How to Install Roof Truck Lights

by Pheori Wiley

Roof lights make any truck look better. They give the truck a tougher, stronger look. Getting roof lights installed on your truck professionally is a very expensive upgrade; luckily, this is something that you can do easily on your own with a little help from a few of your buddies. The project uses simple tools and a kit you can get from any auto parts retailer. Within a few hours you can take your truck from wimpy to gutsy and start getting the respect you and your truck deserve.

Prepare the Truck

Remove everything that is attached to your headline inside the truck; this includes the sun visors, lights, and heads up control panel if there is one. If your truck has a sunroof, carefully remove the trim piece that surrounds the sunroof and peel the headliner away from the seal of the sunroof. All of these components come off with a small Phillips screw driver.

Remove the four corner trim pieces from inside of the cab using the Phillips screwdriver. Once they are away the headliner will simply drop down and slide out of the cab. It is very fragile so be careful not to crease it as you will be reinstalling it when you are done. If your truck has a sunroof, be especially careful not to let the headliner bend too much as it will affect how it sits with the sunroof opening.

Using the hole saw drill holes through the roof. You will notice that the truck already has a layout for the holes on the interior of the trucks roof. It is recommended that you use this layout as it is what is considered to be the best looking for your particular model truck.

Remove the headlight switch access panel from the side of the steering column using a small flat blade screwdriver to simply pry the cover off. You should see a wire that is black with yellow stripes, if not then stop and refer to a Chilton Guide to determine the appropriate wire for the extra accessory lights circuit.

Install the Lights

Cut out the paper template and ignore the through lights on the template as you have already cut those holes.

Place the template on the top of the truck's roof and line up the holes you made with those on the template; secure the template down with tape

Using a nail, tap or press a small indention into the truck roof where screw holes are indicated on the template. This will help to hold the drill bit in place and prevent the bit from slipping around scuffing up the roof paint.

Drill through the roof with the ¼ inch drill bit.

Insert the bulb holder into the holes that you drilled first. The retainer clip should pop on to hold the bulb holder in place.

Mount the bulb socket into the bulb holder.

Mount the bulbs into the sockets.

Mount the lens covers onto the light fixtures but do not tighten them down yet.

Wiring the Lights

Connect the ground wire from the lights to any metal non electrical surface on the roof.

Run the power line down the driver's side roof support pillar until you reach the dashboard, then feed the wire through the dash from underneath and up the steering column.

Splice the power line to the lights using the black wire with yellow stripes you identified earlier. To do this, expose the wires and solder them together. Cover the new connection with electrical tape.

Test the lights. Be sure to watch for sparks, smoke, funny smells and popping sounds. If the lights do not work or if you blow a fuse immediately after turning them on check all of your connections and your ground. If you cannot get things working right, take the truck to a professional who is knowledgeable about auto electrical wiring.

Finish Up

Use RTV sealant on the gaskets around the lights to keep water from getting into the holes of your truck's roof.

Screw down the light lenses at this time.

Replace the headlight switch panel by pressing hard on the panel with your hands. It should just pop into place easily

Reinstall the headliner using the reverse procedure you used for removing it. For a sun roof you will need a tube of light multi surface bonding agent to adhere the headliner to the sealing gasket of the sun roof before reattaching the sun roof trim panels. Simply brush the compound into place with the included brush and using latex gloves. Gently press and smooth the fabric onto the sealing gasket.

Reattach anything that was removed from the ceiling, Sun visors, overhead control panel covers, light covers, etc.

Items you will need

About the Author

Pheori Wiley is a freelance writer who has written articles for Helium and Associated Content, among others. She has been writing professionally since 2003 and has used her knowledge of programming, Web development and auto repair to share in her writing what she learns from her day-to-day adventures.