Homemade lightbar/rack writeup part 1 (picture happy)
Well in short I picked up a 180HD lincoln welder and wanted to fabricate something. I had plenty of 1/8" sheet metal and always wanted a light bar. I figured it would a good project to test out my new welder and beginner fabricating skills. First was the design, I was originally going to use the same method all the other lightbars and roof racks used and make a bracket that will go over the bottom left/right window bracket.
I found some cardboard and started tracing out the new design
After finding out that is would be a major pita to pound out the curves to match the original I decided to just make it a block shape and weld 2 halfs together.
After getting the cardboard to corporate the best I could I traced it out on the sheet metal and used a 4 1/2" cutting wheel to cut it out.
After this it came to me that I could just use this homemade bracket in place of the stock one instead of bolting it on top. I think this will make a cleaner look and because Im using all 6 bolts it wouldnt be a problem. After way too much grinding and test fitting I finally got it to fit atleast close enough so I can start welding. (Left side I can just flip these over and trace them out)
I tried tacking them together a few times freehand but decided to wait tell daylight so I can tape them onto the jeep and lay down a few tacks while they are in place. Because its such a odd shape I just couldnt get them to ever quite fit.
The pointy part will be the only spot I will need to take a hammer to and can easily do that after I start welding.
Next part coming tomarrow, should get it all welded up and will be trying out 1 1/4" electrical conduit for the bars. Because this is going to be part of a roof rack I wanted something strong with very little flex.
My new lincoln
Time for some :cheers2:
Here are the pics of the rack that I made from the same e.m.t. tubing that you plan to use. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/w...ml#post9786097
I built this over the course of about a year with many revisions and modifications before settling on the final design.
Feel free to use it for inspiration. :tea:
P.S. if you want me to get this out of your thread just say the word!
Do you like them there? i think i you would get alot of reflective light in my eyes...i just bought this one which combines 4 light tabs on top of your windshield but is a close fit fab which offers winshield guards...i was/ thinking of even runing a thick wire from the top corners of the windshield to the front corners of my tube fenders to help clear the branches...I'm thinking that the line(pic 2 in red) will just guide the branched to my above windshield light bar and be constantly throwing my day lighters out on alignment...ahghhh!
This one wont have nearly the tubing as yours, I want to try and make it as light weight as possible.
Actually making mine have a overhang so it will come out about 1.5 feet over the hood. Also want to make a ladder like TNT customs, my idea is for making a tent up top. Im glad Im not the first to use EMT, I had no idea it would be strong enough. Good part is I have a bender I use from work so its easy to make angles. The hardest part is going to make it removeable for the softtop, thinking of using exterior sleeves and bolts in some places along with a hing for the rear.
The lights will be just narrow beam, working on a way to make them rotate up or down with a switch, I know a few prerunners that have a setup like that. Im considering the use of like remote control car steering motors for this....or stepper motors
I didn't us a bender because I wanted them to be tight radii. I made wedge cuts on the inside of the bends then welded the cuts after making the curve.
I had originally thought of pivoting the whole thing to use the soft top then decided to use removable cross bars instead.
The hard top will slide right out the back and the soft top will function with everything in tact and cross bars removed.
So far so good! Got the bracket taped to the jeep and was able to tack weld the way it needed to go.
After that I put down a bead on one side and used the vise to bend the pointy part in and tack welded it in place.
Test fitted the bracked and after everything looked good I finished welding the inside with a fat bead and ran a narrow bead down the outside to fill in any gaps.
Grinded the snott out of it to clean up the outside.
Everything looked decent so I found where the holes needed to go, wich was a PITA. I measured the X and Y axis of each hole and then copied it over onto the bracket.
That side is just about done, will do some more grinding to straighten some parts out and then it will be ready for the tubing. I already have the other side cut out, not going to show that side step by step sense it will be the same thing. Im hoping to get that side done tomarrow and maybe even getting the tubing in place!
I really like it so far and as it being my first welding project Im impressed with how everything is coming together.
Time for more :cheers2:
Looks good man! :thumbsup:
Are you using those brackets over the factory piece or in place of them?
Your welds look great for a first or even tenth project :tea:
Thanks man! that means a lot coming from you!
I decided to just use them in place of the stockers. Might glue some rubber tubing under them to prevent vibrations and want to find some grade 8 bolts tomarrow as these seem really light weight. Whats sad is the stocker might even be stronger then mine :shhh: This was more or less just a chance for me to practice fabricating or I would of done something more like yours...
If I get a chance to find a salvaged JK I might pull some off and reweld the tubes straight to them...
I did mostly stick welding in college, mig is SOOO much easier and the auto tinting mask is like iceing on the cake.
One suggestion if I may? When laying out your template next time, allow for corner welds. Align the edges so they don’t overlap, but touch at the inside corners. This will give more welding surface (Stronger) and rounded corners when welded out that will match the lines of the Jeep better.:thumbsup:
^^^^ yup I know what your saying, problem was I changed my mind of having it go over the original after I already cut the metal out so everyting became like 1/4" too big and I didnt feel like grinding for another couple hours. That actually is one of the first things they tell you in welding class to do though :D
Its all good, I made sure it was on a high enough setting as to penetrated to the other side (burned a hole in my boot:mad:). If it was a thicker plate I would of been much more careful.
Nice work man!
I finally got done with the other side bracket...When I was tack welding it together the bottom portion moved in a little and me being lazy I didnt think to check it on the jeep first before I already put a fat bead down.:o Pretty easy fix, I just cut off the small part that got moved over and welded it back. It was near the pointy part where I had to hammer it in and didnt have it welded yet or I would of had to a whole new one bracket. This one was 10x easier then the last as I had a good idea of where to cut and took a lot less grinding to fit well.
You can kinda see it on the top portion near the bottom of the bracket where there is grinding marks out in the middle of nowhere.
The white marks are where the EMT will go, just decided to weld it straight to the bracket with a couple of fat beads on either side.
Im using 2 feet of the EMT to get to where I want the lights to be, it had to be up high enough to clear the middle portion of my softop for when I make the roof rack. I used a thick washer to plug the bottom hole in the EMT and allow a small hole for any moisture to drain.
I picked up some rattle can rustoleum primer and some brush on royal blue rustoleum paint. Wanted to try something besides the same old black everyone seems to like.:rolleyes:
Going to weld it all up, do some finishing sanded to smooth everything out and hopefully get a coat of paint on tomarrow! I cant wait to see what this will look like. :drool:
The galvanized metal won't hold the paint very well without some prep.
I used a phosphoric acid wash to etch and clean the surface on all of the EMT before painting.
I'm not sure if just sanding the surface is enough :dunno:
You can get the acid at most paint stores or home centers.
I should be starting a build thread sometime soon, now that I have some "build" to show.
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