bryan89's Interior Illumination Project (1 Viewer)

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I don’t know about you guys, but I have always thought that the in cab lighting in my first generation 4runner was lacking, especially at night, when you are trying to find something in the console or on the floor board. That little dome light up front was not cutting it, and the cargo light in the back hasn’t had a bulb in it since I bought the truck. Plus, the cargo light is only powered when the parking lights are on, which doesn’t help you if you are camping in the back of the truck and need to see. I have seen elsewhere where people have added lights here and there, but to be honest I was not impressed, and there never was a full detailed write up about how they did it and where they got the parts.

So, I finally decided to do something about it. This thread is going to be a complete write up, start to finish, of everything I did to “bring some light” to my truck situation divided into 3 parts. By the end, I hope to have a complete thread that will have everything in it so someone else can do the same thing, or just replicate the individual parts as they choose.


will add pics to individual sections as I get them re-sized and what not
 
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PART 1
First I tried to improve what lighting I already had. I went to superbrightleds.com and bought two cool white led festoon replacement bulbs and two warm white ones. One was for my dome light and one for the cargo light in the rear. (yes, they take the same bulb). I figured they at least have to better than the filament style. And in the case of my cargo bulb, it had to be better than no bulb at all.

The superbrightled.com part number is 3022-CWHP4 for the high intensity “cool white”. I will note that I also bought the “warm white” version to test it out and compare. I was not impressed with the warm white version at all. It didn’t seem much brighter than a regular filament style bulb. So, cool white it is!

Fyi- if you are trying to find LED bulbs locally instead of ordering online, you will need a 31mm X 10mm “festoon style” bulb.

Anyways, this alone made a HUGE impact on the amount of available light. At night, now I can see all the way down to the floor board. Check the pics
(pic of front dome light is during the day unfortunately...but you get the idea.)
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Joined
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PART2 :
During a recent pick and pull trip, I happened across a 93 4runner. Amazed to even find a Toyota at all, I jumped in and started looking around even though it’s a second gen. “There has got to be something in here I can use” I thought. This model had a sunroof in it, which had already been pillaged, but looking around the giant hole I found the dome light. It was in great shape and was even gray, so it would match my interior. And from the outside it looked almost exactly like my current dome light in the front of my truck.
I immediately thought that this would be a great addition to the back of the truck. My plan was to mount it directly below the factory rear windshield wiper motor cover in my truck so it would illuminate the entire tailgate area. So, I snagged it, muttering “up-grade”.

I also scored a sweet rear view mirror/ map light / door light combo setup out of the same truck. It too was gray, But that belongs in Part 3, which I will get to later. Back to the dome light project.

So I got the dome light home and the rear wiper motor cover off. Looking at the two, I knew I could get the dome light to fit on the small horizontal section of the cover on the driver side. It was going to be tight, but I was going for it. This would position the light almost in the middle of the truck, right over the tailgate area. So I figured light dispersion would be optimal.

The only issue I had was the way the dome light originally mounted in the 93 4runner. If I just bolted it up the way it was, it would have a large almost .25” gap between the base of the light fixture and the wiper motor cover. Being a perfectionist, this was not going to do for me. So I threw it on the mill and milled off the “extraneous” plastic material so I could get the mounting holes flush. It also significantly reduced the size of the hole I had to cut in the cover to get it to fit. Keep in mind this part is nonessential for it to work, but makes it look a whole lot more professional in my opinion. (Note: I later found out that older style dome lights, like the ones originally equipped in my truck would require much less if any milling to get them to mount flush.)

So, modified dome light in hand, I sized up the hole on the wiper motor cover using a template I made from a simple sheet of paper. I cut the hole in the cover using a razor blade. I chose not to use a reciprocating saw, or cut off wheel or anything like that because I was afraid that the extra heat would melt / distort the plastic and make it look like shizzz. It took a while, but the razor blade worked fine. In addition to milling the bottom of the light, I also had to radius one of the corners of the dome light with a file (only on the bottom side) to fit the curve of the wiper motor cover. It was not much and is not even visible when mounted.

Below are pics of the light mounted to the cover. Looks factory right?…cause it is.

