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Unread 09-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #2401
jscherb
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No other comments on the wiring design so far? Anyone?

It's still raining here today so I'm thinking more about the rear wiper . Part of that project is to replace the factory CHMSL with one mounted on the hardtop, and I've found the perfect one (temporarily "installed" with double-sided tape for the photo):



It's even from within the family... it's from a later model XJ Cherokee. I like sticking with parts from other Jeeps, like I did with the XJ roof rack, it keeps everything looking more "factory" than if I had used parts that would be recognizable as being from a Ford, for example.

The Cherokee CHMSL is lit by a bulb, which requires a pretty big hole being cut in the roof for the bulb housing, but I'd rather not cut such a large hole in my roof panel. So I've cut the bulb housing off the back of the XJ light, and I'll replace the bulb with LED panels that will allow the modified CHMSL to mount flush on the roof. All I'll need is two small screw holes, and a small hole for the wire to pass through.



I picked up an LED panel at AutoZone to try out, the nice thing about this package is there's a switch on the package and you can light up the LEDs without even opening the package:



But there are brighter and cheaper LED panels available than this one from AutoZone, so I'll get some of those and return this one. I'll keep you posted on the rest of the CHMSL project as soon as I get the LED panels for it.

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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #2402
GregB_00XJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
Good point on the front light... many later model Jeeps have dome lights in the speaker pods, and my LJ has lights in the bottom of the rear view mirror, but I think those were an extra-cost option. So maybe a front light would be useful, both as a dome light when the door opens, and as a switchable map light.

If you've got speaker pod lights, an additional rear light like I put in my top is useful but not truly necessary, so maybe the basic kit should only include a front light and no rear light?

For the DC circuit, I was thinking the wires would be long enough to reach the front of the Jeep, so you could wire some equipment above the windshield. Seems like DC power would be more useful at the front of the roof than in the back?

The rear wiper adds a lot of complexity and cost (wiper motors alone will probably wholesale at $100 or more), so I was thinking that wouldn't be part of the basic kit. I was trying to keep the basic kit inexpensive and with "basic" functionality that most people would want. I'm guessing many people won't want to spend a couple of hundred for a wiper installation.

Thoughts?
I personally think a light in the back is important, but I drive an XJ, I have both already and use them. The XJ/ZJ are longer inside than the WJ/TJ/YJ so it might not be as much of a big deal in a smaller interior?

Basic kit should be basic, no wiper in my opinion. An upgrade option of a wiper will be popular, with a flat back window like that it will get plenty dirty on the back roads really quick. If it is sold as an option in initial purchase for the upscale model, but is also available as an add on later, it will be a winner I bet?

Looking great Jeff, loving the look of this top. Makes me want to hack the roof off of my XJ and get you to make me a Safari Top for the XJ! Maybe a Wesfalia style pop top? lol



Oh and I like the look of the XJ rear third brake light. Looks stock and factory! And LED FTW.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:35 PM   #2403
SFT2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB_00XJ View Post
I personally think a light in the back is important, but I drive an XJ, I have both already and use them. The XJ/ZJ are longer inside than the WJ/TJ/YJ so it might not be as much of a big deal in a smaller interior?
The only light I have in the back of my TJ is in the soundbar, so it's just behind my head, dead center in the bar, and it's enough to light up the back seat or, if the seat's where it belongs (in the garage) the bed. It's a bit tough to see with the red LEDs, but at least it doesn't kill my night vision.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:40 PM   #2404
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFT2 View Post
The only light I have in the back of my TJ is in the soundbar, so it's just behind my head, dead center in the bar, and it's enough to light up the back seat or, if the seat's where it belongs (in the garage) the bed. It's a bit tough to see with the red LEDs, but at least it doesn't kill my night vision.
I suppose the rear seat would block some of the soundbar light from illuminating the cargo area behind the seat, so maybe both a front light and rear light is a good idea.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:41 PM   #2405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
I suppose the rear seat would block some of the soundbar light from illuminating the cargo area behind the seat, so maybe both a front light and rear light is a good idea.
There's so little room behind the seat in a TJ that I wouldn't even bother. Maybe for the LJ. Unless the rear light was below the top of the seat it wouldn't light much up anyway with the geometry of the rear glass and seat.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:17 PM   #2406
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maybe more than two wiring packages (or add on features for both packages) but the very basic is one light up front and one dc circut (all youd need for the half cab cause you could relocate the speakers to built in speaker pods, rerout the factory speaker wire for those) then a mid grafe would add the second light and possibly an additional dc circut. then the premium grade would add rear wiper and perhaps led lights.

