How to Replace Your Light Bar Mounting Bracket
Prior to installing a light bar mounting bracket or light bar, make sure that it's legal for you to do so under your local and state laws. The light bar and mounting bracket manufacturers aren't responsible for any legal issues that might result in the installation of such products to your automobile. You should also invest in a liquid thread locket locker tube to ensure that your mounting bolts don't end up loosening over time due to the vibration of your jeep, SUV, or light truck.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
What You'll Need
- LED light bar
- Mounting bracket
- Tape measure
- Marking pencil
- Mounting bolts
Step 1: Before you can install your light bar or worry about the wiring that powers it up, you need to have a mount prepared for it first. In particular, you must deal with stud mounting. If you have a smaller bar, it's likely that it's located under your bumper or within your vehicle grill.
Step 2: Use your tape measure, marking pencil, and drill to get the right size of light bar mounting bracket installed unto your vehicle. You should avoid attaching your stud to plastic parts of your ride even if they appear solid because the vehicular vibration will crack the plastic around the stud hole.
Step 3: If you wish to install end brackets instead, you should attach them to the housing's end studs and place the light bar in its final position with the help of assistants. This will help you position them properly on your jeep or truck. Use your free hands to make accurate marks with your pencil for drilling purposes.
Step 4: When making a single hole, use three drill bit sizes. Use, for example, a -inch drill bit to make the pilot hole then enlarge it with a drill bit that's midway the size between the pilot bit and the final bit size. The final hole should be the size of the mounting bolts themselves.
Step 5: Don't place channel brackets that are more than ¼ the length of the light bar in from either housing end. If the surface for mounting has reinforced areas, then try to place your brackets on these parts of the surface to reduce vibration and increase stability.
Step 6: Use LED light mounting clamps to mount your lights if you already have a roll bar, particularly when mounting smaller light bars. This allows three-dimensional aiming for your lights.
Step 7: There are light bars that require minimal mounting and drilling. These OE-standard light bars only require usage of existing chassis or body holes on your jeep or truck.
Step 8: Finally, make sure that you're mounting the light bar housing's rear at an area with good ventilation and isn't near a heat source so as to avoid damage from high temperatures. LEDs should be ensured coolness so they'd have a longer operation life.
At any rate, mounting brackets differ according to the size and manufacturer of your (LED) light bar. Smaller 4- to 12-inch light bars have one or more threaded studs at its housing bottom. Meanwhile, longer light bars have studs on each end that fit right-angle brackets held by bolts and/or screws to the chassis. There are also light bars that have channel mounts that allow flexibility in positioning (you can just slide them into the housing channel).