So next was wiring. After staring at the switch and how it worked for a second, I determined that the two wire connector fed the unit constant 12 volts on the straight pin, and the curved pin was used in “door” mode to finish grounding the circuit when the door is opened. When in “ON” mode, the unit was grounded through a bolt hole to complete the circuit. Since my junk was mounted to plastic, instead of a metal substructure, I would need to run a ground wire. No big deal, just used the wiper motor chassis to ground too since there was already a ground wire running up the side of the fiberglass top to it. Also, I added a trick spade connector / ring terminal connector to make it removable because the wiper cover is removable….look at me thinking ahead right? For 12 volts I tapped into the “Dome” circuit like the other light, running a wire all the way up to the fuse box in the kick panel. I pulled the fuse panel completely out and removed the harness from the back. From there I was able to remove the fuse receptacle from the back and solder on my power wire to the existing dome circuit. See the next post (#4) for more detail on this step.

Here is the really trick part. Naturally, when in “door” mode I wanted the light to come on when I opened the tailgate, like you would expect, and go off when you shut it. Well, originally I thought I would simply snag another post style door switch like the front doors use and mount it, cause it would be just as factory fresh. Well, after looking around on the tailgate, I determined that there really wasn’t a good place to drill a hole, let alone be close enough to make contact with the actual door sheet metal when closed. So I scratched my head for a second and then realized that the logic I am looking for is already built into this truck! There is a switch in the actual tailgate latch that is used to control the rear window relay module and the “Back Door” dummy light on the dash.

Basically, for those who do not know, the window relay module will not power the switch for the rear window motor unless the back tailgate is closed, locked, and the top is on. It uses ground switches to determine all of these things. And if the tailgate is not fully closed and locked, the dummy light on the dash illuminates.

After some quick continuity testing and wiring diagram-age, I got the light wired up using the existing logic in the door latch detection switch. In order to get the light to only come on with the door opens and closes, I had to add a diode. Otherwise, the voltage would have back-fed through the back door lock switch to ground, and the dome light would have stayed on until the back door was closed AND locked. Which was not cool.
With the diode in line between the two switches, now it functions as you would expect. Open door, light on. Close door, light off. Even if it stays unlocked. For more information about wiring in the diode to get the desired "door" effect see post 6 below.

Threw in another cool white LED for consistency….and BAM done.
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Joined
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More pics of part 2.
Ok, so to provide power to the rear dome light, you need to pull power back there. I chose to pull it off the existing 7.5 Amp "Dome" circuit.
Rather than use those radio shack fuse taps that clutter up the fuse box and are a dead giveaway that a modification has been made, I wanted to tap off the back of the fuse box, for stealthness...:cool:
First things first, remove the fuse box from the kick panel. This is made possible by removing the 10mm hex bolt at the bottom and the clip at the top...TIP: to release the clip at the top without breaking it off, carefully lift upwards as you pull the box out straight away from the kick panel.
Once you have it loose, you will realize there is not really a lot of room to work...the wire loom is still really tight...so to give some more wiggle room, remove the harness clip at the top of the fuse box. its the black clip shown in the first pic below. Its kind of a pain, basically end up just pulling it out from the back of the box with pliers... dont pull from the middle or it will likely break..Try pulling from one of the sides where the legs are.

Next, you will need to remove the pin receptacle for the dome circuit...the tricky part is there two halves (one for each blade on the fuse): a powered side and a fused side. you want to remove the fused side. if you screw up and tap power off the other side, it will still work, but the circuit will be permanently connected to the battery...no fuse protection..which is bad.
The one you need to pull is a black wire with white stripe.
As shown in the second pic it is located one row down and one column over from the top left when looking at the back of the fuse box.

Once its out, you will need to solder on your rear dome light power wire to the base of the connector. TIP: Make sure you solder it on the correct side of the metal clip otherwise there will not be any room to clip it back into the fuse box when completed because one side of the clip sits flush against the plastic wall of the fuse box.
Third pic is what it looks like all soldered up and ready to put all back together.

push the pins back in until the click. then reinstall the fuse box and fuses.
Now run your new power wire to the back of the truck.
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Joined
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MORE PART2
Here is the finished light mounted in the panel.
Also a couple crappy pics of it working at night.
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Joined
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PART2 CONTINUED
Here is the modified wiring diagram for the dome light door operation. note the diode in between the back door unlock warning switch and the back door lock detection switch. i used a 3amp diode because its what i had laying around. (about the size of a small mechanical pencil eraser) But, im pretty sure a 1 amp diode would work just fine. all available from your local radio shack.

remember to get a good solder on the connection and cover in heat shrink to avoid shorts.

