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Rear Facing Lights


Charter Member
PM 2015
SM 2008
SM 2003
Full Member
Mar 4, 2002
Westport, CT

fixed the link to the photo on 1/7/03

Here ya go Tim, the rear facing lights at night (KC 55 watt floods). I will post some daylight photos as well so you can see location, but my description in the Sail Panle topic is accurate. Wired so they come on with Reverse and also with a dash mounted switch (oem aux switch located in Onstar pod). Will clean up the directions and add the wiring guidance tomorrow once I get the daylight photos.
Cool ... love the lights! BTW, modify your picture link to end with ".jpg" instead of the ".pt" you have right now.

Here is the picture jackalanche has been trying to post ... I couldn't get it to work in picturetrail either so I will temporary host it to show ya'll ?;D


Jackalanche, looking good there, bet that really helps with backing and loading stuff - now, the $20.00 question, have you turned them on to surprise a tailgater yet? ;D
Now that is a very worthwile mod jackalanche! :cool: I have been talking to Xrover about the best way to wire two lights in the very same spot. (Xrover is the resident 12v expert ;D) I want to tie those lights into the cargo light switch and add a secondary switch in the bed near the tailgate.

If you have the tent, or you are thinking about acquiring the tent, the location of those lights is a perfect spot for lighting inside the tent. When you're not camping, the lights should provide excellent lighting for loading/unloading the truck bed.

How about some daytime close-up shots and instructions?

Thanks Jackalanche

Jack....that's a cool looking mod..gives the Av a whole new look from the back....almost seems like a monster truck coming at you... ;D
G-am you know me too well, been waiting for the first f-er to be tailgating me at night or not laying off his brights, but doncha know once I had the rear light on the rig they have all seemed to behave!

Thanks goo, I tried but picturetrail (recommended by other members) wasn't obeying me with your instructions, I owe you one. Other photos (truck is dirty, please forgive me, I had promised to post this weekend):


including a daytime shot of the rear lights to show location better. The lights are KC rear lights, which I got because they use a "flood" lens and they are relatively low profile. Wiring is a two relay job, pretty much following the diagram that Jason P sets forth on his web site under "rear lights" topic:


The wire we Avy owners need to tap into in the EC is light green and in the 1st column on the left, third spot up from the bottom, in the red block - that is the backup light wire - or pull it right from the trailer wiring harness if you prefer. As for location of the lights and the hassle, etc., I pretty much spelled it out - off topic, of course ?:)- in a few posts on the "sail accessories" topic, I said

Tim - I just put the rear facing lights on, just under the rear ledge of the roof - the cladding is attached by double faced sticky tape on the top - roof side (so don't mess with that), but underside you just take out the screw on either side and then pull up while gripping the edges that burrow into the rubber on top of the window - the retaining clips slide out and free up the piece somewhat. Well, you will see that just like other areas of the Av there is no metal directly beneath the cladding - I drilled the holes to mount the light brackets about 1/2" up from the bottom edge (drill holes after reattaching the cladding first - look at the area underneath in question while you have the cladding detached to see the small, flat "target area" of metal in question), hole location is 1/2" up from the botom edge of the cladding, in line with where the interior center top window trim piece ends and mates with the two sides (you pull the center interior piece off first to do this job, and remove the window retaining clamp units, fairly easy (remove the two bolts for each clamp unit, and then the clamp unit tilts out from the top side, use a little pry to get it to go) - this then gives you access into the area). But you need to solve for the fact that the cladding is 3/4" away from the metal where you need to bolt down the light brackets - I cut some pieces of 3/4" plywood as backer on either side- worked out great. I'll post pictures soon for you. ?

And while you have the trim piece and clamps off, pull the wiring through the rubber grommet that other wires (for the cargo box lights, I think) come through, this grommet is located not too far from the window clamp unit on the passenger side of the truck. Then run the wires down the pass side door trim that covers the seat belt retractor, then under the step trim, etc.

I think that covers it.

Those rear lights are a natural on the AV. Your front Brush Gaurd looks awesome with the Hellas.

Now all you need is Goo's neon setup and your cleared for Hanger 18
dang, it is really cool stuff like this that we need to put in a faq so that we can find it easily when we decide to do it! I want this in a faq!!!!
The rear lights marked the second time I had to solve for the fact that the Av has no provision for attaching aftermarket lights (helloooo GM?)- attaching lights to the front guard being the other pita. Come to think of it, I will break out my advice on how to mod the GM guard to do that in a seperate topic (such is now buried in a post under "GM Guard for sale" thread).

Sorry I did not have the digital camera when doing these mods, should have taken some action photos along the way . . .
I'm with spork, we need a FAQ. I'v been printing out the excellent instructions that have been posted. The only problem is I'v got a stack of instructions and no time to do all these excellent mod's.I'm doing this mod though, maybe next weekend, or should I do one of the many others I haven't done yet? ???decisions, decisions to be made.
I wish I could find it again, but I saw a black jacked up Av a while back on another site that had the rear facing lights. But these were attached to the sails on the inside, still didn't interfere with the view, and were as big as the ones on the front of your GM brush guard.

