Introduction: Jeep Compass 'Raptor Style' Lights
The Ford Raptor lighting was super cool when it first came out, encouraging a lot of Jeep and Toyota owners to create their own styles. As you may be aware, the original Raptor grill lighting was three small amber lights. For my Jeep Compass, I have replaced all lights with white LEDs and wanted to continue this theme with the grill markers.
I did a lot of planning and research to identify the right circuit in the fuse box and buy small enough lights to fit in the honeycomb grill slots. The honeycomb slots are about a half inch in height. My modified lights actually sit on the face the grill and are not imbedded like I was originally wanting. Overall, I am happy with the install and think they look almost factory.
Unfortunately I was not able to find the perfect lights, so I decided to modify some that were pretty close. I purchased mine off Amazon prime, sold by a company called CARLITS. Their quality seems overall pretty good, but one of the lights had its glass dome pop off while I was grinding the aluminum housing down. I am hopeful the others will not pop off in bad weather, but we will see with time.
Solder and soldering iron
'Eagle Eye' LEDs
Electrical Wire (I used 16AWG)
'Add-a-circuit' small fuse adapter (important to get the small fuse size for this circuit)
Heat shrink insulation
Split loom tubing (1/4")
Step 1: Measure and Cut
Measure the spot where you want to mount your LEDs before you drill holes in the grill. If you purchased similar lights to me, grind down two edges to make them fit better in the grill. Use a high grit sandpaper like 60 and grind in small increments to keep the LED from overheating and damaging soldered connections.
NOTE: For those of you who are nervous to begin this project, you can always buy a replacement grill and convert it back to factory. Here is a link to my 2019 Compass Trailhawk grill: https://www.factorychryslerparts.com/products/Jeep/2019/Compass-TRAILHAWK-24L-I4-AT-AWD/GRILLE-Texture-Honeycomb/11982764/5UP86RXFAB.html
Step 2: Fuse Box Location
Fuse 17 labeled "secondary engine loads" is spare on my Compass and is in the perfect location to 'add-a-circuit' with your small fuse adapter. If your fuse slot already has a fuse in it, just remove it and place it in the bottom slot on your adapter.
You should size your fuse based on the wire gauge you are using and the rated load of the LEDs. Honestly, documentation is pretty bad for most of these aftermarket LEDs, so it is a safe estimate that they will draw ~3-5 amps. I installed a 10A fuse and 16AWG wire which is recommended at 12V systems for 10A. You may notice that the wire pre-installed on your LEDs is much thinner than 16AWG. That is fine.
The fuse cover is weathertight, so you may need to make some small modifications to it so that your new wire can pass through. I cut a small notch at the bottom where it fits around a wiring harness. In general, the bottom side of the fuse box will see less moisture than a location on the top side.
Step 3: Wire the LEDs
You want to make sure all connections are sturdy and weathertight. Cut your wires to length, solder the connections and cover in heat shrink insulation. Your positive (red) wire will run to the 'add-a-circuit' in the fuse box and your negative (black) wire will just need to be terminated on the steel frame somewhere. I crimped a lug ring to my wire and bolted it to a cross brace nearby.
Step 4: Clean Up!
Make sure you get everything re-assembled and closed up. Take your time and double check everything, you dont want any surprises.
Disclaimer: Please be careful while working on DC systems. The electrical shock can harm you and it is important to only attempt this work if you feel confident that you understand the electrical components you are touching. When in doubt, disconnect your battery.