Sound Bar Wires Concealed Inside Roll Bar Tutorial - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-13-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
smise88
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Sound Bar Wires Concealed Inside Roll Bar Tutorial

The other day I took off all my foam roll bar covers and foam panels underneath them because I like the look better, it's just simpler. With the speaker and dome light wires running up and across the outside of the roll bars it takes away from the clean bars. To solve this problem I re-ran the wires through the bars themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon
Hey would you mind sharing some pictures and/or description of how you did that? It sounds like a great idea!
Here you go man!

Note this write up is for an '04, it may be different for you.

Obviously you need to remove all the foam and the sound or sound boxes from each side.

First of all, here is the seatbelt setup I am running. I just removed the height adjustment and bolted the seatbelt to the top hole left from the height adjustment bracket. Note that I used the back seat bolt instead because it has the rubber spacer on it, but use whatever bolt you want...the one previously attached to the height adjuster should work fine but it liked the looks of the other one better. (And I don't have a back seat.)


Next you should take the wires off the roll bar, but I suggest leaving the clips on until later, just incase you find this mod too difficult.
Now drill a hole in the roll bar down by where the wires splits off a bunch of other wires. Here is mine. You can see exactly where it is in relation to the driver side door latch piece. It is hidden perfectly at all times because of how the seatbelt is right in front of it.

Note my hole is kind of large (and messy ) but it only needs to be big enough to fit the wires through, not the pieces that clip onto the sound bar because you will cut those off and splice the wires back together later.

Next remove these bolts that hold the bar that goes to the windshield to make running the wires easier.


Now comes the hard part. It really helps if you have the right wire running tools. A chain and magnet are the best. The chain is the same type that is common on pull chains for ceiling fans, but you must make sure it is magnetic. The magnet is usually on a flexible stick that you use to "grab" the chain with. They are kind of hard to find...sorry. If you are using these basically you start up high and try to drop the wire down through the bar to your newly drilled hole and pull it out with the magnet. There are other ways to do this, none of them being very easy (including the magnet and chain). You can bend a little hook on the end of a wire hangar or a pretty thick wire and try and hook a string, chain, or smaller gauge wire and pull it through. I used a combination of these tools so I know it is possible! I suggest running it in sections as much as the current holes in the bars will allow.

The holes you are going to use up top are the holes that the "nubs" of your sound boxes rest in. There is one of these holes for each sound box and they face back towards the rear of your jeep. Mine are long oval shaped which leaves plenty of room for the nubs and the wires. (Hopefully all TJ's have oval shaped holes or you will have to drill new holes for your wires to come out of.)

Once you have your chain, wire, or string running in the top hole on the drivers side to hanging out your newly drilled hole at the bottom you are ready to snip your wire up. First remove the plastic pieces that attach to the bars. Then you need to cut off your plastic pieces that clip into your sound bar. BE CAREFUL to cut these in the right places. You are going to splice these back together and you want the new connections to be hidden inside your bars. I cut them off with about 6 inches of wire still attached to them, it just has to be long enough to reach from the top holes on the harness they clip into.

Now attach the speaker and light wires to whatever you have hanging out of the bottom hole. (Be careful not to pull it through before attaching or you will have to start over!) Attach it at securely with electrical tape or whatever then pull it through! If it gets stuck along the way pull it backwards a few inches then try again. Just make sure you don't pull it hard enough to break it free inside.

Once you have the wires hanging out of the top diver side hole you should add a little length to both places you snipped at. Just splice on whatever wire you are using to extend with. Next run the longer piece to the passenger side hole.

Next splice the 6 inch wires with clips on both of the extensions you previously spliced in. Match the colors and you are done! Plug them in and make sure everything works before you bolt everything back up.

Note I also added a little wire length to the bottom before I pulled the wires through to make it easier to pull all the wires out of them top holes. I don't know if you will have to do this but keep it in mind. Your hole might have to be a little larger to get all you splice connections through. If you are having problems getting the wires out of the top holes far enough you can simply pull the wire back out of the bottom hole a bit and splice in an extension, just make sure your connections will fit through the hole when you pull it all inside the bar again.
Another option is replacing the wires all together. Not a bad idea in retrospect.

Here is my final product.


Please let me know if you find a better way to do any of this and I will edit it into this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnRubi View Post
One thing that works reasonably well for fishing a wire through a tube is, light twine and a vaccuum. Feed the twine gently through one hole and put the vaccuum on the other. Let the vaccuum pull the twine, don't just shove it in. Have to seal up all the other holes or it wont work though. Then just tie the wire to the twine and pull it back through.
Thanks for looking!


Last edited by smise88; 06-14-2010 at 02:53 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 11:58 AM
Deacon
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Nice! I like it.

