Rugged Ridge Hood Latch Lights Install
I've searched and searched for any information on the Rugged Ridge Hood Latch Lights (Amazon: Rugged Ridge 15207.70 Hood-Mounted Off-Road Light Kit for Jeep JK : Amazon.com : Automotive)
Not finding anything really useful in helping my decision in purchasing them, I decided to jump in and just buy them. They arrived today and I have pictures of the mechanical portion of the installation for all of you who may be up in the air about them...
Here's what comes with the set:
Passenger side light installed. I had to remove the air instake hose from the air box, and then pull up the air box out of the engine to allow my wrench to fit into the area to loosen the 13mm bolt holding the hood catch on. I also had to remove the ground connection right where I stuck my wrench through. No big deal.
Another shot of the light installed.
A close-up of how it mounts to the included brackets. The light is on a bit of a restricted swivel. You maneuver it into the desired position, and then tighten down the nut. I was happy to see that they included a lock washer. It is extremely solid feeling after you tighten it down. Doesn't seem like it's going to go anywhere...
What I did was put some of this foam/rubber/grip stuff between the bracket and the body of the Jeep. It seemed like a no-brainer. The original hood catch is plastic and doesn't seem to cause damage to paint when tightened down. Since I wasn't about to torque down the original nut to factory value, I added some of this cushion for piece of mind. Turned out that it worked really well. It compressed down very nicely and I'm sure it protected, and will protect, my paint as intended.
Another shot of what i'm talking about
This side was supposed to be easier from what I could find and read about the hood latches. Was a bit of a struggle figuring out the best place to get my wrench in. I was using an extension and it was just a bit too much. The headlight wiring harness and some other things where right where my wrench had to be. What I ended up doing was sticking the entire wrench down into the engine bay and then pulling it back up by the handle so only the handle was sticking out for me to turn it.
Both installed on the 2010 Jeep JK.
Wiring the lights tomorrow or some time this week coming up. I have the wires marked out with masking tape so I can easily figure it out when I start up again. I plan to ditch the included switch for the PlasmaGlow LED pushbutton switch that I also bought.
So far, the lights seem to be of pretty good quality. The housing is plastic, but everything else is of good build. Being only 55W, I don't think the plastic will be an issue. There were no instructions or guidance what-so-ever to go off of, and this is why I am posting the process. I would've loved to have found something like this when I was buying them, so I hope that this helps someone else!
Stay posted, I'll put up my wiring install within this thread at a later date... I'm still figuring out if I want to tap the parking light, or just go from the battery or 12V socket to power the coil in the relay. Ideally, I want to go from the parking light, but I'm open for suggestions.
Looks good, thanks for the write up, Ive been curious about how much light those put out, so if you could, take a night time shot aiming down the road or something. To me as far as wiring, I wouldnt tap into any factory wiring to wire aftermarket stuff, especially how these jeeps are wired. Look in my profile and see if you can find my write up (made my own s-pod style switches) It was fairly easy to do, if anything if you dont want to run as many wires as I did, just put in a remote fuse block and run the lights to them. Thanks again for the right up!
Thank you! I will definitely check that out. I am EXTREMELY nervous to tap into factory wires but I always read "...and I tapped off the factory wires...", so I figured no harm.
FOR THE RECORD: I do not intend to use, or ever use, those bite down splice things where it pierces the wire insulation etc. I intend to solder or splice with crimps.
Thanks! Enjoy, I'm heading out now to wire up everything except the relay coil trigger aka where I would tap the parking light.
You should have nothing to worry about as long as you KNOW the wire you are splicing into is the right wire. While the JK's do have a finicky databus system, most of the lighting will be fairly straightforward. Do you want these to be on whenever your parking lights are on? seems like they may not be street legal, so I would be careful with that.
I would love to see a pic of them once you have them all wired up, seems like a cool idea for a light mount! Nice front license plate, too!
Well, see the whole idea is to only be able to switch them on when my parking lights are on. It's the same concept behind the factory fog lights: I can only turn on the fog lights when the parking lights/sidemarkers are lit -- I can't turn on the fog lights solely by themselves...
