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As most of my off-roading is done in the evenings, I wanted to add some lights to help see the trails in the dark. I looked at several, both LED and halogen. The LED were much brighter, but I couldn't bring myself to go that route for two reasons. The look of the lights themselves, and the temperature beam they produced. Very bluish white. I had purchased a set, but wound up returning them and picking up some KC Apollo Pro lights. One set of 5" 55w wide beams,and a set of 6" 100w spot beams. As I have a rack on top of my Trailhawk, these would all be mounted overhead. This is how I did it. If anyone else has come up with other ways, I'd love to see them! With the lack of true off-road accessories at this point, I'm interested in how people are kitting their rides.

Both sets of lights came with their own wiring harness. Straightforward set up. I had big dreams of waterproof disconnects going into the roof, but as a researched and figured out just what would be required, I started thinking of ways to do the wiring without drilling any holes in the body. I read how a lot of Cherokee XJ owners ran the wire along/beneath the windshield moulding. I wanted to follow that plan, but our Renegades have no surface moulding on the windshield. As a former facilities maintenance man, I did what I've always done when wiring presented a challenge---wire mould baby!

I mounted each relay assembly in the hinge area beneath the hood. The relays should point down to keep water from pooling and shorting the contacts, but due to size constraints, they would not fit in this manner where I wanted them to go. I poured buckets of water into the wiper trim area to see where the water went. It is actually directed beneath the hinge area, so this recess stays very dry under most conditions. I went ahead and mounted the relays flat, and tucked most of the excess wire in these areas. The relay that goes on the passenger side has to have two wires extended to reach the battery terminals once mounted.

Pic 01


The battery terminals are set up really nicely for adding accessories. Plenty of areas to draw power from.
Pic 02


There's a nice large grommet by the brake pedal that can be used to get the switch wires into the cab. I cut an X in the runner, and used a coat hanger to grab the wire from the engine bay. The wire goes back down behind the engine near this component:
Pic 03


and comes out here:
Pic 04


I mounted the switches on the bolster area below the main light switch, and grabbed ground by using an SRT type screw into the metal deep behind the dash near the left foot rest.
Pic 05 (Pic no longer available)


Since there was a relay on each side of the engine bay, I would have wire going up both sides of the windshield. I did this to minimize the girth of the wiring. Each side has four wires. Doing both relays on a single side would have left me with a wire pull over 5/8" in diameter, and using obscenely large moulding to get them to the roof. I pulled back the lower rubber trim (snaps out easily), ran the wires out, and replaced the trim. This trim is pliable enough that it had sufficient "give" to snap back in without having to cut it.
Pic 06


That picture also shows the wire mould itself. I couldn't find black wire mould locally, so I bought some 3/8" white, round style, and used matte black Rustoleum Ultra Coat to paint it. The can said it was good for plastic. So far, no issues. I sealed both ends of the moulding with black silicone, and ran a smooth bead of black silicone along each edge of the moulding to protect the 3M tape that holds it to the windshield. Neither side can be seen from the cab, and they are far enough towards the edge that they don't interfere with the wipers.
Pic 07

Pic 08 (Pic no longer available)


The wires are then wrapped in electrical tape and follow the black trim towards the roof rails where a zip tie is used to keep them in place.
Pic 09 (Pic no longer available)


To mount the lights themselves, I had originally purchased a set of the Yakima light brackets designed for use with my rack. They are nice, but don't have enough room to mount the lights below them. I would have to put the lights on top and they would wind up sticking up above the cab well over a foot. Plus, at $50 for two, I would be out $100 just in brackets. I wound up scavenging a component of the light bracket and using it alone as the mount. It works perfectly and as the set of brackets had four of this component, I had all all my mounts with one single set.
Pic 10


I wrapped the wiring and zip tied it to the rack to keep it as neat as possible.
Pic 11


