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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What this is: This is my write-up on how I installed the model 600-12LT sPOD into my 2013 Wrangler Rubicon.

What this isn't: This is not a complete write-up as I got carried away with the install and didn't photograph every little thing I did. Some of it is self-explanatory or covered well enough in sPOD's instructions.

Reason for the purchase and install: I've learned a lot about my Jeep from this forum so I thought I'd give back a little with this write-up about my experience installing this wonderful product. My off-road builds are not typical in that I don't go after the lift and tires first. I build the "infrastructure" to support that final goal first. The reason I am installing the sPOD is that I intend to purchase a rear bumper with tire carrier to support the weight and size of a 35" spare so when I lift this piece of "infrastructure" will already be in place. The rear bumpers I'm looking at have options to install lights recessed into the bumper and that will be run back up to the front and into the sPOD. So basically my method of installing and modding is to look at the requirements for the end goal and sometimes those requirements have requirements of their own, sub-requirements?, and the sPOD is a requirement to install the rear bumper accessories I want.

Install Time: 2 hours

Tools I used:


  1. Coat hanger to fish connector through firewall
  2. Phillips #2 screwdriver to mount sPOD bracket to footman's loop
  3. 3/8" ratchet
  4. 3/8" extension
  5. 1/4" ratchet
  6. 1/4" ratchet extension
  7. Electrical tape to fish connector through firewall
  8. 3/8" 10mm socket
  9. 3/8" 8mm socket
  10. 1/4" #20 torx socket
  11. 6mm allen wrench for grab handle removal on a-pillar
  12. exacto style knife to cut grommet in firewall and cut windshield header panel
  13. Nylon trim tool
  14. Needle nose channel locks to "adjust" sPOD bracket that switch panel mounts to.

Steps:

1. Remove windshield header trim panel. You can easily pull this off by hand by pulling from behind and in front of where the sun visor snaps into its latch. Pull down and toward you at the same time and just move along the header to release the rest of it. Be aware there is a wiring loom in there if you have the powered mirror for auto dimming and map lights. The loom is easily removed from the panel as it has connectors that just sit in guides so it doesn't get pinched when the panel is reconnected.



2. Remove the driver's side sun visor using a #20 torx.



3. Remove the footman's loop. The sPOD instructions say to use a #25 torx to do this but I used the same #20 I just used to remove the sun visor. :crash2:



3. Install the sPOD bracket in front of the footman's loop and install the torx screws you just took out. You will want to make sure to leave the hole the red arrow is pointing at unobstructed. This will insure the windshield header trim guide that is there will be able to get into that hole.

EDIT:Note about the picture below. I initially put the bracket behind the footman's loop as you will see in the photo below. I reinstalled to the front of the footman's loop as sPOD's instructions suggest. I caught it while writing this install! Documentation does help!



4. Reinstall the windshield header trim. In my case it would not reinstall correctly as the sPOD bracket blocked it from doing so around the footman's loop. I needed to cut off some of the plastic from the windshield header to that it would mount flush as it did before the bracket was installed. The instructions do mention this possibility and I'm assuming this will be the case for all 2012 - 2013 Wranglers. In the picture below the red arrows show where contact is made restricting the windshield header from mounting flush. The red lines show where I cut to remove this obstruction.



After cutting the windshield header using an exacto knife the trim piece fit just fine. THis will all be hidden by the sPOD switch panel.



Now screw in the sPOD switch panel with the two supplied screws. In my case only one hole lined up with the bracket so I needed to bend the bracket around to get them both to line up. To do this I used needle-nose channel lock pliers. You could probably do this by hand or with any tool but I used the channel locks.

6. At this point I started remove the trim pieces along the driver's side to run the sPOD switch panel wiring loom. The instructions don't mention much about this and have a picture of the wiring loom just being shoved intot he installed trim piece along the windshield header. I did not care for this method and felt it would be easier to just remove the trim pieces for the top corner on the driver's side and the a-pillar.

a)In order to remove the driver's side a-pillar trim I had to remove the Welcome Distributing grab handle. This takes a 6mm hex wrench to remove the bolt and then a 19mm socket to remove the spacer. I think the newer version only have a hex bolt that travels all the way through the spacer to make installation easier.

