How to install a Royalty Core Light Bar Truck Grille

Lots of people see these new grill replacements for their trucks for sale and on cool truck builds but they don’t really have a good understanding of the logistics of how to install them. You either don’t know at all and won’t buy the product due to uncertainty, or you buy it without thinking how it works and regret it because you can’t figure it out.

There’s a new video out explaining a lot of information about these steel mesh aftermarket grilles for trucks and how to do the install. Here’s the video detailing how to install a Royalty Core grille replacement on a Toyota Tundra using Vision X LED offroad light bars:

The first and most important thing most truck enthusiasts probably don’t know is that you have to cut out the center section of your original grille first, in order to install the new one. On some vehicles that middle section will just pop out and there’s no cutting involved, but most of the time you’re not that lucky!

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

Once you have the original grille removed and the center section cut out, if you do it properly the new aftermarket steel mesh grille should fit in place. To hold it in place the new grille should come with some type of mounting mechanism. The Royalty Core grilles come with a bolt and anchor type attachment that works really well:

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

When you get the new grille insert in place then it’s time to install the light bars. Most of the time they will come packaged separately and it’s up to the installer to mount the lights. This is good because the lights add a lot of weight to the product and can make the grille hard to handle.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world's brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world’s brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

When the light bars are mounted and aligned to the grille you can re-attach the truck grille to the truck. Now that the grille is heavier than it was at first it’s a good idea to get some help!

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

With the new grille mounted to the truck and secured using all the factory mounting points it’s time to run power wires to the light bars. The best way to do this is to start with a universal relay harness, wire it to the battery and to a switch inside the vehicle, then safely through the firewall and up onto the hood and finally connected to the new light bars.

Drilling a hole in the dash and mounting a switch; passing wires through the firewall; connecting power wires to the battery; and running power wires up onto the hood all require a fair amount of skilled installation ability. If you don’t understand already how to wire in a relay harness either hire a professional to do it or research the safe methods and learn how to do it yourself. Just be warned that this is definitely considered custom electrical wiring installation.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

The way the install was done on this particular truck grille was to use a set of GTR Lighting LED Halo style in-dash switches. These are some of the nicest looking switches around and fit in most spots on the dash.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

At the top of this post there’s a video to show all of this information in more detail. It’s about 20 minutes long but really goes in depth on the ins and outs of this type of install. Before you decide which grille to purchase, and if you can handle the job yourself check it out. Or click here to watch the video now.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

How to install an LED light bar on the roof of my truck?

If you are like most off-road and truck enthusiasts, one of the things you’re probably REALLY interested in is installing LED lighting. This whole market of upgraded lighting has exploded in the last 2 years and everyone is very eager to get their truck’s upgraded as soon as possible! One thing that has become a trend though in the last few months is redneck style roof mounting… You’ve probably seen it done where you live and heck, maybe you’ve done it yourself.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I hate the look, but I can’t blame some people! They buy a 50″ light bar for their truck and it comes with brackets – so you mount it on your truck, right? I believe the secret to successful lighting upgrades is education, so I’m going to show you the right way and the wrong way to install a roof mount light bar on your truck, the biggest trick is getting a hold of a vehicle specific roof mount kit. If you installed your light bar like this, then you did it wrong:

THE WRONG WAY:

When you use the “universal” brackets that come with the light bar and just mount them to the top of your roof skin it LOOKS STUPID! Don’t do it! These “universal” brackets are a cheap way to mount your light bar, and then guess what happens – your truck looks cheap!

Listen, I don’t mean to belittle your manhood because you didn’t know any better, but now you don’t have any excuse. Let me show you the proper way to mount a light bar to your truck, it’s important to find a good vehicle specific light bar bracket kit, or fabricate something that works the same way, the end result should be something like this:

THE RIGHT WAY:

GMC Canyon Roof Light Bar Canyon LED Roof Mount Light BarOn this Canyon, a set of N-Fab roof mount light bar brackets were used for the install. The first thing you’ll notice is that it looks better than the first set of pictures. Getting the light bar up and off of the roof makes the whole setup look great. Secondly it allows you to position the light bar in a more usable way. Getting the light bar up and away from the roof allows the light bar to not be blocked by the roof skin right in front of it.

Here’s another example on another vehicle of how to properly mount an LED Light bar on the roof of your truck:

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar

XPI light bar has two sets of holes on each side that both bolt on the mounting feet. Since we’re doing a roof mount, we got to choose which hole to use and decided on the top one. That brought the Light Bar closer to the roof.

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

 

photo 2 (1)Probably the best way to find out which vehicle specific light bar bracket to use is to first contact Headlight Revolution. They know what works and what doesn’t and can definitely get you set up with not only a light bar bracket, but also the right mounting and wiring components to make it all work.

 

Wiring: When you get the light bar properly mounted to your roof, and all the holes are sealed to become waterproof, it’s time to run your wiring. DO NOT just run the wiring loosely through the door jam.  The best way to do this is to drill a new hole in your roof near your roof mount brackets and run the wiring down directly into the cab of the truck. This is the best method because it is the shortest distance for the wire to travel, and it has the least chance of getting smashed in your door jamb.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

 

However, if you’re really not sure how to do the install, you should either be prepared to drill holes in your roof as a learning experience, or hire a local professional install shop to do it for you.

If you need any help with what bracket kit you need for you truck, just ask!

Installing the JW Speaker 6145 LED Fog Lights in the Dodge Charger

We recently came across this write-up about installing the JW Speaker 6145 LED Fog lights in a Dodge Charger. We’ve loved the 6145 lights in the Jeep Wrangler and are excited to see them being used in other vehicles like the Charger.

Installing new LED fog lights in the 2011-2014 Dodge Charger is actually pretty simple. All you need to do is take off the fascia and install the JW Speaker 6145 lights. The 6145 is a direct replacement to the stock Charger fog light housing. The only thing you’ll run into with the 2011-2014 Charger is that the new LED housing will have to be spliced in to the existing wiring unless you use the Headlight Revolution adapter wires. As you can see in the pictures, the original bulb and the new housing have different connectors. However, a new kit has been released from Headlight Revolution to make the JW Speaker 6145 fog lights totally plug and play in the 2011-2014 Charger! The kit comes with two lights in either black or chrome and comes with the correct adapter harnesses to make the plug and play connection.

The results of upgrading to LED are impressive! Not only will you get a better color, but a stronger 1,080 raw lumens from each side with a beautiful cutoff line.

 

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger 6

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger2

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger 5

 

led fog light install in the dodge charger

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger 3

Installing LED Fog lights in Dodge charger 8

Pictures by user White Ops R/T at Modern Mopar Muscle Forum at http://www.LxForums.com If you need any help removing your Charger front fascia, this forum and user have some great resources to help you out.

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.