Hyundai Santa Fe Rear Fog Light Modification

Original idea: krcooper
Author of Mod / Report: krcooper, kcorcoran, Sporthound, twospirits
Enhancements: thor9, wales1, kcorcoran, SportHound, Rib, arkrazorback, nomogm, twospirits
Installers / Testers: Numerous
Parts Supplier: Autozone
Images provided by: krcooper, Retired in Bama, twospirits, G Devlin

Introduction / History

The rear bumper of the Hyundai Santa Fe contains 2 fog lights lenses housings. In countries outside the U.S. these rear fog light lenses are operational and are used during periods of limited visibility. The Santa Fes' sold in the US do not have the these lenses wired up. The US Version Santa Fe comes equipped with these D.O.T. approved rear fog light lenses with the only difference that they are simply not equipped with the wiring harness and the sockets within the housing are plugged up. They are NOT fake tail lights or simply reflectors as many people seem to think. making these lenses operational allows your vehicle to be seen by others behind you thus increasing your margin of safety in not so fair weather.
For purposes of simplicity, this modification will address this issue by adding the function of rear brake lights on to these lenses in Section A. Eventually this mod will have an added section that would allow the modifier to make these lenses into actual rear fog lights as intended and used by our European/Asian counterparts.


Please Read the disclaimer before proceeding

Difficulty level / scale: On a scale of 1 - 10

Easy   Difficult
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Tools and materials needed:

Main tools  Optional Tools
2 x Conduct~Tite #85881 for 89-96 GM vehicles harness  Test light
2 x 3157 or 2 x 1157 bulbs (or LED for brighter less power)  Portable vacuum cleaner
Philips (cross tip) screwdriver  Sanding File or Dremel tool
Wire cutters / stripper /crimpers (cutter and pliers are fine)  Hammer
3 x 6 feet of 14/16/18 gauge wire (1-back, 1-yellow, 1-red)  piece of wire hanger about 3' long (to fish the wires)
9 blue wire tap connectors (from Radio Shack)  
Electrical tape  
Note: The Conduct~Tite #85881 socket harnesses are also known and sold under the name of Motormite with the same part number. Either can be obtained at your local Autozone store or on their website by looking up a 1999 Monte Carlo. 
Make sure you have all the necessary parts handy because you will be having the rear hatch open for some time while working on the rear light portion of the install and keeping the hatch open this might drain the battery because the interior lights will go on. its best if you turn off the rear hatch light.

Time to install item:

Total time for mod: 60-90 min  

Section A - Converting Rear Fog Light Housings into Functional Brake Lights

Step 1: Preparation (Acquiring the parts)

Pic 1- by Retired in Bama    
  Make sure you have the correct sockets and bulbs. For the modification we used Conduit-Tite / Motormite packaging and 3157 bulbs. These sockets can be obtain from the Autozone website. The procedure on how to acquire them is listed below under the section titled "Autozone Purchase".
(SEE PIC # 01.)
 Pic 2- by Retired in Bama    
  Sockets out of the packaging.
(SEE PIC # 02.)
 Pic 3- by twospirits    
  The three wires for the modification.
(SEE PIC # 03.)
 Pic 4- by twospirits    
  The connectors.
(SEE PIC # 04.)

Step 2: Preparation

Pic 5- by twospirits    
  Remove the left rear fog light housing by removing the screw from the housing and pulling the housing out from the bumper. Pull towards you, the side with the screw first, because the other side has a plastic connecting hook that can easily be broken if forced out. Do the same to the right side also.
(SEE PIC # 05.)
Pic 6- by twospirits    
  Place the rear fog light housing to a work area, you will notice the plugged up socket. This plug cannot be just tapped out. I used a Dremel tool to drill out the plug, others have used a large plastic mallet by tapping it in and cutting it in half with cutting pliers and others have used a 1 inch drill saw. Either method will get the plug out.
(SEE PIC # 06.)
With the Conduct~Tite / Motormite #85881sockets you will notice that it has a rubber gasket. (see pic 02) This gasket keeps the sockets snugly in the housing, but for those that want to have them inserted and twist lock to really stay on you can do the following three instructions. Otherwise proceed to step 3.
Pic 7- by twospirits    
  You can at this point perform some further drilling/sanding to make the sockets insert (and turn) snugly inside the housing.
Place the socket inside the housing and mark the points where the ears of the socket  are obstructing full entry. Take the sockets out and this is where you will cut to enlarge the opposing cut-outs in the housing with a dremel tool.
(SEE PIC # 07.)
Pic 8- by twospirits    
  This what it should look like after doing the cutouts. This will insure the sockets to  inserted and turn to lock.
(SEE PIC # 08.)
Pic 9- by twospirits    
  Insert the socket into the housing to test that they insert, twist and lock.
(SEE PIC # 09.)

Take out the sockets and you may need to use an air blower or your finger to fish out any shavings left inside after the plug is out.

Step 3: Removing and preparing the rear tail lights.

