Q. What is an sPOD anyway??
an overhead switch pod that mounts to the windshield frame, providing a central
location for the switches needed to run many of the accessories such as lights,
compressor, etc. that we like to add to our rigs.
When purchased with the wiring harness, it simplifies the process of connecting all of the switches to relays needed to run our accessories.
Where can I get an sPOD? Here: http://www.4x4spod.com/
Many of the photos below
shown detail of the various pieces and parts removed.
Showing them helps to understand how they attach and may simplify the removal of them.
Steps below show installation on a 2004 TJ. These steps are valid for 2003-2006 TJs. 1997-2002 models are slightlyt different in the way they attach to the windsheild frame
get started. I removed all the parts from the package,
laid them out and verified that everything was here.
Here's a close-up
of the switch pod unit. I chose the 6 switch
I'm in the early stages of
outfitting my Rubicon and only need one switch
We start the install by removing the plastic trim piece that covers the windshield frame between the hard top clips. Sometimes the metal clips stay in the slot, as shown here, rather than come out with the plastic trim piece.
To remove the plastic header trim, simply pull on it a little at a time across the length of it so it comes out evenly
|The trim piece
is held on by four of these little
metal clips, two on each side.
|If any of the clips remain in the slots, remove them and store with the plastic trim piece. This photo shows the two clips removed|
|Here's a close up of the clip. They have sharp teeth that "grip" the plastic trim to hold it in place.|
|I clipped mine
back on to the trim piece
to ensure they wouldn't get lost.
|Here's a close up of the tab that the clip bites in to.|
|The sPOD windshield header takes the place of the plastic trim piece we just removed. Insert these nut plate clips in to the 4 slots.|
|Both clips on the left side are now installed|
|The sPOD is then attached to the new header|
Here's a side by side comparison of the plastic trim and the sPOD's new header.
This is the bottom.
|Top side comparison.|
|One of the mounting holes seen here. A screw goes through this hole and in to the clip we inserted in to the windshield frame earlier. The slot next to the first switch is where the pin for the sun visor rests.|
Next step is to fish the wire harness down behind the passenger side windshield trim trim. I tried using aluminum foil to wrap the wire harness in order to make it easier, but it didn't work as well as I had hoped.
Tucked under the foil is the wires and connectors that link the wire harness to the terminal strip under the hood. Wrapping it up it some fashion really is a necessity.
The instructions recommended wrapping the wires with tape, I didn't use tape because I didn't want to deal with the time consuming hassle of removing it.
I removed the sun visor and the screws securing the trim and pulled the trim back away from the windshield frame. This made it easier to manipulate the wire behind the trim piece.
It's difficult to totally remove the windshield trim because there is a small plastic clip that holds the rubber windshield gasket to the top of the trim piece.
|This is at the top of the windshield frame where the harness exits from behind the trim, just below the hard top clamp.|
|Next I routed the airline down behind the windshield trim. Note that the sun visor has been removed. I also removed the screws the hold the A pillar trim in place to simplify routing the air line behind the trim.|
|This photo shows
the air line. I snaked the it out from
behind the windshield trim and down behind the dash.
After I routed
the air line and wire harness,
This photo shows the two screws
Air line comes from behind the trim and is routed behind the sPOD's header panel.
I'd recommend routing the air line through the firewall to it's final routing and connection location, connecting it to your onboard air system, securing the line under the hood to keep it out of harm's way, then securing any excess air line under the dash OR cutting off the excess once you know the length needed to reach the air gauge. You can remove any excess air line at the air gauge end before connecting it to the gauge, but not at the end the end that connects to your OBA system under the hood.
|Next task is to drill a hole in the firewall to route the wire harness through to the engine bay. The heater blower blocks access to much of the ideal area for a hole location, so chose a location that works best for your needs. This is the passenger foot well area.|
Before drilling my hole, I picked a location that would be easily accessible to route other wiring when the need arises - wiring for an auxiliary fuse panel, CB wiring, etc.
I picked a location that was easily accessible from the inside as well as under the hood.
Over the years of installing electrical doo-dads in a vehicle, I've found that sometimes the needs dictate stuffing a wire through the fire wall from the inside out, other times I needed to start from the outside and stuff the wire in. This is why I chose to drill the hole low in the firewall, so I had easy, unobstructed access to it from the inside.
I removed the battery to see where the wiring would come through.
Based on what I saw under the hood, my preference would have been to get the hole up higher, but inside access would be limited since the heater blower would partially be in the way.
NOTE: If you remove the battery, remove it before mounting the terminal strip, otherwise removal will be difficult because the terminal strip bracket gets in the way.
During other electrical mods I discovered the battery can be removed with the terminal strip in place if you pop the main electrical center/fuse panel out of its bracket and pull it up out of the way and rotate it sideways.
If you use the optional relay bracket, which mounts to the terminal strip, removal of the battery will be virtually impossible unless you remove the relay bracket and move the electrical center as described above.
Why all this talk about removing the battery? I find it easier to route wires through firewall, cover the wires with split loom, tie the new wires in place with cable ties, etc., if the battery is out of the way.
Here's the hole.
I cleaned up the edges with a dremel tool and used some touch-up paint to cover the bare metal.
|I installed a grommet, then wrapped the wire harness in some split loom. The harness already had a wrapping of nylon sheathing, but I wanted split loom for further protection and as an area to route other "through the firewall" wires.|
|Here's the terminal strip with cover installed. Ignore the red wire behind the terminal strip, it's for a yet to be installed accessory. All of the wiring goes in and out of the terminal strip cover on the left side as pictured here.|
This photo shows the relay bracket installed with 4 relays mounted to it
Red and white wires along the bottom row of terminal strip are relay ground and signal wires: white = ground, red = switch signal to relay from the sPOD
|Cover installed with relay bracket. Wiring hidden in split loom|
Several color options are available for lighting in the switches. I chose 4 green and 2 red lights.
The sPOD can be ordered with different style switches than the ones I chose. It can also be ordered without the air gauge.
Once I install more accessories, I will label the switches. Currently the only accessory is the on-board air compressor, which is connected to the switch to the right of the air gauge, switch #4.
|Several months after installing the sPOD, I upgraded the sPOD system with SOURCE. See the install here|
|A few weeks after installking the sPOD, I installed a Rockhard4x4 sport cage. Here are several photos shown with Rockhard4x4 sport cage and sPOD.|