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Upgrading the underhood light

ScottB

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
161
Location
Milton, FL, United States
@Ranger_b0b recently started a thread about upgrading his under hood light. His post got me thinking, so I took a few hours this afternoon and installed a new under hood light.

After some ebay searching, I located a corded under hood light. These corded under hood lights were on GM trucks between 1988 and 1998, I think.

I paid $23.00 with shipping. When it arrived it was very dirty, but a little cleaning and everything looked good. I initially connected the light to a battery and the light worked fine.

Light assembly after cleaning.

Underhood light (1).JPG




While pondering the location to install this light I decided that the center channel under the hood. I am one of those people that keep all of the extra bolts, nuts, screws, washers, bolts, etc. I located 2, 10mm self tapping screws.
Underhood light (2).JPG



The light was originally mounted using three holes with "ears" on the rear. These "ears" prevented me from mounting the light flat against the Jeep's hood, so I cut them off flush with a Dremel.
Underhood light (4).JPG



I had no intention of keeping the OEM Jeep light so I took it off and used the factory wiring to power the new light.
Underhood light (7).JPG




Cut them off flush.
Underhood light (8).JPG
Underhood light (9).JPG


The 10mm self tapping screws.
Underhood light (10).JPG


Here is the light mounted on the Jeep hood.
Underhood light (11).JPG
Underhood light (12).JPG




I then connected the light using the GM harness, wrapped the wires in split wire loom and ran the wires down the hood channel and simply connected the GM harness to the wires for the Jeep under hood light.
Underhood light (14).JPG
Underhood light (15).JPG



Here is the light connected, without the bulb cover. You MUST turn this light on and off by a lever type switch. Even the new location is a much better light than the OEM Jeep light. I am waiting on an LED, 1156 that I ordered from Amazon, so the light output then will be much, much brighter. I'll post more pictures ones it arrives.

In the picture below, all of the lights are on in my garage.
Underhood light (16).JPG


Here is a picture with ONLY the old bulb. The new location is much better.
Underhood light (17).JPG



The retractable light is really, really neat. You do not need to "un-reel" the light, you simply pull it out and go where you want. The light also does not self recoil, so it will stay out as long as you need it. When you are through, you simply reel the light in. Work very easy.

Here is the light extended down the drivers side all the way to the rear. I had plenty of wire left to extend. I measure the cord all the way extended and it was 18 feet. Yes, 18 feet. Should be standard on so many vehicles in America. I guess it's a price point issue.
Underhood light (18).JPG


This was a very simple and functional modification. I would suggest that EVERYONE find one of these and do this mod. There were not many of these lights on ebay when I started looking.

I have been informed that the back of the extended light pod was magnetized. Mine was not. I know there are two different part numbers for this GM light, so maybe one has a magnetic base and one does not.

When you install this light, you need to do something that I did not.

I simply cut the OEM Jeep light in order to get a power source, but when I made the connections, no power??? I turned the ignition switch on and noticed "nO fuSe" was blinking where there is normally miles. I tracked this down and it was NOT the 50amp IOD fuse located in the fuse box under the hood. Perplexed, I checked all of the fuses and the #26, 10amp accessory fuse was blown. I guess it happened when I "snipped" the OEM light wires.

Remove the #26 fuse before you begin.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
68,498
Location
Florence, AZ
Now all you should do is put an LED bulb in that thing and you'll be good to go. It would probably be brighter and generate little to no heat (and require much less wattage).

I dig it though!
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
6,691
Location
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
Slick. You could probably get adhesive backed mag sheets and cut one to fit the light. Added convenience when working.
 
OP
ScottB

ScottB

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
161
Location
Milton, FL, United States
How do you keep your engine, inner finders and firewall so clean?!


It is a disease. I can't explain it, but I cannot stand the dirt and grime. I simply clean it from top to bottom a little at a time. It's the same thing with my dirt bike. I simply cannot stand for them to be dirty...................but I love to get them dirty.
 
OP
ScottB

ScottB

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
161
Location
Milton, FL, United States
I bought a couple of 1156 replacement LED's from Amazon and neither one worked???? I flipped them both ways and nothing. I could not figure it out, so I got to thinking. The 12volt OEM bulb worked fine but not the LEDs. I discovered that the 12volt bulb would work regardless of of how the wires from the GM light were connected to the Jeeps OEM wiring harness. Positive to positive OR positive to negative. So I simply switched the wires.....................then the LED worked.

Here are some pictures of the output of the LED light. My garage was completely dark.

This mod was well worth the time and the few dollars spent. This should be an put in every vehicle or at least every Jeep or truck.

IMGP0837.JPG
IMGP0838.JPG
IMGP0839.JPG
IMGP0840.JPG
IMGP0841.JPG
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
68,498
Location
Florence, AZ
Now that's nice! I could see that being tremendously helpful on the trail or a dark back road with no street lights.
 

Kiwi TJ

I don't suffer from insanity I enjoy every minute
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 3, 2016
Messages
6,476
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Now that's nice! I could see that being tremendously helpful on the trail or a dark back road with no street lights.
Been there done that on a dark road in the middle of no where...it was not a fun night. You gotta love LED's though, the amount of light they produce is fantastic.
 

TJScott

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
519
Location
Waterloo, ON Canada
@Ranger_b0b recently started a thread about upgrading his under hood light. His post got me thinking, so I took a few hours this afternoon and installed a new under hood light.

After some ebay searching, I located a corded under hood light. These corded under hood lights were on GM trucks between 1988 and 1998, I think.

I paid $23.00 with shipping. When it arrived it was very dirty, but a little cleaning and everything looked good. I initially connected the light to a battery and the light worked fine.

Light assembly after cleaning.

View attachment 28488



While pondering the location to install this light I decided that the center channel under the hood. I am one of those people that keep all of the extra bolts, nuts, screws, washers, bolts, etc. I located 2, 10mm self tapping screws.View attachment 28489


The light was originally mounted using three holes with "ears" on the rear. These "ears" prevented me from mounting the light flat against the Jeep's hood, so I cut them off flush with a Dremel.View attachment 28490


I had no intention of keeping the OEM Jeep light so I took it off and used the factory wiring to power the new light. View attachment 28491



Cut them off flush. View attachment 28492 View attachment 28493

The 10mm self tapping screws. View attachment 28494

Here is the light mounted on the Jeep hood. View attachment 28495 View attachment 28496



I then connected the light using the GM harness, wrapped the wires in split wire loom and ran the wires down the hood channel and simply connected the GM harness to the wires for the Jeep under hood light. View attachment 28497 View attachment 28498


Here is the light connected, without the bulb cover. You MUST turn this light on and off by a lever type switch. Even the new location is a much better light than the OEM Jeep light. I am waiting on an LED, 1156 that I ordered from Amazon, so the light output then will be much, much brighter. I'll post more pictures ones it arrives.

In the picture below, all of the lights are on in my garage.
View attachment 28499

Here is a picture with ONLY the old bulb. The new location is much better. View attachment 28500


The retractable light is really, really neat. You do not need to "un-reel" the light, you simply pull it out and go where you want. The light also does not self recoil, so it will stay out as long as you need it. When you are through, you simply reel the light in. Work very easy.

Here is the light extended down the drivers side all the way to the rear. I had plenty of wire left to extend. I measure the cord all the way extended and it was 18 feet. Yes, 18 feet. Should be standard on so many vehicles in America. I guess it's a price point issue. View attachment 28501

This was a very simple and functional modification. I would suggest that EVERYONE find one of these and do this mod. There were not many of these lights on ebay when I started looking.

I have been informed that the back of the extended light pod was magnetized. Mine was not. I know there are two different part numbers for this GM light, so maybe one has a magnetic base and one does not.

When you install this light, you need to do something that I did not.

I simply cut the OEM Jeep light in order to get a power source, but when I made the connections, no power??? I turned the ignition switch on and noticed "nO fuSe" was blinking where there is normally miles. I tracked this down and it was NOT the 50amp IOD fuse located in the fuse box under the hood. Perplexed, I checked all of the fuses and the #26, 10amp accessory fuse was blown. I guess it happened when I "snipped" the OEM light wires.

Remove the #26 fuse before you begin.

I was wondering if there was anything stamped on that OEM plug? I just bought one of these and was going to follow your install. However, mine didn’t come with plug or harness. My fault, didn’t notice it. They are tiny pins and getting a wire soldered on there is going to be tough. And of course the case doesn’t come apart. I’m going to search the net to see what I can find but thought I would check with you. Maybe if you see something it might reduce the search time.
If you’re able to help, it’s appreciated. I realize it may have nothing on it. Thank you.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

TJScott

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Messages
519
Location
Waterloo, ON Canada
I was wondering if there was anything stamped on that OEM plug? I just bought one of these and was going to follow your install. However, mine didn’t come with plug or harness. My fault, didn’t notice it. They are tiny pins and getting a wire soldered on there is going to be tough. And of course the case doesn’t come apart. I’m going to search the net to see what I can find but thought I would check with you. Maybe if you see something it might reduce the search time.
If you’re able to help, it’s appreciated. I realize it may have nothing on it. Thank you.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Never mind. Think I found it. GM p/n 88862305. eBay has them for about 10 dollars.
6b210cb4881d844a2d05efa9f6da21c9.jpg



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

jeepmanjerry

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
48
Location
Clayton, CA
@Ranger_b0b recently started a thread about upgrading his under hood light. His post got me thinking, so I took a few hours this afternoon and installed a new under hood light.

After some ebay searching, I located a corded under hood light. These corded under hood lights were on GM trucks between 1988 and 1998, I think.

I paid $23.00 with shipping. When it arrived it was very dirty, but a little cleaning and everything looked good. I initially connected the light to a battery and the light worked fine.

Light assembly after cleaning.

View attachment 28488



While pondering the location to install this light I decided that the center channel under the hood. I am one of those people that keep all of the extra bolts, nuts, screws, washers, bolts, etc. I located 2, 10mm self tapping screws.View attachment 28489


The light was originally mounted using three holes with "ears" on the rear. These "ears" prevented me from mounting the light flat against the Jeep's hood, so I cut them off flush with a Dremel.View attachment 28490


I had no intention of keeping the OEM Jeep light so I took it off and used the factory wiring to power the new light. View attachment 28491



Cut them off flush. View attachment 28492 View attachment 28493

The 10mm self tapping screws. View attachment 28494

Here is the light mounted on the Jeep hood. View attachment 28495 View attachment 28496



I then connected the light using the GM harness, wrapped the wires in split wire loom and ran the wires down the hood channel and simply connected the GM harness to the wires for the Jeep under hood light. View attachment 28497 View attachment 28498


Here is the light connected, without the bulb cover. You MUST turn this light on and off by a lever type switch. Even the new location is a much better light than the OEM Jeep light. I am waiting on an LED, 1156 that I ordered from Amazon, so the light output then will be much, much brighter. I'll post more pictures ones it arrives.

In the picture below, all of the lights are on in my garage.
View attachment 28499

Here is a picture with ONLY the old bulb. The new location is much better. View attachment 28500


The retractable light is really, really neat. You do not need to "un-reel" the light, you simply pull it out and go where you want. The light also does not self recoil, so it will stay out as long as you need it. When you are through, you simply reel the light in. Work very easy.

Here is the light extended down the drivers side all the way to the rear. I had plenty of wire left to extend. I measure the cord all the way extended and it was 18 feet. Yes, 18 feet. Should be standard on so many vehicles in America. I guess it's a price point issue. View attachment 28501

This was a very simple and functional modification. I would suggest that EVERYONE find one of these and do this mod. There were not many of these lights on ebay when I started looking.

I have been informed that the back of the extended light pod was magnetized. Mine was not. I know there are two different part numbers for this GM light, so maybe one has a magnetic base and one does not.

When you install this light, you need to do something that I did not.

I simply cut the OEM Jeep light in order to get a power source, but when I made the connections, no power??? I turned the ignition switch on and noticed "nO fuSe" was blinking where there is normally miles. I tracked this down and it was NOT the 50amp IOD fuse located in the fuse box under the hood. Perplexed, I checked all of the fuses and the #26, 10amp accessory fuse was blown. I guess it happened when I "snipped" the OEM light wires.

Remove the #26 fuse before you begin.
Looks like a project I'll have to address soon. Great post.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

99jeeper

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
16
Location
Cleveland, OH, USA
I took one off of an old xj that looks just like that and it's been laying around my garage for a couple of years. Thanks for the info. I'll probably mount mine this weekend.
 

tworley

garagequeen
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
6,986
Location
Arvada, CO
Guess I will be making a trip to the JY this weekend. Mine has never had a bulb in it since I bought it, and a retractable light 18ft would be a huge help! Great post.