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HomeTips & GuidesJeep Hardtop Wiring Harness: Installation Steps To Run the Rear Wiper and Defroster

Jeep Hardtop Wiring Harness: Installation Steps To Run the Rear Wiper and Defroster

Jeep Hardtops are solid, meaning they can withstand more abuse and last longer than Softtops. So, how to install a Jeep Hardtop wiring harness?

If you decide to do a Hardtop conversion, you have to connect the included rear wiper and defroster electrical accessories.

Getting a professional to handle this task will cost you about $500, but a DIY project will be close to $350 less.

So, if you are a DIY person and want to save some bucks, here’s how to install a Jeep Hardtop wiring harness after converting from a Soft Top.

Table of Contents

Required Materials

Hardtops come with the wiring harnesses for the rear wiper and defroster. So, you’ll only need these tools to complete the installation.

  • Trim removal tools
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • 7mm socket
  • Pick
  • Pair of pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • T-20 Torx driver
  • Pair of scissors
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire coat hanger

Jeep Hardtop Wiring Harness Installation Steps

After mounting the hardtop, follow these steps to connect the two electrical accessories to a fused and switched power source.

A Jeep Hardtop

A Jeep Hardtop

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery

Before getting down to work, disconnect the negative battery terminal as a safety measure.

Step 2: Remove the Trim Panels

The wiring harness must connect the rear side of the Hardtop to the power source in the engine bay. Therefore, you must remove the plastic trim panels on the driver’s side to hide the wires.

Remember to use a trim removal tool, such as a pry tool, to undo the kick panels and plastic pillar pieces to avoid damaging or scratching them.

A technician using a trim removal tool to remove door panels

A technician using a trim removal tool to remove door panels

After removing these pieces, channel the harness through the frame to the area under the steering column. Use the route that descends the B-pillar and under the door to the section below the steering column.

Step 3: Channel the Harness to the Engine Bay

Cut and straighten the coat hanger to have a flat wire. Remove the firewall cap, then use this rigid metal wire to pull the harness to the engine compartment.

Push the wire through the firewall hole, leaving the dash, HVAC, and multi-function switch sections in the cabin.

A vehicle’s engine bay

A vehicle’s engine bay

Attach the cable harness to this wire, then pull the straightened hanger wire to draw the harness through the hole.

If the harness gets stuck, you can use some lubrication to smoothen this process. Pull the harness until all the connectors required in the engine bay to link to the fuse box pass through.

Step 4: Connect the Harness Ground to the Chassis

Before connecting the harness to the fuse box, ensure the ground connection to the chassis is solid. Lift the fuse box, then tighten the harness’s ground wire to the frame using a 10mm bolt. You can apply dielectric grease on the joint to protect it from moisture, dirt, and corrosion.

Step 5: Connect the Harness to the Fuse Box

Remove the fuse box’s underside using the pick and flat-head screwdriver to access the E and G connectors.

The fuse box in the engine compartment

The fuse box in the engine compartment

First, find the E connector. Unplug it and remove its rear cover to access the wiring. Link the brown/light green cable to slot 27 and the brown/white wire to slot 32 on this connector, then reinstall its back cover. Reinsert this connector to the fuse box.

Next, find connector G, unplug it, and remove its back cover to access the wiring. Attach the dark brown/blue wire to slot 31, reinstall the back cover, and then plug the connector back into the box.

These connections handle the ground and power supply, so next are the controls.

Step 6: Wire the Gauge

Head back into the cabin and unmount the instrument gauge cluster to wire it. Unscrew its bolts, then remove the four connectors linking it to the car.

After that, use the Torx driver to remove the steering column’s panels (upper and lower), then pull the remaining part of the Hardtop wiring harness to the dashboard. You can use the hanger wire to pull it.

Locate the third or C connector from the gauge cluster plugs you removed earlier. If you recall, there were four. Identify the third one and use the pick tool to gently remove the front part.

Next, find the purple/white wire from the Hardtop harness and connect it to slot 18 in the disassembled C connector.

Step 7: Wire the Multi-Function Switch (Rear Wiper)

With the gauge cluster connected, link the Hardtop harness to the multi-function control switch to operationalize the wiper on or off switching function.

The wiper multi-function control switch

The wiper multi-function control switch

Loosen this switch using a Phillips screwdriver, then unmount it from the steering column. Since it lacks the rear wiper on/off switch, you must replace it. Disconnect the old switch from its harness and wire the new one.

Step 8: Wire the HVAC Control Panel (Rear Defroster)

To access the HVAC control panel, first remove the upper and lower trims on the center console using the trim removal tool. With these panels out, you should spot the 7mm mounting bolts for the HVAC.

Unscrew these bolts using the 7mm socket, then pry the center console to remove it. Lift the tabs to get to the HVAC control panel.

A car’s HVAC panel (note the defroster button)

A car’s HVAC panel (note the defroster button)

Since this component lacks the defroster button, you have to replace it. Disconnect this panel and plug the existing harness into the new one.

Step 9: Refit the Panels

Install the components back into the vehicle. Start with the new HVAC control panel, then the center console trims, instrument cluster, and steering column assembly.

Don’t forget the plastic trims that cover the wire from the rear of the Hardtop to the section under the steering column.

Step 10: Replace the Washer Fluid Pump

Before reconnecting the battery, replace the washer fluid pump with its filter and link the new device to the rear windshield wiper.

A windshield washer fluid pump

A windshield washer fluid pump

Step 11: Test the Hardtop Wiring Harness

Reconnect the negative battery terminal, then test the rear wiper and defroster.

Wrap Up

Installing a Jeep’s Hardtop wiring harness is a moderately challenging process that can take any DIYer about 3-4 hours to complete. 

The steps explained above should guide you through the process, and you can contact us if you need these wiring harnesses.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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