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Bold move! looks very good
 

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Great description/pictures of a most needed mod. It's now on the list. Toyota should take note of the popularity of your addition and the criticism of the insufficient stock lighting.
 

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Man, I admire your patience
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Ok I'm back ... let the the dog out and watched DeVinci Code ... boy they
needed more lighting in that movie!

topic #2 - bracket making 101

once you cut the liner, take some measurements from the outside of the liner
to the inside of the roof. you should get around 1 3/4" to 1 7/8".



now, go to your light fixture and measure the amount of recess required on
the light. measure from the mounting surface to the lip of the trim piece.
In the picture, that dimension is from the table up to the trim flange,



subtract the 2 measurements and the resulting dimension tells you how far
from the roof your light needs to be so the light trim mounts flush to the
roof liner. i.e. total space on roof = 1 7/8" ; total recess on light = 3/4" ;
height of bracket needs to be 1 1/4" Note: your measurements and fixture
may be different go with your measurements. Also, I made the bracket 1/8"
shorter (1 1/8") so as to keep a snug fit against the liner.



if you look at my bracket, there are 2 legs; the short one with the drilled
mounting holes and the longer leg. the longer leg measured to the outside
is 1 1/8" tall. now you may ask why do this long leg thing? The reason here
is when you push on the light buttons, if the fixture flexes a little, the long
leg rests against the roof and it eliminates any flexing and helps stabilize
the bracket.

the short leg needs to be about 1/2" - 5/8" long so it can be mounted
and clear the cross member flange. now you will ask why isn't the short
leg flange bent at 90 degrees? 2 reasons: you can't tell by the pictures, but
the shape of the crossmember has some taper to it and the second reason
is to keep pressure on the longer leg to keep it tight to the roof. I did not
measure the angle, I "bent to fit" but the angle is about 15 degrees past 90.

if you look real close in the next picture, you will see a flange on the
cross member next to the roof. also, you will notice Toyoto does not
waste paint where it gets covered up!



now the bracket is 2" wide. I chose that because it happened to be about
the same width as the mounting surface of the light and it would not interfere
with the pivoting of the map lights.

next drill the bracket mounting holes in the bracket. I think I drilled 1/4"
holes for a #10 screw. the reason for large holes is to allow for some
error and adjustability of the bracket. then I used a large truss head type
sheet metal screw. drill these holes as far to the outside of the bracket
(about 1/4" in from the sides). you need to do this because it is going to
be real tight to get your screwdriver in to drive the screws. I put a layer
of duct tape on the edge of the long leg to cushion between the
bracket and the roof. bracket is now ready to mount.

hold the bracket in position and mark the holes on the crossmember.
use a center punch for the holes and drill away. Note, your are basically
drilling into the vertical flange and parallel to the roof. Use caution, but
unless you are a total duffus, you are not going to drill through your roof.




place your light fixture in the hole, and spot your first fixture hole. drill the
hole and put in the first screw. square up the fixture and spot the second
hole. I left the tape on the liner to use to square the light.

bracket is done! going for a snickers bar .. back in a few and will do
roof liner cutting tips.
 

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I am so not this smart
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
topic #3 - cutting the head liner (should have been topic #2 - oh well)

1st - here is some info on some PM's I got ..
- I bought Krylon Fushion #2430 Satin Pewter Gray - a little lighter
than the roof liner. not a lot to choose from. they also made flat
black in Fushion which would match the mirror.
- the light output compared to the stock lights is amazing. not sure if
this pic will help, but I'm tellin ya, I wouldn't want any more light
- roof speaker - I notice zero difference with the light in. there are
no wires in the area where the light will go.



- weight of light ... I mentioned earlier weight should not be an issue. you
could always anchor both ends of the bracket.
- cash or beer .... maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to meet some
of you guys and we'll have a beer!
- I probably missed a couple of others but I'll catch up with all of you.

On to topic #3 ...

As I mentened before, use the needle and probe for the crossmember.
You will not see the holes when you are done.

Or ......

measure from the mirror 13 7/8" and stick a needle in



lay a piece of painters tape on the liner and check for squarness from
both of the visor mounts, both sides will be equal when square



Note: place the tape to the outside ... you will be cutting to the inside.
Screw up here and you will be pissed.

lay a parrallel tape towards the visors. If you use the same light I did, 3"
inside to inside.



make sure your needle is in the center of the vehicle (side to side)
what I did is opened the rear door, placed the rear light switch in the
off position (center) and sight down that switch to the front mirror
and get the needle in line.



lay side tapes 4" on either side of the "centered" needle



be a man and cut the hole! Again, cut to the inside!



That should do it for the "nervious" part of the project.

Taking a break :bandit: .. I'll do the electrical next .
 

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Looking good Swiss... Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
topic #4 electrical ... this should about do it (I hope)

I did not get a lot of pictures here ... cruiser's outside and it's 12:17 am.
If you need more pictures, let me know and I'll get them tomorrow.

take the lense cover off of the existing center light. you will see 2
small slots on the front of the lense. take a small flat bladed
screwdriver and put the blade in the slots and give it a little twist.

on the left and right sides of the light fixture, you will see little cover
plates and they have "lock" printed on them. pop those babies off next.

damn, wish I had some pictures here ... hang on, I'll go get some.
:zzz:
:zzz:
:zzz:
:zzz:
back now ... only 1 picture didn't suck, oh well



Once the "lock" covers are removed, you will see 2 tabs (1 on either side)
that you "MUST" depress to get the light off of the roof. the fixture comes
out a little hard because it has like 50 tabs on the back side holding it.
Take your time here and jiggle it out slowly or you could damage the roof
liner.

pop the center "wire harness block" out of the light fixture
Note: this was a "finished" picture, the brown, yellow, green wires
are ones I added and we'll get to those




note the markings I put on the light wire and note the orientation of the light
black = constant power (this will go to the new map lights)
blue = ground (this will go to the new light ground)
red = "door" power (this will go to the new front center "door" light

now stop ........ climp your butt back out of the cruiser for about the 100th
time and go disconnect the battery if you have not done so already.

ok, cut the wires about 2" away from the block. you may need to try
to get a little extra slack in the line pulling from the rear. I believe the
wire must be taped to the roof or something so it may pull a little hard.
Be carefull and don't get carried away.



next you will need to fish 3 wires from the front to the rear. I used a
straightened coat hanger for this. I just happened to have some spare trailer
wiring laying around so I used it. Run 3 colors, just be sure you know what
the heck they are at the front (constant power, ground and "door" power")

tap the new wires into the existing light wires and solder the joints.
tape the joints well, but do not make a tape glob the size of texas because
when you stuff the light back in, it is gonna get tight.

now, you can do 1 of 2 things: stuff all the center light stuff back together
in reverse order if you trust your work or climb back out of the cruiser (#101)
and hook up the battery and test the new lead wires up front and then
stuff all the center light back together. I chose to forgo the test ..
Oh, make sure the "slide bar" lines up with the position of the switchy tab
before you snap the "center block" back onto the light base plate.

finally, on to the new light

one of the lights I bought just happened to have a cut off plug-in terminal
on it, so I used it.



you may get a plug, if not, you will have to splice into the new fixture wires.
Note: the following may be a bit confusing because I did not coordinate the
colors I marked on the existing center light ...

The new light in the picture is as follows:
black = ground
white = constant power (map lights)
red = "door" power (center light)



make your connections, mount the light and hook up the battery.




Note: After the battery has been disconnected, you will need to re-set
your radio, turn your seat belt buzzer back off, calibrate your compass.
All of the above can be found with the search function if you need help.

Good luck, let me know if you need more help and I am going to bed.
 

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That is fantastic. Incredible detail. I was feeling pretty good about it until the electrical section. Will have to back a reread the thread and see what I missed.
 

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awesome detail and writeup....+1 rep
 

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Great work--that takes some balls to cut into your headliner like that! Turned out nicely and definitely adds some much needed functionality to the interior lighting. Kudos for the great work and for the excellent write up.
 

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This is what make our forum so awesome. One of the best posts here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys ...

quick update, I had never thought about it before, but I think a number of
you may be bidding against each other for some of these lights on e-bay.

so here is another e-bay source that had these lights.

eBay Motors: New Chevy GMC Suburban Truck Interior Dome Map Light/s (item 250042463097 end time Nov-03-06 11:08:28 PST)

or

eBay My World - truckandrvsupply

this above listing is closed, but maybe you contact them direct and see if
they would sell one.

picked up a lifetime supply of brackets today for those that have requested
them. will try to make a couple of the "formed" ones tomorrow.

 

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This is a great mod, my hat's off to you.
Off topic questions:
Is the headliner right up against the cross-members in the roof?
Are the crossmembers spaced evenly all the way back?

I want to run some rails up in there for an overhead console, but haven't had the time to get into it yet. If there is some clearance maybe the rails can be mounted between the headliner and crossmembers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
This is a great mod, my hat's off to you.
Off topic questions:
Is the headliner right up against the cross-members in the roof?
Are the crossmembers spaced evenly all the way back?

I want to run some rails up in there for an overhead console, but haven't had the time to get into it yet. If there is some clearance maybe the rails can be mounted between the headliner and crossmembers...
There is about 1 1/4" of space between the headliner and the crossmember.
The cross member is approx 5/8" tall.
 

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Very nice job. I would appreciate more details and photos. Thanks!
 
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