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Custom tail lights


Mackhedq

New Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
18
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
minnesota
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
If youre gonna be dumb you gotta be tough
After breaking too many tail lights i finally made my own. The plastic is just too brittle in the winter and they shatter with any little tap I feel.

I got my original idea off a guy on Instagram who i cannot remember for the life of me now. This is for an old dodge i believe.
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Now on to mine. This is them finished and in my truck. All the hardware is stainless steel, they are painted with steel-it and then Rustoliem Hammered Black over top. The side light are just 6" oval trailer lights and the rear are "3 in 1 sequential led tail light 8" oval" on eBay. I would share a link but the name changes weekly. I used 16g steel metal, two hammers and a 2" pipe clamped in my vice to shape and form these.

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For the starting shape i just traced a stock tail light onto cardboard and cut it out of the steel metal. Then I just used that little mapp gas torch to help heat and bend it around a pipe. Id fit in in the bed, mark where to bend it and repeat. Once i was happy with the lights I marked where I wanted the lights and cut the holes out with a hole saw and grinder.
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This is the tail lights after I cut them. I had to adjust and re-bend the steel a bit after cutting out the holes for the lights. A major thing is I wanted was the lights to be flush with the metal. I used those stainless screws and some plastic bushing to space the lights back to where i was happy. Each bushing needed to be ground down with a dermal to get the fitment i was looking for.

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Now for my favorite part. Wiring!! none of these lights came with wiring diagrams but that was easy to figure out. I just soldered all the grounds together then figured out figured out which wire was brake, turn and running light. Remember to clearly mark what is what on the plug, I did not and it was a headache once i was adding the plug onto my truck I heat shrinked everything in the end to help waterproof all my wiring. I think i hit my picture limit on this post so Ill be making a part two next.
 

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Last edited:


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 7FA902352B4C01: April 5th, 2021

Mackhedq

New Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 6, 2018
Messages
18
Reaction score
13
Points
3
Location
minnesota
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
If youre gonna be dumb you gotta be tough
This is where i started messing around putting them on the truck. The first thing i did was label and the cut the stock bulbs out, next I stripped back all the grounds to where they split off and just ran one wire. Now if you marked everything it should be easy to just solder on a plug to the ranger harness and let it rip but I didn't.... I had to do trial and error getting the lights to work right. I also found out my trucks cruise control was feeding 6v into the ground on my truck so the light were doing weird things as i was trying to figure this all out. For the flasher relay find one that has two prong and a third wire you tie to ground unless you want to put inline resistors in which defeats the purpose of the leds.

I had forgotten to address reverse lights on these. My reverse lights are mounted up on my topper, I have two pod up there. I took the wire from the harness and extended to my reverse lights. I added a plug just inside the topper so when I take it off they just unplug and I use the third brake light/reverse.

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To mount them I made 4 small blocks of hdpe plastic and screwed them into the stock tail light mount holes. Then I screwed my new tail lights to those blocks, Besides cutting the wiring i could put stock tail lights back in still. So far ive had these on for about a year with no issues at all. Never been bothered by the cops and they haven't broken or burned out yet
 

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RobbieD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
1,845
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83
Location
Georgia
Vehicle Year
1984,1990,1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
My credo
Toonces drives a Ranger . . . . just not very well.
That's creative, and nice workmanship, too. I like it.
 

cbxer55

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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,062
Reaction score
199
Points
63
Location
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Automatic
It is cool. I hope he lives in a place like I do, where the police won't hassle him over them. My Ranger doesn't have any reflectors and all the lenses are crystal clear. In the past, the police would stop you and write a fix-it ticket for them. That's according to a friend who has lived in this area all his life, while I moved here in 2002. I've never been bothered. My Lightning has one-off custom made LED tail lights. Front corner lights have no reflectors and are white LEDs. Never been bothered. My Mustang has smoked out lights in all positions. Never been bothered.

Here's hoping the OP is never bothered.
 


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