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Unread 05-31-2010, 06:03 PM   #1
trailblazr81
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Roof mounted lights running wires.

Just wondering how you guys with roof mounted lights ran the wires. I scored some free 5" round lights. I'm really not wanting to drill a hole in my roof. Maybe have wires go through the door weatherstripping somehow, then inside the molding. I just mounted the lights to the factory roof rack.



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Unread 05-31-2010, 06:16 PM   #2
ZJ5point2GCL
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you can easily tuck them under the door weather stripping, but you will always see a couple inches of wire. i would recommend drilling a hole right tight to the roof rack rail and just silicone it up well
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Unread 05-31-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
JAC1502
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I ran 12 gauge back and to the rear hatch and used the stock hatch wiring stock rubber boot. Since my lights are on my roof rack and I remove it some I used an industrial extension cord to make the connect inside the hatch for easy removal.
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#1 1997 Jeep TJ HEMI, 6" lift springs, 2" body lift, semi long control arms front and rear, Adjustable front and rear track bars, Slip-Yoke elim, 8.8 locked, 10,000 winch, Tube bumpers and rocker guards, Light bar, Custom swing away tire carrier, CAI, Electric cooling fans, Custom exhaust, Mickey T 35*14.5 on 15*12 wheels #2 2004 Grand Cherokee SE 4.0L, header, full exhaust, CAI, Bored TB, Clarion 10, RC X series 4" + 1, teflon wheels 17s, roof rack, winch, etc.
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Unread 05-31-2010, 10:24 PM   #4
ndlancer54
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I too ran 12 gauge all the way to the back through the hatch wiring boot.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 07:11 AM   #5
hammerz71
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I looked up into my headliner from the rear drivers side door, peeled about 3" of molding and just tugged down on the headliner enough to peek up inside. Saw a white baggy up there and it hit me - I have side curtain air bags!!!

Tugged the headliner down about an inch in spots to be able to feel around at various spots to see if there might be an end point somewhere up there to sneak wires through. Didn't find anything, as a matter of fact the stupid bags go clear to the back! I have NO CLUE why, as third row seating is NOT an option on a GC.

Well anyway, I put everything back and sure enough, started the Jeep the next morning and had an air bag light! Just from lightly feeling around for a place for wiring! So back up in all the spots I peeled molding back and wiggling crap around blindly with my hand squeezed up there until the stupid light went off.

About a week now and no bag light, so I guess whatever I wiggled loose, I wiggled tight again.


Bought some 1" and 1/2" square steel tubing over the weekend and will be welding up a little light bar for the front of the vehicle this week. Since I have a front receiver hitch, this will be an easy project as I'm gonna just fab the light bar up and weld it to an old 2" receiver I've got laying around. Screw messing with those stupid side air bags!!!
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Unread 06-01-2010, 07:35 AM   #6
ronsaun
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[quote=trailblazr81;9551706]Just wondering how you guys with roof mounted lights ran the wires. I scored some free 5" round lights. I'm really not wanting to drill a hole in my roof. Maybe have wires go through the door weatherstripping somehow, then inside the molding. I just mounted the lights to the factory roof rack.
/quote]

just did one. see the pics. drill a 3/8 hole in the groove on the drivers side that the roof rack mounts into. its runs the length of the roof on both sides. go as far up toward the winshield post as you can. gently pry down the headliner w/a screwdriver and you will see your hole. you can pull the 2 wires out w/ needlenose. then remove the interior windshield post cover(you will need a long skinny socket to get the grab rail off) and you can run the wires right down near the e brake pedal. then to get the power for your switch run a seperate wire thru the rubber boot used for the main wire bundle(punch a small hole in it w/pocketknife) put a waterproof inline fuse in. route the wire to the fuse block. crimp a spade on it and plug it into the fuse block. crimp a ring terminal on the ground and hit the closet bolt or screw on the INTERIOR fire wall that has CONTINUITY TO GROUND(that would be just about anyone of them). take the other wire that comes from your lights and the power wire and connect it to a toggle switch mounted wherever you decided. BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





