For some time I have worried that visibility of my tail lights might be obscured by the various things I have attached to the Aluminess bumper. After seeing many other forum members add additional lights to the rear bumper, I finally got around to adding my own. This was a pretty simple procedure.
As you can see, the brake lights are difficult to see (note that my top brake light is also not functioning):
I found this light bar
on Amazon. It appealed to me because it was LED, the right size for where I wanted to place it and was 3-function (running light, stop light and turn signal):
First, I exposed the wires in the trailer wiring harness. I was able to find a wiring diagram online and found that the brown wire was the parking lights, the green wire was the right turn and stop and the yellow wire was the left turn and stop:
I used quick splice connectors to attach some 18 gauge wire as leads so I could do a test wiring first. I am glad I did. Initially, I connected both light's left turn wire to the trailer harness's left turn wire and both light's right turn wire the harness's right turn wire. This worked for the parking lights and the brake lights, but when the right turn signal was on, the right half of both lights would flash and vice versa for the left. I was about to pack it up and look for different lights when it occurred to me to connect both the right and left wires of each side's light to the appropriate turn signal wire of the harness so that both halves of each light would light at the same time. Probably obvious to most, but since this is not really my field of expertise, I was glad to have figured it out.
Once I was happy, I measured, marked and drilled holes in the bumper:
Then I attached the lights. I chose to mount the lights on the bottom edge so that they would not be obstructed by the cargo box:
I secured the wires and made the connections:
Then I wrapped each connection in electrical tape, bundled it up in flex tube and secured the trailer harness wires back to the frame:
Next I addressed the top brake light. I thought the first thing to check was the bulbs. After getting the light open, I found that I could not remove the bulbs. Either they are not meant to be removed, or something happened to fuse the bulbs to the holder. I know I occasionally ride my brakes, but I can't imagine doing so would cause this:
After visiting three different auto supply stores, it seemed that my best option was to adapt an LED marker light to fit my needs:
After some creative carving, I was left with this:
I did a test wiring and it worked. Here it is all connected and mounted:
The light is not as bright as I would like, so I will be replacing this with something better later on. This was my last chance to do any work before we leave on a week-long trip next weekend.
The results! This shows the running/parking lights on:
This shows the brake lights on:
Left turn signal:
Right turn signal:
I am pretty pleased. Completing this has created another problem, though. I have run out of van improvement projects.
Now that I think of it, some removable mud flaps might be nice.....
Steve in L.A.