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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.

 

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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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