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Old 08-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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Wiring in New Lights?

Hey guys,

So probably more than a year ago, I installed some rock lights (lights that go under the cab for night wheeling). I found a couple articles and threads online on how to supposedly do this. I went ahead and wired them in like in the articles and tested them and they seemed to work fine...for a while. My first issue was, I blew the inline fuse (and melted its housing.) I bought a new one replaced it and they seemed to work great. Well about a month ago I hit the trail with them and gave them their first REAL workout. They ran at least an hour with no issues. The next day I was looking under the hood and noticed that some of the connections/wires on the relay were melted, the relay was deformed, but the inline fuse was still in tact. My friend suggested that there may be a bad ground.

Ive got a night trip coming up and would like to have these lights functioning again. So my question is, what would be the right way to do it? I have 5 lights that I want to wire up. Can I do this all on one switch and one relay? If yes, how? Do I need more than one relay and one switch? If so, how many?

I just want to redo it all from scratch...new wires, relay(s), and switch(es). So can anyone help me out on how to get these lights up and running without worrying about melting anything or causing issues again?

Your help is always appreciated.

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Old 08-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #2
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The answer is actually pretty simple. Just use this formula I=W/E. For example if you had 5 100w bulbs you are running it would be 500w/12v =41.66a. One choice would be to run a Ford starting solenoid that is rated for 100% duty cycle, I have done that in the past. Also you need to use the correct AWG wire to handle the current draw. Just make sure that your alternator can keep up with all accessorys running.

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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So I believe the lights are only 55w so the number I get for "I" is 22.92. So what does this mean? Also, what is the ford solenoid for? Sorry when it comes to jeeps, electrical is where I lack in much knowledge. I can wire a stereo up lol
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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No problem, the more you do it the more youll learn. Basicly you just need to go to the auto parts store and find a relay capable of handling your 23 amp draw, I would probably buy a 30 amp, they have them at NAPA. The ford solenoid acts basicly as the relay if your doing high current draw. I would also go with a number 10AWG wire, it is good for 30AMP, be sure to put a 30 amp fuse on the feeder side of the relay as well. You will need to find a good chassi ground as well. If you don't want to run #10 up to your lights to a distribution block, you can always run individual ciruits back to the relay, but the feeder wire needs to be a #10. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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Use one of these for each pair of lights, and one for the fifth.

Mobile Spec BOSCHR 12-Volt DC Bosch SPDT 30 Amp Relay#

post 30 straight to your battery positive terminal with an inline 30 amp fuse.

post 86 should tap off the wire that goes to post 30.

post 85 should run through your firewall to one side of your switch, and the other side of your switch should be grounded, this way you aren't running a hot wire through your firewall, and the worst thing that can happen if said wire shorts out to ground is that your lights come on... a much better option than an electrical fire...

post 87 should run to your lights positive input, and you should find the nearest ground point to your light for the lights ground wire to connect to, make sure you remove a little paint and the use of a star washer will make sure you've got a good ground.

You could probably get away with using 2 lights on one relay, and 3 on the other as well, but for extra insurance I'd only run 2 lights per relay, and I'd also run wires at least twice as thick as the light comes with for making all connections.

I hope this helps you out, and good luck!
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
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So with a 30a relay, can I just run all of my lights on one switch? With 10g wire, do I use that everywhere I need wire? Also, the fuse, is this just an inline fuse? I found this website, and it has a diagram. Is it a good wiring diagram, except I will have 5 lights vs 2 hooked up?
http://www.offroaders.com/info/tech-...ive-wiring.htm
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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Ok so I was slow. So it's better to only run 2 lights per relay? With the 5 lights, I will run 3 relays, does this mean I run 3 switches as well? (I don't mind, I just am making a list of materials)
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Ok so I was slow. So it's better to only run 2 lights per relay? With the 5 lights, I will run 3 relays, does this mean I run 3 switches as well? (I don't mind, I just am making a list of materials)
1 switch, but the same wire jumpered to each relay. I personally believe it's best to run only 2 lights per 30 amp relay, but their might be some who dissagree. I'm not an engineer, but I worked at an aftermarket car stereo shop that also installed fog lights and off road lights and other automotive electrical gear for 10 years, and that's how we did it and we hardly ever had any relay failures or warranty claims. Our relay wiring was a bit more complicated though because we had to ensure that the fog/off road lights would only work on low beams to meat up with state and DOT safety regs that say the fog/off road lights have to auto turn off when the high beams are activated...

The wiring advice I propossed is 100% switch activated, and doesn't care if you're running your hig beams, your low beams, or no factory lights at all, they will come on when you hit the switch even if your Jeep doesn't even have the key in the ignition..

If you want a specific option let me know what you would like to do, and I'll give my advice on how to get it done.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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Nope sounds good. I'm not looking for them to turn off with high beams or anything, I already did the quick mod to get my fog lights to come on with high beams still on lol. I just need them to come on when I hit the switch...whether the jeep is on or not.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:50 PM   #10
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I got an idea... run LED's. You can get little 2x2 LED pods that are waterproof for like a couple of bucks a piece and wire them directly with a 5amp fuse. Anything under the Jeep that uses a bulb is going to cause issues.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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I got an idea... run LED's. You can get little 2x2 LED pods that are waterproof for like a couple of bucks a piece and wire them directly with a 5amp fuse. Anything under the Jeep that uses a bulb is going to cause issues.
I have actually considered led i just had the other lights. I may look around to find some. I kno they draw less which isn't a bad idea. Plus they will probably last longer.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:00 PM   #12
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5050 L.E.D. Module Water Proof NCNR - Low Voltage LED Lights - LEDLight

