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install Raptor side markers?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TacoTuesday1, Jan 4, 2023.

  1. Jan 4, 2023 at 1:16 PM
    #1
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    buddy gave me these after upgrading to smoked. I can always upgrade to smoked later as well; Morimoto sells the set for $70.

    Was originally going to copy this thread:
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/vled-mini-pod-side-markers.692362/

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    but why get $90 VLED kit for parts I already have.

    I run without flares like this:

    [​IMG]

    So while yes, the VLED would hopefully fit into one of the holes (currently plugged with a pin)
    or require slight boring out of the hole with a drill bit (circular shape)

    the Raptor markers likely have better visibility from more angles. As they have multiple LED's, and a diffuser lens.

    I found a thread on Xterra forum where guy did this job:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Question is this. How do you make the holes? They are oval shaped.
    AND, the rubber grommet (press fit) has a pretty weird shape (multiple lips) that is hard to measure, to figure out precisely the right oval size.

    If I make the oval too small, it will not fit, pop out, or deform.
    Too big, and it will be loose, move around, or fall out.

    I have never drilled an oval hole before either, only circles.
    I think I'd have to drill 3 circles, then shave the remaining metal off with a reamer.

    [​IMG]

    That's the benefit of VLED; it would probably require enlarging circle hole. Not that big a deal.

    But if this route, it would require permanently "altering" one of the clip holes of my fender, which would prevent re-attaching flares later on if I decide to.
    Though, I don't see the reason for flares.
    -requires expensive trimming for bigger tires
    -sticks wider out to scrape walls with your flare having it fall off, instead of just the tire
    -though these trucks do look good either way, without flares or with trimmed ones
    But that is IF I decide to choose one of the fender clip holes as a mounting spot for the side marker - it could technically go anywhere; bumper cover, etc.

    To be honest, I am surprised more people haven't done this yet. Maybe the thread will be motivation.
    Because $90 for added safety/visiblity seems worth it to me.

    My truck is barely visible from the side.
    I have been crashed into before.
    The DMV states vehicles must have their lights turned on in low visibility conditions, such as dark, rain, fog. Yet many people do not.
    I think if these people are better able to see my truck, it will reduce the likelihood of them crashing into me again.

    I think one option is I might ask my buddy to trace his hole with a pencil and paper.
    Hopefully that does not scratch his paint

    [​IMG]

    OR, I could take digital calipers, measure height and width, but that doesn't really tell me the curvature of the rest of the oval...
     
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    #1
  2. Jan 4, 2023 at 1:19 PM
    #2
    Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    Good idea
     
  3. Jan 4, 2023 at 1:25 PM
    #3
    Tacospike

    Tacospike Semi-Unknown Custodial Member

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    Do it.

    I've gone a little crazy with VLED PODS lol.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM
    #4
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure they're both good, whether it's VLED MiniPod or otherwise
    anything is better than nothing

    I will, if I can just figure out how to cut a proper oval hole
     
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  5. Jan 4, 2023 at 3:14 PM
    #5
    GilbertOz

    GilbertOz Driver

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    Side markers are probably fine, but whenever I see "Raptor lights" behind a Taco grille, I think to myself, "Dude, you're not a Raptor. Stop trying to act like one."

    Stolen Raptor valor!
     
  6. Jan 4, 2023 at 3:21 PM
    #6
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    not really
     
  7. Jan 4, 2023 at 3:25 PM
    #7
    GilbertOz

    GilbertOz Driver

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    Alright, I admit that post was not among my best work.

    I wonder if you could use a miniature router -- maybe like a dremel-sized tool with a router base -- and some kind of small-diameter carbide cutting bit to router out the desired shape.

    Maybe even a carbide burr in a small 1/4" collet router? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H7PQNYS/

    I have that burr set & they work like a dream on a full-sized variable speed electric die grinder for smoothing out welds in 3/16" or thicker steel plate. Not sure how they would do in sheet metal.
     
  8. Jan 5, 2023 at 10:25 AM
    #8
    themuffinman619

    themuffinman619 Play stupid games, win stupid prizes

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    Denial
     
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  9. Jan 5, 2023 at 10:44 AM
    #9
    TegoTaco

    TegoTaco Well-Known Member

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    I rocked it for a little bit a couple of years back, started seeing more and more F150’s (not RAPTORS) with them and even other makes of trucks…mine had to go…I drive a TOYOTA…lol!
     
