My Budget Build

How To - Quick Detach for License Plate Light

No more long cords or torn wires

I recently installed a new LoD Destroyer Series rear bumper and tire carrier. It's awesome. When I installed it, I also relocated my license plate from the stock location to the center of the rear tire carrier using the JKS Spare Tire Mount License Plate Bracket. If you have a tire carrier like mine that can swing away from the tailgate, the kit calls for putting in a few extra feet of wire. I didn't like that solution though, so I came up with a DIY way to put in a quick disconnect from parts lying around the garage.

Here is a pic of the situation that can happen if you don't put in quick disconnects. You can see the wire is taut and going to break if I open my tire carrier any more.

Materials & Supplies

This project made possible by the fact that I already cut my fenders and had my side marker lights and harnesses lying around. If you don't have those, you'll need to find one (probably for free from another Jeeper that just cut their fenders).
  • Side marker light
  • Female harness that mates with that
  • Soldering gun, flux, and solder (go buy one from Harbor Freight for $15 if you don't have one; it's a worthwhile investment. Buy the one that comes with flux and solder)
  • Black tubing to go around wires
  • Electrical tape
  • Heat shrink wrap to insulate electrical connections
  • A lighter
  • Spray paint, optional

Steps

Step 1: remove the bulb from the back of the side marker light

Step 2: remove the bulb

Use a knife to push in the little tabs and it'll come out

Step 3: discard bulb, keep metal contacts

At this point if you were to put the metal contacts back in, you'd have a nice male/female pair like this

Step 4: spray paint the female end

Totally optional, but I thought it made it look better and stand out more. Here it is taped off and ready for paint

Step 5: solder wire to metal contacts

Depending on how yours is currently wired up, you made need to cut the wire and strip it first. These are the wires coming out of the tailgate.

Step 6: insert contacts back into male housing

Step 7: solder female harness onto wires coming from license plate light

Remember to put the shrink tubing on the wire first, solder them together, slide the shrink tubing down over the connection, then heat it with a lighter

Step 8: Put protective black tubing over wires, use electrical tape at each end to prevent it from opening back up

Final Product

Video of it in action

Scott's Review Down the Road

This has worked great. Easy way to unplug the license plate light, the bright red of the connector reminds me to do so, and there's no long wires getting in my way.

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About My Budget Build

Just a website with some how-tos to help others on a budget have fun with their Jeep

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