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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tackled the problem of rewiring the instrument lights for Dark runs(no outside light,night runs). We usually do a night run with no lights and a full moon at least once every summer. I wanted to modify my instrument lights to be able to be switched on( with variable illumination), with out the head lamps or parking lights coming on. Last year I wired a switch in line with the brake lights and back up lights so that they couldnt be operated with the switches thrown. If anyone in the group turns on their lights even breifly on accident, you loose your night vision for about 10 minutes. I never got around to modifying my gauges and consequently, I had to use a Mini Mag flashlight with a red lens, clenched with my teeth, for checking the gauges. Is there a common circuit where I can energize the instrument lights without feeding the parking lights, or am I going to have to use diodes to isolate the two. I dont mind using a new variable switchin leiu of the factory switch. We went out night wheelin last night, and with my front fenders sporting there new cutawy design I can see very well with just the Under Fender Rock lights illuminated, but I had no instrument lighting, so it reminded me that I still hadnt addressed that problem. Check out the visibilty I now have in front of the jeep with just the fender lights on and the fenders bobbed.
Thanks,

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 
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Well over the summer, I will start to rewire my Jeep. I, like CJDave, am going to use relays on most of the circuts. In my drawings I put a relay in line with the hot lead to the parking and headlights. A switch will control the realy so that I can turn the lights off if need be. Basically the switch will always be on, but at night I can turn it off and kill the lights, but the stock dimmer will still work. I basically designed mine just to have another cool thing, not really to ever use it. Jegs sells a nice little relay group that has five 40 amp relays, I am going to use these on my re-wire.

Ed


I live, I breath, I Jeep
 
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H8

The bobbed fenders look great. I plan on doing the same in about a month when I paint the Yeep and put the TJ flares on.

I also am looking at some rock lights. Where do you have them mounted?

Cutch 88YJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The rock light location, takes a little trial and error. I did the 1st attemt by using a ramp to see where they would be safe. On my 1st trail ride with them I went to turn them on at night fall only to find one of them on. After a quick look under the fenders, I found 2 mangeled lights in the front(one still working), and just a couple of wires hanging down at both of the rear locations. Dont buy expensive lights they are in a very precariouse location. I get mine from commercial truck salvage yards, for a few bucks apiece. They have been in the location I have them in know, for about 6 months with no dammage. They need to be aimed down ward so that as you begin a steep rock climb, and your headlamps aim skyward with no ground to reflect off of, your rock lights shine right where they are needed. The added benefit of more forward illumination was just a bonus of bobbing the fenders. As far as instrument illumination, I took some advice from a pilot freind of mine, who suggested I just mount a new lamp with a red bulb on the underside of the dash pad aiming towards the gauges, and control with a dimmer switch.
Ian,
I also used relays for all of my lighting and electrical upgrades, that way I dont have to run abunch of fused wires from the overhead console to the components. I just run one fused wire to all of the swithes,to supply 12v relay switch control, and switch ilumination, then a 14ga control wire from each switch down to the relative relays. In the engine compartment everthing is fused or breakered from a common waterproofed box on the passenger side fender.
Ed,
The fender bobbing took about an hour, and I cleaned up the fenders apearance with a little matching paint and some heavy rubber trim, I got from an off road shop in town. I also bobbed the rear fenders at the trailing end. I plan to trim the forward edge of the rear fender well also, but decided to go wheelin all weekend instead. Here is a day light photo attachment of the front fender trim.

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 

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well i havent done this.. but im just taking a poke at it.. i know there wiring is usually orange.. and what i would do is put a switch inline with them...to a different power sourse.. one that is constant.. maybe a 3 position switch.. when on.. they work normal.. then you have of course the off postition... then the thrid would give you just instrument lights..

survival is instinct, but living takes guts
 

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and by the way.. cool jeep.. can i ask what your tire carrier/rack looks like.. it looks similar to the one i have in mind of building.. i am going to use the stock carrier and mount it to the frame.. and incorperate a topside carrier that i can take on and off.. but i want the gas cans on the side of it.. like yours.. from what i can tell.. i wont get to making it till next month sometime..
thanks

survival is instinct, but living takes guts
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jeepgod,
The rear rack, is a 2x4 mettal tube with a bushing type hinge to swing away from the bumper(im changing the hinge to a bearring type using a trailer wheel hub and bearrings). The vertical support for the tire rack and trail rack is made from 2x2 reciever hitch material and mounted on the swing away into a 6" tall 2 1/2"x 2 1/2" tube with 2 5/8 bolts for quick removal. The trail rack is mounte on top the in same way so it can be removed individualy. THere is space between the tire and the rear of the Jeep to hold 2 more cans(I use them to hold compressed CO2, portable welder, and mix gas for the chainsaw when set up for long treks) they are mounted directly to the swing out horizontal bar, (they can remain even if the tire and upper rack are removed). I used connectors for the electrical to the lights on the upper rack and to the license plate holder. My shovel, pullaski(axe), and bolt cutters are all on a lockable rack attached to the trail rack(or can be removed and attached to the tire when the tire is mounted on the roof).The trail rack also has a lockable chainsaw rack built into it. The trail rack and tire can be quickly disconnected and the tire mounted to the roof, to improve departure angles when rock crawling. I also use an adjustable pair of struts between the rear of the roll cage and the upper rack to add extra support when fully loaded(made with ball joint ends and quick disconnects). If I had the time I would manufacture these racks, I have had so many requests to build them for people I meet on the trails. All of the components bolt up to and lock to my Jeep trailer when they are removed from the Jeep. Here is another photo from the rear, you can see the CO2 tank on the driver side and the chainsaw in the trail rack, you can also see the driver side strut coming from the rear of the roll bar by the cross bar.

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jeepgod,
This is the 1st photo I meant to send, it shows much more detail.

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 

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has anyone ever thought of replacing the regular dash bulbs for led bulbs? I was looking into blue ones? just an idea.....I know but I have to put atleast one dress up item on iut and still havent decided what yet.

 

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another ideal.. mmm.. just wire the lights to a hot source.. they will be on all the time.. whether or not you have headlights on..

survival is instinct, but living takes guts
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I think I figured it out. I didnt have a very busy day today,so I went out and pulled the dash apart again. On the YJ all of the gauges are wired as a common circuit board, I located the wire in the harness feeding the lights and tapped into it with a switched power source, then soldered in a diode from an old trailer harness preventing power from feeding back towards the factory dash dimmer switch. I tested it and everything works OK, I didnt try it with a variable switch, but it shouldnt make a difference. I capped the wires for now untill I decide where I want to put the new switch, dont want to put it in the overhead console, and there is no room in the small panel below the steering wheel where I have the Brake light and back up light disable switches(unless I replace the original panel with a small piece of aluminum and reposition the previouse 2 switches), hmmmm, I think thats the answer.
Thanks for the input.

Jeff
89 Wrangler
If at first you dont succeed, your replacement will try and try again.
 
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