We all know the stock JK headlights are an embarrassment. So one of the first things I did was replace them with the infamous (and oft used) Trucklite LED headlights. But as the technology has improved in the space, I never thought to see what else might be on the market, or what the improvements could be.
Fresh off the back of the UPS truck, I received my KC Hilites’ Gravity Pro LED headlights today from Northridge 4×4!
UPDATED 10/30/14: I received new resistors from Anzo. And while they told Northridge they were a “new design” they look identical to the ones that failed, so time will tell. This company has some pretty abysmal customer service, so be forewarned. At least I have the crew at Northridge at my back for this! I did replace the resistors and will report back on any issues.
UPDATED 10/20/14: Since the install, both the passenger and driver side resistors have failed. While the lights still work, I get the fast flash and errors in my EVIC, where the computer thinks bulbs are blown. ANZO USA did not respond to my contact request for support, but thankfully Northridge 4×4 did, and held them to fix the issue. Anzo is sending me two new (apparently redesigned resistors) for me to install. Hopefully this fixes the problem.
Essentially, the blinker will work once the Jeep is started, then about 5-10 seconds later it fails, going to a rapid flash and throwing an error in the EVIC.
The bulb filament is fine, and the bulb actually works in the driver side tail light. So it was something else.
Rather than mess around with bulbs and electrical stuff, I opted to just replace the tail lights with an LED option. Based on what Northridge 4×4 had to offer, I chose the Anzo USA Black tail lights.
They arrived in a non descript box, after an extended drop ship time. The box included two lights and nothing else.
Installation was straight forward and easy. But since there were no instructions, I figured I’d do a little write up.
This week, my Black Friday package from ACE Engineering finally arrived! All the hardware was glistening. Horror stories of boxes being deformed in transit were unfounded for me. Everything was in perfect condition…except one thing. Where are the instructions?
ACE did not include any, and I personally found their video online as missing some key updates. So I hope this install write up is a help to many!
NOTES: This install is for a 2013 Jeep JK. I also found that ACE has been making changes to their products, and not everything in their video instructions is accurate anymore.
1. Open all boxes and lay out all hardware. Ensure you properly protect the bumper and other items from concrete and damage to the powder coat.
2. Remove the factory or other bumper from the Jeep.
UPDATE: March 05, 2014: Received this email from Northridge: “I talked to JW Speaker on the lights and they say that is well within the acceptable limits of moisture inside the light. As soon as the weather levels out and warms up a little you should see that dissipate. Keep an eye on it and let me know if it gets worse but at this point there is nothing to worry about.”
UPDATE: February 26, 2014: I recently noticed condensation inside my fog lights. I will be contacting JW Speaker to learn about the cause and a resolution and will update this blog post.
NOTE: This install is specifically for installation of the J.W. Speaker LED fog lights into the Warn Elite Stubby front bumper.
Santa arrived a little late this year, but he brought me a beautiful set of J.W. Speaker LED fog lights (model 6145). My Trucklite headlights put out a crisp LED light, but the OEM fogs were not cutting it and had to go.
You may want to just remove the entire bumper to make this easier. I was working by myself and, being lazy did not want to remove the winch. That being said, I also did not want to remove and reattach a bumper AND winch on my own. These notes do not cover bumper removal, just adjustments so the install can happen on an installed bumper.
I am also really surprised that such a premium product comes with ZERO instructions. If these were truly plug and play, I could understand. However, I had to drill, cut, splice, etc. Very surprising.
1. Lay out all parts and ensure you have everything needed. The following tools will also come in real handy:
- Work light
- Magnetic tool retriever
- Vise grips
- Drill (w/ 1/4″ bit)
- Wrenches and sockets (w/extensions)
- Electrical tape
- Zip Ties (large)
- Butt connectors (optional) but recommended)
- Heat shrink tubing (optional)
- Heat gun (optional)
- Beer (this is a surprisingly frustrating install)
2. Remove the two wire adapters from the back of the OEM lights.
3. Remove the 8 (4 per side) bolts fastening the bumper to the frame end.
4. Remove the driver side frame tie in bolt and flag nut (requires a 24mm socket).
5. Prop the bumper for safety using jack stands.
6. Pull the driver side bumper end away from the frame as far as it will go. Do not force it. Only the passenger side frame tie in is holding the bumper.
7. Remove the single nut holding the driver side light bracket to the bumper.
8. Once removed, the bracket assembly should look like this:
9. Using a socket and wrench, remove the OEM light from the bracket.
10. Install the J.W. Speaker light into the bracket using the two top holes in the bracket. Ensure the script in the lens is oriented correctly. Note the bottom holes will not accept the Warn bolts.
11. Drill out the bottom two holes in the J.W. Speaker light bracket (plastic) using a 1/4″ bit.
12. Continue to install using the two remaining bolts/nuts in the bottom two positions on the bracket. Completed assembly should look like the below:
13. Install the bracket into the bumper location and hand tighten the bolt. This is a fitment test.
14. Tighten the bolt with a wrench and socket. Note: Lay a socket at the base of the bracket to prevent the bracket from pivoting forward when tightening.
15. Perform steps 7-14 on the passenger side.
16. Peel back factory wire loom and tape from the OEM light adapter. Cut the two wires about 2″ from the adapter. Remove insulation for a clean install.
17. Cut an appropriate length of heat shrink tubing and place above the butt connector. Using the butt connector, connect the black wire from the Jeep’s harness to the JW Speaker harness. Do the same for the red and white/yellow (may change).
18. Perform a light test.
19. Prepare the wiring for heat.
20. Apply heat evenly to properly adhere the shrink tubing.
21. While the driver side is cooling, perform steps 16 – 20 on the passenger side.
22. Reusing OEM wiring loom, enforce the connections with electrical tape and loom as desired. Do same for passenger side.
23. Tuck the wiring inside the frame crossmember and zip tie in place to reduce movement and the chance of catching on material on the trail.
24. Perform a final test.