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[B][/B][SIZE="1"][B]aussie[/B] rear end, drilled and slotted rotors, ceramic brake pads, [B]ironman[/B] adj.front upper/lower and rear lower control arms, [B]teraflex [/B]4" spring lift, [B]fat bobs[/B] 2' bb, [B]rusty's[/B] drop pitman arm, [B]jks[/B] adjustable trackbar, [B]moog[/B] tie rod ends/ball joints, [B]rancho 9000[/B] shocks, [B]kor[/B] dual stabilizer, [B]rough country[/B] front and rear bump stop extensions, homebrew front quick disconnects, [B]rough country[/B] rear swaybar link drop kit, [B]IRO[/B] a-arm spacer, transfer case drop kit, homebrew rocksliders, [B]rola[/B] roof rack, [B]speed bleeders[/B], 2" wheel spacers, 4-[B]treadwright[/B] guard dog mt 265/75/16, mud flaps, [B]superchip[/B], [B]k&n[/B] cold air intake, straightpiped, chrome tailpipe tip,[B] v-led[/B] hid headlights w/halo,[B] v-led [/B]hid foglights w/halo, [B]kidde[/B] fire extinguisher w/bracket, [B]maglite[/B] w/mounting bracket, [B]cobra[/B] cb, [B]firestik[/B] antenna, [B]white gauges[/B] gauge face overlays, [B]viair[/B] compressor, blue led interior lighting upgrade, [B]hi lift[/B] 48" jack, [B]hi lift[/B] jack base, wind deflectors for: hood, moon roof and windows, [B]sony[/B] stereo, [B]garmin[/B] nuvi gps, recovery D ring, interior mount keyed battery switch, custom dash brackets for gps, cb, sat radio, cellphone, bumper mount halogen reverse lights, [B]cobra[/B] radar detector, [B]smittybilt[/B] gear seat covers and tailgate organizer, [B]browning[/B] rooftop camo cargo bags, grille insert, washer fluid reservoir relocation, foldup cargo carrier, aluminum side steps, [B]addco[/B] rear swaybar, deer whistles, [B]mobile one[/B] synthetic oil, [B]slick 50[/B] high mileage oil additive, [B]k&n[/B] oil filter
[B]TO DO:[/B]
[B]reece[/B] front hitch, [B]warn[/B] winch, [B]elocker [/B]or [B]arb[/B] front selectable locker, [B]bulldog[/B] remote start, [B]hi lift[/B] essential parts kit, 2-[B]hella[/B] driving lights, [B]gerry[/B] can and bracket, stinger bar, wood dash kit, snorkel, washer fluid heater, rear swing tire carrier, finish the skid plates, fender flares, [B]addco [/B]front swaybar[/SIZE]

Last edited by ronsaun; 06-01-2010 at 07:46 AM..
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Unread 06-01-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
hammerz71
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I like the look, but it is NEVER a good idea to run a high amperage wire inside your vehicle for risk of fire. Much more efficient and infinitely safer to use a relay and low amp (0.3A) switch inside your vehicle and leave the high amp, high temp wiring in the engine compartment where it belongs...
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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Old Man Emu HD coils, 265/65/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Warn M8000, home made light bar, Cepek 130 watt lights, Hella 500s

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Unread 06-01-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
JAC1502
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I ran mine off my amp / power invertor in my rear hatch. Since most always have a fused link at the battery and I have never heard of anyone installing stereo amps in their engine bay its just all about safety and correct wiring.
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Unread 06-01-2010, 01:58 PM   #9
hammerz71
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Truthfully, I've always run an inline switch for lights. I've had 9 four wheel drive vehicles in the 27 years I've been driving and had lights on just about all of them. Never had an issue myself.
I've just read or heard first hand too many horror stories and have started using relays and low power switches in the past five or six years. I think for the most part, guys do not use heavy enough gauge wire and over time the wire heats to the point it burns off the insulation. A little rubbing from a door jam or the like can also cause catastrophic results.
The cool thing with relays is besides being safer, they open you up to a bunch of options as far as operating multiple devices off a single switch or even wireless remotes...
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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
Old Man Emu HD coils, 265/65/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers, Warn M8000, home made light bar, Cepek 130 watt lights, Hella 500s

CURRENTLY REBUILDING THE 4.7 HO ENGINE
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Unread 06-01-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
BigRed4x4
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Quick related question:

I mounted four lights on the front roof rack bar and two on the back, each light is pulling 8 amps. The inner two front ones will be wired together, the outter two front ones will be wired together and the back two the same.

