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Hopkins Tail Light Wiring Kit Installation - 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited

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How to Install the Hopkins Tail Light Wiring Kit on a 2018 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited


How's it going, everybody Rob, here at etrailer.com. Today, we're going to taking a look at the Hopkins Custom Tail Light Wiring Kit for Towed Vehicles on our 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited.Now, our taillight kit for towed vehicles is going to allow us to transfer the lights from our motor home, so they come back on the taillights on our Jeep. So whenever we're flat towing it, people know if we're changing lanes, slowing down, or if we're just driving at night, they know that our Jeep is being flat towed.Now keep in mind, this is only going to be one component of a complete flat tow setup. Everything you're going to need is going to be a base plate, a tow bar, tow bar wiring, safety cables, and a braking system.Now the nice thing about our taillight wiring kit is it's going to use our factory taillights rather than having to use those magnetic lights. Now those do work, but obviously in our Jeep, there's not a whole lot of metal up here. The top is not metal, this part of the bumper isn't, so we'd be forced to put the magnetic lights on the side.And then we'd have to worry about running that wire down the side of the Jeep to the front, so we can get hooked up to the motor home.

Then we're just going to have to worry about that wire dangling, hitting the paint, potentially scratching it.Well, with our taillight wiring kit, it's going to be a permanent installation. We're not going to have to worry about setting anything up afterwards. We just hook up to our flat tow setup and hit the road. Our taillight wiring kit is also going to protect our Jeep circuits. It's going to make sure that there's no backfeeding or any short circuits or anything like that, if there was a problem on the motor home end.Now, a few things I really like about it.

Again, it uses the factory taillights, so there's no outward appearance change to our Jeep. We can still keep the same look. But the best part is, is we're not going to have to cut a single wire on our Jeep. It's going to use T-connectors that are just going to plug in line with our taillights.So we don't have to cut or splice into anything, because I know a lot of customers get a little nervous about wiring, but this kit is probably one of the easiest to put in because we just pull the taillights out, again, plug it inline with the taillights, and then run a wire up to the front.Now that we've gone over some of the features and seen them work, let's go in and bring them to the shop so we can go through the installation process together, so you can be comfortable doing it at home.To begin our installation, we're going to start at the back of our Jeep. And we need to remove the taillights.

So you want to grab yourself a Phillips bit and a driver or a screwdriver, and we're just going to remove the two inside screws from the taillights, from each side.Well, once we have those removed, we can grab the taillight. You got to wiggle it a little bit. And we can pull it out, and we can disconnect the connector. Just push in on that tab, and we can pull out. And we want to set this aside where it won't get damaged, and we're going to pull the other side out as well.At this point, we want to grab our harness.