HELPFUL TIP: There is a plastic "screw" in the lower hole in the a-pillar trim. You cannot use a screwdriver alone to remove this plastic screw. You need to pull out towards you with a finger or two from the top hole the green arrow is pointing at in the picture below and at the same time use your #2 phillips screwdriver to loosen the screw where the red arrow is pointing. There is no need to drill it out or break it as some suggest.



b) The top corner piece I was not able to remove easily but I did get it mostly disconnected to run the wiring loom between the roll bar and the trim piece. I followed the existing wiring loom from the rear view mirror as it follows a channel made to hold the loom. If you have the Uconnect there is a microphone in the top corner trim piece so be careful not damage the wiring or the mic. This is why I didn't remove the trim piece in that top corner all the way.

c) To remove the driver's side trim piece alongside the door to get the loom fished through the firewall I used a nylon trim piece so I didn't damage the plastic. Just insert the narrow edge of the tool into the gap in the trim and run it up and down until all the clips pop as shown by the red arrow in the picture below. The instructions say to use a small screwdriver but that cold mangle the plastic some. I did notice after the install was completed I was able to just use a couple fingers and push against the back of this trim piece closest to the firewall and the front clips would just pop out as shown by the green line in the picture below.



7. NOTE: These instructions are relevant to the manual transmission Wrangler only according the sPOD instructions. The automatic instructions use the foam hole to pass through the firewall. I popped the hood and pulled the grommet the red arrow is pointing at in the picture below.



8. I cut the grommet into an X shape so I could fit the sPOD connector through the firewall and into the grommet. See the picture below.



9. I Ran my coat hanger/metal fishing instrument through the hole where the grommet would be and into the interior of the Wrangler. At some point when I had it in far enough I saw it sticking out on the driver's side where the lower trim panel I removed was. I used a liberal amount of electrical tape to tape the connector from the sPOD to the hangar securely. Back in the engine bay I slowly fished it through the hole and into the engine bay.

10. I remove all the tape from the hangar and connector then pushed the connector through the grommet. It went through easy enough as I made the "X" cuts long enough to fit the loom that's already in the grommet plus the sPOD loom. I took up most of the slack into the engine bay as it will be needed to get the connector into the power module. I removed the cover on the power module and connected the plug as shown in the picture below by running it from underneath and into the power module.



11. Now it's time to mount the power module in the engine bay. To do this I remove the 8mm screw shown by the red arrow and only loosen the 8mm screw shown by the green arrow in the picture below.



I slid the mount over the bolt I loosened and insert the screw I removed into the the mount and secure it. I also had to reinstall a connector ring for whatever was connected to that screw and I don't know what it went to. At this point I tightened down both screws and the power module was mounted! I then installed the cover and secured it with the latches.

12. At this point I just run the power cables as clean as I could from the power module over to the battery. They supply you with zip ties to do this and you can tie it up with the existing plastic loom that runs along the top of the firewall. I kept all the zip ties as loose asa possibly soI could make adjustments after I got the power cables connected to the battery. Once I had the cables where I wanted them I secured the zip ties.

13. Start your Jeep up so the sPOD resets and allows power to it. Check that your switches are working inside. In my case I have the double light switches and it all worked as expected.



Customer service: Just a quick note on the company. I wasn't able to order the product online as their store seemed to be having problems as I was seeing application errors from their site. I called in my order by phone and they handled it all well. I ordered late in the afternoon and they still managed to get it out and shopped on the same day! They asked where I heard about them from and I told them this forum and they gave me a discount "from another forum" that covered most of the shipping! Awesome! Due to my proximity to them here in California I received it the very next day which was awesome and gave me something fun to do on my day off! Props to sPOD! The product was packed really well and everything was accounted for.

Hindsight: In hindsight I wouldn't have bought the sticker legend they offer to put on the switches. It was $8.00 and not really that exciting to me. I think I can remember what the switches do.

