Matt's Lights (all over the place!)
I am definately afraid of the dark! This is what the truck is pretty well known for, so I figured I'd devote a bit of attention too all the lights on the vehicle.
Starting out with the lights in the PIAA Airdam. I have two PIAA 520 SMR's mounted on the outside of the airdam and the inside of the airdam is currently empty
Mounted on the Warn Trans4mer winch mount, there are two PIAA 80 Rally lights. These are dual-beams with hi-beam and low-beams
On the roof, mounted on the Grizzly Rollbar I've mounted five PIAA 80 XT lights (3 drivings and 2 fogs). These are all set to come on with one switch and the wiring running through the cab.
For reverse lights I have mounted a set of PIAA 1500 Reverse lights into the rear bumper. To do this, I acquired a white rear bumper, cut some holes, had the bumper painted to match, and then installed the lights! These are wired to come on with either the reverse lights or a switch mounted in my switch panel. The amount of light they throw out as compared to the stock lights is absolutely amazing!
I've got the lights laid out so they all come on with just four switches. One switch for the 520's in the airdam, one switch for the set of lights on the brushguard, one switch for the set of lights on the roof, and one switch for the set of reverse lights.
I have completely rewired all the lights several times now, each time I learn something new and lay them out a little better. When the lights were originally mounted, the relays were mounted in various spots throughout the truck. Some were mounted behind the cab, some to the frame, some in the engine compartment, some behind the firewall.
The first major overhaul took place when I moved the majority of the wiring from the outside of the cab to the inside of the cab. This project took me several months (working only days I had available of course) and involved many steps. They are as follows:
- Remove all the wiring for the lights and take out the relays and set aside. This involved removing the wiring from the rollbar, from throughout the cab, unhooking from the switches I mounted previously.
- Remove the interior and insulate the floors as well as the back wall and the firewall, and all the doors. (before pic, after pic1, after pic2, and ceiling pic).
- Run a 2-guage wire from the starter solenoid along the frame and up through a gromet in the floor to a fuse block mounted under the back seat (sounds simple, but have YOU tried to route a 2-guage wire through the frame?)
- Mount the relays behind the back seat to the frame of the interior, and run wiring through the frames to these relays/fuse blocks. This involved Line-X'ing the rollbar and completely running new wires through the rollbar, running them up through the interior and along the back wall frame and out. For the lights in the airdam, this involved snaking wires completely through the frame from the back to the front.
- Once the lights are hooked up to the relays and receiving power from the fuse block, then comes the switches. Before taking this on however I had to drop the headliner to expose the ceiling. While this was down, I insulated the ceiling with b-quiet extreme as well. Once the headliner was removed, I began mounting the switches in the overhead console:
Once the switches were mounted I reattached the console and reinstalled the headliner.
- One thing I like about my switches is the lights can only be turned on when the car is turned on. To accomplish this, I needed the "hot wire" for the switch to come from the radio fuse. Rather then "daisy-chaining" the wires together, I chose to run one wire from the radio fuse to a fuse block, and then each switch wire receives power from this fuse block. This also worked out for some of the devices that do not require much power, that I only wanted to have on when the truck was on, such as the Cobra CB and the Garmin GPS. This fuse block mounts behind the black plastic panel, near the 4x4 shifter.
Once the switches were mounted and properly hooked up, all that was left was to put back the interior and call it a done project! I also did a few other smaller projects at the same time while I had the interior completely apart, such as rerunning CB and GPS antennas behind the frame in the corners of the body, tucking even stock wires away better then they were previously, etc. Now you can seriously not see a single wire, even if you take off the trim pieces they are all tucked away so well. That's one area I am a bit of a perfectionist on.
Update - as of July, 2005
In July 2005, I decided i didn't like how the wiring was set up and where the switches were mounted. With the switches being in the overhead console, they were hidden, but sometimes "in view" and cool looking are even better. Not only that, b ut the wiring running to the rollbar lights, etc. was 18 gauge wire, which wasn't nearly enough to properly power those bad boys! In addition to that, the "ground" for the lights on the rollbar was grounded at the frame beneath the rollbar which left them exposed, not only to those looking at the truck but also to the elements. Also, all wiring running through the frame wasn't properly protected in tubing, and was running the risk of fraying and possibly causing electrical problems.
I dropped the headliner, removed the switches from the overhead console, took the dash completely apart, replaced one of my dash panels with the dash panel with the "pocket" and installed and pocket-mounted switch panel. I also ran new 14-gauge stereo wire to the rollbar, and concealed the wiring a lot better. I grounded the wire behind the back seat, rather then along the frame. All the wiring that ran under the vehicle I put tubing around, to not only conceal it better but also to protect it from damage. I also changed the positioning of the wire from the rollbar to the cab, concealing it behind the frame so if you can see the wiring coming in from the rollbar, you have really got to be looking hard!
The switch panel switches are as follows, from left to right. Winch controller switch, roof lights, airdam lights, unused switch (I plan on adding another set of lights later, so I went ahead and ran all the wiring for the switch so I wouldn't have to mess with taking the dash apart again if I could avoid it!), followed by reverse lights, and the 80 Rallys on the trans4mer.