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Old 10-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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My A-Pillar light brackets

Well, I bought a pair of the Smittybuilt light brackets and a pair of 5" BBL LED lights a little while back and installed them, using my power distribution center I made (another thread). I liked the lights more to the outside to prevent as much hood glare as possible.

I wasn't all that impressed with the brackets as they did not sit level with my Jeep so the lights were slanted which annoyed me and I don't think the looked all that great being a simple piece of stamped steel. I could have made that with some angle iron.

So I set about to design my own brackets that I have been thinking about in my head. I used Solidworks to model it up and tried to keep it simple enough for me to fab up with minimal welding and cutting. I think they turned out pretty good.

1) They sit in a good location, inside the profile of the side mirrors, out a little farther than most brackets to minimize hood glare.

2) They are good and sturdy, made from 1/8" steel plate. I used 1/8" pieces of rubber to make a gasket to protect the paint. The steel I had on hand. I made them large enough my 5" BBL lights which have a largish base. The Smittybuilts base was pretty small.

3) I think they look pretty good and match the factory styling and mirrors pretty well. They also hide the fastening nut so it's only visible from underneath. Aesthetics mainly, but why not make it look decent.

4) I painted them with Eastwood's rust encapsulator flat black. That's some interesting stuff, seems to work really well. Have to see how it holds up over time.

5) They clear the doors at full opening no problem and even the factory antenna without modification (once I straightened it so it actually pointed straight up). The antenna is only about 3/4" in front of it so I suspect at speed it will contact the light a little. If it's too bad I can add a bracket to steady it.

I don't have the cowl back on yet but they are all wired, or I would have taken some front on pics.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:00 PM   #2
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Nice job! People would buy those brackets. I'd like to see a picture head on facing the jeep - if you get the chance.

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Old 10-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
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Great Job! I think you just started a nice little side business!
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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I'll get some pics up head on when I get it buttoned up and have a minute, thanks guys. I did toy with the notion of building them for sale, lol. I only have basic hand tools and power tools so I'm not really set up for it right now.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:49 PM   #5
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I'm really liking that mount. You might even be able to widen the bracket a bit to allow a slim adjustable mirror to be used behind the light. This would allow you to eliminate the OEM mirror and would be a simple solution for when you run without doors.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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Buttoned it back up, full frontal nudity as promised.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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I'll buy a pair of these from you, start the production line here!!
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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Nice brackets..does the doors open all the way without hiting them?.and a mirror mounted to back of the light would be great idea
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RB-10rubicon View Post
Nice brackets..does the doors open all the way without hiting them?.and a mirror mounted to back of the light would be great idea
^^ This is a great idea! Add the mirror to the back!
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
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I haven't tried removing the straps and seeing, but it looks like the mirror would contact the light a little bit past where the strap limit was, so it would prevent cowl dimples, lol.

To be honest, I rarely ever take the doors off so I wouldn't generally need an extra one. However, the bracket (and lights) are almost completely hidden behind the A-pillars from the driver's seat. A mirror located directly on the back would require you to lean out to use it I suspect.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #11
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I thought I'd throw up some comparison pics to stock high beams, and to show hood glare. First pic is stock high beams, second pics are with the BBL lights turned on also. Same spot on the road, taken seconds apart.

First and second pic were taken with my phone in the dash mount, so they are in exactly the same location for comparison. Last one I took it out and took it from the driver's view point to show overall hood glare, which is pretty minimal.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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thats sick! you could even use the normal mounting spot to double up on lights.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #13
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I could do that, but I prefer this location because it minimizes hood glare.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #14
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These are the kinds of ideas that should have the big vendors punching their R&D guys in the head. This is a much better location than the typical windshield mounts both for glare and these allow the light to be pointed down towards the front wheels for better spotting at night. Then add a mirror option on the back and you have solved all kinds of issues.

Nice job!!


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Old 10-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #15
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Thanks, thomm99. I see BBL now has a new and improved 5" light with NINE 10W LEDs in about the same amount of space. They are showing 8100 lumens EACH, lol. That's insane. Got mine ordered to replace these, I may move these to the bumper.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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Brilliant. Now start making them!
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:49 AM   #17
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I just purchased a set of KC brackets for the same location. I'm not impressed with those brackets at all. How did you compensate for the slight angle the brackets sit at? When I mounted the KC's, tt looked like the bracket would be horizontal/flat surface (for the light mount), but once the brackets are mounted, it looks like a 5 or 7 degree slope.

Let me know when you start fabricating them for the public - jot me down for a set! The KC brackets were $40 - just so you have a price point to start off with.

I too am planning to mount the 5" BBL lights in that location...and keeping my Rigid Dually's in the "regular" windshield location.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #18
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My brackets are angled 5 deg or so to compensate for the cant of the A pillar as viewed from the front. So the lights sit level, I am surprised the KCs don't account for that.

I'd love to be able to mass produce them for a good price, and even though they aren't that complicated of a design, it would take me a few hours labor for each pair as I don't really have the equipment for fast and easy production. So unless I can get access to computer confrolled plasma cutter cheaply, I don't expect I could make a go of it.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:23 AM   #19
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I figured they account for it too, but...they don't. The bracket is a piece of flat stock. I had to make some nylon spacers to put through the top screw holes to hold it level...not really happy with that solution, but it is what it is...
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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Well, BBL came out with an upgraded version of these 5" lights. Same exact form factor, but squeezing in 9 LEDs versus the 6 from before. IP68 rated. I know they are made in China, but they use 9 10W Cree LEDs and seem pretty solid. Looks like they may have upgraded the LEDs themselves because they are claiming 8100 lumens for these versus 4X00 for the previous gen. Haven't tried them at night yet, looking forward to seeing what they do. They should be insanely bright.
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #21
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My KC brackets are waiting for a set of those. Hoping BBL is going to have a good Black Friday sale...
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:45 PM   #22
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Good looking dog! and the brackets are cool too
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:08 AM   #23
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Really neat idea OP! We'll done

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