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DIY: Under hood LED lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by NewImprovedRon, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Nov 8, 2017 at 6:56 AM
    #1
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Deck rail system, Bed divider, door sill protectors, LED reverse light bars, Aries Bull Bar with 28" 180 watt LED light bar, LED step lights, LED bed lights, driver-side grab handle, TRD Rear Sway Bar, BedRug bed mat and tailgate mat, Morimoto Fog Lights, more to come.....
    I will apologize up front for not being able to give credit to the original forum member who first did this project. I did a search, to do so, and failed miserably. So, if you were the original poster, please chime in. The subject is under hood lighting, or the lack of it, and a possible solution to it. I did this project recently and used KC HiLites Cyclone LED lights, along with a marine-grade, waterproof, light switch. First, the lights (2) that I used:

    KC HiLites Cyclone LED.jpg
    This is a picture of the KC HiLites Cyclone LED light. It is a 5 watt LED light so you can use 2 of them and have less than 1 amp of electrical draw total. That is what I decided to go with.

    Here are pictures of the locations where I mounted them after first taking off the hood bulge:
    IMG_4565.jpg

    As you can see in the picture, there is a flat spot just behind the weather strip under the hood. That location has plenty of space between the inside and outside hood area to mount these lights with a self-tapping screw so you don't have to worry about contact with the outside hood skin. I elected to use a 3/4" self-tapping, stainless steel screw, along with an M8 nylon washer under the screw head. The washer and screw mount directly in the center of the light.

    Here is another picture of an individual light and how it is mounted:

    IMG_4566.jpg

    To get the light wires into the inside hood bulge area, I used a step drill bit to drill a 1/2" hole, after first drilling a 1/8" pilot hole. I then placed a rubber grommet with a 1/4" opening to fill the hole and run my wiring from the light. The rubber grommet will keep the wiring from getting nicked by the hole edges.

    I then ran my ground wires directly to another 1/8" hole I drilled into one of the vertical sheet metal strips that run up and down inside the hood bulge. I sanded the paint off around the hole, to insure I had a good ground point, and used ring terminals from the ground wires to the hole along with another stainless steel screw 1/2" long. Just a note about running the wiring: I used wire loom to protect all the wiring inside the hood bulge and to the battery. This is important to save the wiring from any nicks to it and stop any future shorts that could develop in the future. There is an opening in the hood just above and to the left of the hood hinge. I used a piece of TV coax cable to serve as a fish wire ran from the opening into the hood bulge area. The cable is stiff enough to follow the contour of the right side of the hood opening between the inside and outside hood cavity. Just tape the end of the cable to the positive LED wire inside the hood bulge then pull the cable back out of the hinge opening. Again, make sure you use wire loom for the wiring you are pulling through the hood cavity to the hole. I then routed the wiring down into the engine compartment, leaving enough slack for when the hood is in the open position, and routed the wiring/loom along the right side toward the battery. There is black weather proof covering on the engine compartment that you can use to tuck the wiring up into. Just pull up the lip of the covering and tuck the wire/loom up into it. It is easy to run the wire to the switch location at this point. For the switch, I used a marine, three-pronged, connector waterproof switch, that is lighted when the switch is in the "on" position. There are some pre-made holes on the lip of the engine compartment above the headlight/battery location. I just had to enlarge the hole with a step drill bit to accommodate the switch size. Run the positive wire from the LED lights to the "A" accessory terminal of the switch using a female blade connector. Next, after disconnecting the negative battery terminal, run a wire from the battery using an in-line Posi-Fuse with a 2 amp fuse in it to the switch and use another female blade terminal to connect to the "+" terminal of the switch. Then run a ground wire from the ground location on the right side of the hood by the battery where the battery is grounded to the switch ground terminal, again using a female blade terminal. You should now be ready to test the lights/wiring after reconnecting the battery negative terminal. Push the switch on and you should get this:

    IMG_4558.jpg

    Here are pictures of the light now available to the engine compartment:

    IMG_4562.jpg

    IMG_4559.jpg

    The above pictures were taken with no other lights being on in a darkened garage, and no flash from the camera. You can see in the picture directly above the location of the switch and it being lit.

