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HOUND 06-01-2010 10:16 PM

Flush Mounting Stock Tail Lights, need EVAP help.
Good Evening All,

SO, after much consideration, I've decided that my next mod will be removing the Rugged Ridge rear tail light guards, and flush mounting the lights. I've read several threads on this, and I think with a little bit of tinting, the stock lights will look really good like this.

My question is this: I have an '03 Sport, and would like to know from other who have done this mod just how far I need to space out my EVAP canister? How long do I need to make the spacers, what length bolts should I use (I'm assuming they are M8x1.25), and what will I need to mod to get the fender-well cover to sit back in place correctly? Or will it sit properly regardless?

Will I also need to delete the charcoal canister and re-route any hoses to ensure clearance for the lights?

I really DON'T want to go the LED route. The round lights are nice, but I really like the look of the flush stock lights, and want to do the job right the first time.

Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks All!!


InfernoGirl 06-01-2010 10:32 PM

I can't help with the mounting questions, but I can advise you to tint them first. It'll be easier to get the covers on and off before you mount them, and you may decide they look so good tinted that you don't need to flush mount them. That said, I do like the look of them flush mounted myself, but I am way too chicken to go cuttin' on my tub. :) Pull the lenses off and tint the insides. It looks much more professional. And I highly recommend taping off the clear back up light lens before tinting. Those suckers are pretty dim already.

drivebytruckerz 06-01-2010 10:37 PM

You should probably mail me your tail light guards free of charge.. I have a set, but I like free stuff. ;)

HOUND 06-01-2010 10:40 PM

Yes, I was planning to do the tint before the final mounting. I figure, after I have the template done and do the cutting and test fit, I would tint them and paint the edges of the holes. Then, I'd give them both time to dry up and do a second coat before I put it all back together. I'm actually debating whether or not to sand and buff the outsides of the lenses smooth and then UV coat them while I'm at it. Then it will be a little bit more personal, and probably blend a bit nicer too :)

HOUND 06-01-2010 10:46 PM

Free is always good :)

These things were on the Jeep when I got it, and they're stainless, so they stand out. I'll be removing them shortly long with the headlight guards as well, then I'll be painting the bezels and the grill inserts black, and I should be happy. For a little while anyway :D

drivebytruckerz 06-01-2010 10:50 PM

Oh.. stainless.. never mind. You're right to get them off there.. I painted my bezels last month.. and it made a world of difference.

HOUND 06-01-2010 11:00 PM

Yeah, I'm not a fan of shiny either. I was using a set of old mirrors I had laying around from my bike when I took the doors off before I got my relocation brackets, and while useful, they annoyed me to no end because they were chrome. On Khaki, black just looks so much better :D

InfernoGirl 06-01-2010 11:43 PM


Originally Posted by HOUND (Post 641417)
Yeah, I'm not a fan of shiny either. I was using a set of old mirrors I had laying around from my bike when I took the doors off before I got my relocation brackets, and while useful, they annoyed me to no end because they were chrome. On JEEPS, black just looks so much better :D

Fixed it for ya! ;)

rketr 06-01-2010 11:48 PM

Ahh the evap. Went round and round with this one when I did the comp cut and coil overs on my '03 TJ - X. Figuring out where this bugger went was a pain so I'm still planning on doing a writeup on it since I never could find one 'out there.' Here is the down and dirty on it.

First thing you'll want to do is draw out (on paper) where all the connections go between the tank, the two filters, and the charcoal canister. Take the whole thing out and set it aside until you are ready to put back in place later.

I laid out all the parts (except the charcoal canister) on a piece of 1/8" plate and marked and drilled all the mounting holes onto the plate. (thought I took a picture of this, but I guess not).

Mounted the filters on the plate and then bent up the sides to begin making a box -- the cover will be added later.

I cut two holes in the tub and ran some tubing in. Mounted the charcoal canister behind the back seat.

Put the plate assembly up under the wheel well. Found that there was JUST enough room for it to fit above my coil overs.
After installed I made a cover plate for the assembly.

Sorry for the lack of detail...I can add more pictures and a better description if you'd like.

rketr 06-01-2010 11:53 PM

Hehe, read the original post again...are you just swapping lights or are you doing fender mods?

If just swapping lights you'll likely have enough space without having to mess with the evap. You may have to remove it just to be able to move around and work your connections, but I'm pretty sure there is enough space up there to just drop it back in place.

cavediverjc 06-02-2010 12:29 AM

^^^There isn't.^^^

I just did the flushmount LED taillight mod about a month and a half ago. I had to move my evap canister forward (towards the front of the vehicle) about an inch. I made spacers out of red oak (I had a slab of 7/8" red oak that I took a hole cutter to) to space the canister forward. It worked like a charm, but that was for a thin, flushmount LED taillight that was only about an 1.5" deep. It may be that the stock taillights are too deep to flushmount without totally relocating your evap canister like rketr did.

big paul 06-02-2010 04:01 AM

Evap Canister Relocation - 2

this is what i used

cavediverjc 06-02-2010 08:13 AM


Originally Posted by big paul (Post 641524)
Evap Canister Relocation - 2

this is what i used

That works well when installing lights that are only 1.5" deep, such as the LED flushmounts......but he's wanting to flushmount his STOCK taillights into the tub. They've gotta be 2.5-3" deep and I don't know if this method will work.

HOUND 06-02-2010 08:18 AM

Big Paul, thanks for the link.

So, it would seem as though my options for doing these lights are limited because of this canister. I guess I need to research some of these lights a bit more. Relocating the evap can behind the rear seat isn't really an option as I need the space for equipment. I might need to look into making some custom slim LED housing that will fit tightly behind the stock lenses.

rketr 06-02-2010 09:26 AM

Could always go the flush LED style.

Does not take much room at all...

HOUND 06-02-2010 06:18 PM

I've noticed in the engine bay, on the driver's side, there is a nice big space (most likely where the evap can sat in the 97-02). Does anyone know if the evap can from an '02 would fit in this location in an '03, and will it work without creating any problem codes?

HOUND 06-03-2010 05:56 PM

So, after looking at the space beneath my jeep earlier, and considering the mounting of my stock lights flush (tinted them lightly today too :) ), I think it can be done with a bit of modification.

Has anyone moved the canister any further forward than 1" ? I'm thinking that if I can move it 1 1/2", I should be able to get things all set nicely. I'll just need to pick up some longer bolts, or weld it a little further, but I don't want it to have any issues. Does anyone think there will be problems if I go this route?

cavediverjc 06-03-2010 06:10 PM

I think you won't know until you try. ;)

If my memory serves me, you should have enough room to space your evap canister forward an inch/half without having to modify your wheel well liner. There is a metal shield (you'll see it when you remove your ww liner) that you may have to leave off. I forgot to re-install mine (it was getting late/dark and I was in a hurry to get the Jeep buttoned back up) and probably won't ever re-install it. Keep us posted.

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