Now, you're going to notice we've got a few T-connectors on there. We want to start with the one that has the yellow and brown wire and a blue and red wire. This is going to be over on the driver's side. Now, you can make your connections here and then push all the rest of the wiring down, but that seems like a lot of wire push down. It'd be a lot easier just to bring this up from the top.So if you look into your taillight housing here, you can see there's a little bit of daylight in there. You can reach underneath and feed it up from the bottom, or you can use some kind of pull wire like a coat hanger or something like that, but it should be able to pretty easily be reached.If you come from the wheel well, reach in. I'm going to start heating the rest of our wiring up and pulling some of that slack through. And I like to pull it up high enough that I have that converter box inside of here. So I can make sure that it's nice and secure, I'm just going to zip tie it to some existing wiring in here so it's not moving around too much.Our connectors are going to match. So what we're going to do is we'll take the male, plug it into the female. And then whenever we put our taillight back in, it'll plug into this connector.Our converter box has two little eyelets around it. So I'm just going to pass one zip tie through one side, wrap it around some existing wiring, bring it back around, go through the other eyelet, and cinch it down. And we can always tie up all this excess wire, but I like to leave myself a little bit of slack. That way we can actually get the taillight out if we ever need to do any kind of service to it. So for now, we're going to leave this here, but we're going to move underneath and grab the passenger side connector and route it over that way.Now, the passenger side is going to have an orange and a green wire on it. And again, we want to route this over to the passenger side and we're going to use the same method to get it up. However, since we are back here, we're going to be pretty close to the exhaust, and we really want to keep our wire as far away as possible, and make sure that it's not going to get caught on anything when we're driving.So we want to make sure that we route it up high enough, there is no sheet sources or any moving parts. And I'm just going to use some zip ties. I'm going to go over the frame rail here and come along the back bumper. And then once we get to the passenger side, there is a trick that I'm going to show you so that we can get it up top.Now, if you look in the passenger side taillight housing pocket, you'll notice there's no daylight. We can't see anything. And if I move the wiring out of the way, you'll see there's a lot of foam insulation down there. And underneath that foam installation, there's a plastic cover.So what we want to do is pull as much of that foam insulation out to get access to that cover. And then we can pull that cover out, run our wire through, and get access to everything. So I'm just going to reach in and grab the foam, pull it up, and then pull it out. You can start to see just a little bit of the cover underneath.So here's that plastic panel that's preventing us from getting access into the passenger side pocket here, but since we broke up some of the installation from up top, it'll be easier for this cover to come out. The easiest way is if you take a pry bar, a long screwdriver, something, and you're just going to want to drive upward on here until the installation around the edges break and we can get the panel to come loose.Now, we do want to hold onto this, because we are going to put it back in place. Now that we have that access, just reach down in the pocket, grab our T-connector. And this time we want to bring all the slack up top, make sure there's nothing underneath. And it's always a good idea to go underneath and double check, make sure there's nothing you're going to get caught.But again, I'm going to bring all the slack up, and I'm going to bundle this up and actually tie it off inside. But again, I'm going to leave myself maybe six inches or so of slack, so I can still get the taillight out.Now with our cover here, just so we can get it back in place and it's not going to damage the wires, I'm going to make a small cut towards the center. That way our wire can slip through and we can slide that cover back in place. Just going to take pair of cutters. It is kind of hard plastic, but we can easily cut it with some cutters. Just make a small slit. Just want to make sure you go far enough into the center, that you can get your wire through.Let me take my wire, slide it into that slit. I'm just going to slide that cover back in place. Now, obviously we don't want to leave any holes or any gaps where leaks could possibly happen, whether it be exhaust fumes or water. We don't want that getting into our Jeep. So once I get the cover back in place, I'm going to take some silicone, go around the edge, make sure that it's sealed up, and fill in the slit that had my wire going through it, so I won't have to worry about anything leaking to the inside.With all of our wiring connected back here, we're going to go ahead and plug our taillights back in. We can tuck all the excess wire into the taillight pocket and then re-install the hardware.Now we have our four-pole wire left, and this needs to get ran to the front of the Jeep. But again, just like when we're running our wires across the passenger side, we want to stay away from any major heat sources or any moving components that may damage the wire. Now, I also suggest that you can use some wire loom.It's not included in the kit, but you can pick up some wire loom here at etrailer.com. And it'll just help protect the wire. And, if there is any bit that is exposed, that you can see, it'll hide it because it's just a black corrugated tube. But I'm going to go ahead and run my wire up to the front, and then I'll show you the path that I took.When I started routing my wires through the front, you can see that I went into the frame right here at that hole. Now, what I did was I took a long airline tube. If you don't have one of these, perfectly fine. You can use just about anything you have, a coat hanger. You just want something that's going to keep its shape when you start pushing on it, has a little bit of structure to it.But, all I did was run that airline tube in and started feeding it towards the front, going along the frame. Now you're going to notice that there's several holes going all along the frame. And I just kind of leapfrogged to where I could get my airline tube in, pull it out, feed it back into through hole, and just keep working my way down.Because this is a Jeep and we want to protect our wiring as much as possible, so if it's inside the frame, there's very little likely chance that something's going to happen to it. But once we got to about the front tire, you can see where the wire came out. And I did put some loom on it, to help secure it. And we went over the top of the frame towards the front.So we went over the top of the frame, but once we got to the steering box right here and all the moving components, I wanted to go above all of that so we didn't have to worry about the axle or anything else in the way. So again, I use that wire loom and I actually zip tied it to this cross member here to keep it up away from everything, went over the sway bar. And then I actually bundled most of the wire right here, inside this little compartment in the cross member.I ran my four-pole out through the hole that we had for our base plate. And we have it sticking out right here, which will give us just enough room to mount our plug over here on the driver's side. Now, before we can test anything, we need to ground the system out. And that's what this white wire with a ring terminal is.It's pretty close to the four-pole end, so you kind of want to be mindful of where you're grounding it. And where you're going to be mounting your plug. You can always cut this ring terminal off and extend the wire and use a butt connector, but we're going to just mount ours right here against the frame. And they give you a self tapping screw in your kit.What I suggest since we're going into the frame and it's an extremely hard metal, you're going to want to start the screw first, get the hole going, remove it, and then put your ring terminal in place. Now there's a hole started. Go ahead and pull the screw out. Sometimes it can get a little stuck.We'll just make sure we slide that ring terminal around the screw, and then we'll secure it down. Now, it's pretty important to note that when you're tightening this down, you want it to be snug and you don't want the ring terminal to move around, but you don't want to strip out the self-tapping screw. I always like to just check, kind of pull on it and make sure it's not spinning.Now at this point, you can go ahead and mount your plug. However, we're not going to be using a four-pole in our application. We're actually going to switch out this plug for another one, but we want to make sure that our lights are working before we do that, so we're going to go ahead and test it now, to make sure all the circuits are working properly.So I got my tester hooked up. And if I turn on, we can see that the taillight function is working, the left turn signal, our brake lights, and the right turn signal. Now that we verified everything's working, that'll finish up your look and installation of the Hopkins Custom Tail Light Wiring Kit for Towed Vehicles on our 2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited.


Info for this part was:

Employee Joe V
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Joe V
Employee Nicholas E
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Employee Randy B
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Randy B
Employee Brent H
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Employee Robert C
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