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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Working on light upgrades for our Transit.
Swapped out stock headlight bulbs to Hikari Ultras, great upgrade and easy to do. With the stock bulbs couldn't even tell my lights where on when the roads were wet. These I can actually see with.
Other nice thing is the beam pattern in the stock housing has a really sharp cut off. Haven't been flashed even once since the upgrade.
If you consider this you'll get a low bulb error warning for about 4 seconds the first time you switch them on but it goes away until you restart the van. The other option, my choice, is I got Forscan and disabled the warning completely.

Now onto the fun stuff adding aux lighting for those dark dirt roads.
I just finished making the bumper light mount and putting the lights on it last night. 馃榿I was previously using an Amazon Nilight mount but the light bar was too heavy for it and it kept bouncing and I could see it while driving so decided on going with something a little stronger. I machined an aluminum 6061 1/4" L angle mount, solid as a rock. Could probably use it as a step but I don't trust the bumper bolts I used to attach it.
Fogs are Baja Design SAE road legal, which are great as even just driving lights.
Lightbar is a Super Bright Leds 17" Titan multi-mode. Spot/Flood/Both. It's a beast weighs in at 13 pounds which might explain the bouncing with the Nilight bracket.
Switch panel is an Auxbeam.

Now onto the cool wiring. I used one of the empty dash spots to install a DPDT switch from ImpactProducts. So I can have the fogs toggle off when I go to high beams back on with lows. This is to be road legal.
In this mode if I have the light bar enable it will switch them on with the high beam. Second mode is light are on regardless of high/low beam.
I didn't want to have issues with my front license plate being inside the window, ticket-able in CO, so built a bracket to move it to the side of the light mount.

More projects:
I'm building a bracket for a floor mounted dimmer switch, I know some of you will remember those. I'll be able to toggle the lights from there and not have to take my hands off the wheel.
RANT:
I don't know how many time people can't be bothered to turn off their high beams. With this upgrade it going to be REALLY hard to fight the urge to show them just exactly what "HIGH" beams are. It's also so very tempting to mount a rear facing light to encourage the tailgaters to back the 馃が off.
RANT OVER.

Have a 50" Armored Lighting single row bar coming in today that's going on top of the hood.
Also consider install a couple of side/rear facing cubes on top of the hood as well but haven't settle on what's going there just yet.

Now for the glamour shots.

Gadgets

 

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One of my cheap ($15/pair) but adequate Jestar 4k lm LED headlight bulbs just burnt out, I have a pair of 5k lm Fahren ones coming today ($39/pair) and will compare one side by side with the cheapos. Maybe next round I'll spring for the $90 Hikari 6k lm ones.
 

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More projects:
I'm building a bracket for a floor mounted dimmer switch, I know some of you will remember those. I'll be able to toggle the lights from there and not have to take my hands off the wheel.
Hahaaa this is interesting. I hate those old-day dimmer switches, especially when I am driving a stick shift. I have to stick out my left foot out to search the dimmer switch. I prefer the hi/low beam switch on the steering column. I usually drive with just one hand (left), using a finger to toggle the hi/lo beam is much faster. Fingers are far more agile than the foot.

But this is me. YMMV :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.
I was consider a cheaper set of led bulbs but than watched a couple of YouTube reviews and that sold me on Hikari. The pattern is definitely a little different than the stock halogen but I quickly got used to it. On the low beams I like that they have a really defined cut off.
So many people swap out their bulb with leds that have either scatter pattern or just don't aim them right. I didn't want to be that person.
I've been running them for about 3 weeks now, in town, highway and DARK back mountain roads. Haven't been flashed even once so I'm considering them a success.

