Nick Roberts Global Rally Team sponsored by GTR Lighting

nick roberts rally team

Nick Roberts, driver of car #202 – a 2013 Subaru STi Super Production rally car, has been a member of the GTR Lighting sponsorship family since 2012 – the first year Nick entered rally! Nick Roberts Global Rally Team travels the United States competing in the Rally America Championship. He competes against the clock on closed-off sections of real roads that are usually unpaved and unforgiving. (ie. Gravel logging roads, mountain passes, well groomed forest roads) Events can last several days and cover hundreds of miles through rain, snow, day or night. This extreme test of skill, speed and endurance is what makes rally racing the world’s premiere and most exciting motor sport, one that is quickly growing in North America.

nick roberts rally team

Check out this amazing video to get a feel for who Nick Roberts is and what rally events are.

 

Jeep Wrangler JW Speaker 8700 Evo 2 and 6145 Install, Fog Lights and Headlights

We recently came across this product install of the 7″ Round JW Speaker 8700 Evo 2’s and 6145 Fog Lights in a Jeep Wrangler. Keep reading to see how this Wrangler owner did the project.

Re-posted from the Jeep Forum. Write-up and pictures by user Andyjr on www.jeepforum.com.

I ordered my lights from Headlight Revolution and I ordered them as their kit. The kit comes with the anti-flicker harness for the 8700 Evo’2 and the 6145’s come with 2 adapter harnesses. When I call Headlight Revolution I had a couple questions and Anthony was very willing to help me with anything I asked him. When I ordered the lights I was told that the lights were on back-order and should be in the first week of January. Anthony held true to his words and my 6145’s were shipped from his location and the Evo 2’s were drop shipped from JW Speaker. Both arrived at my house on the same day, I was happy about that.

JW Speaker LED Lights for jeep

Since I was pulling the stock lights out I wanted to do a couple things before installing my new lights. First I painted my headlight trim rings black so they wouldn’t stand out on the new black headlight. Next came putting on the horizontal alignment screws that Jeep felt we didn’t need. The alignments screws part # 550781144aa were pretty easy to install and well worth the $5.00.

jeep head light trim rings jeep headlight bracket

The install was very simple and everything was “Plug & Play”. The headlights hooked right up to the anti-flicker harness and then I zip-tied the harness behind the headlight housing. Painting the trim ring looks good against the black headlight compared to the chrome. The only problem I had with the headlight install was dropping one of the little screws and being unable to find it.

JW Speaker LED headlights in jeep 2

The fogs were also a “Plug & Play” install. Ordering the lights from Headlight Revolution made it simple, they installed a plug on the 6145’s before sending them to me. No cutting or splicing the wires and their adapter harnesses make it a clean install.

jeep led fog light harness adaptor
jeep with jw speaker LED headlights and fog lights jw speaker 8700 evo 2 installed in jeep

 

All of these products and the other Jeep Wrangler specific install parts are available from Headlight Revolution here.

2002 – 2006 Dodge Ram 9007 LED Headlight Kit Install Writeup – DIY How To

For a long time it was known that the only way to do a plug and play lighting upgrade on the 2002 – 2006 Dodge Ram was to either use higher power halogen bulbs, or an HID conversion kit with a bunch of extra parts like resistors, a relay harness and capacitors. Because of this every time I heard about someone working on one I would get scared and not even want to help with it – it is an AWFUL install! Now with the invention of LED conversion kit bulbs and CANBUS modules for them, we decided to give this difficult vehicle a shot to see if we could install LED conversion kit bulbs easier in a 2003 Dodge Ram with 9007 headlight bulbs. Doing this install (once wired properly) proved to be a truly plug and play experience with no flickering and no “LAMP OUT” warning on the dash!

Using a GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit and the matching CANBUS module we were able to get LED headlights installed pretty easily!

Using a GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit and the matching CANBUS module we were able to get LED headlights installed pretty easily!

This particular truck was dated September of 2003 and used 9007 bulbs.

