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Go Back JeepForum.com > General Technical Discussions > Cheap Tricks & Fixes > Added light to my engine compartment. Simple mod.

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Unread 03-24-2014, 09:48 PM   #1
fayceoff
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Added light to my engine compartment. Simple mod.

OK, so my 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!



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 03-25-2014, 04:51 AM   #2
fayceoff
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83 views and NO comments? Ouch.
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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-25-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
jamesrw30
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2004 WJ 
 
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Really cool. I wish I had a light under the hood to do this. Guess I will just have to stick to wedging my work light in there....dang it.
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Unread 03-25-2014, 08:19 AM   #4
strvger01
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are they too bright to see well at night? too much glare?
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Unread 03-25-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
fayceoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strvger01 View Post
are they too bright to see well at night? too much glare?
No. There's NO glare. The bends in the hood's metal angle them perfectly into the engine compartment away from my eyes. I'll try to get another pic tonight in full dark with no flash.
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"A good plan [committed to and] violently executed now is infinitely better than a perfect plan at some indeterminate time in the future." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

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Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-25-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
rjbruzan
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Looks like an airport runway. Just kidding. Nice job. Great cheap mod!
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Unread 03-25-2014, 10:15 PM   #7
andrewx12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayceoff View Post
83 views and NO comments? Ouch.
They all seen this awesome mod and went to work immediately, wiping out K-marts stock of LEDs.

Very awesome idea, will be doing this to my WJ and possibly rigging a switch under the hood of my CJ and doing the same thing.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:46 PM   #8
fayceoff
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Didn't get a chance to take that pic last night, but I'll try it tonight.
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"A good plan [committed to and] violently executed now is infinitely better than a perfect plan at some indeterminate time in the future." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Be polite... Be professional... But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:50 PM   #9
misfit77
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I noticed some old xj came with a retractable light under the hood. I would pick one but they are all destroyed.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 01:57 PM   #10
fayceoff
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That would be cool! I considered just buying a slim magnetic work light, but I like this better.
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"A good plan [committed to and] violently executed now is infinitely better than a perfect plan at some indeterminate time in the future." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Be polite... Be professional... But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 02:01 PM   #11
hustler905
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I have some of those LEDs kicking around, and have been meaning to do this to my TJ for a while ... the factory light is all corroded and almost never works.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 02:27 PM   #12
fayceoff
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You know you can clean up the corrosion with a pencil eraser, right?
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"A good plan [committed to and] violently executed now is infinitely better than a perfect plan at some indeterminate time in the future." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Be polite... Be professional... But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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Unread 03-26-2014, 05:15 PM   #13
MyKeyB
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This is a great cheap mod! My local Wal-Mart has a bunch of those on clearance but only in blue. I was excited when I first saw them then dissapointed they only had blue. As for the retractable light, some late 80's early 90's Chevy trucks had them also.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 07:17 PM   #14
strvger01
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i have the magnetic harbor freight led lights. they work well and i can move them where i need them easily enough.
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Unread 03-26-2014, 08:16 PM   #15
fayceoff
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This is with no flash at 9pm...


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"A good plan [committed to and] violently executed now is infinitely better than a perfect plan at some indeterminate time in the future." - Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"Be polite... Be professional... But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Engine compartment LED mod http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f310/...te-up-2260105/
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