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fjdarrell
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:36 pm

Nice
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:43 pm

Okay, not too much on the HIDs today since I needed to do some epoxying and that will take a while to dry/set. I had to figure something out to waterproof the area between the housing and the HID bowl. Nothing firm would work since there simply isn't room, so I had to resort to something flexible yet durable.

Pictured: Yes, that is what it appears to be.


Some general epoxy later and we have something that's messy and will hopefully hold well. Tomorrow, once it's hardened, I'll see how it holds up and then seal the inner tube to the chrome bowl if it seems to be working well.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:56 pm

While the epoxy was setting up, I decided to go ahead and do some work on the truck. First up, I needed to go ahead and install the new ARB bumper inserts. For anyone that has ever done this, you know it's a PITA! Anyway, got it done and they look so much more straight/ less warped than the old ones. Much better, and thank you ARB for such awesome support.


Next up was a cheap mod I decided to do that anyone with an ARB bumper can do for cheap. The little side marker lights that come in the bumper are useless. The amber doesn't match and they're virtually impossible to change the light bulbs without removing the bumper (widely known design flaw). My solution was to remove them and replace them with something brighter or at least more usable. I found some cheap Pilot lights on Amazon that appeared to have similar dimensions to the hole I was trying to fill and ordered them, along with some PIAA Plasma Ion (yellow) bulbs to go in them. These lights come with an extraordinarily tacky color changing LED backlight in them that was removed immediately upon opening. If you hang out with a bunch of riced-out Civics at your local Cookout restaurant on Friday nights, you might want to keep these, but otherwise...

While the PIAA bulbs won't be used until later, I decided to go ahead and mount the Pilots up. I took some 1/16" thick aluminum angle I already had and fabbed up some brackets that would be easy to remove if ever needed without removing the bumper.

Pictured: Crude bracket that's functional and rust proof at the same time!


You can see the bracket bolts to two existing bolts and provides easy access to the wiring and bulbs in case either need to be adjusted or changed.

Pictured: Rear view of some dirty bumper and a clean new light. The open square on the right is where the HID will mount once complete.


The end result is a new $35 cheap light that actually looks pretty good!
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:05 pm

The Pilots above were the same lights I tested against the HIDs in the light testing several posts back. They actually have decent output for the money. I'm sure the PIAA bulbs will help that even more once installed. Per the bumper inserts, these lights face slightly outwards, so they should have a wide beam.


While I was already working on lights, I went ahead and finally changed the headlights from the stock bulbs to the GE Nighthawk Platinums I picked up a long while back.

Pictured: Driver's side bulb replaced, stock bulb remaining on passenger side


It's hard to tell in the picture, but the new GEs certainly are whiter and appear brighter in the daytime at least. You can also see that the Pilots are pretty bright compared to the headlights. I'm not sure why the driver's side Pilot appears brighter, but it might be my wiring. I'll see if it's actually brighter at night and adjust my wiring if needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:22 pm

that pilot light may be vrighter because it may be at a slightly different angle than the other one...just a little bit of an angle might throw it off...
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:30 pm

You're right, it was aimed a little higher and has now been adjusted down some. Decent output at night on both counts though. The Pilots really do a good job of lighting off to the sides in this configuration. Since the HIDs will drown them out before long, they'll become dedicated yellow fog lights on another OEM switch that I've had sitting on a shelf in the garage for awhile.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:50 pm

You may already know all this but if your retro fit includes a lock washer, they are extremely sensitive. TRS is awesome and I wish I had gone through them when I did my retro fit but decided to go the cheap way and karma got me pretty quick. Went to adjust my headlights and the lock washer exploded in a million pieces. Also, make sure you make all final adjustments to the lights while on the FJ before you seal them up. Otherwise, your lights may end up being FUBAR. Awesome build man and can't wait to see how they turn out.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:09 am

Luckily I won't be using the lock washer for anything, but what kind of adjustments need to be made on the truck? I've got up/down, left/right and rotation all covered in my mounting system, so the only thing that might need adjustment is moving the hotspot and I'll do that when it's on the truck.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:35 am

Sounds like you've got it covered. I would do the up/down and left/right adjustments when they are mounted in the bumper though. I know that will be a pain but it is the only way to make sure they are level and not blinding to other drivers.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:38 am

Nah, they're actually really easy. I've got four spring loaded screws, one in each corner that will make adjustment very easy. A basic screwdriver and two minutes per side should be all it takes. The rotation will be slightly more difficult, but the whole light assembly is designed to rotate on those four screws as well. When I get to that point, I'll post pictures.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:34 pm

Okay, back to the HIDs... As I suspected, epoxy and rubber don't do well, so I took a step back and did some more research. It seems most guys are weatherproofing their housings by using a combination of butyl rubber and aluminum tape. Apparently no one in the HID world does construction because Polyken makes a tape that's a combination of butyl rubber and aluminum tape all in one! I already had some around and taped up the housing. It's not pretty, but I think it'll work wonderfully. Now I've got to weatherproof the bulb area so I'm waiting on some plastic jars I ordered for this purpose. Hopefully they work better than my rubber idea did.

