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Bumper Cutout Light Bar Install Early 1st Gen

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by NickB_01TRD, Dec 29, 2021.

  1. Dec 29, 2021 at 3:42 AM
    #1
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    For anyone that is looking to install a light bar in the front bumper cutout of an early first gen or probably any first gen that has the chrome front bumper here is a thread with some info as I had a hard time coming across much info on the subject.
    End result for a reference to the bumper I'm talking about. (Yeah my bumper plastics look pretty bad, it's on my list)

    20211229_051633.jpg

    With some online help from @Lil Steve for some basic info figured I could go ahead and tackle the majority of this on my own. While it may be possible to do this without pulling the bumper it isn't really too bad to do yourself, it isn't as heavy as it looks.

    Have to pull out 3 bolts/nuts on each side that are pretty easy to access and see for the most part.
    Shown here are pics from Lil Steve
    There is a set of these bolts on each side.
    IMG_20210818_085555170_HDR-XL.jpg
    Draw an outline of the washers positions on these bolts to help when reinstalling things as these holes are pretty big for adjustment.

    Next pic shows the small nuts that are accessed through the wheel wells; one per side.
    IMG_20210818_085535204-XL.jpg

    You can pull out all of the bolts/nuts at one time and the bumper will sit in tabs until you are ready to lift it off. I just grabbed from both sides and lifted off. Not very heavy at all.
    20211228_170400.jpg

    The light bar I used can be found here
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07MCNYXFT?ie=UTF8
    32 inch bar
    I took the front cover off and resealed everything with silicone before install which I always hear is a good idea with cheap light bars.
    As for mounting I used the nuts and bolts that it came with. I measured the width of the black structural bumper and put the middle of the light bar in the middle of that bumper then marked where my holes needed to be. I pretty well knew going into this that I would have to modify the light bar mounting brackets as they were too tall. Some light bars come with short and tall mounts but this one did not.
    20211228_184918.jpg
    After using a punch to indent where I wanted the holes to be and drilling a 4mm pilot hole I drilled the 8mm hole for the supplied bolts. I was able to get my fingers in between the gap in the black bumper to be able to hold the nuts and tighten everything down after using a bit of blue loctite.


    Another option is to use self tapping screws as Lil Steve did here
    IMG_20210818_085348669_HDR-XL.jpg

    It was also reccomended to bend the top side of the bumper cutout up a little bit in a few places in order to help a small bit with light output. Just use an adjustable wrench for this and close it up pretty tight and just bend the upper lip up and go along the middle section of the cutout where the top hangs down the lowest.

    The chrome bumper has little tabs on it by the holes for the big bolts and those will sit in a small slot when you reinstall. This seemed to be the most tricky part of my whole install. I tried to do this on my own and it was kind of a pain so I got some help from my girlfriend and it made things go way more smoothly. Just set the tabs into the slots (which can be a pain because they are only visible from underneath the truck) then it will hold itself there while you line everything up. I used a floor jack under each side one at a time in order to help line things up.

    As far as wiring goes I used a light bar harness I had laying around from a previous project a few years ago so I dont have a link for that but they are pretty easy to find. Wires are pretty easy to route as far as the bar itself. I decided to trigger the light bar relay off of my hi beams. I have an aftermarket headlight harness installed and figured I could use the now unused factory passenger headlight plug to source a switched 12 volt source only on with hi beams but with no bulbs installed this factory harness doesn't work like it should. Ended up pushing the blue relay trigger wire into the terminal for positive hi beam signal in the aftermarket headlight harness the pushing the connector back onto the headlight itself. I plan to revisit this soon as I'm not really a fan of this method although it will in fact work.
    Could also be done with a sepearate switch wired to inside the cab as done by Lil Steve.
    IMG_20210425_172733516-XL.jpg

    Light output from this is fantastic for what it is. No harsh cutoff line like I was worried about. This and the headlight harness and bulb upgrade cost about the same and the light bar was definitely the more worthwhile of the two upgrades. Hope this helps out anyone that is trying to figure out details for a light bar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2024
    JasonC., N84434, Tundra2 and 5 others like this.
  2. Dec 29, 2021 at 8:53 AM
    #2
    Lil Steve

    Lil Steve Living the dream

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    Nice job! Looking forward to some nighttime pics of the lightbar in action. :thumbsup:
     
    NickB_01TRD[OP] and Tundra2 like this.
  3. Feb 11, 2022 at 10:05 AM
    #3
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    Looks like maybe some extra room to go wider than 32”? Any idea how wide you could go?

    we can figure out the passenger side headlight trigger too. It’s ground switched so the common pole is +12v and the high beam serves ground. Just in case that wasn’t already known.
     
    trueblue1981 likes this.
  4. Feb 11, 2022 at 10:36 AM
    #4
    shifty`

    shifty` Kaboom, the Jedi’s back to seismic!