Pic 10- by kcorcoran    
  Open the rear hatch and remove the 2 screws holding the tail light and remove it by pulling it out to the side of the vehicle (not towards the back). There is a peg that holds it on the side of the vehicle, if you find yourself pulling to hard to get it out, you are doing it wrong. Stand to the side of the vehicle, facing it and pull the tail light towards your.
(SEE PIC # 10.)
Pic 11- by twospirits    
  Once the tail light is out, become familiar with it.
Inside the stock OEM tail light housing are 4 bulbs/sockets.
1. (Gray socket) Tail / brake light bulb with two filaments. (3 wires)
2. (White socket) Backup bulb with single filament. (2 wires)
3. (Yellow Socket) Signal light with single filament bulb. (2 wires)
4. (Black socket) Side marker, a small bulb with a single filament. (2 wires)
(SEE PIC # 11.)

The Euro lights have the same lights except # 4 (the side marker socket).


Step 4: Routing the wires

Pic 12- by kcorcoran    
  With the tail light out of its holding well, you can see a hole/opening between the bumper and the vehicles' frame.
(SEE PIC # 12.)
Pic 13- by twospirits    
  In the rear fog light holding well you will also see a hole opening.
(SEE PIC # 13.)
Pic 14- by twospirits    
  Take a wire hanger and open it up to form a long fishing rod. insert the rod in the opening shown in pic 13 above and run it through until it comes out the opening shown in  pic12 above.
(SEE PIC # 14.)
Pic 15- by twospirits    
  Take about 2.5 feet of each color wire (1-back, 1-yellow, 1-red) and using electrical tape wrap it at the end of the wire hanger. Then gently and slowly fish the wires through the openings so they come out the fog light holding well.
(SEE PIC # 15.)
Pic 16- by twospirits    
  In the left side rear fog light housing well you will see another opening that leads into a hollow chamber that leads to the other side. (The right side well) take the wire hanger and insert it though.
(SEE PIC #16.)
Pic 17- by twospirits    
  Opening on the right side where the wire hanger comes out of.
(SEE PIC #17.)
Pic 18- by twospirits    
  Take about 3.5 feet of each color wire (1-back, 1-yellow, 1-red) and using electrical tape wrap it at the end of the wire hanger. Then gently and slowly fish the wires through the openings.
(SEE PIC #18.)

Step 5: Wiring the wires to the tail light

Pic 19- by twospirits    
  We are now going to wire the three new wires to the tail light. You will only be concerned with the Brake lamp. The Brake lamp socket is colored gray and consists of three wires. (The others have only two wires). The color of the three wires of the brake lamp are..
Black (Ground)
Green (Brake)
Green with White stripe (Parking)
(SEE PIC #19.)
Pic 20- by twospirits    
  You will now connect the wires using a blue butt connector (or if you prefer you can solder the connections or use male/female Y connectors).
Connect the wires in the following color procedure.
  Tail Light Socket New Wires
  Green wire
Green/White Stripe wire
Black Wire
  (SEE PIC #20.)

Step 6: Wiring the wires to the rear fog light harness

Pic 21- by twospirits    
The Conduct~Tite / Motormite sockets have three wires that are color coded as follows..
Fog Light Socket
Green (Brake) - marked with the letter A
Blue (Parking) - marked with the letter B
Black (Ground) - marked with the letter G

(SEE PIC #21.)
Pic 22- by twospirits    
  You will now connect the fog light wires using blue butt connector with the wires coming from the tail lamp. (you will be connecting both set of new wires to the fog light harness)

Connect the wires in the following color procedure. You can refer to the diagram below.
    Brake Tail Light Socket New Wires Fog Light Socket (Motormite)
    Green wire Yellow (A) Green Wire
    Green/White Stripe wire Red (B) Blue Wire
    Black Wire Black (G) Black Wire
        (SEE PIC #22.)

Step 7: Connecting the parts together.

Pic 23- by kcorcoran    
  Put the lights (1157 dual filament bulb) back into the light socket.
Place the newly updated fog light housing socket into the fog light housing.
Place the fog light housing into the bumper, (no need to screw it back in since you will be testing it in a minute or so).
Reinstall the Rear lights (stock or Euro).

(SEE PIC #23.)

Step 8: Testing the lights

Pic 24- by twospirits    
  At this point you should test the lights before actually screwing the Rear lights and Fog lights back into their housings. make sure that the lights do exactly as this mod intended. When you have the headlights on, the rear fog lights should also come on. When Braking, the rear fog lights should be brighter.

(SEE PIC #24.)

See below for better pics (provided by fellow Santa Fe Forum member G Devlin

Step 9: Reinstall the Fog Light housings

Pic 25- by kcorcoran    
  At this point you should screw all the light housings into their specified areas. The wires if you kept them at a reasonable length can be placed in the channel at the back of the tail light housings and fog lights. There they will not kink or cause any problems or be exposed to the elements and will make your tail light fit back in place without any problem.

Stand back and admire your new rear fog lights.

(SEE PIC #25.)

Appendix: Acquiring the sockets (Autozone Purchase):

Pic 26- by Retired in Bama    
  The procedure on how to acquire the Conduit-Tite / Motormite # 85881 sockets used in this modification is as follows...
Just click this link
Select vehicle year: 1999
Select make: Chevrolet
Select Model: Monte Carlo
Select whatever engine
Click continue
On left of page click Shopping
Then click parts by Category: Electrical
Then click on: Bulb- Exterior socket
Then Click on: Brake Light
Results should show Motormite 85881 for around $6.99, you would need two.

Additional views of the Rear Fog Light Modification

Pic 27- by G Devlin    Shows the lights in the daytime without the rear brakes being applied
Pic 28- by G Devlin    Shows the lights when the rear brakes are applied

This site was last updated 06/10/05