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how to wire bed lamps:

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by jefferson, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Jan 3, 2009 at 7:17 PM
    #1
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    Sex Panther
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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    I decided to do a full pictorial write-up on how to install bed mounted lights in our second gen Tacomas. Hope someone finds it useful or somewhat inspirational so they can trust themselves to do it too. It took minimal effort and was done in a matter of hours. I’m a SERIOUS novice when it comes to electrical, so if I can do it anyone can. I’m also a picture whore, so I took MORE than needed.. I figure it might help. Enjoy.
    ------------------
    First step is to find a set of lights. I went to Harbor Freight and found a set of those crappy little fog/driving lamps that you see ricers use all the time. Cost about $11 bucks. This set came with a full wiring harness and switch – so I’m more than impressed. Harbor Freight… I think I love you…

    [​IMG]

    I then took the side pockets out of the truck. They disconnect very easily without tools. Just grab the inside of the pocket and push upward, then pull in a downward-out motion. They snap right out. Play with them for a second, it’ll make sense. Inside of these is where I will mount the fog/driving lamps. I then took out the driver side lockable pocket. They come out with a metric hex tool. This is where I will mount my switch for the lights. Soon I’ll mount another in unison for the interior so I can operate either switch to work independently no mattering on if one was off or on; but that’s at a later date.

    I first mounted the lights by drilling a hole on the top of the side pocket. One hole on the top for mounting and one on the top for wiring. I chose to do one hole for one bolt rather than one for each side of the bracket so I can rotate the lamp side to side to distribute light accordingly.. or maybe aim all the way back for tailgating? Who knows. Why limit yourself when you don’t need to

    [​IMG]

    I then mounted the switch on the inside of the lockable pocket. This switch came with a sticky that made life a bit easier for mounting. I drilled one hole on the top of the pocket again for wiring. I’m sure it’s fairly obvious, but in case you wondered; I drill holes on the top of the pockets for the wiring instead of side or bottom to eliminate any fatigue to the wires when it comes to water and its pesky drainage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Final product so far (I put the wires together just to show you how they will end up):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now is time to lay it all out.
    [​IMG]

    Inside the passenger side side pocket’s mounting hole, let’s use what Toyota seemed to lay out for us: a perfectly located ground!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I will start on the passenger side. Hook your black grounding wire from the perfectly located grounding bolt to your black grounding wire coming out of the top of the passenger side pocket. Then hook up your (in my case white) hot lead and send it down towards the back of the truck. I found this was the easiest way to loop it around.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, get under the truck and thread it along in a way that makes sense. And it will. You want it to pop out where the lockable pocket is.

    [​IMG]

    This will make it easier to run the passenger side lamp’s wire from the lockable pocket’s installation point to your driver’s side side pocket by being able to sit in the bed of the truck and loop it over. Connect the hot (white) wire to the side pocket’s hot (white) wire.

    [​IMG]

    Now ground out your black wire exactly the same way you did in the passenger side pocket:

    [​IMG]

    Your two lamps are now connected together. It is time to send the wire over that will attach to the switch. Simply hand it over to the lockable pocket’s installation hole.

    [​IMG]

    And snap it in place.

    [​IMG]

    I then zip-tied the loose wire together so it won’t dangle or snag or anything. This is optional, but I feel it’s necessary. Your next step (not pictured) will be to connect a wire that will run from the switch to the battery (or your constant hot lead). This hooks directly to your switch (red wire)

    [​IMG]

    Install your box. You’re done here.

    [​IMG]

    (For some installations, if they don’t have their own wiring harness included, you will need to use a relay. A relay keeps the power for the lamps from going through the switch itself. It’s basically a switch for your switch so you don’t overheat that plastic switch, or make it so hot you can’t touch it! Look it up if you have any questions on how to use/wire in a relay – for this install, the switch I am using is its own relay.)

    Next will be to send that wire from the switch to the nearest constant hot lead. This is where I’m fuzzy. I want a constant hot so I can operate this newly integrated option even when the truck is off or locked or anything. I don’t believe there are any constant hot wires running to the bed, so I just sent my wire directly to my battery using an eye hook. I will research a bit and redo it at some point, but this will work.

