Why won't these lights work? - North American Grand Cherokee Association
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Old 11-11-2003, 08:13 PM   #1
AggieZJ
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Default Why won't these lights work?

Alright so I want to finally be able to see behind me when I back up at night, so I went out and bought some cheapy fog lights from wal-mart, hooked them up to my roofrack, wired them up (correctly i thought) tried it out, and nothing. this is how I wired it:

grounded the lights to the metal roofrack rail (this is a stock rail)
then ran the wire to the lights down inside the back driver's side light panel, and into the well behind the stock spare tire.
from here i set up a 12v relay
drew power from the line running from my battery to my towing harness
grounded it
tapped into the brown/green reverse light wire & connected it to the relay
and attached the wire running from the lights to the relay

I thought I did it right, but did I mess something up?
also, there are 2 wires running to the reverse lights brown/green & black, I tried switching from the b/g to the black & still nothing, which one do i need? OK and my last question, is the stock roof rack rail fine to ground the lights to? or should I have run the ground down to the roof?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-12-2003, 04:23 AM   #2
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so you have
30 - battery power
87 - feed to lights
85 - brown/green backup sense
86 - relay coil ground

and you grounded the lights to the roof rack rail. Which I wouldn't have done. I brought the ground wire down inside and grounded it directly to the chassis. Once you have one wire going out to the light, a second doesn't make for any extra work.

The screws holding the rack to the roof are a good ground, but just try and get to them.

btw, there is a green/brown wire in the tow harness plug. You could have connected directly there. And a black wire for the grounds too.

Listen to see if you hear the relay 'click' when you put it in rev. Just to make sure your hookup is working. Then a test light to make sure the juice is getting to the light. And a jumper to a good ground. That should isolate and identify any trouble spots.
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:28 PM   #3
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problem solved! turned out it was just where I had grounded the lights. I was able to ground it to one of the screws holding the roofrack to the car & now it works like a charm! thanks for the help!
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:35 PM   #4
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will the lights work if say the reverse lights on the ZJ don't work? I have that sortof problem and I want to throw one of my procrap 100s back there
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:07 AM   #5
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I hooked my lights up so they come on when in reverse and I also put them on a switch which I mounted to the dash so I can turn them on whenver I want...Not knowing why your reverse lights don't come on, I guess you could just hook up the Pro Comp to a switch & flip the switch when you reverse.
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Old 11-14-2003, 08:23 AM   #6
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true I could do that.... reverse lights are so wierd on the ZJ. There are a handful of people on this forum that have rev. lights that don't work. I wonder what causes that....
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:01 AM   #7
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Reverse switch.. on the tranny? Thats what was wrong with mine..
Changed it out and now I have reverse lights again...
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:05 AM   #8
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where is the reverse switch? Is it on the inside or outside of the tranny?
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:59 PM   #9
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attatched to the outside .. I will see if I can get a picture of it..
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:40 PM   #10
Hamilton Felix
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As the owner of two WJs, one of which has no backup lights, I am experiencing ZJ envy. The WJ is infamous for losing backup lights, and the switch that fails is incorporated in a $500 part INSIDE the transmission, making dealer repair a $1,500 job, and leading to a lot of creative owner hacks, mods and work-arounds. Oh to have something as simple as a switch on the side of the tranny!
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Last edited by Hamilton Felix; 04-02-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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