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Old 09-12-2021, 10:38 AM   #1
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TOAD Lighting for 2019 Chevy Equinox Premier with Factory LED

Hello, I am preparing my 2019 Chevy Equinox Premier as TOAD. This car has LED taillights in a sealed unit, meaning if a LED light goes bad, you replace entire taillight unit. You cannot swap out bulbs.

My question is: Is it better to install diodes and use factory wiring and lights, or should I keep wiring separate by drilling holes and install my own red LED bulbs?

I know there are pro's and con's to each solution but I would like to get opinions of those who have a taillight similar to mine and their experiences.

Thank you.

Kerry
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Old 09-12-2021, 10:44 AM   #2
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I have a 2018 Spark, I added the two tail lights not hard to do, I bought them at ETrailer.
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusader62 View Post
Hello, I am preparing my 2019 Chevy Equinox Premier as TOAD. This car has LED taillights in a sealed unit, meaning if a LED light goes bad, you replace entire taillight unit. You cannot swap out bulbs.

My question is: Is it better to install diodes and use factory wiring and lights, or should I keep wiring separate by drilling holes and install my own red LED bulbs?

I know there are pro's and con's to each solution but I would like to get opinions of those who have a taillight similar to mine and their experiences.

Thank you.

Kerry
I used diodes in my 2018 Equinox Premier and it has been problem free for 3 years now. I simply followed an Etrailer install video to make the installation. My understanding is that there is insufficient room in the tail lights to drill holes and install independent bulbs. Adding the diodes was not really difficult but the small gauge wires did require some concentration to make the connections.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bikinjim
I used diodes in my 2018 Equinox Premier and it has been problem free for 3 years now. I simply followed an Etrailer install video to make the installation. My understanding is that there is insufficient room in the tail lights to drill holes and install independent bulbs. Adding the diodes was not really difficult but the small gauge wires did require some concentration to make the connections.
That was exactly my experience with my 2020 Premier. A friend who has a 2019 without LED lights looked at mine and confirmed the LED light assembly does not have anywhere near the room to install separate LED lights that his does. He also mentioned that he thought the separate light he installed on each side seemed dimmer that the real ones, but was still OK.

I did a couple of things differently from the Etrailer video, though:

- I ran all wiring from the baseplate connector to the diodes in wiring loom. I hate how Etrailer just tie wraps the wires to whatever without protecting the wiring from road debris, water, etc.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

- Etrailer mixed wire colors when they needed to extend the wires from the driver side to the passenger side. Stuff like that drives me nuts. So I made certain that the wire color used on one side's diodes was also used when connecting to the corresponding diode on the other side. Otherwise troubleshooting in the future is a lot more difficult.

- I don't trust double-sided tape. While I used it to secure the Roadmaster diode packs in place initially, I also cleaned that area and applied silicone sealant/adhesive between the stacked diode packs and around the diode pack and the car panel. I did not want double-backed tape coming loose in the future and putting a lot of stress on the wires as the heavy diode packs flopped around.

I've only had the car a year and so far no issues at all.

Ray
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:23 PM   #5
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Not a direct answer to your question but on my 2021 Buick Encore GX i've decided to not modify the tailights or wiring. I instead went with a wireless tow bar from Towmate https://www.towmate.com/RVWirelessTowLights
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:01 AM   #6
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I ran the harness from baseplate through firewall with wiring for brake system, then tucked wiring under plastic door sills, didn't have to remove, to rear taillight connections.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:22 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your experiences and additional tips. So its either diodes or a light bar.


Wrapped, I was looking into your method of running wires inside, but when I pull my taillight off, I do not see a way to rout the wires to the inside as the car body is two layers in that area. Could you share how you did this?


Kerry
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:36 AM   #8
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I've got a Buick encore gx so it might be a little different, I popped the bottom half of the side panel away enough to work behind.
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Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM   #9
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Hello everyone. So I followed the advise given above and ran wires under the car in a loom, tried to be consistent in wire colors, etc. and used two diodes in each taillight following this video (https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wir...leID=201961010) especially in minute 16 where it talks about the specific wires to splice. I tested everything all all was working well.



Next, I installed a demco stay-n-play for braking. I also wanted to monitor braking action on RV dashboard with a simple light, so I tapped into the red wire from the (demco) LED strip on equinox windshield and ran the wire to RV dash. This red wire is same one connected to brake-light switch. For this, I had tapped into the body control module as described about 5:45 minutes in this video. https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Bra...o/SM99251.html


I took the RV/TOAD for test drive and everything worked great until I turned on the RV running lights. Now the monitor light on RV dash and LED on equinox windshield turn on when RV running lights are on. So I am thinking the white with yellow stripe wire that is taillight might have a bad diode and is backfeeding the equinox.


Has anyone run into a similar situation?


Thanks in advance.


Kerry
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Old Yesterday, 06:03 PM   #10
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I am new to the toad world so out of curiosity is there a reason most people don’t use the custom dinghy harnesses? Like the ones from curt that are plug and play no splice?
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