    [​IMG]

    My wiring harness had a built in fusible link. MAKE SURE to fuse this section of wire if you’re as not lucky with your harness! You want to always have yourself fused somewhere when dealing with this sort of project as to not blow up your bulbs or catch anything on fire.
    Use 16 (or more) gauge wire (no less) when running any grounds or constant hots.

    The final product:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I’ve tried it at night and loved it! I also aimed them a bit downward and one angled towards the cab and one towards the tailgate. This distributed the light very evenly. I hope this write-up helps someone somehow.
     
    texred73, jcody50, ggblayl and 2 others like this.
  2. Jan 3, 2009 at 7:34 PM
    #2
    rhoppas

    rhoppas Land of Oz

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    Nice! It makes good use of those worthless cubby holes in the bed. I may have to do this next spring. Good write-up. Thanks
     
  3. Jan 3, 2009 at 7:41 PM
    #3
    gavonder

    gavonder She's Kickass!

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    Very cool! Thanks for the effort.

    GA
     
  4. Jan 3, 2009 at 7:58 PM
    #4
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
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    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    Thanks for the complement guys. It was a very easy install and does make good use of those totally useless cubby holes (seriously.. why did Toyota even put them there..?)

    phantom: very good input, i do hope if anyone uses this as a guide they take your advice into consideration.

    I fused with a 10 amp. I didn't catch the wattage on the lamps, but have messed with them plenty and no blow-out yet. They're halogen if that helps.


    EDIT! Just wanted to state that double cabs do not have the grounding post the way i showed in the pictures. You'll have to search out your own ground.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2009 at 8:18 PM
    #5
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    My guess would be 35 watt. I have a similar set on my motorcycle. Good write up.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2009 at 9:07 PM
    #6
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
  7. Jan 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM
    #7
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    this morning i went to just play with the lights.. see if they still work, and the passenger side one did not! I found that the ground wire didn't have a good connection with the eye hook to complete that ground. i replaced the eye hook and it worked fine.

    if you're thinking of getting the same lights, make sure and check your wires (it is $12.99 afterall)
     
  8. Jan 4, 2009 at 10:40 AM
    #8
    Ghost96Romeo

    Ghost96Romeo What is the Search Tab for????

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    Great job man.... I'm considering a similar setup, and now I have your write up to follow for ideas. Thanks:thumbsup:
     
  9. Jan 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM
    #9
    longbow

    longbow I see you now..................

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    Great write up, going to use it for my 'guide' when the time comes.
     
  10. Jan 4, 2009 at 11:52 AM
    #10
    neslerrah

    neslerrah Taco lovin'

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    Great write up. I will be doing this mod myself. Thanks for the links and pictures!
     
  11. Jan 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM
    #11
    SocalMan22

    SocalMan22 Founder Socaltacomas.com

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    What Mods!
    Nice write up!
     
  12. Jan 4, 2009 at 12:40 PM
    #12
    dizrick

    dizrick Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. I have been thinking about doing something like this and now you went and made it easy for me.:D Good Job!
     
  13. Jan 4, 2009 at 2:07 PM
    #13
    petersharp

    petersharp Well-Known Member

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    I like them - I keep my keys in them when I'm in a reasonably safe area (like on a construction site) but don't want to carry them with me. Keeps them out of the weather. But your mod is a good use for them.

    Isn't there a constant hot that goes to the trailer electrics (for those that have the tow package)?
     
  14. Jan 4, 2009 at 5:00 PM
    #14
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    i'm glad some of you will use this as a guide! That's awesome =D - thanks for the complements everyone.

    petersharp - i usually use the gas cap compartment when i need to hide my key (usually when surfing)! I did a bit of research and i believe there is a constant hot for the tow hitch wiring.. once i find it i'll splice into that and save all my wire for another project!
     
  15. Jan 4, 2009 at 9:44 PM
    #15
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Excellent install. I sometimes have a bed/cargo rig that sits at about the bottom of the cubbies and I think that having the light there would be opposite for my needs and I would probably set my sleeping bag on fire HA! But nice work!
     
