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Old 05-31-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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Question Help in wiring TJ Jeep

I own a 2001 Jeep TJ Sport, auto with inline 6. I am going to pull it behind our RV. I am in the process of running wires for the tail lights n the Jeep. I had thoughts of adding two smaller tail lights mounted below the stock tail lights, and use them while towing. My jeep is wired for trailer lights, and has a regular 5 hole receptical. I have wires ran from the front bumper of the Jeep, to the rear bumper. Now for the question, can I make connection to the RV with the wires from the front of the jeep, and then plug the other end into the light socket at the rear of the jeep?
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwwade View Post
I own a 2001 Jeep TJ Sport, auto with inline 6. I am going to pull it behind our RV. I am in the process of running wires for the tail lights n the Jeep. I had thoughts of adding two smaller tail lights mounted below the stock tail lights, and use them while towing. My jeep is wired for trailer lights, and has a regular 5 hole receptical. I have wires ran from the front bumper of the Jeep, to the rear bumper. Now for the question, can I make connection to the RV with the wires from the front of the jeep, and then plug the other end into the light socket at the rear of the jeep?
mwwade,
Well Sir, wiring a toad for tail lights always seems to bring forth some sort of debate. I'm not a fan of adding extra bulbs or sockets to the stock tail lights due to all kinds of problems that people don't "see" when doing it that way. Things like, two bulbs, in the same housing, illuminating at the same time, only displaying two different signals, like a turn and a brake light signal, within a inch or so of each other (depending on whether or not you've got an auxiliary brake system involved in the toad)

So, I do what I've been doing for decades. I use the stock tail light bulbs for lights when towing it. Wiring any Jeep manufactured prior to about 2012, for using stock tail light bulbs is easy. You didn't have to run the wires from the front bumper to the rear. All you had to do was, run them up and through the firewall, and, right down to the left (drivers) door jamb. You see, all the tail light wires go through a loom, under the door jamb lip, right by your left calf as you sit in the jeep.

If you remove any covers and or, bend back any tin tang holders, you'll reveal the loom. In that loom will be the right and left turn signal wires and, the tail light/running light wires. If you were to "T" into each one for right turn, left turn and running light, then, add a radio shack diode in front of the "T" intersection for the right and left turns, you would be done. And, your tail lights on the Jeep will act exactly the same towing it, as they do when you're driving it. That operation, takes about an hour, to complete. And, it's plain and simple. No extra holes, no sockets.

Again, this is just some ideas for you. There are also, some "Plug and play" systems out there that I've not tried to work with. So, hope this helps some. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:43 PM   #3
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x2 what Fire Up said... it is simple to tap into the wire loom where he mentions. Just make clean connections and tape it up well and you're good to go with the stock lights. Doing it this way you don't need to spend a bunch of dough on fancy wiring kits. Just get a plug for your front bumper, put some wire loom over your wire run to keep it tidy and use diodes to prevent feedback to your coach.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:01 PM   #4
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Lights

First of all thank you for good info. I spent some time today reading many ideas and tec. On how to wire lights. From what you tell me, your wireing may be the easiest. What type of diode di I ask for? Not sure where to place the diode. Would it go on the wires running to the rear or comming down from under the dash? Do I need 3 diodes?
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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mwwade,

You only need the diodes in the left, and right wires that go to the turn signals. They are wired in to the harness before you T into the factory wire loom. As mentioned above, Radio Shack should have diodes. Also some of the larger U-Haul rental centers have trailer towing wiring supplies, and may even have a plug and play kit available for your Jeep.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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If you don't feel like driving around to find diodes you can just shop on Amazon or etrailer.com or any website of your choosing. For a little more insight into the diodes, here is an option offered by Roadmaster that you can Google.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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Or you could just do this plug & play harness. I don't like cutting factory wires.

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Old 06-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwwade View Post
First of all thank you for good info. I spent some time today reading many ideas and tec. On how to wire lights. From what you tell me, your wireing may be the easiest. What type of diode di I ask for? Not sure where to place the diode. Would it go on the wires running to the rear or comming down from under the dash? Do I need 3 diodes?
mwwade,
It is incredibly easy to wire your TJ this way. Many guys here and on other RV/toad forums have a hard time tapping into factory wiring. That's OK, no one's forcing them to. Everyone's got to choose what works for them. Now, as to the placement of the diodes. There are at least a couple of reasons to use diodes. A diode, just in case you're not aware of their function, is simply a "one way valve" for electricity. It allows electricity to flow in one direction but, not the other.

Now, why would one care about that, you may ask? Well, it's a good question. In your TJ and, every toads factory wiring system, your tail lights get signals from various sending units. Some are from the brake pedal, some are from the turn signal system and some, are from the head light switch. Without going into too much detail, in the average domestic system, the turn signal and brake wiring system are basically one-and-the-same. They get separated by your turn lever on your steering column.

OK, back to the diode. The diode which, as stated, can be had at your local Radio Shack for a measly $2.50-$3.50, for a pack of three or four (can't remember which). There's absolutely no reason to spend $20.00 or more, at your local RV supplies house for the SAME EXACT THING only in a fancy package. A diode is a diode.

Now, the placement of the diode can be in a couple of places. I put one in the right turn signal wire, just before the "T" intersection I created and, I put another one in the left turn signal wire, again, just before the "T" intersection I created. Doing it that way, will stop the signal that you're sending to the Jeeps tail lights, from going back "up stream" to the Jeeps steering column and other wiring. The signal you're sending, just hits that diode and simply stops. But, when driving that Jeep, the signals from the Jeeps turn signal system and brake light system can go "right through" that diode and onto the tail lights as intended.

When you "T" into the factory wire (either right or left turn signal) it's very simple and easy. You just carefully trim a section of the insulation, about a half inch, and peel it away. The wire is still there. Now, you wrap your new wire, coming from the pig tail area up front, around that bare wire. Then, dab a bit of solder on it. Now, tape it all up nice and neatly. Done!

Now, do the same thing for the other turn signal wire. Done. Now, what I do, and others may do differently, is, I actually cut the Jeeps turn signal wire, an inch or so, ahead of that "T" intersection and, insert the diode at that point. I solder one end of the cut wire to the entrance of the diode and, solder the other end to the exit side of the diode. Done! Now, do the same thing for the other turn signal wire.

When it comes to tapping into the running lights, at the same area, I simply remove the same amount of insulation, without cutting the wire. Then, again, wrap the incoming wire from your pig tail around that bare wire and, dab the solder there. Wrap and secure all of it. Done!

This is the most basic of toad wiring for tail lights. It can get way more complicated if, the coach and the toad have different tail light arrangements. As in, the coach having amber turn signals and the toad doesn't. Or, the toad having amber turn signals and the coach doesn't. Or, both having amber turn signals but, the factory wired the coach's trailer plug with a "tail light converter" so the output of the right and left turn, is also a brake light output. Then, you have to "convert it back" to make your amber turn signals work on the toad, correctly. So, you see, yours is the simplest of them all. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #9
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Wireing

Thanks to all for the excellent information.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #10
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When it's not feasible to use a plug and play harness, like a COOLTECH for the Wrangler JK series, I like just having a connector in the back and then making up a light bar for the hitch receiver or better yet maybe, mount them on a hitch haul for extra storage or bikes. We've done so, with the neighbors 03 model and so that he can even plug these extra lights into his existing trailer connector, if he chooses to leave it on there when not being used as a toad.
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