Had some decent weather last night - so I took the opportunity to install the lights. Since I was working alone, I could not take many install pics, but I will describe the install.
1. Removing the outboard lenses was very straightforward. I used a small screwdriver and a plastic trim tool to pop out the two rivets and then the lamps popped out (with a little bit of coercion).
2. Tried out one new light without the resistor. The only things that hyperflashed were the mirror indicator lights and the dash indicator lamps. There was also a bulb out warning.
3. Talking of the resistor, it is rather on the large side so I mounted it under the bumper. I did not have to mess around with removing/loosening the bumper etc. I just fished it up from underneath and reached up from under and stuck it to the bodywork using the supplied double sided 3M tape. Figuring out the best way to do this probably took the most time.
4. Took off the tail gate panel using a wide plastic trim removal tool and pulling down on the panel. The plastic rivets hold the panel in place very tight, and it requires some effort to remove. Use the tool to help a little with leverage. The trim around the rear window is removed by pulling in on it (towards the center of the glass).
5. The supplied harness goes round the top and down the sides of the rear glass and it can be attached to the existing wiring harness with the supplied zip ties. The harness then clips on to the center brake lamp wires quite easily.
6. Everything went back together quite easily, and the best part was that I did not have any screws or bits left over
So the big question was - How does it look and function??
I have to say that it looks great. In terms of function, just as I originally suspected, the output is good when you are directly behind the vehicle and the reflectors inside the lamp project the light straight out. But when you move off to the side, the light output and visibility of the light drops off sharply (almost to the point of the light being barely visible in the daylight. I have attached a video illustrating this. So is this a big deal?? I don't really think so because there are plenty of cars with OEM lenses that are only visible from the the back of the car. However, if you are concerned about giving up some sideward visibility, then it may be a big deal for you. The inboard brake lights don't have as much of an issue, but the same applies.
So what's the verdict? - Candidly, I had half a mind to return the lights when I saw the light drop off from the side. But then, considering that the tails on my previous car were not visible from the side wither, I am willing to accept that compromise for the tradeoff having the additional brake lights. The new lights came with bulbs already installed for the reverse lights. They looked whiter than the OEM bulbs last night and I thought they may be LED's, but looking at them during the day, they appear to be regular incandescents. So would I buy the same again? - Most likely.