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Old 09-23-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
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noob wiring help

just bought this 04 jeep yesterday. pretty good deal with only 39k miles and a lift kit. problem is someone removed alot of aftermarket parts before they sold it to the dealership i bought it from, namely the taillights. replacing the oem taillights are circular LED trailer taillights. this didnt bother me too much until i wanted to add reverse lights and discovered that someone had cut a larger hole to accommodate the circular lights. also there is no tag light. also since the trailer lights are recessed, someone cut a smidgen of plastic out of whatever device is behind the passenger side light.

what is the thing behind the passenger side tail light?
how do i determine which is the reverse light wire so i can hook up reverse lights?
any suggestions on an elegant solution that doesnt involve patching the hole back to the original size and replacing original headlights?

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Old 09-24-2010, 12:22 AM   #2
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What u need to do is get u an automotive test light first! What you know what that is right?

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Old 09-24-2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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Well in case u don't, it looks like a screw driver were the handle is see through with a light built in it and it has a wire coming off it with a clip, also has a ice pick type end sticking out the handle! Start on either light then use the wire with the clip and ground it to something good on the jeep, turn your ignition to the on position and your gonna need a second pair of hands unless you don't mind running back and forth. Whatever side u start with turn that side blinker light on then take the pointed end of the test light and touch each of the wires until the bulb inside the handle starts to blink, then mark the wire blinker. Next u will need some help because you will do the same with finding the brake light just get someone to step on and off the brake until you see it lighting up on the test light, now same thing with the reverse, have someone put it in and out of reverse until u find the wire! Make sure each wire u find for each thing is labeled or marked so u won't have to go through it again, hopefully the wires on the opposite side ur working on are the sane color that way u don't have to do it all over again but if not just repeat the steps! There ya go!!! It's easy and simple and the test light tool is very inexpensive at any automotive store!!
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:30 AM   #4
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Here you go. Rear wiring and colors.

The DG/DR and BR/RD are your turn signals.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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Here you go. Rear wiring and colors.

The DG/DR and BR/RD are your turn signals.
awesome thanks. just had to look up what vt/bk meant. violet/black. then ask my gf which one was violet since i'm color blind. anyhow i have reverse lights now thanks to you. just need to locate a lighted license plate bracket that doesnt cost 50 bucks like the OEM one and some kind of oversized aftermarket taillights to cover these gaping holes.

also still need to know what that thing is behind the passenger taillight
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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also still need to know what that thing is behind the passenger taillight
actually i dont mind the circular LED lights but the passenger one wont drop in all the way so really i just need to know what that thing is behind there so i know if and how much i can cut to make it drop in all the way. for the plate i guess i'll just do what some of you i have seen doing, just wrap in around the corner of the jeep. just need to make a hole for a tag light, a law in FL
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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actually i dont mind the circular LED lights but the passenger one wont drop in all the way so really i just need to know what that thing is behind there so i know if and how much i can cut to make it drop in all the way. for the plate i guess i'll just do what some of you i have seen doing, just wrap in around the corner of the jeep. just need to make a hole for a tag light, a law in FL
That is probably the evaporation canister for the fuel system. You may be able to move it forward a bit to fit the lights. My 97 doesn't have the evap system there.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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I have an 04 with the round LEDs, you can move the evap canister forward a little bit to make room for the LEDs.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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Test lights are never a good idea to use on any vehicle with multiple computers!ALWAYS use a Volt Ohm Meter!You can thank me later when you DON'T shunt the wrong circuit to ground with an incandescent bulb,and incur expensive damage to BCM,ECM,etc.!
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Yeah your right goldtj, I'm so use to working on older vehicles without all the computer crap that the test light usually would have been the first thing I would grab! Lol I come from old school mechanics even though I know alot about all the new cars and have tought myself to work on them, I just had a flashback when I told him to get a test light! For some reason just thought ok jeep there's nothing fancy on them it's a simple fix but I forgot they still have computers and stuff! Thanks for the correction bro!!
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:45 PM   #11
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I am one of your kind,Hostile!I have always owned/worked on old hot rods,but spent almost 20 years doing car audio,and I learned quickly in the mid-80's that this was not safe!Working on Ferraris,Porsches,etc.,made me RELIGIOUSLY use the Fluke VOM!I spent over $300.00 on the Fluke,and it is still the most valuable tool I own!Money well spent!
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:16 PM   #12
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For license plate lights, look into some lit bolts that they use on motorcycles. The actual head that holds the tag on have led's that shine down onto the tag. Simple wiring now that you have located all of the wires to the tail lights. Just wire them into the park lights, and problem solved.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #13
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I am a firm believer in a DVM but I see no reason a test light will not work for light wire testing.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:37 AM   #14
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I am a firm believer in a DVM but I see no reason a test light will not work for light wire testing.
It is all a matter of what you are testing and where. If you know for a fact that it is lighting and you are sure of the wires, then a test light is fine.

Even some engine control circuits are OK, but a DVM is still preferred. Air bag circuits...Russian Roulette.

To the OP - Glad we were able to assist you in getting your lighting figured out.

Do a search on this forum for relocation of the evap canister (also search for flush tail lights). Several threads on the matter and procedures.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:44 AM   #15
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Yep, I use a DVM for a living

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