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License Plate LED Light Addition for Hitch Mounted Tire Carrier

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by Cowboy59, Mar 14, 2021.

  1. Mar 14, 2021 at 9:38 PM
    #1
    Cowboy59

    Cowboy59 [OP] New Member

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    I purchased a Rigd tire carrier, which you can read about in my build thread below.

    https://www.4runners.com/threads/cowboys-first-4runner-and-chronicle-of-mods-upgrades.18688/

    This post will detail how I added the wiring for the license plate lighting in such a way that the tire carrier can be easily removed. Links to all products used can be found at the end of this post.

    I started by mounting the led lights to the license plate. The wires for the lights are very thin and could be easily broken, so I joined the leads to some 16 ga wiring using shrink wrap joints with solder. Simply insert the wires and apply a heat gun. I then put shrink wrap over the wires for a further layer of protection. The new wiring for the LED lights was then joined to a pair of 16 ga wires and run through non-split wire loom. The loom was then affixed to the tire carrier using 3M stick on zip tie mounts. If you get the zip tie mounts, be sure to get the genuine 3M brand and not some of the Chinese knock-offs that claim to be 3M.

    Here is a photo of the finished wiring on the tire carrier.

    PXL_20210315_030948230.jpg

    PXL_20210315_030959956.jpg

    From there the wire loom goes down by the side of the hitch and up in behind the bumper as shown below.

    PXL_20210315_032938989.jpg

    I then ran the wire up toward the trailer receiver plugs. You will see in the photo below where I connected a two wire waterproof disconnect plug. This enables me to remove the tire carrier by simply unplugging the wires from underneath the bumper.

    PXL_20210315_033000737.jpg

    Here is a close up of the two wire waterproof plug female side, with the wire extensions I added prior to shrink wrapping.

    PXL_20210314_213724020.jpg

    The 5th Gen 4Runner has two trailer receptacles, the 7 pin and the 4 pin. The wiring for the 4 pin is actually fed from the 7 pin. So there is a single wiring plug that that feeds the 7 pin harness, which feeds the 4 pin harness.

    I started by unplugging the wire connector from the 7 pin receiver. There are no clips to undo, simply pull it up and off.

    PXL_20210314_204150152.jpg

    As you can see above, I removed the blue tape and pulled down the loom to expose the wires. I then unfolded the wires as seen below.

    PXL_20210314_204948349.jpg

    I then spliced in the other half of the two wire water proof plug in order to complete the wiring for the LED lights. I added my own wiring to the two wire disconnect plug and added the shrink wrap. Below is a photo showing the completed splice of the ground wire (white) and beginnings of the splice for the running lights wire (green).

    PXL_20210314_221050997.jpg

    I then refolded the wiring, pulled back the loom and re-taped with new tape. Then all that was left was plugging the wire socket back into the receiver. Below is a photo of the finished wiring.

    PXL_20210315_021928094.jpg

    Now if I ever want to remove the tire carrier, it is a simple matter of unplugging the LED lights wire from underneath the bumper. And I still have both the 7 pin and 4 pin trailer harnesses available to me.

    Here is a photo of the lights when on.

    PXL_20210314_225438169.jpg


    Here are links to the products I used.

    LED lights:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077Z6WQ6Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8

    wire loom:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085HCXPJH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8

    3M cable ties:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081JXMJ8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8

    waterproof two wire connector:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QGZYXDR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01?ie=UTF8

    solder seal wire connectors:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073RMRCC3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s02?ie=UTF8

    heat shrink tubing:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QT741DV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8

    Hope this helps someone else in there efforts to add license plate lighting to a rear hitch mounted tire carrier.
     
  2. Mar 16, 2021 at 9:26 PM
    #2
    1Louder

    1Louder New Member

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    Victory 4x4 Roof Rack and sliders, Ironman Stage I Foam Cell lift kit, General Grabber AT/X 33" tires.
    Awesome job. I am currently using the 4 pin connector to power my lights meaning I wired them to a 4-pin cable and only used the white (ground) and brown (taillights) wires. I really didn't want to feed the wires through the truck and into the taillight assembly. Great solution you have. I guess I will have to take my stuff apart and do it over one more time. I am currently using a simple DC plug male/female but I like your solution a lot better.

    Thanks for the write-up!
     
  3. Mar 16, 2021 at 9:39 PM
    #3
    Cowboy59

    Cowboy59 [OP] New Member

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    Glad to hear the post is of benefit to you. I always hope my posts for solving a problem help somebody. I never liked the idea of always having a plug connected to one of the trailer plugs. I guess I am a bit anal that way.
     
  4. Mar 27, 2021 at 4:56 PM
    #4
    1Louder

    1Louder New Member

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    I did the truck side portion last weekend. Nicer than plugging into the 4 pin. I will eventually change the swing out side but I’m in no rush. Thanks again.
     
    Cowboy59 [OP] likes this.
  5. Mar 27, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    #5
    Gamma Ray

    Gamma Ray New Member

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    Couldn't you just buy a 4 (or I guess 7) pin plug with the necessary wires and wire it up to the plug? Then you could just plug into the regular socket to light the license plate lights.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2021 at 6:37 PM
    #6
    1Louder

    1Louder New Member

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    That was my old setup. I didn’t like the look of it. So I clipped the 4-pin connector on the cable and tapped into the factory wiring.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2021 at 6:50 PM
    #7
    Gamma Ray

    Gamma Ray New Member

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    Cool. So it does work. I figured so, but it's good to know for sure. I'm thinking about getting a Rigd Ultraswing myself. I don't care if I get a crappy looking cable going into the socket :D
     
  8. Mar 27, 2021 at 6:58 PM
    #8
    1Louder

    1Louder New Member

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    I tow and use the 7 pin. In order for the old setup to work I had to remove the door and spring on the 4pin. That was annoying so I switched. It is a quick way to do it, not that the original mod is hard. The wiring is overkill in the 4pin harness but I like how durable the cover is.
     
  9. Apr 2, 2021 at 7:20 AM
    #9
    Cowboy59

    Cowboy59 [OP] New Member

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    You can certainly do this, but then the plug cannot be used for a trailer.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2021 at 1:46 PM
    #10
    Gamma Ray

    Gamma Ray New Member

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    But then wouldn't you have a trailer license plate in the far back anyway?
     
  11. Apr 2, 2021 at 1:54 PM
    #11
    1Louder

    1Louder New Member

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    I believe what they are stating is you can't use the 4 pin for anything else. The 7 pin still works. It is not hard to splice the wires though. If you do that then you don't have to occupy the 4 pin plug.
     
    Cowboy59 [OP] likes this.
  12. Apr 3, 2021 at 5:39 AM
    #12
    Cowboy59

    Cowboy59 [OP] New Member

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    In Florida, you have to have a vehicle tag and a trailer tag. The tags are different. So no avoiding have both or having both lit.
     
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