How to install Auxbeam AR-800 Switch Panel on Ford F150?
We all love our truck's, and if your anything like me, you love accessorizing it. I am a lighting and accessory junkie at heart, not a good trait for my wallet, but hey there are worse addictions to have out there. As a former Gen 1 Raptor owner I was accustomed to having the factory pre wired auxiliary switches, even then I used the switches up quick. I immediately knew that not having auxiliary switches in my F-150 was going to be a problem. So my research began, with all roads leading me to Auxbeam for what I was trying to accomplish. What exactly is that?, a clean setup that allows me to easily add more lighting and accessories over time. Full disclosure, Auxbeam was gracious enough to provide me with their AR-800 RGB Switch Panel for review, but I can assure you that this will be completely unbiased.
What's in the box?
Auxbeam made sure to include everything you need. Everything is well thought out and you can tell this is a quality product. You will find the switch panel, circuit control panel (with built in relay's), 2 mounting bracket options for both the switch and circuit panel, 60amp breaker, all necessary wiring, zip ties, mini Phillips head screwdriver, Allen key, switch decals, and a bag of hardware.
When looking for a switch panel, I was looking for one that was fully customizable and it really is hard to beat what the Auxbeam AR-800 has to offer. The first and probably coolest thing I want to discuss is the Bluetooth app control for both Android and IOS. The APP not only allows you to control the panel color through a seemingly endless range of the color spectrum, but also create an app based switch panel where you can assign each switch a logo(over 200 logos to choose from) or even use a custom picture from your own album.
The app gives you full control over accessories just like the physical panel, even allowing you to select between 3 different mode settings(toggle, momentary, and pulse). Perhaps one of my favorite features is the ability to create “groups”. This feature allows you to assign 2 or more lights to the same switch button, for instance you want your pillar mounted flood lights and also your spot lights to all come on at the same time, just assign them to the same group. What really sets the app feature apart is also the ability to control the lighting when your not even in the truck. When I said this thing packed features, I meant it!
Switch and Circuit Panel
The switch panel has plenty of standalone features if your not into the app side of controlling the panel (although the app does make setting things up a lot easier). The physical switch has the same 3 mode settings and ability to change the backlight color. Setting up groups however is only an in app option. The circuit panel has 8 circuit’s that are tied into the 8 switches. Circuit’s 1-2 are rated at 30A, 3-4 are 20A, 5-6 are 10A, and lastly 7-8 are rated at 5A.
The install overall is pretty straight forward. The most difficult part is routing the switch panel wire through the firewall. You will also need to decide where you are going to mount your circuit and switch panel bracket. Make sure to arrange everything to ensure the location you choose affords you enough wire to reach all components.
Disconnect negative battery terminal cable
Locate the large rubber grommet located on the driver side exterior firewall of vehicle. Using your utility knife, cut a slit in the grommet. Repeat this step for the same grommet located in the interior driver side footwell area.
Using a straightened out wire hanger, push the hanger through the slit from firewall side. Retrieve the coat hanger and pull partially through the interior grommet. tape the 8ft switch panel connector to the exterior side of the hanger. Once secure, pull the hanger with wire completely through.
Decide where and how you will be mounting the switch panel (flat or adjustable mount). I did not want to drill any holes and instead used 3M HD double sided tape to secure the bracket to my dash just above the radio. This location requires you to “fish” the wire using the same method above. Use a plastic trim tool or similar to pry on the 3 front clips, giving you access to feed the wire hanger in and down to the driver side floor board. Make all connections now.(Note…depending on your application you will need to use the switch panel extension wire that is provided).
Run the switch panel wire to the location you plan to mount the circuit panel box. For my application, I routed the wire into the rubber ﬂap on the driver side wiper cowl. With a ﬂat head screwdriver, pry the 6 plastic clips on the cowl, tuck the wire behind the cowl, and re-secure the clips. Have the wire exit the same rubber ﬂap on passenger side.
Using the supplied bracket’s, decide how/where you are going to mount your circuit panel box. Again I did not want to drill any holes so I decided to use 3M heavy duty double sided to tape to mount the circuit box to the lid of the factory fuse panel (be sure when using this method that you do not block the underside access point where all your wires feed into). Clean the area well with rubbing alcohol before applying the tape.
With the circuit box mounted you can now connect your red positive power cable from the circuit panel to the 60A breaker and the additional red positive cable from the breaker to the positive battery terminal. Connect the black negative cable to the circuit panel and negative battery terminal.
Connect your switch panel wire (routed earlier), red fuse tap wire, and any accessory wires. Be sure all wires are routed through the underside access point or the lid will not secure. You can now secure the circuit panel lid.
Find an ignition power source. Unfortunately the fuse tap provided was not a mini fuse tap and was designed for larger fuses. I had a pre-existing fuse tap that I tied the red fuse tap wire into.
Secure the breaker using the provided hardware. I again used 3M HD tape and secured mine to the circuit panel lid.
Using the provided zip ties, secure all wires. You can now reconnect your negative battery terminal. Turn on your ignition and test the function of the panel, app, and connected accessories.
* Switch panel color changed to blue from factory green setting using app
From those of us who own truck’s that don’t come from the factory with upfitter switches, to those who do, and find themselves needing more, the Auxbeam really is the perfect solution. The features, app control, and ease of installation make the Auxbeam in my opinion the best switch panel money can buy. For those who don’t need the app control, Auxbeam carries both 6 and 8 gang panels that will also get the job done while keeping more cash in your pocket. Head over to www.Auxbeam.com to check out their awesome lineup of products.