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Unread 04-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #1
nmiller015
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mansfield, MA
Posts: 301
LED Light Bar Mod Write Up

A couple of people from my build thread said they wanted me to do a write up for how i added a tailgate light bar to the back of my 97 XJ. This is the way I did it, I'm sure there are a bunch of other ways it could be done.

These are the two things I ordered online:

-http://www.amazon.com/531044-49-Inch-4-Function-Universal-Tailgate/dp/B003TOT0F0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1303141839&sr=8-1
-Wiring Harness

The first step in this project is to install the Wiring Harness: Etrailer has a helpful video, if you don't know what to do, the video is located here: Install Wiring Harness

- I ran the 4-pole wire from the harness up the pillar to the area above the spare tire

- Also I used a spare 4-pole connector I had and added it in line with the wiring so that if i ever needed to tow anything, i had an extra connector:



-The next thing I did was to cut off the plastic lip that is on the top of the light bar, I used a band saw, but it could be done with a sharp utility knife, the plastic isn't too thick:



-The next thing to do is to make the tabs that will hold the light bar to the bottom of the liftgate. I made mine out of 1/8" bendable sheet aluminium, I made the tabs 3" x 1" and i bent them in half, like a hot dog roll.





-Then, I mocked up the light bar on the bottom of the liftgate, and marked where i wanted to mount the tabs to the liftgate, and the tabs to the light bar. I made 5 tabs, but only ended up using two, it seemed sturdy enough and I didn't want to hit any of the components for the latch mechanism inside the liftgate. Also be sure to align the light bar in the direct middle of the hatch.

-Then drill your holes in the tabs and the light bar so you can bolt them together. Make it so the top of the light bar is level with the bend on the tabs. Then you can bolt it together: I just used whatever I could find in my spare nuts and bolts box. I used 10-24" x 1" bolts, and cut off the ends.





-Now you want to drill the holes that go from the tab to the liftgate (holes can be seen in this picture):



- Then you have to drill the holes for the screw to go into. I placed the lightbar in the center where I wanted it to go and marked where I wanted my holes to go. When I drilled I placed the hole a hair above where my mark was so the light bar would be snug against the lip of the liftgate.



-Screw the lightbar + tabs to the liftgate:





-Now the light bar should be snug against the lip of the tailgate and look like this(you may have to adjust some of your holes if not):



-Now you want to fish the wire connected to your light bar up into the plastic trim piece on the liftgate:



-Then from the top of the trim, behind the rubber seal, into the trim on the top of the interior:



-Then you can plug the two together, I laid out the excess wire down the top trim piece toward the passenger side of the XJ:



- Done!







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Unread 04-18-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
MeanGreenBean
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1989 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Houghton/Lambertville, Michigan
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Beautiful!
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Unread 04-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #3
coolsurfer88
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
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i had this all setup to do on my cherokee before i sold it and couldnt figure out how i wanted to mount it and then i sold the cherokee lol

awesome job though!
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Unread 04-19-2011, 03:36 AM   #4
Jcool
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1993 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Posts: 341
thinks i found a new mod for my jeep!!

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Unread 04-19-2011, 01:33 PM   #5
Masaga91
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2009 KK Liberty 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: santa ana, costa rica
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dammmmmmnnnnnn it's freaking awesome, hahhahaha i am gonna do it on vacations
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Unread 04-19-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
nmiller015
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1997 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mansfield, MA
Posts: 301
Glad you guys like it

Also, the price of the light bar seems to have gone up on amazon, when I bought mine it was $18 shipped, thats one of the main reasons I did this mod, because the parts were so cheap. Oh well... I think theres some other ones made by different companies that are cheaper.
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Unread 05-04-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
KINGJB
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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That's pretty sweet.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
lyon
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Pretty cool. I was wondering if anyone had experience with these after offroading. Meaning through deep water/mud? Just wondering how they hold up. Thanks!
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Unread 05-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
99Greenmachine
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Is your top brake light out? Or is that just the way the wiring worked out?
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Unread 07-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
nmiller015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99Greenmachine View Post
Is your top brake light out? Or is that just the way the wiring worked out?
No that's the way it looks when the jeep is at idle/driving, when I hit the brakes the light bar glows brighter and the brake lights work as normal.

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Unread 03-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
nmiller015
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UPDATE: Seems my lite-bar has bitten the dust, five or so lights are burnt out. I disconnected it cause it looks like crap, I'm gonna see if I can find another bar for cheap.
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