Do y'all think a 12 guage wire is heavy enough to run 16 amps on?
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Unread 06-01-2010, 05:47 PM   #11
JAC1502
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I run relays for everything, most switches are so cheaply made its not worth the risk of having one burn up on you.

Where are you planning on connecting the 12 gauge wire or will each pair be on separate relays ran to your battery?
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#1 1997 Jeep TJ HEMI, 6" lift springs, 2" body lift, semi long control arms front and rear, Adjustable front and rear track bars, Slip-Yoke elim, 8.8 locked, 10,000 winch, Tube bumpers and rocker guards, Light bar, Custom swing away tire carrier, CAI, Electric cooling fans, Custom exhaust, Mickey T 35*14.5 on 15*12 wheels #2 2004 Grand Cherokee SE 4.0L, header, full exhaust, CAI, Bored TB, Clarion 10, RC X series 4" + 1, teflon wheels 17s, roof rack, winch, etc.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #12
K10roc
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i ran mine along the rails, into the rear, along the headliner, down the tower, to the switches... used a fish tape to run it




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Unread 06-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #13
JAC1502
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That is similar to what I did.

I tried to ground to the hatch hinge bolt but the lights only functioned with the hatch open. I assume its some ground loop thing to let you know if your hatch is not fully closed.

I considered doing HIDs just because they are fairly cheap for the small lights I have and I am disappointed in the output, but don't know how I would deal with the ballasts. I assume they are somewhat water tight but probably not on top of the roof water tight!
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#1 1997 Jeep TJ HEMI, 6" lift springs, 2" body lift, semi long control arms front and rear, Adjustable front and rear track bars, Slip-Yoke elim, 8.8 locked, 10,000 winch, Tube bumpers and rocker guards, Light bar, Custom swing away tire carrier, CAI, Electric cooling fans, Custom exhaust, Mickey T 35*14.5 on 15*12 wheels #2 2004 Grand Cherokee SE 4.0L, header, full exhaust, CAI, Bored TB, Clarion 10, RC X series 4" + 1, teflon wheels 17s, roof rack, winch, etc.
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Unread 06-02-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
K10roc
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i grounded the wires inside the headliner to the hindge... I would not run the ballass in the open, i know the ones i have on my bikes have to stay dry. the ones in my truck i tuck in there to keep them dry enough
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Unread 06-04-2010, 09:09 AM   #15
ronsaun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerz71 View Post
I like the look, but it is NEVER a good idea to run a high amperage wire inside your vehicle for risk of fire. Much more efficient and infinitely safer to use a relay and low amp (0.3A) switch inside your vehicle and leave the high amp, high temp wiring in the engine compartment where it belongs...
all the relay does is eliminate the need for a high amperage switch. the wires going up to the lights are still going to draw the same amount of current. you didnt mean to run the lighting switchleg on the outside of the vehicle, did you? because that would be the only way to address your concern other than LED's. also, as long as wire is fused properly and the connections are tight it doesnt matter what you run inside the vehicle. an overloaded and improperly fused #8 gauge wire with 60amps of current on it is just as dangerous as a #16 gauge wire with 30 amps of current on it. when you speak of a relay being "MUCH MORE EFFICIENT" what are you refering to? the equipment you are supplying uses exactley the same amount of wattage. you can do anything you want between the battery and the equipment but, the equipment still uses the same amount of power. following is a brief run down of electricity:


