On Saturday I got rained out of working with Brian H on his Wagonmaster and scheduled out of meeting up with a guy to sell some Terra windows. So, I went out into the garage and fooled around with my new license plate bracket. I bought one off Amazon for about $13 with LED lights, and picked up a tap and die set from Home Depot for $20 along with some stainless Allen-head bolts.

License Plate bracket

Tap & Die set

The first thing was to figure out where to put the mount. It has to be closer to the center to clear the depth of the jack below the crossbar, so I mounted the spare and figured out how much clearance I had to play with. Then, I marked off holes, pulled out the drill, and put in two holes.

Working with the tap was really easy; once I mounted it in the chuck properly, I put a little oil on the threads and we were in business.

Bracket mounted

Then, with the bracket in place, I had to run power out to the swingarm. I disassembled the tailgate and the license plate light. The wire leading out there was black with an industrial-coated disconnect, which meant it was aftermarket. The ground lead out of the light was just screwed in behind the mounting plate for the bracket itself. I took apart my spare tailgate to see what stock looked like, and as I suspected it was just a green power lead ending in a single black socket, which grounded itself to the metal of the mount. Knowing what I had wasn’t worth saving, I cut it, spliced the hot wire to the light and grounded the other to the frame, and tested it. Success!

Test wiring

All it was at that point was splicing in some 14gauge threaded wire, soldering it together, heatshrinking the connections, and adding a pigtail connector to the ground. This got screwed in behind the bracket and the wire was zip-tied around the swingarm until the whole thing gets painted. Then I’ll tap two or three 6-32″ holes on the back side and add some plastic cable clamps to keep everything neat.

Finished and wired

Date posted: July 22, 2012 | Filed under Bumper, Progress, Repairs | 1 Comment »

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