I did quite a bit of research before writing this post. I have a simple need – route power to my roof rack to light up the spotlights without having a rig looking worthy of the Clampetts.
Now the disconcerting thing here is that eventually you are going to have to take a drill to your roof. If you don’t have the stomach for that, your going to have to settle for a gutter-mount wire dangling from your rig – eeesh!
This routing is on the front of the rig, and the wires will run up the front window pillar.
Give yourself plenty of space to work with – you’re going to have some spaghetti.
You need to figure out how to dismantle the headliner of your rig. For the Land Cruiser, it was pretty straight forward. Take of the handles and bits, and pull out the weatherstripping on the door.
In my case, I also had to pull the weatherstripping from around the sunroof as well:
Once the headliner is loose enough that you can work on the underside – pick a location for your wire routing. This is where you are going to punch through the roof. 🙂
Once you locate your spot – take a tap and put a small ding in the roof where you will drill. This will prevent the drill bit from skating across your paint. Don’t hit too hard. You do not want to create a big dent! You can see where i put a ding here:
I used a 7/16 countersink bit for metal. That was the size I needed for the Firewall Grommet – you need to get one of these – it is the cleanest way I have found to pass wires through metal:
Now the fun part – CAREFULLY DRILL
Install your grommet and run the wires down the window pillar. Put a little weatherstripping glue around the rubber base to make sure you have a waterproof fit. Don’t put so much it oozes out an looks nasty.
Since you have everything apart – go ahead and rout some extra wires. You never know when you will need more power!
Once you have your wiring routed, put it all together. Use wire ties and tubing where needed to have a well finished job.
I found these perfect fit switches at West Marine for $19.00. Factory originals are $60.00. These worked great!