2017 Roof Rack Light Bar Install - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-20-2020, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
lighty0770
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2017 Roof Rack Light Bar Install

Today I finished up installing a 31" Nilight light bar onto my top front roof rack. I was able to piece together instructions from a few different sources, but I realized no one really had one good cohesive project story, so I wanted to provide a start to finish build.

Type:
2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Parts:
1x Nilight 40005C-A 31inch 150W Spot & Flood Combo Single Row 14500LM Off Road LED Fog (from Amazon)
1x MICTUNING LED Light Bar Wiring Harness Fuse 40A Relay On-off Rocker Switch Blue(2 Lead) (from Amazon)
2x DryConn Small Waterproof Wire Connectors 4 pack (Home Depot)
2x Southwire 10 ft. 18/2 Black Stranded Lamp Wire (Home Depot) - this is what I found to work, just ensure the wire voltage is able to handle that of the light bar

Tools:
Wire stripper/cutter tool
Socket set
Drill
Titanium drill bits (must be titanium to pierce the roof rack)
Box cutter or sharp knife

Read entirely before attempting.

Procedure:
1) Roofrack connection: Start by drilling holes in your roof rack to mount your light bar. This will vary based on each light bar, however, mine was ~31" and the roof rack was ~47" so I measured out the center and placed wide painters tape around the approximate area where the holes would be. Once I had the painters tape down, I re-measured to ensure it was dead center and using a pencil marked the holes to be drilled. Once I had both marks, I drilled the holes using a progressively larger TITANIUM drill bit. I wanted to ensure I didn't drill a hole too large, so just purchase a variety set from your local hardware store to ensure you have options. My 4 pack was $8. Once the holes are drilled, you need to attach the light bar to the roof rack ensuring that the wiring coming off of the roof rack is on the DRIVER SIDE. Do not install the roof rack just yet.

2) Outside running wire: I would imagine that the light bar does not have an incredibly long wire attached already. Take the loose wire you purchased and strip off 0.25" along with 0.25" on the wire connecting the light bar. Using the drycon connectors, stick the red light bar wire and the red loose wire together into the connector and twist together. A wet silicon material will come out as it gets pushed farther in as you twist. Do not overtighten, but once this starts to get tight, no need to tighten anymore. Do the same for the black light bar wire and black loose wire.

3) Roof rails: Disconnect the roof rails on the driver side and using the same titanium drill bit, drill a small hole in the back of the driver side roof rail so that the wires that you feed are able to come out of the back of the rail without being pinched. Before reattaching, there is a small gap between the base of the rail and the plastic in the back. Feed the wire through that, and through the hole you just drilled. Reattach the roof rail. After this step you are able to reinstall the roof rack. Once complete, you are done with the outside of the car and should have ~8.5 feet of loose wire left.

4) Feeding wire: In 2180miles build of the lightbar, there is a rubber gasket on the driver side trunk that houses the wires for the trunk mechanism. Disconnect the gasket and using a box cutter, cut a small slit on the gasket and feed the wires through that slit. Once the wires are fed through, try and pry the upper panel inside the trunk of the car and feel for the wires back there. I found it easier to feed one at a time as I split my wires into single wires rather than keeping them together. Once you pull them through, feed the wires down through the panels so that they are still behind all of the panels. Here is where I diverged a bit from 2180. Instead of running the wires through the floor, I put them through vent at the bottom of the bottom panel on the driver side trunk, and then fed the extra wire through the spare tire bay. This was just personal preference as I am not planning on doing a second battery install yet, and don't need that area super clean. If you are running out of wire here, use the same drycon connectors and connect the other set of loose wire you have to the wires you just fed into the spare tire bay. I also realized after using the drycon connectors at this point that the wire harness was likely long enough to skip the extra wires, but hey, whatever. continue running that to the passenger side of the tire bay and then feed it out under the rear passenger seat. Drycon connect the wiring harness red/black to the red/black of your loose wires.

5) Battery Connection: At this point, you should have the wiring harness connected to the loose wires. Connect the red/black circular prongs to the battery on its respective poles under the passenger seat and tie down the relay. I found that my battery had an auxiliary pole connection right when I pulled up the battery cover so I did not need to connect the pull out the entire battery. Based on the videos I watched before trying to install, I had not seen this setup before, so I am not sure if it is unique to my car, though I am sure it is not. Once you connect the harness to the respective poles, you should see the switch illuminate indicating power is running to the switch, and subsequently the light bar.

6) Switch install: I am still working through where I want to put my switch so this is on hold for now. But I have it placed in my center console for the time being but is not attached to anything.