then again you could have just the first and last package with the wiper as an add on item for the basic. possibly include a female connector for the wiper at the end of the basic package ending at the passengerside rear tubcorner. then the wiper could be a single unit that has a male ended connector that simply plugs in. basically make it a real plug and play setup.

man there are lots of possibilities. feel free to tell me whay my ideas are idiodic and foolish.
forgot about the brake light, that could be in the mid grade, or in the premium with it also being an addon option for the basic.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:02 PM   #2407
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This is one of those situations when I really think KISS is the way to go. There's no real need for a light in the cargo area since it's barely big enough for a gym bag (it holds my cop crap bag, a pair of boots, and a folding chair squeezed in on top of the wheel wells), but if you really need one, get one of those stick on LED light dots for $5 at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. I have one in my closet and it's more than enough light to see in there. I'm going to pick up another one to stick back there just to see how it works. The hook side of velcro stuck on the back of the light should work fine to attach it to carpet, or maybe an old speaker magnet epoxied on will stick it to the tub if you've bedlined it.

What I DO think is a good idea, and I will be doing this in the very near future, is a constant hot (or switchable, off-keyed-constant) 12v socket in the back. I had one in my Durango and got spoiled. Airing up an air mattress, inner tube, inflate-a-date, or whatever was much, much easier in the back than on the hood. If there's a socket back there, just stick in one of those cheap lights with a flexible neck you can get at the parts house for a few bucks. I saw one a while back that was rechargable so it could be unplugged and used elsewhere, too. Now I just need to find keyed and constant +12v in the back somewhere or break down and run 2 more wires (22ga keyed for a relay and 10ga straight to the battery through a suitable fuse).
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #2408
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravobravo View Post
maybe more than two wiring packages (or add on features for both packages) but the very basic is one light up front and one dc circut (all youd need for the half cab cause you could relocate the speakers to built in speaker pods, rerout the factory speaker wire for those) then a mid grafe would add the second light and possibly an additional dc circut. then the premium grade would add rear wiper and perhaps led lights.

then again you could have just the first and last package with the wiper as an add on item for the basic. possibly include a female connector for the wiper at the end of the basic package ending at the passengerside rear tubcorner. then the wiper could be a single unit that has a male ended connector that simply plugs in. basically make it a real plug and play setup.

man there are lots of possibilities. feel free to tell me whay my ideas are idiodic and foolish.
forgot about the brake light, that could be in the mid grade, or in the premium with it also being an addon option for the basic.
No, not idiotic or foolish ideas, thanks for the input.

The goal I think is a balancing act to come up with the minimum number of kits that satisfy the most people. The fewer kits there are, the less cost to the company and the buyer, for a lot of reasons - more volume reduces unit cost, less engineering cost, less support cost, etc. That's why I'm trying to come up with only two kits that would satisfy most people.

You have a point about kits with one light vs. two lights, either for the half-cab vs. the full cab or maybe for people with later model high-option LJ's like mine that have lights up front already. I've heard from a bunch of people who really want the rear cargo light.

Another thought - once you have a single-light kit installed, it would be very easy to splice in a second light, so maybe that's the answer, rather than offering two kits. The company could offer the single-light kit, and then offer to sell additional lights people could hook up.

About the third brake light - I'd like to hear from people if they have any interest in installing one on the back of the roof and removing their spare-carrier-mounted one. If you go for the rear window wiper, you'll need to remove the factory CHMSL mount to provide clearance for the wiper, so you won't have any choice, but would people like to swap the factory CHMSL for the roof-mounted one? (I actually do want to swap, after seeing how nice the XJ light looked today, I'm anxious to get rid of the factory CHMSL ).
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:18 PM   #2409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
About the third brake light - I'd like to hear from people if they have any interest in installing one on the back of the roof and removing their spare-carrier-mounted one. If you go for the rear window wiper, you'll need to remove the factory CHMSL mount to provide clearance for the wiper, so you won't have any choice, but would people like to swap the factory CHMSL for the roof-mounted one? (I actually do want to swap, after seeing how nice the XJ light looked today, I'm anxious to get rid of the factory CHMSL ).
Personally, I don't have a CHMSL at all. They aren't required in Texas, and it was blocking most of my view out the back where I needed to be looking. That said, if I was to get a hard top and there was an option to put it above the glass, yes, that's where I would put it. High enough to be visible, completely out of view, not in the way of anything, sounds perfect to me.

