Courtesy lights


There are two electrical issues still on the Jeepster.  One is the windshield washer pump.  The other is the interior courtesy lights.  The wiring for these is a mess so I just disconnected them.  Tonight I had some time and was looking for a little project so I decided to get these fixed.

Good lord!  Hideous.

Here is the same thing with the tape removed.  Someone did some really half-assed wiring here.

And it just never ends.  Here is the driver’s side door switch.  How did this car never burn?

The good news is that all the wiring connects to the lights and the switches with bullet connectors.  Here are the driver’s side connectors.  Notice more electrical tape.

Yup.  More ugly.

Switch connectors

And the light socket.  Everything got cleaned with alcohol to remove 50 years of dirt.

The bulb is a S-90.   Unlike most auto bulbs it does not use the brass case as one of the contacts.  Instead it has two contacts connected through to the filament.  Oddly the entire light circuit is wired this way.  The door switches and lights all have two connectors and do not ground to the chassis through the body of the switch or light.   This bulb is bad and the other one is gone.

I did not have any S-90 bulbs so I took time out for a quick auto-parts run.  Problem solved.

Now that I have the frankenwiring out of the way I can figure out how to set this up.  In the diagram above the black parts were already in the car.  I will have to add all the red parts.  I will also have to add the fuse holder and the grounds for the switches (I could not figure out how to make those red in the picture).  The two black wires are already there running across the dash.

The key to this circuit is that both bulbs have power all the time.  If EITHER door switch closes both lights have a path to ground and come on.  I don’t know that this is how the factory wiring worked but it had to be something similar.

This is the first bit of wiring.  This runs from the passenger side light to the switch.  The yellow wire was there before.  I added the black one.

Rather than run the black wire to an existing ground I cheated and grounded it to one of the bolts holding the dash on.

This picture shows the whole passenger side.  The other end of the yellow wire was crimped into a bullet connector with one of the wires running across the dash.  That will be the ground wire.  The other wire went straight into the light socket and will be the power lead.

There.  Passenger side ready to rock.

For the driver’s side I have to get power somewhere.  I could splice into any of the rat’s nest of wires up there but it is just as easy to attach directly to the main circuit breaker up under the cowl.

Here is the new power lead with in-line fuse.  There was no fuse in the factory wiring but the factory wiring sucked.  I used a 4A fuse here.  The other end  was spliced into a bullet connector with the power wire from the other light and plugged into the driver’s side light socket.  The driver’s side switch was grounded to a convenient screw.  The other side of the switch went into a bullet connector on the light with the ground wire from the passenger side.  Time for a smoke test.

Well look at that!  We have lights.   They even turn off when the doors close.  Now all I have to do is figure out the washer pump.


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