Originally Posted by Mark.spencer.gee
K so my commander doesn't have a sunroof and I installed a 50" light bar near the windshield and built a custom rack and have space to install one. Has anyone done it themselves and have a recommendation on product/tips on the install?
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This was my solution for mounting my 50 inch curved LED Light bar without drilling holes in the roof. However, this installation did not come without some issues.
I have the Oslamp (now Auxbeam) 50" curved LED spot/flood combo light bar. Overall this is a very good light bar, but, there are some issues to overcome to mount it securely - where I wanted to mount it.
The supplied mounting hardware and brackets are inadequate for a 50" curved LED light bar that weighs 16 lbs - at least for the way that I mounted it. Yes you read it right - this light bar weighs 16 lbs which is pretty heavy for a light bar.
I do understand that this light bar is actually designed to be mounted along the top of the front windshield with mounting brackets that typically screw into the door jams - which this light bar does not come with. Even if it did come with them, I wouldn't have used them. I have seen these light bars on other vehicles mounted that way and I absolutely can't stand the way it looks. I wanted my light bar higher up for more light beam throw and out of my line of sight.
Because of the parabolic shape of the light bar, the majority of the weight of the light is towards the highest, most forward point of the curve - or the very center of the light bar. The result is that the light bar always has a natural tendency to vibrate loose and slip downward when you drive at highway speeds.
The splines machined into the brackets and on the splines on the outer housing of the light bar where the brackets mate to, in order to lock it in place, are not very defined. To the contrary, they are rather smooth which really diminishes their ability to hold and lock the light bar in place.
When the light bar slips downward & out of position, the natural tendency/solution is to crank down harder on the bolts that go through the mounting brackets and into the light bar housing - and this is where a problem occurs.
The female threads of the light bar that mounting bolts screw into are aluminum, the mounting bolts themselves are steel. Anybody who knows anything about metal knows that aluminum is a much softer metal than steel. If you crank down too much on the steel mounting bolts, you strip out the aluminum female threads in the light bar. After trying to crank those bolts down a couple of times because the light bar kept slipping/vibrating out of position, I stripped out one of the aluminum female threads in the light bar housing. To make a much longer story a little shorter, I wound up doing several things.
First off, I had to re-tap both ends of the light bar to a larger size and I also drilled about a 1/2 inch further into the light bar (without going all the way through) to create an extra half-inch of female thread. I wound up settling on 3/8 16 as the thread size.
2) I went to a specialty hardware store and bought 3/8 16 aluminum bolts so I have aluminum on aluminum instead of steel on aluminum. An aluminum bolt going into an aluminum female thread is much less likely to strip out.
3) I bought 4 stainless steel star lock washers to replace the cheaper spring lock washers that came with the light. I also increased the size of the mounting bolts at the base of the mounting brackets to 1/4 20 stainless steel bolts with vibration proof nuts.
Lastly, (and probably the most important step) I mounted a piece of pressure treated 2x4 (which I painted black) about 4 inches long underneath the light bar, directly in the center and permanently mounted it to the light bar using GOOP permanent contact adhesive and sealant which creates a permanent but flexible bond between a variety of different surfaces (including metal & wood) and it's also paintable. Underneath the block of 2x4 I cut 2 pieces of flat, black rubber bungie cord to the length of the 2x4 and permanently sealed them to the bottom of the 2x4. As a result, I have rubber making contact with the roof and not the 2x4 and don't have to worry about vibration from the light bar and the 2x4 damaging the paint job/clear coat on the roof.
It was a fair amount of work but it was absolutely necessary in my case. The light bar itself is good quality but it seems that Oslamp (Auxbeam) cut some corners with the supplied mounting brackets and mounting hardware. Oslamp (Auxbeam) should have made the female mounting threads of the light bar out of machined stainless steel vice aluminum if they were really going to do it properly. For one of the pricier light bars on the market, this is one area in particular where they shouldn't have cut corners.
So, there you have it. It may not work for everybody - but I love it.
I have a couple of 1,700 mile road trips back and forth from Virginia to Florida on this mounting job now and I'm happy to report, I've had no issues.