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Old 12-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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Installing HI-Lites

1998 TJ. Have new pair of KC Hi-Lites. I have installed the brackets on the lower corner of me windshield. My question is, how do I route the wires to get under the hood. Do I drill holes in the cowling, the hood, run the wires past the doors? I have seen pics on the web of lights that have been installed but can't find detailed instructions as in 'drill 1/4 inch hole HERE or OVER THERE. Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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Are you talking about running your power wires from inside the hood, past the firewall and into the cabin area?

If that thar be the case-look around the drivers side firewall and you should see a little rubber grommit that you can poke a hole into, which will run your wires in right under your dash for easy switch instillation. I did that on my YJ-should be the same for a TJ.

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Old 12-04-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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No, I'm talking about how to route the wires that come out of the bottom of each light into the engine compartment to be connected to the high beams. I have no problem getting the wires into the cab of the Jeep and to the switch. I just don't know how to get the wires into the engine compartment. I saw one pic of similar lights where the owner had drilled 2 holes in the hood. I didn't know if this was the norm. Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
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- I would not trigger them with the high beams. I'd just run them to the switch. On road it is illegal to have lights up up high. You'll get pulled over real fast if a cop sees you.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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According to the wiring diagram, the lights are powered from the high beams but you can turn them off with the dash switch. You just can't turn them on unless the high beams are on. As far as legality, my state says that you can have up to 4 driving lights on at one time. They just have to be mounted 42 inches or less above the road. Mine will be 46 inches but I think they won't bother me. We don't have to have any inspections in Maryland unless the vehicle is sold, so that isn't a problem.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:08 PM   #6
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You could do like what I plan on doing...for wiring up to the high beams. I just have driving lights, but I want them to only run with my high beams yet give me the ability to turn them off separately if I want.

I'm going to use my high beam wire off the bulb to trigger the coil on my relay...then on the ground side, I'm going to use the switch that's currently operating the driving lights to separate the ground. So when the switch is on, the lights will turn on/off with my high beams. When the switch is off, my driving lights will be off, even if the high beams are on. I don't use my driving lights much currently because it's kind of a pain in the butt to remember to kick down my high beams AND my driving lights.

Edit...and of course you post while I'm typing. lol
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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I have no problem with how the lights are to be wired. The problem I am having, as I originally posted, was how to route the wires from the lights into the engine compartment or whereever they are supposed to go.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:33 PM   #8
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You don't have to wire them to the high beams, that way you can turn them on whenever. I have two sets of KC's and neither is on the high beams.

(note there are lots of threads and pictures on this if you search):

- From the lights to the cowl you can remove the cowl panel and run the wires under the gap, then to the engine area, drill a hole. My relays are under the dash so I went straight to the cabin through the gromet on the drivers side of the cowl.

- From the lights you can right to the cabin by lowering the windshield and running the wires through the seal.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:36 PM   #9
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Thanks Neil, that's what I was looking for.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:46 PM   #10
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Urascal, I did what Neil did. There's just enough of a gap when you remove the cowl that you can re-install it without interference. You have to remove the cowl to get those wires to the engine compartment. P.S. I love my lights up there. I was afraid I'd get too much reflection from the hood, but it's barely noticable compared to the "daylight" down the road. I have mine activated by a switch independent of the high beams. I don't have the electrical knowhow to mess with the high beam wires. It was just easier and I don't have to worry the cops pinching you (which they will around here) for running off-road light on the street.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #11
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good info...i just picked up a pair myself...this will be helpful...thanks
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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Dockman4 - thanks for your input. According to KC there are 3 types of lights. Off-road, Fog, and Driving. The lights I bought are driving lights, different from off-road, and apparently are legal to drive with only when using the high beams. They can be switched off when the high beams are burning and can't be turned on unless the high beams are burning, according to the wiring diagram that came with them.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #13
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Dockman4 - thanks for your input. According to KC there are 3 types of lights. Off-road, Fog, and Driving. The lights I bought are driving lights, different from off-road, and apparently are legal to drive with only when using the high beams. They can be switched off when the high beams are burning and can't be turned on unless the high beams are burning, according to the wiring diagram that came with them.
That's correct: they should have a DOT (or other) approval on the lens.
However, you're mounting them higher than intended for on-road use, so they will still be illegal. (As previously pointed out by Neil)
If people run windshield lights around here, the cops hit them hard, and show no mercy. Keep that in mind when you get pulled over for running them on a highway.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:28 AM   #14
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I originally wired my driving lights up to run whenever I feel like it...the problem is, when you're running on a back road that ends up being well traveled...especially if it's curvy, you're now stuck either keeping your lights off (making them absolutely pointless to have) or trying to switch them on and off along with your brights. I ended up just running mine as an alternative to my brights so I only had one switch to flip when a car popped over the next hill. But now once again, I'm not taking full advantage of the lighting on my Jeep thus making them pointless to have.

