Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Pod, fitting all 2007 and up JKs.
There are a couple of different versions of this switch pod. You can get just the pod itself and get your own switches, you can get the pod with an assortment of either four switches or, like we have here, three switches and two USB charging ports, and you can also get this pod for both the left and the right side of your Jeep. There are also different pods for the 2007-2010 JK and the '11 and up JK, so make sure you get the right one that fits your interior. Today we are going to talk through the installation of this switch panel, which is a very simple one-out-of-three wrenches, and we'll also talk about the construction and a few of the other features of this kit.
These are going to be for those of you who have electronic accessories on your JK and want a easy-to-access and very clean-looking switch pod. If you get the version of this switch panel that comes with the switches, you'll have lighted switches that make it very easy to tell which switches are on and which ones are off. And, if you get the driver side version of this switch panel, the switches are very easy to access from the driver's position. You can also, as we mentioned before, get this without the switches if you decide to get custom switches. These are a standard size switch, but you can get any number of different types of switches to put in the switch panel. And something that is newer from Rugged Ridge is the version of this that has the dual USB charging ports. So that's certainly a great option if you're looking to be able to charge a cell phone or even a GPS unit without needing to take up your cigarette lighter adapter that you currently have in your Jeep.
As far as construction goes, this is a really well-made switch panel. This is designed to look like factory. It will snap right in place of your factory trim that's already on your A-pillar. Again, it blends right in and looks really good. It actually looks like it was designed from the factory to be there, which is a nice feature. There are some other A-pillar switch panels like this one that aren't year-specific, and they don't quite fit as well as this one from Rugged Ridge. But, because this one does change when the interior changed from 2010 to 2011, there are two different versions of this kit. You get the right one for your Jeep and you know it's going to fit really, really well.
Now, regardless of whether you get the version of this with four switches or with three switches and the USB charging port, or the left side or the right side, or what year it is you get. They're all going to come with a blank switch panel like this, with the blanks right in there. The first step is to actually cut these out and put in whatever switches or charging ports you're going to use, whether it be the ones from Rugged Ridge that come in the kit with the panel or your own switches of your choosing. But it is important to know that you will have to cut these out.
That is a nice feature, though, because I've seen people who maybe only have two auxiliary lights that you want to switch through here but, if all four of these were cut out, you would have to buy four switches to fill in those holes. Otherwise, it would look unfinished. This way, you can cut out exactly as many switch holes as you need for the actual switches you're going to be using. And, again, you can really switch anything you want as long as you're wiring it correctly, from lights to refrigerators to winches. The possibilities are really endless with what you can switch. But, again, if you're looking for a really clean way to mount the switches, this is a great option for that.
Getting the switch panel from Rugged Ridge installed is also going to be very, very simple. As I mentioned before, I'm gonna give this a one-out-of-three wrenches for install. All you need to do is remove a couple of pieces of trim from your Jeep, starting with, first, your sun visor on whichever side you're mounting the panel, and then there is a corner piece that connects your windshield frame to your support cage that will need to come down. And then, finally, there is the A pillar trim from the factory itself that you'll remove. After that, as I said before, you'll cut out the actual switch holes you're going to be using, install your switches, get the piece into location, do whatever wiring you need to do behind there, then snap this piece into place. Replace that corner piece and, finally, put your sun visor back on.
It might sound like there are a lot of steps, but this is a very, very simple process. All you need are some torque bits and some screwdrivers, maybe a trim piece to help you remove that factory trim, and you'll probably need, maybe, a half hour of time to get everything apart and back together again. Now, that's not counting for your wiring which, of course, depending on what you're wiring and how you decide to wire it, that can take a little bit more time. But to install the actual switch panel with the switches is a very quick and easy process. As I mentioned before, the switches, if you do decide to go with the kit from Rugged Ridge, these are three terminal switches because they are lighted switches. The USB port just has two terminals, a positive and a negative. So the wiring for these is pretty traditional as far as automotive switch wiring goes.
I think that this switch panel is really fairly priced for what you get, and that's without even looking at the kits you can get with the switches and the charging port. That's just looking at the panel itself. Even down to the detail, to the texture on the panel, it just looks factory. It looks really, really good in the Jeep. It's very easily accessible, especially, again, if you get that driver side version. The passenger side version is much more difficult to access from the driver side. But that driver side A pillar panel is very, very easy to access, it looks factory, and it's one of the best places to mount switches in your JK, in my opinion. I really like this location, and I think it's absolutely worth it. Even if you don't like these switches, you can always just get the panel and put whatever switches in there you'd like.
So if you have some electronic accessories on your JK, whether it be lights, a winch, or any number of other electronics, and you're looking for a clean way to mount those switches, this switch panel, with our without the switches, is a really nice way to go. So that's my review of the Rugged Ridge A-Pillar Switch Panel, fitting all 2007 and up JKs, that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.