  16. Jan 4, 2009 at 10:37 PM
    #16
    santacruzer

    santacruzer Active Member

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    When I had the camper shell installed on my '09 TRD Off-Road DC, I asked them to pigtail a "hot" wire into the bed (driver side tail light area) as they were wiring the shell. It's a separate new wire, fused at the battery, and I just today wired in a hot 12v outlet just above that locking cubby box on the driver side. I now have AC and DC in the bed. I'll splice into that 12v hot circuit again later on and wire in some bed lights just as you've done! I'll likely switch them from near the 12v outlet.

    I also removed the doors from the left and right rear cubbys, and sealed up all the holes, drains included. If you're on dusty roads, dust just blows right in the drain holes and makes a mess. Not a problem...unless you have a shell, then it's a PITA.
     
  17. Jan 5, 2009 at 5:40 AM
    #17
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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  18. Jan 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM
    #18
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
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    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    piercedtiger - I’m honored, thank you! What’s nice about this install is the lights are adjustable up down and side to side; so I’ve aimed them low and the lights surprisingly aren’t in the way. It came out nicely. Come by SD sometime and i'll show you ;) BUT i did read your write-up which is what inspired me to do my version.

    Santacruzer – I’d love to see your mods, make a post and let’s see your work!

    Again thanks for the complements all. Its fun doing this stuff when it’s appreciated. I will continue to write up my installs for you all.
     
  19. Jan 5, 2009 at 7:44 PM
    #19
    santacruzer

    santacruzer Active Member

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    Hope you can see this alright, if not I've posted the photos under my name.

    The camper shell dealer did the wiring from the battery. It's the red wire, and it attaches to the bottom left nut in the fuse box, which is battery positive. Wire is 10 gauge and has an in-line 30 amp fuse. It runs under the frame and up into the driver side rear light assembly. They typically use this connection only for the dome light in the shell, and would use a lighter wire, but when I told them what I wanted to do they increased the wire size for me. They did a taped off pigtail inside the light assembly for my later use. I suppose I could have insisted they follow the wire loom inside the truck, but they would have charged me a basket of money, and this has worked fine in the past for me on other trucks.

    BTW, I have the factory towing package, and there is NO unswitched hot wire in that assembly.

    I mounted the 12v receptacle through the sidewall just above the cubby on the driver's side. It's a Marinco Sealink 12v receptacle, marine grade, with a cover. About $20. I chose this one because you can also buy a Sealink Plug which is locking and moisture proof. The outlet wiring is 14 gauge. I grounded it by using a self-tapping screw into a vertical piece of sheet metal behind the light assembly.

    I used a really good waterproof carpet tape to tape over all the drain holes and cover slots in all the cubbies, from the outside, and then just used a piece of carpet to finish it off. I don't need these to drain since I have a shell, and I also don't want dust seeping through the holes.

    Sorry, no photos inside the rear light assembly! It's raining here, and I think most get the picture without me getting wet.

    battery.jpg
    cubby & oiutlet.jpg
     
  20. Jan 5, 2009 at 8:02 PM
    #20
    jefferson

    jefferson [OP] needs to stop cruising Buy/Sell/Trade....

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    San Diego (North Park!), CA
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    05 PreRunner SR5
    toyota brand hitch and uhaul wiring harness, fog lamps on anytime, bed lamps, map lights on with dome, day time running lamps, remove secondary air filter, painted bumper grill, Double Din touch screen stereo, Sockmonkey custom SR5 decal, door & seatbelt bells disabled, painted engine cover, installed compass/temperature overhead console, failed mod: passenger side auto down window switches, weathertech front mats, RedLine hood struts, Cheap Beep piezo buzzer locking beep, 5100s in the front set at 2.5, 5100s in the rear, AAL, hitch safe, revenge fab sliders, bed bar, prerunner light, cb wired
    that's really awesome! I love the 12v in the bed.. i think i gotta do this! And good source for your hot lead.. keeps wires hidden away. I hate wires.
     
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