(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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These LED tail lights and platinum smoke are for those of you that having 1987 all the way up through the 2006 YJ or TJ that are looking for an LED tail light that's going to drastically change up the look of the rear of your Jeep as well as being a lot brighter than your traditional incandescent bulb. This is going to be a pretty easy installation, but I'm going to go with two out of three wrenches because there is a little bit of wiring to do and I'm going to show you how to do it in just a second. So, the main reason for swapping out a tail light on your Jeep is going to be the looks, the aesthetic for the vast majority of you. And this is going to drastically change that up.As you can tell, these are going to look very, very different from your factory tail light. And, in fact, in just a second, I'm going to show you a side by side comparison of the two so you can really get an idea of how drastically these do change up the look of the Jeep. The other big reason to get a new tail light is your factory ones are broken or burned out or cracked or faded or whatever it might be, and you want to upgrade to something that is not only going to change up the look but also be LED. A few benefits to LED are that they're generally brighter than an incandescent bulb, which can add to the safety factor, and they are going to last a lot longer than an incandescent bulb as well. Also, an LED is going to have that really crisp, clean, and instant on-off of a much more modern vehicle, so you are going to get a few different benefits there.This light is going to have all the same features and functions of the factory tail light. Of course, your tail, turn and stop, it's also going to have an incandescent reverse light built into it. You're going to have marker lights on the outside and on the inside for maximum visibility and, of course, a plate light on the bottom as well. So, you really have everything you need just in a package that looks drastically different from the factory. These are gonna come in at right around that $270 mark. You can get a tail light that's drastically more expensive, and I'm sure you can find some that are less expensive that might not have the same build quality or some of the same features. But I do like where these fall. I think it's a pretty nice balance of both price and quality for you. So, like I said before, two out of three wrenches here, let me show you how to do it.For this install, I used a 3/8 drive impact with a number 2 Phillips head tip on it. Also needed a 10-millimeter socket. I needed a small adaptor for that and we use a 3/8 extension, and finally, a set of wire cutters and crimpers. At this point, as you can see, we have one of the new tail lights installed with one factory tail light and that's to give you a really good side by side comparison. And as you can see, there are not a lot of similarities between the two. Of course, both are going to be a tail, turn, stop, and reverse light, but visually, they're going to be completely different where your factory light has just a large incandescent area that lights up red for that tail turn stop, and then a small white area.In the top there, this light is an LED array on the bottom with a incandescent reverse light. Something that they do share is that they both have a little bit of light on the side here, which is very important on your Jeep. That way, you are visible from the side as well when crossing through an intersection and they are both going to have a plate light on the bottom, which is something you need to stay legal and safe in pretty much any area. But again, the big change here, the big reason you're going to be purchasing a set of tail lights like this, is for the aesthetic change on the back of your Jeep and this is going to be pretty dramatic compared to the factory.Now, I'll show you how to get these tail lights installed. As I said before, I'm going to give this a two out of three wrenches because of the wiring that's involved. Getting the tail light itself installed is very simple, but again, there is a little bit of wiring that I'll show you how to do in just a second. But, of course, the first step in the installation is removing your factory tail light, and the first step in doing that is removing this lens by first removing these four screws around the outside.Now, there are three bolts inside the tail light housing that hold the housing to the body of the Jeep and we're going to remove those now. Once they're removed, you can pull the tail light off the body of the Jeep. Pull it out to expose your factory wiring harness plug. Unplug the harness and remove the light from the Jeep completely. So, as you can see, your new tail light is going to be two pieces, but in a slightly different way from the factory tail light. You're going to have this backing plate that gets attached onto the Jeep itself, that has a little bit of a plug end on it, and then the rest of the tail light will plug into that and then fastened to it with four screws.So, all the wiring that happens is on this backplate here. As you can see, you have a three-wire pigtail that you have to get connected to the Jeep and you can do that in a variety of different ways. The kit does include some vampire clips and you can use those to get these wires connected to the factory wiring harness just on the other side of that plug end that we disconnected when we pulled the factory tail light. So, that's one option for you. The only downside to that, if you want to call it that, is that you won't be able to easily remove the tail light from the Jeep completely should you need to for service or whatever purpose because you would have to undo these vampire clips and these are really only a one-time use piece.If you did want to make these so that you could easily remove them like your factory tail light, what you could do is cut this factory connector off and then connect it onto your new tail light. And you can do that either by making solder connections on the wires or by using a heat shrink butt connector. Whatever you choose to do, that is a really clean way of installing these. The only downside to that, again if you want to call it that, is that you won't be able to easily go back to your factory tail lights because they won't have any connector on them then.So, kind of depends on your setup, on what you decide to do. What we're going to do, as you can see, our connectors have been cut off a couple of times, we're going to go ahead and snip them and we're going to use some butt connectors to attach the factory connector onto our new tail light and then put the new tail light on the Jeep. So, again, if you just have a factory tail light that hasn't been cut and soldered like this one has, you can just snip it. And the idea here is that we have the factory connector with a nice long lead on it that we can connect to our new tail light.So, for our Jeep, which is a '97 TJ, you're going to put the red wire from your new tail light onto the white wire of your factory connection, your blue wire to the green wire with the black tracer, and your white wire to the white wire with the black tracer. So, those are the connections that we're going to be making. However, depending on your year Jeep, it might be different. You can also use a multimeter to figure out what wire goes to which. So, in order to make those connections, we just have to strip a little bit on the end of each of our factory connectors here. And then also strip the connectors here. And those are perforated for you to make it a little easier. And we're going to use some butt connectors in order to connect these two harnesses together. These will just crimp the connector on. Once we have all three wires crimped up, we'll get some heat and heat shrink these together.Now, the connectors we used are designed to be heat shrunk on both ends just to keep any moisture out of the connection and make sure that the connection stays nice and tight. So, we'll do that now. Once we've heat shrunk all of our connections, we can move back to the Jeep. We'll get the harness plugged in and get the tail light bolted up. Now, we can plug our factory connector that we've attached onto the new tail light back into the factory wiring harness here. Make sure it clips in and then just tuck the rest of the harness inside the body of the Jeep and we'll reattach this plate to the tub with all of the factory hardware.Now, one thing that's a little bit different about this plate than the factory tail light is that you have this additional ground wire with a pre-terminated loop on it. So, you do have to make sure that gets put underneath that factory screw just to make sure everything is grounded properly. So, we'll start that terminal right there on that bolt, and then bolt goes through the body of the tail light, and into the nutsert in the body of the Jeep. Start the other two down here before tightening everything up.The next step is to plug the tail light harness together. So, this part here plugs right into the rest of the harness, just like that. And it can really only go one way. You spin it around so that everything lines up where you can take a look at the wire colors and make sure that that lines up. Make sure that clips together and it's not going to come loose on you. And then you'll use the screws that are included with the kit, the four small screws, around the outside to hold the two halves of the tail light together. So, it's a little bit difficult to get these little tiny screws lined up where they go, and because of this protrusion here on the front of the tail light, it's a little bit difficult to get your screwdrivers straight on that screw. So, you might have to mess with these just a little bit, but eventually, you will be able to get them just tightened down like so. There are four of them around the outside of the tail light.So, that's going to do it for the installation. The other side is going to be exactly the same. So, if you are looking for a set of tail lights that's going to drastically change up the look of the back of your Jeep, I would recommend this option and you can find them right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Fitment: 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Details
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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