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Old 08-06-2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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tail lights flush with body

so i really like the look of the tail lights flush with the body. has anyone done this? if so any do's or donts? any advice on how to actually do it? honestly i dont even know where to start.

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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Yes...where to start...remove stock lights.

Then cut the hole. I hole saw works best I've found.

But to make it easy...here is a write up bud....LED Flush Mount Tail Lights - 1

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Old 08-06-2010, 11:03 PM   #3
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Round LED type lights or the factory lights? Either way, pretty much the same way.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
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round LED
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:38 PM   #5
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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Pretty easy with earlier TJs but not with newer TJs that have that stupid evaporative system inside the right-rear corner of the tub. Every day I work on my new '04 TJ, the more I miss my '97 TJ.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:01 PM   #7
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Details please, parts used, tools used, cost, time to complete?
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by distortedtj View Post
Yes...where to start...remove stock lights.

Then cut the hole. I hole saw works best I've found.

But to make it easy...here is a write up bud....LED Flush Mount Tail Lights - 1
Disregard my last, I didn't see this.....
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Rocking the country music through a Sony Xplod head unit (iPod/iPhone compatible) 300W Dual amp, 10" Pioneer sub in the back.


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Old 08-07-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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4 1/2" hole saw, wiring tools, some kind of replacement reverse lighting and license plate light

1. Remove stock tail lights, unplug at harness. Push wires back in tub.
2. Figure out where you want the lights, use center punch to make an indention in the center of that hole.
3. Cut hole!
4. Use clear coat or whatever you have to coat the bare metal to prevent rust.
5. Wire in lights
6. Push lights/gromet into place.
7. Drink a beer and stare!

Now obviously this is no professional write-up but it gets the basic points across! Here's mine:


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Old 08-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Pretty easy with earlier TJs but not with newer TJs that have that stupid evaporative system inside the right-rear corner of the tub. Every day I work on my new '04 TJ, the more I miss my '97 TJ.
Yeah, I had to make spacers to move my evap canister when I did my flushmounts on my '05. Actually, it was really pretty easy, it just added another step to the install. I got an LED flasher relay from Gold Coast Distributors GCD Off Road - An Ultra Care Car Products, Inc Company to keep the signal flash rate normal. Overall, it was one of the easiest mods I've done to my Jeep. The hardest part was wrapping my mind around hacking apart my Jeep's pretty rear!! I think she looks even better now!!
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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Oh, and I didn't bother buying a hole saw. I made a cardboard template of the hole needed to mount the light, then traced it onto the tub. I used a jigsaw (sabersaw) with a metal blade. Worked perfectly. Remember to cover the jigsaw foot with tape so you don't scratch your clearcoat. If you don't have a jigsaw, then a hole saw might be cheaper. I already had a jigsaw and didn't figure I'd ever use a 4.5" holesaw again.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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Oh, and I didn't bother buying a hole saw. I made a cardboard template of the hole needed to mount the light, then traced it onto the tub. I used a jigsaw (sabersaw) with a metal blade. Worked perfectly. Remember to cover the jigsaw foot with tape so you don't scratch your clearcoat. If you don't have a jigsaw, then a hole saw might be cheaper. I already had a jigsaw and didn't figure I'd ever use a 4.5" holesaw again.
You use it again when you make everyone else in your area want to do the mod also!
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #13
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You use it again when you make everyone else in your area want to do the mod also!
That's true.....I could have rented it out for beer!!!
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:50 PM   #14
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i like the look a lot but having to add a blinker light and reverse light, along with a light for the license plate looks like a pita. i have the tools and know how to do it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:55 PM   #15
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Here is what STOCK lights look like when flush mounted. This was a project I took on about 6 weeks ago on my 03 Sport.

Cutting down the EVAP canister and re-doing the hoses with some 5/8" hose took a bit longer than expected, but is so worth it. I like it a lot better than the LED look.

The lights are the same height, despite what they look like from the angle the picture was taken at. The tailgate bar and my parking decal are the same width, so lining things up was very easy.





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Old 08-07-2010, 09:28 PM   #16
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There was a thread on this about a year ago and somebody had posted LED tail lights that were thin and looked flush. You didn't have to drill or alter the tub. They used the existing hole for the wires and I think the screw holes also. They had a pic and if I remember they looked like flush tail lights.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucky cheese View Post
There was a thread on this about a year ago and somebody had posted LED tail lights that were thin and looked flush. You didn't have to drill or alter the tub. They used the existing hole for the wires and I think the screw holes also. They had a pic and if I remember they looked like flush tail lights.
The product is called LitDots.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #18
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i like the look a lot but having to add a blinker light and reverse light, along with a light for the license plate looks like a pita. i have the tools and know how to do it.
You don't have to add a blinker light, the flushmounts act as brake lights and blinker lights. I added a set of LiteBolts to mount my license tag to light it up. Probably didn't need to for my area of the world, but it does keep me legal in all 49 states. It was really a simple install.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:24 PM   #19
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Here is what STOCK lights look like when flush mounted. This was a project I took on about 6 weeks ago on my 03 Sport.

Cutting down the EVAP canister and re-doing the hoses with some 5/8" hose took a bit longer than expected, but is so worth it. I like it a lot better than the LED look.

The lights are the same height, despite what they look like from the angle the picture was taken at. The tailgate bar and my parking decal are the same width, so lining things up was very easy.





