By John Stewart on Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Category: About Mods: What and Why

Easy rear light

On a plane bound for somewhere as August draws to a close…. That “somewhere” is Sacramento for the quarterly Board of Directors meeting of the California Four Wheel Drive Association.  My hiatus from air travel is over.  While I enjoy road trips and scenic sights, time is becoming a pressing factor.

With summer drawing to a close and surgery to fix a ruptured disk in my neck and fuse vertebrae healing nicely, time to turn attention to projects left dormant.

I did complete wiring of a rear light on my Jeep; just an added cosmetic touch.  I love Cabela’s backroom deals.  The latest find was an open box backup light for an ATV.  Just the size to bolt onto my Garvin Industries Wilderness Rack.  The price was right and all parts were in the ripped box.

A couple welds and the bracket was firmly attached to the rack.  Then progress halted while surgery and recovery intervened.  Fast forward a month plus, progress resumed.

The delay did get my brain running in overtime and an overkill mod went into the completion.

Grounding has always been a challenge with vehicles and bolt on parts.  Aside from tire, gas cans, and storage, my rack is a holder for radio antennas.  While I haven't found conclusive grounding issues, I did have a short section of heavy cable with terminal lugs on both ends.  That cable was relocated from a storage bin of odd cables on a shelf to see service as a bonding strap between rack and Jeep body.

Next came the light wiring.  Well, an ATV is shorter than a Jeep and the included wiring was a few feet short of meeting with power to light the light.  Besides, I have an overhead panel as part of my Rockhard 4x4 roll cage where other switches are mounted within easy reach. 

So, I began to drill a hole for a new toggle switch (yes, bought one that matched existing toggle  switchs) only to find a very dull drill bit.  Another opportunity to rid my tool box of excess dull drill bits.  Fast forward a few more days, a new drill bit quickly provided a clean hole for the switch.

With hole drilled, it was time to finish the wiring.  That was quickly accomplished; even sheathing the wire exposed to the elements in heat shrink tubing.

Then came the critical test of flipping the switch.  And, there was light and no sparks!  Someday I will see about wiring that circuit to the transmission so the light will function as a true backup light when the tranny is shifted into reverse. Until then, I have just another cosmetic light….

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