    One last picture of the switch in the "on" position:

    IMG_4561.jpg

    Last, but not least, these lights are very bright and just what I wanted for my under hood lighting. I paid about $27 each for the two KC Cyclone lights. Hopefully this may help anyone else who is tired of a dark engine compartment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    vanapagan, booya69, Kwillie and 41 others like this.
  2. Nov 8, 2017 at 7:02 AM
    #2
    TXRailRoadBandit73

    TXRailRoadBandit73 RUNNIN' WITH THE DEVIL RÖCKIN' N RÖLLIN'

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    Awesome Sauce write up!!! Thanks for sharing...will put on my DIY to do list!!!
     
    Les7311 and NewImprovedRon [OP] like this.
  3. Nov 8, 2017 at 7:43 AM
    #3
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan SSEM #3. Don't forget to try the search bar. #PSL

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    Nice job Ron!
     
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  4. Nov 8, 2017 at 7:55 AM
    #4
    831Tun

    831Tun crazy Bastrd

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    Thanks again Ron. I just installed 6 brackets yesterday to mount my puddle/ step lights and now this.... More work for me. :D

    Actually, it's something I've been contemplating. You used a manual switch and not a pin switch right?
     
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  5. Nov 8, 2017 at 7:56 AM
    #5
    831Tun

    831Tun crazy Bastrd

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    The pics of where you opted to mount the lights is very helpful, Thanks.
     
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  6. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    #6
    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    Awesome detailed write-up; thank you!!

    I've got no experience wiring stuff, but your write-up is so detailed, I may give it a shot. I looked up "wire loom" and "ring terminals" but still can't picture this part of the installation. Is this part in view under the hood and, if so, and if it's not too much trouble, can you please insert one more picture for us rookies?
    Thanks again for sharing your installation!!
     
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  7. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    #7
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks, Warren! Yes, Sir, I used a push-button switch. I have heard some concerns that pin switches are not very heavy duty and fail easily if too much pressure is placed on them. I have to close my hood fairly heavily in order for it to latch and didn't want to run the risk of beating up a pin switch like that. Plus, I wanted the switch to be waterproof since it is mounted on the front of the engine compartment. I don't know how waterproof pin switches are, but the marine switch was everything I needed. In addition, it is low-profile and I don't have to worry about closing the hood turning it on accidentally.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:24 AM
    #8
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks again, Warren. One of my major concerns before I did the install was trying to figure our how much clearance there is above the mounting point and the outer hood skin. That and needing a flat surface to put them on. You sure don't want to put a screw in there that gets up against the outer skin. As it turned out, I didn't need to be concerned since there is a lot of space above the place I put them in and the lights mount flat to the inside.
     
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  9. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #9
    831Tun

    831Tun crazy Bastrd

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    Thanks Ron. You touched on some potential issues that hadn't even occurred to me. Well thought out! :thumbsup:
     
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  10. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #10
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    The wire loom is just the split plastic wiring protector that your actual wiring slips into for protection. You just slip it on and then use electrician tape every 12"-18" around the loom to make sure the wiring stays put inside the loom. Its sole purpose is to keep your wires from coming into contact with any sharp metal, abrading the wire insulation through vibration/rubbing, and possibly generating a short circuit in the future. The ring terminals are just connectors that you attach to your wires that has a ring/washer configuration on the end. That way you can place a screw or bolt, in the ring opening and tighten it down. I'll see if I can get a couple of pics and post an edit to this posting for you.

    Ring Terminal:
    [​IMG]
    Wire Loom:

    [​IMG]
    You can get the wire loom in various inside diameter sizes and in rolls. I use 1/4" and 1/8" depending upon whether I am routing 2 wires through the loom or just 1. Hope that helps. You can find both on Amazon and Ebay.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  11. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #11
    joonbug

    joonbug bacon

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    Nice job Ron! Now send a pic to Toyota and tell them they’re stupid.
     
