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my cap lights install.

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by df001, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Jan 20, 2017 at 10:28 PM
    #1
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    I figured I'd make a thread to document my cap lighting set up, as some might be interested.

    My Taco is a mobile toolbox. As such I need to be able to find whatever tools are required, as I try not to bring ALL my crap into each job.

    The A.R.E. DCU is a great cap and getting a used one in great condition for an amazing price was a no brainer.

    The plan: Replace the crappy Incandescent 12v bulb and crappy wiring remnants left from the previous owner, install new switches and lights for inside the cap, and to the tailgate.

    The stuff i'm going to use(some if it is stuff I have laying around, others were purchased specifically for the build):

    IP65 Waterproof 600 LED Tape 2835 SMD 12V Flexible LED Strip Lights
    2 small rocker switches acquired from the local electronics shop.
    Aluminum channel and diffusers to protect LEDS and provide more even light
    Plastic Panel to mount switches.
    Disconnects for wiring harness to cap incase I want to remove cap for some strange reason.

    The rest is standard wiring stuff you'd expect, wire loom, inline fuse etc.

    Tomorrow's job, tap into the brake light for the 3rd brake light, and run the fused feed from the battery to supply the interior lights.
     
  2. Jan 20, 2017 at 10:39 PM
    #2
    ChemDawg

    ChemDawg Well-Known Member

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  3. Jan 20, 2017 at 10:49 PM
    #3
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    Yeah I've spent a lot of time reading the forum since getting my taco in december... SOO many ideas. The lighting under the bed-rails isn't really an option because of the quantity of tools/materials/garbage etc I stuff in the back on a regular basis, it needs to be overhead.

    The plan is to run the LED strips from the tailgate to the cab on the tube-frame of the cap so that the entire bed length is illuminated.

    In my last truck I just stuck the strips to the 1" aluminum tube frame and they got damaged a few times due to too much stuff crammed in the truck - thats why I'm hoping the channel and diffuser will protect it a bit better.

     
    ChemDawg likes this.
  4. Jan 22, 2017 at 4:24 PM
    #4
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    Why do things never go easy, yesterday was an exercise in frustration:

    - Soldering without a soldering iron (it broke, i used my plumbing torch and a chunk of copper pipe.

    - Finding out the 2 wire disconnects don't actually seat fully and therefor are not suitable.

    On the plus side, got the feed from the battery in, and the 3rd brake light wired up.
    Decide to replace the 2 wire disconnects with simple covered spade terminals.

    Not sure if there is enough room to run all the wires between the body/bed gap, may just drill a hole and stuff a gromit in.

    Because a photo is worth a thousand words - here's why i need to light the truck from the top:
    [​IMG]

    I don't carry this much every day, but tomorrow I'm starting a new project and friday was a long day and I "packed up" fast.
     
  5. Jan 30, 2017 at 9:26 PM
    #5
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    Finished early today, left tools locked up on the site, took a minimum of crap home in the truck to get the lights sorted. Tailgate hatch; 1 strip top and bottom about 18" long either side of the locking mechanism, tape is prep to hold the channel in place till silicone is set (hence the sanding to make sure the silicone grips)
    [​IMG]

    Removed old Crappy light that came with cap, and installed the channel for the interior lights.
    Again silicone is the adhesive of choice.
    [​IMG]

    Drilled the door frame to run wiring, that was fun to fish. Wiring is a bit over sized *Shrug* it will work fine.
    [​IMG]

    Installed switch panel 2 1/8"x 6" x 1/4" acrylic with 2 rocker switches, one for the interior lights, and one for the hatch lights.
    [​IMG]

    hopefully tomorrow i'll have time to hook up all the short strips inside the cap, wire up the switches, and get this all wrapped up.
     
    1madmnky likes this.
  6. Jan 30, 2017 at 9:55 PM
    #6
    ChemDawg

    ChemDawg Well-Known Member

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  7. Jan 31, 2017 at 8:05 PM
    #7
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    Fairly picture heavy post: I'm 99% done.

    Fishing the inside of the door frame was fun, forgot to show the tool I made as I didnt have anything small enough to catch the wire, RIP 1/16" drillbit(Side note, when those cheap ridgid drill bit sets are onsale for 10$ each, totally worth buying a few.):[​IMG]
    Close up of the wiring pre-run through the frame, as you can imagine cutting it short to attach to the LED strips was not fun to solder:
    [​IMG]

    Strips soldered together, and heatshrunk:
    [​IMG]

    Driver's side all wired up:
    [​IMG]

    Driver's side temp tested:
    [​IMG]

    Switch Panel and wiring harnesses all tidied up:
    [​IMG]

    Tail Gate hatch is the only part that is holding me back - the diffusers wont snap into the channel, not sure if vendor sold me the wrong ones (very possible) or its just too damn cold in the parking garage to flex the plastic into place (also very possible):
    [​IMG]

    This is why I need interior lights:
    [​IMG]

    The big reveal:
    [​IMG]

    Panoramic view because i was playing with my phone:
    [​IMG]
     
    Chipskip and theredofshaw like this.
  8. Jan 31, 2017 at 8:09 PM
    #8
    theredofshaw

    theredofshaw Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. Almost daylight in there lol
     
  9. Jan 31, 2017 at 10:15 PM
    #9
    fixer5000

    fixer5000 the logical one

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    looks good! if i was you and carrying all that stuff id put a mesh screen on that back window. if you ever hit anything those things will become projectiles and will come through that back window and meet you in the cab real quick.
     
    theredofshaw likes this.
  10. Feb 1, 2017 at 9:11 AM
    #10
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    Yeah, i'm well aware of the risk of rapid decelleration, have unfortunately seen a few windshield halos...
    Iirc A.R.E. uses polycarb not glass. That said im thinking of pulling out their sliding window module and getting a fixed pane. Also the shelf usually only holds rubbermaid bins, so all the small sharp metal bits are typically inside a big heavy container.

    When i wrote off my colorado the load barely shifted.... if i hit something hard enough that stuff comes thru the back window, it will be the least of my worries.

     
  11. Feb 1, 2017 at 5:59 PM
    #11
    df001

    df001 [OP] Active Member

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    A few more on-site photos in real world application, lights performing 10/10 I am very happy.
    no light/street lights:
    [​IMG]

    tail gate light:
    [​IMG]

    No light/street lights:
    [​IMG]

    Tailgate light:
    [​IMG]

    inside cap no light:
    [​IMG]

    blurry AF inside cap light on (blurry due to cold shakey hands):
    [​IMG]
     
    sixtytooze likes this.
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