Monday, July 18, 2011

Project: Dually Conversion on the Pickup—Cab Clearance Lights Installed

Well, another day, another little update. Managed to figure out a method of getting my measurements right so I could properly position my clearance lights on the cab of the truck.

I had a pleasant surprise when I unpacked the clearance lights to do the job today. Figuring that they were like RV Lights with a recess in the back to pack the butyl tape, I originally had planned I would need to caulk the bases to get them seal to the cab.

Upon unpacking them, I discovered the lights actually came with a nice thick rubber gasket on the bottom that clamps down firmly to the roof of the vehicle to seal it in place across the entire base of each light, so no extra sealant was necessary.

Getting the lights in place and marked with my pencil was actually easiest part of the project. The wire snaking project that came next was a test of my patience and ingenuity.

After several failed attempts at free-feeding the thin wire for the lights and having it go every way but where I wanted it to, I ended up having to use an old section of 8-gauge THNN as a wire snake to feed the section of 12 gauge wire for the positive leads from the lights (They were designed from the factory to ground to the sheet metal) through all five holes and down into the cab.

I tapped it into one of the front running lights to power them (just physically could not reach the head light switch, took half the dash apart in the attempt and tore up my hands good, but finally gave up and tapped into easier to access wire in the engine compartment.

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P1110138After all was said and done, I decided to gas up the truck (buy dumping the generator fuel I’d been keeping in the tank), take a chance and drive her in tonight to get online.

My main motivation on driving the truck in was having to jump start myself off my secondary battery, left the passenger door open a little too long with the starter battery already being low from sitting for long periods of time with the radio slowly consuming its reserves.

After that little escapade, it was obvious to me that the battery needed charging and driving the truck was about the only way I was going to get it done (I don’t have a free standing battery charger, yet).

Once I procure the 5 additional clearance lights I need (4 for the fenders, 2 amber, 2 red, and one 3 light strip for the center of the rear), I will have completed all of the major work in the dually conversion.

If some how I can managed to round up some gas money in August (provided work doesn’t come through with a contract for me), I’ll load up the camper and take her out to the Columbia River Gorge to ride a trail that was made from an old section of the Historic Highway 30 that was recovered a while back.

2 comments:

  1. You go boy! Looks fantastic! Now time to go relax and enjoy the fruits of all that work! Have a great weekend!

    Erik

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  2. No rest for the wicked, worked till nearly 4am last night finishing up the lights and fenders. Just sat down after a shower from cleaning off the dirt from remounting the tires.

    Will have another blog entry on the closure of the project later today :).

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