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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks - we have some high-mount LED's that I'm looking to update the wiring on. They came with a toggle switch that fit in the blank on the accessory panel, next to the switches for rear window wiper and stock fog lights. I guess it's where a rear window defog switch could be installed, as there is an unused 4-pin connector that looks like the one for the fog lights. Our issue is that it's hard to find the switch in the dark, and ends up being a hunt-til-you find it activity.

I'm now looking for any leads on where I could find aftermarket rocker switches that look like stock and include the backlighting that the stock switches have. The only ones that look like stock that I've found are sold by GCD, and they only come with the light that indicates when the switch is turned on. My only option right now appears to be get a stock switch for fog lights or the rear defog and relabel it. Not sure how easy that would be to do, so prefer buying something pre-made.

Appreciate any suggestions...
 

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Keep in mind that most switches that are internally illuminated are usually significantly brighter than what most people are expecting. I removed mine due to how bright they were and went back to standard locker switches. They were seriously impacting my night vision when they were on. Muscle memory makes it easy to place your hand on a non-illuminated switch when it's needed. Not many switches in our Jeeps are illuminated when not on. Non-illuminated switches work fine for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Keep in mind that most switches that are internally illuminated are usually significantly brighter than what most people are expecting. I removed mine due to how bright they were and went back to standard locker switches. They were seriously impacting my night vision when they were on. Muscle memory makes it easy to place your hand on a non-illuminated switch when it's needed. Not many switches in our Jeeps are illuminated when not on. Non-illuminated switches work fine for me.
I'm only looking for the kind like the stock rocker switches that have the symbol backlit when the headlights are on, and have an internal amber or green indicator that the device is active... I understand what you mean about the brightness, and I'll get one without backlight before I get one that's brightly lit like some of the ones I've seen online.
 

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The eBay ones are typically not lighted as the logo is painted on so they don’t let might thru

Only stocksrs have the info on them transparent to an internal light


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Discussion Starter #5
The eBay ones are typically not lighted as the logo is painted on so they don’t let might thru

Only stocksrs have the info on them transparent to an internal light


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Yeah, that's what I was figuring... I can get a used stock switch for about the same as an aftermarket non-backlit switch, so may go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay - so here's my plan:

- ordered a stock defogger switch (used on eBay), since the harness connector is actually a mirror image of the connector for the stock fog lights (to prevent inadvertently plugging it into the wrong switch - good thinking Mopar!)
- I'm going to use the defogger harness to get power to the backlight (orange wire)
- going to run the other three wires to the engine bay where we already had the relay for the high-mount LED's

Thought about trying to just use the defog harness as-is and move the relay to the PDC. All I'd need to do is pick up the hot wire to the heating element coming out of the PDC. Unfortunately, there appears to be a controller (timer?) for the defog in the instrument cluster (based on the wiring diagrams in the FSM) and it looks too complicated to intercept that wiring since it would be in the dash.

As it stands, I'm going to need to cut the defog connector off and splice the orange wire from the harness, as well as the three existing wires to the relay (power, ground, load). If anyone knows where I could get a male adapter that fits the stock female connector, that would sure make my life easier... just don't think it exists. <sad face>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another question in addition to the one about an adapter - ours is a hardtop, but it didn't come equipped with the rear defogger. Reading the FSM, it says "rear window defogger is available as factory-installed equipment on models equipped with the hardtop option."

Ours is a Sport, maybe it only came on the Sahara? Just wondering if a previous owner converted to hardtop - we have the full doors, and I've gotten the build sheet before but cannot recall if that was specified (surely it was).

Were all hardtops equipped with rear defoggers, or was that an option or specific to an equipment group?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well poo.... I just read in the FSM that the rear defogger is a momentary switch, not a toggle... that makes sense because it has a timer controlling it. I guess I'm paying the price for pulling the trigger before aiming.

