Project XtremeJ has been through a lot, getting outfitted with a litany of parts that have made it a local celebrity here in Murrieta, California. But it wasn’t until we got together with AnzoUSA and figured out the best direction to take, that we knew lighting was next on the list.
Now, Project XtremeJ is an adventure build. It is designed to be able to go wherever, whenever, and perform to the best of its ability, and AnzoUSA understood this through our talks with them. The owner, Kevin McIntosh, never leaves home for an adventure without first considering if he has all the right supplies and tools, and therefore these lights would have to fulfill many demands.
Given these goals, we went with a multitude of lights to give XtremeJ the best illumination it’s ever seen. Four 3×3 pod spot lights, a bumper stinger-mounted 10-inch light bar, a pair of six-inch round LED lights, and a four-channel remote and module would be the order of the day. Together, they would give Kevin the power to see all when the sun went down.
Background Of The Lights
AnzoUSA has produced lights for many years now, and expanded its catalog to not just utilitarian lights, but cosmetic lights as well. One need look no further than U-Bar or Switchback lights to see what we mean, as these lights satisfy both the form and function aspects, which is what makes them so appealing.
“AnzoUSA offers a vast selection of products to suit our customers’ needs, from plug-and-play performance headlights and tail lights to auxiliary LED lighting,” said AnzoUSA’s Ryan Bisch. “So whether you’re upgrading your daily driver, or building a project vehicle in your spare time, we have something for you.”
For Project XtremeJ, however, we were satisfied with the way the standard headlights performed, and wanted to bolster its lighting capability for when the sun went down. This is one Cherokee that will make camp somewhere remote underneath the stars; therefore, whoever is riding around in it will need to rely solely on the Cherokee to provide the essentials.
One way that we could increase the utility of the lights was through remote control, which was one of the parts we received from AnzoUSA. “Our four-channel remotes are perfect for many different applications,” said Bisch. “They can handle undercarriage lighting, perimeter lighting like on a roof rack, or a rear-facing dust lamp for going down desert trails. The module can go just about anywhere and still receive commands from the remote – the engine bay, or underneath a seat, for example.”
The lights themselves are stout and sturdy, which Bisch commented upon. “All of our off-road lights have an IP68 rating, making them highly protected against dust and water intrusion,” he said.
First, we had to figure out where to put the remote control module. We went with the fuse box because it was very close to the battery and its terminals, and the fusebox lid could be easily drilled through to mount the module.
On the roof of XtremeJ, we had to wire up where the pod lights and round LEDs would go. One of the problems with wiring things on the roof is getting power to the roof. We thought it best to use a waterproof pass-through for the power cables, also known as a cable clam. We used 8-gauge four-wire insulated wire to route from the module to the roof.
The square lights required a custom wire harness. Using an automotive-grade connector, this made it possible for the lights to come off the Jeep easily if needed. As a side note, each of the lights we ordered had their own relays, but they were unnecessary thanks to the remote control module having its own relay.
We partially disassembled the Garvin roof rack, removing the wind deflector where two of the pod lights and both round LED lights would be mpunted. The wiring harness was ziptied to the back of the deflector, and we now could connect the round LED lights and pod lights to the module and battery wires.
Using the four buttons on the remote, and knowing that the lights were all connected directly to the battery, we took the four-channel remote and tested all of the lights. To our delight, they all worked perfectly.
We were extremely pleased with the way the lights came out on Project XtremeJ. The owner, Kevin, was stoked. “Finally having lights on the Jeep allows for exploring the trails at night without fear of not knowing my surroundings,” he said.
“Additionally, with the convenience of the remote, my dash doesn’t have an array of switches, and I can easily turn on the lights at any time and from a good distance,” he continued. “This is great for camping, in case I need to survey the campsite or scare off critters. I’m impressed with the metal housings and solid durability of these lights. I expect to get lots of use out of them.”
AnzoUSA’s contribution to Project XtremeJ has made it more capable than ever to deal with the outdoors. We’re excited to see where they will take us next, and if you feel that itch as well, then act on it! Head on over to the AnzoUSA website and Facebook page to find out more.