piACC light bar wiring


To make it easier to remove the light bar, I ran some nylon strapping from the garage ceiling and attached it to the light bar. Once I took the 10 screws I let it free hang and simply pulled the Jeep away, leaving it dangling in the garage. Though it is not really heavy, it is awkward to handle with just one person and the last thing I wanted to do was scratch the paint of the Jeep.

I had an initial plan on the wiring that I thought would work. I was quite wrong.
My first attempt was to use a wire snake. I had a 7 foot piece of reinforced wire, but no matter what I did, it would not make it beyond the first bend. The second attempt, which was my original thought, was to put the exhaust side of a vacuum on one end and then drop string through the 5 holes, each label with a knot for each hole (1knot,2knot etc). This worked for getting the string through the 7 foot long pipe. After a few seconds of feeding the string through the hole, it would appear at the other end. As soon as it came out I would put the knot in. At this point I thought I was golden... Wrong.

With the 5 wires dangling from the far end I began to tape the wires to the string. I thought if I made a harness by taping the wires together it would make it easier to pull through the tube. I really wanted to use a common ground so that there was only one ground wire, so I made a T on the white wire and then taped the two wires to the string. The white T wire and the color wire for +12v.

In theory this should have worked, but where the problem came in was that I was able to get the first two wires actually through the far end holes, the remaining three wire combinations was somehow able to get tangled. This meant I could only get the first two wires pulled through, the other three were failures.

My fingers are still tired from trying to un-tape the harness.. this was not going to work. This means that I am going to have to run 10 wires instead of 6, which sucks.

Talk about your spaghetti western

I read on Rugged Ridge that someone had actually enlarged the holes and I think I am going to do that as well. The holes are barely big enough to get the two wires through them and they certainly scrape the coating as you try to feed them through. I was somewhat disappointed on how sharp the edges were. It appears there was absolutely no finish prep at the factory after drilling the holes. Some even had sharp pieces of metal curled from the drilling process. I will try to hit these with a Dremmel to smooth them out.

I think this is why I waited a year to actually run the wiring for the lights.. I knew it was going to be a pain.

I was able to install the battery wires. I used a 20amp fuse that was designated for "Outlet ACC". On the Jeep there is a 25amp fuse for rectifier and and three 20 amp fuse for Outlets, which I am assuming are the additional 110v rectifier plugs that I believe were optional. I don't recall if there is a 110v plug, but I remember seeing the ability to have one in the center console. I believe this should cover the relay pi and the lights. I used a 20 amp fuse jumper with a 12v lead to extend the fuse for the lights. For my initial testing, I am going to put in a cigarette lighter plug with USB under the hood so I can just plug in the pi. If everything works then I will solder out a more permanent connection to handle the 12v to 5v drop.

Only one day left in the weekend so I have placed the original panels back on the Jeep while I work on the light bar, but hopefully I will be able to get it finished and re-installed.
abitowhit's picture

Ok, so it was horribly, horribly hard to get the harness through the light bar. After hours this morning, using the shop vac method I was finally able to get the combined ground wire and all 5 individual wires through the holes in the light bar. Due to the exit hole in the light bar I actually combined the the two outside green +12v and the two inside yellow +12v together in the tube. This meant there were only four exit wires, fitting through the hole nicely. I was able to snake the wires along where the fender meets the inner walls without much effort.
For now, I wired the relay pi zero directly to the battery by using a cig plug adapter with a USB 5v output. I will keep an eye on it. I will probably have it watch for acc power drop and kill bluetooth to conserve power in a stand by mode. I then wired the the common 12v across all four relays and as mentioned above, to the acc outlets fuse (m6 See pic above).
Currently, I have it set for the two outside, two inside and plow lamp.
I tested it via the console and believe it or not, everything worked as expected. There is a slight 1 sec delay, but I was playing with timing to make sure the blue tooth had time to respond. I may be able to remove it because when I tested with my cell phone (which worked as well) it was almost immediate. I am thinking with the console, instead of a sleep, I will just put in a wait loop which should fix any BT conversation latency. Everything is working as expected but I have still not tied everything down for testing. Next will be to create the relay controller box 3D model and print it. I also need to create a wrapper for the console since it is now just a pi3 and 7" touch display.
Glad I am close to putting this one to bed. :)