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View Full Version : even more lights - rear hatch this time.


nakman
08-03-2006, 10:27 PM
I've been wanting to come up with a solution for more light back in the hatch area for some time now. At night the George's LED is almost useless when you're standing back at the tailgate, trying to get something out of a drawer or something. The factory bulbs are a little better, but still not much light provide where out where you need it.

Not sure how many :beer:'s I've spent trying to muster up a plan to bring 12v power into the hatch, and have it available when the truck's off. The power feeding the power lock is way too small, and the washer & wiper are all switched on with the key, and I didn't want to change that. Plus the rubber hose that houses all these wires is pretty well done, even if I could fish a wire up there through the hatch then through the headliner I'm pretty sure I'd never get it all back right.

Then one night last week it hit me. :brick: I don't need to run yet another wire from the battery, why not use a battery pack? So a half a :beer: later I found myself at this site, buying a 12v battery pack that will do just the trick http://www.surveillance-spy-cameras.com/cables.htm#2

I then searched around for a suitable light, and found a couple from this site that seem to do the job. http://www.reddenmarine.com/site/new-detail.cfm?id=ABI420377

here's a picture of the lights, also a "before" pic of what the lighting situation used to look like. (note the fancy new red tripod) it was still kinda light out, but trust me it's pretty dark.

nakman
08-03-2006, 10:32 PM
Popping off the plastic panel on the bottom of the hatch is easy enough, after you remove the two screws that hold the handle on. I then drilled through holes for the wires, secured the lights, and wired them together. I wrapped the battery pack in foam so it doesn't rattle.

nakman
08-03-2006, 10:33 PM
Quite happy with the end result, lots of light where there used to be none, plus being isolated from the truck means even less worry that I'll run the real batteries down.

bh4rnnr
08-03-2006, 10:49 PM
Tim, looking good. What run you going to test them out on:hill: :beer:

nakman
08-03-2006, 10:50 PM
Picture of what the light looks like, installed. Also one more "after" shot, this time with the floor lighting turned on. :rolleyes:

Starting to get psyched for the Spooky Night Run... :cool:

nakman
08-03-2006, 10:53 PM
Tim, looking good. What run you going to test them out on

Next run that I can make is Yankee Doodle on the 25th. Anyone else up for a quickie night run up Jenny Creek? Afterwards I'll be slicin' limes on the tailgate for sure.. :drink:



edit: One last comment, is I tried to get all techie and tap into the switch that controls the dome light. It runs off the position of the hatch latch, so it's easy access. But what I did was make it so if I flip the lights on, then the dome light stays on when the hatch is closed. And I'm wondering if it may also be running off of my battery pack... but having the dome light stay on makes some sense if the schematic in my head is accurate, so I'm probably going to disable my tap into the switch just to stay on the safe side.

The dream was to flip open the hatch and have everything come on automatic, then shut the hatch and it all goes off.. so I may need to find some other switch to rig up, unless an electric guy can enlighten me and I can still use the existing switch without powering the other dome light. Here's a pic of the wire coming off the switch.

Red_Chili
08-04-2006, 08:34 AM
Those are cool lights. I've been wanting to add a couple to the engine compartment as well... any idea how they like heat?

nakman
08-04-2006, 09:38 AM
...any idea how they like heat?

The casing is stamped metal, but it's a plastic dome, I suspect it would be ok though you never know. The HTD of ABS I think is above 200°F, but then again this dome may be LexanŽ or PolyCarbonate, both of which have higher HTD's. Even if it got soft, it would still be supported by the metal frame, I wouldn't worry about it, if you can keep it towards the intake side- look at all the other plastic in your engine bay.

Rzeppa
08-04-2006, 07:06 PM
Dang, you 80 guys are so...cupholderish. Under-hood cookers, accessory lights. I'm just so happy I actually have a back up light now on my 71 ;-)

Hulk
08-04-2006, 11:01 PM
Nice job Tim. I may have to take a look at the lights on your inside front doors. It would be nice for the floorboards to be lit when the doors are open.