I used the fairing that had come with the Yakima bars rather than the one included with their rack and mounted it below the lights. The bars are larger than the rack tubing, so I used Gorilla Tape to build up the diameter of the rack tubing in each spot that the fairing attaches to for a snug fit.
Pic 12 (Pic no longer available)


I'm very happy with the overall look. It has a nice factory appearance. I've washed it several times including automatic "touchless" washes as well as high pressure "quarter" washes and have had no issues. The light pattern also works very well. The factory fogs allow me to see close obstacles, while the overhead driving lights give me a wider light pattern to see brush, etc. that is a bit up ahead. The spots help when cresting hills and for identifying large obstacles ahead. It's nice seeing that boulder blocking your path while you're far enough away to still turn around.

Here's a side shot of the rack to give an idea of proportion to the car itself.
Pic 13


Lights in action:
Pic 14 (Pic no longer available)
 

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This looks like such a FUN ride! I don't know much about adding after market accessories. Any warranty issues with adding all the lights? Thanks for posting with all the detailed pictures.... really helps those like me! lol
 

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This looks like such a FUN ride! I don't know much about adding after market accessories. Any warranty issues with adding all the lights? Thanks for posting with all the detailed pictures.... really helps those like me! lol
Warranties can't be voided by aftermarket accessories. However, dealers *can* deny a warranty claim if they can reasonably prove that an aftermarket accessory caused the failure that you're trying to repair via warranty work.

In other words, if they can show your aftermarket lights are causing an electrical problem that kills part of your electrical system, then they can refuse to cover it under warranty. They can't, however, claim your lights caused a suspension problem and deny coverage of any failures there.
 

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This looks killer, thanks for giving me ideas! I absolutely love the moulding along the side of the windshield, looks very clean for what it is.

I've got a loadwarrior basket and I'm thinking of maybe putting the lights above my wind fairing, but I'm not sure yet. I don't like the wind noise without the fairing, so I'll have to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the kind feedback. I'm really excited about how it's coming together. I'm not worried about causing a warranty issue. I've always added electrical accessories to my vehicles and have never had an issue having work covered under warranty. As stated by Foobar, if you were to MIS-wire and blow up your car, that might be a different story.

I don't notice any increased wind noise. I did see about a 3mpg drop from all of the drag, but it's well worth it to me as I go off-roading every weekend and at least a few hours of it is in the dark on switchback trails in the mountains of Southern California.

Willy-the steel wheels are from Tire Rack. They were about 1/3 the cost of "Sport" trim style Jeep wheels, and I like the look much better. I needed them to mount the tires I went with (MT Baja ATZ P3). Really glad I changed them. Inclines that previously required keeping your momentum up to climb can now be casually crawled up. I do also use the Renegade Ready 1" wheel spacers so I couldn't guarantee they would fit without them.

Let's see some more upgrades! Also, if any So Cal owners ever feel like going out, I'd love to get a few Renegades together to hit the trails!

-Barry
 

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Hey I'm on the hunt for new wheels likes yours, what are the size of the ones you have? Do you have good clearance with the spacers installed (no rubbing) also you think with the spacers you would have space to go bigger? Sorry for the questions I'm new to all this stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The wheels are just steel 16" stamped rims from Tire Rack. They're the only stamped wheels that come up as an option for the Renegade. The tires are 225/75-16. No rubbing issues. I doubt you could go larger without issues.

The crossbars are the Yakima Railgrab system with standard round bars. I just moved them from my Patriot over to the Renegade. I used to haul a boat on top of the Patriot and they never shifted. On the Renegade I've had the basket full of firewood on 3 separate camping trips and have also not had any shifting. Really happy with Yakima.
 

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I've just ordered a 42" LED lightbar for the Rene, and also ordered a switch and relay wiring harness.
I thought that those familiar with the rear window of the Rene would want to know this switch was available.
Don't know where it'll go yet, but I'll figure that out when it gets here.

Steve
 

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