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Dome Light Conversion - 97 XJ


NAXJA Forum User
A bit of a problem here. I have an 97 SE with a single standard dome light... it works. I converted my headliner with installed speakers from a 99, maybe 00. I decided I also wanted the lighted visors and dome light with courtesy lights on each side. I did find a 97 harness online with vanity light wiring and bought it. Here's the deal. Light installed and vanities work as designed as does the rear light (also new to my jeep). The courtesy lights on the side of the center dome work when you push the buttons but the middle does not come on at all. Not when opening the door, turning headlight switch, not all all. I have switched out the bulb with others and even the wiring with yet another 97. NOTHING. There's more. With an LED light, it is off with the doors open and when you shut them, it comes on very dimly (shouldn't come on with the doors shut). Original harness had two wires (pink/black) new harness has three (pink/yellow/black). The standard 97 single dome works with all three harnesses I have, but does not fit the headliner I have. Do I need to switch the position of the pink and yellow wire? maybe all three? Any help would be appreciated.
LED lights often have polarity specific, so try rotating the bulb around to reverse the polarity. May solve your issue with the last part. Also, the dome light is switched to the rear cargo light, so you may need the 98+ harness for the rear hatch also and the rear cargo light to ensure they are all working together as designed. Just tossing some ideas out there, but I do know there is a minor difference in the rear hatch harness from the 97 and 98 as I somewhat recently replaced mine with junkyard swaps and ran into similar issues. I would have thought all 97 and up would be the same, but there were some very minor differences in the interior on the 97 that throw you for a loop.
you might have a bad ground point at body. I say this cause your lamp is on when supposed to be off. your ground maybe slightly positive when other things hooked to that ground are turned on. Of the ground point at body is poor, then the ground can become slightly positive, causing a weak illumination of a light. So check that the lamps ground point to body is secure, clean, tight, good contact. you can also test this by taking a nice long wire from the negative battery post to the negative connection at your offending lamp. if connecting the long wire from battery negative post to the lamp causes the lamp to go from a dim glow to totally off, then you will know that you ground was bad.

please update with progress
I figured this out while swapping a 99 head liner into my 94. The connectors are the same for the lights, but the outermost pins of the three pin connector are swapped. I swapped the pins around and everything works great. Now I just have to figure out how to get the new dome light securely mounted.
Correct. That was the fix. The red and the yellow pins needed swapped. Easy enough to re-pin. I actually found an old 97 wiring harness and figured it out. Everything on the jeep works now.