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Bed Light Install w/ Switch

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by OdiN1701, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Aug 5, 2017 at 7:19 PM
    #1
    OdiN1701

    OdiN1701 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Today I installed the bed lights that a lot of people have done, but I did them a little differently. I like to camp and such a lot so often times I like to have the light on but not have to get in the truck to turn on the truck or flip on the accessory power. You would have to do this if you followed the instructions that are for these lights.

    Here are the lights I got:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SWXZPT8

    For the stock instructions, you can find those here:

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0176/5842/files/00016-34089_TA_16_toyota_mcdonough.pdf

    So other than the templates included (be sure to print at 100% size so your printer doesn't resize the templates), I didn't really use much in the instructions.

    Here is the template attached to the bed:

    5.jpg

    And the initial pilot holes:

    6.jpg

    And the center hole widened to fit the wiring harness. This one is on driver side:

    7.jpg

    The instructions say 7/16, though I widened mine some more on the driver side as I have more wires going through and needed some extra room.

    Next here is the switch and the pigtail that I ordered:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5AXH0K

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H5BMXKG

    Now this is the tricky part as the switch will fit, but BARELY. You need to plan out where it needs to go. I did have to modify the light, and here is a picture of that (sorry, stupid cellphone blurry photo):

    2.jpg

    I used a Dremel to cut off the top tab, and a small bit on the left side. This doesn't look like it should really hurt anything to do this. Next, with the light back in the unit (it's removed with just one screw on the bottom and held on with a tab on the top), I used masking tape to mark it up. I had to adjust for my initial marks and once ready, made my crosshairs and drilled a pilot hole.

    NOTE: This is the hardest part and there is no room for error. What I did was fit the switch and pigtail together, push the switch so it was "on" so it would lay nice and flat against the surface of the switch on the inside. I worked it around and found where it would fit (with the modified light piece put in place) and marked my spots on the masking tape. It's easy to get the one side on the back side of the light, but harder to get the other mark. I have decent spatial recognition from lots of woodworking and such so I lined it up pretty well but I did have to double check and mark again to make a slight adjustment. Take your time, go real slow. Measure twice, drill once ;) Or measure/line it up 10 times, whatever it takes as you don't want to have to spend another $65 for a piece of plastic.

    I had to drill the hole out in steps to 9/16". Be careful as this is thin plastic and hard to work with using just a hand drill and holding it by hand but that's what I did. Once it was smooth, I had to enlarge the hole using the 9/16" bit and a higher drill speed and let it just eat away bit by bit, checking until the switch fit. I didn't have a 5/8 bit and wasn't going to buy one just for plastic lol.

    If you have a step bit that would be much easier I bet.

    1.jpg

    Once the hole was the right size, I slid the switch in part way, put the nut on and plugged in the pigtail which you have to do before the switch is pushed in all the way.

    The switch has a rubber gasket to keep water out. You can see a few pics here of the fittment of the switch w/ pigtail and what it looks like installed.

    3.jpg

    4.jpg

    Next I wired together the positive (red) and LED power (blue) as these will get connected to the positive wires in the lights.

    The white wire is positive from the power source, black is ground.

    Green is no connection, so I just left it tucked inside.

    Once you have these wires extended and wired up as you like, you can feed the bunch of cables down and screw in the light. Use a screwdriver and do it by hand - don't want to strip out the holes.

    Installed:

    8.jpg

    Next was just the wiring - I ran along the driver side wiring harness up to the engine bay. I wired these directly into the battery (though have a Blue Sea fuse box on the way) and this way they can be turned on whenever even if the truck is off.

    You need to connect the battery power to white wire from the switch, all of the accessory and switched power and LED power wires get wired together however you like. All of the ground wires get connected together and go to ground in engine bay.

    The kit comes with a long wiring harness that has plenty of wire to reach between engine bay and the rear. There was some excess and a fair amount of excess from the driver side light so I just cut stuff back to make it a bit cleaner.

    Here's photos showing it on at the switch and an on/off comparison of the bed (it wasn't completely pitch black so you get some light with the switch off in these photos):

    9.jpg

    10.jpg

    11.jpg

    Another Note: You don't HAVE to use the pigtail. I just decided to. If you don't, it will give you a bit more room and a bit more play with where the switch can be placed. So if you screwed up the hole, try without the pigtail and it may work. Then you just have to solder the wires to the switch and wrap with electrical tape.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  2. Aug 5, 2017 at 7:22 PM
    #2
    RIDERED67

    RIDERED67 Well-Known Member

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  3. Aug 5, 2017 at 7:32 PM
    #3
    Greenbean

    Greenbean B.S. Goodwrench

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    Nicely done with good info and links.

    Good job OP! :cheers:
     
    OdiN1701 [OP] likes this.
  4. Aug 5, 2017 at 9:43 PM
    #4
    vtac

    vtac Well-Known Member

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    subd
     
  5. Sep 20, 2017 at 4:13 PM
    #5
    rollin904

    rollin904 Feather Slinger

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    Great write up. Did you have to use a relay or inline fuse for that harness?
     
  6. Sep 20, 2017 at 4:40 PM
    #6
    OdiN1701

    OdiN1701 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I didn't use a relay but it's fused using blue sea fuse box. It's such low power it shouldn't be an issue and none of the wires run into the cab. If you ran wires into the cab, then use a relay.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2017 at 4:44 PM
    #7
    rollin904

    rollin904 Feather Slinger

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    Thanks! I have this light on the way, https://caliraisedled.com/collectio...lights/products/18w-slim-led-flood-work-light, plan to run power/ground from the engine to it and mount a switch in the bed.
     
  8. Sep 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM
    #8
    OdiN1701

    OdiN1701 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I could try to measure, but not sure how I could make a template really. Not without taking everything apart.
     
  9. May 14, 2019 at 1:32 PM
    #9
    shaggy135

    shaggy135 Everything happens for a reason.

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  10. May 22, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    #10
    ViViper1

    ViViper1 Well-Known Member

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