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Savvy Billet LED Tail LightsLight up the holidays with LED lights from JeepHutIntroducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #76
thedirtman
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I tinkered with the tube bender and built a new cross member so I could do a double triangulated rear 4-link stretch.

img_0914.jpg   img_0915.jpg  
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Unread 03-04-2013, 08:49 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 442Wrangler View Post
Where would he put it? Just a curious question as it looks a little large...
That's exactly what I was thinking. The trim piece is not big enough to fit the dimmer in it, which means I'd have to keep the dimmer under the hood. I may be able to make that work if I can install it on the battery side of the switch, but I'm not sure I could.

The other bonus to spraying over it is that it will make the lights disappear against the black roll cage.
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More of a Tinkering Thread than a Build Thread (smcutter)

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Unread 03-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 442Wrangler View Post
Where would he put it? Just a curious question as it looks a little large...
Its 1.5 inch cubed - the knob does come off (and has the nuts under it just like a regular switch) so it could even be mounted in the glovebox (on the side with just just the knob showing inside the box).

Could also be mounted to the roll bar with the padding covering (like inside radius over drivers head where the curve allows a "slacking" of the cover).

And using 3m molding tape (double sided sticky) I have had real good results placing things like relays etc with no holes... just clean both surfaces with alcohol first, trim tape and stick.

There are always options...
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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:05 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
I tinkered with the tube bender and built a new cross member so I could do a double triangulated rear 4-link stretch.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman
I tinkered with the tube bender and built a new cross member so I could do a double triangulated rear 4-link stretch.
Your notion of tinkering is what I call fabricating. Get outta here!! :P
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More of a Tinkering Thread than a Build Thread (smcutter)

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Unread 03-05-2013, 11:59 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwmbishop
Its 1.5 inch cubed - the knob does come off (and has the nuts under it just like a regular switch) so it could even be mounted in the glovebox (on the side with just just the knob showing inside the box).

Could also be mounted to the roll bar with the padding covering (like inside radius over drivers head where the curve allows a "slacking" of the cover).
Great information, Bishop. I sold my roll bar padding, so it's just bare painted metal up there. I've looked into it and I believe I could put the dimmer under the hood, after the fuse but before I pass the wire through the firewall. The difficulty I foresee is making the dimmer work in conjunction with the switch; I would have to cut the cable on both sides of the dimmer, identify positive and negative wires, and hook them up appropriately.

The only other option I can think of offhand would be to cut my dash and mount the dimmer switch so I would be using it alone instead of a dimmer switch in conjunction with the Daystar switch. But I really like the switches on my Rugged Ridge switch panel.

I'll do plenty more thinking and testing before I commit to anything. I'll also get some better photos of my wiring strategy.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 12:03 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
I tinkered with the tube bender and built a new cross member so I could do a double triangulated rear 4-link stretch.
I guess if you just have random tube, a tube bender, a welder, a lift, skill, and cash money all laying around unused yeah, its tinkering.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 02:43 PM   #83
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Very cool thread. Lots of good ideas in here.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 10:36 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by roughandtangle View Post
very cool thread. Lots of good ideas in here.
+1
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Unread 03-10-2013, 09:18 PM   #85
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LED Interior Lighting, Take 2

As most of you have probably seen from Page 5, I recently added a strip of LED lights around the top of my roll cage to improve the interior lighting. But that solution wasn't without significant problems of its own. Namely, the strip was too damn bright!!!

So at jwmbishop's suggestion, I picked up this LED dimmer for a whopping $8.00. I took it on faith that the guts of the dimmer would be small enough to extract and hide behind my Rugged Ridge pillar switch pod. Sure enough, the gamble paid off!

Here is an illustrated step-by-step (my first one ever!). This process took me about 35 minutes start-to-finish, but that's largely because the wiring from the battery through the firewall was already in place. I could probably do it from scratch in about an hour.

1. Remove the four main screws from the front of the dimmer box.
image-521990196.jpg


2. Pull straight out on the dimmer control knob.
image-3884867966.jpg


3. Simply pull straight out on this part (I'll call it the wire terminal). There are no screws or anything else holding it in.
image-4141368937.jpg


4. Use a 10mm wrench to remove the skinny nut. Be careful not to lose the equally thin washer.
image-2690173971.jpg


5. Use a small Phillips screwdriver to remove BOTH screws that are mounting the circuit board to the plastic housing.
image-68834279.jpg


6. Take note of the proper configuration of the wire terminal. You don't want to get this mixed up...
image-3430637818.jpg


7. (NOTE: You may need to redo this step when you get to step #10, but it's not a bad time to get familiar with how the wire terminal works.) With a small amount of bare metal (approximately 1/8") at the end of each wire, insert the positive and negative ends into the appropriate slot on the terminal. Use a small flathead screwdriver to secure the wire inside of the terminal. It actually keeps a surprisingly firm grip on the wires, which made me feel good.
image-2634946815.jpg


8. Use a small flathead screwdriver to pry out the side panel by the driver's side door.
image-1631516114.jpg


9. Run a properly color coded RED positive wire through the firewall. Use one of the hex bolts shown in the photo to secure a ring terminal to the ground to complete the circuit.
image-748035990.jpg