And just because I feel like complicating things, making the light out of an LED array with each column addressable, then controlling it with a microcontroller so it would scroll left or right with the turn signals would be a bonus. There are times when things block the turn signals, and there are a bunch of morons out there, so anything that makes it more obvious what I'm trying to do is a good thing.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #2410
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFT2 View Post
This is one of those situations when I really think KISS is the way to go. There's no real need for a light in the cargo area since it's barely big enough for a gym bag...
Based on the discussion in the last two posts, I'm thinking the basic kit would have a single light, which the buyer could mount in the front or the rear as they wished, and then if they wanted another light they could buy one separately from the company and connect it up to the basic kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFT2 View Post
What I DO think is a good idea, and I will be doing this in the very near future, is a constant hot (or switchable, off-keyed-constant) 12v socket in the back.
That's one of the things the buyer could add to the 12v circuit I planned into the basic kit. The kit would just provide the power leads, and the buyer could install whatever accessories they want on that circuit.

But thinking about the uses you have for the rear power outlet, wouldn't it be better to install it in the tub and not in the hardtop? That way the outlet is still there when you swap the hardtop for the soft top in warm weather.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:25 PM   #2411
SFT2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
That's one of the things the buyer could add to the 12v circuit I planned into the basic kit. The kit would just provide the power leads, and the buyer could install whatever accessories they want on that circuit.

But thinking about the uses you have for the rear power outlet, wouldn't it be better to install it in the tub and not in the hardtop? That way the outlet is still there when you swap the hardtop for the soft top in warm weather.
Yeah, I'm planning on putting it in the tub, left side, just ahead of the rear tube of the cage, out close to the side so it's somewhat protected by the tub's top lip. Sorry about that, I was kinda thinking out loud and got a bit off topic again.

Will the kit have a keyed hot back there? I've goofed and forgotten to turn off an inverter that was plugged into a constant hot socket. Fortunately I caught it before the battery was dead, but it was close.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:30 PM   #2412
jscherb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFT2 View Post
Will the kit have a keyed hot back there? I've goofed and forgotten to turn off an inverter that was plugged into a constant hot socket. Fortunately I caught it before the battery was dead, but it was close.
I'm thinking the power circuit would be keyed, like pretty much all other accessories in the Jeep. If someone wanted it to be a non-keyed circuit, I think there would be alternate instructions with the kit telling where to hook it up under the dash.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:37 PM   #2413
SFT2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
I'm thinking the power circuit would be keyed, like pretty much all other accessories in the Jeep. If someone wanted it to be a non-keyed circuit, I think there would be alternate instructions with the kit telling where to hook it up under the dash.
Gotcha, probably the best plan. I, personally, hate that the socket up front is keyed. For example, I was camping a couple weeks ago and, since we were in the middle of nowhere, my cell phone was roaming. When it does that it eats the battery, and the only way to charge it was to leave it in the Jeep with the key on. Not a good plan, IMHO. Since people would do things like my inverter goof it's probably best to have the standard setup like the factory sockets.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 09:18 AM   #2414
jscherb
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Here's my thoughts for the advanced wiring kit, which provides the same interior lighting and 12 v DC power as the basic kit and also would include a wiper motor and a CHMSL.



There are several options for wiring the advanced kit into the Jeep:

1. For 97-02 TJ's with the factory hardtop wiring harness, it is plug-and-play, with the exception of the CHMSL, which must be wired separately.

2. For 03-06 TJ's with the factory wiring harness, there would be an optional Y adapter that connects the TJ97 hardtop-side male plug to both the tub-side female TJ97 and the factory tub-side TJ03 plug. The lighting and DC power functions would still be through the TJ97 plug, so that tub-side wiring would need to be added to the Jeep if interior lights in the hardtop were desired. The basic tub-side harness or the TJ97 plug with pigtails described yesterday would be used for that.

3. For all others, a full wiring harness, including a dash switch, would be available.

Here's what the full tub-side harness could look like:



The tub-side wiring harness for the advanced kit would be very similar to the basic kit harness, with the addition of the wiring for the wiper, which mainly consists of the switch. One vendor I'm talking to about wiper motors offers several switches (shown in the drawing above), including a delay switch, and one that looks like it might fit in the TJ dash slots. All of their switches support the washer function.

Other than mounting the switch somewhere in/on the dash, the tub-side wiring for the advanced kit is identical to the basic kit, it is no more complex, except for an additional wire to connect to the washer pump (if the Jeep is equipped with one).

The advanced kit also provides a replacement CHMSL, to mount above the rear barn door on the back of the roof. This is wired on on both the hardtop and the tub sides with a wire that's not part of the TJ97 plug, it uses a separate bayonet connector.

The advanced kit would also come with a cover plate for the access hole that needs to be cut in the inside wall of the barn door, and door contacts or a flexible cable to bring the wiper circuits to the door.

Let me know what you think of this kit.
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Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
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  • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
  • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
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Unread 10-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #2415
commodore_dude
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I'm not a wiring expert so I don't know what the tub-side part is for (or why I'd need an extra light switch), but I like everything going on with the advanced kit diagram
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