Commentary: While you are doing this, I would recommend that you connect the wire harness to the battery and attach it to the light bar with all of your wires before spending time feeding them everywhere. This is just to ensure you don't have any issues with connections at any point before you spin your wheels trying to figure out why it is not turning on after you have fed all the wires through the car.

Let me know if you would like pics.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-20-2020, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
lighty0770
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-20-2020, 04:36 PM
Thunderspud
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Super nice. I went through almost the exact process a couple months ago on my 2012. Same light bar even. I also could not decide what to do about a switch.....so I just ordered this instead:

GENSSI Wireless 12V 2-Channel High Power Transmitter & Receiver On/Off Strobe Flash Pulse LED Light Bars https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019WSZ9Y2..._6hdQRfmIRtDUH


Bonus is that it works with the existing HomeLink buttons near my sunroof controls (although I'm not sure if those still exist in your year model).

Overall, I'm really happy with it. Only issue I've had is pretty bad whistling at speeds over 65 if the light bar position isn't adjusted properly. Not a big deal really. Most of the time it's adjusted for no whistling, then when we are out on a trail, I'll just reach up and tilt it up slightly for better light coverage.

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
lighty0770
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I like the idea of the wireless switch. It probably makes for a cleaner install too since I don't need to run the wiring out of the passenger seat. Good idea.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-25-2020, 08:51 PM
magik235
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Clean install

1971 Jeep CJ5 - 2010 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited - 2011 Jeep Overland 5.7 Hemi
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-16-2020, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
lighty0770
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderspud View Post
Super nice. I went through almost the exact process a couple months ago on my 2012. Same light bar even. I also could not decide what to do about a switch.....so I just ordered this instead:

GENSSI Wireless 12V 2-Channel High Power Transmitter & Receiver On/Off Strobe Flash Pulse LED Light Bars https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019WSZ9Y2..._6hdQRfmIRtDUH


Bonus is that it works with the existing HomeLink buttons near my sunroof controls (although I'm not sure if those still exist in your year model).

Overall, I'm really happy with it. Only issue I've had is pretty bad whistling at speeds over 65 if the light bar position isn't adjusted properly. Not a big deal really. Most of the time it's adjusted for no whistling, then when we are out on a trail, I'll just reach up and tilt it up slightly for better light coverage.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
I am just realizing you said this. Are you able to connect the homelink buttons like your garage openers to the lights wirelessly with this?
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-07-2020, 11:13 AM
Thunderspud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lighty0770 View Post
I am just realizing you said this. Are you able to connect the homelink buttons like your garage openers to the lights wirelessly with this?
I, also, apparently missed your last message. But yes, that's exactly what I do. The three homelink buttons near my sunroof controls served no purpose for me so I repurposed them to activate the different models that device offers. If I am honest, I really just wanted a way to remotely control the lights (which this device also offers by way of an actual keychain remote), but the added home link integration is nice if you want a physical switch, and don't want to modify anything.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-07-2020, 11:21 AM
Thunderspud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderspud View Post
I, also, apparently missed your last message. But yes, that's exactly what I do. The three homelink buttons near my sunroof controls served no purpose for me so I repurposed them to activate the different models that device offers. If I am honest, I really just wanted a way to remotely control the lights (which this device also offers by way of an actual keychain remote), but the added home link integration is nice if you want a physical switch, and don't want to modify anything.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Since apparently I can't edit my previous post.....I just wanted to clarify that I meant to type "to activate the different MODES that device offers". Didn't make sense with the word "models" in there.

Essentially, each button activates/deactivates one of the lighting MODES available depending on the number of lights you have/how you wire them. All that information is in the description of the device I linked to.

Hopefully any of this is still relevant to you, lol. I am aware it's been quite awhile. As an update, we have been using this setup for months now without any issue. It works flawlessly and I couldn't be happier.

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-07-2020, 12:15 PM
WK2Overland4X4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderspud View Post
...
Bonus is that it works with the existing HomeLink buttons near my sunroof controls (although I'm not sure if those still exist in your year model).
...
THAT is a really good idea, using homelink buttons for other functions. I bet there are relay on/off things that could work as well
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-07-2020, 12:27 PM
Thunderspud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WK2Overland4X4 View Post
THAT is a really good idea, using homelink buttons for other functions. I bet there are relay on/off things that could work as well
Yeah, I believe the Homelink stuff is just RF signals. No magic happening behind the scenes that I am aware of. On a related note.....the single button on/off functionality of the device I linked to was pretty much why I chose it over the other options I came across on Amazon. Seemed like most of them had seperate buttons on the remote to turn things on and off. I can't say for sure but I would assume that means those remotes are sending two different (and unique) RF signals to perform those actions. That would waste an extra Homelink button to do one thing.

Just setting to be aware of if you are looking around at options.

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