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Abstract Ninja
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yo CxB,

We all know the 1st gen Scion xB is severely lacking when it comes to usable and practical internal lighting. Our one dome light is not sufficient enough to light the front of the cabin thoroughly no matter how many LEDs you squish in there. Hence, map lights and overhead console solutions.

I would like to make clear that I am not responsible for any damage, mistakes, dismembering, or any other thing that may go wrong with your install should you choose to try this. This is just a guide based on my experience with this particular mod in my car.



I bit the bullet and bought a Toyota Prius map light to install. I saw this picture of someone on Scionlife that achieved an OEM look with their install and I wanted to replicate it for myself. I didn’t really have too much to go on, but my biggest thing for this was I DID NOT want to drop the headliner again to do this install. So keeping that in mind, we begin;

Difficulty: 4 out of 10 (basic wire splicing skills required, basic cutting skills, basic panel removal)

Nerve: 7 out of 10 (The part where you twiddle the Xacto knife in your hand as you stare your headliner)

Total install time (assuming you have all the components and tools you need): ~ 1 hour – 1.5 hours

Tools/materials:

Toyota Prius Dome Light (Model years: 2001-2003, unsure of part number)
Xacto knife
Scissors
Zip Ties
Wire hanger
Wire crimpers
Electrical tape
Butt Connectors/Spade connectors/ringlet connectors (whatever your preference really)
Sheet of paper (for template)
3 sewing pins
18 gauge wire (I used about 10 feet and I’ll explain why– this can vary depending on where you hook up your power and ground)

GAME TIME!!!

So I bought the map light from ebay for $35. Painted it black to match my interior and here it is ready to go. This is the map light from the 2001-2003 Toyota Prius. Other model years look different and are very different sizes so keep it in mind. Also the bulbs for these lights are a kind I’ve never seen before nor could I find a part number for them. I’m not LED handy, so I don’t know how one would change them to LEDs, but I’m leaving mine incandescent because I want them as a practical option to see things and not necessarily as a remote dome light.




First things first. TEST YOUR LIGHT! You don’t want to go through this whole process and realize your light doesn’t work or your bulbs are messed up or your switches don’t work. Connect some wires to the positive and negative points on the back of the light and touch the wires to the correct nodes of your battery. On my Prius light, the power line was the light gray wires and my ground were the black. Push your switches to the on position (depressed) and see if it light up on contact. Assuming this works, your light is fine and lets move on.

Alright, time to make a template for the hole you will need to make. Get your paper and scissors. DO NOT MAKE THE TEMPLATE THE SIZE OF THE COVER OF THE LIGHT (the front face of it). MAKE THE TEMPLATE SIZE BASED ON WHAT PART NEEDS TO GO IN YOUR HEADLINER (the back portion)!!! Here’s a pic of the back of the light and I’ve outlined where approximately you should be measuring for you template.



MAJOR TIP: You can always cut more away if the hole ends up being too small. Be conservative. Make the template slightly smaller that the hole would need to be. Then you can widen it later for the perfect fit.

Ok you have a template now. Congratulations. You’ve cut out a shape like a five year old. LOL

Now time to mount up the template in the correct spot. I used 3 sewing pins to affix the template to the headliner. TAKE YOUR TIME MEASURING! Measure once, twice, ten times. You only have one headliner. Get another person to look and see if it looks straight.



Now time to muster up your nerve and not pee yourself. Get your Xacto knife (or very sharp cutting implement) and CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY CUT AROUND YOUR TEMPLATE. I suggest continually poking the headliner with the sharp tip of the Xacto knife instead of pulling across to cut. This way you don’t pull the headliner and you get a cleaner cut. There is nothing behind that area except empty space so don’t worry about cutting any wires or anything.



Time to run the wires. I attempted to use the extended wire hanger from the OEM dome light spot (for those that don’t know this trick, take a wire hangar and undo it so it is just one long piece of hanger rod. You can push this into spaces to get to other holes you’ve created, attach the wires you wish to run to the tip you’ve pushed through, and pull the hangar back out to you so the wire comes with it.)

My initial thought was to connect the map light power and ground wires to the constant hot and grounds of the dome light. Unfortunately, I could not seem to get the wire hangar through (the downfalls of trying to do this without dropping the headliner). Nor could I see what was stopping it. So plan B was use the same wire hangar trick from the driver’s side A-pillar, pushing it through from the A-pillar side and putting my hand in the hole I created and retrieving the wire hangar. Here’s a pic of the wire hangar through both sides with my wires taped to the wire hangar end(kind of hard to see, sorry)







Simply put, after the wire is attached to end you managed through, pull back through to the A pillar and voila! You have wire. Then I ran the wire down to the internal fuse box area by the driver’s feet. Zip tie the wire for cleanliness. Popped the panel off in front of the fuse box and put my hand in there to retrieve the wires from the top of the dash (lots of space)





Don’t connect your power and ground yet. Save it for later.

