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AlabamaDan

Underhood Lights!

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I've always wanted under hood lights.  20 years ago I thought about wiring up my own led string under the hood, but I shy'd away because of a lack of experience with soldering, circuits, etc.  Now you can simply buy a strip that's already built and ready to go, so I decided I had no excuse not to try.  There are sooo many choices on eBay and Amazon, it's a little overwhelming.  I decided to go for one of the more pricey versions hoping it would be worth it and besides it came with the wire and pin switch.  Here is what I got:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Underhood-LED-Light-Kit-w-Hood-Switch-Size-and-Color-Options-Available/291157773341?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=590308031148&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

The ad claimed they lights were water and ice proof, sealed in a silicone coating.  Ends sealed with marine grade heat shrink.  3M adhesive backing.  I bought the 24" version of high intensity white.  It has a 10' 20awg black wire and a small hood pin switch.  The only thing I needed was more zip ties and a washer.

 

Here is a before pic of the engine bay, in my garage, with the light on.

5FBD3CD2-46E1-4BCE-B5DC-CC33010FA8DA_zps

 

I decided to mount it in front of the weatherstripping because it shined in my eyes less, although you'd really be looking down most of the time so who cares.  It might have been protected more behind the weather stripping, but I went for it anyway.  I drilled a small hole in the underside of the hood and fished the wire back to the rear corner.  I pulled the wire through a little fast and it got in a little bit of a bind, but worked out ok.  

 

Next I used an existing hole to mount the hood pin by the battery since the positive would be headed that way anyway.  I didn't have a power distribution block and I figured something this small didn't need a fuse.  I ended up running the positive wire to the fuse box behind the battery.  The negative side went to the pin switch.  Easiest wire job ever.  From there it was just a matter of zip tying up the wire.

 

For less than $20 it is an easy and awesome mod.

 

EB13ECF4-E714-406D-B14E-FF7BE9FC2AB8_zps

 

357490D0-A4EE-45BC-8084-30FA8F31DA8B_zps

 

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6AF948B9-A06A-4479-A870-667FE2777A75_zps

 

65E5B664-581D-48A9-80F9-6E2CE3692AA4_zps

 

And the final result is:

 

26CA1B73-8D67-4324-9CF3-87BA9ED0CBDD_zps

 

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Looks good! LED underhood lighting is one of the most helpful mods I've done to mine.

 

I do recommend putting a fuse on that circuit, especially with the wires going through a hole in the sheet metal like that. A grommet or even just some tape around the wires where they go through the hole isn't a bad idea either. The idea is not so much that the LEDs could draw too much power but that the wiring could rub through or get pinched somewhere and short to ground. Even a crappy in-line fuse should be sufficient for a low-draw system like hood lights.

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That's a good point.  When I add some lights and stuff I plan to add a small distribution block and fuses.  I'll wire it in there.

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Once again, nice little write up. Keep up the good work!

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Not to thread jack but wanted to chime in on my rig too since your post actually inspired me to do the same set up.

Obviously as you stated it’s not difficult to do and relatively self explanatory. I still need to clean up the line route and add some heat sink to tighten up the wire ends. However, with the install done for the night I thought I’d just show some night pics and give a brief review on those led light strips

I went with the 24 inch, as you did, perfect fit imo

50cc1fea324de9cb7f49c1bd24466071.jpg8171f8c2bc813aab8c1552f677918324.jpg51f4f08d834086e82e4a5fd84e5f0e7b.jpg0eb1b108cd8fc88ce5ea5559a584940a.jpg462e07f90e3fbcc000902ebf1a45cd29.jpg

Again I’ll need to clean up the route and add some tie downs and heat sink tomorrow morning when there’s light out.

As for the strip. Great quality and good bang for the buck. They’re definitely silicone coated as stated and connections between the wire and the strip are of good quality as well. I’ll have the truck up in utah soon and I’ll be comfortable with these lasting.

Thanks for the post and link for the led strip, definitely the visual pictures and write up you posted inspired me to do the same.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I missed this thread. Nice job guys. Looks awesome and I’ll will be doing this sometime as well since I check the oil at night all the time!!

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I'm still loving this.  Stumbled across this video that is almost exactly what I did.  I bought my set a little more complete, whereas he built his a little more.

 

 

 

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On 12/2/2018 at 2:17 AM, Jax99 said:

Not to thread jack but wanted to chime in on my rig too since your post actually inspired me to do the same set up.

Obviously as you stated it’s not difficult to do and relatively self explanatory. I still need to clean up the line route and add some heat sink to tighten up the wire ends. However, with the install done for the night I thought I’d just show some night pics and give a brief review on those led light strips

I went with the 24 inch, as you did, perfect fit imo

As for the strip. Great quality and good bang for the buck. They’re definitely silicone coated as stated and connections between the wire and the strip are of good quality as well. I’ll have the truck up in utah soon and I’ll be comfortable with these lasting.

Thanks for the post and link for the led strip, definitely the visual pictures and write up you posted inspired me to do the same.
 

 

Awesome!  I'm glad someone found some value in my post.  I did it for just that reason.  I've learned so much here I felt like sharing.

 

Nice job!

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That's my video! :)

 

Looks good Jax. :aok: And yeah, OSB, do it! It's so much nicer to work under the hood when you can see what you're doing.

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