Rear Cargo Light Install

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by elmariachi, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. EDIT 23/7/2012, large pictures have been lost in the transition of web hosts, but here are the instructions and the thumbnails for this project:

    Rear Cargo Light

    1. Remove the left rear seatbelt anchor by gently prying the plastic cover off with a screwdriver and removing the anchor bolt with a 14mm socket.

    2. Peel off the upper hatch-to- headliner trim gasket slowly being sure not to bend it. Remove it across the top of the hatch opening but stop on the upper right hatch opening so that you have access to the rear edge opening of the headliner. Let the trim dangle or gently lay it up over the right strut out of the way.

    3. Pop the plastic center round roof/headliner plug retainer off by sliding your hand up into the headliner and gently pushing outward/downward.

    4. Gently pop the left rear D pillar cover off. It is held on by a couple of small metal spring clips (like the door speakers).

    5. Remove the existing middle cargo light out of its socket by removing the clear lens with a small screwdriver in the provided slot and removing the 4 screws in the light housing. The housing will drop down. Pull gently to bring some of the wire out with it.


    6. Run a snake or a long wire from the back headliner opening up middle of the headliner until you see it in the forward lamp cutout. You may have to work with it to get it through the insulating material, but it will go. Rig up whatever you need to with tape to pull a dual wire in similar gauge back through the existing opening to the rear of the headliner.


    7. Referencing the backside of the new light fixture, make a template from thin cardboard (shoebox) that outlines the cutout for the light and outlines the outside of the fixture.


    8. If you are only removing headliner material (the easy way), then you can trace to the exact cutout (see red box). If you are going to cut sheet metal to create a full recess (the not-so-easy way) then you need to make your opening a bit bigger on one end to clear the electrical connections. This becomes a judgment call when you first try on your template. If you are going the easy route, you will also need to remove the four molded stand-offs on the back of the light fixture using a file, knife or Dremel tool. This will allow you to get the fixture flush against the headliner. If you are going to cut sheet metal, you'll want to keep these to compensate for the headliner thickness.


    8. The center cutout is not in the exact center of the template, its offset to compensate for the switch in one end. Be sure to reference the outer edge of your template when determining the position and not the center cutout. After drawing your cutout on the headliner with a pencil, use a very sharp box or hobby knife to cut the rectangular opening. Don't cut the previously run wires.

    9. Once you have cut your hole, test fit the fixture and get it where you want it.

    11. I had the best luck last time making the sheet metal cutout using a Dremel tool and a cutoff wheel. It's tedious and if you mess up and the Dremel gets away from you, you'll wreck the headliner. After you get the cutout(s) done, test fit your fixture. Once you are satisfied with the fit, hold the fixture in place and drill four holes for your screws using a bit that is slightly smaller than your screws. Be very gentle as you drill through the inner roof skin so as to not ram the bit into your exterior roof surface.

    11. The fixture has two small blade connectors. Experiment with whatever wiring connection works best for you and get those in place on the rear wiring. I used to crimp-style slide on edge connects that fit real tight.

    12. On the existing fixture, unwrap the harness tape and use a small knife to bare each wire so you can make your splices. I did a nice splice and wrap and then sealed each one up with black tape. Then I taped the pair together and shoved them back in leaving only the connector exposed and the light attached.

    13. If you are not cutting sheet metal, then you need to install some non-conducting material to keep the open back of the new fixture from coming in contact with the sheet metal behind it and shorting out the new light. I used some black tape cut the width of the headliner cutout.

    14. Attach the new fixture to your two wiring connectors referencing where same wire is connected to the other fixture. Feed the wire up into the headliner and test fit your new fixture. If its fits okay, then start one of the screws that goes through the fixture hole with the metal grounding ring. Screw it in completely for a good ground. You should now be able to test the light and it should go on and off with simultaneous with the middle light or you can override it with the switch.

    16. Secure the three remaining screws. If you cut sheet metal, you may need to make the screw holes in the headliner material slightly larger to allow the four standoffs to pass through and against the metal. Otherwise, just tighten your four screws slowly until you have the fixture flush with the headliner. NOTE: If you over-tighten the flat fixture against the curved headliner, you will cause a bend/crease in the headliner (as you will see in my initial picture below.)


    Reinstall everything in reverse order and you are done.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  2. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

    Plano Texas
    Thanks Jim! I'm looking forward to mounting my light following your instructions this weekend.

  3. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser SILVER Star

    Very cool write up man, thanks for this! :cheers:
  4. beno

    beno 33030-60450 Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Covington, GA
    Nice Jim. Thanks for sharing. ANother thing to put on the list.

