Rear Cargo Light installed on a 2008 Jeep Wrangler X 2 Door
Hey wanted to pass along that me and my boy friend found a really good way to add a nice and badly needed rear cargo light to our Wrangler flush mounted in the door. It's killer perfect.
We can't believe Jeep doesn't offer a cargo light, it's totally dark in the cargo area when you open the back door at night. You can't see inside or on the ground at your feet if you drop something. The overhead dome light doesn't light this area at all.
After much discussion and inspecting and removing some of the panels and going to all the auto stores, this is the best and perfect installation we found. I've attached pictures of the finished installation:
Bought a flush mount side marker plastic chrome light that came with a 194 bulb at Advance Auto. It's a rectangular small light with two screws in the front to lift off the clear diffuser and two screws under the diffuse for attaching to the Jeep's plastic removable trim.
This side marker is made for on the outside of vehicles so it's water resistant and even has a drain hole on the back side.
The 194 instrument bulb is not bright enough at all so later bought a 2825 from Auto Zone although probably any auto store has this bulb which is a courtesy bulb, much brighter element but the bulb looks the same as the 194 and is not too hot to the touch and is the brightest you can get in this bulb size.
You also need two wires, and two self splicing connectors.
Removed the horizontal black plastic inside door narrow panel which pops off from the bottom and then the top swings off. (the bottom has metal tension clips). (You can first remove the black plastic air grate which is also metal clips on one side and then it swings away if you want to be able to reach inside the door) (you can use a screw driver to help ease the metal clips out of their sheet metal holes).
You will find a fairly large hole in the sheet metal from the factory where the back side of the light can fit into. You must cut a round hole into the door black plastic narrow panel with a roto zip or drill holes to make a circle, melting a hole will not work because it produces a hole with raised edges. This is where the part of the new light protrudes into the surface.
Lift the carpet at the top of the edge on the passenger side by the back seat to expose a wiring harness.
Use 2 very tiny screw drivers to release the 2 zip ties that hold the wiring harness where the wiring harness crosses to the door so you can insert your two new wires for the light in them. Also remove the electric tape in this area. You won't remove any other wiring harness zip ties, just electric tape the two new wires onto the top of the wiring harness as it goes from the passenger door post under the side carpet on it's way to the back door.
Now carefully unzip the passenger door post fabric cover and pry the large plastic trim panel away from the post but you don't have to remove it completely. Use a fastener remover hand tool if you have one or a long large flat screw driver.
In the wiring harness that goes up the door post you will find the two wires that go to the dome light. One is yellow (positive) and one is black (ground). Use the two self splicing plastic connectors to connect the two new wires to these without needing to cut the yellow or black wires.
Screw the light into the Jeep's door black plastic trim piece. Don't over tighten, it's plastic.
The installation looks great and feels solid. The black plastic trim on the back door is slightly convex and the flush mount light is not so there is a very slight gap at the top and bottom of the light but it's not noticeable unless you are a fanatic. The light comes on with the dome light and goes off with it too.
It lights the cargo area and the ground. It's not blinding and it's not too dim either. It's tough and doesn't reduce the cargo area.
Hope this helps someone out and saves some headache, that's looking to do the same!
very nice job thanks for the write up and pics:)
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