Rubicon Unleleashed: The Bypass of the Factory Locker Limit Switch -
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-26-2008, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
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Rubicon Unleleashed: The Bypass of the Factory Locker Limit Switch

This easy connection will allow you to lock your Rubicons axels in 4WD High, 4WD Low, and even lock your rear axle in 2WD.

Phillips Screwdriver
Flat-head Screwdriver

Vampire Clip>

1. Begin by removing the 44" plastic defroster vent trim cover. This is held in place by 5 metal spring clips under the cover. To remove: Use the flat-head screwdriver and gently pry up the cover starting near the VIN # plate. Work your way across the cover until all 5 spring clips are free. Set this cover aside.

2. Now you have access to the 2 phillips screws at the top center of the dash. Remove these two screws and be careful not to loose them down the defroster vent. Now the center heater/radio cover can now be removed. It is held in place by the 2 screws removed and 4 spring clips on the back of the cover. Start at the bottom corners below the power-outlet and locker switch and use the flat-head to gently pry the cover off. Set this cover aside.

3. Now there are 4 screws that hold the power-outlet and locker switch panel in place. Use the phillips screwdriver and remove these. Allow the group to hang down freely.

4. Find and verify the locker switch. The wire plug connecting the locker switch may be removed to allow more room to work. On 2003 and 2004 models, locate the Black Wire and the Red Wire with White Stripe going to the locker switch. On 2005 and 2006 models, locate the Black Wire and the Violet Wire with Orange Stripe going to the locker switch. Depending on your model year use the Vampire Clip to connect these two wires. Make sure that before crimping both wires are in its own channel running through the connector. Use the pliers and squeeze the metal contact down until it is flush with the connector. Close the plastic hinge over and snap into palce.

YOUR DONE! Re-attach all of removed components and enjoy the full use of your Rubicon Lockers.

**Note** Some of the spring clips may have gotten stuck during removal. Simply ues the pliers to remove them and attach them to the plastic covers.

**Note** This can also be removed in order to return the Rubicon back to stock locker restrictions.

If you have any questions or would like some pictures please feel free to send a PM

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post #2 of 18 Old 09-10-2008, 01:43 PM
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Vampire Clip

In my humble Opinion, the vampire clip is NOT the correct method for making this modification.

The correct method of performing this modification would be to Solder the connection and use Heat shrink wrap to seal the connection. In wet locations I have also used liquid electrical tape after my solder joint and before my Heat shrink wrap.

Here are my reasons for my statement:

The Vampire clip is designed to use its metal connection piece to cut the insulation of both wires to make it connection. As with all after market crimp connections, the connectors are not wire gauge specific, they are made for a range of wire gauges. Because the red vampire clip is made to cut through the casing of smaller wires as well as the bigger wires in its range of applications, the vampire clip has a tendency to actually cut some of the strands of the stranded wire used in cars today. The net effect of the cut is a reduced current flow capability due to the reduced congruent cooper surface area inside the wire. As per Ohms Law (Current = Voltage / Resistance or I=V/R) the reduced current flow has the potential to increase the working voltage of any electrical components ahead of the vampire clip in the circuit. This increase in working voltage will result reducing the life of the component, as well increasing the possibility of over heating the wires in use and melting their insulation. The risk is severe damage to the wiring in the vehicle.

The vampire clip is not a sealed connection and requires you to cut the the end of one wire and leave it open to the atmosphere. And as stated before the vampire clip is designed to to cut the insulation of both wires to make it connection. The fact the the insulation is cut further degrades the wires ability to not only insulate the surrounding car form the energy in the wire but also to insulate the copper form the outside atmosphere. This concept is especially crucial in an open air vehicle like many jeeps are. The cut wire and the cut insulation will allow the copper inside to corrode at the splice, thus allowing a short condition that will actually defeat the purpose of this mod.

My father was the owner of a mom and pop service station, Store and Repair shop. I grew up in an auto repair shop. I later earned an Engineering Transfer Degree in electronics.

I have seen the both of the above mentioned defects involved with the use of Vampire Clips, both in cars and in direct current applications in manufacturing and the like.

While I agree that this is a good mod I disagree with the method.


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Last edited by Ratmeat; 09-17-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-22-2008, 05:46 PM
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anyone try this yet?
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-27-2008, 07:15 PM
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I wedged a piece of mechanics wire between the terminals. I can pull it out quickly with no damage to the wires or plug. It's wedged in there tight so it won't fall out.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-31-2008, 08:30 PM
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I used a bypass switch, installed on the dash, that will enable 4wd hi locker engagement. If its off, it operates as stock.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-02-2008, 01:27 AM
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Eventually I'm going to wire it to two seperate switches (for front and rear lockers) and another "safety" switch for the lockers and winch. Not for a while because I hate the cheap look of aftermarket switches. Have to figure out how to make it look professionally done. Love them lockers!
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-11-2008, 01:15 AM
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I got all the info for the multi switch set up if you want it!

