Part 2 - Installation of the Roof Light Wiring
The following pic is the tools and equipment that you will need when doing the lighting for this MOD.
- Wiring loom
- Electrical Tape
- Circuit Tester
- Assorted Wiring Connections
- Carflex Electrical Fitting
- Carflex Electrical Fitting “Water Resistant”
- Myers Hub “Water Tight” Electrical Connector
- Greenlee ½” Knockout Cutter ($23.00) Or a Uni-Bit
- Rubber Grommets
- Liquid Electrical Tape
- Assorted size Heat Shrink Wire Wrap
- Wire Snips
- Electrical Pliers
- Wiring harness from Light manufacturer
- Permanent Marker
- Assorted Hole Saws
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Assorted Tie Wraps
- Tape Measure (Not Shown)
I want to talk about a couple of the above items, number 6, 7, 8 & 9. There are two different types of electrical fittings that you can buy. The first is what is called a “Carflex Fitting. These are “Water Resistant” not Water PROOF. They are made out of a polymer that will expand and contract. I myself didn’t know any better and bout the two that you see in the picture above. Then I spoke with my father who has been an Electrical Contractor for many years in the Industrial area. He said that most electricians don’t use the “Carflex connectors due to they leak after about 6 months to a year. He stated that most use what is called a Myers Hub, which is a true “Water Tight” connection.
Armed now with some very useful information, I decided not to use the connections I had bought. My dad sent me a Myers Hub he had along with a pretty cool little tool to make the whole in the roof with. If you do plan on using the Carflex connection or have already, just make sure to periodically check that you still have a good seal once or twice a year.
The number 9 in the list is called a “Knockout Cutter” and is used to make a nice clean hole in the material that you want to make a hole in. My father said you have to be careful when using a step drill bit or a hole saw, it has a tendency to “Grab” the metal and want to twist the drill out of your hands or damage the area around where you are making the hole. This is why he said the Knockout Cutter is used to avoid that type of situation. It makes a nice clean hole.
I’m going to start off with the rear flood lights in my case. I have a GOBI Ranger rack which came pre-wired for the rear lights. As you can see in the pic the end of the wiring is tied up in a little plastic bag, which also has (2) wire connectors too.
I first slipped on a couple of heat shrink tubing over the wires.
I then used two wire connectors to tie the wires together. As you can see, I kept black with black and white with Red. Black will be my ground wire. White on the other end will be my Hot.
I then slipped the heat shrink tubing over the connections and used a lighter to shrink the tube over the connections to make a watertight fit.
Then using a wire loom to incase the wires to make a clean professional appearance.
I then taped around the wire loom to keep any unwanted moisture out.
I then using Wire Tie wraps attached the wiring harness to the sides of the rack.
I then repeated the same process for the light on the other side in the rear of the rack. Here is a pick of the finished wiring installation.
I’m now done with the two floodlights in the rear. I will now move to the front of the rack to begin wiring the (4) main spots and the rear floods into one harness.
Now before I can begin running the rest of the wiring, I need to make a new GPS antenna mount for the rack. I used some sheet metal I had laying around in my shop and made a small mount for the antenna, I then painted it black to match the rest of the rack.
I next had to figure out where I wanted all the wires to come through the roof at. I know some make the hole closer to one side or another, this helps keeping the wiring closer to the A-Pillar. I myself decided to come through in the middle as close as I could get to the GPS antennae location, here is why. I have the Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS, the antenna has a small cable that comes off the antenna, which has a small fitting at the end. It doesn’t have much room to play with, I will have to cut the plug connection off and then splice it inside the roof-line. I used some masking tape and placed in the general area where I wanted the hole to go through at. I then placed the Myers Hub in the location and made sure my antenna mount wound not interfere, once installed.
I then drilled a hole for the cutter.
I then inserted the “Knockout Cutter“ in the hole.
I then went to the inside of the vehicle and removed the visors, GPS mount (you will need to remover your rear view mirror) along with the grab handles, then pull from the top of the a-pillar I removed the covers and the head liner was able to come down enough for me to work under the roof line.
I then installed the “Cutter” end of the knockout cutter under the roof.
Using a wrench I began to tighten the cutter down applying pressure.
Once the cutter went through, I was left with a nice clean hole in the roof to fit my “Myers Hub” watertight connection in.
I then used touch-up paint to protect the edges of the exposed metal around the hole.
I next inserted the Myers Hub inside the hole and the other end on the inside using a wrench to tighten it down nice and tight for a good Water Tight Seal.
I next used some Teflon tape for my 90 degree fitting for the hub penetration.
I decided to use some very large Heat Shrink Tubing I found at Home Depot, it’s used to make underground splices of cable. It fit perfect over my 90 along the threaded part. Once I have my wiring harness all made up and then inserted into the connection, I’ll use some heat to make a nice solid watertight seal.