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Building a light bar :)

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by colinb17, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Aug 31, 2010 at 10:48 PM
    #1
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Build thread in sig...
    EDIT: final product with lots of pictures is post #10 on this page


    some day i'll start a legit build thread for the entire truck, but for now it's just going to be a thread about the light bar that i'm building.

    currently i have two lights on my roofrack. I want to get 4 up there, but the problem is that i use the roof rack for other things (bikes, surf boards, shovel). so there is not enough room to put another another set of lights up there. so to fit them, i am going to build a light bar that will hold 4 lights, and extend them a little in front of the existing roof rack bar, so they are out of the way of the other functioning parts of the rack.

    here's a picture of how it's loaded up sometimes, you'll see how it'd be nearly impossible to get 2 more lights up there.
    [​IMG]


    my plans are to build most if not all of it this weekend. i'll take plenty of pictures during the process, but for now all i have are some sketches. this was a very quick sketch when i first had the idea of how to make a rack to clear all nessesary pre-existing parts on my roof. it also has a spot for a set of aux. reverse lights :)
    [​IMG]


    this evening i sat down and sketched out a much more acurate draft of what the final product should look like. took some measurements on the truck and figured out what parts i'll need. total cost (hand pipe bender and materials) should only be about $60 when all is said and done
    I forgot to note it on the drawing, but the bottom part is the front view and the top is the side view
    [​IMG]

    I won't start building this until saturday or sunday, so let me know if you have any comments or suggestions, i still have plenty of time to play around with the design.

    cheers,
    Colin
    :)
     
  2. Aug 31, 2010 at 10:53 PM
    #2
    brettb

    brettb Well-Known Member

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    Can you share some please?
     
  3. Sep 1, 2010 at 7:03 AM
    #3
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Build thread in sig...
    bump for the morning group.

    got a question for yall.....

    for the wires, should i route them internally through the tubing, or zip tie them to the outside. obviously it would look better internaly, but i'm worried about water getting inside through the holes for the wires and rusting the interior of the tubing over time.

    thoughts?
     
  4. Sep 1, 2010 at 7:06 AM
    #4
    Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Well-Known Member

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    How do you get away with passing inspection in VA with working lights on your rack?
     
  5. Sep 1, 2010 at 7:07 AM
    #5
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    silicone around the holes where the wires go in. If you leave them zip tied I would be worried about the wires getting torn and being out in the elements. Looks pretty cool let us know how it goes. That's going to be one bright SOB when you get done with it LOL.
     
  6. Sep 1, 2010 at 7:10 AM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Yeah, I'd like to know that also. The inspection station made me cut the wires and take mine off the truck completely!
     
  7. Sep 1, 2010 at 7:11 AM
    #7
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Build thread in sig...
    i have covers for each set of lights. the inspection rules in VA state that if the lights are fully coverd, or not hooked up to power, they are considdered an "ornament" and are not to be looked at in the inspection....found that out the hard way the first time. here's an old picture with the covers on.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sep 7, 2010 at 8:50 PM
    #8
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    I"M DONE!!!!!

    it took about a day and a half from start to finish.....and by that i mean about 4 hours of design/build time, 2 hours of primer/paint time, 30 minutes of install time, and more beer time than i'd like to talk about.

    i only have the middle two lights hooked up right now, so no night shots yet, but for a little teaser, all 4 on the light rack and the two behind the grill are 55 watt, 5000k HIDs, the heads are 6000k 35w, and the fogs are 5000k 35w.

    time for pictures.......

    these are of the mockup before i painted it, to make sure everything fit right
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    and here it is on the truck, fully painted and lights mounted!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    and then for the rear end.....i have a set of small lights mounted in the bed, but i use the bed a lot, and they get bent and beat up all of the time...plus, they're kind of small. so my solution was to wrap the bar all of the way around the back of the roof and toss my extra set of lights right there.... they will more than light up the bed, and for night wheeling, i can point them up a bit for some killer reverse lights.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    so there it is. it acomplished it's original purpose perfectly (allow me to have all of the lights but still have the ability to have two bike racks and a surfboar rack on the roof). i'll throw a bike or two on the roof in the next few days and take a picture of that. i'll also get some night shots when i have some time to run wires for the other two lights on the roof.

    for those interested, total cost (including a pipe bender and excluding beer) was right around $100. i already had the lights, so i'm not including those in the cost. either way, i figure it's not a bad price at all, and being completely bolted together, i can replace indevidual peices if i ever need to.

    thanks for taking a look! questions & comments welcome :)
     
  9. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM
    #9
    08PRELB

    08PRELB Don't Tread On Me

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    Not goin to lie that's prety frickin sweet good job looks great
     
  10. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:06 PM
    #10
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Build thread in sig...
    thanks!


    yeah, with the lift , thule rack and bike rack i already don't fit in 99% of parking garages...the new light rack only sits about an inch higher than the bike rack, and is even with the cb antenna on the back of the truck.
     
  11. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM
    #11
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    that's sick!!!
     
  12. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:37 PM
    #12
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Build thread in sig...
    thanks blackhawk!



    also, there are a couple pictures in my galery that i didn't add to the post for anyone interested
     
  13. Sep 7, 2010 at 9:46 PM
    #13
    jodiddly33

    jodiddly33 Well-Known Member

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    wanna make me one? :D
     
  14. Sep 7, 2010 at 10:03 PM
    #14
    pm321

    pm321 Well-Known Member

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    Damn that looks really good! Nice job!
     
  15. Sep 8, 2010 at 2:12 PM
    #15
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    just finished rewiring all 4 forward facing lights. before, i was running power directly through the switch, and inly using 16 gauge wire. with halogens, that seemed to work fine, but the 55w HIDs seemed to heat up the switch and wires very quickly. so now i'm running a relay for each pair, and i bumped everything up to 12 guage wire....works great now, and the wires don't change temperature at all.

    I'll post up again tonight with some night shots
     
  16. Oct 18, 2010 at 8:46 PM
    #16
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    what kind of piping did you use? how easy do you think it was to build? and how do you bend the pipe at a angle? like where it bolts to the light hoop..thanks!
     
  17. Oct 18, 2010 at 8:58 PM
    #17
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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  18. Oct 18, 2010 at 9:02 PM
    #18
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    thanks! that was so helpfull..im just wondering about the part were it bolts together..like how you cut the pipe at a angle..or the bars in beetween the lights..how it like tapers at the top and the bottom
     
  19. Oct 18, 2010 at 9:08 PM
    #19
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    ah, gotcha. where the hoop bolts to the main (horizontal) bar, i simply cut it at an angle with a sawzall, and drilled straight down. a hack saw or grinder with a cutoff wheel will do just fine too. the bolt head does not sit perfectly flat on one side, but it's really not noticable once painted. as for the little deviders, as well as where the diagonal support bar connects to the main piece, i cut the correct length, and then finnessed the 32 oz. hammer (beat the crap out of it till it looked good). it's amazing what some persuasion with a ball-peen hammer will do when used correctly ;)
     
  20. Oct 18, 2010 at 9:15 PM
    #20
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    ohh i see..i really want to build something like this..do you think i could mount it without the thule styled racks..like just the light bar
     
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