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Underhood Lights by KC HiLiTES

While most of our preventative maintenance is done in the daytime or in a garage, we have all been in the situation where we don’t have these luxuries - on an overcast day in a parking lot or on the side of the road for some unplanned maintenance. Existing solutions such as battery powered flashlights or hanging lights are often not convenient. These underhood lights by KC HiLiTES is the perfect solution for light when you need it.

Difficulty: Easy

Estimated time: Less than an hour

KC HiLiTES Cyclone LED 2-Light Under Hood Lighting System: 0355

MSRP: $80.99

Recommended extra parts (need to be purchased separately: (2) M10 HHCS 30mm length bolts, (6) M10 nuts, spare plastic trim hardware

Tools Required: trim removal tools, deep sockets, drill & drill bits

The technique below differs from most other published methods since it does not involve drilling into the hood by utilizing existing holes.

1. Start by removing the plastic hardware clips which secure the insulator panel to the underside of the hood. Some of these may be difficult to remove and may break during this step. You can leave the bottom clips connected.

2. Drill a 10mm hole in the fabric insulator under both top clip locations. This should align with the holes in the hood. With a utility knife, make a 2-3 inch vertical cut at the 12 o’clock position up, which is the relief for the wiring.

3. Insert the M10 bolts and add two nuts on each stud to secure the bolts. The thin section of the sheet metal may have to be lifted temporarily to properly insert the bolts. Double check that the bolt studs fit easily through the insulator holes drilled in step 2. There is no torque requirement, just get them snug with a 17mm socket and ratchet.

4. Add the looms around the wires which will be exposed in the engine compartment. Cut the loom to cover the wiring between the positive ring terminal and the fuse, the fuse and the switch, and after the switch. The loom on the negative cable should be applied after the negative ring terminal and kept in one piece.

5. You will notice that both positive and negative cables have a short and long cable. Run the longer cables to the far side (passenger side) location and shorter to the near side.

6. Put the wiring from the light assemblies through the insulator and connect the connectors.

7. Connect the positive and negative terminals to the battery and make sure the lights function.

8. Reattach all of the plastic clips - if you lose/broke some of the clips, this is where the extra clips come in.

9. Push the light assemblies over the studs and add the last two M10 nuts, one per bolt. Again, there is no torque requirement, just get it snug. The end face of the bolt should be about even to the nut face.

10. Drill a 1/8” hole in the sheet metal behind the fuses to attach the switch with the included bracket and hardware.

11. Zip tie all the looms to keep them secure in place, keeping in mind the moving parts of the hood strut and where the slack goes when the hood is closed.

12. Test open/close the hood and lights and you are done.

For less than $100, this is a great solution for emergency situations or when you need a little extra light under the hood without messing around with batteries or dropping your cell phone. This method also does not block the fuse box or require drilling into the hood to install, which makes this much easier and reversible if the mods need to be removed in the future.

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