How-to: Rear Cargo Hatch (Interior) Lights - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
 
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb How-to: Rear Cargo Hatch (Interior) Lights

An easy project which adds more light above you while the hatch is open.

Here is the final product:
...

The lights are wired to the rear cargo light. They follow the same behavior as the light; in regards to ON/OFF/Auto.


Individual Light

Here are the specs of the lights:
They are "RDL-W10 Truck Dome Light"
Their light output is pretty good for their size.

Night Photos PENDING

Tools & Materials:
  1. LED Lights
  2. 24 Gauge Wire (Standed Pair) is fine. Lights only draw ~150mA MAX (each).
  3. Coat Hanger for wire fishing
  4. Silicon Spray / Lube to lube the coat hanger and wires (if needed)
  5. Various connectors to make electrical connections easy
  6. Small screws to secure each light (4 for each)

Instructions:
  1. Remove the interior light fuse via the passenger side fuse box!
  2. Run the wire from the cargo hatch hinge (gasket) wiring to the cargo light.
  3. Remove the cargo hatch interior plastic panel.
  4. Run the wire through the cargo hatch hinge (gasket) and then down through the hatch itself.
  5. Prepare the hatch panel. Cut the rectangles to recess the lights. Drill 4 pilot holes and 2 1/8" holes.
    The pilot holes are to hold the lights in the place. The 1/8" holes are simply to allow the machine screws from the light cover to fit properly and make the light flush and recessed.
  6. Install and wire up the lights.

    I use connectors where possible to make wiring easier and can be prepared inside to make installation outside quicker. Male / Female JST connections would have been great here... Also I would recommend you give some slack to the connectors and wire. This way you can replace the light without having to remove your hatch panel. Example: the wire in my photo shows everything too tight; no slack.
  7. Wire up power to the lights

    Piggy back off of the cargo light. If you haven't already I recommend replacing the stock incandescent bulbs with LED equivalents. Remove the cargo light. Unplug the power connection. You can actually remove the female pins from the connector be pushing the little "bar" and then unclipping it. This will relieve the pressure holding the pins in place. Then use pliers to pull the RED connection. Do not pull the BLUE wire. We will NOT be using it.
    Attach your positive wire to the RED pin, and I recommend soldering it to the pin.
    Attach your negative wire to the other end of the cargo light lead. A neglected to take a picture but maybe one exists on the forum some where. Wiring it this way will allow the lights to behave as the stock light.
  8. Check your connections for shorts, continuity, etc...
  9. Install the interior light fuse and check that everything works.
  10. If all good, install the cargo hatch panel and enjoy your new lights!

Possible Enhancements:
  1. Extra light is always a good thing!
  2. A switch on the panel to turn off them off (yet leave the roof cargo light on).
  3. Anything else?

Last edited by McOtis; 04-22-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:13 PM
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Here are some photos of my install. I used the same light and it is amazingly bright, two would be perfect though. Nice job.




Wiring routing:

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Wow, crazy you using the same lights, but as soon as I saw them I knew they would work great in this application. Glad to see they are working well for you too!
The lights look stock and very professional.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:03 PM
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awesome!

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:20 PM
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What do you do for a living??? Those are some crazy sweet utility boxes you retrofitted.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macguyvermedic View Post
What do you do for a living??? Those are some crazy sweet utility boxes you retrofitted.
Electrical engineer / Maker. Making the customized battery boxes are nicer then most commercial, especially in the electrical capacity (Amp Hour) department. Plus you can add the features you want and need.
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:37 PM
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Bumping this thread too... anyone one know of a safe way to override the BCM so your dome (and new hatch light) don't time-out?
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five9341 View Post
Bumping this thread too... anyone one know of a safe way to override the BCM so your dome (and new hatch light) don't time-out?
You can power the "on" side of the switch with direct (fused) power instead of running off the BCM.

Pros: "Auto" will still work when the doors are opened and turn off after a certain amount of time
Cons: Can/will drain the battery if accidentally left in the "on" position instead of "Auto".


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Old 12-05-2016, 04:02 PM
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CLEAN install!
I put in a 48 SMD panel in my oem hatch light spot, which lights up a LOT of the ground. The area it doesn't, my aftermarket LED license plate light do get. Still, this seems like a GREAT option!

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NissTec 2in spacer, Adjustable shackles at highest, 285/75r16 BFG KM2, some Shrockworks skids, some hefty aluminum skids, White Knuckle sliders, Hardcore rear bumper, and random accessories.
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