As for the Baja SAE lights. They definitely fill in the gap with the low beams and they're road legal so no LEO issues. Got to use them the day after I installed them as we had unexpected fog come in. Just wish they weren't so EXPENSIVE.
I have some yellow tint coming in for the Titan just can't decide if I want to do both spot/flood or only part of it. I'm planning on leaving the 50" bar white so a yellow lower bar would give me a little more contrasting illumination.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Hahaaa this is interesting. I hate those old-day dimmer switches, especially when I am driving a stick shift. I have to stick out my left foot out to search the dimmer switch. I prefer the hi/low beam switch on the steering column. I usually drive with just one hand (left), using a finger to toggle the hi/lo beam is much faster. Fingers are far more agile than the foot.

But this is me. YMMV :)
Yep I remember them with standards and you're right they sucked. I just really hate the switch on the ford. Pushing forward I always seem to activate the turn signals. I much prefer the pull back for on.
On the Transit we have this perfect little ramp for our left foot. I'm planning on putting it there. Backing is nothing but a piece of foam so machining an plate for the switch to mount to and will attach that to the foam.
The reasoning behind the foot dimmer is I'll be able to toggle the lightbars without having to hit the over ride button on the Aux panel (red on/off button in the middle) which is a right hand maneuver or having them stuck with high beams only. Kind of considering tinting the lower bar yellow for more fog illumination but being able to easily toggle it without having to take my hands from the wheel.

Talking about standards. How about the full stop hill maneuver with a tailgater boy was that fun. NOT!
 

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Talking about standards. How about the full stop hill maneuver with a tailgater boy was that fun. NOT!
:) I learned driving a manual shift the British way. Driving twisty hilly streets in Hong Kong is the way of life. I don't need the hand brake to start on a steep hill.

To deal with the "tailgater", I purposely roll my car back at them at the light. they will learn fast that don't get too close to me at the next light. Just having fun to make driving a bit more interesting.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #8
:) I learned driving a manual shift the British way. Driving twisty hilly streets in Hong Kong is the way of life. I don't need the hand brake to start on a steep hill.

To deal with the "tailgater", I purposely roll my car back at them at the light. they will learn fast that don't get too close to me at the next light. Just having fun to make driving a bit more interesting.:p
You mean you had enough room to roll back and not hit them? You didn't have So Cal. drivers. If they left you an inch between your bumper and theirs they were being generous that day. 馃槖
I remember going to the Gauntlet in North Hollywood, this was back before you had a body piercing place on ever other corner. I was driving a POS VW bus and had this sports car come up behind me and kept inching forward because he was being an impatient ass. By the time the signal changed I could have sworn his was sitting in my back seat because the only thing I could see in my side mirrors was the edge of his REAR bumper. I really wanted to "roll back" but you just knew that the N.H police would have found me at fault because of course the chick driving the POS had to be in the wrong.
Ah the memories
 

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2017, cargo, 130inch, mr, dbl sliders, 3.2 dsl, 3.31 rear end, used 13.5k mi.
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appreciate tips on improving lighting; the rainy season in near in PNW, Seattle, WA locale. Wet roads really fragment light diminishing safety especially for aging retinas and eyeballs.

Adjunct comment: in my youth, as a policeman in training in Philadelphia, PA, (1970) was taught that if a chick was operating the vehicle involved in any incident that required judgement to assign fault, you could rarely go wrong by blaming the female operator as it was well documented they had inferior abilities. I wish this was not true, but was and hopefully is no more. I changed career choices shortly after the academy training as too similar teaching beliefs were made regarding black residents in the precinct to which I was assigned. Healthcare services where I could feign color-blindness was more to my liking and served me well as I strove to serve others of any gender or color equitably. Will get the brighter lighting sorted this month.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
appreciate tips on improving lighting; the rainy season in near in PNW, Seattle, WA locale. Wet roads really fragment light diminishing safety especially for aging retinas and eyeballs.

