In Bumper LED Lights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by khyros, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. khyros

    khyros Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Crewcab FX4
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    Location:
    Michigan
    Posts:
    122
    Likes Received:
    72
    Garage Profiles:
    1
    I figured I'd post this up here since I haven't actually seen anyone do this yet. Inspired by the SEMA rendering, I decided I wanted to put LEDs in the small slits in the bumper. I'm still not 100% sure why those are there anyways, my guess would be for some air flow during snow ingestion. In any case, I was prepared to give up that air flow to fill the space, but as it turns out, I still have plenty of air flow remaining.

    I started this journey hoping I could slide something in from the front and have it be an easy-peasy add on, so I got the smallest LED bar I could find, measuring in at 1'' tall and 7'' long. Well, it turns out that the clearance is only 7/8'', so I had to go in from the back, and the hole through the insert is about 3/4''... So I had to tear out the insert. That was far from easy, though I don't think I did it the most straight forward way possible. There are 2 bolts and a locking tab that hold it in place. Removing the lower part of the bumper (4 10mm bolts, 5 push pins, and 8 hard-to-disengage clips) easily reveals the locking tab, and provides "access" to the inboard bolt. On my FX4, I had to remove the skid plate (4 15mm bolts) to gain access to the outboard bolt. Take the outboard bolt (10mm) out first. I HIGHLY recommend using an open box wrench for the inboard bolt. For some reason, my 10mm wrenches all seemed to wander off, so I was left using some flat reversible ratcheting gear wrench, you know the kind that if you put it on one way it ratchets tight, and the other way, it ratchets loose... And I managed to get my wrench stuck on the bolt - there's not quite enough clearance between the bumper and the bolt to get the bolt completely off, thus the recommendation for the open wrench (at least then you can maximize the space for the bolt). I spent over an hour messing with the J clip and prying the bolt before I finally got it off. The other side only took like 5 minutes to pry it and get it angled correctly since it didn't have a wrench in the way.

    Once the insert was out, there's a ton more space in the cut out. Which is good because I was not satisfied with the performance the 7'' LED provided. It just didn't seem like it provided a ton of additional lighting, and while it looked cool on the truck, I actually wanted a functional light - I do quite a bit of late night driving in sparsely populated areas (unless we're counting wild life), and want to make use of better lighting.

    l2RMhFs.jpg
    7'' LED placed in the bumper.

    Ublt7cU.jpg
    Trial of 7'' LED with the headlights on.

    QE1iD8L.jpg
    Trial with 7'' LED (just the left one). Just the LED on.


    But with the knowledge that I had more space to work with, I turned my attention back to amazon and ended up picking up a pair of these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FXCHDFG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    They are 10'', which is a bit longer than the opening (which is around 9''), and are 1.2'' tall, but that means that the light portion is about 1''. Overall, it is just about perfect for a recessed mounting.

    With the skid plate off still, and the inserts removed, I couldn't find anything to use to attach the LED brackets to, so I decided to just try out JB Weld. So after test fitting it, I found the best orientation was to remove the bolt and JB weld the bracket directly to the backside of the bumper. I swapped the orientation of the outboard bracket, such that it was longer but didn't protrude forward as much, sanded the surfaces to rough up for a better JB bond, and then gently placed them and held the first one in place for about twenty minutes of so... before my hand started to numb and there was no indication of the JB hardening. Soo... I scrounged around my garage for something to hold the lights in place, and came across the flexible reusable twist tie type things my mother in law bought me for Christmas a couple years ago (which work great on electrical cords btw). I managed to wrap two around either edge, behind the light and then out through the slit in the bumper to hold the light in position with pressure. Turns out these were the perfect tool for the job, as it also allowed me to adjust both lights and stand back and make sure they're symmetrical. And it held them in place not only while it dried, but overnight while it hardened.

    The result:
    P2vQg7z.jpg
    Finished product with 10'' LED bar - the camera struggles with the light, it's not actually that bright/tall looking IRL.

    B5XWI66.jpg
    Finished product with 10'' LED - daytime picture, which is much more representative of how it looks at night too, the camera can just handle the light a bit better during the day.

    9iP4zIa.jpg
    Finished product with 10'' LED turned off. Well, mostly finished, the twist ties are still holding it in place.

    kniK8H6.jpg
    Finished product with 10'' LED - Just the LED turned on.
     
    Shavlik, ebFX4, Nicolas50 and 6 others like this.
  2. Snorebaby

    Snorebaby Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Doug
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Ranger XLT FX4 SuperCrew, 1996 Ranger XLT Supercab, 2013 XLT F150 (Wife's), 1990 Honda Goldwing, 2015 Honda Goldwing
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    Posts:
    147
    Likes Received:
    162
    Garage Profiles:
    1
    Excellent writeup! :clap: I have been thinking about doing the same thing. Time has not been on my side lately.
     
    khyros likes this.
  3. ebFX4

    ebFX4 Active Member

    First Name:
    Eber
    Vehicle(s):
    Ford Ranger FX4 - 5G
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2019
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts:
    38
    Likes Received:
    15
    Looks awesome @khyros - great writeup.

    I was considering filling that slot with a light as well. Appreciate you doing the homework for us on what fits and how. Kudos on the install.
     
    khyros likes this.
  4. OffroadAlliance

    Diamond Sponsor


    First Name:
    Chris
    Vehicle(s):
    2019 Ranger, 2018 Raptor, 2018 Tacoma TRD Pro
    Joined:
    May 19, 2019
    Location:
    Brockton, MA
    Posts:
    20
    Likes Received:
    9
    Nice write up! Rigid offers a pair of 6" SAE compliant fog lights. Those would like nice in there and being SAE compliant would ensure you're not blinding oncoming traffic. We sell a ton of the Rigid SAE cubes. Great light output.


    vFwP4Fr.jpg
     

Share This Page