Ok now back up to the hole in your roof. I ended up cutting the white connector off the map light because I didn’t care to find the OEM connector for the light at a junkyard and it didn’t come with it when I bought the light. I spliced spade connectors to the ends of my wires from my light as well as the wires hanging from my roof.



Now time to consider how the light mounts. I used the piece that I cut out as a measuring tool for the metal claws on the light. I made a diagram to begin the explanation.



The headliner itself plus the metal claws on the light will hold the light firmly in place. The trick is to make sure that the hole you made is a tight fit for the light and to bend the metal clips so the gap between the end of the claw and the lip of the light is the same thickness as your headliner. Look at the diagram as an example.

Connect your spade connectors together from your map light and the wire harness you made that’s hanging from your roof. Electrical tape them individually so power and ground spades do not touch, then electrical tape both together so it is less cumbersome.

Time to push the light up into your roof. Hook the claws at the top of the light (where the switches are) into the hole first because the bottom is what we need to press into the headliner (based on the claw design, you’ll see the difference). Push gently but firmly (that’s what she said… x1) and you may need to widen the hole slightly if it isn't big enough (x2 haha) and if you get the right fit in the hole, it should sit snugly in place (x3 lol). No one said you had to be mature here...



Here is where you can do whatever you want as far as where you connect your power and ground to. There are a bazillion places you can ground your setup to around the fuse box area, and quite a few places you can splice your power to (or run it through the engine grommet to the battery. Wire up a fuse inline if you do it this way just in case. That’s what I did and why I needed so much wire, different solutions require different amounts, so better to have more than less in this case).

After connecting up the power and ground, test your light and well done! You have a maplight.

Here’s mine all finished up. I spy my goober self in the mirror in one of the pics hahaha









I hope this helps you guys. I’m always trying to give back to the forums that help me so much!

Be easy peeps.

Rob
 

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186 Posts
Great work, solution and write up. This dome light should have been a factory included item for all gen 1's.
 
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South Bound
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1,064 Posts
Very nice! Can I use any map light though? I was thinking about using one from a f150


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

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Registered
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I did this mod about five years ago I took the original domelight and moved it up to the front When I installed my overhead drop-down monitor where the original domelight used to go :) Everyone always thinks it's stock :) I put a brick of LEDs in it and it's pretty darn bright
 

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Box Abuser
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327 Posts
Props to you my friend, this will be invaluable when I go to do mine!

Broadcast by Cambot aboard the Satellite Of Love
 

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Abstract Ninja
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1,463 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great write up! I'll be doing this soon
Doooooo it!



Great work, solution and write up. This dome light should have been a factory included item for all gen 1's.


100% agreed


Toyota saved 50 bucks on each car. Lol

cheapos lol


Very nice! Can I use any map light though? I was thinking about using one from a f150


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD


technique should be the same but there will be differences and complications depending on size and depth (thats what she said... sorry had to be said...)


yeah buddy, good write up

gracias senor


Someone buy this man a beer! Thanks!

Sent from my RAZR M via carrier pigeon

I am kinda thirsty :D


I did this mod about five years ago I took the original domelight and moved it up to the front When I installed my overhead drop-down monitor where the original domelight used to go :) Everyone always thinks it's stock :) I put a brick of LEDs in it and it's pretty darn bright

looks good dude! Howd you mount it up?


Props to you my friend, this will be invaluable when I go to do mine!

Broadcast by Cambot aboard the Satellite Of Love

glad to help!


You do very nice work !!!

Will you do mine ?????
Had to ask !!!

if you're in nj with the parts you need, not a problem :)


Just got back from the boneyard with my new Prius map light and a stock xB dome. The box will be running 3 lights very soon now. Gotta place my orders for LEDs to stuff them with!

Sent from my RAZR M via carrier pigeon

I've got another dome light too for the rear as well. Should look sweet


Nice work! Here's another reference, though yours is more thorough:

http://www.clubxb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=714
Yeah ive seen that one before when I was researching this. Figured id do something easier and smaller
 

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**** in a Box
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1,484 Posts
Very cool! I think this might be my first little mod. Glad to know I'm not the only one with light issues up front.

Nice quip about the nerves bit :p
 

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love to corner
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278 Posts
or you do what I did. Find a 1994 s10 blazer tap into the dome light power wire and have over head storage,stck light and 4 map lights. :)









cost 10 bucks from the juckyard.

---------- Post added 03-12-2013 at 10:31 PM ----------

 

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Boxed Lifestyle
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2,292 Posts
AWESOME THREAD! Dont know if i have the guts to cut into my freshly wrapped liner tho.
 

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love to corner
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278 Posts
Looks great !! What did ya use to attach the consol to the roof ???
tward the front I cut open the head liner and epoxed a small wood block to the metal ceiling and screwed into that with a short screw. tward the dome light area I found the metal cross beam and used a self tapping metal screw and screwed into that. Just got to be dam careful and use the right length screws, or you will go threw the roof.

It takes a leap of faith to cut up your head liner and a bit of balls to mount it up. As long as you think things threw take your time and measure right you should be fine.
 
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