I hope this is useful to someone wanting to install this product and please don't hesitate to PM me if you want to know more or have questions. There's a few other write-ups on this product but it can't hurt to have one more!
 

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Now go buy yourself some OTRATTW switch plates :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I read that the spod bracket gets installed on top of not under the footman loop. Is your method from sPOD?
Hi Doctorsti,

You are correct the bracket should be installed on top of the footman's loop. I originally installed it underneath as the picture shows but I then installed it over the top as the instructions show. I made an edit in step three to make note of it.

On top the screws are a bit more accessible for my installation but the bezel isn't as flush to the windshield header trim panel since it's space forward a bit more since it's on top of the footman's loop. However, that is the correct position according to sPOD.

Thanks for checking out the thread.
 

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Hi Doctorsti,

You are correct the bracket should be installed on top of the footman's loop. I originally installed it underneath as the picture shows but I then installed it over the top as the instructions show. I made an edit in step three to make note of it.

On top the screws are a bit more accessible for my installation but the bezel isn't as flush to the windshield header trim panel since it's space forward a bit more since it's on top of the footman's loop. However, that is the correct position according to sPOD.

Thanks for checking out the thread.
Ha, sorry I missed the edit. I'm installing mine next week, its currently in the mail. By the way I follow your theiry on upgrade path and build a foundation for the big final goal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ha, sorry I missed the edit. I'm installing mine next week, its currently in the mail. By the way I follow your theiry on upgrade path and build a foundation for the big final goal.
Yes, the method doesn't have that instant gratification in appearance but it's how I work through it. If you don't "cheat" you don't have the problems of having to chase down fixes for the mods you just did putting yourself in a rush. Just go slow and think it through and put the required mods in place first for your final goal.
 

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Really nice write up. :thumb:

This is on my mods list, so it was really nice to see a step-by-step before even ordering.
 

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Is anyone concerned about the opening on top of the spod? Water can easily get into the electronics I understand it needs a opening in order for the latches to lock but the electronics are exposed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is anyone concerned about the opening on top of the spod? Water can easily get into the electronics I understand it needs a opening in order for the latches to lock but the electronics are exposed
I'm running a softop so if water is a threat at that height, I can only think of rain, I would just button up beforehand.
 

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I just installed the sPOD and it is, IMO, the finest aftermarket product I've ever seen. The design, engineering and quality are all top-notch and it does what it supposed to do (and does it very well).

The company offers great installation instructions and it couldn't be easier to install and they stand behind their product.

Great product - I highly recommend it. :iamhappy:
 

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anyone having an issue with the late for the footman's loop? I tried this install last night and couldn't seem to get mine to close without impact the switch panel.
 

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anyone having an issue with the late for the footman's loop? I tried this install last night and couldn't seem to get mine to close without impact the switch panel.
Not sure what the issue is with your install. If you can explain it better or post a pic or two that would help.

You did put the bracket BETWEEN the windshield header and the footman's loop, right?



In the meantime, maybe these will help you:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/2013-wrangler-spod-install-model-600-12lt-261526.html

sPOD Installation - YouTube

You can always call Cinde at sPOD: 661-755-6549
 

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yup I think I may have gotten a defective bracket. When I received it it wasn't perfectly straight across the top...going to try bending it back a bit tonight and cutting the header a bit more.
 

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yup I think I may have gotten a defective bracket. When I received it it wasn't perfectly straight across the top...going to try bending it back a bit tonight and cutting the header a bit more.
I don't believe you have to cut anything. If suspect a problem, contact Cindy at sPod and she will send you any part you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You did put the bracket BETWEEN the windshield header and the footman's loop, right?
Actually my picture shows it between but I did update the text to state that sPODs instructions state to put the brack on top of the footman's loop.

MattK said:
EDIT:Note about the picture below. I initially put the bracket behind the footman's loop as you will see in the photo below. I reinstalled to the front of the footman's loop as sPOD's instructions suggest. I caught it while writing this install! Documentation does help!
 
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