    Junk, make it a FAQ... ;)
    Akron, OH
  5. RavenTai


    Dixie co. Florida
    Nice detailed write up


    Pasadena, CA
    Nice... ;) very detailed oriented you should post with George LED on the last pics
  7. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

    Plano Texas
    How about adding this thread to the 80 tech section?
  8. Heffenoche


    Thanks for the write-up. I have light assembly, still need to get the led and I'm all set to go. I'll have to see if I can find the wiring harness since mine is a 94.
  9. tucker74

    tucker74 Moderator

    Austin, TX
    Sweet - good thing my interior is gray!

  10. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

    Plano Texas

    Why did you cut the 4 molded standoff? I would think that the 4 standoffs would help prevent the light from mounting too far in crushing the headliner.

    The light I have is probably from a 93/94 model as it has the additional metal back covers and does not have the 4 standoffs.

  11. After sticking it up in there is seemed that the standoffs were going to keep it from mounitng flush against the headliner, so I whacked them off. I have another one non-whacked and I may try it when I get some time. Post up a pic when you get yours in.
    Last edited: May 1, 2005

  12. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

    Plano Texas
    I will post pictures when I have it done. I'm losing the 80 for a week as the minivan is down.

    I'll do a writeup later on why the 80 trumps the Honda Odyssey in performing minivan duties.
  13. stayalert

    stayalert SILVER Star

    Norwich, VT
    Thanks! Becasue of your post I pursued and completed this mod. Havn't tried it yet in the dark but it was pretty easy and straighforward to do......And CDan once again has demonstrated a level of service which I wish were more common.

    Rob M
    Concord, MA '94 fz80
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  14. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

    Plano Texas
    I finally got the light installed in the 100F+ heat this weekend. The standoffs behind the 4 screw holes did not interfere with the light sitting flush with the headliner as they are only about 1/8 inch tall.

    I do have the following notes to add to Jim's excellent installation instructions.

    * I did not have to remove the seatbelt anchor on the D-pillar. I pulled the black rubber gasket out enough to allow the upper part of the D-pillar plastic cover pull out. This in turn allow me to access the hatch-to- headliner trim gasket under the D-pillar plastic trim.
    * I did not cut off the 4 standoffs behind the 4 screw holes of the light. The light still fit flush
    * I used 1" screw (factory screws were 3/4") to mount the light. Like Jim, my headliner were still pushed in just a bit. I might go back and replace the screws with 1-1/4" ones.
    * The back of my dome light was significantly different than the light shown on Jim's website. In addition, the light I have has a metal shield behind the bulb.
    * I used George's LED in place of the bulb.
    * I did not remove the metal shield behind the bulb. As it is, the shield forced the LED to sit at an angle. This suited my use as I wanted the LED light to focus more light down/rear ward towards the tailgate. I did put electral tape around the metal shield to prevent the LED from shoring out.
    * I purchase the light along with the electrical connector pigtail and about 6" of wires. It simplified things as I did not have to fabricate the light connector.
    * I opted to tap the wiring at second row light with vampire taps for 18-22 gauge wires. I did not feel comfortable soldering wires within 6" of the headliner.

    Here are the pictures of my installs.
    Rear Cargo Light front.jpg Rear Cargo Light back.jpg Rear Cargo Light LED.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2005
  15. Bryan E.

    Bryan E.

    Cool write up Jim.

    Thanks Dude!
  16. MoGas

    MoGas Central Scrutinizer SILVER Star

    One thing I would like to add is that there is a wiring harness with the appropriate connector for a cargo area light in the top of the liftgate pillar on the US Driver's side. It is taped in there. Models that do not have factory 3rd row have a light back there and Toyota did not make a different harness just for non 3rd row vehicles. I found this out while removing my light that is designated for this mod from a salvage yard donor that had the headliner torn in the back. You just have to pull the windlass off and reach in there for it.

  17. Link doesn't work anymore... is there a new page?
  18. Falco80

    Falco80 Burning dinosaur bones...

    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Yep, like Dave said, the plug is already waiting for you...
    A few of us guys in oz have done this mod and it works a treat. Myself and a few others have used a 48 Led light, picked up from a boating accesories store. I also replaced all the other interior lights with Led's and would recommend it to anyone interested. Cost me about $140 Aus, but it's nice and bright inside at night! :D
    Nice work Jim using the factory light, looks the goods!

    View attachment 222857

    View attachment 222858

    View attachment 222859
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010

    NLXTACY Mud Life Sentence SILVER Star

    West Hills, CA
    Ugh ok I was just about to do this mod because I scored two OAK lights and when I go to the link, Jim's site is down. Being as this is directly connected to the FAQ section, any way to get the link working again? Especially since I would like to do this mod :bang:
  20. Bluetribal

    Bluetribal SILVER Star

    Sandy Eggo
    I think I have the info you are looking for saved in a word doc. at home. On projects I plan to do I typically copy all the info to a word doc. so things like that don't happen. So if you don't get any further help today, PM me your e-mail address and I will send you what I have this evening...... :cheers:

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