Tech Review: American Muscle’s Raxiom Gen 5 Lights For 05-09 Stangs

For 2013 Ford did some minor cosmetic updates to the Mustang, revising the front and rear fascias along with the tail lights. The new revision updated the rear of the car with LED tail lights, which not only illuminate faster than standard bulbs, but also provide a brighter, more intense light.

The 3D appearance of the tail light lenses also made them that much more interesting to look at, and left many earlier model Mustang owners coveting them, especially those with a 2005-2009 car who could not do a swap.

There’s not anything wrong with the OEM 2005-2009 tail lights, they’re just kind of boring by toady’s standards.

Enter American Muscle and their lighting supplier Raxiom. After hundreds of requests for a tail light system that offered the looks and function of the 2013-2014 Mustang tail lights, but fit in a 2005-2009 Mustang, AM and Raxiom have delivered. Their new lights, part number 49169, are a direct replacement for the 2005-2009 tail light lenses.

These tail light assemblies offer plug and play installation with OEM style connectors, there’s no cutting or splicing necessary.

Fit and finish is OEM level as well, with these lights looking like something that came in the car straight off the showroom floor. The assembly uses the same four stud mounting system as the original tail lights, and includes a rubber grommet to seal the harness hole in the body, as well as rubber seals on each stud to prevent water intrusion, just like OEM.

The new Raxiom GEN 5 LED tail lights for 2005-2009 Mustangs offer 2013-2014 styling and features, at an affordable price, in an easily installed package.

The new Raxiom lights feature an OEM style connector meaning there is no cutting or splicing necessary. They also include a wiring harness grommet, and mount using the same style four-stud system as the car's original lights.

Turn signals operate sequentially, and the outer rings of the lights illuminate with the parking lights or headlights turned on. The center of each vertical bar illuminates when the brake pedal is pressed, and the backup lamps cast a large amount of light through their white LEDs that also illuminate through the center of each vertical bar. State of the art electronics, a two year warranty, and a system that meets DOT approval ensure these lights not only look good and perform consistently, but are also legal, and reliable.

Left: You must remove the plastic panel from the center of the trunk, and then you can peel back the carpet covers to gain access to all the studs and nuts, begin by disconnecting the tail light harness. Center: With the old harness removed carefully guide the new harness through the existing hole in the body, same as the original lighting harness. Line up all the studs and put the housing into place. Right: Once you have tightened all of the studs, connect the wiring harness, make sure to pull on the grommet firmly to get it seated. Pull the grommet only, not the wires. That's it, there other than to test your new lights, you've completed the installation.

With one original light (right) and new (left) you can see a major difference in the appearance of the back of the car.

American Muscle sent us a set of these lights to install. We used Jim Popp’s 2009 GT500 as our test vehicle, since it currently had stock lenses installed. Installation time is under thirty minutes and requires only a tool for prying out the trunk panel retaining clips, and a ratchet to loosen the nut on the end of each stud securing the tail lights.

After installing, we were impressed by the difference the lights made in the appearance of the back of the car. No only do they provide much brighter lighting, but they also give the car a more aggressive look. The reverse lamps are nearly blinding, and the glowing red rings on each of the three bars should easily be noticed by anyone near the car after the sun goes down.

Top Row: Left: Headlights/parking lights on. Center: Backup lights. Right: Brake Lights. Bottom Row: The new Raxiom lights have built in sequential turn signals just like the 2013-2014 OEM lamps.

The sequencing of the turn signals is also timed perfectly, not too slow and not too fast, without requiring us to change any relays in the car. Darker colored cars will like the black background of the lens, Popp’s car is black, and the lights gave the rear of his GT500 a more sinister appearance.

The new Raxiom Gen 5 2013 style tail lights for 2005-2009 Mustangs is sure to be the next big hit for American Muscle and Raxiom. These lights are priced affordably and offer a high tech upgrade in both lighting and style.

About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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