I'm actually planning on buying about a dozen next week.
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:41 AM   #13
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Cons, I am a Electronics engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, I also served as a marine electrician for their ships. They are all giving you good advice, just redundancy. I run 4 KC lights on the front of mine, using 2 30 amp relays and a 8 conducter #12 Marine cable running to the bumper with individible circuits going to the lights. I ran the relays off a single switch in series. My lights have 105 watt bulbs in the spots and the floods thats why I chose this method. The ford solenoid question earlier, I had 6 150 watt PIAAS on the light bar of my 55 willys, they all came on at the same time, I needed that for the amps they drew. My jeeps going back on the dyno tommorow to finalize the tune, so i will check this in the afternoon to see if you need help, otherwise e-mail me and I will try to help.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:13 AM   #14
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Cons, I am a Electronics engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, I also served as a marine electrician for their ships. They are all giving you good advice, just redundancy. I run 4 KC lights on the front of mine, using 2 30 amp relays and a 8 conducter #12 Marine cable running to the bumper with individible circuits going to the lights. I ran the relays off a single switch in series. My lights have 105 watt bulbs in the spots and the floods thats why I chose this method. The ford solenoid question earlier, I had 6 150 watt PIAAS on the light bar of my 55 willys, they all came on at the same time, I needed that for the amps they drew. My jeeps going back on the dyno tommorow to finalize the tune, so i will check this in the afternoon to see if you need help, otherwise e-mail me and I will try to help.
I appreciate the help everyone. I will post up if I run into any issues.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #15
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Ok so I got all of the relays in, all of the wires in and the switch in. I thought I had the wires ran right, but it doesn't look like it, so I am in need of some advice. I followed a diagram that had me connect the lights to post 87, the positive end of the switch to 86, ground post 85, and power to post 30. I did this, but no power to the lights. Necromancrer said to tap 86 to 30. What does this mean? Is this what is causing me not to get lights?
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:18 PM   #16
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Did a little research, found a new diagram, made a quick change and I've got light. I will keep everyone posted.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:33 PM   #17
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Ok so I got all of the relays in, all of the wires in and the switch in. I thought I had the wires ran right, but it doesn't look like it, so I am in need of some advice. I followed a diagram that had me connect the lights to post 87, the positive end of the switch to 86, ground post 85, and power to post 30. I did this, but no power to the lights. Necromancrer said to tap 86 to 30. What does this mean? Is this what is causing me not to get lights?
Tapping post 86 to post 30 means you run a jumper wire between post 86 and the wire coming from your positive battery terminal, that hooks onto post 30. That will provide 12 volts at all times to both posts, thus allowing you to run a wire through your firewall that isn't carrying 12 volts.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:34 PM   #18
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Did a little research, found a new diagram, made a quick change and I've got light. I will keep everyone posted.
Cool deal! I hope it all works out well for you! Post some pics looking out of the windshield from the cab with and without the lights on
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:15 PM   #19
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Cool deal! I hope it all works out well for you! Post some pics looking out of the windshield from the cab with and without the lights on
I'll do it when I get home since it'll be dark. My lights probably wont be super bright looking out from the cab because I aimed them more underneath for a spotter more than myself. We will see though. Check back soon!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:40 AM   #20
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Here we go. These aren't from in the cab but they will give u a good idea. It went from dark, to this
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:36 AM   #21
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Here we go. These aren't from in the cab but they will give u a good idea. It went from dark, to this
Heck yeah! That looks great! I forgot that you were doing underbody rock lights, lol Where did you mount them to make sure they aren't going to get bashed in the rocks? I'm thinking of making some for my Jeep for a night wheeling trip coming up in 2 weeks, but I don't know if I'll have the coinage in time.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:37 AM   #22
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Heck yeah! That looks great! I forgot that you were doing underbody rock lights, lol Where did you mount them to make sure they aren't going to get bashed in the rocks? I'm thinking of making some for my Jeep for a night wheeling trip coming up in 2 weeks, but I don't know if I'll have the coinage in time.
I have one light mounted in Both floor board areas facing down and forward, one light mounted behind the front bumper aimed towards the ground, one light mounted to the upper control arm bracket on the driver side, and one light mounted about right behind the hump in the floor aimed down at the rear diff. I will see if I can get some decent pictures today.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:46 AM   #23
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I have one light mounted in Both floor board areas facing down and forward, one light mounted behind the front bumper aimed towards the ground, one light mounted to the upper control arm bracket on the driver side, and one light mounted about right behind the hump in the floor aimed down at the rear diff. I will see if I can get some decent pictures today.
Cool deal, pics are worth a thousand words or so they say The entire lighting system on my 97 is in serious need of an upgrade, but so is just about everything else on that Jeep, lol
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:57 AM   #24
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Cool deal, pics are worth a thousand words or so they say The entire lighting system on my 97 is in serious need of an upgrade, but so is just about everything else on that Jeep, lol
There are always things to upgrade
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:26 AM   #25
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Here are a few pics. I can't get a good pic of the one aimed at the rear diff.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #26
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Nice, looks like you've got them up and out of the way for the most part.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #27
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You guys who enjoy wheeling at night have way bigger cajones than I do.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:02 PM   #28
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Nice, looks like you've got them up and out of the way for the most part.
Ya I have had them in those places foe a while, and have yet to hit them.

Quote:
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You guys who enjoy wheeling at night have way bigger cajones than I do.
The night time is the only time we can enjoy cool temps here in Ridgecrest
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #29
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Oh yeah, I forgot you mentioned how hot it's been up there. Yeah in those conditions I might learn to like night wheeling too.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:20 PM   #30
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Oh yeah, I forgot you mentioned how hot it's been up there. Yeah in those conditions I might learn to like night wheeling too.
We don't do anything too crazy at night, but more light always helps if we end up in a bit of a hairy situation.

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