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How To: Mount a 42" curved LED light bar to your KJ


This is a discussion on How To: Mount a 42" curved LED light bar to your KJ within the How To forums, part of the Jeep Liberty - KJ (02 to 07) category!
Hey everyone! With some help/ideas from jeeplib05 I wanted to show you what exactly it took to get my 42" ...

In this section it explains how to do installations and modifications.


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Old 12-02-2016, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How To: Mount a 42" curved LED light bar to your KJ

Hey everyone! With some help/ideas from jeeplib05 I wanted to show you what exactly it took to get my 42" curved LED light bar mounted just above the top of my windshield. I am not a mechanic, I am not a professional, but sometimes I can figure stuff out.

Tools Required:
Philips head screwdriver
Drill with 3/16 or smaller bit
Allen Key (Most light bars come with one to tighten bolt that goes through the mount into the light bar)
Tape Measure
Marker
Loctite


Parts Required:

99-06 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 52" curved light bar mounts by OMotor (Yes 52" is correct for the mounts but the KJ will only fit a 42" curved bar) - $20.99
Auxbeam 42" 5D Curved LED Lightbar 240w - $129.99
1/4" width 1/2" length sheet metal screws (Quantity 6) I went to my local fastenal and they had these in packs of 3 for ~$2.50


About the light bar and why I purchased this specific one.
Light bars range in price from less than $100 all the way up and over $1000. If you have the cash and want a top of the line bar Rigid Industries seems to be the go to company. If you're spending less than $400-500 you'll notice all of the light bars from Amazon to Ebay look nearly identical. I believe they are all produced over sees (China) by a handful of factories unbranded. Then Auxbeam, Autofeel, Eyourlife, RigidHorse, etc slaps their logo on it and calls it a day. Not trusting Amazon reviews I waited until I spoke with someone who actually owned a bar and got their thoughts on it. jeeplib05 was that someone, but don't go blaming him/me if you get a dud. Auxbeam does have their own site they sell from but the prices were better on Amazon, with Prime I don't have to pay shipping, and I trust Amazon's customer service to help me out if I have any issues within the first year (length of warranty from nearly all the cheaper light bar sellers).


1) Where to put the mounts
I measured 0.5" back from the top of the windshield top weatherstripping, held up the gmc mount and marked the holes with my marker. I then drilled 3 pilot holes ~1/4" deep.

The gmc mounts come with a "gasket" that sticks to the side of the mount that goes against the vehicle. You don't need to worry about leaks because this is drilled into the rail and not the roof itself. I still put it on as sort of a spacer.

Use 3 of the sheet metal screws per mount. I put loctite on them and hand tightened them with a philips screw driver.

That it's for the mounts.



Now to add the light bar itself to the mounts. There is one bolt that goes through the mount into the light bar itself. This bolt came with my light bar (one for each side). The bolt itself is slightly too long with the GMC mounts so I used the rubber gasket that is supposed to be used with the mounts that come with the bar and stuck it between the gmc mount and the light bar. You can see this in the pic below



I will be replacing this rubber with something stiffer. Since it is so soft you need to really crank the bolts down for the bar to not tilt up/down by itself. I will update this post once I take care of this on my next day off.

What about wiring it up?
This light bar came with a wiring harness, 40amp relay, 30 watt inline fuse, and a switch with an led that is red while off and green while on. The red led stays on even if you turn your car off but it draws such a minuscule amount of power you don't need to worry about it. I tucked the wire from the bar into the gap between the a pillar and windshield. You can see this in the picture above. You can probably pull out the cowl and tuck the wire under it and go into the engine compartment but I just went over the cowl and under the hood for now. I will be running running the wiring for the switch through the firewall on my next day off. Right now I just run the switch wire out of the drivers side cowl and through the door jam temporarily. See pics below.


[IMG]blob:https://imgur.com/d0ff79e0-af7b-42bd-bcd4-d3b4a3cc20fa[/IMG]

The wiring is 14-16awg. I left it on for a bit and none of the wires got warm to the touch. This bar claims to draw 240w@12v which is 20 amps. I will be upgrading the wiring to 10 or 12awg wire with a cooler looking switch

Additional Pictures:






Why the tape over the cooling fins?

The tape is a temporary fix to what I can only describe as an EVIL sound! While doing research before purchasing a light bar I would see people complaining about their light bar "whistling". No big deal I thought it's probably just the wind hitting the flat front surface of the bar. Oh boy was I wrong. This is exactly what it sounded like every time I went over 40mph.
Light bar "Whistle" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSvjCxJCa4w


Apparently the wind going under the bar causes these fins to act like the devils harmonica. At night here it's between 30 - 45 degrees so my light bar is always cold so I'm not worried about overheating the LED drivers. I will be removing the tape and placing some silicon between the fins to prevent it from over heating come spring/summer.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Here is a quick gif of me turning the light bar on for the first time. Headlights are off, only the bar is on. This is before I adjusted the tilt on it. I will take more pics/vids after work tonight and upload them.

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Old 12-02-2016, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Your mounts look a little different than mine, also I wouldn't trust those screws holding that on when you go 70+ mph especially being 1/2" long and barely through any metal
Threadlocker should be used on threads not just put behind a screw head and hope it stays
I would get longer bolts, mine are probably 1.5" long (came with the lightbar)
Not trying to talk down on your result because it looks fine but it would worry me greatly that it would fly off and that'd be the last thing you would want happen
Told you you'd like their brand of light bars, they're crazy bright and built strong for the price
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by jeeplib05 View Post
Your mounts look a little different than mine, also I wouldn't trust those screws holding that on when you go 70+ mph especially being 1/2" long and barely through any metal
Threadlocker should be used on threads not just put behind a screw head and hope it stays
I would get longer bolts, mine are probably 1.5" long (came with the lightbar)
Not trying to talk down on your result because it looks fine but it would worry me greatly that it would fly off and that'd be the last thing you would want happen
Told you you'd like their brand of light bars, they're crazy bright and built strong for the price
I was yanking and tugging. There is probably 3 to 4 thick threads into the metal with loctite on the threads. You might see it behind the heads because I prob used too much. If I notice they loosen up which I check every time I drive somewhere I will redrill the holes deeper and use the provided hardware.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Myke

Thanks heap for all your information finally installed it today and happy with the installation. I went with 12G x 35MM metal screws and its really secure
Attached Images
File Type: jpg front led.jpg (97.7 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg led1.jpg (96.9 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg side led.jpg (97.9 KB, 114 views)
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MarkKJ Cherokee View Post
Myke

Thanks heap for all your information finally installed it today and happy with the installation. I went with 12G x 35MM metal screws and its really secure
May I ask, how did you run the wiring?
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Very easy
There's a sideways gutter looking piece on either side of the windshield and the wire from the light bar fits right into it
Then run it under the cowl to your wiring harness in the engine bay
Done! Completely hidden and no drilling needed
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Old 01-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I like. where in NJ are you.
wondering if you couldn't lower it to the roof line a bit more with some re-engineering of those bracket holes for the light itself.

MarkKJ: what's make of the bar you used?
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Not sure who on this thread is in NJ but mine is as close as you would get/want it to the windshield
Don't know what brand he used but the OP and I used Auxbeam lighting because their stuff is built very well and for a good price
If you get one make sure it has 5D lenses, that's the best you can get
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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OP is from NJ. or at least his jeep's inspection sticker is.
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