Has anyone put any on either side of the trailer hitch?
That's what I would like to see. If someone has done this, I would love to see pictures of where lights were mounted and how they tapped into the reverse lights. That is one thing I was mentioning to my sales person. On my Expedition, I could always see the area behind me lit up while backing. The Av might as well have no lights at all as I can't see anything when backing. I was going to pickup a $20 of cheap looking driving lights and mount them to the hitch assembly.

Please show us your solution!

On the Side Sail mount for the lights, the grey plastic does not lay right up against any of the metal in there (I have had the sail panels off, at least the inside piece) so you would need to build it up to provide a solid mounting point. Plus you would be challenged by the fact that you could not access the area on the underside of the light bracket (as in the nut on the mounting bolt) when installing it. But creative solutions certainly exist.

On the under bumper mount for backup lights, that is the standard location point, and in fact the KC backup light kit is designed for this - but that is a vulnerable spot, I have already burried the reciever hitch into the dirt when backing into a parking spot, and would surely do the same into a hard pack snow bank, or when off-roading (I also pushed the departure angle to the limit in an off-raod situation). If these issues are not relevant to you, the under bumper location is a good idea but once again there is no metal directly underneath the grey bumper cladding on the low side of the rear bumper, I looked at the receiver hitch area as one likely spot but you have issues with the trailer wiring plug on one side. I think this area would still be your best bet if going that route. But I wanted to illuminate the bed area when loading things at night too, so this would not really have been the ideal solution for me in any event. By the way, you cannot even see the back side of the lights when looking out of the back window from the rear view mirror, in my installation with the size unit I used.
I really like the look of your sail-mounted lights. Do they provide any backup assistance in terms of illumination? That would certainly be an ideal place for mounting, but not sure if that would light up the area behind the truck due to the height and distance from the rear. What is the wattage of your lights? Overall, would you say this was a pretty easy install for the average Joe?

As for backup assitstance, they light up a large area of the rear with headlight quality (55 watt) light - but to be honest, they do not light up the area just underneath the bumper like a bumper mounted light would do (because of the shadow from the rear gate) - but consider this: they light up any area that you can see using your rear view mirror or turning your head around, which is really all you need anyway, right? It really helps you spot for your rear corners, my biggest concern. I also stepped up the wattage of my GM backup lights long ago, and this helps.

As for difficulty, two things going on - locating and installing the hardware, and running and hooking up the wiring. The install was not the easiest thing in the world, but I was making it up as I went, I think if you take an organized approach and follow the guidance on location and which trim pieces to remove, it is a 5 on a 1 to 10 scale. It should probably not be the first mod you ever try to do on a car or truck. The wiring part is easy enough, you will need to purchase a second headlight relay for the job, I had one laying around, and you are realy only tapping into power and the backup light wire (and dash lighting if you use the oem aux light switch). it is really a matter of just wiring a to b, etc. If interested, I will post better advice on the wiring part, which I have not really done yet. The wiring is a 4, as far as wiring projects go.
if you have time, I would love to see a whole write up on this, including a wiring schematic, parts list etc... I would love to do this. I rarely ever mess with electrical on a vehicle unless I know exactly what I am doing.

pictures would be great too!

I think you used the KC lights #517? I found a picture of that kit on their website and was curious if you used any extra brackets for mounting. Did the kit have everything you needed except for the second relay and the plywood?

Thanks, ;D

Yes, the 26 Series, KC item # 517, kit looks like this:


and it contains the brackets I used, only extra stuff needed is a switch (if you want to control it independently, note that if you want to control it independentlly by tying it into the cargo light switch, no need to acquire a switch) and a second light relay. Yes a very small piece of 3/4" stock (plywood or otherwise) is also needed

I forgot to mention that the KC backup flood light kit is available for $65 or so, perhaps even less if you shop around better than I did.

Per Spork's request, I am putting together a document that containes all advice (hard parts install and wiring) that I will post soon.
jackalanche said:
Per Spork's request, I am putting together a document that containes all advice (hard parts install and wiring) that I will post soon.

you da man
jackalanche said:
Per Spork's request, I am putting together a document that containes all advice (hard parts install and wiring) that I will post soon.
Jack - Thanks for sending me the PM and sharing this info on all your hard work! They look great back there... unobtrusive yet very functional. Well done.

I'll probably activate the relay via a cargo lamp wire, as you mentioned. I'm still considering some undercarriage lighting too. Seems like I'm always loading or off-roading in the dark. :cautious:
Here is the promised advice - very simple step by step instructions, even your grandma could do it!

update: I mentioned in the advice that I used the bolts that came with the KC kit to attach the brackets, but now that I think about it, maybe I had to use longer ones, I simply do not recall and I tend to have all of this stuff handy. If this is the case, simply obtain two zinc plated bolts in the necessary length and size with nuts and lock washers from Home Depot or you harware store of choice. Sorry if I misled anybody, my memory is shot ever since college. ;D


  • BackUp_Lights_Advice.pdf
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and Tim, the lights illuminate my ramp very well at night - I have seen your action photos and I am afraid you would not be a good candidate for an underbumper install, might last about a week or two before you scrape them off somehow . . . ?:cool:
Thanks jackalanche,

I ordered the KC 26 series kit today, and I should have it by the end of next week. After I get it installed I'll post some pics of what the tent looks like fully lit up at night. :cool: :cool: :cool:

Nice job, thanks for all the help! :cool: