Upgrading the underhood light

Drippy

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Is there another dome light on the hard top? That is a very convenient solution. I'm looking for a hard top.

No, just the two light pods on the sound bar. I drilled some holes and mounted on the wiper motor cover. That seems to be the most convenient position for me.
 

Byhumba

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I have one under my hood, but instead of drilling it in, I used epoxy to attach strong magnets to it and move it if needed. I placed another one (also with magnets) here...
20200927_083011.jpg
 

GaTechTJ

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I installed mine this past weekend. I just paralleled the circuit on the existing hood light. I purchased mine on Ebay.
20200925_162440.jpg
 
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jeepbastard

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los angeles
I have one under my hood, but instead of drilling it in, I used epoxy to attach strong magnets to it and move it if needed. I placed another one (also with magnets) here...View attachment 192756
Thats very cool! I dig that! I use my flatbed a lot hauling stuff so i'd probably break it there, but I'm gonna look for a rear position for one too! thanks for the inspiration! Its too big for a stock fit into the domelight hole — but still searching!
 
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Moab

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Does the additional wiring harness keep you from having to pigtail it together using the old lights plug? So that its plug and play? Or is this just for lights that don't have the wires with them to begin with?

I'm still a bit torn between putting leds in my existing light. And relying on a flashlight for areas outside the engine bay. Or wiring up one of these corded ones.

It does have the globe of light advantage. Whereas a flashlight is pretty directional.
 

Ephry73

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I'm seriously thinking of using one of those cheap rock light kits with switch for the wheel well areas and under hood as well as under engine bay. No need to have a flashlight for night repairs.
 

Fulton_Hogan

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I recently asked about some open space in the engine bay, directly over the left front wheel. Thanks to all who answered, That knowledge went into this project.


Another recent post was how I replaced a harness wiring connector as it was part of another project to add an under hood reel light. In that thread I went into the detail of how to crimp and install terminals, so I'll skip those steps in this thread.


Here's my version of mounting one of these under hood lights:

It all started with a template.

Template_Sketch.jpg


Once I had the template cut out, I did a test with the mounting points I planned to use.

Template_Test_Fit.jpg


I started with a 6-inch square piece of 1/8-inch thick 6061 aluminum, trimmed it with a jigsaw, drilled all my holes, and sanded it smooth. This ended up being the test mounting plate.

Mount_1.jpg


I made a jumper that would connect the GM light to the Jeep's harness connection. I checked which pin in the reel light corresponded to the base of the lamp. While a filament bulb doesn't care if the base is positive or not, some LEDs require the positive lead to be there, so I had to reverse the wire order. Top and middle are the original harness, the bottom is my new connection.

Switch_for_LEDs.jpg


Test mounting plate, light, and harness in place.

Mount_1_Test.jpg


While everything was able to mount up fine, a couple of my holes were drilled slightly off-center, so I decided to take another swing at the mount.

Mount_2.jpg


My template's two holes that correspond to the fender mounting bracket under the fender were spot on, so I drilled those, mounted the new plate and marked the third hole from the underside.

M2_Test.jpg


Marking the third hole.

M2_Third_Hole_Marking.jpg


Third hole mark.

M2_Third_Hole_Mark.jpg


Once that was drilled, I remounted the plate and oriented the light how I wanted. As I placed the light and marked its mounting holes I kept a socket on the closest bolt so I know one would fit on the bolt's head if I ever needed to tighten it.

M2_Light_Marking.jpg


Once marked, I center punched and then drilled the light's mounting holes. I didn't have a center punch when I worked on the first mount and learned from that mistake. I bought one last night and today every hole was right where I wanted.

M2_Center_Punch.jpg


I sanded the mount on both sides then fed one bolt for the light up from underneath and the mount was bolted in. The fender drops down where that particular light mounting bolt comes up, but the bolt is longer than the drop, so it is somewhat captured. An open-ended wrench fits under there to be able to tighten things. I didn't drill a fourth hole for mounting the plate. I found the three on the test plate to be sufficient.

M2_Installed.jpg


Once the light was mounted I did the connection that would plug the new jumper into vehicle's harness connection.

Jumper_Harness_Connector.jpg


Jeep and GM ends of the jumper.

Jumper_Ends.jpg


I ran the jumper along the top of the bay. Once everything was in place it was all zip-tied.

Reel_Light_Completed.jpg


I capped off the stock under hood light with a spare connector to keep it somewhat weatherproofed.

Weatherproof_Cap.jpg


I used an LED that has a frosted globe on its top because it fit under the light's globe. How does it look? When you switch it on in place it is decent, but that's not where it'll get the most use.

In_Place.jpg


Where it really works is when you mount it on the hood, just behind the hood release, using its magnetic base.

On_Hood.jpg


Awesome light and I'm glad this thread got me going down this path. Thanks all!

Also, I have my test plate and a spare 5-foot jumper cable if anyone wants them for their own light project. They both work, I made two plates and cables in case I bungled one. The test plate is marked with where I was going to cut it, but I went ahead with making the second one and never got to trimming it. It fits as-is, but that's why its marked up.

Mount_1_Spare_Jumper.jpg
 
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Fulton_Hogan

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Do


Can you give the part numbers for the two connectors you used to make the jumper?

How about direct links?

The GM end is this part:


The Jeep end is this part:


I used 18 GXL wire from Wire Barn. I couldn't beat their price locally and the shipping was decent. I bought 25 feet spools; however, if you mount your light in a similar spot you'd be fine with the 10 feet spools:


I used 1/4-inch braided nylon cable sleeve over the wires and then some 1/4-inch split loom to cover that. The jumper is held in place with some small zip ties. No link for those items, I just have that stuff from other projects. Search Amazon for those terms and you'll be fine.

I covered the crimpers I used in the "Replacing Wiring Connector" thread.

One MAJOR tip for assembling the terminals and connectors:

When you insert the terminal ends they correctly install only one way and make a light snap when they are in place. If they don't snap, flip it over and try again. (You'll see when you start looking/working with these things which side is the locking part of the terminal.) Don't get one terminal into a connector and decide to try and test that you did it correctly by plugging it into its corresponding mate.

These replacement connector ends ALSO have a plastic bit that slides back and locks the connector it is when pressed into a mating connector. I locked up one connector with a single terminal in place when I thought I'd make sure I did it correctly. I had to cut the connector with one completed terminal off, order another connector, and redo it. That's the one on my Jeep.

As in the other thread, if this is your first time doing these I highly recommend you practice on at least one terminal before you do it for real.
 

MikekiM

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Has anyone mounted this unit in the rear cargo area?
Since it's plenty long enough to make it to the front, I am considering leaving the stock gravity light in the front and mounting this unit in the rear and triggering it with a plunger style door pin switch. I have no light in the cargo area and have a Tuffy rear security deck, so no interior light can make it out back.
 

Fulton_Hogan

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Has anyone mounted this unit in the rear cargo area?
Since it's plenty long enough to make it to the front, I am considering leaving the stock gravity light in the front and mounting this unit in the rear and triggering it with a plunger style door pin switch. I have no light in the cargo area and have a Tuffy rear security deck, so no interior light can make it out back.
There is someone who did this, via plugging or tapping it into their hardtop harness. I can't seem to find their post this morning.
 

Rcroane

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There is someone who did this, via plugging or tapping it into their hardtop harness. I can't seem to find their post this morning.
 
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