Before earning quite the fame in the world of off-road vehicles, Jeep was known for the four-wheel-drive reconnaissance cars they built for the United States Army in World War II.
One common modification most Jeep owners get is the light bar. Installing a light bar will enable you to see as bright as day when adventuring at night. Before investing in a light bar, it is important that you know how to wire a light bar on a Jeep.
We have laid down some steps below to aid you in the installation and wiring process of the light bar. So, let’s get right to it.
Choosing the Right Light Bar
There are tons of different kinds of light bars that serve the same purpose. Some light bars are made specifically for certain models, so make sure you look into light bars compatible with your vehicle model.
Unpacking the Contents
Once the light bar of your choosing has arrived at your doorstep, it’s time to break into the boxes. The contents within the box should include the light bar itself, some wires, and mounting hardware to attach the light bar to your Jeep.
If you aren’t particularly happy with the look of the mounting bracket, you’d be pleased to know that they can be bought separately as well. Brackets sold separately tend to be more durable and come with additional features such as rubber backings to protect the paint of your Jeep.
Unscrewing the Bolts
To start off, we are going to first unscrew the bolts located behind the side mirrors. You will notice the bottom of the mounting bracket matches with the shape of the plate that runs from the side of your windshield.
And you will unscrew the bolts on the body of your Jeep and place the mounting bracket. Once you’ve positioned the bracket, it should be aligned with the openings on the body of your Jeep.
You will now begin to screw the bolts back on, but make sure you don’t tighten them as much; you can use your hands to tighten them a little to hold the bracket in place.
On the side of the driver’s seat, when you’re attaching the bracket, only tighten the bolts on the side. Leaving the bolts on the front will allow you to tuck in the wiring from your light bar into the engine.
Next, you will unscrew the bolts located beside the wiper in front of the driver’s seat. This opening will enable us to create a passage for the wires to reach the engine.
Setting up the Wiring under the Hood
What we’re going to do now is attached the wiring harness of the light bar to the engine.
- Remove the Hood
Take off the hood to see the powerful engine that your vehicle packs within it. You will notice that the wiring harness of the light bar contains the following; a switch on one end, two points that attach to the light bar itself, and two battery terminals with a fuse that will attach to your engine to provide power to the light bar.
- Place the Wiring
Before you begin to actually plug in the terminals to the battery, you will place the wiring the way you want it to be when the hood is closed. It’s really not a good idea to leave the wiring across the engine as it can overheat the wires.
- Use Duct Tapes
Ideally, you will want to place the battery terminals of the side of the battery and run the wires that connect to your light bar out of the opening you created earlier beside the wiper. It’s always a good idea to use duct tape or electrical tape to hold the wires in place, resulting in a decreased chance of damaging your wiring.
- Create an Opening for the Switch
Next, we are going to put the switch through an opening, so you can access it from the inside of the car. There are many points in the car through which you can drill the opening.
We suggest that you drill a hole on the rubber covering beside the brake booster. Once you drill the hole from the inside of your Jeep, you will notice the opening from under the hood. Before you put in the wires through, you can disconnect the switch, making it easier for you.
Mounting the Light Bar
For this step, you might require an extra set of hands, depending on the weight of your light bar. Carefully position the light bar to the mounting bracket above your windshield and fasten the screws on each side.
Take the wires coming from the light bar and attach them to the wires you pulled out from your engine. You will then tuck in the wires under the mounting bracket, so they aren’t visible from the outside.
If you’re facing difficulties tucking the wire, it always helps to further loosen the bolts on the mounting brackets. Once the wire is tucked in neatly across the inside, you can tighten the screws beside the wiper and the ones on the mounting bracket.
Attaching the Terminals to the Battery
Now that the light bar is in place and it’s ready to be powered, we will go back to the red and black terminals, we left unplugged near the battery.
Simply attach the red wire to the positive terminal and the black wire to the negative terminal of the battery.
Don’t freak out if you see tiny sparks when connecting the terminals. This usually happens because the light bar is switched on. If it does bother you too much, feel free to press the switch and turn the bar off prior to this stage.
Attaching a light bar is fairly simple. Although drilling through certain parts of the car to find an entry point for the switch can be tricky. Online research and service manuals can be helpful in these cases. Hopefully, the above steps on how to wire a light bar on a Jeep would get you through the process with ease.