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Old 02-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #1
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Jeep YJ round LED recessed tail light conversion step by step.

I am sure that someone has already done this but maybe this will also help someone that wants to put the round tail lights on their YJ.

So I decided today to go ahead and swap my tail lights out because I was bored. Here are photos and step by step process I went through. If I missed anything I apologize up front and feel free to add anything to the post. I am also sure this will work on others but will be tomorow when I do it on a TJ.

First off here is a product list I used
2 tail light assemblies from walmart for 16$ each
4 1/2" metal hole saw from lowes $35
butt connectors from walmart $4

I also needed these tools.
-Phillips head screw driver to remove the old lights
-3/8 socket and small extension to remove the whole old assembly
-drill for hole saw. little battery ones will not run this big of a drill bit.
-Voltmeter or test light for checking wires

Step 1
Removed the old lights by taking the four phillips screws off that hold the lenses on. After that there are 3 3/8" bolts that need to come out. You may also need to disconnect the wire harness from each light before you remove them. My harness was long enough to come out of the hole after removal.

Step 2
is to mark where you want to cut the holes. This is where it can vary a little bit but also be careful when drilling. You don't want to cut to high or cut any wires. I measured my center mark from the screw holes and than made sure that i would not cut into the gas filler and also not to go to high because you can cut into the cab if not careful.

Here is a pic of how i measured. Sorry its already cut and not on the jeep


Now mark the other side the same as the drivers side.

step 3
Your now ready to cut your hole. First you need to use a center punch so that the drill does not want to walk. This is where you must be careful. This is a big hole saw and once through it will want to catch and twist the drill. You will also want to clean the edges after drililng and put some paint on so not to rust. Once you get through all the way it should look something like this



Step 4
Wiring the lights. Ok, so now we have our hole so we need to wire. You can do it two ways. Either use the stock connectors and cut them or just cut the harness on the jeep itself. This is user preference. I cut the wires on the harness and just spliced into them. I used butt connectors but will probably go back and solder them using shrink wrap. The way you check which wire needs to be where is by using the test light. Turn only one thing on at a time and connect the matching wire on the light harness to them. The passenger side does not have a ground so you can just splice into the 3rd brake light ground. If you need more on wiring just pm me or message on here. It can get as technical as you like.







Step 5
Go ahead and install your grommet and then plug the harness into the light. Than you will just simply push in the light into the grommet. It will seat nicely unless you push it all the way through. If that happens just start over by unplugging the harness.

step 6
is to test the lights and make sure all turn, brake and tail lights work.



Now your probably asking about reverse lights and tag lights. Yes I know you must have them so my solution later to come is led tag bracket lights spliced into the tail light harness and using the left over reverse wire and running two spot lights on the rear of my trailer hitch. This will also be on a switch so that when im doing some night offroading and have to pull or be pulled i will be able to light up behind me.

Also, this is how i solved the issue of overlaying on the filler area.

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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Pretty nice job

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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now we just gotta do mine tomorrow, not fair that I won't be getting paid to do it though!
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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I am only getting paid to do yours by the county and i did not get paid to do mine. lol.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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I am wanting to do this to mine, but waiting till I see a a good clean way of doing the tag lights.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Yeah the tag lights are going to be something I have to figure out really soon. Specially since i dont even have the tag bracket. Hince why the tag is just screwed in. Oh well, maybe I will not get pulled over till then.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the good information; I'm going to soon do this recessed LED tail light conversion on my own 91 YJ
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:23 PM   #8
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This is how I solved the tag light problem
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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I can't remember where I got them and can't seem to locate my receipt at the moment.
I found license plate screws with LED's in them.
I have the receipt somewhere. when I find it I'll post where they came from.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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Ok, been a while since I have been on here. I have a brand new set of led taillights, the hole saw for them and a tag light all for sale if anyone is interested. $50 for all. The hole saw cost me 35 and has only cut four holes in sheet metal.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:41 AM   #12
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whats the measurement on thos holes? i have the same exact lights but idk what size hole i need to cut out
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YjMudslinger View Post
whats the measurement on thos holes? i have the same exact lights but idk what size hole i need to cut out
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd4 View Post
4 1/2" metal hole saw from lowes $35

He said it in his first post...
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:32 AM   #14
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I've been wanting to do this to my rig for a while but need to keep mine street legal as well. I'm interested to see how you figure out the reverse/side marker lights.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 AM   #15
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rear side marker lights are not required legally.
Reverse lights are installed later, I plan on using a small flood light, just gotta figure out where to put it.

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Old 10-05-2011, 09:47 PM   #16
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Badda bing badda boom.

4" LEDS for both. I wanted full size reverse lights to provide a lot of lighting, but didn't want big gay floodlights mounted to my bumper where I'd smash them off.

Only problem I'm having now is my blinkers don't work. I think it's because I need a new relay specific to the lower LED voltage draw. The oem blinker relay must think the bulbs are burned out.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:31 PM   #17
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You need an el-12 flasher 12.99 at the auto part store
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:16 PM   #18
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Can someone tell me the wiring connections as I don't have a tester? As I saw on the post, my aftermarket light has white, red, and black, coming from the jeep is white, white/black, green/black? Appreciate any help I can get
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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You can get a cheap tester for under 5$ at harbor freight.

As far as the wire colors, I dont remember.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLucchese
Can someone tell me the wiring connections as I don't have a tester? As I saw on the post, my aftermarket light has white, red, and black, coming from the jeep is white, white/black, green/black? Appreciate any help I can get
Here is a wiring diagram. White/black is reverse (not connected to typical new led lights unless yours has built in reverse lights as well), white and green black are for turn signal and brake light.

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Old 09-04-2012, 03:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickybobbytomcruise
Badda bing badda boom.

4" LEDS for both. I wanted full size reverse lights to provide a lot of lighting, but didn't want big gay floodlights mounted to my bumper where I'd smash them off.

Only problem I'm having now is my blinkers don't work. I think it's because I need a new relay specific to the lower LED voltage draw. The oem blinker relay must think the bulbs are burned out.
Where did you get your lights from (all four)
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #22
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Got them all from eBay. Two different sellers; one for the taillights, one for the reverse lights. Brake lights were pretty cheap, but still look awesome today. The reverse lights leaked a bit. They still work and are blindly bright, but their leaks allowed bacteria to enter, which is causing mildew-like growth inside the lens. I'll replace them this year I guess, and watch for possible weak spots in the plastic on install. Paid about $25 for each set of lights I think.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #23
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Oh, and buddy was right about the EL-12 flasher. However, your Jeep uses an EL-12 flasher for hazard lights, so I just swapped them over and it worked like a charm
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #24
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Great write-up! I really need to do pictures when I do stuff like this so it will help others. I could have saved myself a huge hassle doing my own lights if I had seen this before.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:40 AM   #25
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There just 4inch trailer lights right
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #26
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Awesome, but gotta fix a shut-off over bumps first and start offs... electrical is not always your friend.
But Jesus is! Better pray over it!
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:50 PM   #27
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Awesome write up, I have few questions,
#1
Did you have to change the flasher as well?
#2
Any wiring connections mapping would be of great help, the WalMart lights have red,black and white.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #28
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Ive got a problem if yall dont mind helpin ive done the swap used the test light and all on my 1989 yj ive got all the right colors together i believe but my blinkers dont blink they just stay solid like ive got my brakes on so what do i do?? Please respond someon
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:32 PM   #29
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Electronic flasher from Checker not the tridon el12 though make sure it's nots the thermal one
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #30
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Will that fix it? And where is that relay located so i can instal it?

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