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    No money shots? Man, you had me right up until I finished and realized there was no money shot.
     
    Tundra2 likes this.
  5. Feb 11, 2022 at 10:48 AM
    #5
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    I feel like that bar fits pretty well. Not sure how much wider would make any sense. I need to get a pic up front without the wide angle and it might look a bit better.

    I know how the passenger headlight plug would usually work but it seems to act weird when it has no load on it. I messed with this for quite a while trying different combinations of things and it still wasn't quite right.
    Kinda forgot about it. Figure pictures might not do it much justice but maybe I'm wrong. I'll try and get some this weekend if I have time. It's a pretty significant upgrade for the money.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2022 at 10:57 AM
    #6
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    Could be as simple as extra resistors for the load in parallel with the relay coil.
     
  7. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:19 AM
    #7
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    I remember now what the issue was. Whether I had on low beam or hi beam 2 of the connectors were on (positive) all the time. So the light bar was on with low or hi beam. With factory wires hooked to headlight bulbs it worked fine. When I hook to same connector on aftermarket harness it works perfect. I did run this wire shoved in the connector method on my Tacoma for years and it did work just fine. Feels kinda wrong but if it works then it works I suppose.
     
  8. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:23 AM
    #8
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    It should be ground switched. So yes, the common terminal at fused +12v. The low beam floating (might show as +12v) when high beam is on and vice versa. You’d do 86 on the relay to the common terminal and 85 to the high beam terminal. Sounds like you were grounding 85 to chassis?
     
  9. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:30 AM
    #9
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    I see what you're saying. Run both relay ground and relay trigger to the plug so the ground is also switched with the factory headlight plug?
    This is a prebuilt lighting harness so I'm running with what its got for the most part.
     
  10. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:41 AM
    #10
    daveeasa

    daveeasa FBC Harness Solutions

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    I can hook you up. Can you live without it for a bit? Zip tie the harness to ideal lengths and send to me and I’ll build a better mousetrap.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2022 at 11:44 AM
    #11
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    I'll PM you
     
  12. Feb 11, 2022 at 2:52 PM
    #12
    N84434

    N84434 In the Frozen Tundra

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    Very nice! Take some nighttime pics!
     
  13. Feb 27, 2022 at 9:38 PM
    #13
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    Snapped a quick half ass pic. 20220227_212530.jpg
    Doesn't throw much light to the left and right side which was expected really. Set of ditch lights would probably be the best way to go but I think overall it's pretty good.
     
    JasonC. and DarkMint like this.
  14. Nov 3, 2023 at 2:37 PM
    #14
    Unmbra_SCI

    Unmbra_SCI New Member

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    I got mine in without taking the bumper off! Used an old piece of a water bed from like 15 years ago. Take that wife who says "why do you need to keep all this crap?" Knew it would come in handy some day! :woot:

    Cut it and drilled some holes to make it work as a bracket. Got everything in place and just drilled down into the bumped from above in front of the radiator. Couple self tapping screws and bam! Light bar is in place. Didnt even need to go to the hardware store!

    Here is the light bar I chose. Picked it because its the perfect size for that opening Lets hope its waterproof enough!
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BNC2CMH6?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

    IMG_05432.HEIC.jpg
    IMG_0544.HEIC.jpg
    IMG_0552.HEIC.jpg
    IMG_0542.HEIC.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2023
    shifty` likes this.
  15. Nov 3, 2023 at 3:27 PM
    #15
    shifty`

    shifty` Kaboom, the Jedi’s back to seismic!

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    :amen:
     
  16. Nov 3, 2023 at 4:37 PM
    #16
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD [OP] You don't need less cars, just more driveway.

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    Good on you getting it without the bumper, seems like it needs an extra bracket that way but still not bad.

    For ultimate convenience use the hi beams as your relay trigger then you don't have an extra switch to fiddle with.
     
  17. Nov 3, 2023 at 7:07 PM
    #17
    Unmbra_SCI

    Unmbra_SCI New Member

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    Yeah the extra bracket seemed a lot easier than taking the bumper off to me. I dont know if I will connect it to the high beams or not. I guess either way you gotta turn that shit off when there are others on the road. I also like having the fog lights on because they cast more light to the sides. Might need some ditch lights...
     
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