How to Wire Lights on a Truck Capby Pheori Wiley
Truck caps, or camper shells, add a sense of style and beauty to a truck as well as offer necessary and welcome functionality. Having a truck cap is a great way to carry around items without getting them wet or dirty or to provide you with a great temporary shelter when camping or traveling. Many of these caps come with lights already installed, but some do not and you will need to know how to do the wiring yourself. Though this may sound complicated, the task is simple enough for just about anyone to do.
Wiring a Truck Cap for an Internal Reading/Light Dome Light
Disconnect the battery from your vehicle; doing this will guard against damage to yourself or your vehicle in case there is a short.
Pull the dome light down from the ceiling inside the cab and strip back a small amount of both of its wires.
Push the ends of a wire quick connect through the edge of the headliner panel.
Solder the wires to the appropriate wires in the truck's dome light.
Replace the dome light into the headliner.
Mount the reading/dome lights in the appropriate locations inside the truck cap using the heavy duty mounting adhesive included in the kit connecting the wires as you go.
Feed the wires through the wire cover tube that came in the kit and then cut down the tube carefully using the heavy duty snips, being careful to not cut the wires.
Mount the wire cover tube to the truck cap using the heavy duty adhesive included in the kit.
Cut and strip a small amount off of each wire and insert the wires into the quick connect which came with the kit, securing each one with a drop of solder.
Open the small window in both the truck's rear window and the pass through window of the truck cap. Clip the joiner cable from the kit into the quick connect on the truck cap and onto the quick connect you installed in the cab of the truck.
Wiring a Truck Cap for a Collision Avoidance High Mount Brake Light
Disconnect the battery from your vehicle; doing this will guard against damage to yourself or your vehicle in case there is a short. Put on the safety goggles before you crawl under the truck to make sure you don't get any dirt or debris in your eyes.
Locate the wiring harness; this should be found on the driver's side of your vehicle. Follow it up to the taillight section of your vehicle.
Locate the green wire on the underside of the vehicle. On some vehicles the color may vary; you will be able to distinguish this wire as it will not be connected to anything else. Many manufacturers place this wire in case you want to wire a trailer into the electrical system.
Strip the end of the wire off and be sure to leave ½ inch of bare wire exposed.
Make a connection point that will connect the two wires together.
Wire the male connector to your truck cap. Use the shrink tubing to fuse the connection in place.
Wire the female connector to the green wire and use the shrink tubing to make sure the wires are securely in place.
Secure the male wiring in place with zip ties that will prevent the wiring from falling when not in use. Secure all wires in place with additional zip ties if needed.
Reconnect the battery to your vehicle. Be aware of any strange smells or popping sounds. Have a friend stand behind the vehicle while you press down on the brake pedal to make sure the light works.
Things You'll Need
- Reading light/dome light kit
- Quick connect wire harness for 2 leads
- Wire stripper tool
- Heavy duty snips
- 15mm or 5/8 socket
- 8mm socket
- Multimeter or voltage meter
- Soldering iron
- Electronic solder
- Shrink tubing
- Zip ties
- Safety glasses
- 1 set male/female wired connectors
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.