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Unread 01-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
borkap
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
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How To: Fix TJ/LJ Underhood light

OK here is a cheap and simple way to sort out your underhood light. Most TJ era jeeps have this light under the hood that is seemingly there for looks only.

It operated via a built in gravity switch. The switch looks like a bullet. I was told it had mercury in it and as such Jeep says to replace the whole thing not the bulb. Mine felt like a simple ball bearing type but I didn't dissect it.

The process is pretty straight forward but a bit of a pain.

Disconnecting the wire was my first issue. There is a clip that needs to be pushed out and removed before you can depress the clip release. Mine broke so I used an automotive pick to pry up the catch and slip off the connector.

Once you have the wire disconnected you need to remove the light from the hood. There is a plastic base that detaches from the light assembly. The base is bolted to the hood and the light is removed by pulling the light toward the passenger side slightly and prying it off with a decent bit of force. I did this by hand but you can use a wide flat screwdriver or something similar.

Now once the light is removed go indoors and sit at your kitchen table with a beer while your wife looks at you disaprovingly for bringing parts in the house.

The lens is held on my 4 clips accessible from the bottom of the assembly. I used a put of force to get mine off. I suspect there is a bit of glue in there as well. Be careful not to crack the lens when you take it off.

Now as this is not a serviceable part the original light has been soldered or glued to the contacts. take a pair of needle nose pliers and rip it off. with a twisting motion. the bulb is going to break so watch for glass. The finished product will look like this.




Now the new bulb is not going to clip in there so this is where you get creative. You can use a variety of bulbs out there just make sure it has looped ends. I used a RL4410 bulb like below.



You will use the loops at the end of the bulb and hook the metal leads that the old bulb was attached to. This will require a little pressure and fineness to get it on but once its there it will stay. It will look like this.




Reverse for installation and use a little glue if the lens cracked or wont stay on.

Viola! Let there be light!



This can all be yours for around 3-5 dollars and a little patience.

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Unread 01-10-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
JeepnBlake
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You're probably going to want to clean that corrosion off of there. It will creep into the connector and cause the light to quit working, that's what happened to mine.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 02:01 AM   #3
oakmckinley
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I highly doubt there is mercury in the switch. Otherwise Pollution control would be all over it. Most likely the bearing you described.
Nice write up.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
2006_Sport
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If your underhood light works when you buy it, something MUCH worse is wrong with the Jeep.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 02:52 AM   #5
borkap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnBlake View Post
You're probably going to want to clean that corrosion off of there. It will creep into the connector and cause the light to quit working, that's what happened to mine.
Yup! Shot it with contact cleaner and dabbed on a lite coating of dielectric (sp) grease before I put it back together. Pics were from the initial experiment to see if it would work. Good catch.

Also I would use another bulb mine only fills half the unit with light. I'll probably change it out but hey at least it works somewhat, which is better than none at all.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 07:32 AM   #6
wesboy
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I think 'mercury switch' has become a generic term for tilt switches and doesn't mean they actually contain mercury - just use the same principal.
(For all I know, 'Tilt switch' could be a generic term too).

Thanks for the bulb # (RL4410) I always wanted to change mine but I've never seen one before or got around to finding out what it is.
I'm going to order a couple from here
http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...d-festoon/244/
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Unread 01-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
Spyder05
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You can get the original bulb any where. I've probably replaced that bulb 50 times before I gave up. It's the vibs from the engine that breaks the filaments. That led one you put in might last longer, but it will eventually break again. That's why I always have at least one flashlight in my jeep.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 10:10 AM   #8
borkap
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I ordered all the bulbs for mine from there. The backup lights are nothing short of spectacular. I strongly recommend them. The other bulbs work great but don't forget to replace your relay if you decide to go LED.

Backup Light comparison.

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Unread 01-10-2013, 12:49 PM   #9
rubicon17
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what part number do you need for those rear backup lights? thats exactly what i need.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
borkap
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This is the one I used for my LJ. Keep in mind the JK has a Bulb monitor on it. If you have a newer jeep like that you may need to add a resistor or get a bulb with the resistor built in. TJ and older you are fine with just a bulb.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ed-tower/1326/
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:17 AM   #11
rubicon17
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dear god 20 dollar each, ill just buy a led light and mount it on my frame.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:02 AM   #12
borkap
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If you can score a decent LED light for under 40 bucks let me know where you find it. I am looking for some.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:05 AM   #13
rubicon17
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http://www.lifetimeledlights.com/425...-led_p_13.html

that place has the best deals on light bars to. 41" 14000 lumen for a little over 400 bucks, and liftetime warranty.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:40 AM   #14
borkap
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I'm going to order that light.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #15
rubicon17
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i think i am to lol, i need something on the rear with a switch and id like that 41" or the 50" on my hood or roof, but i dont like the light bars and dont really wanna drill into my hardtop.
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