AKA: when the parking lights are ON, I want to be able to provide that current to the relay coil when I flip the switch ON, thus allowing battery power to the lights. I'm just writing it like this so you understand completely --
That's what I want for these lights.
I was curious about the legality of these lights. Being 55W, I figured they're safe for on-road use. Of course I would shut them off when other cars drive by (in the same sense as the high beams), but I read that factory Jeep headlights are 50-55W themselves so... I don't know. I'm just taking the risk I guess... I'm definitely planning on being courteous with them. I do not know what the beam pattern even is... spot/flood/driving?? No idea and no indication! Not a single piece of paper with info was included.
I drive back roads to/from work. It's dark on the way to work @ 6am and I think some extra light would be good so I don't hit any deer. I came really close 2 times. Those bastards just run right out!
So, tonight I wired everything up with the relay. Everything's connected. Now all I need to do is run the last wire that is supposed to link up to the 3-lead switch I bought, into the cabin, and then wire the ground and the hot to the switch. Then I have to mount the switch. I'm looking at putting it right above the speaker near my left knee when in the driver's seat -- keep all the light controls together and close. (Although I would LOVE to put the switch up on the A-Pillar too!) Wah-lah, it'll be all done. This is where I'm a bit torn...:
Do I hook the hot to the 12V switched? The switch I have is rated for 12V if needed, so I'm safe there. Do I hook hot to the parking light? For the sake of simplicity and being clean, i'll probably opt for the 12V switched cigarette lighter...
Still open for suggestions!
Also, here's my wiring schematic I drew:
Maybe this schematic can help others as well with their wiring. I have up to where the blue wire meets the white wire (out of the bottom of the relay). That splice is where I have it terminated right now, coiled up in the engine bay ready to go through the firewall to the switch.
From the last post I did, I wired up the lights according to the schematic I posted a picture of. The source of power that I used to trip the relay (red wire off the switch) was directly off the battery. I also used the included switch. I kind of did it really quick and rushed because being that the Jeep is my daily driver, I didn't want to leave any loose ends that could cause problems on my work commute. By wiring it up this way, there was constant power to the lights which would effectively drain my battery over the course of time. Last night (30 September), I made time to wire them how I imagined doing it when I bought them. Using the plasma glow blue LED PB switch, and tapping off of the switched 12V outlet/cigarette lighter. When I was doing this last night, I was rushing again because I had torn the entire center portion of the dash apart to get to the needed wires. I was trying to finish the job before it got too late. This is why there is a lack of many of the pictures. I will try to be as detailed as possible in how I did this where there are missing pictures. I DO INTEND TO POST MORE PICTURES OF WHERE I RAN WIRES ETC. AT A LATER DATE
Here is the electrical portion of the install:
STEP ONE: I DISCONNECTED THE BATTERY BY UNHOOKING THE HOT SIDE IN THE ENGINE BAY.
After popping off the top dash panel (where the GPS module is mounted on the underside) and popping out the front dash panel (IAW this video):
MYGIG LOCKPICK JK WRANGLER RUBICON - YouTube
-- I was able to get to the rear of the cigarette lighter that you can see above. The cigarette lighter is actually a type of 2 piece wiring harness that is separated by pressing in a plastic clip that latches them together. I pressed in the clip, and stuck a screwdriver in the joining part. I then gently turned the screwdriver slowly separating the 2 (as opposed to prying it off). VERY simple process.
You can see above how it all separates. The blue portion stays attached to the rear of the dash, while the white plastic wiring harness separates.
There are 2 wires coming out of the back of the cigarette lighter. I was trying to read other posts about which wire was ground and which was hot. It seemed to be different for different years. Using my electronics knowledge, I MADE SURE THAT NO BARE WIRES OR METAL CONTACTS WERE TOUCHING ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO, reconnected the hot side of the battery, put the key in the ignition, turned on the ACC mode, grabbed my multimeter, and placed the probes into the wiring harness. For those of you who don't know how to read a multimeter: The RED lead is meant to touch the HOT side of the circuit, while the BLACK lead is meant to touch the GROUND side of the circuit. If you get a NEGATIVE reading when you KNOW there should be a POSITIVE reading, simply reverse where you are putting the red/black probes. Typically, BUT NOT ALWAYS, any black wire is used for GROUND. I wanted to verify that it was no different for the Jeep.
