It is my first time posting here and my first GM truck (2018 Sierra 1500). Before I jump into the topic here is what I have done to the truck to date:
• Relay/Fuse Box install
• LED RGB rock lights / ground effects and blue tooth controller
• Rough Country 2” level
• Black door handles and mirror caps (chrome delete)
• TruXedo Pro X15 Soft Roll-up Truck Bed Tonneau
• LED reverse and center high mount lights
• Husky front and rear floor liners
• Under seat storage box in the rear
I love LED lighting, so once I got the truck I started researching what the best ways were to hook up AUX lighting or accessories. I did a few searches on power sources, switch mounting, and the best way to run wires from the engine bay to inside the cab. I was able to gather a few pieces of information, but still had multiple pieces of the build to develop to connect the dots.
This is where I decided I was going to build a relay/fuse panel to control up to 5 aftermarket electrical accessories.
Build detail (pictures below):
• Create a relay/fuse panel with 5 relays. Mounting location is the opening for the second battery. I started with a 12”x12” piece of 1/8” thick ABS from amazon and laid out my parts then cut off the excess material with a dremel. Items I mounted to the panel – 6 output fuse block, 5 40 amp fuses, 10 position double row screw terminal block, and a 100 amp mini bus bar for the grounds. My relays came with 6 inch pigtail wires, but that was not enough length for all my runs so I removed all the wires and made new wires for each position to the required length to keep it clean. To connect the ABS fuse/relay panel to the truck I did not want to use self tapping screws as the holes become stripped after ~4 insertions so I ended up installing 4 rivnuts, which turned out to be awesome and allow me to use 4 bolts to install the panel so I can remove and install it as many times as I need. Highly recommend using these for mounting items in the engine bay.
• Create a mount to hold my Bluetooth controller for my LED rock lights. Mounting location is the opening for the second battery. To connect this mount I used two existing bolts in the second battery pan so I wanted to use a thicker piece of ABS. I used 1/4” thick ABS and it is very strong. I cut the ABS with a dremel then used a heat gun to bend the mount into shape to keep the Bluetooth controller horizontal to the ground.
• Use a fuse tap to tap into the heated steering wheel 7.5amp fuse located in the driver’s side fuse block to energize the relays. This fuse is only powered with the ignition on so if I forget to switch off lights they will automatically turn off when I shut off the truck. My relays only require .3amps each to energize them so with all 5 on at the same time they would only be pulling ~1.5amps
• Create a wire harness with 6 wires that run from the engine bay to inside the cab using the cap located by the drivers door hinge on the drivers side. 5 16AWG wires for switches and 1 10AWG wire for potential powering switches if I want some accessories to not be limited to “ignition on” only. Wrap the wires in wire loom to protect them. I then sliced a hole in the cap and slid my wires through the insertion so that when the wires are back on the truck the cap still provides a weather tight seal. Where the wires go through the cap I used a piece of heat shrink so the cap would seal tightly against it.
• Pull power direct from the battery into a 100amp circuit breaker then to my fuse panel. Mounted the circuit breaker with 2 more rivnuts. Used 4 gauge wire and created power cables and ran directly off the battery terminal nut. This should have been easy but GM scores the bolts to prevent the nuts from being removed from the terminal. I did not have the correct size die so I used a dremel to clean up the thread and was able to get the bolt off. If you cant get this to work you can cut the bolt completely off and order a new mounting bolt on amazon for $10.50 -> Battery Cable Tensioner Bolt 61128373946T With Lock Nut and Washer.
• Rock lights and blue tooth controller – I used 8 LUX lighting systems lights and a Bluetooth controller they offer from XK Glow. I got 4 lights that are Monster RGB and have 10 foot wire leads and 4 lights that are Monster RGB XL which have longer wired leads (20 feet). The 4 20 footers I put towards the back of the truck and the 4 10 footers I put toward the front of the truck. The way I ran my wires under the truck still led me to have to solder 2 of the wires to add extra length to reach the controller. I just looked at their website now and see they offer a “daisy chain” series, which I definitely would have gotten instead if they were available when I bought mine (Jan 2018). This would have greatly reduced the amount of wires I would have had to run, which ended up being around ~175 feet of wire. The controller is great and allows for 2 zones where you can change colors and patterns independently or synchronized. There is a third zone as well for a solid color. You can set a default for lights so when you flip the switch in the cab they come on to your preset and then you can use the phone app if you want to change colors or patterns. 8 lights does a great job lighting under the truck!! I did 2 lights in the back on the tow hitch mount. 2 under each running board and then 2 on the front frame. I can take pictures if people are interested. https://luxlightingsystems.com/collections/monster
• Still to be determined – where to mount my switches in the cab. Would love ideas/feedback. Ideally I would like to build a switch panel for 5 switches and connect it without drilling to the side of the center console. Since I currently only have 1 accessory hooked up I may wire a round toggle switch into the 12v outlet next to the USB connectors in the center console
If anyone has any questions please let me know! I'd love to help! I am learning as I go.
Rough Country 2” level
Black mirror caps
Replacing the door handles i lost one of the nuts in the door and had to take the door panel off to get it. Take your time so this doesn't happen to you!
LED light upgrade - Looks way better especially when you click unlock walking up to your truck at night
TruXedo Pro X15 Soft Roll-up Truck Bed Tonneau
Starting the fuse/relay panel. Cutting the ABS
New wires added to the relays and then cut to length and mounted to ABS
Wiring harness for 6 wires. 5 for switches and 1 potentially for switch power in the future. Notice going through the grommet with heat shrink to make sure its weather tight
Fuse tap on the 7.5amp heated steering wheel fuse and fishing wires. Caption in picture is supposed to say "Top side is power(+)"
4 rivnuts installed to mount the panel to. This allows you to easily install and uninstall. If you've never used a rivnut, youtube it. there a lot of good videos
test fit in the truck
So many wires to run!
Bluetooth controller mount bent to shape and test fit
Bluetooth controller mounted and starting to wire in lights
100 Amp circuit breaker installed to the left of the battery. Rivnuts used again. After the circuit breaker I ran the power wire across the top of the engine bay and zip tied it to an existing harness.
All 8 rock lights wired into 2 zones
Complete and mounted!
Pics of the finished product. Sorry for the bad pictures! I need to get better ones standing further back from the truck. They throw a lot of light!!