Roof Lights made simple Write Up

Old 03-31-2013, 11:12 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: DE
Posts: 5,587
Year: 1988
Model: Cherokee
Engine: I6 4.0
Default Roof Lights made simple Write Up

I wanted to mount some lights on my xj but without the cost of drilling into the roof or some crazy non-removable idea. I wired my lights to be removable by a simple twist. This is for 4 55w lights, anything bigger or more may result in thicker gauge wire
Items you'll need:
Roof Rack crossmember of your choice
Wire: 14g for + and - of lights, 10g for connected wires and relay, and 16g for Rocker switch
30A 5 ping relay
Tape or zip ties and wire loom to cover the wires
Variety of connectors with wire stripper
Electrical tape
Inline fuse
Drill with bit (sizes varies)
Possibly a torx-25 depending on rack design
and a socket set for the ground.

Step 1: Pick your lights, I went with Harbor Freights 6" Chrome Off road lights for $14 a piece

Step 2: Get your rack, I went to the local JY and got a chevy minivan rack crossmember that was solid so it won't bounce off road.

Step 3: Measure where you want your lights on the rack and mark with a sharpie for drilling and when done drill the holes out.

Step 4: Mount your lights

Step 5: Splice both your positive and ground wires and extend them using the 14g wire and connector, wire them individually of course. As you can see my inital plan was to ground each light to the bolt itself but that didn't work so just repeat what i do for the positive for the ground as well

Step 6: Connect the farthest right light to the right middle light by either solder or twisting them together and put into a connector to make 1 positive and 1 ground wire for the two together. and repeat this till the last light and electric tape them to weatherproof them

Step 7: When you get to the last light light repeat what you did with the first two and have two power wires at the end of the rack for the connection to the bigger 10g wire. For the grounds connect all 4 of them at the last wire and then run a short 14g wire to the end of the rack. Tape/Zip-tie your wires down

Step 8: DISCONNECT BATTERY GROUND. From the inside you'll want the relay to be by the interior fuse box by your brake pedal, run a 10g wire from the battery using a 20A inline fuse by the battery through the gourmet and to the relay inside.
Here's a picture of the relay diagram you'll want to use -

Step 9: Run 10g and 14g positive and ground wires that will connect to your rack lights through the A-pillar interior panel, it's only held by two screws behind two caps. From there fish the wires to the corner of the jeep where you can see a hole that goes down to the fuse box.

Step 10: With your switch find a spot to mount it, the box should tell you how much you'll have to drill. I mounted mine on that black box under the clock. For the switch you'll need a ground, load (fuse box aka constant power), and a supply (30A relay)

Step 11: Ground your lights, relay and switch. I wired all mine to a bolt right next to the fuse box. For the load or constant power for the switch run the 16g wire from the switch to the interior fuse box and plug the wire into the slot "Battery" that will give power to the switch to turn on the lights anytime even when the keys are out of the ignition and there's no fuse that goes there. I used a NEMA male connector for that but you can just plug the wire into it if you want. Here is what you'll want the relay (box of 4 blue connectors going to) to look and be like and the two wires going to the fuse box are the constant power wires 1 for my bumper fogs and 1 for my roof lights

Step 12: With your A-Pillar panel still unscrewed get your wires to the roof by running them through the panel until you get the closest point of your rack and run them to the lights to have a 90 degree bend from the panel to the roof. When you get the wires to the roof use a twist connector and with the long exposed wires twist the light and relay wires together. Make sure to weatherproof everything with electrical tape so you don't have to worry about water getting to the wires

Step 13: Zip-tie your wire loom over the exposed door to rack wires for a clean look.

Step 14: Go over everything to make sure it'd been done right and then connect your battery and flip the switch!

With all my lights on my amp gauge barely moved down, and if sorry for any confusing pics as i did the best i could. If you have any questions PM me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can since I'm on here daily.

Trouble shooting: Before you do any trouble shooting don't mess with the wires while the battery is connected, doing so can short out the relay or blow a fuse.
- I first didn't have any power and found out that I had confused the load and supply wires to my switch and as stated before you can't ground the lights to the rack itself.
- Make sure you don't have a faulty relay and the connectors are fully connected to their right pings.
- Make sure you twisted the connectors as much as you could for a tight fit
- Make sure your connectors on the rack aren't loose at all from the wires
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