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BigHorn, your running boards are turning out quite nice. When you started I thought you were only improving the structural integrity of them. Which was impressive enough. But as I follow along with the other improvements with the LED lights you are inspiring me to rethink the possibilities.

Looking forward to seeing them light up now!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
With the black grommets and smoked lens they’re disappearing the way I had hoped
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(when not lit)
 

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I'm surprised, you being a welder, that you didn't just tack weld the bolt heads to the running board support. But the washer trick is pretty ingenious.

Looks good. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #24
As much as I hated to I ended up reusing the old fasteners on the plastic running boards. The 5/16-18 nuts felt like they were threading good but just wouldn’t tighten up, but the old ones still had quite a bit of bite on the plastic studs and held good.
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Discussion Starter #25
It became pretty obvious I was going to need to make some wire shielding, after a couple tries I got a pattern and can form one out in about 5 minutes (4 for each side)

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Wiring for running lights, turn signals came together. Used a 4 wire flat trailer plug harness and kept all the wiring on the frame so in case I ever want to pull the bed off again I can just unplug it. While brown is traditionally running lights I soldered yellow and green to identify the left and right running boards circuits. Heat shrink over the diode and resistor and added a piece of graphite fishing rod as a splint (black electrical tape ) to both.
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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
With the LED’s in the running boards they seemed too bright, toned them down some more— switched out the 91 ohm resistors for 330 ohm resistors. Here’s a still shot with the front end jacked up as I’m moving on to the courtesy light circuit for the white LED’s

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
I’m going to power the courtesy lights on the running boards from battery power using a 4 pin relay switched on by the dome light
circuit. I pulled my door panel and checked the wires to my light just to confirm previous posts on TDS, and they were correct: Black wire with Blue trace and a Black ground. I will be soldering in a blocking diode across the coil of the relay (reverse biased) to prevent a spike in voltage from going upstream when the relay is switched off.
Here is a copy of one of the easier to understand articles I’ve found on this:


I pulled in a body ground as well which I will probably use instead of the dome light ground. I was glad to find a rubber plug in the floor pan right above my running boards for the wires.


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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
T-Taps sure make life easy:) The two wire LED’s have a black pos. and white neg.

Using 16 gauge Black (+) and White (-) for the running lights and 16 gauge Yellow (+) and Green (-) for the courtesy lights.

I bought a weather proof box for installing the relay under the truck and weatherproof plugs where supply power connects to the running boards so that they can be easily removed from the truck in the future.

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(Post Edit- I suppose I could have run 3 wires with the white being a shared ground between both circuits- that’s what you get for letting a welder do electrical work! o_O)

Thanks for the comments guys, I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel:whistle: it’s turning out to be a lot of work for just “running boards”;)
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I went back and double checked- added diodes to turn signal pulse (yellow and green wires)

Have a slight set back - running lights and turn signals work as they should (I thought) but noticed yesterday that running lights come on when applying brake pedal. I will troubleshoot and post back what I find to correct.
 

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And you've confirmed you have the correct wiring diagram/wire colors that you spliced into? And you pulled the ground on the relay power output for the running lights from the body ground you mentioned? The ground that is part of the relay trigger circuit, is that the ground for the dome lights? Wondering how the power output from the dome light is triggering the brake lights to come on.

Had you thought about pulling the relay trigger supply from the running light circuit? Or did you not do that because you didn't want them on all the time with the running lights?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
And you've confirmed you have the correct wiring diagram/wire colors that you spliced into? And you pulled the ground on the relay power output for the running lights from the body ground you mentioned? The ground that is part of the relay trigger circuit, is that the ground for the dome lights? Wondering how the power output from the dome light is triggering the brake lights to come on.

Had you thought about pulling the relay trigger supply from the running light circuit? Or did you not do that because you didn't want them on all the time with the running lights?
I haven’t hooked up the relay, dome light yet. I’m hoping to get it wired up and tested on my next set of days off. I’m actually looking at a12V photoelectric switch that would activate the power to the relay for the courtesy lights after dark.

By chance I just happened to see my amber running lights come on when I had the door open and touched the brake pedal.