I really like this.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:35 PM   #20
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So,do tell-how did you go about mounting the stock taillights flush?Share some details!
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:53 PM   #21
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Will that pass inspection with no reverse?
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:27 PM   #22
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Will that pass inspection with no reverse?
Not hard to wire in a little LED or something if you must have a back-up light.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #23
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Will that pass inspection with no reverse?
According to a buddy (fellow Jeeper and Sheriff's Deputy on the local force), there isn't anything THAT HE KNOWS ABOUT that says not having reverse lights is illegal IN KANSAS. We were having this discussion last week when he saw my lights and decided he'd do the same thing to his '04 Rubi. He said he'd research it, and that he'd let me know if he found anything to the contrary, but he's pretty sure it's perfectly legal here to run without reverse lights. I haven't talked to him for a little over a week, so he must not have found anything on the books. The most I can tell you is to check with your local law enforcement agency to see what they say. I'm sure you could look it up online, most state laws should be available online, but I think it's better to make contact with the LEOs and let them know you're making the steps towards trying to stay within the law. That goes a long way in their eyes.

My BTF rear bumper has the BTF logo lasered out in 2 spots. Worse comes to worse and I HAVE to have reverse lights to stay within the law, I can mount them behind the bumper and let the light shine through the BTF logos. I'll see if I can find a pic of that rear bumper.....
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:40 PM   #24
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Oh this is definitely going on my 'to-do' list!
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:05 AM   #25
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So,do tell-how did you go about mounting the stock taillights flush?Share some details!
The license plate was rolled around the edge, and LightBolts were put in place of the top plate screws to keep it lit at night. That was the easiest part

The driver side taillight is a piece of cake, obviously. I made a template for the lights with some stiff paper, and just flipped it to do each side. Then I measured where I wanted them placed. I measured from the top of the tub (NOT the area where the soft top tucks into. JUST below it, the actual tub) based on the passenger side since I wanted to make sure the tailgate bar was just above the outer edge of the light.

The lights sit 3 1/2" inches from the top of the tub to the top edge of the taillight. They are 4 1/8" from the edge of the tailgate seam to the center of the taillight mounting screw hole on either side.

I used painters tape and a small framing square to get everything lined up right before cutting out anything. Just remember to remove the EVAP before you cut into the passenger side. And also, remember to ground the lights to the tub before you plug them back in and reconnect your battery.

NOW, the tricky part, the EVAP canister. Use this tutorial to remove and cut down the mounting bracket for the canister AFTER you disconnect the battery. It will prevent the CEL from coming on afterwards:
Rubicon Owners Forum - View topic - EVAP Relocation - Writeup w/ pictures

Then, get a small bucket and cut the canister almost in half from top to bottom so that you keep the thinner of the 2 sections intact (easier to visualize looking at the link). Dump the rest of the charcoal into the bucket and carefully cut off the inlet neck from the top of the larger section. Drill a hole SLOWLY into the bottom of the intact thinner section. The drill bit size I don't remember, but it needs to be just barely larger than the inlet neck/nipple piece.

When you have the hole cut, and the inlet piece tapped into it, epoxy it sealed around the base and let it dry while you measure out how much 5/8" fuel rated rubber hose you will need. Put the actual EVAP pump back into the well, but switch positions. It sat on the upper section of the bracket still there (refer to pic in link), now mount it on the LOWER section. Mark out where you want to drill 2 holes on the base of the mounting plate to secure it, drill them out, then put 2 bolts in to hold it in place (use nuts and lockwashers when you mount it permanently later).

The new charcoal canister will now sit length-wise on the UPPER section of that bracket. Attached a short piece of hose from each end of the canister to their destinations. You can use whatever method you want to secure the charcoal canister in place (duct tape, etc..), but I chose to use 3 large adjustable hose clamps to wrap around the canister and the top section of the original mounting bracket. It was very secure with 1 clamp, but since I had 3, and they were doing nothing but collecting dust, I used them all.

Once you have your lights flush mounted, and the EVAP securely replaced, reconnect the battery. You should have NO CEL and no codes when you do diagnostic key check. When it is all good, smile BIG BIG, replace the wheel well cover, remount the tire, and crack open a cold one


This might have been a bit long, but I hope it was thorough enough to follow. If you decide to do your lights this way, post up please!



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Old 08-08-2010, 10:26 AM   #26
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Remember folks, that what he's ^^^^ telling you to do with your evap canister ONLY applies to flushmounting YOUR STOCK TAIL LIGHTS. You only need to space the evap canister forward an inch if you're adding the 4.5" round flushmounts like mine. It's MUCH simpler of an install. No cutting down the evap canister. I made a couple of 7/8" white oak round spacers (it's what I had handy.....)that I painted black and installed. All in all, this flushmount tail light mod only took me a little over an hour, and that's because I took my time and measured everything 2 or 3 times before cutting anything.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:01 PM   #27
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Cavediver makes a great point! And there are even some LEDs that are thinner, that can be mounted without having to move the canister even that 7/8" farther. It's all about what each of us like, and this was the direction I wanted to go in.

Remember, the easier the install, the more time spent post mod indulging in beer
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:57 PM   #28
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:38 AM   #29
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^^^^^

Love it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:08 AM   #30
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Nice!!!!

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