Edit: had a few requests for an actual image of the diode soldered in and its exact location. I chose to make the connection right after the door detection lock switch connector, on the truck harness side, not the latch switch side. this way, if I ever need to remove or replace this switch, the modifications remain in the vehicle and a new part will simply clip in.
Here is the finished assembly, pre tape, below.
My "door" mode switch wire in my light harness is black. you can see it connecting to the green/red wire.
If you look really closely you can see the triangle orientation symbol on the diode.
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Joined
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PART 3
So, this part is really overkill, but I decided to do it anyways, because I can. Remember that sweet map light / door light/ rear view mirror combo unit I scored? That will be Part 3. Well, I removed my rear view mirror unit to investigate. Simply unsnap the cover, and remove the three Phillips head screws (M6 x 1.0) holding the whole assembly to the metal substructure. I disassembled the new one from the 93 4runner the same way, being careful not to gouge up the plastic and damage the switches. (I found the best way to get the plastic cover off of the new dome light is to remove it from the back first. This way seemed easier and if you do slip and mess up the plastic, its on the back. Not visible from driver seat)

The 93 4runner unit has 4 mounting holes, two of which are in the same location as mine. The other two are outboard and basically do me no good cause there is nothing to screw them too. So, I thought I will just add a fifth hole the 93 4runner unit that matches up with the third hole (top hole) in my 4runner. So using a small Phillips screwdriver, I carefully removed the switch housing on the new dome unit and then unsnapped the connector to get it out of the way. After some measuring with the digital caliper, I determined the exact place for the hole I would have to drill to get it to match up with the threaded insert in my roof. Here are some pics for future reference. The pic below is of the pilot hole I drilled first. I later increased the size to match the other existing holes.

It Should save you some time. It’s right between the YO in TOYOTA. Incidentally, the required hole actually matches up exactly with a raised circle boss on the opposite side of the aluminum casting. Probably an ejector pin or gate from the mold or something.


Anyways, when held it up to the mirror location it fit between the sun visors nicely. So I went to bolt it up and….clank. I quickly discovered that the large light buckets that protrude from the back of the aluminum light housing would not allow me to flush mount the unit to the headliner. Again, you could just get some longer bolts and live with the 0.5” gap, but if you have read the first two parts of this, you know that was not an option for me.
At this point, I could either make a spacer to fill in the extra gap, or remove the headliner and cut the metal substructure to fit the added girth. Since I was weary about removing my 25 year old vinyl headliner and cutting a hole up there, I opted for the spacer approach.

While at work, I snagged a piece of scrap plastic. (I wanted gray, but all we had left was black.) After making a template out of half of a file folder, I went to the mill. Several minutes later I had my spacer piece. The two outer boxes are for the light buckets, and the short middle box is for the connector. The three center holes are drilled all the way through since they will mount to the existing roof holes. The outer two holes, I tapped with M6 x 1.0 to help clamp the aluminum light housing down (Gotta keep it all metric for sanity of course.) Since my plastic spacer piece was black, I snagged some special plastics primer and some flat gray enamel paint that matched my interior as close as possible. Painted it up, and it looks decent enough for now.

Wiring for this is pretty straight forward. The two pin jack is the same as the dome light from Part 2, and so are the wires. Looking at the back of the unit, one pin is for the door switch and the other pin is for the constant 12 volts. All that was left was where to connect it. According to the FSM wire diagram, my truck had the option for a map light as part of the “illumination package”. Well, my truck didn’t have this package obviously, but in that case, power and ground was just tapped off the existing dome light in parallel. So I basically copied the wiring schematic to ensure I wouldn’t be overloading any circuits or anything. I ended up tapping power and the switched ground off of the back of the original dome light connector. Then I routed my new harness around the cab, over driver door, to the driver A-pillar, following the dome light circuit. When I got to the top of the A-pillar, instead of following the existing harness down to the fuse panel, I hung a right and ran my new harness over to the mirror location. A quick voltage test indicated this part was ready to rock.

All that was left was to mount it all up and throw in some more LED festoon bulbs and this baby is done-zo!

What is really cool are the different modes of operation. Wiring it like this allows me to have:
1. both map lights on with doors open and original dome light not on
2. original dome light on with doors open and both map lights not on
3. dome light and both map lights on with doors open

And with any of the above combinations, you can hit the individual left/right map light switches or the original dome light switch at any time to turn them on individually to hunt for stuff while driving.


All I have to worry about now is planes trying to land in the back of my truck if I leave them all on for too long. lol cause its like a runway in there!!
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Part3 Continued

here is what the finished piece looked like prior to install.
and a few pics of the thing working at night.
Last pic (although a crappy one) is of the two front lights on with the back tailgate shut. so you can see how far back the truck gets illuminated with just the two front lights now.
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Also, a quick note.

The dome light circuit in the 4runners is originally a 7.5 amp fused circuit.

