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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
DoctorTim
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 2,466
Using LED ribbonflex to pimp out a jeep

I installed some LED strips (which usually go for about $10-20 per foot) for my interior, what you can do to get them for cheap is call a major producer of LED strips and ask for some cut-offs or any extras they have laying around and be creative with the conversation because they don't just give away free crap to anyone who asks.

You can buy them at ledliquidators (on this site they call it "ribbonflex") or just google something like "Led lighting" or "LED strips" and you will find this stuff everywhere.

There are easier alternatives like replacing the filament bulbs with LED bulbs that plug into the existing sockets.

Doing this may damage some of your parts as the old plastic is very brittle, so I recommend getting some spares from your local JY and working on those.

I am planning do to a cup-holder LED mod, which will be in section 5 when I finish it.

PM or post if you have any questions or comments. I will update when needed.

If you are a noob at electrical stuff and if you live near Huntington Beach let me know me and i can drive over and help.


Section 1: Under-dash lights
Section 2: Dome lights
Section 3: Gauge cluster and center console lights
Section 4: Tailgate light
Section 5: Cupholder lights

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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
DoctorTim
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|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Section 1: Under-dash lights



Ok, so we will start with under the dash lights.

You need:
-paint stick or similar
-LED ribbon (I call them strips)
-wire
-soldering iron
-solder
-cable (zip) ties

Step 1: get a paint stick or something similar that is long and stiff (ha), make any necessary cuts and holes for proper mounting. I just used cable-ties for mounting, it's cheap and simple.



*Step 2: With a soldering iron, make some leads on the LED strip so you can later connect it to a power source.



*Step 3: Stick the LED strip to the paint stick and mount it underneath the dash.



*Step 4: Find a power source (i used the socket from the stock lights) and tap into it somehow (crimp, solder, or whatever works for you)



*Step 5: Some LED strips have to option of red, green, and blue, all on the same piece. if you want to be able to change the colors, all you need to do is make some switches wherever you want and have the leads going to the LEDs.

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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #3
DoctorTim
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|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Section 2: Dome lights




Next we have the overhead dome lights

You will need:
-LED ribbon
-soldering iron
-solder
-wire



Step 1:Stick the LEDs onto the dome light, find your power source (stock light socket), and make necessary connections.(Follow Steps 2-5 from Section 1) It's pretty simple.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
DoctorTim
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|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Section 3: Center console and gauge cluster lights.




You need:
-LED ribbon
-soldering iron
-solder
-any tools for getting into the cluster/console
-time

Step 1: Take the part (gauge cluster, shifter display, etc..) out carefully, take it apart so you can see the stock sockets and bulbs. I didn't manage to get a picture of it but you can completely take it apart and see underneath the plastic cover.



Step 2: fit the LEDs in there and follow Steps 2-5 from Section 1.

NOTE: It is very important that you remember how everything was assembled so you can put it back together properly.
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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
DoctorTim
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|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Section 4: Rear hatch lights.

This one will require removing the interior panels

You need:
-LED ribbon
-screwdriver
-momentary button (make sure it's not plastic)
-SPST on-off over-ride switch (optional) (you need to get one that has a low profile because it might some into contact with the body and short)
-drill and bit
-aluminum c-channel or similar

Step 1: go to local electronic parts store (radio shack will work but it has crappy selection) and find a "normally open automotive momentary button" (this will turn the lights on when the hatch is open) and find an over-ride switch rated for over 10A @ 12V (optional, but makes sense to have one).

Step 2: remove the driver side interior cargo panels and the hatch interior panel.



Step 3: drill a hole here (hole must be big enough for your momentary button to fit)



Step 4: take your momentary switch and ground one contact to the chassis (usually already done when you mount it into the hole), and solder a wire to the other contact.

Step 5: take the lead from the momentary switch and secure it to your over-ride switch.



Step 6: take the lead from your over-ride switch and a positive and feed it to the hatch (I just taped it down beside the window). You can see the holes where i tried to feed a wire through, there was something blocking it right about where the shocks mounted. If you find a way please tell.



Step 7: mount and connect the LEDs



(Step 5 from Section 1 is for connecting RGB (red, green, and blue) LED strips)
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Unread 01-10-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
DoctorTim
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Section 5 (cupholder automatic-turn-on lights) coming soon!

I'm still waiting for my cup-holder to come in the mail so stay tuned
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Unread 01-13-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
unclemark
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Ive got the waterproof version of these on my Bullet boat for deck lighting as well as in the rodlockers. I know a guy that makes em', they sure do work well and hardly use any power....

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Unread 03-03-2011, 09:06 AM   #8
sacrifice
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I have always liked led dome lights, led dash lights, and leds in the cup holders but everything else seems a little too much for me. None the less nice job, its your jeep and you should enjoy it!
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Unread 10-19-2011, 05:02 PM   #9
djswain22
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Very nice write up
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