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Unread 03-26-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
fayceoff
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Wj Engine compartment light upgrade. Write-up.

OK, so my 1999 WJ had one bulb under the hood which was giving me next to nothing for light output. I tried upgrading to an LED bulb, but it was still not much light, and it was nearly unidirectional. Then the other day I was at KMart and I saw these 12" Pilot LED strips on the clearance rack for nine bucks apiece and picked up two packages.


I took them home and pulled the light/switch assembly from the engine compartment. (Just squeeze the connector to disconnect it, then carefully pry the black housing loose.). Feed a jewelers screwdriver into each corner to release the clear plastic cover. In case you don't know, there's a ball switch in the assembly - kind of like a float switch - it has a ball in it that rolls back to make contact and turn on the light when you open the hood. So I took two short (about 4") sections of 16 gauge wire and soldered them to the two ends of the connector like this...


The strips are flexible and peel/stick, so I picked out the spots to stick them, cleaned them with Simple Green and let them dry. Then I stuck them (some of the double sided tape didn't take so I had to use a drop or two of wife's nail glue here and there) in place. I fed the wires under the insulation stuff to the switch, soldered and heat-shrinked (heat-shrank? heat-shrunk? whatever. Lol.) them and stuffed them back under the insulation, reattached the switch, and voila! Awesomeness!



Took these at 9 at night with no flash.
URL=http://s128.photobucket.com/user/fayceoff/media/20140326_210651.jpg.html][/URL]


Trust me when I tell you, the pics don't do it any justice. It is SO bright under there... I'm VERY pleased with myself... Hope it helps someone else. If you do it, post a pic here!

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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #2
rdkendrick
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Thank you, FAYCEOFF. This is a very simple mod that, probably, everyone could use. I don't think I have ever had an under-the-hood light. I can buy these LED strips at AutoZone, but I don't think I have the ball switch. I wonder if AutoZone sells those or a mercury switch?

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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
fayceoff
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Why not just pull one from the junkyard?
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
fayceoff
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Wjjeeps says the light was eliminated after 2001, but you can still buy the harness or install one because the holes and everything are still there.
http://www.wjjeeps.com/hoodlamp.htm
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
its-me-B
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I did something similar with mine but I used two 10 stripes left over from another project. I centered them and zip tied them in place and ran a switch off the battery. I'm betting yours is super bright because I know my two will put good light everywhere under there.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
KingSmoth
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thanks for this. I was going to the yard this weekend to pull a light and harness, so this will be an awesome upgrade for a little more money and effort. Not having a light for the engine bay sucks...
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
fayceoff
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I was surprised to not see anything like it on here. It IS simple, but I hope it helps someone.
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
TURNER76
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I was thinking of doing this but did not no If they could handle the heat.Looks cool and functional,I like It.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
fayceoff
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Well, I'm honestly not sure how they'll stand up to the heat over time. We'll see. But for 18 bucks I figured why not give it try?
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 02:29 PM   #10
fayceoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its-me-B View Post
I did something similar with mine but I used two 10 stripes left over from another project. I centered them and zip tied them in place and ran a switch off the battery. I'm betting yours is super bright because I know my two will put good light everywhere under there.
Got a pic?
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayceoff View Post
(some of the double sided tape didn't take so I had to use a drop or two of wife's nail glue here and there)
I thought I was the only one that did that lol. My girls nail glue has gotten me out of some pretty sticky situations before, and it holds forever. Better than any super glue Ive ever used that's for sure. Nice mod BTW
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Unread 03-26-2014, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jra8858 View Post
My girls nail glue has gotten me out of some pretty sticky situations...
Pun intended?









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Unread 03-26-2014, 04:17 PM   #13
jra8858
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[QUOTE=ChrisHager;21599793]Pun intended?

Lol....... no pun intended
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Unread 03-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
fayceoff
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Added some night pics in the OP...
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-27-2014, 06:39 AM   #15
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Thanks for the write up. Have a 99 and it looks fairly easy to do.
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