Introducing the brand new Trail Rocker from Painless, allowing you to control up to eight accessories on your JK Jeep! The heart of this kit is enclosed in the weatherproof housing that surrounds the power center with eight fuses and relays. Controlling it, are five prewired switches mounted in our custom dash panel for a clean factory installed look inside your Jeep. The power center then provides you with all the necessary weatherproof connectors and wiring to connect to your Jeep accessories ranging from lights to air lockers. Easily installed with our detailed instructions and plug-n-play design. Provided are 5 switches pre-wired to control 6 accesories with ease! Also included are two extra Output Wires that are easily wired into one of the 5 existing switches giving you control of up to 8 total accesories.
There are four Trail Rocker kits available from Painless Performance. Three of the kits (PWP57000, PWP57001, and PWP57002) come with a pre-configured switch panel that "Fits Automatic transmissions only" and a fourth kit (PWP57005) that "Fits Manual or Automatic transmissions". Exactly what I needed for my 2012 Rubicon with manual transmission. I also purchased an A-pillar switch pod and four Carling rocker switches from another supplier.
While waiting for warmer weather outside, I had the opportunity to read and re-read the Trail Rocker manual several times. The instructions are very detailed, with one or more pictures for every step. Altogether, the Trail Rocker kit appeared to include everything I needed. I was looking forward to a painless install.
Everything was going great until step 11A directed me to remove the horn. The photo showed the horn positioned between the brake-fluid reservoir and the driver-side fender. Imagine my surprise when there was no horn to be found. The manual showed that removing the horn was necessary to access the firewall pass-through. When I checked the firewall, I found the preferred opening is completely blocked by an aluminum fitting with a line connected to the brake-fluid reservoir… the clutch hydraulic assist.
There is a smaller opening in the firewall about six-inches above and slightly left of the intended pass-through. I pulled the rubber plug covering the opening and found that it was partially blocked by a metal body panel just inside. A check of the Wrangler forums found descriptions and photos of this opening used for similar purposes. (If you have a hard top with a rear-window washer, this opening is used for the washer tubing.) The switch wiring would likely fit, but the attached female half of the terminal plug would not.
Using steel fish tape, I found the opening came through the firewall between the dash end panel and the dash support. I bought a terminal tool to disassemble the plug and pulled my wiring through. Since I was using ignition power for my switches, I had to adjust the wiring harness under the hood to get enough slack to reach the steering column (another six inches of length to compensate for the alternate routing would have been great).
I picked up the instructions at step 14A and installed the supplied grommet at the firewall. (Due to the smaller diameter of the opening, cut a wedge-shaped piece out of the grommet about 3/8-inch wide at the O.D.) Inside, I followed step 1C thru 17C with little trouble. (In step 6C, the blue locking mechanism is not keyed or otherwise locked, you just have to tease it out of the plug.)
The Trail Rocker and mounting bracket are well thought out and well made, and the wiring to and from the relays are wrapped in separate wire looms and thoroughly marked. The kit comes with a package of accessories/parts like Adel clamps, terminals, firewall grommet, shrink tubing, zip ties, extra fuses, etc. Once installed, the Trail Rocker performs flawlessly. I installed a LED lightbar and brought my winch controls inside.
I would have rated the Trail Rocker five stars if the install was truly painless, and if Painless Tech Support had not admitted that they knew about the clutch-assist fitting blocking the preferred firewall pass-through, and that the instruction manual only addresses installs with automatic transmissions. If you have a manual transmission AND hard top with rear window washer, you are left with drilling a hole in the firewall.
Does this work with the alpine KAC-001 External Accessory Control Module for Select Dash Systems?
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The Trail Rocker 57005 Jeep JK unit is a complete separate stand alone system. Here is a picture of it mounted in the engine bay of a Jeep JK (mounting kit included). It’s a very heavy duty unit and you can see the robust red power lead and safety fuse leading into the unit. You do have to add the switches or one of switch kit options from Painless, but everything else is included. There is value to having stand alone system that is not tied into the stereo regardless if the stereo head unit is stolen or dies. The Alpine KAC-001 external accessory control module that links to a Alpine Touch Screen receiver is nice also. You control the accessories through the touch screen. The way I see it is that these are 2 completely stand alone systems that can control 8 accessory items. You will need to buy the separate relays and some wiring for the Alpine unit. It is rated for low output accessories. Hope this helps.
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