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Old 08-19-2018, 09:31 PM   #1
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Ford Transit - Switch install for rear cargo lights

Cargo Light Switch Project - info and pics:

Transit folks, this solves the very first world problem of not having a convenient way to keep the interior cargo lights from coming on when the doors open and waking your sorry ass up in the middle of the night when your daughter or son or wife goes outside to take a leak.

Pics below.

Sorry if should be posted elsewhere.

1. Locate empty dummy switch/accessory socket on dash. Mine was top right.

2. Run 2 16 gauge wires from hole at empty socket to fuse box under/right of steering column. (You can just carefully pull the plastic panel off there, exposing the fuse box etc inside.) Use a coat hanger to find the route for the wires and tape the wires to the coat hanger to get them through. Cut to size-ish.

3. Attach switch to wires with appropriate size connectors. Buy the switch here: https://m.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Transit-...anner=1&_rdt=1

4. Identify the fuse that controls the rear interior lights. See manual or google your manual - found at ford website. On my 2018 3.5 EB it was F32. Remove the fuse and keep it for later step.

5. In one of the black wires you just ran, cut 4-5 inches off and replace that length you removed with a fuse holder. Buy fuse holder here: 3 Pack -12V Water-resistant Add-A-Circuit Blade Type Inline Fuse holder with Cap16 Gauge (Larger) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018W2T7XS..._uSDEBbY91PK8W

Note: to do step 5 you will have to cut the loop of red wire in the middle of the loop of the fuse holder so the fuse holder then has two wire ends. Connect one wire from fuse holder to the black wire you just shortened. I used a wire nut because it’s still 1977 where I live.

6. Now you have two bare wire ends (one running all the way to switch, one running to the fuse holder). Both these wires go on the upper end to the switch. As for the bottom, bare ends, now connect those to a fuse extender using normal connectors like you purchased and used to connect the wires to the switch. Purchase fuse extender here: https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...0447?prds=cs:1

In the pic I failed to get the yellow fuse extender fully in the frame. It’s on the left and you can see the wires attached to it.

7. Push the fuse connector carefully into the socket from which you took the fuse in earlier steps. Then, open the black fuse holder and get the fuse you removed in earlier steps and install that fuse in there.

8. Test the switch a few times. If it works and the light times out/shuts off as it did before, and the van does not burst into flames, re-affix the big plastic panel covering fuse box area. If the van bursts into flames, vacate the van, notify loves ones who may be nearby, and contact emergency personnel.

Now you have a kill switch for those lights. Think of off position as “I want to sleep and stay asleep” mode. And on position is just normal mode.

Enjoy! —- YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY AND BE CAREFUL WITH ELECTRIC STUFF SO YOU DON’T GET HURT OR BURN DOWN YOUR VAN——

-SD

Pics:
Attached Thumbnails
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A353824E-075E-4D73-A6F7-370F6FB79AAD.jpg  
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:36 AM   #2
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Cool Dave, isn't it nice how Ford decided to make the fuse box on the Transit completely inaccessible to anyone with normal size hands? And you get cut up to boot! Thanks Ford!

Stuff like this REALLY gets to me, as does stuff like your problem you had to fix. I'm sure it never occurred to Ford that this would be the next Econoline, and would be used by people for a million different reasons and need to be modified.
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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I actually didn’t have any problem accessing the fuse box or the fuse I was looking for, but it may be just that that particular fuse was in a convenient location. Also, I recently moved from a Vanagon to a SM Transit, and so far the Transit has been way more convenient in this regard than my old Vanagon - so I’m comparing a modern vehicle to a 30 year old antique!!

But I agree, it would have been simple, I would think, to make it to where you could toggle the rear interior cargo lights with a master on/off. Jeez, the front dome lights have that (as do most modern vehicles) with just a three-way switch on the dome light fixture itself. Move that technology 15 feet to the rear and voila, this switch would (1) be accessible from the back and (2) eliminate the need for a switch mod.

Newer Transits like mine DO have a little button in the way back (near left rear door hinge, inside) that toggles the rear cargo lights on/off but it only functions if the rear cargo lights are already on. So, no way to keep them from coming on, (when you don’t want them to) which is what my mod above does.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:16 AM   #4
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Cool. Yep, something Ford surely should’ve thought of. I’m Vanagon friendly as well. I do know the bliss you’re experiencing, in general.

My 2015 has no such switch at all in the back but I ripped the factory headliner and all lights out anyway.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:41 AM   #5
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Haha, bliss indeed. Example of such bliss is putting almost 10k on the van over 13 states in 5 months and never even once worrying about breaking down. :-)
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:49 AM   #6
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Assuming that switch is backlit, check it at night to make sure you don't have a really bright green light starring you in the face while you drive. Some lit switches are amazingly bright, making them easier to locate, but some can be really distracting.

Really nice, concise write-up BTW.


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Old 08-20-2018, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thanks - and thanks!!!
It is not illuminated. I think there’s a low-V attachment on the back of the switch that would allow it to be illuminated, but I chose not to connect that (whatever it does) for that exact reason.
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