By using the trailer harness (or rear tail light power for that matter) I failed to realize that the Yellow & Green turn signal wires also carry the brake signal. I should have realized that for all the years I’ve messed around with boat trailers:cautious:. Anyway, looks like I have 3 options. Option 1- I already ordered a trailer wiring converter from etrailer.com that takes the white, yellow, and green wire and separates the turn signal pulse from the brake signal and has four output wires- white (ground), yellow (left turn signal only), green (right turn signal only), and red (brake signal). I wouldn’t use the red wire in this application. There seems to be some debate whether the converter will work with LED’s. Option #2 - is pull running lights and turn signals from the front of the truck (no brake signal) and protect against backfeed with the diodes. Option #3 - is to use two normally closed relays, and wiring running lights across pin 30 and pin 87 (normally closed allowing running lights to operate when turned on at headlight switch) and run turn signal power through pin 85 and pin 86 (the coil) so that the turn signal pulse operates the relay switch and opens and closes giving the effect of turn signals.
Midnights is a tough shift to try and get anything done while keeping a clear mind:rolleyes:
I really wanted the running light/turn signal circuit to be self contained to just the trailer wiring circuit but I’ll have to wait and see if the converter will work.
I still have plenty to do to keep me busy until it arrives. I also need to brush up on how to upload a video to YouTube so I can post it when done.
 

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Sorry. Missed the fact that you wired them up to your trailer harness. Hopefully the converter does the job for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
Bought double spade connectors for pins 85 & 86 and soldered in the blocking diode. With the marine outlet box mounted below the cab floor the relay pivots down for wiring, and then swings back up in place

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A plastic zip tie and rubber grommet made an easy way to tension the wires the length of the running board (guess I’ve watched too many Red Green episodes :p)

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Weather proof plugs installed for dropping running boards in the future

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Installed the wire shields. On occasion I drive the truck across corn stalk stubble and tall CRP. fields during hunting season, it will give some peace of mind knowing the wiring is protected.

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Hooked up battery power protected by a 1 amp glass fuse. Using my stopwatch and without the relay wired up dome light circuit shut off the interior lights at 25.57 seconds. Plugged relay in, opened and closed the door, and with the truck interior lights and running board lights on, the truck shut off power at 25.42 seconds ;) the truck definitely isn’t sensing any extra load.

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Now just patiently waiting on my 12V photoelectric switch and trailer wire converter. And thinking about adding 6 more white LED’s, 3 on each side pointing down at ground from below the runnings boards.
 

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Ah. Now I get it! That's why you were wiring it up to the dome circuit...so you would have an easy time delay circuit. I didn't catch that reasoning before. Pretty smart!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
This was an afterthought, just got lucky that the clearance under my wire shields had plenty of room to add LED’s for ground effect. Not a big deal in town with street lights but out here in the country or when parking near the timber when hunting will light up branches, mud, etc.... I actually saw an old post on TDS where one of our members had done this for the same reason. I ran four on each side, 20” apart which staggered the angle supports and gives plenty of light.

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Well, the converter isn’t going to work....so close. Everything functions as should except now when touching the brake pedal the LED’s give about a 1/3 second blip and then are out and everything functions normally. Until the next time you press brakes and again the 1/3 second blip. Talked to the manufacturer, and they stated they were aware of the issue but don’t know why...:unsure:
other than the converter was made to go from vehicle to vehicle/trailer.

So, I’ll be tapping into my front parking light / turn signals and protecting from back feed with diodes.....which I’ll need anyway when I add my 2008+ tow mirrors and will already have the wiring under the sill plates.

In regards to the LED mini bullet lights I bought I received feedback from the distributor/manufacturer... the LED’s lights have an internal resistor built in to protect them for long life and thus have a reduced forward voltage, making it necessary to wire up multiple lights in parallel. I had noticed when I got them that even two LED’s in series would not light up.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Im awfully glad I scrapped the idea of using the trailer harness. It’s been done (or tried) before looking at old posts in TDS, but coming off the front was super easy. Well, you don’t know what you don’t know. The post by nycpsd was dead on, these were the correct wire colors.

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I put in another sealed junction box and liquid seal conduit on the passenger side, picked up a couple junction blocks from the auto parts store which really simplified things for installing my diodes and resistors and cleaned up the looks of it.


Drivers Side - courtesy light relay for both running boards and junction block / circuit for left running board

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Passenger Side - junction block / circuit for right running board
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Expanded view of junction block:
A- parking light power in
B to C- Diode (preventing back feed)
D to E- Resistor
F- running light power out
H- turn signal power in
G to F- Diode (carrying turn signal)
I- 1 amp in-line fuse (F to I to LED’s)

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Tested the circuit, lights and turn signals work great. No more issue with the dreaded brake signal;)


Mocked up the photoelectric switch and is working properly, seems to be getting just enough light to keep power off until I throw a blanket across the front of the grill and then comes on. All most time to put a video together.
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I thought you were just a welder, ;) but you're a man of many talents. That's some neat electrical work. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Thanks Kevin, I’ll have to give credit to my Father....I grew up an electricians son.
 
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