  10. Jan 5, 2023 at 10:57 AM
    #10
    stealthmode

    stealthmode Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a safety improvement was my number one reason I did it. Agreed that most people just are not that aware while driving.
    Surprisingly the VLED kit does throw good light for what it's worth. They are still holding up as well after a couple years and harsh winters here.
    For your choice though and without having speciality tools I would make a template from tape and drill out maybe 4 small holes around the oval and then try to dremel in-between? Hope that makes sense.
     
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  11. Jan 5, 2023 at 12:29 PM
    #11
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    not in denial of anything.

    it’s obviously a slow cheap Tacoma. I and everybody know that.

    Hopefully a well lit one that doesn’t get slammed into at 45mph causing whiplash

    but, if for your project you want to put lights in non raptor locations
    For example, drill holes into your back glass and windshield to epoxy running lights
    Please, make a thread to show this
    maybe pink ones because, again, non-Raptor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
  12. Jan 5, 2023 at 12:45 PM
    #12
    mic_sierra

    mic_sierra Toshiba HDDVD is the future

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    I say something similar when I buy a vehicle with a windshield. Stolen Oldsmobile valor! In 1915 Oldsmobile was the first company to offer a windshield as a standard feature. Stolen raptor and fuckin' stolen Oldsmobile valor!

    The 1954 Packard was the first U.S. car to use tubeless tires so all you assholes that chose to run tubeless tires: stolen Packard valor!
     
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  13. Jan 5, 2023 at 2:35 PM
    #13
    stealthmode

    stealthmode Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple updated shots of what the VLEDs look like if you're interested. A bit of medium tint 3M film on each one. Has little effect on light output but a bit more stealth. Strangely enough the black casing has somehow faded to a mear MGM match lol. 20230105_142222.jpg 20230105_142236.jpg
     
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  14. Jan 6, 2023 at 11:41 AM
    #14
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ordered TRX tailgate LED bar

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jan 6, 2023 at 12:37 PM
    #15
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    I'd cut templates in masking tape and use a rotary tool with a carbide burr to make the hole - use a ruler and two reference points to place the templates and cut SLOW to the lines. If you don't use a fender hole, drill a starter hole centered in the template to start.

    It would also probably be wise to primer and paint the edges, and maybe even a little squirt of your favorite goop (fluid film, CRC marine, both available in rattlecans) on the backside once the markers are in.
     
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  16. Jan 6, 2023 at 1:04 PM
    #16
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    normally for this kind of stuff I take my 3-in-1 touch up pen and paint the edges bare metal

    but in my experience cutting high clearance rear fenders/bedsides the metal cuts somewhat rough and hard to get good painting on it; maybe I just need to take more time.

    honestly probably going to trace the hole with a paper and pencil on an actual raptor and hopefully not scratch the paint.

    because the light can’t be used as a template. It has too many lips on the rubber that don’t make it possible to simply slide a piece of paper over it to trace and cut a hole accurately.

    it will be a challenge to figure out where to mount them (bumper cover vs fender etc)
    and having it symmetrical + straight on both sides

    still debating switching to VLED for that reason just because they are smaller circles that would bore less of a hole into the truck permanently altering the metal


    The Nissan xterra guy wired his to blink as side turn signals but I will probably not do that and use separate LED strips glued near the mirror area for that purpose

    would be cool if I can later add door lights like cars have too. Door cards are surely easier to cut than metal.
    Like a white downward facing LED for puddle light, and rear facing red LED when the door opens so passing cars see that and don’t side swipe the door

    I’d bet you all of the lights for doors could be bought very cheaply at a junkyard with so many cars to pick from; newer ones likely being LED vs. old ones having incandescent bulbs that wear, need replacing, get hot, and draw more power
     
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  17. Jan 6, 2023 at 1:28 PM
    #17
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    Spray your rattlecan onto a paper plate and use a Q-Tip to dab the paint and brush it on. This works great for all kinds of stuff - I use a small can of color matched rattlecan instead of a touchup pen for nicks and chips.
     
  18. Jan 6, 2023 at 1:29 PM
    #18
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    good idea thank you. Sounds like it would work much better than the brush tip on my touch up pen…
     
  19. Jan 6, 2023 at 3:57 PM
    #19
    deanosaurus

    deanosaurus Caveman

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    I have some old school armored side markers to replace my hard shell's third eye and add a couple to the bumpers. I'm gonna replace the 70s incandescents with DD amber LEDs to match the color of the rest of my DD amber lights.

    Fashion first!
     

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