1st gen lightbar help | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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1st gen lightbar help

Hey everyone, ive been looking more into getting a light bar since im going from a somewhat city kind of living to more country, back road living with lots of deer and other animals around. I have a 94 Ex sport without the roof rack and ive had some trouble on finding out how im going to wire it to the inside of the Ex and to the battery from the roof and im not sure if i should get a 40" or a 42" light bar. My Ex is pretty much bone stock with no upgrades or anything on the outside so this will be the first exterior upgrade im doing. I wouldn't be against not doing it on the roof and possibly doing it on the bumper or in the grill but once again not sure what size to get and if its in the grill im not sure how i would re-locate the hood latch. If anyone has ideas or can help me out it would be appreciated. Also if you guys have pics of your application so i could get a visual on how it looks on a 1st gen that would be great. Thanks.

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I'm using a pair of 6" (36 watt) LED bars up front. I installed them on my bumper as it was the easiest place to put them...

[MENTION=3817]BKennedy[/MENTION] & [MENTION=12287]Stic-o[/MENTION] are people I can think of who have done work with lights on the roof recently.


Lots of members have installed LED light bars. I have a 42" curved on the roof with a custom rack I built out of 3/4" EMT conduit. I would suggest you put a shorter combo light bar, 20-24" on the front bumper or in the grille. You would be putting the light closest to the ground, where it works best. My roof rack is a supplement to the bumper lights. You can go through my build thread to see the lights. The roof rack and light bar starts around post 995 http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=387037&page=50.

If you do a search, you will come up with many others who have done bumper or grille mounts. My front lights are mounted to a winch bumper. I know a few have just mounted the light bar to the top of their bumper with the supplied hardware. Wiring is easier under the hood. You can wire the relay activation feed from the high beam wiring so when you are driving down the highway you can turn the light bar off with the high beams for approaching traffic.

I need to add that a LED light bar is not legal for California unless its covered while on the highway. It is not a correctable violation (fix-it ticket), instead it counts as a moving violation. I got my custom made covers from Mrs. Zukman (@zukman). They are one of the favorite things on my Explorer.

well the reason im getting the lights is im actually moving to Oregon and i took a trip up there and decided to drive through the hills and found out that it would be nice on the one lane roads to be able to see at night. Im starting to get away from a 42 inch bar on top and start moving towards having them on the bumper or in the grill for more of a fog light effect since the sport 1st gens didnt really come with them. With the snow and fog and cloudy days i would light to have something a little extra i can turn on when needed and turn off when not needed. My only worry about the grill light is one relocating the hood latch and it blocking some of the flow to the radiator.

The 20" bar I have on the bumper mount is wide angle only I got off eBay for around $70 shipped. It works well for closer in. The 23" bar above that is a OSRAM LED combo and would be great for long distance open road use. Also an ebay purchase for about $100. Really good range for LED's. You should be able to mount one on top of the bumper and it won't interfere with air flow.
I would not recommend a curved light bar as your only light source. My 42" roof light is curved and it does not have nearly as much range as the straight smaller bar with the same LED's. It works great for non-racing off road applications as generally one doesn't need to see what is a mile ahead.

I mostly use the roof and wide angle bars when out in front of a group on a night run. The OSRAM bumper light is too bright for slow stuff and only gets used in open desert or highway applications.

ok well what would you recommend lights wise in general for back road night time driving. i was told my new job is going to be night shift so i need to make sure i can at least not hit anything going to and from work