Military Trailer Lights

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by obxbronco, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. obxbronco

    obxbronco Blue Ridge 4x4

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Elkin, NC
    I got a military trailer, it ran off of 24v system, i'm wanting to convert the lights and plug over to a standard 12v. How do i do it?
  2. frankenyoter

    frankenyoter Team Underfunded

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    DARK CITY
    I ran all new wires and installed 12 volt lights for mine
  3. Caver Dave

    Caver Dave Bonjour! Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    The bulbs will swap for 12V versions.
    The rest you'll likely need a meter for...
  4. obxbronco

    obxbronco Blue Ridge 4x4

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Elkin, NC
    will the 24v wires be ok? i'm guessing the 12v bulbs would like 1157 or 1156? it also has an led reverse light on it.
  5. frankenyoter

    frankenyoter Team Underfunded

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    DARK CITY
    I think a wire is a wire but you know what they say about assumptions
  6. GCncsuHD

    GCncsuHD Charlie Daniels with a torque wrench

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Location:
    Salisbury/Statesville
    You could assume that, but the higher voltage systems could use smaller wires to run the same amount of power to lights. The 24v lights would put out the same amount of light at a lower current than the 12v lights at a higher current. Higher current makes more heat, and requires larger gauge wire. But then you could also assume the military went overkill possibly on the wiring and it would be ok at 12v.

    I would say if the trailer light wiring looks to be atleast 16ga then just swap bulbs and the correct connector and run them.

    Worst case, rewiring trailer lights is simple, it's just 4 wires, and then splits off to 3 wires to each side, 2 if you just ground to the chassis of the trailer.
  7. Caver Dave

    Caver Dave Bonjour! Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    No need to assume... the 2 M-416's & multiple M-10x I've seen used fine stranded 14ga & 12ga throughout. Unless you plan to use some KC's for backup lights :rolleyes:, the Milspec wiring harness is MORE than ample for a 12V bulb swap! :D

    The hardest part will be dissecting the military plug to figure out what needs to go where on the (assuming) "U-haul"/RV plug...
  8. Your Hot Dog Guy!

    Your Hot Dog Guy! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    winston-salem,nc
    green = right
    yellow = left
    brown = tail
    white = ground
    that is all you need
  9. GCncsuHD

    GCncsuHD Charlie Daniels with a torque wrench

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Location:
    Salisbury/Statesville
    That's the norm, but did the military suppliers follow that?
  10. a_kelley

    a_kelley Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lake Lure
    That's not all that hard although. Grab a test light and a charged battery and have at it... once you have ground, you have the lights worked out with a paper+pencil, repeat for vehicle harness, but with test light..
  11. obxbronco

    obxbronco Blue Ridge 4x4

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Elkin, NC
    gonna try to mess with it wed.
  12. ord.sgt.26NC

    ord.sgt.26NC Gott mit uns!

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Goldsboro
    my M416 is rewired for my wrangler's flat 4 plug and a more military plug that is on the back of my M38.Just buy thew lights and rewire it.
  13. obxbronco

    obxbronco Blue Ridge 4x4

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Elkin, NC
    ok going to replace lights amd wiring. much much easier.
  14. zukduk

    zukduk Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    VALDESE, N.C.
    I am running these lights on my crawler and the only thing you have to do is change bulbs, have you opened them up and seen how they are put together? Would not be easy to rewire the wires that are there will be fine. The top bulb is your park light the one below that is your brake, the other two lights are for "black out" not needed unless you justwant them to light up.....Mine are on my build thread Zukota check and see if our lights are the same.....Thanxxx
  15. ol'Jeeps

    ol'Jeeps Dirty Jeeps...Done Dirt Cheap!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    Lincolnton-Hickory, NC
    When I adapted my M416 lights to 12v, I did away with the 'blackout' lamps.

    Got a regular 1157 socket from the parts store. Cut a round plate to fit in the existing housing, (removed the 24v guts...3 screws, IIRC). Put the socket in the plate and screwed the plate in the housing with the 3 screws. Ran my own wire harness as there are several more wires for the blackout circuits and the plug was huge! Everything looks correct and they work flawlessly.
  16. Jeepin Jason

    Jeepin Jason Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Location:
    Clayton, N.C. (Riverwood)
    I ran all new wires as the old harness was a bit too short and the plug would have needed to be changed so I just swapped everything over to 4 wire.
    I am on my second or third set off lights now. First I had different bulbs in the stock military housing but that did not pass inspections so I went over to basic square trailer lights. I did not like the look of those plus they tended to be in the way on the trail and at the campsite. I now have some low profile LED's in the back that are only as tall as the frame so they sit nice and low. I added a couple of led side marker lights on the tongue and have not had any problems with them at all.
    My TJ has LED's in for everything but the headlamps so I had already switched over the flasher. If you run LED's on your trailer you will want to get the LED flasher that is only 12 dollars or so at the parts store.
    I could not find a better close up picture....
    [​IMG]

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