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Jeep Project CJ-7

An ongoing Budgeted Rebuild/Build up of a Rock
Crawling Machine.

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.


Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

25 Top To Do Tips Before Going Offroad
 

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Rausch Creek
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Jeep Central
From Jeep History to Tech Specs and Projects.  This section is all about Jeeps.
Jeep Technical Info
Engines
Transmissions
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Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

What are HID Lights?

Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Warn 9500i Winch Installation

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

 

HEI Ignition
Installation & Review

Lockers, Limited Slips &
other Differentials Explained

 

 

 

Wheeling in the Valley of the Ferns

1.jpg (70086 bytes)
Tellico North Carolina


Paragon Adventure Park
Rock Krawl

Thousands more photos here..

 
 

 

 

 

Using LED lights in your Vehicle

LED lights are fast becoming the light source of choice in many applications.  There are good reasons for this.  LED lights consume about 10th the power of a standard comparable light bulb making them much more efficient.  LEDs also last much longer than standard light bulbs at approximately 100,000 hours.  Recent advances have produced high light output LED lights that make them more desirable as a light source over the previous generation of LEDs that most people are used to seeing.  Also LED manufacturing has produced mass quantities of LEDs at a very small cost per LED making LED much more affordable.
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

 
In the vehicle the LED (light emitting diode) is commonly used as an indicator for alerting you if a circuit is powered on.  However you can't simply plug an LED into your 12 volt power supply in your vehicle and expect it to work.  The common LED requires only 2 volts to work so the power supplying your LED needs to be reduced from 12 volts down to 2 volts.  That is accomplished by using a resistor. Note: typical LEDs require 2V for each LED however some require 4V such as for blue and white LEDs.


LED in a 12 volt vehicle

 

In the diagram to the right, the "R" is a 470 or 560 ohm resistor, either will work for the common LED requiring 2 volts.  You will need to acquire one resistor per LED.  Resistors can usually be purchased in the same electronics stores as the LEDs themselves.

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

HEI Ignition Installation and Review

Using LED lights in your Vehicle

LightForce Driving Lights Install/Review

What are HID Lights?

Jeep CJ Gauge & Sender
Troubleshooting and Diagnostics

TJ Diagnostics Codes

 

LED connectionsWiring LED Lights

The LED has two leads and they have to be wired in a specific way.  The two leads are called: a or + for anode and k or - for cathode (yes, it really is k, not c, for cathode). The cathode is the short lead and there may be a slight flat on the body of round LEDs. If you can see inside the LED the cathode is the larger electrode (but this is not an official identification method).  


LED in a 12 volt vehicle

It is always wise to test your circuit before making it permanent. Caution: Never connect an LED directly to a battery or power supply! It will be destroyed almost instantly because too much current will pass through and burn it out.  LEDs must have the resistor in series to limit the current to a safe value.  For quick testing purposes use alligator clips or temporally connect wires to the resistor without shorting them together.  Connect the longer anode (a) or + end to the +positive side of the battery or 12 volt power source.  Connect the cathode (k) or - end of the LED to the resistor, then the other end of the resistor to the negative side of the battery.  (See diagram above).  If all goes well, you should see light.  If you have the LED wired backwards, it simple will not work.  Just reverse the LED leads.

Soldering your Circuit

The LED has to be wired in series with the resistor.  The best way to connect them together is to solder them.  If you intend to solder them together be aware that LEDs can be damaged by heat when soldering, however the risk is small unless you are very slow in doing the soldering and allow the heat to penetrate the the LED.  Otherwise no special precautions are needed for soldering most LEDs.

 

Applying this circuit to an Auxiliary Switch or Device

In most cases you will not simply be adding mood lights to your vehicle.  More likely you will want these LED lights to act as indicators that tell you there is a circuit on, such as your Offroad lights, CB radio, a cooling fan or your onboard air compressor.  To wire this circuit into your vehicle, you simply tap into the positive output power from the switch that drives your device (i.e., the offroad lights), into the longer, + side (anode) of the LED, then ground the resistor at the other end.  So the power flows from the switch when it is flipped on, through the LED, through the resistor and to ground.

 

 

Calculating the Required Resistor

The calculation used to find the value of the series resistor we need to know the diode forward voltage and current and its connections.  This information can be obtained from the package if you purchased the LED.

In this example it is 2 volts and 20mA (0.02 amps).

The cathode lead is the one nearest a "flat" on the body.

Since the voltage across the diode (LED) is 2 volts and the battery voltage is 12 volts, then the voltage across the resistor is 12-2 = 10 volts.

The diode is in series with the resistor, so the current through then both is the same, 0.02 amps.

We now know the voltage across, and the current through the resistor.
 

From Ohm's Law we can now calculate the value of the resistor.

Resistance = Volts divided by Amps = V/I = 10/0.02 =500 ohms.

Since this is not a standard value we can use a 470 or 560 ohm resistor as this application is not critical of values.

For a 4 volt (Blue or White LED) the formula would be:

Resistance = Volts divided by Amps = V/I = 8/0.02 =400 ohms. 

The common 390 or 470 ohm resistor can be used for these.

 

Jeep Project CJ-7

An ongoing Budgeted Rebuild/Build up of a Rock Crawling Machine.

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

Offroad Tire Info
P-Metric Tire Sizes Conversion to Inches
Tire Terminology
Wheel Terminology
How to Pick the Right
Tires for your Truck
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All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
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Super Swamper Bogger
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Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
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Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
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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
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Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
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Toyo Open Country MT
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Michelin LTX A/T
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Michelin LTX AT2
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial
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Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ Radial SLT
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Federal Couragia M/T
Nitto Dura Grappler
Yokohama Geolandar
  
Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle Project CRUSHER
 
Mud Tire Reviews
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ATV Tire Index
Carlisle 489 Titan
Dunlop Quadmax
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Quadmax Sport Development
Highlifter Outlaw
ITP Holeshot
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Maxxis M966 Mudzilla
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Super Swamper Vampire EDL
Swamp Lite ATV Tires
 
ATV Tire FAQs
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ATV / Quad Links
 
Quad Tire Reviews Index

 


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

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


Black Diamond Suspension Lift install for CJ-7

 

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!