Adjunct comment: in my youth, as a policeman in training in Philadelphia, PA, (1970) was taught that if a chick was operating the vehicle involved in any incident that required judgement to assign fault, you could rarely go wrong by blaming the female operator as it was well documented they had inferior abilities. I wish this was not true, but was and hopefully is no more. I changed career choices shortly after the academy training as too similar teaching beliefs were made regarding black residents in the precinct to which I was assigned. Healthcare services where I could feign color-blindness was more to my liking and served me well as I strove to serve others of any gender or color equitably. Will get the brighter lighting sorted this month.
For rain I'd definitely recommend the Baja Design SAE wide fogs. I wish I could have gone with the Sport which are much brighter but those aren't road legal and as much as I opine about drivers with blinding lights I'm not going to be "THAT GAL".

I got to drive with the fogs the day after I installed them and they made a big difference. The Amazon Nilight license plate mount would work just fine for those and it's cheap, only about $20. You will need to drill out one of the slots as the holes don't quite line up with the bumper screws but it's easy enough with a hand drill. You'll also need a couple of longer M6 bolts, Ace Hardware. If you really want to go all out get the steel spacers they carry as well. The stock bolts are recessed into the plastic of the bumper.

If you're not looking for dedicated lights than at the very least I'd recommend upgrading the low beam bulbs to the Hikari Ultra. Those made a huge difference as well just be aware that you'll have a darker zone from the bumper to about 6' out and then the light kicks in. It's not black but just noticeably darker. Probably only because I can now actually see the light from the low beams.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Posted this over on facebook but thought I'd mirror it here as well.

Last nights after work project. Still need to make a couple of tweaks to the mounting plate but the switch is in place. Wiring is next, going to set it up so I can take it out of circuit depending on which mode I'm in. These things could be prone to failure and don't want to be left without light just in case.
Onto my sad news. 50" light bar arrived yesterday. It isn't going to work where I was hoping. Will just have to figure something else out for it. I could fit it on top of the bumper light mount but that wasn't the idea. Will have to wait for the inspiration muse to pay a visit.
I could place it above the rear doors and tint it red. Now that would be one serious brake light. Don't think I'd have too many tailgaters with that.
馃槇
Opps, I think that was the inspiration devil speaking and not the muse but **** is it tempting.

139947
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Light install update.
I went ahead and got a Rough Country 30" black series curved single row light bar and installed it where I was hoping to do the 50" that didn't work out.
The 30" is a perfect fit and actually blends in great with the window. This was Sunday's project and it went on in about an hour.

I posted this over on the Facebook Transit group and received several comments about hood glare, which I know is common with hood installs on trucks/jeeps. Well happy to report absolutely no hood glare at all. I didn't think it'd be an issue with the steep angle our hoods are at but I did have plan "B" ready just in case, black matte vinyl wrap. Happy to say that it wasn't need and super pleased with the install. Had her up to 75mph on the freeway and no whistle either. Actually have more noise from my mirrors than from the light bar.

Can't post video but here are some pics of the install. If you want to see the video it's up on the Facebook Group.

 
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Nice install..is the 30" bar strictly an off road addition or street legal?..thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Off road, afaik no one makes a street legal light bar.
My lower Baja Design fogs are SAE, street legal, where half again as much as the off road version with half the light output but those I plan to use on road so suffered the pocket book pain and bought them.
Also wired those in road mode to turn off when high beams are on. On road you're only allowed 4 lights at once and our transits run low and high bulbs when on high beam.






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Kinda thought off road only..Good to know about number of lights...Just wondering if my DRL's aftermarket are considered "more than 4"...good thing I put them on a switch. Not as bright as the Baja...I might just substitute the BAJA for the little DRL's that throw little light...the DRL's just allow the vehicle to be seen..thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would say yes the DRL count towards the four, if they are seperate lights like it sounds, but you'd need to read the vehicle code for your state to be sure.
Pretty much every aux light on Amazon isn't road legal even if they claim to be. I had to look at over 100 different fog lights but the Baja were one of the very few that I found that were and you're definitely are going to pay a premium for them. The Rough Country 30" light bar easily puts out 3X the light and cost a third less than the Baja's.
 
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