Currently I am running the original dome light, the two front map lights I added, and the rear cargo dome light all on the same circuit with only 3 AMP FUSE, so the current draw of each of these bulbs is less than an amp obviously.

( I only found this out cause I accidentally blew the fuse once during the install process and all I had laying around was the 3 amp one. so i figured it would either work or it wouldnt.....and it did.)


And here is a daytime install pic of the new from dome /map light unit as well as the rear cargo area dome light. you can see the gray paint wasnt a perfect match up front, but its close enough for now. I'll repaint it if I ever find something that is a closer match.
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SOME MORE NOTES:

The first pic is of the OEM toyota jack I used for the rear cargo area dome light. Now, when I take my top off, its just a quick clip to disconnect and away I go. It is a two wire jack stolen from a 2nd gen 4runner. it contains my newly added rear dome light power wire (white) running from the fuse box, as well as the signal wire (black) for the "door mode" operation that goes from the light to the door lock detection switch in the tailgate.

Also, for the wire I had to run from this jack into the tailgate to the door latch switch, I utilized the factory harness connector in the rear quarter panel for an additional connection point.

There are two blank (un used) pin locations in the harness connector that comes out of the rear quarter and goes into the tailgate. so, I used a spare jack I had to add the pins necessary for my harness. now if I have to take the tailgate off for some reason, I can just un-jack the single harness and everything is taken care of. And it makes for a good factory looking install.

In closing, The whole thing turned out really clean in my opinion. If it weren't for the fact that I ran my wiring alongside the existing wire harness in the truck, rather than completely un-taping it and re-taping it with the new wires inside, you would not be able to tell this didnt come from the factory like this...as it should have anyways.
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jynx

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The map light upgrade looks cool. What would it cost to have one of those spacers shipped to 37221, that is if your interested in making another one.

I really like how much additional light you got from the LED's.
 
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lol. i wish i could but i just dont have the time or resources. what i made was at work, out of scrap that we dont have anymore of.

and, if I made you one, other people would chime in and I just dont have the time at work... i mean i got to stay employed.
Thanks for the compliment though.

you could make one pretty easy though if you set on the 93 light.

And if not, you should try the leds in the sr5 map light. See, when I did this i did not even know that it existed but apparently the sr5 4runners had some kind of map light in it already under the mirror. i think it only has one bulb though...anyways, you could get that cause its direct bolt in and get the corresponding led light for it. it would be better than nothin. and you dont need any custom spacer deal.
 

KLF

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Very cool writeup, thanks. I will be re-reading this when I put my cab interior back together. I have a couple of spare 2nd gen 4Runner interior lights to work with, and I also want some lights in the footwells and under the rear shelf.

You know what's really sad... the interior lighting in my Lexus is no better. It sucks. And the trunk lighting is even more pathetic. It's not much better in my mom's '07 ES350. WTF... is it really that difficult to put decent interior lighting in these vehicles?
 
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KLF, search Subaru Forester FootWell Kit. I plan on modeling mine after those, just likely a green or blue led instead.
 

KLF

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My car has lights in the footwells, it's about the only thing they did right. Bright when the doors are open, then very dimmed when driving.

I was in my buddy's Chrysler Pacifica the other day. Holy crap that thing lights up inside like daylight when you open a door.
 
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Great job. I put two LED's in my dome and cargo lights as well; made a huge difference. I also installed a 1st gen SR5 light/mirror assembly. The 1st gen bolts right up. I ran power exactly the way you did, from the dome light, but for whatever reason ran it across the passenger side.

The map light upgrade looks cool. What would it cost to have one of those spacers shipped to 37221, that is if your interested in making another one.

I really like how much additional light you got from the LED's.
Just get a first gen SR5 map light and it bolts right in. Make sure if you buy one (e.g. off ebay) that it comes with the metal bracket. There's no way to mount it without that. I have an install thread on here somewhere.

Edit: Here's my write-up. Unfortunately no pics but it's very straightforward: https://forum.ih8mud.com/79-95-toyota-truck-tech/218548-gen1-4runner-map-light.html
 
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Man I really need to do something like those LEDs for my dome light. There are no interior lights at all right now. The only light inside at all comes from the GPS on the dash and the radio which only has the effect of blinding you.
 
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Very cool writeup, thanks. I will be re-reading this when I put my cab interior back together.
Great job. I put two LED's in my dome and cargo lights as well; made a huge difference.

thanks guys. let me know if you have any questions on anything.

yeah i definitely wish i knew that the sr5 already had a lighted map light to begin with, but...oh well. not like i could find one in a junkyard anyway. got to work with what you got.
 

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