The first step was to get the new LED bulbs to actually fit inside the housing! Because the base of the bulb that holds the fan and heat sink is so much larger than the original bulb we had to use a bench grinder and shave about .25 inches off of the gray plastic retaining ring to allow everything to seat correctly. This took a few minutes and just took a little off at a time, tested it and kept doing that until it all fit together nicely.

The LED bulb comes apart. There's the bulb adapter that comes off and is secured to the housing by the gray plastic retaining ring, and the entire bulb assembly. We had to modify the plastic retainer before the new LED bulb would fit in place like the original.

The LED bulb comes apart. There’s the bulb adapter that comes off and is secured to the housing by the gray plastic retaining ring, and the entire bulb assembly. We had to modify the plastic retainer before the new LED bulb would fit in place like the original.

The 9007 LED Headlight Conversion kit bulbs are much larger on the back side than the original 9007 halogen bulbs.

The 9007 LED Headlight Conversion kit bulbs are much larger on the back side than the original 9007 halogen bulbs.

After getting the bulbs to seat properly in the housing we took the GTR Lighting CANBUS module for 9007 out of the packaging and hooked it up straight away and the capacitor inside the module popped! The module actually exploded!! I’m not kidding – a little pop, some wet stuff came out and the little thing stunk to high heaven and smoked for a second. This wasn’t all too surprising though since when you hook a capacitor up backwards it will explode. That’s exactly what happened – the capacitor inside was wired wrong for this truck and exploded. So, after that excitement we took a new set of 9007 CANBUS modules and re-wired them so that everything looked like this:

 

This is how the bulb was installed: The CANBUS module is between the bulb and the vehicle harness.

This is how the bulb was installed: The CANBUS module is between the bulb and the vehicle harness.

This is the connector going from the 9007 LED Headlight into the 9007 CANBUS module. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

This is the connector going from the 9007 LED Headlight into the 9007 CANBUS module. These wires were correct from GTR Lighting.

This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module input. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module input. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module output that plugs into the factory wiring. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module output that plugs into the factory wiring. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

Just for reference sake, here's what the back side of the original factory connector looked like.

Just for reference sake, here’s what the back side of the original factory connector looked like.

 

So, all in all we got it to work after thinking about it and how to re-wire the CANBUS modules, and they’re definitely brighter than the stock headlights. Because they are LED they should be more reliable also.

Here you can see the new GTR Lighting LED bulb in the headlight housing.

Here you can see the new GTR Lighting LED bulb in the headlight housing.

Here's a final install shot showing the new 9007 LED Headlights from GTR Lighting in high beam mode.

Here’s a final install shot showing the new 9007 LED Headlights from GTR Lighting in high beam mode.

How to Remove Radio Interference Using Ferrite Coils for HID and LED Headlights

Many people nowadays are installing aftermarket HID and/or LED conversion kits in their headlights and fog lights. These new conversion kits use an external power booster, called a Ballast for HID setups and a Driver for LED setups. Both of these external power supplies do similar functions, but technically they are quite different. Also, both of these products create RFI (Radio Frequency Interference); in fact every electronic device ever made creates RFI, but there are different types of this electrical interference. Sometimes when installing an LED conversion kit or an HID conversion kit in your vehicle the result can be better, brighter light, but also a side effect of AM or FM radio interference. This is characterized by where you once were able to pick up a radio station, with the new lights installed and turned on, now that same radio station is just white noise.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

Here is an example of a DIY ferrite coil that can be used in lighting installs.

The solution for your problem might be what is called a ferrite coil, also known as a ferrite bead, a ferrite choke, or an RFI choke. All of these names mean the same thing. Ferrite beads prevent interference in two directions: from a device or to a device. A conductive cable such as the input power for the HID or LED headlight bulbs acts as an antenna – if the device produces radio frequency energy, this can be transmitted through the cable, which acts as an unintentional radiator. In this case the bead may be required to reduce RFI. Conversely, if there are other sources of RFI, such as an ignition module or battery charging alternator, the bead prevents the cable from acting as an antenna and receiving interference from these other devices.