If you have driving lights, legally you shouldn't have them on with your low beams on the road...and off-roading, most folks who are needing extra lighting are probably going to be running their high beams already. So tying into the high beams seems to be the most logical method of wiring them up. Plus you can always run a switch to the battery in parallel if you really wanted to where you could bypass the high beam trigger if you REALLLLLLY needed to run the lights with your low beams/headlights off.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:40 AM   #15
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S3 your point is well taken about the parrallel switch. I am going to wire mine to the high beams initially, and if needed, run another wire and switch in parrallel in order to turn them on if needed. Where I intend to burn me lights is in a rural area of western Maryland where there are no policemen, but plenty of deer. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:44 PM   #16
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You'll love them URascal. I can light up deer eyes a half mile away. Enjoy, I'm sure glad I put mine on.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:12 PM   #17
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I have all my lights on independent switches-but one set is off road and one set is driving and standard headlights. On the really "dark" no stars, no moon, nights prefer off road with the brights helps to really brighten up the road. When "watching for deer in deer area" prefer to add the factory style fogs for the wide side lighting. You get used to extra switches. As so many things with our rigs personal preference should rule.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #18
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Now I have a new problem. The freakin' lights don't fit on the freakin' windshield mounts. The lights have large plastic washers and large steel washers that go on either side of the mount, top and bottom, thereby sandwiching the mount in between. The large plastic washer and steel washer that goes underneath the mount don't fit because the mount is not large enough. I suppose I might be able to grind the side of the washer that is closest to the back of the mount (windshield side) flat. I got on a chat with the doooooooode at Quadratec. He knew less about the lights and mount than I did. I'll wait to talk to someone on the phone tomorrow. These are the mounts that let you mount lights and also your mirrors for when the doors are removed in the summer.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #19
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Now I have a new problem. The freakin' lights don't fit on the freakin' windshield mounts. The lights have large plastic washers and large steel washers that go on either side of the mount, top and bottom, thereby sandwiching the mount in between. The large plastic washer and steel washer that goes underneath the mount don't fit because the mount is not large enough. I suppose I might be able to grind the side of the washer that is closest to the back of the mount (windshield side) flat. I got on a chat with the doooooooode at Quadratec. He knew less about the lights and mount than I did. I'll wait to talk to someone on the phone tomorrow. These are the mounts that let you mount lights and also your mirrors for when the doors are removed in the summer.
Bypass Quadratec, go to the people who do what they know, and know what they do. Contact KC Hilites direct. (If it were me, I'd grind that sucker down)
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:09 PM   #20
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What kind of mount do you have, KC? If so you are doing something wrong. Many, many, many have the KC mounts and I have never heard of an issue with anything not fitting.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:51 PM   #21
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These are the mounts I have. They allow you to move your mirrors when you remove your hard doors and also mount lights. Not. Warrior Products 1490 - Warrior Products Mirror & Light Combo Brackets for 97-02 Jeep® Wrangler TJ - Quadratec I guess I'll have to get KC brackets and forego moving the mirrors. Or perhaps grind down the lower washers and spacers. Bummer
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:52 PM   #22
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You'll love them URascal. I can light up deer eyes a half mile away. Enjoy, I'm sure glad I put mine on.
You have long range or driving lights? I can't see mounting driving lights up there being beneficial for anything except looks (which is a good enough reason I guess). Totally different beam signature than offroad long range lights, and I think they will reflect of the hood more than long range lights will. I could be wrong though. I am going with driving lights on the bumper and long range lights on the windsheild. Big difference between 280,000 candlepower and 120,000.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:59 PM   #23
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So the plastic washer on the bottom has a lip that is supposed to fit into the mount hole? I could be wrong again, but if it does, then it is probably there to keep the light from grounding out on the mount. I would enlarge the hole in the mount if you can if thats the case.

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