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Old 09-16-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
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LED tailgate light strip questions

Anyone using a tailgate light strip on their Econoline? Looking for suggestions.

I never thought twice about using one of these on my truck or my van, until a few days ago when a truck was reversing out a driveway on my street. The LED tailgate light strip was white! Others probably already knew this existed, but I was impressed. Hooray for more visibility when backing up through my tinted window glass!! And extra points for more braking visibility for other drivers.

The price points are all over the place for these from $20 Amazon cheap-o's to north of $100 for more "reputable" units. I'm looking for durability (hate the look of missing/broken LEDS) and functionality.

Thanks

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Old 09-16-2019, 04:51 PM   #2
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Although I have no experience with tailgate bars, these are two companies I've used for LED lights:

* TecNiq | E45
* Vehicle Safety Light| LED Lights - Peterson Manufacturing Company

There's also:
https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Lig...P92009-48.html

A pair of these are mounted on our vans rear bumper, plus they're connected to the reverse/backup circuit, and they're much brighter than the halogen hella's:
https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...0-lumens/3542/
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the links, unreng. I’m looking pretty hard at the Putco blade as of now
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:31 PM   #4
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Got the Putco unit. The 48” fits nicely between the rear doors and the stock non-step bumper. I just removed the trim piece. It’s even nicer than expected. Very pleased so far.

However, when initially wiring the unit using the trailer wiring in the van I managed to cause the LED strip backup lights to come on simultaneously with the running lights. That is, the backup lights come on when transmission is in reverse. They also come on when I turn on the headlights/running lights. Not sure what I did wrong here. Any advice?

I tapped into the center pin wire on the 7 pin trailer wiring plug. There were actually two wires attached to the center pin, one black and one white. FWIW, I picked white. Could that have something to do with the problem? What’s the other wire for and why are there two wires?
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:04 AM   #5
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Is your 7 pin connector factory installed?

You should be connecting to a purple wire for reverse lights.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:14 AM   #6
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I guessing that it isn't factory installed. I'm not the original owner, but the hitch and 7-pin look like aftermarket add-ons.

Maybe the additional wire is for the backup camera?? From what I'm reading about installing backup cameras, some recommend splicing into a wire connected to the center pin. I'm looking at two wires that run directly into the center pin. Guess I'll trace the wires to see where they go
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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The aftermarket could be installed differently. As I researched the wiring I came across a huge can of worms as to the 7 pin connector wiring.

Ford uses the purple wire for reverse light circuit. I tapped into that near the dash for my reverse camera trigger. Perhaps put the van in reverse with engine off key on, then test the wires at the 7 pin for which has power. There is normally a wire bundle in the area that is ready for the connector install. That should narrow down your choices as one would be the reverse light circuit.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:12 PM   #8
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Success-ish! I ended up splicing into the reverse light circuit at the driver side tail light. It works as it should, I suppose.

Thanks for advice, 1der. But it turns out that I have a can of worms on the way to the 7-pin under my van. Long story short, but the significant use of duct tape and random wires run then cut in a couple places leads me to save that challenge for another day. Just don't want to mess with that anymore than I already have...swept under the rug for now
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