CJ-7 Projects


Lightforce Lights - H.I.D. High-intensity discharge Upgrade

HEI Ignition System (GM Style) Installed in the AMC 360 V8
Getting rid of gremlins and improving performance

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Autogage Tachometer Installation

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 Centralia PA
Project CJ-7
Offroaders Guide
to Gearing up
for Offroad

From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights


Jeep Dana 300 TeraLow - 4:1 Gearset for the Dana 300 Transfer Case

AMC V8 Engines
GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V-8s (1956-1966) through to the GEN-3 AMC Tall-deck (1970-1991)

Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines
Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines Manufactured by General Motors - Production: 1955?2002

Hemi Engine - All about the Hemi Engine

Ford Engines
4 Cylinder, 6 Cylinder, 8 Cylinder, 10 Cylinder, 12 Cylinder Ford Engines

Ford V8 Engines
8 Cylinder Engines manufactured by Ford

Ford 351 Cleveland V8 Engines
351 cubic inch V8 Engines manufactured by Ford

Chrysler Hemi Engine

AMC V8 hp/Torque, Compression & Bore/Stroke by year

Engine Size Conversion Table
Converting engine displacement from CID, Liters, C.C.

Engine Overheating Basics - 16 Common Causes of an Overheated Engine

Fan Clutch Diagnosis
How to tell if the Fan Clutch in your Cooling System is failing or has failed.

Automotive Gauges & Instrument Functions
Information they display & their importance.


From the
Department of Cheap   Tricks and Useful Tips

Ultra-Cool Hand Throttle for Free!

Jeep V8 Swap Tips

The Exploding Clutch

Radiator Protection using 6 bucks worth of material

Cracked Under Pressure - Fixing a smashed fingernail

A Cheap, effective alternative to undercoating

Home-built Saginaw Gearbox Brace for the cost of lunch!

Ammo Box Storage - Mounting Them for Quick Disconnect

Home-built Serious Skid-Plate protection for the Oil Pan for under 20 bucks!

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index  What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.




Project CJ-7

Installing Power
Toggle Switches

I don't think the Jeep CJ was ever designed around a sound system.  The small, rectangular punched hole in the dash with knob holes on either side of it and the single slotted 5" speaker hole seemed more like an after thought to the utilitarian style dash.  So anyone who wants to add a sound system to the Jeep CJ is most likely not going to use the radio accommodations in the dash panel.  So the question becomes what to do with the gapping dash hole?  When I was restoring my CJ-7, I contemplated a couple of uses for the holes in my dash.  I thought about covering it over completely by welding a plate flush with the dash and painting it over but that would just add empty space to the dash.  I thought about installing a stock Jeep radio just for the cool stock look.  But I also thought about using the holes in the dash for something useful, like gauges, or switches, or a CB radio.  The best idea I came up with was to use the location for much needed switches to control things like front and rear offroad lights, engaging the converted York compressor (onboard Air), master power to my sound system, and power to my overhead area that controls my CB radio and overhead dome lights and  power point.  Switches made the most sense.  There are a few areas of this installation that I'd like to cover.


The Toggle Switches - The switches I used were better than your average switch that you might find at Walmart or your local discount auto supply store.  They are what are called metal bat toggle switches, single pole, single throw (SPST)m two positions; On or Off.  The switches that I used were sources from a friend that worked as a mechanic in the airline industry but they are available from auto suppliers like Jegs or Summit Racing.  These switches are heavy duty and made from stainless steel and had a 15 amp rating.  Along with the switches I acquired 6 flip-up toggle switch covers (You can get these from Summit Racing, G3902C).  Jegs has the combo as part # 72272 and it's called the Edelbrock aircraft style covered toggle switch.  If you buy them separate, just make sure the flip cover will clear the switch when it's closed.  Some switches have a long handle or bat.

LED Lights to Indicate The Power is On

The only thing this switch combo lacks is some indication that the power is ON.  I like to know when a circuit has power so I wanted to give each circuit light.  I could have gone with a regular 12 volt bulb but I like compact design of LEDs.  Radio shack had a few nice LED mounting designs.  Along with the LED mount, I picked up various colored LEDs that fit the mount, each color meant to indicate a specific circuit like: Red - auxiliary power circuits, Yellow - Offroad lights, Blue - Onboard Air, Green - CB Radio and overhead power.  This way at a glance I can tell what circuit is on without counting which switch it is. 

Wiring LED's is not as straight forward as wiring a 12 volt bulb.  A LED light needs a specific voltage, commonly that is 2 volts.  So you need to reduce the voltage from 12 volts down to 2 volts.  This is accomplished by use of a specific ohm resistor.  Since there is a lot to say about this topic, I created a separate article detailing how to wire up LED lights to an automotive 12 volt system.  That article is here: Using LED lights in your Vehicle.

Mounting Plate

The mounting plate that covers the radio punchout on the dash does a couple of things.  I used aluminum since it is easy to work with.  I wanted 6 switches and I had a limited width to work with.  The plate also had to be held to the dash somehow and it had to cover the three existing holes in the dash.  What I decided to do was use the two end holes that were the radio knob holes to bolt the plate down to the dash.  But not using bolts or screws, rather I was going to use the switches themselves.  So I knew where the two end switches were going to go, I now only had to space out the other 4 switches equally in the space in between.  The plate was cut to completely cover the dash holes and extend past the ends of the switches and above the LED mounts.  All of the holes were layed out and drilled, then everything test fitted.  The plate was then sanded down, primered and painted separately from the dash.  So once it is mounted, if I remove the end switches, I can remove the plate.

