Blackout Grill Light Wiring

1941 - 1945, MB, GPW Technical questions and discussions, regarding anything related to the WWII jeep.
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jeep-a-holic
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Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by jeep-a-holic » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:41 pm

Hey all,
I have had such bad luck with grill light wiring. I have gotten a lot of good help (and some bad) along the way, but I finally figured it out. I have come up with a way to wire these lights with minimal invasion, and a few simple tools.

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This is overkill as far as tools go, but the basic tools which you will need are a hand drill (with a .190 inch bit), a multi-meter, soldering gun, solder, thin safety wire, an assortment of needle nose pliers, an assortment of picks, Buchannan type c-24 wire crimpers (for the bullet tips on the wires), a pair of wire strippers, a good pair of grill light wires (I used the MV Spares set, and they were phenomenal. They even came with the springs and plastic tips for the bulb area.. When ordering, ask for extra bullet ends, you will need to cut these off of the wire and re-attach new ones at the end), and a power supply. The power supply isn't a common tool, as for the C-24 crimpers. The crimpers are necessary though for the end of the wires.

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I first started with measuring the wire. I then used the drill to open the holes in the light bracket inside the housing as well as the stud in the bottom. This will be VERY helpful later. I then cut off the bullet tip on the wire, and stripped the wire in preparation for soldering.

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After you cut off the tip and strip, you need to now solder the safety wire into the exposed wires. You will need a good 10- 15 inch length for pulling purposes. It is best to stick the wire in the middle of the copper wires and let the solder drip and wick down into the copper. DO NOT LET THE SOLDER BULB GET TOO BIG. you can manipulate it a bit with pliers to make it work, but do be careful. Once a strong bond is made, it should look like this:

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As you can see, its neat and small, and strong. Now comes the tricky part. You now need to feed the length of safety wire through the front of the light bracket to the back of the housing. You may need the picks to fish the wire out until there is enough to grab with the needle nose pliers.

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Once pulled through, you must make sure that tip of the wiring harness fits through the hole. Once in, push the wire and pull the safety wire. You will now find out how good of a solder-er you are. So, once you see the tip of the wire, try to get enough onto the side where you can get it with the pliers. Once you get it with the pliers, it is now all push and pull.

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So, now just push the wire harness, and pull (maybe with the pliers a bit for leverage).

Do that until this happens:

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Once at this point, make your over-hand knot making sure the end of the wire points down so that it will easily go into the stud and also make the knot as far back as you can so you can UTILIZE THE MAJORITY OF YOUR WIRE. That is why we cut the wire close to the bullet tip. We need to conserve wire. (Though you shouldn't worry, there is a lot to play with) So now, feed the wire into the stud and hopefully it will go in easily. you may need to tape the shielding a bit. It is all dependent on the situation.

Now, cut the solder off, strip the wire just enough to go into the bullet to the tip, and slide on a new tip.

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Once on, use your C-24 crimpers to crimp the bullet on in three locations. Crimp the middle firmly, the shielded side a little, and the tip just a little as well.

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Now comes the fun part. sing the stud as a ground, attach the negative to the stud and the positive to the bullet tip. (After you obviously check the current coming out of the power supply with your voltage meter for 6V.. My machine is ancient, so I take all the precautions I can.)

Image

It may not be too bright, but remember your Jeep has more amps coming to the wire and a better ground (look at my article on tinning for reference, because the area that this goes through is tinned where the nut goes up against to hold the light in)

In less than an hour I was done with my lights.

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Here is the link for the crimpers, they are worth EVERY PENNY that they cost.
http://www.amazon.com/Your-One-Source-C ... chanan+c24" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Yes, it is steep, but its much better and cleaner than splicing wires and once you do one, you can do multiple lights. It will pay for itself.

I really hope this article helps a bit, and if you have any questions, please ask. I have sadly ruined a good Ford marked housing by doing it the wrong way with a supposed "tried and true" method proposed on another site. This method works, is minimally invasive, and very quick once you have the right tools. A second set of hands helps at times, but can be done alone. Just be patient and you will have a great set of grill lights.

I hope this helps!

Sean
1942 Stinson L-5 (0-62) Sentinal 42-98323 (under restoration to 100% factory configuration)
1944 MB S.N. 343955 D.O.D. 6-22-44
1945 Converto T-6 1/4 Ton Trailer (awaiting restoration)

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Milo 42 GPW
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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by Milo 42 GPW » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:43 am

Sean,
Very nice and thank you for sharing. Should help newbies and veterans alike.
Milo Valencic
Stuart, Florida
1942 GPW S/N# 76157
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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by Marty, SoCal » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:59 am

I would add that you can also solder the tip onto the wire, if you lack the special crimping pliers. Might even be good idea to solder them on after you crimp them, too.
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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by borgy76 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:07 pm

Thats alot better than what I did. I used a flat head screw driver and pryed the mount fron the housing. Stripped the the old and replaced it with the new. I use a M.V Spares wiring harness. I filed back the mounting bolt to make it square and slot back into place. The tension on the mounting nut is enough to keep the light straight and fixed in place. The job took awhile as I was being careful not to dint the housing. Start to finish took about 1.5 for both lights. I didn't know any better at the time.
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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by pecopfc » Thu May 16, 2013 10:45 pm

Grounding is the KEY!
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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by brubakes » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:40 am

This was very helpful! Thank you!
'42 Ford GPW | '00 Wrangler Sport | '08 Grand Cherokee Limited | '10 Patriot Latitude

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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by markie » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:40 am


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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by mgizinski » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:42 pm

I found your post very helpful. I will try your method. I thought going from the top would be the easiest way, but couldn't do that with the male bullet end on. I will have to get extra bullet ends before I cut the existing one off. Thank you for your photos, too.

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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by Havery » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:49 am

I'm surely going to try your method and I will do it ASAP! Your post is ultra helpful for me and I wanted to say big thanks for everything. also wanted to ask: in case i am going to have some questions in the meantime of the process, could you help me please? may i ask the questions here or privately? thanks!

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Re: Blackout Grill Light Wiring

Post by jeep-a-holic » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:00 am

Yeah, sure. Feel free to ask anything you want! PM me if you have any questions.
1942 Stinson L-5 (0-62) Sentinal 42-98323 (under restoration to 100% factory configuration)
1944 MB S.N. 343955 D.O.D. 6-22-44
1945 Converto T-6 1/4 Ton Trailer (awaiting restoration)

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