Hi all - We just finished installing our LED turn signals in our '97 TJ and had a tough time finding sites that showed how to do this from start to finish that also included all the parts needed, where to buy them, the wiring, etc. So we decided to do a writeup to help you through it
2 LED lights ($4/ea at local Trailer parts store)
2 Rubber Grommets ($3/ea Trailer parts store - come with wiring)
Hole Saw with drill bit ($15-20 Lowes; Size depends on LEDs purchased)
4 IN4004 Rectifier Diodes ($1 Radio Shack; Part 276-1103)
2 560 Ohm 1/2 watt resistor ($1 Radio Shack; Part 271-1116)
EP-26 LED flasher ($16 Autozone) - to be installed in DASH
Soldering gun ($7 Radio Shack)
Solder ($4 Radio Shack)
Shrink tubing to cover electrical ($3 Radio Shack)
RTV Silicon Sealant ($7 Autozone)
1. Disconnect battery
- we did this to be on the safe side
2. Prepare 2 LED wires to connect to 3 wires on Jeep
White LED wire - Ground; Black LED wire - signal wiring
Wiring a wiring diagram
Solder two diodes together at one end (GRAY STRIPE faces soldered joint) to make a V-shape, then slightly bend so that diodes run parallel
Solder a resister to one end of a diode
Take black wire on LED light and trim off covering with scissors/wire cutters to expose 1/2 inch copper wire
Slide a larger shrinking tube up black wire
Solder this wire to the connected diode joint
Wrap with small amount of electrical tape to keep connection strong
Now your LED wiring is in order and its time to do the Jeep wiring
Soldered Diode-Resistor Connection
LED Light finished diode-resistor
3. Prepare Jeep wiring for LED light wiring
There are two scenerios:
(a) Stock fenders (turn signal/marker light)
(b) Replacing fenders (turn signal/remove marker light)
I am assuming that most of you are installing LEDs as turn signals because you are replacing your fenders. If not, the wiring situation is more simple.
(a) Stock fenders
- disconnect your stock turn signal and look at the connections listed on the plug - should say "major" "minor" "ground." In our case, the black was the ground, the striped wire was the running lights, green was the signal light. Cut the wires from the plug and expose a 1/2 of copper on each wire as done on the LED wiring.
(b) Replacing fenders
- If you are replacing your fenders, chances are you will not need your marker lights any longer. So, disconnect your turn signal and marker light plugs. You will notice the connections listed on the turn signal plug - should say "major" "minor" "ground." In our case, the black was the ground, the striped wire was the running lights, green was the signal light. Additionally, there are two of these wires that also connect to the marker light. If you remove the protective plastic tubing that bundles all of the wires together, you will see that at some point, two of the wires (running light wire and ground) branch off. I decided to cut the wire at this branching point because I no longer needed to have a duplicate for the marker light. I also trimmed all of the other wires down to this point so I was left with a black, stripped, and green wire. **Make sure you have enough wiring to do this by checking to see if the length reaches your new turn signal area** Lastly, expose 1/2 copper wiring on each as done in LED wiring.
4. Check Wire Connections to Jeep
Before we go soldering wires together, attach all of your new connections to the Jeep wiring
Test turn signals and running lights on both sides
After you are finished - disconnect battery
**At this time your flashers will being flashing quickly like a light bulb is out, but don't worry - we will take care of this in a couple more steps**
5. Shrink Tubing
Regardless of which fender situation you are in, slide one LARGER shrink tube over BOTH the marker and signal wire together (striped and green), then two additional SMALLER shrink tubes on the marker and two SMALLER shrink tubes on the turn signal wires - this will help create a good seal when we are finished soldering the wires together. Also, slide a LARGER shrink tube on the ground wire (black).
Shrink Tubes on Wires
Once you determine that all of your connections are correct....
Take your LED light wiring and solder your white ground wire to the Jeep ground wire. Then slide the shrink tube up and run flame from lighter over it to shrink and seal.
Take the diode/resistor and solder it to your running/marker light. Carefully move two thin shrink tubes (we placed on wire earlier) up over diode/resistor/wire connection and heat with flame.
Take the diode only end and solder to your turn signal light. Again, carefully move two thin shink tubes over diode/wire connection and heat with flame.
Take larger shrink tube on marker/turn signal wire and move up over wire connections and heat.
Your wiring should be set - so you can use some electrical tape to cover any exposed areas and bunch wires together with some leftover plastic tubing that you probably removed earlier.
**Repeat on other side**
Heat Shrink Tubes
7. Correct quick flashing of turn signals (EP26 LED Flasher)
Take off plastic panel directly under steering wheel
Remove second metal panel
You will be looking for something that looks like the EP26 LED flasher you just purchased
You will see two small black boxes: one with wires connected to it and the other is mounted to the right of the steering column somewhat behind a large tube. Ignore the one with wires attached to it and free second black box. This literally "unplugs" from its base and you can "plug" the EP26 into it.
Test your signals - they should no longer be flashing super fast because we removed and replaced the flasher that identifies if a bulb is out, etc.
Location of Flasher
8. Cut holes for turn signals
Wear gloves and glasses for this part
Tape where you would like to install your lights to avoid scuffing the paint job if the drill skips
Measure several times to ensure that you have your circles even on both sides.
Take a smaller drill bit and do a starter hole in the center of your circle.
Brace yourself - and take your hole saw with bit/drill and cut hole
TIP: We learned that replacing the drill bit that the hole saw comes with for a longer one made this easier. Also, we would get the drill bit situated in the starter hole, then get it going up to speed before pressing it on the metal. Good luck - this was the toughest part for us!!
9. Installing signals
Take your rubber grommets and make sure they fit in the hole you just cut.
Pull your electrical through the back and connect your new wiring to your LED light
Use RTV silicone sealant around the back edge of the grommet to mount it to the Jeep.
Here is the finished product
Now you should be all finished!!! I hope this helped and didn't confuse anyone - let me know if you have any questions and we will try and help!