Routing Power

A few things to say about routing power through your dash.  Number one rule: Keep your amps low.  First, high powered circuits can overload a switch that is not designed to manage watts as high as your accessories demand.  Two, the gauge of wire required to adequately handle higher watts is difficult to work with due to the thickness and less flexibility.  Third, if you do overload a circuit, you don't want that to happen right under your dash where there is plenty of other circuit to get damaged.  So if you want to power high watts through your switches, how do you do that?  The answer is use relays.  What is a relay?  A relay is essentially an electric switch.  Your dash mounted switch doesn't power the accessory, it powers the relay.  The relay then turns on the high amp circuit going to your accessory.   For more information on Using Relays see: Automotive Wiring Tips - Using Relays

Wiring Diagram

Overall this was not a difficult job.  The end result, I think, looks great.  It takes advantage of what would have been wasted space dead center on my dash.  It's very functional and allows me to selectively turn on circuits easily and I have a clear indication that power to specific circuits is either on or off.  As for the slotted punchout for the stock 5" speaker, well that's my CB speaker now and my sound system pumps through the speakers under my rear seat.  More on that here.  

One last thought...

I just want to add that all of these circuits running though my switches FIRST route through a fuse.  Not the stock fuse block, but a second, entirely separate fuse block dedicated to accessories.  I did not route any additional power through my stock fuse block.

LightForce Driving Lights Install/Review

Jeep CJ Gauge & Sender
Troubleshooting and Diagnostics


12 Volt Wiring - Distance and Amps to Gauge Chart

Converting Candlepower to Watts and
vice-versa & Other Offroad Light Information

Automotive Wiring Tips & Techniques

Lead Acid Battery Terminology

Using LED lights in your Vehicle

TJ Diagnostics Codes

12 Volt Wiring Gauge Requirements at specific Amps for Automotive Electrical Systems

HEI Ignition Installation and Review

Using LED lights in your Vehicle

What are HID Lights?




Project CJ-7
Working on the Dash
Power Toggle Switches

Back to Project Index




Offroad Tire Info
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Tires for your Truck
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All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
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All Terrain AT Tire Reviews
Super Swamper Bogger
Super Swamper SSR
Super Swamper SX
Super Swamper Vortrac
Interco IROK TSL
Super Swamper LTB
Super Swamper TSL
Super Swamper TSL Radial
Super Swamper Narrow
Interco SS-M16 Swamper
Thornbird TSl Radial
Thornbird TSl Bias
Thornbird TSL
Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
BFGoodrich Krawler
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM2
BFGoodrich AT TA KO
BFGoodrich Mud King XT
Bridgestone Dueler MT
Cooper Discoverer ST
Cooper Discoverer STT
Cooper Discoverer ST/C
Firestone Destination MT
General Grabber MT
General Grabber AT2
Green Diamond Icelander
Ground Hawg Mud Tire
Hankook Dynapro MT
Hankook Dynamic MT RT01
Hercules Terra Trac MT
Hercules Trail Digger MT
Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
Kelly-Springfield Safari MSR
Kumho Road Venture MT
Kumho Road Venture KL71
Kumho Road Venture AT
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Dick Cepek F-C II
Dick Cepek Fun Country II
Dick Cepek Fun Country Nylon
Dick Cepek Fun Country Kevlar
Mastercraft Courser MT
Mastercraft Courser HTR
Mastercraft Courser HTR Plus
Maxxis BigHorn Radial
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis Trepador
Maxxis Buckshot Mudder
Maxxis MA-SW
Maxxis M-8080 Mudzilla
Maxxis MT-754 Buckshot
Maxxis MT-753 Bravo
Maxxis MA-751 Bravo
Maxxis MA-S2 Marauder II
Maxxis MA-S1 Marauder
Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto Dune Grappler
Nokian Vatiiva MT
Pit Bull Rocker Extreme
Pit Bull Maddog
Pit Bull Growler
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Pro Comp Xterrain
Pro Comp All Terrain
Pro Comp Mud Terrain
Pro Comp Xtreme AT
Pro Comp Xtreme MT
Toyo Open Country MT
TrXus Mud Terrain
TrXus STS All Terrain
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Yokohama Geolandar

Latest trips Offroad
... trail reports with the Project CJ-7
click here.

Sounds System, Raised the Rear Seat
Storage below and a great place to mount 6x9 Speakers for Great Bass ... In a Jeep!

York AC Compressor Conversion.  What used to pump Freon, now pumps compressed air to the front and rear bumpers.  125 psi,  2 gallons of storage, air fittings at the bumpers, enough CFM to power air tools!.  Click Here for more  Details


Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle ? Project CRUSHER

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

ARB Air Locker Install
Jeep Wide Track Axles Swap

Mud Tire Reviews

Building a Garage?
Need a Garage Plan?

Reader's Rigs and Seriously Stucks!


Jeep Trans Swap Info
T-18A Transmission Rebuild & Short Shaft Conversion