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post #8 of 18 Old 12-02-2008, 05:52 PM
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could you send them to me... I own a 05 unlimited rubi.. I cant figure what pin#'s to use to control front and rear lockers manually.... Email me at [email protected] with it if you could
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-30-2008, 03:08 PM
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I disassembled the switch and soldered a strand of wire between two pins inside it. No inspection is likely to find it, and it's not going to come loose and burn something up. I used a single strand from multistrand wire, since it's just simulating a sensor. That way if it DOES somehow get exposed to more current than it should, it'll just flash away.
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-12-2009, 04:57 PM
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I just got done bypassing 1-4 with the small loop of a paper clip. Had to use a sewing needle to make room for the paper clip. My '06 Rubi had different wire colors than what is labled in this forum. Wire #1 is black and wire #4 is brown with a purple stripe. Works perfectly.

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post #11 of 18 Old 12-05-2010, 11:19 AM
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bringing this thread back..

Anyone have pictures of this mod. or maybe just a pic the the correct wires. I have a Stock 04 Rubi. would like to do this mod.

Also what is the benefits of having the lockers work with 4hi? when would you use this?

Thanks for the help
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-07-2010, 07:43 AM
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I did the bypass, not exactly like this one, I put mine on 2 independent switches. I used this:

Rubicon Locker Bypass

Then I did this:

There are about a million different ways to do the bypass depending on what it is you want to do. I wanted full control of my lockers at any time. Only problem with that was I didnt want to chance someone bumping the locker switch when Im going 80 down the interstate. So, I wired in a couple safety toggles:

Picked these up at radio shack for $4.99 ea.

Test fit

The bezel is upside down here but you can see I had to bend the little metal toggle frames a little to clear. Also had to shave down a little off of the tops of them but they fit.

Wired in

Made labels

Sorry for the blurry here but I wanted to show independent locking of each axle. The whole time Im doing this the Jeep is in 2wd and parked.

Very easy mod to do. Only thing to be careful with is that the pump relays are alway fed, so, if someone comes along and throws the toggles, it could kill your battery and possibly damage the pumps.

edit: I ended up having to replace those toggles with a heavier duty switch. The plastic nuts on those didnt last.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-21-2011, 09:44 PM
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There are several ways to bypass the locker switch.....some will allow engagement in high and low range at any speed and others will allow only when under 15mph.... there is really no reason to add more switches.. just wire it in a method that works for you and remember how to operate them....if you are worried about bumping the switch at highway speed wire it for the under 15mph application or leave it alone........

Adding more switches to do the same task is like adding an extra toggle switch to your existing ignition switch and then a safety switch that all must be engaged to press the start switch for starting the engine....

Too many switches to operate one device makes for complex operation, confusion, and the potential for more faults both electrical and operational.

As for the method of making the bypass, soldering in a jumper wire and sealing it with heat shrink or liquid electric tape is the preferred method. Scotch locks or vampire clamp or what have you will nick the copper wire as it crimps into the jacket. some wires may be cut and if not they have been nicked. this in turn will fatigue and crack eventually breaking the wire. They will allow moisture to corrode and eventually not make contact either. I suggest dont use them in any wireing job unless its a trail fix to get you home and then when you get home fix it the right way.

just my $.02 worth


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1996 YJ-5 400 SB Chevy, Proflow EFI, NV4500 Trans with 6.34 low, Dynatrac HP Dana 60 Rear / Dana 44 front and 4:88 gears Featured in Sport & Utility June 1997.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 03:47 PM
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hii i would love to know how to over ride the stock defaults for the lockers with adding additional switches
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-19-2014, 09:13 PM
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Posts: 189 you dont need the switch...... just do a jumper between pin 1 and 4 for the safest operation of locker activation, under 10 mph in any range hi or low or 2x4...... it will remain engaged at higher speeds but won't let you engage above 10 mph..... if you search the forms in here their are diagrams as well.

"It aint bragging if you can do it!"

1996 YJ-5 400 SB Chevy, Proflow EFI, NV4500 Trans with 6.34 low, Dynatrac HP Dana 60 Rear / Dana 44 front and 4:88 gears Featured in Sport & Utility June 1997.
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