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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2007 Tundra DC Limited has the built in truck bed light which you can switch into three modes: On, Door, Off. This works great and is very convenient when loading or unloading the bed in the dark. The problem is that I am installing a BAKflip bed cover on my truck and the factory bed light is on the top of the cab above the rear sliding window so it won't light up my bed at all once the lid is installed.

After considering a number of options I came up with what seems to be a perfect solution. I purchased a set of fog lights from Walmart for $15. They are made by Optronics model QH-83BD but this appears to be a model sold only at Walmart since I couldn't find the exact same unit on the Optronics website. They are fairly small with a hard black plastic case, glass lens with blueish tint, and stainless mounting brackets. They look just like this:



At the rear of the bed about 6" below the deck rails and 10" in from the tailgate there are two small holes about 3/4" in diameter, one hole on each side of the bed. I think these holes are used to bolt something in place whenever you use the stake pockets. I don't plan to use my stake pockets so I just inserted the mounting bolt for the fog light through the hole in the bed, and then I used a pair of long forceps to lower the washer, lock washer, and nut down through the stake pocket from above. I just barely had enough clearance to use a 1/2" box wrench to tighten the nut from above. The fog light was now mounted securely on the inside of the bed and I aimed it towards the front center of the truck.

For the fog light wiring I cut off the normal factory fog light bullet connectors and solder-spliced another 6' of insulated two-conductor wire. I applied heat shrink tubing to the first 12" of the power wires to protect them from the weather and keep them from snagging on anything in the bed. I ran the wire straight up to the bottom edge of the bed rail about 1" behind the end of the deck rail. There is a small opening underneath the bed rail which is perfect for running the power wire inside the back fender. I secured the power wire inside the fender with a wire-tie and then split the ground from the hot wire.

I punched and drilled a 1/4" hole in the back of the bed about 1" below the tailgate latch, aligned on center with the factory rubber stopper which is mounted about 1" above the latch. I fished the ground wire out through this hole and then soldered it onto a threaded metal pin switch, the kind that is used for vehicle alarm systems to protect the hood and trunk of a car. I screwed the pin switch into the hole in the bed metal which seals it off while also providing a ground for the light whenever the tailgate is open.

I fished the hot wire down under the truck where the tail light and trailer hitch wiring is located. All I need to do now to complete the install is to decide which power source to tap into. Ideally I would like a continuous source of power even when the truck and headlights are turned off, since it can be dark under the bed cover even during the day. I am not sure if there is a convenient source of continuous power in the rear of the truck though, so I considered wiring it to the tail light hot wire which would make the bed light work automatically whenever the parking lights or headlights are turned on. This sounds like a good solution since it would prevent my battery from draining if the tailgate is left open, however I have also considered using a continous power source and just installing a small toggle switch under the bed rail.

Does anyone know if there is a convenient source of +12V DC in the back of the truck which is always powered on? Ideally I would like to tap into the hot wire of the factory bed light which is on the cab above the rear window however I think that wiring is probably run through the inside of the cab so it would not be accessible from the rear of the bed.

I will post some pics once I decide where to connect the hot wire. It really looks great, matches my LINE-X liner perfectly, and doesn't stick out far enough to get in the way. I have already tested the light by jumping the hot wire to the trailer harness and it looks awesome, very bright and more than enough light to do whatever you need at night. It is really cool that it comes on automatically when the tailgate is opened - people will think it was a factory option.

I also have the other fog light leftover from the set so I am thinking about mounting it under or beside the trailer hitch. I could wire it into the reverse lights so it would provide more illumination for the backup camera, or I could install a toggle switch and use it as a work light when connecting or disconnecting the trailer at night. Not bad for $15 and about 2 hours worth of tinkering which includes all of my experimenting. Any ideas on additional improvements?
 

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Jedi Ninja in Training
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8,309 Posts
I can not think of a "full time" power supply at the rear, but you might want to consider your license plate lights and add a inline switch. They should be on when the parking lights are activated as well as the headlights.
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You said you will be installing a Bakflip. Will it work with the bed rail system?
The new BAKflip cover is designed to bolt into the factory deck rail system. Easy to install, easy to remove. Mine has been on order for a few weeks and is due to ship from the factory tomorrow 4/9. I can hardly wait for it to get here. I have a train horn to install as well but need the lid to protect the horn compressor which I am mounting in the bed. I am also in the process of re-badging and installing my wireless camera system now so I can't wait to get all the mods done. This is already a great truck, with the mods it is going to be an awesome truck. :)
 