While I'm waiting on those, I'm probably going to start wiring. I've got an extra OEM switch and harness in the garage that I'll probably use, but I've really got to do some thinking on all of my switches and lights and how I went them to work in conjunction with the stock headlights, high beams and parking lights.

My thoughts at this point are as follows:

Pilot lights with PIAA bulbs = Standalone OEM switch as fog lights

Rigid SR bars = Auto-on with high beams with OEM switch to override

HIDs = Auto-on with parking lights with OEM switch to override-- Also, bi-xenon switched to high beams for auto on when high beams are used

Hella 100w driving lights = Auto-on with high beams though I'm thinking about removing these lights and getting rid of them. I'll decide once I see the light output of everything else.
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CarolinaCruiser15
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:13 pm

Looks great Ryan!! Cant wait to see more pics as this evolves.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:42 pm

Okay, picture of the Polyken flashing that seemed to work well. Time will tell I guess.


The next problem is how to seal the bulb at the top from the elements. You can see there's a threaded top cap with a flange that the bulb mounts into. All of this crap needs to be sealed up since I'm thinking water and bulb will mix poorly.

Pictured: What the heck?


These are actually plastic cold cream jars from US Plastics and since they were only 44 cents each, I ordered 10, just in case I royally screwed up and didn't learn from my mistakes. Add a wood bit and I now have holy jars:


I took the lid, and installed it onto the HID housing using the supplied nut and rubber gasket. Seems pretty tight and we know that's good.


With the bulb bracket installed:


On the top side, I used the supplied rubber grommet and inserted it into the main jar's body. In the picture below, you can see a regular bulb beside the HID light with it's grommet.



A little screwing and everything was better! I did make sure to counter-rotate the wires so they weren't twisted inside the jar. Final HID housing pics:

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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:50 pm

I started rewiring all of the lighting over the weekend as well and it's a slow process because I'm anal. Everything inside is wired up and looking incredible since I really spent the time on it. All soldered, heat shrink tubed and using some nice Cat 5E low voltage wiring to keep it looking clean.

I decided I needed to clean up my relays and wiring under the hood and since I'm cheap and couldn't justify the expense of a Spod relay block, I decided to make a simple bracket to house all of my relays next to the stock fuse block. Pictures will be coming once I get them hooked up.

On a side note, I did get the LED bars hooked back up again so I have some extra light if needed on dark country roads between now and the time I get the remaining lights rewired.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:57 pm

Oh my God there are a lot of wires involved with rewiring 10 lights, 5 relays, 3 switches and incorporating stock wiring and signals into it all. Lots of soldering and heat shrink tubing so far and even more to go...
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:35 pm

Lots of wiring, large harness to say the least, but everything worked perfectly which was almost surprising...



Light installed in the bumper. The light is good (considering I've only assembled the one) and I'll finally have night shots once I get the second one built, installed and aimed/adjusted.

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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:44 pm

Well, I finished all the light wiring awhile ago and just haven't updated anything here. Next up are a few different projects. I've got a VSC Off switch, so I'll be wiring that up to defeat all the traction control nannies. I've got another OEM Aux. light switch for a good price along with a light relay. I'll go ahead and wire it up at the same time even if I'm not doing anything with it yet.

I've ordered a few other small parts for upcoming projects too. My CV boots are leaking in general, so I've ordered some new clamps for those. I've also ordered heated seats! Can't wait to install those since I miss a warm butt when it gets cold out.

Another project in the works is to reprogram the steering wheel buttons to do different things. I'm not sure what I want them to do yet, but I'll figure that out as I go. I'll get some pictures as I work on stuff. Hopefully I can start getting some armor for X-mas as well...

Anyway, just a basic update on where the truck is and what's going on.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:22 pm

Holler if you need someone to hand you tools!!
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:13 pm

If beer qualifies as a tool, I might do that! I always have a hard time finding a place to put my beer when working on the interior of the truck, especially after I've removed the center console/cup holders.
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:10 pm

This isn't anything to you guys in the newer FJs, but for the ones with the older trucks that didn't have VSC Off buttons, you'll appreciate this:



After making the switch momentary (Momentary switch how-to) I installed the 'VSC Off' switch! Since I'm a 6MT, I can now spin my front tires during hard cornering/accelerating instead of the engine cutting power and engaging traction control. Now I can have fun and do donuts without having to lock the center diff. I can't wait for snow!!
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:33 pm

Sneak peak: Which buttons don't belong?
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:40 pm

somebody has heated seats...
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:50 pm

Nope, someone just has heated seat buttons installed. More to come over the next few weeks. Surprise present for the wife since she misses heated seats from previous vehicles. I really don't think she'll notice the buttons, but I'll find out!
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:22 pm

well you know what i meant...i knew you hadnt installed them yet except for the switches...lol
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PostSubject: Re: Speedrye build   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:59 pm

Buttons look stock. Great placement.
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