I know a lot of this info is on the forum in different places, but I thought I would try to help the fellow newbies with this post on installing LED's on the 4th gen trucks.
I am a recent covert and mod addict, but have really limited mechanical skills, so I apologize ahead of time for some of the mistakes I made along the way - hopefully someone out there can learn from them.
Also, a ton of props and thanks to SS4Luck for all the LED info he has posted - it helped me a whole lot. Also, thanks to Brad12kx for the wiring on the rear brake lights.
Parts List (from Superbrights.com)
Cargo --> 921-NW12 (2), 921-R12
License --> WLED-CWHP15TAC (2)
Reverse --> WLED-CWHP15TAC (2)
R. Brake --> 3157-R45-T (2)
Map --> 921-W9 (2)
Dome --> 4410-CW9
Resistors for R. Brake --> RL-650 (2) (See below)
Resistors for Cargo --> 100 Ohm 1W resistor from Radio Shack
- to install, crawl under the back of the truck, reach up and twist the light out of the socket. The bulbs should pull out easily and the replacement slide in without problems.
- first, SS4Luck's stick for LED FAQ myths and FAQ has a video that shows you how to open the dome light cover. Once you have it opened, simply swap the bulb out. For me, it was a little tough because I had fat fingers, but it should be easy for everyone else.
- the same sticky above has a video for getting into the map lights. Once you have the covers off, find someone with small fingers. I couldn't get a hold of the bulbs to save my life. Finally, my wife was able to get them out. Once you finally
get them out, the new ones plug in.
Cargo Lights and 3rd Brake light
- here is where the fun started. I got the 3rd brake light off easily with a screwdriver. To replace the bulbs, I highly recommend you disconnect the whole 3rd brake light from the truck wiring - there is a connector and its easy to unplug. Once its off, the housings all twist off easily and the bulbs are easy to swap. I got everything put back together and tested the lights, and I got the dreaded glowing issue with the cargo lights. They glowed for about 2 minutes and then stopped, so I left them for a week but it kept bothering me, so I finally decided to take the plunge and add a resistor.
Cargo Light Resistor
- I will tell you ahead of time that this is not for someone like me with fat fingers. I have attached two pictures that show how we soldered the LED over the 921 bulb. I couldn't do it, but my wife worked in electronics in the past, and it took her all of 10 seconds to do it. After you solder the resistor to the LED bulb, you want to install that bulb in the side of the cargo lights that has 2 brown and 2 black wires installed. Once you get the bulb installed, you have to gently thread the bulb/resistor into the housing, but if you go slow, it should work just fine.
Rear Brake Lights
- here is where the fun started all over again. Even through I read the forums and did all my research (and bought the resistors ahead of time), I thought my truck was blessed / possessed / different, and I wouldn't need the resistors. To take off the tail lights, lower the tailgate and use a torx screwdriver to remove the two screws that hold the taillight one. After that, pull straight back from the truck and the taillight should "pop" out. Once you have the taillight off, you can twist the light housings, pull them out, and swap the bulbs. To put them back, you do the reverse. I did all this and thought life was grand, and when I went to test everything, I got the dreaded hyperflash. Delusionally thinking it would go away, I went ahead and drove that way for a week. Obviously, it never did, so on we go to the next step.
Rear Brake Lights 2 with Resistors
- once you get fed up with the messages and hyperflashing, or you just decide ahead of time that you will have this problem and deal with it up front, you will need to take the taillight off to install the resistors. Once you have the taillight off, you will need to identify the correct wires. Here is a handle chart, which I found from a post by Brad12kx:
On the left side -
White/Dark Green - Stop/Turn
White/Light Green - Tail marker
Black - Ground
On the right side -
White/Yellow - Stop/Turn
White/Violet - Tail marker
Black/Grey - Ground
Here are the instructions for the installation:
1. Tear off the electrical tape holding the wire cover and pull the three wires out of the cover so you have room to work.
2. Use the included terminal connectors to splice into the wires you need - you need the ground and the stop/turn. To splice, you insert the wire from your taillight into the side of the terminal connector that goes all the way through, and then you install the resistor wire into the side that does not. Once you have them all installed, use a pair of pliers to firmly
press down on the metal splice for the connector. If you are like me, the wires will move or you wont press firmly enough, so the first taillight you do, you will spend 45 minutes getting the two wires spliced. You know you have it spliced when you can see the metal piece look like it goes through your taillight wire, and the resistor wire is firmly locked into the terminal.
3. Once you have the resistor installed, push as much wire back into the cover as you can, and then use electrical tape to close the end. You will have some leftover and that is OK.
4. I went ahead and used electrical tape to tape the long wires for the resistor to the outside of the cover so that I could push the resistor into the truck bed - it should easily fit back in and you can see it hiding back there in one of the pictures attached.
5. Once that is done, go ahead and reinstall everything and put your taillight back on.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the other side. If you are like me, the first side will take an hour and the second one will take 10 minutes.
Once all that is done, turn your truck on and turn your lights on. You will still
get the error message and still
have hyperflash. Get mad, cuss, and throw a few things. Shut the truck off and turn it back on. From there, turn your lights on and go inside and get a beverage (your choice on which one). When you get back, the errors should be gone and the hyperflash should be gone. I don't know why, but it took a few minutes for my truck to understand that the resistors were there and start working right.
Anyway, I hope this helps the newbies out there, and I hope the guys who have done this a few hundred times got a little something out of it (at least a laugh or two).
Here are the results (sorry, its an iPhone):
(Yes, that is an S&B CAI intake in the back seat - will be trying to install that soon).