Ferrite coils are already used in everyday household uses. You can find them on USB cables, power cords for your television or home stereo, and even on input power cables on your automotive satellite radio:

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

Ferrite coils are commonly used in household electronics to reduce interference signals.

LED Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For an LED Headlight conversion kit you can use a large ferrite coil and wind the input power wires around it, or you can use a small ferrite coil, and just clamp it over the power cable:

LED Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

 

HID Conversion Kits Small Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a smaller ferrite choke around the power input cable of the ballast like this:

HID Conversion Kits Large Ferrite Coil:

For the HID conversion kits you can put a larger ferrite choke around the power input cable where the small wires are exposed. This allows you to wrap the wiring around the choke for a better result. This is how to install the larger ferrite coil:

Sources for Ferrite coils:
Large style designed for looping wires around coil: RND-6 ( Wurtz number 7427151 ) snap on chokes
The inside hole size is 0.57″ (over 1/2″, 14.5 mm)

Small style designed snap onto power input cable: RCT2 RFI Radio Frequency Interference Ferrite Chokes – Black
measures approximately 1.25 x .75 x 75 inches

Custom Hot Rod – 1971 Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Trike Build

Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Three Wheeler Trike

Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Three Wheeler Trike

Everybody has probably seen a Montgomery Ward 3 wheeler, but had no idea it was called a T555 (pronounced Tee Five Fifty Five) and also nicknamed the Trail Master. These things can be found at any antique show, your grandpa’s shed buried under old blankets and sawdust, or on your parent’s home videos from the 70’s. These were produced by Montgomery Ward in Omaha, Nebraska in the early 1970’s and were all built by hand. Only a few are left in operation today and from time to time you can find one that was restored and able to be ridden today.

This is what most of these 3 wheeled death traps look like nowadays.

This is what most of these 3 wheeled death traps look like nowadays.

I got a hold of one of these things, found in an older gentleman’s garage – hadn’t been touched in decades, and I fell in love with it! There was just something about the American nostalgia about it, and the cool shape and design, knowing it was hand-built 40 years ago by Montgomery Ward, I just had to have it – and I had to fix it up! Like most vehicles that I own I can’t just leave them stock, I had to customize it and make it mine.

We started with the frame: Moved the seat back 5 inches, and removed the flange in the middle of the frame in front of the seat. We had the whole thing powdercoated a metallic black, and the front fender and foot-wells were coated in Line-x bed coating for durability. The wheels were also taken apart and powdercoated silver to match some other components on the engine.

Next we had a new seat made out of waterproof vinyl by a local upholstery shop, took the engine apart, powdercoated the cover panels and ordered a bunch of new drivetrain parts. We got all new bearings, new brakes (custom made lines), new twist-throttle handlebar grips, a new brake handle, built a custom battery box for a Vision X battery and built a wildly custom intake an exhaust using a K&N filter, and a custom mini-bike style exhaust muffler. Everything got the presidential treatment! No expense was spared, and the whole project probably cost me about $5K with buying the trike, new parts, powdercoating, custom fabricating, and other labor.

We actually found an updated engine from a 1980’s snowblower to use instead of the original one, but it was still the Tecumseh HM80 used to power this American Made beast! The reason for going with the newer engine was not that the original was worn out, but the new one had less antiquated electronics controlling the ignition and came with a built in electric-start for use with a 110v extension cord! We thought about upgrading to a 10hp engine, but thought we should at least keep the engine original-ish.

On the front of the T555 trike we did all kinds of stuff there too. We found some motorcycle handlebar grips that had a really cool Harley/hot rod look to them, pointed on the ends, and an integrated twist-style throttle. Also, we tossed the original two-handle brake levers and installed a brand new single lever brake handle, with all new brake pads, and all new cables which had to be custom made. Also mounted on the handle bar is a Vision X LED Light bar and a dirt-bike style ignition kill switch.

