Grand Cherokee [“ZJ”] Project
Click on boxes below to view different phases of the build.
212-2 bulb (x5), 194 bulb (x2), 168 bulb (x2) from SuperbrightLEDs.com or another online source.
*will vary by year, make, and model*
-Plastic pry tool (can be purchased as part of a dash removal kit) or similar tool
-Needle nose pliers
-Shop towel and/or masking tape
1-2 hours of time
STEP 1 - Research Bulbs: Each vehicle is going to be a little bit different. I ended up using the owner’s manual and SuperBrightLEDS.com to find the right bulbs. There are a number of different websites you can use to find and buy bulbs. For this project, I wanted to upgrade all 4 interior map lights, the two front courtesy lights, the real cargo light, and the two license plate lights in the back. The owner’s manual called for 4 map lights with the part number 212-2, 1 rear cargo light also with the 212-2 bulb, 2 courtesy lights with the 168 bulb, and 2 rear license plate lights also with the 168 bulb. However, when you go online, you’ll find that some of the bulbs part numbers have been upgraded since 1994. We ended up needing a total of 5 -- 212-2 bulbs (or 4410-CW8 bulbs), 2 -- 194 bulbs, and 2 -- 168 bulbs (or 67-CW12-G). Of course, you can get more carried away with the project and replace the glove box light, ash tray light, and more underneath the shifter cluster if you so choose, but we decided just the main lights would be enough.
STEP 2 - Buy bulbs/find tools: After researching and buying the bulbs you need, you’ll need to find or buy a few tools to get the job done. One of the most important things is to have some kind of plastic pry tool. We used part of a dash removal tool kit that included a big long plastic piece for prying. You can buy these online or find them at any hardware store. You may be able to use something you can find at home, but use caution as you will be prying brittle, old plastic with the tool. Needle nose pliers and a Philips screwdriver are also necessary. After that you are ready for the install.
STEP 3 - Install Map Lights (x4): Use the pick tool to pry the plastic lenses off the overhead console. You are best off prying from the inside half of the lens. Use some decent force but be careful not to break the delicate and brittle plastic. With some effort the cover should come loose and you are able to pull it out. Using your needle nose pliers, give the old bulb a good pull. The bulb will come loose and if it’s anything like ours, they will be extremely old and dusty. Simply pop the new LED in place and make sure the bulb is secured in the holder. Test the light to make sure it works and then replace the plastic cover by popping it back into place. Continue with the same process working your way back through the vehicle. The rear map lights also use the same 212-2/4410 bulbs. You will notice a drastic difference between the old halogen bulbs and the new LEDS.
STEP 4 - Install Rear Cargo Light (x1): Moving back to the cargo area, use your pick tool to remove the large plastic lens. We found this one to be the most difficult because of the way the bottom clips hold everything in. Once you get the old bulb out, replace it with your last 212-2/4410 bulb and give it a test. Pop the cover back on. This concludes the map lights and cargo area portion and you should be able to notice a drastic difference when the doors or tailgate are open.
STEP 5 - Install Courtesy Lights (x2): Next up you want to move back up front to replace the door courtesy lights. You’ll want to do this step quickly and/or hold the door button closed while you work. The lights get hot to the touch within seconds of being on. You may find it helpful to use a glove, a towel, or even some tape to twist out the old bulb. The bulb comes out with a quarter-turn and is replaced by a 168 (67) bulb on each side.
STEP 6 - Install License Plate Lights (x2): The light covers come off with a screwdriver and pop right out. The bulbs come out easily and are replaced with the 194 bulb. While you’re in here, make sure to clean the dust out of the light covers. For some reason, ours were chock full of dirt from being out on the trail and most of the left cover was completely covered. When you’re done, give everything a test and then reassemble the covers.
STEP 7 - Enjoy your brighter bulbs: After this project, you now have an updated and modern look in terms of interior and license plate lights. The cool white LEDS have a clean, clear and bright feel to them – which is much better than the old warm and yellow hue we had before. Only time will tell how long these bulbs last and how much energy is saved when out camping. Overall this is a very cheap, easy, and quick upgrade that looks great in any vehicle, especially older Jeeps like mine. Plan on spending about $50-$75 bucks to upgrade all of the main interior lights. The entire project will take an hour or two.