Been wanting to post this little project, but didn't want my father to stumble onto it before he opened it today. Below are the steps I took in converting this 1979 CJ7 grill into a decor piece for our game room.

I started with a factory grill from a jeep that was being sent for scrap.
View attachment 179512

I pulled the headlights by removing the screw from the bezel located at 6 o'clock. Next, remove the three screws that hold the bracket to the bulb and remove the bulbs.
View attachment 179515

Drilled five 5/16" holes is a star pattern in the back of the glass headlights. Ended up breaking one trying to force a dull bit and had to replace it. Be extremely careful and patient drilling through the glass it takes time and lots of bits.

Below are the bits I used on the glass:
View attachment 179517

Holes drilled:
View attachment 179519

My screw up...
View attachment 179520

Next, I pulled the turn signals by removing the two screws on each. I drilled four 3/16" holes in the back around the factory bulbs .
View attachment 179521

I used battery operated wide angle LED christmas lights (warm white and amber) to allow the lit look without blinding everyone in the room.

Test fitting the lights into the turn signals:
View attachment 179522

Headlights testing:
View attachment 179524

The lights I used were slightly larger than 3/16" so I ended up wrapping each with electrical tape to get a tight fit and used clear silicone to get a nice seal.
View attachment 179525
View attachment 179526

I originally planned to place two bulbs in each hole I drilled for the headlight, but one was enough to light the housings evenly. I did; however, place two bulbs in the top hole. You could drill 3/16" in the headlights to save some time and it would work just as well as what I did.

Wiring for the headlights:

I drilled holes along the top edge and zip-tied the wires inside the grill out of sight. The turn signal wires run along the bottom inside of the grill, which are also zip-tied.

All finished:

Lights off:

Lights on:

Fun little surprise project. If anyone has questions about the process I took in the retrofit feel free to ask away!

Pictures from Christmas Morning! Enjoy!



  • IMG_3320.jpg
    96 KB · Views: 90
Last edited:
Top Bottom