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Old 06-11-2015, 04:33 PM
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Tailgate wiring

My 89 came without a 3rd tailight and it's something I'm wanting to add along with moving my licence plate to the center of the tailgate. The issue I'm coming to is how to wire everything. I've seen various different tailgates on YJs and mine is like below. It's hollow so I'm assuming there are some bolts (around the edges?) that would separate the two halves so I could run wires. Fair assumption?

Then for wiring, I like how the TJs used the contact pins instead of just having a free flowing wire sticking out between the passenger wall and tailgate, not to mention random open holes. Are these (Third Brake Light Contacts part #??? - JeepForum.com) the only three parts I'd need? What about the cover?



YJ Wrangler Tailgate Parts - 4 Wheel Drive

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Old 06-11-2015, 04:54 PM   #2
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Mine came without, as well. I figured maybe a PO removed it to make room for a bigger spare? Haven't really searched closely for the wires. For a third light, I use one that fits into the trailer hitch receiver, when not towing. About $5 at HF.

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Old 06-11-2015, 04:57 PM
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Pretty sure mine just never had it because there are no holes that would have had wires anywhere (though the PO did put a bigger spare on which in turn dented the tailgate....). Could do the hitch idea but that doesn't help for lighting the licence plate. I'll probably just tear it all apart this weekend for fun if nothing comes up in this thread.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:24 PM   #4
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They started putting the 3rd light on in the '94's. Also I don't believe that the tailgate will open up, I think that's it's welded/fused together and hollow in the middle.

There is basically just a wire that runs into the tailgate (coming from the light) through a hole that you have to drill into the tailgate. Then there are connector pins by the hinges inside and then I don't really know where it goes after that...

But if your driving an '89 why bother? It's not at all illegal to not have one, in fact, I was considering getting ride of the light on my '94.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:34 AM
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The main part is for the lights on the licence plate. I keep the spare mounted inside and want it center. I could run without it but I've been pulled over for less here.

As for the 3rd light it's not a legality but more I live in an area where I swear we have the most inattentive drivers. Not that any damage will come to me from a low speed rear end (compared to them), but I'd rather avoid if at all possible and there is a reason 3rd lights became standard, they reduced wrecks.

If the tailgate is fused this just became a PITA. Wiring things through an area blind doesn't sound like a good time.
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:55 PM   #6
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You could look for one on eBay that is from a 94/95 and then sell the one that you have now. Might be just as much work though with the torx bolts.

You will have to cut a big hole on the inside of the tailgate though to fit the striker. So that wouldn't make it a completely blind job.

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