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Making Due...Quick Fix Tail Lights

It’s not uncommon for people to want the best equipment possible on their 4x4. Shoot…that’s what I want too. However, there are times that, not spending cash, is the name of the game too.

For instance, what if you need a set of working tail lights for streetability reasons, but you have plans for a new light configuration in the near future? Do you want to spend a fortune on lights in the short term? Most likely you don’t.

In my case, I’m trying to get a partially done project vehicle street legal so that I can sell it. I know that soon, the next owner will find a replacement pair of OEM lights. Or maybe they’ll build a new rear bumper and move the tails lights up higher to get them out of the, “constantly being broken”, zone. Either way, there’s not much reason to spend extra cash on nice taillights. Therefore, I came up with a fix for under 20 dollars.  This fix includes, the lighting fixtures, mounting hardware, and wire connection materials.

To make this work, I picked up a set of $3 each (China special) trailer lights. In total, I spent $6 on the lights. They came with bulbs too.

All that was left was the wire connecting materials and mounting hardware. For the wiring I used about 2 feet of splicing/insulation tape I had left over from another job, and about a ¼ of a roll of electrical tape.

Slapping these lights to the rear bumper only took a few wire ties to make sure they stayed in place. In a effort to keep the wires out of harms way, I used a few more wire ties to tidy and secure it all. Here’s what I did.

Step One: Even though these are cheap, and temporary lights, I still wanted them to sit relatively balanced (visually speaking) on the back of the 4x4. Using electrical tape, I temporarily tapped the lights in place and checked the spacing. While paying attention to the visual balance of the lights, I also made sure there was something to mount the lights to as well. 

Step Two: Once the location was sorted, I loosely strapped the light fixtures to the bumper with large wire ties. Making sure to pass the wires to the lights thru to the backside of the bumper before tightening the wire tires firmly.

Step Three: After testing all the wiring configurations and making sure the lights worked how they should, I spliced/connected all wiring with rubberized splicing tape and electrical tape.

Step Four: After approximately one hour of work, in which I fixed and wired both lights into the rear bumper, I gave the lighting system a final check.

All good! Now all I have to do is drive it, and off-road it until it sells with no fear of being hassled for having broken or non-functioning taillights. DONE!

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