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Apologies in advance to anyone who makes one of these, sells in on a four year old web site, for too much money, and doesn't list that it fits the current generation of Xterra's in advance. :D

Bought a little 16 watt fluorescent RV light from J.C. Whitney and mounted in above the first aid kit on the back hatch. I painted the fixture's ends tactical black to match my rifle stocks and body armor.

Just remove the rubber parts of the pull handle and expose two screws and remove them. Pull out the first aid kit if so equipped and remove the 1/4" screws there. Pull the plastic out of the typical interior fasteners.

I ran the wire up/down the inside of the hatch frame, through the rubber flex conduit and into the rear of the roof area. Soldier to the two wires that run the rear stock light and you're done. When the hatch is opened power will be supplied the light. If the local on/off switch on the light fixture is on the tubes illuminate and put out a whole bunch of light.

I mounted it above the first aid kit to avoid smacking the thing with junk in the trunk. I went to bend some aluminum into a "U" shape but my darn bending brake isn't strong enough to bend the thickness I wanted. I'll retro fit the thing if I have to later.

J.C. Whitney sells bigger ones and smaller ones. The stock wires aren't "that" big so you really should use either LED's or fluorescent tubes vice halogen or other incandescent lights.


16W is a bit of light. Enought to play cards by but not enough to drain the battery or do surgery by.

 

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I like this.... I only have one concern. If you are carrying a load of cargo and it slides around couldnt the bulbs get hit? Does it come with some sort of cover (It doesnt look like you have one on there)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DBAX said:
Bugs? Insects?
I live in Southern California - we literally don't have bugs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
S_e_X-Terra said:
I like this.... I only have one concern. If you are carrying a load of cargo and it slides around couldnt the bulbs get hit? Does it come with some sort of cover (It doesnt look like you have one on there)?
There's a pretty thick plastic lens that covers the tube - but like you pointed out, sliding stuff is a concern. On my first off road trip with the local club I found that gravity is OK for the highway but not the high way! Not much slides around in the back now. That corner is where the cooler goes and I do want to get the local metal shop to bend that bit of aluminum flat stock that I cut. It's 13" long to run the whole lenght of the fixture and protect the switch and about 6" wide - 3" under the unit and 1.5" "wings" to protect the cover.
 

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Paul,

I think that's a very cool mod for sure. If it were me, I would make some kind of quick-disconnect. I know I'd smash it with stuff in the back.

Miles,

No idea if they ship internationally; I would suppose so; they are an online automotive retailer:

J.C. Whitney
 

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that's cool, will do that mod down the road. Wonder if there is a spot in the hatch that could be cut into to recess the light?
 

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for those worried about things sliding around, I wonder if you could mount it up by your third brake light. You would have to run the wires another way but might be an option.
 

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Nice Mod!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Post installation test completed. I drove +600 miles on and about 100 off-road on this most recent weekend. Nothing black diamond but some pretty good 4WD required shelf roads. I was off road for three days. On day one I tried to break the light by putting the large "tupperware" tub on that side of the truck up against the light. Inside is about 40 pounds of camping gear - shovel, ax, lanterns, tent, ground cloth, stove ... and the top of the container was a perfect match to the light. I did however do the minimum amount of care and put two bungies around the thing (I didn't want to kill myself for science!). No damage. Days two and three I tried putting the electric cooler on that side hoping the harder plastic of the cooler might do some damage - none noted.

I used the light Saturday night during a rain storm the light was nice and bright lighthing up the tent area for pitching. I left the thing on for an hour while off cooking and found that the truck started right up. I wouldn't leave the thing on over night but an hour no worries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Years later and the thing is still working great!
 

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All (02) Photos placed into PB's Purgatory, have been Resurrected for this Thread! :thumbup:
 
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