The original headlight on this thing was a 4.5″ round halogen incandescent lamp that was actually routed through the wiring as part of the ignition circuit. We pulled it off and installed a direct replacement (same brand as the original also) JW Speaker brand 6045 LED headlight. JW Speaker still even had the rubber retaining rings in stock to hold it in place so we were even able to use the stock headlight bucket.

 

The finishing touches on this trike was a set of red LED driving lights mounted to the rear of the truck, activated on the same circuit as the headlight. We used a pair of GTR Lighting 7″ long LED Lightning strips because they are super low profile (don’t really even notice them when off), and they are waterproof, and insanely bright!

GMC Canyon Roof Mounted LED Light Bar

If you have a GMC Canyon or Chevy Colorado, and you want to put a roof-mounted light bar on it you’ve probably found that nobody makes a vehicle specific kit. A friend of mine wanted to add this type of Light Bar setup to his 2007 Canyon and I found a product that actually works really good!

Canyon LED Roof Mount Light Bar

You’ll need these items to make it work (Click the links to see each part):

For this installation we actually installed Nut-Certs into the roof, drilled a hole through the roof for the wiring to go through, and used stainless steel cap bolts from the hardware store. All I wanted to help with was to show pictures that it can be done, show you what size light bar to use, and some pictures to give you an idea of how it all goes together.

We used the Vision X brand XIL-801 Flood Beam LED Light bar, it’s 42″ long and fit perfectly on the roof of this Canyon. We got all of the parts to do this install from Headlight Revolution, so if you want to replicate this install contact Headlight Revolution at this link: HERE.

The difference between Real JW Speaker LED Lights and fakes!

We’ve been hearing reports of people purchasing JW Speaker brand LED fog lights and headlights, from supposedly trustworthy retailers on the internet, only to find out that they were lied to, and what they received was a cheap Chinese knock off! I wanted to take some time to put this comparison together for you to make sure you’re actually getting what you paid for!

In today’s world of modern technology it’s becoming easier and easier for lazy companies around the world to copy somebody else’s innovation. Now, the Wisconsin, USA company J.W. Speaker Corporation is no exception! We recently got our hands on a set of real JW Speaker 6145 lights, and JW Speaker 8700 Evolution headlights and tested them against a counterfeit version to see what the differences are. What we found was not surprising. Afterall, if a product is worth copying in the first place, then somebody out there thought it was a great product and instead of creating their own they were unethical and just copied it.

The lights looked similar in size and shape, but all of the details were missing. The JW Speaker lights had way more light output, they are built with better materials (sealant, wires, connectors, lenses, etc…) and the fit & finish of the JW Speaker brand products was much nicer.

Here are some comparison pictures of the visuals of the JW Speaker products versus their Chinese counterfeit knockoff products to give you an idea of what to look out for when you’re trying to purchase the real thing. Hopefully this posting will help some people out if they are worried about being scammed by a seller.

Especially you should watch out for dishonest sellers trying to sell you the real thing on websites like Amazon, eBay and other international sales platforms on the internet. If you have any doubt, just compare their products to this review and there should be no question if it’s real or not!

 

First, here’s a comparison of the real JW Speaker 6145 LED fog light, and the Chinese knock-off version:

JW Speaker real and fake 15

It’s important to know if you are buying the real deal or someone’s cheap knockoff. Here’s a comparison picture side by side showing the JW Speaker 6145 and it’s terribly performing counterfeit copy.

 

JW Speaker real and fake

All JW Speaker LED fog lights are built using the industry’s best practices, even down to the details like how the lens sealant looks when finished! Not only is it important for the sealant around the lens to look good, but a poorly applied lens sealant will also cause moisture problems.

 

JW Speaker real and fake 2

On the original JW Speaker 6145 you can clearly see the Speaker logo embossed on the fog light bezel. The knockoff is blank.

JW Speaker real and fake 3

All JW Speaker LED headlights and fog lights come with a lifetime warranty, but they also tell you exactly what month and year they were manufactured. Here you can see the real one shows a sticker with the production date listed.