  12. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:36 AM
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    Sunnier

    Sunnier “DO it!”

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    Thank you!!!
     
  13. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:45 AM
    #13
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks, Joon! Toyota did such a nice job on the Tundra, with the exception of headlights, under hood lighting and glove box/console lighting that I'll hold up on ripping them LOL! This is an easy "correction" but I'm sure would be a whole lot easier if they would do it when they are building them.
     
  14. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:46 AM
    #14
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Pictures added to post of ring terminal and loom.
     
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  15. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:51 AM
    #15
    BestGen

    BestGen Free Kyle!

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    Excellent write up! Thanks for sharing. This is going into the back of my 4Runner. :hattip:
     
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  16. Nov 8, 2017 at 8:54 AM
    #16
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    You are welcome, Paul!
     
  17. Nov 8, 2017 at 10:43 AM
    #17
    Cfincke

    Cfincke Mall Crawler but capable

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    you did the wiring cleaner than I did with my cyclones. I may need to redo mine now. I like your switch under the hood.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Nov 8, 2017 at 11:19 AM
    #18
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks, Gino! It is a garage queen...
     
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  19. Nov 8, 2017 at 11:22 AM
    #19
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Chris! Yours was the original posting on this project that I couldn't find! I wanted to give credit where credit was due but failed miserably at finding your original post. Thank you for the original idea! Loving my lights!
     
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  20. Nov 8, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    #20
    Cfincke

    Cfincke Mall Crawler but capable

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    Thanks, glad you bought the lights only and did the wiring yourself, their under hood kit with 2 lights and harness is $100 or so. Good writeup, I was rushing to get things installed so I failed at taking install photos. I may buy a few more and wire them to the mirror puddle lights to light up below the truck
     
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  21. Nov 8, 2017 at 1:32 PM
    #21
    Darth Tundra

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    Very well done SIR !!! :thumbsup:....Very Sanitary install....looks AWESOME :bananadance:
     
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  22. Nov 8, 2017 at 1:36 PM
    #22
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks, Scott! Coming from a Master Painter, Disassembler, and Re-assembler such as yourself, I will take that as a compliment!
     
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  23. Nov 8, 2017 at 1:38 PM
    #23
    Darth Tundra

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    That really lights it up !!!!!...I will be doing this as well !!!!...Thanks for the great write up....Side Note....Dig the 2nd Ammendment sticker as well !!!
     
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  24. Nov 8, 2017 at 1:40 PM
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    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks! It's been a banner day for me!
     
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  25. Nov 8, 2017 at 2:24 PM
    #25
    Black Wolf

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    Beats using my Coleman lantern...heh..heh. Unless the truck battery is dead. Don't ask....
     
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  26. Nov 8, 2017 at 3:26 PM
    #26
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Thanks for the comment, Steve. We can strike a deal any time, my Man!
     
  27. Dec 2, 2017 at 6:03 AM
    #27
    mesaboogieman

    mesaboogieman New Member

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    Great write up and fantastic job! Definitely need to add this mod to my list!
     
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  28. Dec 2, 2017 at 11:08 AM
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    PRO BLANCO

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    Agree looks bad a$$! Great job Ron!
     
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  29. Dec 7, 2017 at 8:27 AM
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    TTU19

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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  30. Dec 7, 2017 at 9:31 AM
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    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon [OP] Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Vehicle:
    2015 Radiant Red TSS Doublecab 4X4 Off Road
    Deck rail system, Bed divider, door sill protectors, LED reverse light bars, Aries Bull Bar with 28" 180 watt LED light bar, LED step lights, LED bed lights, driver-side grab handle, TRD Rear Sway Bar, BedRug bed mat and tailgate mat, Morimoto Fog Lights, more to come.....
    Hey, Wes. I didn't buy an install kit to mount my lights. A kit might make it easier but you are just running a few wires so not worth it in my humble opinion. The switch looks very similar to the one I used for mine. I bought mine on Ebay (search waterproof switches) and I ended up with a 4 or 5 pack just in case the switch ever fails or I need another one for a different mod.
     

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