Project Sahara: Hella 500 Installation

Hella 500s on the A-pillar. Hella 500s on the A-pillar.

Project Sahara: Hella 500 Installation

Objective:

Mount auxiliary lights on the A-pillar.

Parts Needed:

  • Sun Performance Products TJ A-pillar light mounts.
  • Hella 500 light kit.
  • Factory fog light switch – TJ (part # 56007247)
  • Technician grade wire connectors (part # 85339)
  • Heat shrink wire covers – small package

Installation:

Use a Torx-40 bit to loosen the Torx bolts holding the windshield frame in place. They are usually pretty tight not to mention they are put into place before the vehicle is painted. So the paint is also holding it in place. I sprayed some WD-40 on them after scoring each bolt with a razor to break the paint free. (careful as they have a tendency to strip)

Once the brackets are mounted, get each light ready to go. You have to take the lens off each light and run the ground wire out through the rubber grommet. These are the blue wires in the Hella kit. You will need to pop two holes through the grommet, I use the pointy end of a continuity tester.

Once you have the wires ran from the light, put together the mounting assembly on the light, and mount to brackets. Now you will have to decide where you want to put the relay. I mounted mine up front by the radiator, this provided a good lead to the battery and a ground. I ran the black line from each light down and under the panel where the wipers sit on. The blue wires (ground) can be grounded right under the lights themselves. I coated all connections with dielectric grease to keep from rusting / corroding.

I ran the rest of the wires according to the directions with the Hella kit with the exception of the power wire. The Hella kit wants you to run it off the high beam power line. (Lights only work when high beams are on) So I just ran that line to a 12V battery line. (Lights work when ever switch is flipped on) I imagine that you could also run it to an ignition line so that they would only work when your ignition is on, or you could also tap it into your parking lights so that they could only be turned on when your parking lights are on. Its all up to personal preference.

Now for the placement of the switch inside the Jeep. I ran the two wires (12V batt, and load) through the firewall. I wasn’t two fond of the Hella switch (normal illuminated toggle switch) so I went to the Jeep dealer and purchased another factory fog light switch (Part # 56007247) and used that. Here is a picture:

Switch on left is for the Hellas, the one on the right is for factory fogs.

Switch on left is for the Hellas, the one on the right is for factory fogs.

Switch Installation:

This is a little tricky. You have to take off the whole front panel. Begin by removing the defroster cover at the top by windshield. It just pulls right out. There are then two Phillips head screws to remove. Then take out the ash tray, there is one more behind there. Then whole cover with then be removed and set aside. Now the switch sub assembly with have 4 Phillips head screws to remove it. Detach the cigarette lighter and the fog light switch wires.

Now that you have the assembly out, you can decide which open spot to put it in. I chose to leave a little space between the two. On the new switch that you purchased, you will have to trim the plastic flange that is one the side of it for it to fit into the open slot. This is a quick process taking less than five minutes. Pop the blank out of the slot you chose. These pop out easily using a small common screwdriver. Pop your new switch in.

Now, you will notice that the factory fog switch uses a weird four wire harness that you cant buy anywhere. This is where a little fabrication will come into play. I used a package of Technician grade wire connectors that I got from Pep Boys (Part 85339) These are really slim wire connectors.

I started out by cutting four small pieces of wire (maybe 3.5-4″) and stripping back one side of each. This side that you stripped back will be placed into the new connector. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to tighten the end around the wire. Once the wire is snugged in there, I used the needle nose pliers to kind of flatten the end of the connector. I made four of this type of wire. Once finished with that, you will place a piece of the heat shrink over the connector and place it over a lighter flame. Do this for each wire. Keep the flame moving or else you will start it on fire. 🙂

Now you will have to make sure you can slip each connector in to the switch. It usually gets pretty snug but should fit nicely. By having them snug, it will hold them in place better. Ok, now for the wiring diagram. If you are looking at the switch from the top down, with the switch body iself facing you, (ie, wires facing away from you) the numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4. Number 1 wire will get connected to your dash lights, (so the switch lights up when you have your parking lights on.) Number 2 wire is for the load to the lights (Yellow wire from the Hella relay.) Number 3 wire is to any 12V battery lead. (This all depends on how you hook it up. I wanted my lights to be turned on with the switch no matter what. I didn’t want to make sure the vehicle was running or if I had my parking lights on.) Number 4 wire will go to a ground. I ran a wire over to the passenger side door latch and snugged it under one of those bolts.

Now just put your dash back together, its all done!

Costs:

  • Sun Performance Products TJ A-pillar light mounts. – $29.99 (Quadratec)
  • Hella 500 light kit. – $59.99 (Pep Boys)
  • Factory fog light switch – TJ (part # 56007247) – $24.99 (Jeep Dealer)
  • Technician grade wire connectors (part # 85339) – $2.21 (Pep Boys)
  • Heat shrink wire covers – small package – $1.99 (Pep Boys)
Hella 500 lights mounted on A-pillar.

Hella 500 lights mounted on A-pillar.