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AlabamaDan

Which Light Bar to Choose and How to Install it?

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Edited by AlabamaDan

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3 hours ago, RainGoat said:

Hawairish, as always, great write up. You clearly are avoiding some other job or project. Seriously though, this should get stickied or put into an electrical thread. I’m going to want to read it again later & others might want to see it too. Can we see if an Admin can fix it.

 

Thanks, Kent!  Frankly, I have too many projects in mind.  Electrical projects tend to exhaust me the most, though.

 

35 minutes ago, AlabamaDan said:

That was a great post.  Thank you.  I like the look of this one and thanks to that you tube video I sorta understand what he's done there.  I like the way it is built to allow wires to go to it later for switches and accessory hot wires.   I wonder how you could put it in a box or something under the hood to protect it from elements.

 

6_Relay_Panel.jpg

 

Thanks, and no problem.  There are actually a lot of enclosures available that can be used for stuff like this.  This particular example consumes a lot of space (I'd put that panel around 8" x 12"), more useful for a trailer or camper.  That Bussman panel is a good overall solution because it uses the mATC fuses, has smaller relays, and all of the connections on the backside include waterproof plugs (the case itself also has a sealing gasket).  

 

32 minutes ago, AlabamaDan said:

I think part of our projects is the fun in building stuff right, whether it is the car or the distribution block?  :)

 

True.  But, in terms of electrical projects, there's nothing fun about later having to troubleshoot shoddy wiring work or otherwise undoing rats nests.

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I've been researching and found a few features that should be reviewed in considering which light bar to choose.

 

4D - Basically 4D means there is a little fish eye lens over the LED beneath the overall cover.  Not only does this lens supposedly improve the performance of the led, but it provides another layer of protection.

 

Moisture Evap Valve - We all want a waterproof light bar, right?  But little is truly "waterproof" so what do you do when some condensation occurs?  Perhaps choosing a light with some evaporation valve helps solve that issue.

 

Wiring - If it comes with wiring, what does the wiring look like?  It is a heavy enough gauge or not.  A nice heavy gauge will help the light be brighter and more reliable.  Are the wires protected from the weather and other condition sufficiently?  What does it look like where the wires inter the housing?  Are the connections solid?  How long are the wires?

 

Metal Finish - Is it anodized, painted, or powder coated.

 

Mounting Brackets - are the mounting brackets good an solid?  Are the screws stainless and of high quality?  Personally I'm looking for something with standard bolt heads and not an allen head screw.  Do the bolts and screws have good deep threads?

 

Water Resistance - I'll say resistance vs proof.  Proof is a big word.  Is it just hot glued or super glued?  Does it have rubber seals?

 

 

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I got these off Amazon for 50$ total they work really well and they seem pretty water proof, I've taking them through a couple of bigger puddles and mud.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BM2XBLS/ref=sspa_mw_detail_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I'll post some pics up in a lil

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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Reviews look alright. I'd want to have a poke at it and make sure it's actually sealed right before mounting it, given the price point, but sometimes the cheap stuff is good. I got some really cheap round lights for a lawn tractor (and as bed lights for a pickup) and those have held up just fine.

The translations on this stuff are always amusing. I get what they were going for with "Strong Penetration," but I'm more confused by the "subversive spot and flood optic system." Then there's the claim that they're "non-padiaton." I assume they meant "non-radiation," given the radioactivity symbol, but why spec that? I mean, they're gluten free, too, but...

 

I bought something a while ago (forgot what) that came with some kind of warranty/review card. The back had a picture of a girl with her hands over her face, palms forward, with "help me" written across them and a five-star rating next to her head. I'm still not entirely sure what they were going for with that. :blink:

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There's some funny stuff in your post man!  At some point you just have to take a chance and hope you can return it, right?

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This is interesting, a fuse relay combo.  What do y'all think about this?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CF7T5SY/ref=psdc_15733511_t3_B075M4PRG2

 

This is it on eBay for less than $2

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-30A-Car-4-Pin-Normally-Open-Contacts-Fused-Relay-On-Off-With-Metal-Bracket/282731994828?hash=item41d423decc:g:aEgAAOSwO2lbdjfL

 

Edited by AlabamaDan

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That Mictuning relay box is slick.  Haven't seen it before.  You'll still need to distribute power in one way or another before the box since there's not a common rail.  But still, get some proper crimpers and wire, and that's clean setup. 

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+1 on that fuse box! I might have to snag one of those.

 

I like the idea of the relays with fuses built in, but with no cover over the fuses, I'd worry about dust or water getting into the relays or screwing up the fuse contacts. I've bought relays with those same clip-together plugs on them (for my overkill trailer light converter) and ended up ditching them and just wired the relays with standard spades. Those plastic plugs took up as much space as the relays did, and seemed like more trouble than they were worth for what I was doing.

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On 9/15/2018 at 12:54 AM, hawairish said:

That Mictuning relay box is slick.  Haven't seen it before.  You'll still need to distribute power in one way or another before the box since there's not a common rail.  But still, get some proper crimpers and wire, and that's clean setup. 

 

Maybe we can use a little strip like the guy int he video did?

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Those little power strips are great for indoor stuff but I don't know that I'd trust them in an engine bay. It wouldn't be that hard to splice six power feeds into one big one inside the box and then run the one big one to the battery.

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Back to shopping for the bar itself.  I've been looking for the amber/white combo.  Some have a remote control to change the color which doesn't seem like something you'd want.  This one however is controlled by turning the switch on and off multiple times.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Curved-42Inch-3024W-OSRAM-LED-Work-Light-Bar-Amber-Flood-Spot-Flash-Truck-Fog-4X/302835017552?hash=item46825fa750:g:IxsAAOSwPxVbaXew

 

I think I've about decided to go with this one.  The choices are so numerous, but so many of them are probably from the same factory in China or wherever.   I think the things I want are curved, amber/white combo, 42".  Worst case scenario I'm out $53 bucks, right?

 

 

 

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The yellow/white switchover method seems unnecessarily fiddly. Let us know how it works, though!
 

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I couldn't pull the trigger last night....  can't decide between straight or curved....  I'm thinking straight might be better match for the roof rack....

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After a lot of deliberation I pulled the trigger and ordered a 42" straight light bar.  I decided that the lines of the truck are more straight than curved, from the hood, to the windshield line, to the roof rack bars, and everything.  It should be here next week and I can begin my installation.

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The translations on this stuff are always amusing.

OMG that’s a funny post!

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