, and all of the weatherstripping, and all that stuff, it's all the same as the factory, it'sreally really no different.
Your new one here has that extra lip here, and that somewhat textured matte black finish, same as your factory one here, so it looksvery very OEM.
But then when the lights go on, your reverselights, your parking lights, your tail lights, your hazard lights, whatever, you can clearlysee it's brighter, more attractive, and it really just modernizes this generation Challenger.
So, that's what I like to really see fromlights like this, I like when it adds that modernization.
We are still maintaining that clear red look, this isn't smoked, it's not dark black housing, it still has that red housing and the clearlens.
So, like I said, at first glance it mightlook OEM, you look closer at it, or when the lights come on, you can clearly tell it'sa lot more modern.
So, what I like to do at this point is transferover the harnesses, you do have to do that.
And then if you do have a rear trunk releasebutton, which you see up here, we have to transfer that over.
But in order to do that, we do have to cutout that circular hole where it's gonna go on your new tail light bracket, we're gonnause the utility knife for that.
It already has the template on the backside, you can't see it from the front, but the backside, you can see where the lines are.
So, we're gonna cut right along the lines, and then pop this guy over, but first, I'd like to transfer over that harness.
So, we've got our factory light face downhere, what we do have to remove is our trunk latch button first.
As you can see, it's wired into everything, so if I just take off the harness, this is still gonna be attached, no good.
I'm gonna grab a Phillips-head screwdriver, I'm gonna take these two screws off, one on each side, this is the bracket right behindthat button.
Now, in order to get this button out, whatI'm gonna do is pick this up a little bit, and what we're gonna need to do is push downon the two tabs on the top, and two tabs on the bottom, while also pushing out from theinside.
So, I'm pushing down on these tabs, and pushingfrom the back, top, and bottom.
Now, we can feed it through the back, andthe harness is free.
Now, one more thing I'm gonna do before Itake out the sockets is just disconnect this little harness here, that's our clip, thatwill connect our tail light, I'm gonna grab a panel removal tool and just pry up on theChristmas tree clips.
There we go.
Now, for the sockets, twist and remove allof them, there are two on each side, and then two of the reverse lights in the middle.
Twist and disconnect, two in the middle.
The wire is fed into little plastic retainerclip pins, you can just pop those off, but what I'm gonna try to do is keep them in theirsame position so we know exactly where they're going.
From here, take that factory socket, we'regonna pull the bulb out and connect it to the new LED connector, that goes right inside.
What you wanna do though is take note of thecolored wires on the factory socket.
So, we have the black one here all the wayon the left, make sure the black one on our LED connector is matching that up all theway on the left, we want them on the exact same side.
So, they are, connect that, and the same thingfor the others.
So, this one's also on the left, just wannamake sure they line up, it's really a ground-to-ground, power-to-power type of deal.
So, this side's done, let's tuck her in, twist, and lock in, same thing here.
Now, your reverse light bulbs are gonna stay, we're reusing those factory reverse lights.
So, I'm just gonna slide those guys in, twist, and lock.
Now, if you remember that clip we removedearlier, we're just gonna pop that into the new drilled holes already on our Raxiom lights.
We're gonna go throughout and just make surethat we're snapping those into the new retainer pins, really just holds the wiring harnessneatly in place, and go all along it and just pop our wires through.
Now, we can make that modification here forour trunk button.
So, how you make this cut is completely personalpreference, if you have tools that you prefer to use, you can use them.
It's recommended in the instructions to justuse a simple utility knife, slowly follow the guidelines on the back here, you can gostraight around that circle and cut it right out.
I'm gonna hold this upward a little bit, I'mgonna work my way through slowly, and we'll come back when it's all cut out.
Once you have that cut out, you can go backand clean up the edges, maybe some sandpaper, light sandpaper, let's smooth things out, then we'll snap in our trunk release.
Once you have that guy cut out, you're reallyjust gonna feed it through and snap it in, just like that, and it's back to being functional.
Next up, we're gonna install our tail lightsections in the bumper.
Now, as you can see, there are two giant resistorsthat are really big, so what we have to do is make sure we're tucking them away properly.
You wanna peel off the 3M backing on theseguys, you can stick them anywhere in here, you just wanna make sure you're not just leavingthem to dangle, they will make noise when you're driving, you've got to stick them somewhere.
You can stick them on the inside of the bumper, down low, or I'm gonna choose to go just on the underside of this gray-black plastic thing, this little trim panel here.
So, what I'm gonna do is peel off these backings, I'm gonna go underneath, and I'm gonna stick them right underneath of the black trim.
Just give them a nice stick, make sure theyget a good bond.
Now, what you wanna do is once you have themstuck in their spots, you wanna put, like, some pretty decent, even pressure to makesure the 3M gets a good holding, can hold it there for about a minute to make sure theyget a good bond, then we can move on.
From here, what we can do is, you can seeour new connector on the tail light, we're gonna bring these up close, and we're justgonna plug it in.
With that plugged in, let's mount the light.
Go from the inside, grab the plastic screw-ontool, and we'll get it secure.
Let's peel back this trunk liner once youhave it plugged in, grab one of the plastic screws, and we're just gonna thread this infor that first one here.
Put the liner back in place, hook it aroundthat stud, and replace the other one.
Now, you can repeat this for the other one, and then we'll do our middle section.
And of course, don't forget this trim panelhere, this little weatherstripping, you wanna make sure you're snapping that back into placeas well.
So, with our middle section here, we're gonnaput this up into place, pull down our trunk.
The first thing we wanna do is feed this wiringharness back through, and then find it right near our trunk latch.
Now, I know this is gonna be difficult, yougot a lot of things happening at the same time, let's try to feed this guy in first.
We have another great plug right here, wewanna connect that to our new harness, and now let's mount our tail light.
So, now we can grab that harness we just fedthrough and plug her in, and then finally, pull this up into position.
You wanna make sure the emergency latch isgoing through that little cutout there.
Put your finger through this, we're gonnafeed this carpeting back into place, just like that.
From here, what you can do is just look downthe side, line up those studs, and then pop it into place.
Put your trunk all the way up, all we haveleft to do is put back in those twist clips and the bumpstops.
These, what you do, push that in, drop itdown.
Push in, drop down, same thing on both ofthose sides.
Take those twist clips, just gonna twist themin by hand.
And then finally, you have a couple of thosescrews, those Torx screws on each side.
So, we have this third one in place, finallythat fourth one on the end.
Now, we can grab those Torx screws and goto each side.
So, I got my T20 socket, I have an extensionhere, and that screw, I'm just gonna use this to thread it into place.
And then, of course, we have that black capthat we got to put back on here.
And again, like I said earlier, this one hasseen better days, but we're gonna snap it back in place.
Repeat that on the other side.
Well, guys, that's gonna wrap up my reviewand install for the Raxiom LED tail lights for the '08 to '14 Challenger.
And again, you should be checking these outfor your own Challenger.
If you wanna pick up this set, you can doso right here, exclusively, at americanmuscle.