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August 2011 Randy’s Electrical Corner

Posted in How To: Electrical on August 1, 2011
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If you are cheap or broke like me you find creative ways to get things done. Now, “creative” can often mean “hack job” so many of my more “creative” things I don’t show you guys. However, when Trasborg started complaining about not being able to see anything in his Comanche at night, I was able to figure out how to fix it with stuff I had laying around. Unlike the pile of transformers I have (no, not the Optimus Prime kind—the kind you pull out of dead TVs) and the drawer full of capacitors I have kept for years “just in case,” the parts I used for this one are commonly available; I will even run down the part numbers for you if you want to do this at home.

The problem is that every Jeep I’ve seen uses a negative-switched interior light, and every cheap light I’ve seen is setup to have a constant ground and interrupt the positive. This makes the two things as far from wanting to work together as possible. The other problem is that the cheapy lights are only setup to be either on or off with a manual switch. If you have doors on your Jeep who wants to manually switch the interior light on and off? Isn’t the whole reason to have doors so that when you open them the interior lights come on?

Similar to every other Jeep I’ve messed with, this one uses a constant positive to the interior light bulb and the door switch interrupts ground. Here’s the way I wired it up.

So by using a cheap light, an old relay, and a single-pole double-throw center-off switch I was able to give Trasborg a much better interior light that has all the functions that a stock light has. It can come on with the doors, can be turned on manually, and has an “off” position too.

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National Auto Parts Association (NAPA)
Atlanta, GA 30339
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