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Fitting 97+ tail light sockets onto MJ housing

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Those of you who are familiar with XJs know already but the rear wiring harness is divided from the fuse box, one side goes along the passengers door sill to the passengers tail light and the other along the drivers side doorsill to the drivers taillight. I was concerned about exhaust heat cooking the passengers side wiring, so I removed a knockout plug on the floor behind the drivers seat and ran both sides together through that hole following the stock MJ wiring route.


When it comes to wiring up the tail lights, the light sockets for the 97+ and MJ are physically different sizes and aren't compatible. So you have 2 options:

   A) sort out the wiring and how to merge the 97+ harness into the MJ tail light wiring harness.

   B) modify the MJ tail light housing to accept the 97+ light sockets.

 Instead of messing with mating the XJ wiring to the MJ wiring, I instead modified the MJ taillight housing to accept the XJ sockets. After this, the only wiring mod needed now is just extend the straight section from the fuse box back to the tail light connectors. Now its just a matter of plugging the harness in.


Tools used: hot knife tool (soldering iron with a tip ground to an edge), Dremel tool, sander, sand paper, superglue, JB Weld.  


Comparing the 2 housings side by side, the socket difference is clear. At this point, take a sharpie marker and make a mark at the 12:00 position so you get them installed in the right direction at the end. 




Using the soldering iron with a sharp edge attachment, cut out the socket bezel from the XJ housing.



Quick hit on the belt sander to clean up the edges. 



Now onto the MJ housing. Dremel away the sockets. Test fit the bezels above to make sure you trimmed enough material away where there is no interference when you go to connect the bulb. Scuff up the area with 60 grit sandpaper so the epoxy has a good adhesion.



I put a small dab of superglue on the bezels just to hold them in place, and once it dried applied a hefty dose of JB Weld around the perimeter. Note: Ensure they are oriented in the right clock direction and you don't have the reverse light in the wrong place.  :))

Let it cure overnight. Next day, put it together and install. Done!


This is a quick project. Maybe 45 mins per tail light to complete.


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