DIY LED Roof Rack Mounting Option

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expeditionnorth

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LED Roof Rack Mounting DIY Option
I dont have a roof rack & if I did I could never reach it with my disability
I want side illumination off the rig for camping etc with these 4 18W slim LED’s


ok my desire is to add 4 LED's to the factory roof rack channels

this works for my 2004 gmc yukon, not sure if all years are the same or what other vehicles

I discovered through online research that Fastenal Part No. (SKU): 48590 seemed to be the part I needed

so I got 8 of these 4 as spares, bag of 1" fender washers & 3/4" 1/4X20 bolts

these channel nuts are tapped for 1/4X20 thread, which easily handles the weight & load of any small light like this

Parts all gathered:


I decided to have the channel nut on the bottom of course, then a washer, the mounting bracket & then another washer to finish it all off

this keeps everything very tight

I had to put the channel nut down under the outside lip of the factory channel & give a firm downwards push to get it in & you may too

once its seated it looks like this



& a wider view


now if warmer weather ever gets here I'll get these installed & wired up & report back

I'm thinking with some Yankee ingenuity you could use this for other projects off the factory channel
 

Robert OB 33/48

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Hello Mike,

That is nicely done. Think when the wires are put away nice and tight, it will look like a factory build part of the truck.

Show us a bigger picture photo. That would give us a bit more perspective.

I hope you will have plenty of lights now. Maybe even too much.

Greetings from Robert
 
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expeditionnorth

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5663 said:
Hello Mike,

That is nicely done. Think when the wires are put away nice and tight, it will look like a factory build part of the truck.

Show us a bigger picture photo. That would give us a bit more perspective.

I hope you will have plenty of lights now. Maybe even too much.

Greetings from Robert
LOL

I thought about that, this will bring it to 12

but I hate stumbling in the dark more
 

Michael

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Mike, this looks like a great mount! As Robert said - it'll have a factory look.

Thanks for the tip! I'm going to post it as a story!

M
 
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expeditionnorth

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5680 said:
Mike, this looks like a great mount! As Robert said – it’ll have a factory look.

Thanks for the tip! I’m going to post it as a story!

M
Sir, please it in any manner seen fit

hopefully it helps others
 
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expeditionnorth

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a little update on the progress:

It was 24* as I was going to get the youngest at school, the sun was shining so I decided to get the light brackets bolted on


got all the washers & brackets onto the channel nuts, those smaller allen head bolts that secure the bracket to the light body looks like its a PITA


had to struggle to hold myself up, I couldnt get the rear bracket as far back as I wanted, orange lines show where they're at, kind of hard to see ?

so I tightened it down 17" from the rear & will get Jr (son) to move it back further when I see him again, the front ones are 3.5" from the front of the channel
passengers side:

drivers side:


stopped by the hardware store & got 20' of lamp wire, its 18ga double molded, it'll hold the amperage


cant wait to get these operational


my wiring idea is to have 4' of wire across the crossbar, 1' forward for each front light & 3' for each rear light, so the overall wiring will be an H shape when I'm done

also thinking I might get one more light & wire an extra line to the rear for that one to be rear facing,

I'll at least add it now while I'm soldering everything together & I'll just seal it off with some shrink tubing until its needed later on

I cant move now so over the weekend or next week when I can I'll solder all the lights in line as needed, for now I need to rest
 
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expeditionnorth

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Part 3 if you will

OK I cut all my pieces of wire to length & the ends stripped back

This is roughly how everything will be soldered together, with heat shrink tubing to cover all joints


If I do everything properly they will have 3 layers of shrink tubing over them


Then I went over that with a section of ½” shrink tubing for extra measure


& of course I checked all connections prior to soldering to make sure I have continuity & the wires correct


Where all the wires joined on the center H was a challenge they were larger than I expected


Won’t bore you with all the soldering, but here are all the joints soldered & sealed


My H configuration as I need for the roof


Learned by trial & error I needed to fold back over the line that’s running to the dash so it’ll mount properly on the roof, I used small zip ties to help reinforce my work


OK I went to solder on the first light to the 1’ forward facing section when I pulled on the wire to hard, so after I got it all soldered in the light failed to work

So I cut off my work, got out the VOM (volt ohm meter) again & had no voltage to either side of this wire lead, what the heck I thought

So I cut open all that shrink tubing to discover when I was pulling on the 2 rear wires to even them out I broke it off inside the junction where the yellow shrink tubing in the next photo is

So once again I re-solder the wires back on, taped things up some


So here is where I end for the day, I need more shrink tubing & have to run for my daughters bday party, so this will wait till then

Since this wiring is going to be exposed to all sort of elements on top of the roof I want it done right so its better to wait & get the right parts than to do it half fast
 
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expeditionnorth

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so today I got some more pieces together for the fix


& these larger .800” X 6” adhesive pieces as well for the final covering, I hate to be frugal but $15
 
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expeditionnorth

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got all the wires soldered together, heat shrink tubing over them etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgxZoN-zzmc

now for protective wire loom over them & to get my son to get them bolted on for me, & I can finish off the interior wiring at a later date
 
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expeditionnorth

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almost done

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16pyvP5clK4&feature=youtu.be
 
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expeditionnorth

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I had to run my daughter all over for appointments today, she didnt want to go back to school for the last hour & 1/2

so I told her if she helped me get the led's installed she could stay home, its an easy task for an able bodied person

well not all was well... hate to sound like an azz

I got my side on & done , when I look over as she's telling me the wires dont line up WTHELL I thought & then

she had the front in the rear & vice versa, I tell her those need to come off nicely

so in the process of taking them off she loses the lock nuts, cant find them in the mud & muck

now it starts to sleet, freezing rain mixture, the wind picks up & I cant move but have to get it done somehow

so I have to go back on my side & remove one from each light...

go back around to passengers side & install the only 2 good lock nuts & bolts left

they are all on by one bolt which is surprisingly strong until I get Jr (my son) to help me further

so trying to get off the back bumper as she was trying to help me down, my legs are shaking, cant feel either foot, they are numb...

I slipped & took out the HF antenna mount that attaches to the rear wiper arm bracket, so I had her remove that as well

now I'm home & need to go rest, later

L



R

 
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expeditionnorth

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Decided I had to get the remaining bolts & nuts onto these

went to ace hardware where the salesperson insisted they were 10X32 though nothing in that size fit..

left & went over a few doors to fastenal & learned they are M5-.08 so I got a bag (only needed 4 in SS) though the stainless steel ones werent available there



I got them all on by myself & I'm feeling it now... & onto the interior wiring soon
 

Michael

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Mike,

This is a great writeup! Thank you! Looks like your fingers may have gotten cold out there! Those LEDs are very low profile and look factory. Nice job!
 

swankrt

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Well done man! I like this a lot!
 
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expeditionnorth

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Thanks Guys

I'm waiting for warmer weather to run the rest of the interior wiring

need to order a toggle switch, want something nice looking for the interior

also toying around with the idea of maybe moving 2, one to face forward & one rear facing, or maybe angle them all at 45degrees

waiting for spring...
 
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expeditionnorth

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with all my therapy visits lately I havent had time for anything nor felt in the mood

had a little while to run the wire up under the head liner while waiting today...

top of door where it enter rig



so I dug out the handy little tool



got the wire to the fuse panel & wasn't sure which way to go from here



finally decided to tuck it into the dash area, need to find an accessory here



it'll be good to use these soon