Can you just buy a length of the light-fixture/dogtag type chain at Home Depot or whatever? Drop it down from the top and fish it out of the hole with a magnet (maybe the kind used for picking up screws that fall behind stuff, looks like a telescoping radio antenna with a magnet at the end of it), etc?
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
smise88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
Nice! I like it.

Can you just buy a length of the light-fixture/dogtag type chain at Home Depot or whatever? Drop it down from the top and fish it out of the hole with a magnet (maybe the kind used for picking up screws that fall behind stuff, looks like a telescoping radio antenna with a magnet at the end of it), etc?
Yeah, that is the right chain, but bring a magnet with you to the store to make sure the chain is magnetic - most aren't. Also you could try putting something small and magnetic on the end of the chain if you need to.
And yes, the telescoping type will work fine, but the flexible type might be easiest to use.

I have all these tools left over from when I installed home security systems and ran a lot of wires through walls. If you are really having trouble I wouldn't mind mailing you my chain and magnet if you mail it back haha.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 02:29 PM
CdnRubi
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One thing that works reasonably well for fishing a wire through a tube is, light twine and a vaccuum. Feed the twine gently through one hole and put the vaccuum on the other. Let the vaccuum pull the twine, don't just shove it in. Have to seal up all the other holes or it wont work though. Then just tie the wire to the twine and pull it back through.

And I like this idea, looks great!
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
smise88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CdnRubi View Post
One thing that works reasonably well for fishing a wire through a tube is, light twine and a vaccuum. Feed the twine gently through one hole and put the vaccuum on the other. Let the vaccuum pull the twine, don't just shove it in. Have to seal up all the other holes or it wont work though. Then just tie the wire to the twine and pull it back through.

And I like this idea, looks great!
That is genius man! Awesome idea.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 03:48 PM
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HA! I like that one
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 04:11 PM
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I've been thinking about doing this since I got my jeep. I've been into car stereo hobby for about 15 years. Two things I would do differently. One is to make sure that you use some type of grommet in the hole to prevent the wire insulation from being cut thru. You may have done this, but I didn't read the whole post.

Also to snake wire, I usually use a somewhat stiff small gauge wire. It needs to be stiff enough to push it into the place you want to go. Once you have the end of the stiff wire exposed, just wrap the wires you want fed with a few turns of black electrial tape. It provides a very strong but simple way to connect the wires to the pull wire.

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post #8 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
smise88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leolufse View Post
I've been thinking about doing this since I got my jeep. I've been into car stereo hobby for about 15 years. Two things I would do differently. One is to make sure that you use some type of grommet in the hole to prevent the wire insulation from being cut thru. You may have done this, but I didn't read the whole post.

Also to snake wire, I usually use a somewhat stiff small gauge wire. It needs to be stiff enough to push it into the place you want to go. Once you have the end of the stiff wire exposed, just wrap the wires you want fed with a few turns of black electrical tape. It provides a very strong but simple way to connect the wires to the pull wire.

I did mention the use of a snake wire as a possible method of wire running, but I didn't use a grommet. I was thinking about it, but I don't even know where to start looking to buy one.

DesignBeforeDishonor.blogspot.com

My First Write Up --> https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/sound-bar-wires-concealed-inside-roll-bar-tutorial-1050741/
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 05:12 PM
leolufse
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You can find grommets at radio shack, lowes (in hardware section), maybe best buy, crutchfield.com, etc.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 05:22 PM
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you mind putting up a picture of the whole thing? like a side shot without the top, im just curious how it compares looks wise to still having padding. thanks
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyjeep22 View Post
you mind putting up a picture of the whole thing? like a side shot without the top, im just curious how it compares looks wise to still having padding. thanks
Gah! I literally just put the top up 5 min ago because the forecast says rain and I have a night class in a few min. I will get you a pic tomorrow.

DesignBeforeDishonor.blogspot.com

My First Write Up --> https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/sound-bar-wires-concealed-inside-roll-bar-tutorial-1050741/
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smise88 View Post
Gah! I literally just put the top up 5 min ago because the forecast says rain and I have a night class in a few min. I will get you a pic tomorrow.
hahahaha ok thanks....dont feel rushed lol
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-16-2010, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
smise88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyjeep22 View Post
you mind putting up a picture of the whole thing? like a side shot without the top, im just curious how it compares looks wise to still having padding. thanks
Hope these help:




DesignBeforeDishonor.blogspot.com

My First Write Up --> https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/sound-bar-wires-concealed-inside-roll-bar-tutorial-1050741/
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-18-2010, 08:42 AM
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Great write up. Ive been looking for a soundbar for a while now and as soon as i find one im doing this for sure.

'97 TJ 4" Skyjacker lift, 33" Wrangler MTR w/ Kevlar, KC's, monstalined, JKS Quicker Disconnects
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