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Wiring for magnetic mount light

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by kingstos, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. kingstos

    kingstos Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I just purchased a new ECCO light bar with magnetic mount and cigarette lighter cable for power. I dont want a permanent mount year round light on my truck so I'm trying to find the best way to get power to this light. I found it somewhat annoying last year while plowing that I had cold air or snow or water coming into the cab thru the small crack left open from where the wire came into the cab. no matter what window I used. Any ideas on the easiest place to pick up power outside the cab and have a weatherproof way to plug in and out? My truck is a 1998 k1500 chevy extended cab. the 3rd brake light and cab light is right there so I was thinking of tapping off something there with a female cig lighter socket , but wouldnt be water resistant. Anybody tried this , I'd appreciate the advice. thanks steve
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    That's a great way to really screw up your trucks electrical system. First off, brake lights only have power when you step on the brakes, the cargo light only has power when you turn it on which turns on the interior lights. Second, these circuits are designed only to run the light bulbs the go to.

    You have 2 real options- first my sliding rear window has a small notch ground in it to allow the antenna cable to pass through and still close the window. If I remove the antenna a dab of silicone will seal it.

    The other, better option is to use the light as it was intended- pass the power cable through the door opening, not the window. the door will close on it and the door gasket will seal around it. Plug it into the cig lighter like they have it wired for. These things can draw 14 amps (mine does) so unless you run a dedicated circuit from under the firewall around to the back underside of the cab with a waterproof connector (a cigg lighter plug is not waterproof) you have limits. If you're going to run wires under the cab you might aswell perminantly install the lights- it would be less work.
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Justme- has some good points & ideas one of them should work for you.
    I am wondering about the little amount of snow coming in the window thought the "small crack"..
    when I'm plowing I have the defrosters on med or high and the Windows half open or one closed and the other open a little, unless it's a really windy & cold storm then the window on the leeward side is open just a little, how about you guys?
    I'm putting mine on a switch & relay this year, you can still take it off the roof and store it.
  4. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Does your truck have the third door? before I wired mine up I just passed the wire through the rear door. No leaks.
  5. J & B Lawncare

    J & B Lawncare Member
    Messages: 88

    Wire thur door opening


    Yes running your wire thur the door opening works, you have yo be carefull as one day it works fine and than you find that water is following your cord into the cab. Just keep an eye on it.

    J & B Lawncare
  6. EIB

    EIB Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    First off you don't want to tap into any wire up there. All I did was to run two wires up to the third brake housing. Put a two prong trailer connector on the wires and bring it out under the brake light housing. That way you can unplug the light and take it off. Make sure you buy a second connector to plug the two together when you are not using the light. Then all you need in the cab is switched power for the light.
  7. bigjoe871

    bigjoe871 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Just finished hooking mine up as EIB suggested, Got the four wire trailer plug though and wired two for ground and two for power. Grease with di-electric liberally and should be no problem.
  8. ljbev

    ljbev Senior Member
    Messages: 201


    Make sure the wire has some slack and does not go down directly from the roof. The water will drain off the lowest point not climb back up to go in the cab.
  9. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    If you have a third window ie rear slider just close it and put a hole in it through the metal in the center big enough to just fit your wire through then put your wire through there and close the window on it. Real easy and free!
    If you are finding a problem with the water following the wire into the cab then wrap the wire with a small piece of rubber before you close the window around it. If you keep your light on through the season some bathroom caulk will do the trick and can be removed with ease after your done.
  10. kingstos

    kingstos Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks for the help!

    I appreciate all the replies to my question. I like the option of drilling or notching a place for the wire to slip in at the sliding rear window . I have some sealing compound that electricians use to seal where pipes go thru an outside wall. It will stay flexible and I can take wire in and out off season. I dont think I want to get fancy, I have had thoughts of a permanent mount and wiring but for now, this is it. Thanks again steve