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Old 02-11-2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Default Roof Rack-Mounted LED Light Bar

I posted about my LED light bar project the other day in the "What did you do to your Sonic today" board and was asked to do a how-to, so here it is. I didn't take any pictures that show exactly how some of the wiring was routed so I'll try to explain it as best as possible while using the pictures I did take.

As I mentioned in my other post I did this all for less than $100. However, I failed to mention that I scored a pretty incredible deal on the Rhino Rack brackets, used a couple coupon codes on the brackets and wiring harness (which I found online), and got a $5 credit back for the light bar since the price dropped the day after I bought mine. But you shouldn't have a problem doing this for well below $150. Here's what you'll need:

MICTUNING 32" Curved LED Light Bar - $55
Wiring Harness with On/Off Switch - $17
Universal Fit Side Brackets - $7
Rhino Rack Aero Work Light Bracket (x2) - $17
2 - 1" nylon spacers (cut to 5/8") - $1

To mount the light, slide the Rhino Rack work light brackets into the channel of your roof rack and tighten the nuts. I spaced mine out as far as I possibly could since the light bar is 32" and the inside clearance once I attached the universal side mounts was damn near exactly 32". In this picture, you should be able to see how I attached the universal brackets to the Rhino Rack ones. Notice the placement of the spacer which gives the back of the light bar enough clearance to adjust it if need be. I will probably end up putting a washer or two on top of the spacer to position the beam downward a bit more.



The wiring was actually fairly simple, until it came time to pass it through the firewall... I'll get to that in a second. For starters, disconnect the battery so you don't kill yourself and attach the black and red terminals of the wiring harness to the appropriate positions on the battery (red to positive, black to negative/ground).



Once you have the terminals connected and the relay (little black box in top right of above photo) positioned properly, there will be two wires that you need to run from the engine bay, through the firewall and into the cabin -- one that you will connect to the light bar and one that has the switch on it. I used a knife to cut a slit in the firewall from the inside since there isn't enough clearance to get at it from the engine bay side.

This is the view from the inside of the wires coming through the firewall...


...and this is a view of the wires going through the firewall from the engine bay.


I poked a hanger-type piece of long metal through the firewall and secured both the wires of the wiring harness to it by looping them around the "hanger" and fastening them with tape. Then I pulled on the "hanger" from the inside -- it took quite a bit of muscling to get both wires through -- until they were both fished safely inside the cabin. The wire that connects to the light bar itself was wired up behind the dash and A pillar then up outside like so:



The great thing about this type of wiring harness is that is has a connector that allows you to disconnect the bar from the wiring harness to remove it without having to undo wrapped electrical tape or whatever. I didn't take a picture of this connector but it too is hidden in the headliner.

The other wire is the one that controls the light bar via a on/off switch. I thought long and hard about where I wanted to mount it so that if I ever removed the bar completely, it wouldn't leave a permanently annoying hole somewhere important. I ended up mounting it in the fuse cover in line below the light control knob.







I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like this so before I even started I did plenty of measuring, comparing and brainstorming about how to bring it all together to make it look as factory as possible. If you have any questions about doing this, feel free to ask and I'll try to help however I can.



Oh yeah, the light is insaaaaaaanely bright so I would advise against using it in traffic. I doubt you'll make any friends.
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Roof Rack-Mounted LED Light Bar

Last edited by AshesToArmor; 02-11-2017 at 08:20 PM. Reason: needed to update photo link
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:55 PM   #2
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What roof rack do you have? Otherwise awesome write up! I can't wait to do something similar myself ( and probably throw one behind the grill )


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Old 02-12-2017, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLonewolf25 View Post
What roof rack do you have? Otherwise awesome write up! I can't wait to do something similar myself ( and probably throw one behind the grill )


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I have the Rhino Rack Vortex 2500 RS. In my opinion it's the best looking rack for the Sonic and there is virtually zero wind noise from it, even with the snowboard rack and light bar. Thanks for the feedback! I thought about putting one behind the grill but have always loved the look of a roof-mounted one.
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○ DDMWorks coil cover
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○ Rally Armor mud flaps
○ TTR lower trans mount
○ Switchback LED front turn signals
○ Rhino Rack
Backup camera
Roof Rack-Mounted LED Light Bar
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:22 AM   #4
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Thanks for the inspiration! When researching, your post was the only one I could find online to install the light bar on the rack like this and document it.
Here's mine....



Used different mounts that they offer.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN2H2O View Post
Thanks for the inspiration! When researching, your post was the only one I could find online to install the light bar on the rack like this and document it.
Here's mine....



Used different mounts that they offer.
Sweet bar, what did you go with?


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Old 01-26-2018, 11:06 PM   #6
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Looks blinding.
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:08 AM   #7
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If I flipped the light switch on a vehicle equipped with these lights here in Illinois, and a LEO observed it; my vehicle would probably be impounded.
Laws here on the books limit lighting output, and lighting not to DOT specs. These lights shown here, in Illinois, are legal for off-road usage only.
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Last edited by Papasonic; 01-27-2018 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papasonic View Post
If I flipped the light switch on a vehicle equipped with these lights here in Illinois, and a LEO observed it; my vehicle would probably be impounded.
Laws here on the books limit lighting output, and lighting not to DOT specs. These lights shown here, in Illinois, are legal for off-road usage only.
pretty much in all 50 states. These type of super bright lights have warning labels for off road use. Not DOT approve.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:05 AM   #9
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It’s a Rough Country light bar and it’s mounted to Rhino-racks also. Rough Country is a popular off-road 4x4 company that makes lift kits, lights, and such for trucks. This model is their 30 inch single row black edition. 12000 lumens/150 Watts. I wanted the single row style for their sleekness when mounted to the aero rack bars. These lights are supposed to be for OFF-ROAD USE ONLY and are not DOT approved. I absolutely acknowledge this and knowingly accept the risk when using them. They are EXTREMELY bright. So bright the low beams on the car seem like a candle in comparison. My justification for installing them is because I work out of town for half the week on night shift in the middle of NOWHERE. There are very few cars out during my commute, but lots of 4 legged critters out and on the move. If I were to have them on around where I live I would absolutely piss off other drivers, and without a doubt get a ticket if spotted. I wired them specifically to minimize this risk. I have them wired to a three way switch which allows me to have them auto on/off with high beams so I don’t forget to turn them off, or fumble with a separate switch and accidentally blind other drivers. Around home I can switch them to manual off so they don’t come on. For special occasions I can switch them to manual on (potentially in a daytime snowstorm for visibility to others). I definitely don’t advise their use in town and would even warn of there use in semi-populated areas. For the empty roads in the boonies at 3am they work great!

My complete install post can be found here...
Installing driving lights/light bars and wiring to high beams
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Last edited by MTN2H2O; 01-27-2018 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN2H2O View Post
Thanks for the inspiration! When researching, your post was the only one I could find online to install the light bar on the rack like this and document it.
Yours is certainly a bit more professional than mine, but I'm glad it at least helped a little! Yours looks great and I love the hi-beam on/off functionality. Here I am fumbling around with both hands...
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○ EFILive BNR Race Tune
○ MPFab intake
○ MTech short shifter
○ DDMWorks shifter bushings
○ DDMWorks coil cover
○ Adaptec 25mm wheel spacers
○ Rally Armor mud flaps
○ TTR lower trans mount
○ Switchback LED front turn signals
○ Rhino Rack
Backup camera
Roof Rack-Mounted LED Light Bar

Last edited by AshesToArmor; 01-29-2018 at 06:42 PM. Reason: mistake
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