10. Remove the driver's side sun visor, then remove the plastic trim in the upper left corner of the windshield. Also remove the A-column trim piece if you haven't already. Run the LED strip down through the metal as shown in this picture. It will come out nicely hidden within the A-column trim piece.
image-3075750088.jpg


11. You'll probably need to reconnect the positive and negative ends of the LED strip to the appropriate spots in the wire terminal. Make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you have the wires set up correctly, and attach the positive and negative wires from the battery and chassis (respectively) to the wire terminal.
image-353019992.jpg


12. This photo shows the back of the Rugged Ridge switch pod, with the circuit board and knob visible. At this point, connect the wire terminal to the circuit board and turn the knob to ensure that the lights are working. If they aren't, check your polarity on the LEDs, since they won't work if the power is backwards.
image-3166567224.jpg


13. Pull down firmly on the trim piece shown below and the snaps will come loose. Use a Dremel or similar tool to create a notch in the plastic for the lights to come out of the trim and thread above the rearview mirror. As you route the LED strip, peel away the paper backing to expose the adhesive.
(Note: Pay particular attention to how I've routed the LEDs around the roof latch, since you'll need to do the same to prevent the top from clamping down on the LED strip.)
image-3352744432.jpg


14. LED strips are very flexible in one direction, but very inflexible when it comes to turning 90 degrees like you would want them to in the photo below. To solve that problem, I picked up another set of LED Strip-to-Strip Connectors and installed them as seen below. I did have to carefully cut away the waterproofing material on the LED strip, but that was very easy.
image-894497255.jpg


15. Use a 1/4" drill to make a hole in the Switch Pod, then use the tiny washer and nut from earlier to secure the dimmer to the trim. Push the knob cover on, and you're good to go!
image-1696810611.jpg


16. Enjoy your dimmable LED interior lighting!
image-1738278425.jpg
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Unread 03-11-2013, 09:42 AM   #86
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Good hiding work!
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Unread 03-11-2013, 03:10 PM   #87
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Nice conceal! I wasn't sure how small that would get on disassemble. Now I'm thinking of putting one next to the on/off toggle on the wife's dash...

Just curious. Do you weld with that 000 supply wire in pic 12? Just kidding.

You can run over 5000 leds on 24 gauge stranded wire (could go as small as 30 - but strength comes into play here due to pulling through firewall). That looks like 16 or even 14 in your supply wire. 200 - 400 mA per foot of led strip (depending on lamps per inch) - would take 2500 feet of strip to make 1 amp. Smaller gauge is less expensive and lighter... 24 paired already identifies pos and neg. I used 24 all through the led install on wife's GTO (underhood, trunk, splash panels and suspension are all lit up in pink). And if you take the time to untwist it - it is easily bonded down flat with molding tape to hide it.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwmbishop
Just curious. Do you weld with that 000 supply wire in pic 12? Just kidding.
That's the wire I also used for the Wolo air horn; I just repurposed it for the LEDs. I ended up splitting the 14 gauge positive lead that goes to the air horn, and I found it was easiest to do so with the same gauge wire. It's also easier to feed heavier wire through the firewall (I tried with 24 gauge and couldn't get it). I did have to awkwardly trim the 14 gauge so it would fit in the wire terminal (still not sure of the proper terminology on that piece), though.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 04:44 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by smcutter View Post
That's the wire I also used for the Wolo air horn; I just repurposed it for the LEDs. I ended up splitting the 14 gauge positive lead that goes to the air horn, and I found it was easiest to do so with the same gauge wire. It's also easier to feed heavier wire through the firewall (I tried with 24 gauge and couldn't get it). I did have to awkwardly trim the 14 gauge so it would fit in the wire terminal (still not sure of the proper terminology on that piece), though.
I see now says the blind man... grabbing the existing power is usually the easiest route.

Its easier to pull small wires - use a fish (bailing wire works well as its so flexible) and set the path - tape the wire to it and pull into place. When I ran my SPod up - I pulled all needed wires plus three more for future - so I still have 2 18s and a 24 in there (18 for service, 24 for indicator etc), spooled up under the dash.

When you do tap into a large gauge with a smaller gauge - I find it best to strip about 1/2 inch from mid wire - then solder the small gauge to it and shrink wrap closed - much like those mid wire taps that I detest so much - but without the time delayed failure! That way you don't have to trim the wire at the terminal block. Keep in mind when you trim out strands - as current flows on surface - you are passing current from strand to strand mid wire on the ones you removed the end - rather then end to end of the entire wire set. No big deal on micro amps - but don't get in the habit of trimming down 10 to 14 etc at anything over three amps draw - the wire itself could heat substantially under high draw). An easier way would be to put a terminal on it - like a ring - then use snips to cut the ring to fit into the terminal block. I always solder the ends of any wire I am putting in a block like that anyway. Loose strands make for future issues!

You know what they say - there are many ways to skin a cat.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 08:18 PM   #90
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Thanks for the thoughts and advice, Bishop! This is actually the first time I've done any electrical work of any significance, so my primary approach has been to run ideas past my buddy's dad (a Master Electrician) and then make it happen. I had been trying to just push the wire through the foam in the firewall, but I'll use the tape trick on my next go-round. I'll probably just end up redoing the wiring based on what you've written above. If something is worth doing, then it's worth doing twice. Maybe this time I'll have the patience to more carefully photograph the installation process (but no promises).
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