I was already planning to alter the front face of the backlit switch so it doesn't look like a defogger, now I need do surgery and convert it to a toggle... gonna have to google that. <super sad face>
 

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I have never seen any TJ oem hardtop that did not have wiper washer and defroster

Some aftermarket and some butchered YJ hardtops on TJs don’t have all these

As for switched an xj has same switches as early TJ and xj much more plentiful

Yes defrost switch is momentary and timer is built into cluster


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Discussion Starter #10
Consulted our build sheet, and it was definitely a factory hardtop. It does have the rear wiper/washer, which is called out on the build sheet. That leads me to believe that omission of the defogger switch, defog relay and heating element were just part of the trim package. Someone else here might be able to comment if they've got a '99 Sport hardtop. It's not super important, but I'm just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great news! I got the eBay defog switch today, and was able to disassemble it and convert it from a momentary switch to a toggle... I'll post up some pictures once I'm done with the project, but very happy to say it was pretty simple. All you have to do is remove the return spring that forces the switch to the off position. Of course it will never work as a defog switch, but since our rig isn't equipped for that, I'm not too worried anyone will ever try.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update on back-lit switch - part 1

Well, I finished this project... was definitely more involved than I thought it would be, but I'm satisfied with the results. Definitely not as finished looking as the aftermarket switches, but it fits in with the stock switches better...

First picture - I took the stock rear defogger switch apart...

Second and third pictures - the stock fog light and rear defogger switches are different internally... I didn't figure that out until I had popped the fuse a couple of times. Red circles in the second pic are where the traces are different between the two switches. Red circle in the third pic is where I had to modify the trace to kill the short to ground. If I'd have studied the wiring diagram from the FSM and thought clearly, I would've realized they were different. After I popped the fuse the second time, I looked at it and had that "eureka!" moment.

Fourth picture - left side is the stock fog light toggle, right side is the stock rear defogger momentary... the white button and spring are what push the switch back to the open position. Just have to pull that out to convert the switch to a toggle.

Fifth picture - cut the harness connector off and spliced it to the wires for the high-mounts. The orange wire is the + side for the switch back-light.

Since I'm limited to 5 attached pictures per post, I'll finish the write-up of the project in a second post.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update on back-lit switch - part 2

First picture - Because I wanted the switch to look something like the high-mount lights and not a rear defogger, I disassembled the toggle. This took quite a bit of effort, as I didn't realize it was actually three pieces pressed together. I started out sanding the area that is translucent because I thought the black was just painted over a solid piece of white plastic.

Second picture - filled the hole with JBWeld

Third picture - drilled a couple of holes which I realized later were a little too close together and not quite lined up right... I held the switch in one hand and used a drill in the other, so it wasn't the best setup.

Fourth picture - finished switch... used a piece of clear plastic I found in the garden center at Walmart. Was about the right diameter and clear. Cut two sections each about a half-inch long. The two pieces of the rod are held into the holes with clear silicone sealant in the back of the switch.

Fifth picture - the end result... not as "fit and finished" as the stock switches, and if I could do it over again I'd probably see if I could use a friend's drill press to make sure it was neatly aligned and properly spaced.

OR I'd just leave the switch face alone and let it be a source of confusion to any future owner...
 

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Interesting

Could have just taken a fog switch and blacked out the transparent squiggles in front of the light icon and then used a different color on indicator light

Would look different without all the hassle


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Discussion Starter #15
Thought about it

Interesting

Could have just taken a fog switch and blacked out the transparent squiggles in front of the light icon and then used a different color on indicator light

Would look different without all the hassle


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I thought about doing that but the factory harness plug for the rear defogger is a slightly different shape to keep them from being accidentally swapped ... since we don't have a pick-n-pull nearby, I would've needed to buy one off eBay specifically for the fog light switch to make that happen. In hindsight, I think I was way too concerned about using the existing harness plug for what it was worth to me. In the end, I still had to cut it off to splice the wires that went to the relay for the high-mount spots. If I had been able to use the factory relay location in the PDC, then it might have been worth it because I would've been able to just plug and go after modifying the switch. Unfortunately, the rear defogger circuit goes through a timer in the dash cluster, so that wouldn't work.

I enjoyed the challenge of figuring this out and doing something unique, so there's that... :action-smiley:
 
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