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Thread: aftermarket lighting questions
08-04-2010, 10:43 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
aftermarket lighting questions
Hey guys. I got a few questions about aftermarket lighting and which way to go. This is my first NEW vehicle, its a 2010 with about 4200mi so I wanna do it right and NOT damage the rig.
My family has a farm/property about 6 hours away in the middle of NOWHERE WVA. I'm talking back country, mountain roads. Cliffs, deer, animals, fallen trees, random nasty snow storms etc and I visit there a few times a year. Hopefully more with the huge increase in mpg from my Jeep to the Silverado. My truck does not have fogs. My wife is 4'11, and I needed the power seat more so then fogs, and price was a concern. Anyway, the oem lighting is phenominal compared to past vehicles, but I am worried about mountain fog/snow/rain at night with the low beams so high up.
I have a set of Hella 500FFs laying around from my Jeep. I'm trying to figure out the best way of installing these without hacking the truck. So far the best I can come up with is behind the grill, but the plastic tabs at the bottom on the inside of the grill prevent the fogs from sitting level on those 2 brackets with holes in front of the radiator. I thought about making 2 brackets and using the bolts inside the hole in the bumper, but I don't want it rubbing the chrome.
Anyway, I was thinking about maybe making 2 pieces of metal/wood/something to move the lights back just a smidge and get out of the way of the tabs. Has anyone done anything like that? Would some wood laying around from a deck fix (1in thick) hold those lights or is purchasing some steel stock necessary?
My other question is for bulbs. Hella 500FFs use 55watt H3s. I have had 100watt H3s in them for 1.5 years with no ill effects. So, should I just buy some "jap spec" 100 watt YELLOW H3s for imports on the web for $17, or should I do a cheap 3000k H3 HID set up in them? Regardless of bulb, these are ONLY going to be for poor weather back road driving, as fogs are meant for. Maybe for extra lighting in the fields at night. I don't plan on using them every day.
I appologize for the long post (my fingers feel your pain, typed on a cell phone), and really appreciate any responses. I wanna do this right, not hacked. I do have a new switch, fuse circuit, relays, relay holders, 12GA wire etc. All laying around to make a NEW, 12v battery fed, relay operated circuit for these lights.2010 Bowtie Silverado 1500 ECSB LT 5.3L AFM w/ flex fuel
4x4 - NON Z71 - 3.08 final rear - 6spd auto - Towing pckg with tranny cooler, G80 etc
96 Camaro RS-94 camaro t top-91 Firebird Formula-98 camaro z28-93 S10 Blazer 4.3HO 2wd-2000 Grand Prix GT-2003 Silverado 2500HD 6.0L CC LB 4x4 LT
And some POS non GMs..
08-04-2010, 11:39 AM #2
Go with HID's, best purchase i've made, i drive a lot of highway, and they're amazing. If you're not concerned with looks, 4300k gives off the most light on the lumen scale, but gives off the least amount of blue color, looks kind of stock, but whiter. For your fog lights, i would go with 3000k, they're yellow, they really rip through the snow, fog, and rain. The yellow light picks out the road, lines, and everything else on the road. But if you really wanted to use those lights you have, you can make yourself a bracket from sheet metal, and bolt it to where your tow hooks come out on the front.
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08-04-2010, 12:01 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Thank you for the response, I appreciate it. I do not have oem fogs, so that's not an option. The headlights I'm actually happy with.
Using the Hella's down near the hooks seems like a good option, albeit a lot more bracket work than behind the grill. Is there any way to put them where you mentioned WITHOUT loosing the hook functionality? I actually use the tow hooks
I guess what I was trying to get at was:
Is there any way to put these Hella's on without spending a ton of money or hacking the truck up? If so, what's the best spot for fogs
Is there really a $70 difference in HID bulbs vs 100 watt halogens that are only gonna be used in bad weather, period. I don't want 6 more headlights or 10 fogs to look cool. I just want some yellow light to help cut fog/snow if I can do so cleanly.
08-04-2010, 10:26 PM #4
i have those hella 500ff and with a little higher angle than your stock headlights, they would be perfect without even changing the bulbs. mine are mounted on my brush guard but if you can get an "L" bracket you can slide that inbetween the underside of your grill and above your bumper and bolt it on from the inside. just make sure its tight so the lights dont bounce around when in the back woods. at least then you dont have to worry about bolting somewhere on the outside or not being about to use the tow hooks.
i don't know if you would want to mount them by the tow hooks if you really use them, slight snap and you lose your lights...fyi
good luckBush - Battle Creek
2009 Silverado LT - Ext Cab
-All Star Edition 5.3L
-Westin Brush Guard w/ Hella ff500
-Line X Bedliner
08-04-2010, 10:43 PM #5
Have you considered picking up a cheap light bar to mount them on? I remember seeing one by CARR that's actually a license plate bracket with a small bar on top with light mounts for $83. I just searched on bull bars, and found one from KC HiLites for $45. IMO, that might be the easiest solution and provide the most convenient mounting option.
08-05-2010, 04:57 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
I'm not necessarily against a cheap light bar. I think I remembered there being something about them when researching it before. Maybe it was them bolting to the tow hooks? Not real sure. $45 for the KC light bar is do-able.
Edit: KC's website shows $400+ for the bar. Found it for $180 online elsewhere. I'll rig em behind the grill or deal without em for that price. That must have been why I counted it out.
Last edited by Leverlution; 08-05-2010 at 07:52 AM.
08-06-2010, 09:20 AM #7
Sorry about that. I could've sworn I saw one for $85, but that may not have been for your model truck.
08-07-2010, 09:09 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Not a problem at all, I appreciate the suggestion. I think the Ford Ranger one was $83, all the rest were $400+
Yesterday my wife and I went out to just go rig them on our own (both have degree's in automotive tech) but couldn't find anywhere to wire them to. Couldn't find a fog light harness to run a pig tail off of, couldn't find anything in the fuse box used, or un used, that gets 12v, and I am NOT interesting in splicing into the OEM wiring. So I figured I would just run a 12v always on circuit from the battery with a switch in the cab. Couldn't find anyway through the darn firewall that didn't involve cutting a rubber gromet.
Game over :(
08-08-2010, 07:40 PM #9
What's the value of the Hellas? If you can sell them, maybe you could use the money for improved headlights...HIDs?
08-08-2010, 08:03 PM #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Eh, they're like $70 each, 100watt silvania bulbs are like $15 a piece I think. Used, figure maybe $80 total if I'm lucky. That's if you can even find someone who wants 500FFs..there are much better lights out there for the price IMHO.
Even if I did get HIDs, how would that work? The DRLs are lower voltage low beams, HIDs won't like that. Plus the remote flashes the headlights, they won't like that too much either..and it still don't solve my "yellow for snow" issue. :( I know I'm being a picky PITA, but I'm not willing to cut up a good truck, see too much of it at work. Should have made my wife sit on a phone book and got fogs I guess lol. I've never seen a vehicle so hard to wire aftermarket items without doing it "right" before!
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