$0 Factory 3rd Brake Light Extension - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-08-2018, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Editing to add this was performed on a 2 door JK Sport, no subwoofer.

Tools needed:
- 2 flathead jeweler drivers (tiny flatheads)
- Utility knife
- Small picture frame nail
- 2 small zip ties
- Electrical Tape (optional)

After installing a bumper with a swing-out tire carrier, I looked far and wide at the various options to extend the harness. Every one requires either cutting and splicing the tub harness, or the external tailgate harness running excessively back along the tailgate. Either way, the aviation electrician in me is screaming at all the wasted excess wiring...

Step 1: You probably already have the tailgate completely apart from spare carrier removal. If not, do that. Oh and pull the passenger tail light. That's gotta be out too. 2 inboard screws, and push in the connector tab.

Step 2: Using a torx bit, remove the 2 cargo area tie down points to free up the plastic trim on the passenger side, and pop the panel off the tub. Careful as there is still a bolt under the seatbelt mechanism. Not necessary to remove, but would give better access.

Step 3: Everywhere you see a zip tie, carefully insert a jeweler driver in between the tail and the zip-latch (sorry, no pic) and while spread, use the other jeweler to unlock the zip tie. This way, they are reusable!

Step 4: If you haven't already, go pull your negative battery terminal and safely stow it. We're putting blades on wires. Carefully cut all that junk-drawer variety electrical tape off the harness all the way up to the breakout where the factory passenger brake harness passes through the tub grommet and on the outside. Don't nick the wire jacket, or at least wrap it with electrical tape twice over if you do.

Step 5: look at the rear of the factory connector, you'll see numbers corresponding to the wires. Label them now so they don't get mixed up during the re-snake. Now take the jewelers again and slide the white connector insert down and out of the connector and don't lose it, we'll need it for reassembly. Take that nail and cram it down the back of one of the pin slots on the backside of the connector. This will free the pin, and take a jeweler and push the pin from the front, out the back. Repeat for other pin.

Step 6: With pins free, tape gone, and zip ties open, carefully snake the harness back through the nylon hinge sleeve, and up to the brake light breakout.

Step 7: One at a time, push the pin down through the grommet. Now the tape is going to get in the way, so trim it off enough to still protect it, but still fit through the grommet. You may have to slide the grommet up and down the harness to get through without bending the pin. Rinse and repeat for other wire.

Step 8: Once through, carefully pull the wires through, watching for kinks and twists. Ensure the new route follows the brake harness neatly and doesn't cross over whats left of the original tailgate harness. Now peel tape and stuff pin back in connector. Repeat for other pin. Again, the point of one at a time is remembering what pin goes where. (Black 1, White 2) After both pins are back in the connector push the white piece back in. It only goes in 1 way.

Step 8: If you wish, add electrical tape back on the harness under the zip ties. Now secure the zip ties that you hopefully didn't end up cutting, and add 2 zip ties to the harness retainer at the tub that only had tape before. (red zip ties in photo below)

Step 9: Reinstall all disturbed interior trim and carpet. This is as far as I can take this tip while still calling it a no-cut/no-drill mod.

I coiled and stowed my newly routed harness in the brake light cavity while I figure out what I want to do with my 3rd brake light.

I may drill out a hole in the bottom of my tail light housing, or put a hole in the tub near the bumper hinge. Not sure yet...

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Last edited by MildlyWild; 10-08-2018 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Adding model type
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post #2 of 2 Old 10-08-2018, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Forum noob gets one per... here's the final
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