JW Speaker real and fake 4

Real JW Speaker lights do not cut corners, so in this side by side example you can see that the real one uses thick metal construction and high quality hardware components. The cheap Chinese version has thin metal attachments, and low quality components which will give you more issues during install.

 

JW Speaker real and fake 5

JW Speaker LED headlights and fog lights are sealed to IP67 waterproof ratings. This is evident in how the wires are sealed at the back of the housing. The Chinese knockoff of this light does not do a good job of sealing the back side of the housing from moisture.

JW Speaker real and fake 6

With real JW Speaker lights you will never find cut corners on quality even when it comes to the wiring and connectors. Here you can see that not only does the JW Speaker product use the highest quality connectors, but also heavier gauge wires.

JW Speaker 6145 real and fake beam patterns

Here you can see the real JW Speaker LED fog light beam pattern is brighter, taller, wider and has less weird shadows in the beam pattern. The fake light has a very small and un-impressive beam pattern.

 

Now, here’s a comparison of the real JW Speaker 8700 Evolution LED headlight, and the Chinese knock-off version:

 

JW Speaker real and fake 7

This is the JW Speaker 8700 Evolution side by side with a Chinese counterfeit knockoff product that’s supposed to look like the real thing. But trust me, they are very different!

JW Speaker real and fake 8

The back side looks very similar, but it’s the important details that matter such as the type of harness that is used, the moisture vents, and the wiring connections.

JW Speaker real and fake 9

The real JW Speaker headlight uses high quality moisture vents on the back side that are sized properly for the application, where the cheap knockoffs use random over-sized vent covers that will fail over time.

JW Speaker real and fake 10

JW Speaker LED headlights are sealed to an IP67 weatherproof rating, the Chinese knockoffs have no IP rating to speak of. You can see the different wiring methods used by both here and one is safe to use and the other is not. The Chinese version has the wires covered because they don’t want you to see how easy it is to get water into their housing.

JW Speaker real and fake 11

When you knock off a product you need to cut corners everywhere to make it cheaper. Even in the connectors! JW Speaker uses the industry’s best quality H4 style connectors, where the Chinese copy uses a low quality, inexpensive connector that is prone to having crimp and connection issues.

JW Speaker real and fake 12

The JW Speaker 8700 LED headlights are DOT and SAE approved, and it says so right on the lens! The cheap Chinese copy is not DOT, ECE, SAE, or any other 3-letter acronym approved by anyone! Also, JW Speaker LED headlights are made in the USA!

JW Speaker real and fake 13

Real JW Speaker LED headlights are easily recognizable because you can see the company logo stamped right into the bezel of the light. There’s no doubt if you’re getting the real thing here!

JW Speaker real and fake 14

One of the reasons JW Speaker LED headlights are better than cheap copies is they use the best materials in the business, and they do all their own product engineering. It’s not a randomly selected LED, it’s not an off-the-shelf optic, and it’s a custom built power supply. Here you can see that the knockoff headlight uses a tiny high beam projector, and cheap LED chips.

JW Speaker real and fake 16

All JW Speaker LED headlights will have identifying marks on them, including a handwritten inspection label so you know you’re getting the real deal!

JW Speaker real and fake 17

All JW Speaker LED headlights will have identifying marks on them, including a month and year label to indicate time of production, so you know you’re getting the real deal!

JW Speaker 8700 real and fake beam patterns

Here you can see the differences between the high and low beam outputs on the real versus fake headlights. The genuine JW Speaker products have no funny shadows being thrown around, and have a much higher power high beam. The Chinese knockoff lights look like the high beam might be better, but when shining down a road a couple hundred feet, the real American made JW Speaker headlights go about 3 times further down the road!

Hopefully this comparison helps you from getting ripped off in the future when you are trying to get a good quality product. Why waste your money on a cheap knockoff when the real thing is available from reputable dealers like Headlight Revolution, Black Top Racing, and Headlight Superstore!