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The new BAKflip cover is designed to bolt into the factory deck rail system. Easy to install, easy to remove. Mine has been on order for a few weeks and is due to ship from the factory tomorrow 4/9.
Do you mind divulging the price that you got the BAKflip cover? Also,
is it a cloth cover, or do they have harder versions? I saw those BAKflips before, but i'm not really sure I want a soft top that can be cut.
bb
 

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Back to the bed light hook-up, is there an easy or slick way to tie your lights into the truck's existing bed light system so that you can control it from the existing dash controls? I am getting a shell and have thought of doing this but not sure of the best way to wire an interior add-on light for my shell into the existing bed light system system.
 

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How about a way to tap into the existing light receptacle (above the rear window) to power the mod lights? Then control it from the dash?
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Do you mind divulging the price that you got the BAKflip cover? Also,
is it a cloth cover, or do they have harder versions? I saw those BAKflips before, but i'm not really sure I want a soft top that can be cut.
bb
The BAKflip is a hard cover, the best available IMHO after lots of research and owning / using several other products. I paid $592.13 total including free shipping and no tax since I live in TN (purchased from Realtruck.com). They also included a free $30 gift card so my actual price is $562.13 after I use the gift card to buy something else. To get this price you have to use coupon code "TOY" which gives you 7% discount at checkout. Not sure how long the gift card promotion runs. I spoke with them this morning and it should be here this week - should have the cover installed with pics before the weekend is over. Will post pics when done.
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Back to the bed light hook-up, is there an easy or slick way to tie your lights into the truck's existing bed light system so that you can control it from the existing dash controls? I am getting a shell and have thought of doing this but not sure of the best way to wire an interior add-on light for my shell into the existing bed light system system.
The power wire for the existing bed light runs through the interior of the cab between the roof and the liner. No easy way to get to it from outside the truck or I would have done exactly that. After thinking about it some more, I actually prefer having it wired to the tail light circuit. This will allow it to come on automatically whenever the parking or headlights are on and I open the tailgate, and it will also ensure that it stays off during the day or when the vehicle is off so I won't find a dead battery when I get back after leaving the tailgate open with a load of lumber. If I want it on during the day it is easy enough to flip the parking light switch just like I would have to do with the bed light switch anyway.
 

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Jedi Ninja in Training
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8,309 Posts
The BAKflip is a hard cover, the best available IMHO after lots of research and owning / using several other products.
Willee,

Do you know if this cover affects the usage of the Deck Rail Tie Down System?

I just read all the info on realtruck, but it only goes into the Titan's utilitrac, not the Tundra's rail system.
 

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Deliciously Blunt
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Wilee...so once you egt all of these mods installed in the bed of your truck, what will be the usable capacity of the bed?:clown:

Might I also reco a hammock, icemaker and wullitzer jukebox? Or possibly a flat screen TV, turntables, and a PS3 al la Pimp my Ride?

Just messin' with ya man! Cool mods, not for me, but you seem to have the technical know-how to pull it off in a clean way.:tu:


or try this thing....


I aspire to be the stupid looking fat guy on the right
:D:clown::clown::D
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Willee,

Do you know if this cover affects the usage of the Deck Rail Tie Down System?

I just read all the info on realtruck, but it only goes into the Titan's utilitrac, not the Tundra's rail system.
Search through my previous posts and you will find a thread with lots of discussion about the BAKflip. Supposedly the new model that BAK just released has bolts with square heads that slide into the existing Tundra deck rails so you don't need to remove the rail kit to install the cover and it can be removed easily. Another forum user was told by BAK that the lid rails will extend down in front of the factory deck rails when installed, and if so then the deck rail system may be useless while the cover is on.

If this is the case then I might be able to cut some access notches in the lower portion of the BAK rails to allow at least a few of the tie down cleats to remain in place even if they can't be moved once the lid is installed. In a worst case scenario I will just remove the cleats. I have 8 cleats now so I hate to lose them but there are still 4 corner hooks in the bed and with LINE-X and a cover things aren't going to move around much anyway. When I take the cover off to haul big stuff I can always reinstall a few cleats.

