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Hi everyone,

 

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

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Black mirror caps

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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!

IMG_0540.jpg.56a3c80654592d28cde02a63d5a370b2.jpg

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LED light upgrade - Looks way better especially when you click unlock walking up to your truck at night

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TruXedo Pro X15 Soft Roll-up Truck Bed Tonneau

IMG_0638.jpg.ac058f95fb3a3039ffc1c2e264eaaeb7.jpg

 

Starting the fuse/relay panel. Cutting the ABS

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New wires added to the relays and then cut to length and mounted to ABS

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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

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Fuse tap on the 7.5amp heated steering wheel fuse and fishing wires. Caption in picture is supposed to say "Top side is power(+)"

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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

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test fit in the truck

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So many wires to run!

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Bluetooth controller mount bent to shape and test fit

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Bluetooth controller mounted and starting to wire in lights

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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.

IMG_1129.jpg.e243123f2e197308083b71a9447d072b.jpg

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All 8 rock lights wired into 2 zones

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Complete and mounted!

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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!!

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Edited by 18Sierra1500
remove duplicate photos
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Beautiful job. That is very clean and organized. 

I would be very embarrassed to take a pic of my wires tangled underneath the dash.

 

Just curious why that brand of rock lights? I initially brought what was very similar to your setup but ended up returning it and went with Procomp. It didn't last very long and the multicolor setup is illegal where I live i believe (california).

Also did you throw in a on/off switch? Where?

 

Edited by SwisherSweets
Misread the brand of rock lights used. Please disregard first question
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11 hours ago, cr250Silverado said:

Thanks for sharing! Great job!

Thank you, I really appreciate it!

9 hours ago, SwisherSweets said:

Beautiful job. That is very clean and organized. 

I would be very embarrassed to take a pic of my wires tangled underneath the dash.

 

Just curious why that brand of rock lights? I initially brought what was very similar to your setup but ended up returning it and went with Procomp. It didn't last very long and the multicolor setup is illegal where I live i believe (california).

Also did you throw in a on/off switch? Where?

 

Thank you! In regards to the brand, i wanted something with magnetic mounts so that i could easily relocate them if required. Searching on the internet i stumbled on LUX and watched multiple videos. I liked their light output and the fact that each light has 8 LEDs so i went for them. In terms of the RGB (multicolor) i chose these for fun and only use the colors when im not on the road. I have the default setting to white so that when i switch them on they come on as white. Then i can use the phone app to change colors or flash patterns.

 

I do have a switch temporarily laying in the center console (pic below). looking for feedback on good mounting locations for a 5 switch panel. If i cant find any i will mount this round toggle switch in the 12v outlet to the left of the USB ports mounted in the center console. My other idea is to get a clip mount for the side of the center console and build a switch panel that mounts to it so i dont have to drill. considering using a pro clip mount as the base -> https://www.proclipusa.com/product/241510-proclip-console-mount-left. Any thoughts are appreciated!

 

Switch.thumb.jpg.05a4a1186494587a2932ae5c6138fa57.jpg

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I as well am looking for a 5 way switch panel!

I was hoping you had one installed and I was hoping you found an ideal location. 

 

There are several brands I found  that I really like (on the expensive side) but again I like reliability..prefer US made but I'll take anything if it's quality. 

 

I don't have the middle console like you do and I did install a single switch but it's at an obscure location. I ended up removing it and looking into the 5 way switch panel.

 

I'm not scared of drilling holes anywhere in cabin

 

I will show pics later..actually at court atm.

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Not sure if your aware but GM offers an upfitter switch.  I used it and am very happy with it.  Be aware though it wires up differently than conventional switches. (ground controlling)

 

ENGhzKK.jpg

 

I'm kind of jealous of your relay setup I mounted mine to the firewall behind the battery out of site.

q4anFw5.jpg

 

Kind of wish I did have a 5th input.

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CrazyJoker77, Thank you. Yes i was aware of the GM up fitter switch, but my truck has all the switches filled from the factory so i was not able to use this option.

 

How do you like the relays with the mounted fuses? I have never used them before, but am intrigued by them. Thats awesome you were able to mount them next to the battery. Im sure that gives a nice stealth mount. I wouldn't think there would space for them to clear the hood hinge. I had to move my circuit breaker back to avoid interference with the hinge when closed, but the breaker does stick out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm getting ready to build my relays tonight. Just waiting on Amazon truck (that ABS plastic sheet cannot be found locally). Also I wanted to try the 6 relay fuse holder for a cleaner look.

 

18sierra1500 I like your spot where you put your relays and in fact I will be putting mine in the same spot however where CrazyJokerr77 had mention is ideal, closer to the battery is better. However I checked mine, I just don't have the room. I want to able to have easier access to the relays if I have to make modifications/fix screwups.

 

Did you make any changes yet since you last posted?

 

Also i am aware of the GM upfitter switch panel, but I'm going custom panel box..

Also i like your acrylic pc case..something similar to that. 

 

On 5/13/2019 at 7:20 PM, 18Sierra1500 said:

CrazyJoker77, Thank you. Yes i was aware of the GM up fitter switch, but my truck has all the switches filled from the factory so i was not able to use this option.

 

How do you like the relays with the mounted fuses? I have never used them before, but am intrigued by them. Thats awesome you were able to mount them next to the battery. Im sure that gives a nice stealth mount. I wouldn't think there would space for them to clear the hood hinge. I had to move my circuit breaker back to avoid interference with the hinge when closed, but the breaker does stick out.

 

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On 5/25/2019 at 6:27 PM, SwisherSweets said:

I'm getting ready to build my relays tonight. Just waiting on Amazon truck (that ABS plastic sheet cannot be found locally). Also I wanted to try the 6 relay fuse holder for a cleaner look.

 

18sierra1500 I like your spot where you put your relays and in fact I will be putting mine in the same spot however where CrazyJokerr77 had mention is ideal, closer to the battery is better. However I checked mine, I just don't have the room. I want to able to have easier access to the relays if I have to make modifications/fix screwups.

 

Did you make any changes yet since you last posted?

 

Also i am aware of the GM upfitter switch panel, but I'm going custom panel box..

Also i like your acrylic pc case..something similar to that. 

 

 

Awesome! I hope it goes well.

 

I haven't made any changes. I did order a plastic box that i am hoping to turn into a switch panel that i can mount to the center console, but i haven't had time to work on it yet. I will post pics when i finish it.

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  • 1 year later...

Update on the LUX lighting rock lights - not at all pleased with the quality. First set didn't last 6 months. I will give LUX credit for sending me an entire new set right away, free of charge, but it was a lot of extra work to cut all 8 lights off and solder in the new lights. It is now 11 months later and the new set are already starting to malfunction :(. If you're looking for rock lights, i recommend looking for another brand...

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