i posted this for another thread recently. i hope it is helpful for a basic understanding of electricity. you truely need a meter before attempting anything electrical!!! power is a calculation based on the voltage and current. power and watts are the same thing. this is how we measure what we use and what we pay for, "kiloWATTS". voltage is the same as "JUICE". it is produced(supplied)electromotive force. current is the same as amperage, draw and load. the battery/alternator will supply the voltage, 12v, unless a transformer or capacitor is involved, dont worry about that. the amount of power(watts) is determined by multiplying the voltage by the amperage. this sum gives you the WATTAGE. now that you understand that power is "USED" and not supplied we will move on. the key for you is to divide the "TOTAL WATTAGE" by the "SUPPLIED VOLTAGE" which will give you the "TOTAL AMPERAGE". this is your concern. if you have amperage that is not fused properly, the wire will act as the fuse. this is how fires are started. this would be a typical calculation example: 2-fog lights 55 watts each = 110 "TOTAL WATTS" divided by 12 volts(SUPPLIED VOLTAGE) equals 9.16 "TOTAL AMPS". fuses are designed to fail at 80% of their rating, hence a 15 amp fuse will blow at 12 amps. so, a 15 amp fuse is what you would need or already have in the example circuit. unless, other equipment is supplied by that same circuit,then the fuse and wire would be larger. the fuse is required to protect the wire so it does not become overheated(a fuse) and start a fire. the secondary consideration is to protect the equipment. this is a common misconception, the fuse is for the wire first,not the equipment. next, since fuses are for the wire, #14 wire for a 15 amp fuse, #12 wire for a 20 amp fuse, #10 wire for a 30 amp fuse and #8 wire for a 40 amp fuse. you can connect multiple pieces and types of equipment on a circuit as long as when you ADD all your amperges it equals no more than 80% of your fuse size!!!!!!! make sure your wire and fuses are per the ratings above. also, make sure your switch is rated the same or larger than the fuse or the switch may overheat(BECOME THE FUSE) and could start a fire. if using a large switch is impractical use a relay instead. this is where most people would want help from someone with electrical knowledge. there are alot of variables, so here are a couple of simple problem solvers: voltage x amperage = wattage wattage / amperage = voltage wattage / voltage = amperage remember that if you have any two of the values you can ALWAYS find the third!!!!!!!!!!! before all the disagreements start, i am a master electrician and what i posted is safe and fact. hope this helps, ron
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[B][/B][SIZE="1"][B]aussie[/B] rear end, drilled and slotted rotors, ceramic brake pads, [B]ironman[/B] adj.front upper/lower and rear lower control arms, [B]teraflex [/B]4" spring lift, [B]fat bobs[/B] 2' bb, [B]rusty's[/B] drop pitman arm, [B]jks[/B] adjustable trackbar, [B]moog[/B] tie rod ends/ball joints, [B]rancho 9000[/B] shocks, [B]kor[/B] dual stabilizer, [B]rough country[/B] front and rear bump stop extensions, homebrew front quick disconnects, [B]rough country[/B] rear swaybar link drop kit, [B]IRO[/B] a-arm spacer, transfer case drop kit, homebrew rocksliders, [B]rola[/B] roof rack, [B]speed bleeders[/B], 2" wheel spacers, 4-[B]treadwright[/B] guard dog mt 265/75/16, mud flaps, [B]superchip[/B], [B]k&n[/B] cold air intake, straightpiped, chrome tailpipe tip,[B] v-led[/B] hid headlights w/halo,[B] v-led [/B]hid foglights w/halo, [B]kidde[/B] fire extinguisher w/bracket, [B]maglite[/B] w/mounting bracket, [B]cobra[/B] cb, [B]firestik[/B] antenna, [B]white gauges[/B] gauge face overlays, [B]viair[/B] compressor, blue led interior lighting upgrade, [B]hi lift[/B] 48" jack, [B]hi lift[/B] jack base, wind deflectors for: hood, moon roof and windows, [B]sony[/B] stereo, [B]garmin[/B] nuvi gps, recovery D ring, interior mount keyed battery switch, custom dash brackets for gps, cb, sat radio, cellphone, bumper mount halogen reverse lights, [B]cobra[/B] radar detector, [B]smittybilt[/B] gear seat covers and tailgate organizer, [B]browning[/B] rooftop camo cargo bags, grille insert, washer fluid reservoir relocation, foldup cargo carrier, aluminum side steps, [B]addco[/B] rear swaybar, deer whistles, [B]mobile one[/B] synthetic oil, [B]slick 50[/B] high mileage oil additive, [B]k&n[/B] oil filter
[B]TO DO:[/B]
[B]reece[/B] front hitch, [B]warn[/B] winch, [B]elocker [/B]or [B]arb[/B] front selectable locker, [B]bulldog[/B] remote start, [B]hi lift[/B] essential parts kit, 2-[B]hella[/B] driving lights, [B]gerry[/B] can and bracket, stinger bar, wood dash kit, snorkel, washer fluid heater, rear swing tire carrier, finish the skid plates, fender flares, [B]addco [/B]front swaybar[/SIZE]

Last edited by ronsaun; 06-04-2010 at 10:08 AM..
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