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LED Light Install
 
I was driving around one day and I noticed that this really cool looking Olive Green Jeep had some lights that I had never seen on a CJ before. The weren't sticking out 3 inches and they were round. They looked very bright as well. Very much unlike the starting reference point that I had...
I started doing some research and came across the following company and they had pics of pretty much exactly what I wanted to do: MESA4x4 It seemed pretty easy so I set out, ordered up the lights and then waited patiently until the came in.
In the meantime, I knew I was going to need a 4" holesaw to start to trim out the hole for the lights. There was a pattern that was coming with the order, but I made a trip over to the tool store to pick up and prepare for the package.

The package arrived and it had a template as to where the cutouts would be for the LED's, but that didn't solve my legal issue which was having reverse lights. I started doing some more research and found that I could get reverse lights from carquest that would solve my dilema. This would allow for a Red LED that would control the brake lights and turn signals and then a white smaller light that would control the reverse lights. I went down to carquest and got the following:
      - LTG 94100 mtg grommet kit
      - LTG 45821 marker lamp
I grabbed a 2" hole saw and started tracing out where in relation to the 4 inch hole would be. I marked the entire area off with masking tape and then traced out holes. I used a 4" and a 2" hole saw respectively for the 2 cuts. This was done so it would be slightly smaller then what was needed. I then went and got a metal rasp drill bit and used that to cut down the edges and smooth everything out.
The wiring came next. The existing wiring was there for the old lights. There was a wire for the brake, turn signal, reverse lights and a separate ground that I had run due to lighting problems from before. I tested out the wiring connections that were supplied in the kit and everything lit up like a XMAS tree like it was supposed to. This made me quite happy as the lights were much brighter then I had expected. With the wiring all set, I crimped everything down, covered them in loom and electrical tape and then installed the lights. Next was onto the other side to get that to look as the original side did.
After both sides are cutout and the wiring is the same, test out to make sure the brakes, turn signals, hazards, reverse lights, and everything works as it should with the lights on and off. Pay close attention to all the turn signals as to ensure you didn't mess up anything in the front by messing up a ground in the rear.
I finally finished everything up and put the softtop back on. Now it is all done and looks great. I also put the jack back on after I got the thing painted.
 
I finally got around to taking a finished picture of the rear end with the lights and the new tailgate made with the Bestop softtop. This finishes up the LED lighting intallation.
 
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
 
So, my lessons learned here would have to be that you should really tape up the area that you are working on well and double check the measurements. Make sure you take off anything that can get in your way of working on the cut outs for the LED lights. Double check the measurements and keep the tape on until everything is done. Make sure you don't get in a rush, if you do, it will come out looking like crap.

If you are curious and have a keen eye, that is a custom tailgate cover made out of the same fabric that the Bestop softtop was made out of. I got the material here: Tonneau Top Material

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