If you want more info then call BAK or wait until I get mine installed and post pics.
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Wilee...so once you egt all of these mods installed in the bed of your truck, what will be the usable capacity of the bed?:clown:

Might I also reco a hammock, icemaker and wullitzer jukebox? Or possibly a flat screen TV, turntables, and a PS3 al la Pimp my Ride?
Yeah yeah, I know, lots of bling on the beefy Tundra and before you know it I will have electronic suspension lift, vertical opening doors, and a "knight rider" red swooshing light bar on the front...:D

Seriously, though, I hate an over-modded vehicle or one with a bunch of cheap looking stuff on it. Most of the mods I am installing will be invisible or made to look like factory features, and they will all add some cool functionality to the truck. I do a lot of very technical work in my spare time with computers and electronics so I can't help but dream up a few must-have mods. Auto-switching wireless color night-vision camera system for blind spots, automatic bed light for under the new BAK cover, extra hitch-area light to enhance the rear camera view and light up the trailer hitch area during night time connections, etc. etc.

As a matter of fact I just came down from the garage after finishing 95% of the re-badging and getting it all set to replace the bed light switch with a better switch that I found today. On my way back up as soon as I can confirm how to remove the tail light assembly... :eek:
 

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Deliciously Blunt
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Yeah yeah, I know, lots of bling on the beefy Tundra and before you know it I will have electronic suspension lift, vertical opening doors, and a "knight rider" red swooshing light bar on the front...:D

Seriously, though, I hate an over-modded vehicle or one with a bunch of cheap looking stuff on it. Most of the mods I am installing will be invisible or made to look like factory features, and they will all add some cool functionality to the truck. I do a lot of very technical work in my spare time with computers and electronics so I can't help but dream up a few must-have mods. Auto-switching wireless color night-vision camera system for blind spots, automatic bed light for under the new BAK cover, extra hitch-area light to enhance the rear camera view and light up the trailer hitch area during night time connections, etc. etc.

As a matter of fact I just came down from the garage after finishing 95% of the re-badging and getting it all set to replace the bed light switch with a better switch that I found today. On my way back up as soon as I can confirm how to remove the tail light assembly... :eek:
LOL...no worries...I remember the night vision camera thread, and thought it was pretty damned cool...granted I was thinking of other applications...like spotting beavers in our ponds from the comfort of the cab of my truck...then shooting them...those are some destructive bastards...here's a pic of me after killing one...actually, I shot 3 and a water mocassin that weekend. They are active all times of the day, but I want to catch them at night while they're working on their lodge...


I guess it might also have some applications at coed dormitories...or something.:D
 

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Super Genius
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920 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
LOL...no worries...I remember the night vision camera thread, and thought it was pretty damned cool...granted I was thinking of other applications...like spotting beavers in our ponds from the comfort of the cab of my truck...then shooting them...those are some destructive bastards...here's a pic of me after killing one...actually, I shot 3 and a water mocassin that weekend. They are active all times of the day, but I want to catch them at night while they're working on their lodge...I guess it might also have some applications at coed dormitories...or something.:D
I tested the camera system and it works great, much better than I had planned. Effective night vision range was about 40' and during the day it is full color. If you want more light at night you just need to install an infrared spotting device which is designed for night vision. They sell them on ebay for $100 or so and you can illuminate an entire field if you get one that is strong enough. The only trouble with my camera install is that someone might steal or vandalize the cameras if I mount them externally so I am going to mount them inside the back window in the bottom corners. This means I have to take the back seats out to install the small mounting brackets and run the power wires so the camera project will have to wait until I get the other projects done. :(

Rather than kill the beavers you should trap them and then relocate the whole family at once. You might even be able to sell them. Or wrap them up and give them to your friends... ;)

Is that a Walther P-99 in your belt? Nice little carry gun for small critters up close...
 

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Deliciously Blunt
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mmm IR spotlight....now you're talking. Sucks that you have to mount the camera inside the cab. With these lights you're installing, I can just see the whole bed lighting up like a punkin....hmm, that gives me an idea...

Beavers are more fun to shoot than relocate.:D I hate moving anyway.

Yes, that is a Walther P99, 9mm. Good eye. Love that pistol! You have to have a backup when hunting beavers...wounded beavers are VICIOUS...I don't know about you, but there ain't nothin' scarier than an angry beaver:D
 

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Beavers are more fun to shoot than relocate.:D I hate moving anyway.

Yes, that is a Walther P99, 9mm. Good eye. Love that pistol! You have to have a backup when hunting beavers...wounded beavers are VICIOUS...I don't know about you, but there ain't nothin' scarier than an angry beaver:D
You guys are killing me!! :D Oh, and great idea on the lights and camera install, Wilee! :tu: :tu: :tu:
 
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