Electrical Corner

Periodical Tidbits

What are relays? Wiki Answers

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How To Replace TJ Stock Parking Lights and Turn Signals with LEDs

The following will walk you through the process of replacing the stock front amber lights (parking lights and turn signals) for a Jeep TJ (2003).

While doing the install of new fenders it was sensible to replace the stock, over sized bulbs and fixtures, with small low profile LEDs.  A number of resources are available to help peice together how to do this, however, I found a number of gaps and will try to walk thru the entire process, soup to nuts, including the finer details for troubleshooting along the way.

Special Note: Another thing, most resources online lead you into the idea of leaving one of the stock bulbs plugged in so that the stock electrical system behaves normally.  I didn't want this as I wanted them gone, not even hidden under the hood.  The following information will tell you how.

Tip: A little knowledge of a car's general electrical system is very helpful, but not necessary to get through this.


First, a list of the parts used throughout this process:


Next, we'll get into replacing the stock bulbs with LEDs
- after locating and pulling the stock bulbs, the wires will need to be cut.
more coming....
- Volt readings (there is a rough wiring diagram below showing how I wired up the LEDs)
- minimum of 6.5 volts must continue to pass thru or the dash turn signal light not illuminate well; anything less and you will begin to see anything from a ghost illumination to a full blown lit arrow that doesn't blink on the dash.


http://youtu.be/uh2U1HnxYQk - LEDs as turn signal and a blinker relay test

http://youtu.be/qc4YeTG8HZ8 - TJ 2003 Jeep stock wiring and blink routine for Parking lights and Turn Signals

http://youtu.be/5ZMWNhJ77yM - TJ LED install replacing stock parking lights & turn signals

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Pics - Jeep Changes and What-Not

Random Pics of 2003 TJ

Drive (Serpentine) Belt Routing for 4.0L w/ AC (or w/o if you look closely)

Harmonic Balancer on rear output shaft of TC NP 231

Harmonic Balancer being pulled 

Beer (Jeep) shirt 

 LoPro transmission mount

 Steering Pump

Steering Pump

Leaky CCV

Stock motor mount

Making it easier to get to the exhaust manifold

Intake and Exhaust manifolds removed

Steering Pump removed and bracket loosened

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tap into the Dimmer Wiring


The following will show you some tips for tapping into the stock wiring of a TJ (2003 Wrangler) for enabling custom lighting, etc., to function along with the stock interior lighting and dimmer switch.

Remove Dash Cover

First step is to take the center dash area apart which is held on by a couple screws at the top in the center.  Pop out the plastic strip along the top front of the entire dash area - just pry up lightly and pull out.  after, you'll see two screws in the top-middle holding the center dash cover on.  After removing the screws, pull the center dash section off.  Will pop off fairly easily as it is only held on by push pins.
Note: sorry no pics for this.  If wanted, let me know.

Next remove the screws to the HVAC unit.  Slide it out and unplug the center adapter as show below.

The orange is the power line from the light dimmer switch.  The black is the negative/ground wire.


Now let's test to assure you have the correct wire.  Using extra wires you have laying around, slip into the slots for the orange and black wires (see below pic).  I went this route because the holes in the adapter are too small to insert the prongs from a multimeter.  As shown in the following pictures, connect the positive (orange wire extension) and negative (black wire extension) wires to the multimeter prongs.

Here you see the voltage with the lights are turned down low via the dimmer switch.

And here you see the voltage when the lights are turned up via the dimmer switch.

I decided at this point to test the new lighting components before going ahead and tapping into the dimmer wire to make sure everything works.  No use spending the time to install if something is wrong.

First up, the light wire test which I am actually using to light up my transmission shift handle (clear resin ball).  The light bulb comes on and also dims with the dimmer switch.  So far so good.

Now to test the rest of the components: junction box and LED spool.  Yep, also dim via the dimmer switch!

Now to complete the install.


I decided to solder the line extensions (dimmer and ground) and instead of carefully wearing back the insulation, I simply cut, and stripped the insulation about a 1/2 inch on both ends.  Be careful doing this as you only have so much stock wire to work with before you encroach the wiring harness and adapter.

After soldering in the power line extension for my junction box (or whatever you plan to use) you see here the wires are exposed.  There are multiple ways of keeping this clean and protect the wires.  Since the draw I am planning to pull through these wires is low amperage (only pulling for LEDs) I simply used electric tape and sealed up the soldered connections individually.  Then sealed up the wire set as a whole with more electric tape.

After soldering the line extensions (power and ground), I tested again.  LEDs light up and dim via the dimmer switch!

The rest is up to you how you plan to run your wiring.  I went with using a junction box which is going to make the rest of the interior lighting I plan to install simple.  No more tapping behind the console as I put the junction box under the steering column behind the lower dash.

Here is the junction box I used.  Allows for four connections via the single power source.

The plug that came with the junction box that I soldered to the power (orange) and ground (black) wires shown previously.

And a comparison in size of the junction box next to the LED spool.

Some new lighting all dimming with the stock dimmer switch.