Jeep Wrangler - Restoration & Custom Outfitting
All photos, diagrams, and text on this page © Copyright 2013 - David Todeschini - all rights reserved - see Copyright Terms
Spot and Fog Lamp Installation
The previous owner
of my Jeep had installed 5-inch, 55 Watt Spotlights on window brackets, but didn't wire them – so they looked good, but were functionally useless. In addition, because it is dangerous to take your hand off the steering wheel while you are shifting to do the "Jeep Wave" (or return one), I fabricated a shifter-mounted pushbutton switch that is wired to the spotlight rocker switch. This is a momentary (S.P.S.T., N.O.) pushbutton that flashes the spotlights. The spotlights can also be switched on and off with a lighted rocker switch on the dashboard panel. The other two switches control the fog lamps and the overhead LED cabin lamp mounted in the rear loudspeaker assembly.
Note: Most all Jeep owners who take their vehicles off-road disable the "door open" cabin light switches, because the doors are often removed completely when out on bush trails.
Position of the relays (K1,
K2 in the above diagrams) which are epoxied with PC-7 Multi Purpose Epoxy to the aluminum plate included in the Radio Shack project box. I used (if you can't find PC-7 in your hardware stores, you can get this excellent epoxy by clicking the link above .
This is the bottom pinout view of the relays I used to fabricate the Spot / Fog relay box shown in the two photos below.
While the weather was cold, I pre-fabricated the relay box and the wiring harness for the spotlights and the fog lamps that I installed on the front bumper. I used a plastic project case (available at Radio Shack) for the relay enclosure, which mounts neatly under the dashboard with Industrial Velcro®. All the connections are labeled, and in case I develop Alzheimer's disease (or I sell the Jeep), notes are affixed to the box that explain what it is and how to remove it from the quarter panel. You will note that the heavy power wires (green, red, and black) in the right photo are braided to keep them neat.
You have to remove the center console in order to get to the back of the switch panel (There are three screws: two on top under the vent cowl, and one behind the ashtray). Another four screws hold the switch bezel in place. My switch panel didn't have any switches in it when I got the Jeep, so I drilled the ¾" holes required, and put my own switches in. The key to a flawless, no-mistake installation is to label each connection before it is made (I used a Brother Easy Handheld Label Maker).
I replaced the (stock) ugly, black plastic shifter knob with an Aluminum one. The job turned out to be much more difficult than I expected, as the original knob would not just screw off. There was a cap at the top of it, and removing it exposed the locknut, but it was seized in place. I ended up cutting it off with a Cut-Off Wheel on a Dremel Stylus Tool that was fitted with a Keyless Chuck. [Hyperlinks go to the actual products I used].
The red arrow points to the spotlight flash button, which is purposely mounted at a comfortable angle to the shift lever, so I can tap it with
the side of my thumb.
Driver's side view of the shift lever and the three illuminated rocker switches (illumination is by LED when the switch is in the "on" position). The red arrow points to the spotlight flash button. Pressing this button will flash the spotlights even with the ignition off, when it is wired as shown in the above diagrams. The center rocker switch turns on the spotlights ONLY when the ignition switch is in the "on" position. This arrangement prevents draining the battery when the engine is not running (it is presumed if the ignition key is "on", the engine is running, or the driver is in the vehicle).
JT&T Products (2703-2J) - 16 AMP @ 12 Volt, Illuminated On/Off Oval Rocker Switch, Red LED
JT&T Products (2703-5J) - 16 AMP @ 12 Volt, Illuminated On/Off Oval Rocker Switch, Green LED
JT&T Products (2702-4J) - 16 AMP @ 12 Volt, Illuminated On/Off Oval Rocker Switch, Amber
The links at the left are for the actual
console switches I used in this installation. The switches require a blank switch panel into which you will drill the ¾-inch mounting holes required.
The Shift Lever Pushbutton is mounted on a 1-inch copper cap that is fitted to a 1-inch to ¾-inch copper pipe adapter (plumbing section of Home Depot). A small section of ½-inch copper pipe is cut in half lengthwise, and tack-soldered at an angle (use whatever angle is comfortable for you) to the 1-inch pipe adapter, and secured with PC-7 Epoxy. The shift lever is sanded where the switch will be mounted, the copper parts are then cleaned and then the assembly is epoxied to the shift lever with PC-7 Epoxy, allowed to cure 24 hours, then painted the same color as the shift lever. The connecting wires are then threaded through the parts, soldered to the pushbutton switch, and the copper cap is merely pushed down in place over the pipe adapter.
Although the spotlights that came with the Jeep were OK, the mountings were rusted, and the all-around chrome presented an annoying glare when position of the sun was to the right and slightly behind the vehicle. I replaced the original spot lamps with these babies.
A good set of Driving / Fog Lamps shouldn't cost a fortune, and are essential to have if you do a lot of off-roading, or you encounter fog or dusty conditions.
As an aside, you will note that even the back-side of the
wide angle rear-view mirror has reflective tape on it.
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