I placed the BLACK probe into the socket that connected to the BLUE AND PURPLE wire, and the RED probe into the socket with the BLACK AND WHITE wire. The reading was about -12.23V. Since the BLACK probe was touching the BLUE AND PURPLE wire, which I assumed to be HOT (and not GROUND), I knew that the BLACK AND WHITE wire was indeed the ground. When I reversed the leads, I got a POSITIVE 12.23V.
I THEN REMOVED POWER FROM THE JEEP BY DISCONNECTING THE HOT SIDE OF THE BATTERY.
This verifies that for the 2010 Jeep Wrangler, the hot wire on the back of the cigarette lighter socket is the BLUE AND PURPLE wire.
I ran a wire from the switch in the A-pillar, down into the side of the dash where you can pop off the side and expose the firewall, down under the speaker, across the top of the foot pedals (secured here with a zip-tie), across, into the read of the bottom of the dash where you can stick your hand in, and out of the front. I had to stick a coat hanger through the front on the bottom and out from the back to pull the wire through. Here's a picture I took of what I'm talking about:
This is where I obviously got nervous... I knew once I cut this wire, there was no going back... Trusting in myself, I cut it. I then attached a butt splice seen in the picture above to the side that ran into the dash (where the power is coming from). On the opposite side, I attached the other end of the wire running into the wiring harness, and also the red lead that I ran from the A-pillar switch. So you should have on one end, the blue and purple wire running into the dash, and 2 wires lightly twisted together, and crimped into the other end. Be careful when doing this part.
Image taken from project-jk.com
In the photo above, it shows a great place for a chassis ground. (No need to run a ground wire all the way back to the ground side of the battery). This location is right near the firewall (which can be seen above the bolt filled with the yellow foam) where you pop off the side of the dash panel where your door is. The only difference is that this photo was taken on the passenger side. The same ground bolt can be found on the driver side. This is where I grounded my switch. (Black wire off the switch.)
I began to put the dash back together by reversing the steps above. Take extra care not to pinch any wires in the clips when snapping the dash back into place. You can see above, the red wire that I ran from the A-pillar, through the dash, behind it, and so on. The view is without the bottom dash piece with the net. Once that is installed, the wire is completely hidden.
Here is where I mounted my plasma glow blue LED switch. The way it is wired, the blue ring will come on when the lights are on. If you need help with removing the A-pillar, reply to me and i'll elaborate better. The switch came with existing wires from the factory. All you had to do was attach crimp splices onto the ends. Very simple/idiot proof. Red=Hot // Black=Ground // White=connected to the wire that runs to the relay. (SEE MY SCHEMATIC ABOVE)
There it is... all installed. AS REQUESTED/PROMISED, I will post pictures of how much light they throw. Probably tomorrow or later this week.
Do I regret anything? NOT A SINGLE THING. Everything is working PERFECTLY. I LOVE the lights, I LOVE the switch, and furthermore, I'm impressed with how easy it was for hooking everything up. The hardest part was finding out where to run/route the wires through and under and over, etc.
If anyone is up in the air about the lights: so far I LOVE them, the have my definite approval. Very minimalist design, low profile and bright as hell (however bright hell is, anyway :whistling:)
So the way I have them wired right now, is they will only come on when I have the car in ACC mode, or beyond. (You cannot turn the lights on without the keys)
If anyone has any questions, I encourage you! I'd be happy to answer them when I have the time! Stay tuned for more pictures...
Here's some more pictures of the lights, but at night.
The last 2 are with just the headlights and then headlights plus hood latch lights.
Where did you get the plasma glow switch from?
There's an On/Off version which I got. You press it to turn it on and again to turn it off.
And there's a momentary version where it's on as long as you hold the button.
Very good switch. No problems thus far. The button itself is just about as big as my index finger tip. Smaller than I thought but I'm extremely satisfied with it... A but pricey though.
Great write up. Man I really needed the help with these lights. These lights work perfect for the back roads of Texas. Thanks TerrapinJess.
I used the Procal to set my fog lights as running lights so they're always on when I'm driving.
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