When we’re installing lights on a customer’s truck, we often see wiring setups that are less than ideal. We always like to tie up extra wire and wrap everything up nice and neat with wire loom to prevent wires from chafing or wiggling loose. In this video, Michael offers some of his top tips for getting the maximum life out of your LED lights.
Hey everybody. Junior here. The Chroman isn’t here today, so I figured I’d give you a lesson on some light maintenance. First, I’ll show you what I’ve got on my table here. To start out, I’ve got some wire that I’ve already taped up already. I have some corrugated loom. I have a roll of electrical tape. I have these “stickies” – is what we call them. I have some zip ties, some heat-shrink butt connectors, and some insulated wire. I also have some crimpers, some strippers, a bottle of dielectric grease, and some silicone. I have a Panelite light that has the wires coming out of the back of the light. I also have a Maxxima light that has two terminals on the back of the light.
The first thing I like to do when I’m trying to make the wires neater is I like to tape the wires together, like I have here. Just tape it every six inches or so. This makes it a lot easier when you grab your corrugated loom. Corrugated loom has a slot in it, so it makes it real easy to slide onto the wires. All you do is take the wire in one hand, the corrugated loom in the other, and just slide it on there.
Alright, now that I got the wire loom on there, this wire loom is really good stuff. It’ll keep the wires from chafing if it’s rubbing up against something. So instead of chafing the wires and letting them arc together, it’ll actually just chafe on the wire loom, which is a lot better. Now once you get the wire loom on there, these wires, they’re gonna be jiggling around a lot, so you’re gonna use a zip tie to loop it around and tie it to a hole somewhere on the truck. If not, we have these little “stickies,” these just peel off and you can tape them to the back of a panel and stick em on there. They’re made for these zip ties here – you just go right through and you tighten the zip tie down. Just like that!
Also, if you want to be really fancy, you can buy some of this insulated wire. This insulated wire is real expensive, but it’s even sturdier than the corrugated loom. This one here has three wires. You can get it with three wires, four wires, two wires, but it is pricey.
When you’re connecting two wires together, you don’t want to go cheap. We use these heat-shrink butt connectors. You can probably buy them anywhere from forty to eighty cents apiece. I wouldn’t buy the blue clip-on type that just snap on to there because those aren’t very good. These help seal out the moisture, that way they don’t corrode. All you gotta do is have you a pair of strippers, strip the end of the wire, take your butt connector, place it on the end of it, take your crimpers, and crimp it down. Alright, now you’ve got a good solid connection. You don’t have to worry about pulling on this wire. You can pull on it pretty hard – it’s not gonna come out. Then, also, when you get your other wire in here, these actually shrink around the wire – take a lighter or a heat gun and apply it to the connector, and it will shrink around the wire, making a good, solid connection.
The next thing I wanted to show you is dielectric grease. Dielectric grease helps keep the corrosion off of the terminals, prevents corrosion, keeps the connections good. As you can see, this light here, it’s not quite as bad as some of the other lights I’ve seen, but if you’d been applying dielectric grease to this plug here, you wouldn’t see the green corrosion that’s started in the terminal there. Eventually, that’s going to break off. It’s real brittle and the current doesn’t run as well through that plug. Now, all you’ve got to do is grease your plugs, probably every three to six months – I’d probably do it every three months, actually. All you do is take the bottle of grease, and then squirt some in the terminal. Just enough to fill up the terminal. You can gob it in there, it’s not gonna make that big of a difference because it’s going to even out once you put the plug in there. If you’re gonna put some on these, I’d actually just put some on the terminals just like so – just kinda dip it in there, just like so.
Another helpful hint for wire maintenance is, I get a lot of guys in here that will have lights with wires coming out of the back of the light just like this. And what the wires tend to do is after they start getting brittle and old, they like to snap out of the back of the light. Now, if you’re having trouble with that, you can do all of the other steps I showed you with the corrogated loom, tying up your wires, and everything else we’ve shown you in the video, but for an extra step, you can actually take you some silicone. You’re gonna put a big gob of it around the back of the terminal. This one’s actually made pretty well, so you wouldn’t see it as much on this one. But some of them that are flat on the back, it’ll work even better. Just put you a big gob around here. So when that seals up, basically the end of the light’s gonna be here, okay? So it’s not pulling so much, and you’ve got some play with the silicone, so it’s going to be able to move back and forth. That will help prevent the wires from snapping out of the back of the light, at least for a little longer, to help save a light.
Well, I hope I taught you something today. If you have any questions you can always give us a call – 870-735-5033. Until then, don’t drive an ugly truck!