When installed properly, underbody neon lights will create the illusion that your car is floating on a cloud of color. Of the different types of underbody lighting kits, the traditional neon tube is the most economical. The problem with neon-based kits is that neon bulbs are relatively fragile and prone to failure.
The other main type of kit uses light-emitting diodes instead of a gas-filled bulb. Underbody lighting must be affixed to the bottom of the vehicle so that the light itself cannot be seen. This can make placement tricky, depending on how high your vehicle sits.
Items you will need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Socket set
- Power distribution block (Kit)
- Double-sided tape
- Self-tapping metal screws (Kit)
- Small coated wire hangers (Kit)
- Battery-operated drill
- Drill bit set
- Toggle switch
- Rubberized undercoating
Instruction Tips and Warning
- With cheaper underbody lighting kits, each light will have its own positive and negative wire so that each light is run as its own circuit to the power distribution block. Higher-end kits have large-gauge wires with an audio-like jack to connect all of the lights together in a single series circuit.
- Tuck and hide the wires and connections as much as possible for a clean install.
- In some states it is illegal to drive with your underglow on, so check with your local law enforcement agency before taking to the road on your cloud of color.
- Remember you are going to support the bulb wires to the car’s chassis only, supporting the wires by means of any suspension component or moving part will lead to electrical problems.
The Best Under Car Neon Lighting to Use
When trying to find the best under car neon lighting you should consider this a few features that will make it worthwhile and enjoyable to use. You need to find a reputable kit that hundreds of people have already bought and are getting great results with. I listed a few here for you to take a look at.
Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Lift the hood and allow the engine to cool down. Lift the front of the vehicle into the air with a floor jack and support it with jack stands. Repeat this for the rear of the vehicle so you can work freely underneath the car.
Disconnect the negative and positive battery cables, using a socket and a ratchet. Move both cables away from the battery and position them aside. Open your neon kit and lay out the pieces. Set both long bulbs to each side of the vehicle with the wires facing towards the front of the car.
The front and rear bulbs should sit so that the wires point towards the side of the vehicle the battery is on. The bulb with the longest wire is intended for the rear of the car. Split up the pieces of the kit equally into four piles and set them with each bulb.
Connect your power distribution box negative wire to the negative battery cable. Connect the wire between the bolt and terminal, if your car has a top-post battery. Alternatively, install the wire onto the bottom side of the terminal bolt so that it will be pinched between the cables and the battery terminal if your car has a side-post battery. Position the box somewhere on the core support or inner fender well and secure it with double-sided tape or self-tapping metal screws and a battery-operated drill.
Select a location under the core support to mount the front bulb. Place your bulb hangers or brackets around each end of the bulb and secure them to the metal core support with self-tapping screws. Remember that the bulb has to sit up high enough to be out of view and to avoid potentially striking the ground.
Work your way around the vehicle until each bulb is securely mounted to the underbody of the vehicle. The side bulbs will often sit against the inner side of the body pinch-welds.
Route the wires from each bulb under the vehicle and up to the distribution box, if each bulb is independently connected to the power distribution box. Alternatively, plug the first wire into the positive end of the distribution box, then to the front light, if the bulbs are run in series. Connect all of the lights together, plug the final end into the ground side of the distribution box. Connect the positive and negative wire for each bulb to its respective terminal on the distribution box.
Secure the wires to the body of the vehicle, one set of wires at a time, using the small wire hangers and metal screws provided in the kit. Any wire left over at the bulb can be loosely rolled up and stored in the closest wire hanger.
Find a suitable place inside the vehicle to drill a small hole for the toggle switch; Ideally, the switch should be hidden from view to give the installation a cleaner look. Drill a hole, using a drill bit that is just big enough for the threaded portion of the switch to fit into the panel. Mount the switch and tighten the nut with a pair of pliers. Connect the end of the switch wire with the in-line fuse block to the positive battery cable.
Find the area where the engine wiring harness feeds into the firewall on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Pry the rubber grommet out from around the firewall feed hole. Push the power wire from the battery and the power distribution box through the rubber grommet. Route and mount the power wires from the battery cable and distribution box under the fender and firewall lips until they drop down the hole in the firewall. Push any remaining wire into the vehicle and push the grommet back into place.
Install the positive wires onto the toggle switch terminals. Connect the positive battery cable and then the negative. Turn the toggle switch to the on position and verify each bulb is working properly. If the lights do not come on, check the in-line fuse and ensure it is installed and in working order. If the fuse is good, check your power connections, battery cables, and distribution box.
Spray over the wires and supporting brackets with rubberized undercoating, if this is a permanent installation. Repeat this for the bulb brackets, but make sure you don’t spray the bulbs. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.