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Old 07-03-2020, 12:30 PM #1
SilverBullet8404 SilverBullet8404 is offline
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3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up

Hello All! A couple of you guys have messaged me on here asking for a write up for my rear Hatch lights I installed for overlanding. Here ya go!


*there are alcoholic references used in this "entertainment piece." Consume at your own risk. Also, you will need to be able to use a soldering kit.

In order to install the rear hatch interior cargo lights, you will need the following:

Flush Mount Rock Lights
Amazon.com Page Not Found

1/4 Drill Bit
Soldering Kit
T-Taps
Splice Connectors
Heat Shrink w/ Heat Gun
25' of 14 g. electrical wire
Philips/Flat Head Screw Driver
10mm Socket Wrench
Zipties
Electrical Tape
Panel Trim Remover
Metal Tube of some sort (at least 14")
Pliers
Beer (not White Claw, not wine, not Smirnoffs: BEER)

1) Remove the courtesy light cover using a Flat Head screw driver to pry it open.
2) Remove the 4 screws using a Philips screw driver
3) Disconnect the wiring harness from the courtesy light switch; completely detach the switch from the interior trim
4) Remove the interior trim up above using the panel trim removers.

(Have some beer)

5) Remove the tailgate interior trim by first using a flat head screw driver to pop off the cover where the pull-down strap is
6) Use the 10mm sokcet wrench to remove the bolt
7) Remove the interior panel from the tailgate using the panel trim remover
8) Push tailgate panel towards the window to pop off the panel
9) You should see a black metal panel being held by 9 10mm bolts; remove these using the socket wrench and then pop off the metal panel; you will need to disconnect the wiring harnesses from the relay box.

(Have some beer)

10) Locate the wiring loom between the tailgate and the roof of the 4Runner. Using a flat head screwdriver, pop out both rubber/plastic housings that attach to the 4Runner.
11) Gently twist the metal tube (I used copper) through the loom, so you don't damage the existing wires (SEE PHOTO #1)
12) Once you have the metal tubing through, approximate the amount of wire you'll need by starting at where the cargo space courtesy light is and "running it through the loom" down to the very bottom of the tailgate.

(Have some beer)

13) Cut 2x wires at the length you determined from Step 12 (one will be your (+), the other will be your ground)
14) Run the wires, one at a time, through the metal tubing thats wedged inside the rubber wiring loom (Make sure you are able to know which wire will be your ground and which will be your (+). I used a small piece of tape to distinguish the two)
15) Once done, remove the metal tubing carefully, making sure you don't remove the wires you just ran through there
16) Along side of the driver side hatch, there is a passageway to run the wires through; this will take many times to get, as the wire bends a lot. Patience is key. Run both wires now down the driver side tailgate hatch

(Have some beer, you deserved it)

17) Once you have this all done, locate the existing wiring that runs alongside of the driverside tailgate passageway; it should be tucked in the sides of the tailgate and should be taped. Use zipties to snuggly secure the two wires along the same path; FOLLOW THE PATH IF YOU WANT YOUR WIRES TO NOT INTERFERE WITH THE REAR WINDOW (SEE PHOTO #2)
18) At this time, you may connect the metal panel back to the tailgate; make sure that you expose the 2 wires through the opening where the wiring harnesses connect to the relay box.
19) Grab the tailgate interior trim and install whichever Rock Lights you purchased. Keep in mind, if they are no flush mount, I cannot gurantee that they won't recede all the way through the black metal panel.
20) The light furthest away from the driver side, measure out 2x pieces of wire the length of the width of the tailgate. SOLDER one wire to the light closest to the passenger-side light to its (+) and ground wire. Use heat shrink and heat gun as needed.
21) On the open ends of these 2x wires, attach the male end of the T-taps to both the (+) and ground wire.
22) Attach the T-Taps to the ends of the 2 wires from Step 18. Make sure you know which one was (+) and which one was ground.
23) After completing Steps 21 & 22, this creates a "quick disconnect" to gain access to inside the tailgate, should you ever need to. (SEE PHOTO #3)
24) Using splice pieces, splice the remaining lights into its designated wire (+ or ground) from Step 20. (+) splice to (+) and ground to ground

(Have some beer)

25) Now go back to the ends of the wire closest to the courtesy light switch from Step 14. Grab the physical light switch, as you will be soldering the (+) and ground wires to the topside of the switch (see picture). NOTE: (+) wire is the center piece and grounds are the small flat metal pieces. (SEE PHOTO #4)
26) Connect the male ends of the T-tap to the T-taps (where we created the "quick disconnects).
27) Secure the cargo courtesty light switch to the roof using the 4 screws. We are checking to make sure that the lights work. IN ORDER TO DO SO, YOU MUST FOLLOW THIS STEP! The grounds from the light switch are only complete when the two screws with the metal housings are screwed into the roof. You will not get any lights working without first screwing back at least those 2 screws to the roof.

(Have some beer)

28) Once done, test the light switch. If it doesn't work, you will need to check all your T-taps, splices, and soldering points. I cannot help you w/ this.

(If you are stuck, it may be because you drank a beer everytime I instructed so. Sober up and retry Step 28; if succesfully done, have a beer)

29) Once you confirm that it works, you can unscrew the light switch from the roof and pop in the interior trim that you removed first. Feel free to use tape or whatever to make the wires on the backside of the tailgate interior panel less crazy.
30) Pop back in the tailgate panel and use the 10mm socket wrench to tighten the pull-handle back in it's designated spot. Pop the cover back on. Waaalaahhhh! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun little project. Oh, and feel free to Venmo me beer money too.

*Please do not take the 4Runner on a test drive if you have consumed as much alochol as the instructions recommend. I do not encourage drinking under the influence. This write-up is strictly for "entertainment purposes only" and I DO NOT accept liability of any DUIs, cut wires, or ****ing up your tailgate. Cheers 🍻
Attached Images
3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up-99157918_2839467662837905_9052224913028415488_n-jpg  3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up-99292787_2839467702837901_6024582533411241984_n-jpg  3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up-98356191_2839467769504561_5910843093514452992_n-jpg  3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up-99382154_2839467749504563_8492162032328507392_n-jpg  3G4R_Thundercloud's Rear Hatch Lights Write-Up-100943948_2839534326164572_6951537768396750848_n-jpg 
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Old 07-03-2020, 02:54 PM #2
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That's cool. I need that for when I'm fishing
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:36 PM #3
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FYI, you can pick up constant power from within the rear hatch, not having to snake it through the harness into the courtesy light. Blue +, W/B - I just put a switch on the door panel to control them.

Great having lights there.

Last edited by Hopeless Diamond; 07-04-2020 at 10:18 AM. Reason: corrected + wire color
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:52 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeless Diamond View Post
FYI, you can pick up constant power from within the rear hatch, not having to snake it through the harness into the courtesy light. Gray +, W/B - I just put a switch on the door panel to control them..
What does that wire originally power?
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:17 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_C View Post
What does that wire originally power?
It's the power feed into the Back Door ECU. Dbl check the + wire, I believe it should be blue (will go back and edit my post). Just had it all open too and don't remember.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:45 PM #6
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Nice job @SilverBullet8404 !! I did something very similar a couple weekends ago. Instead of tapping into the cargo area wire harness I install an Auxiliary Fuse Panel in the rear cargo area on the driver's side.





Ran some 4awg wire from the battery and plumbed in some 20/2 marine wire (white wire in pics) thru the same rear hatch conduit just like you did.




Then installed some some Baja Design Dome lights (they're independently switched)


Beat the crap out of the stock dome lights!


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