Driving Lights (Under Construction)

As of April 21, 2006

This is a beginning photo guide.  I'm planning on making one with some drawings to help with the parts fabrication.
I have added a few shots of the second one I produced before painting and cleanup work to help out.  No dimensional drawings yet...sorry.

This was all typed in a hurry, late at night to respond to some members emails so bear with me.

Next week I have to (get to) take the bike, trailer and wife on a business trip to Savannah and I've been busy getting the Michelins on and the trailer wheel bearings packed, etc. before I go.  I will try to get the photo guide put together when I get back and I'll post it on the boards so you can see when it is ready.  I'll see what I can do this weekend.

In the mean time, let me give you the plain and simple of it and I've added a few adhoc snapshots of an unpainted assembly for your viewing pleasure.
You can see a couple of general views in the Jacking and Lower Fairing guides.

I hate it when lights on bikes and other vehicles bounce as they go down the road so I wanted something very rigid and very close to the fairing.  I also did not want ANY mods or drilled holes in the fairings anywhere.  I'm also a cheap-ass and I love to make things work well, that were free or recycled from junk bits I have laying around.  You can use whatever you want...I did.
This is mainly an under fairing mounting bar with two steel angle brackets to hold the bar and mount it to the fairing lower mounts.
First the brackets.  They needed to be longer than normal angle iron would be and I didn't want huge steel thickness in the brackets, plus I didn't want standard galvanized pre-drilled brackets because I think they are weak at the holes that aren't used.  Plus they look like galvanized brackets, but I guess they might work ok.
Doing some zen through my junkpile, I found what I was looking for:  Bedrail.

Long on one side and strong while still thin.  The long side would be fitted and drilled to fit inside the lower fairing bracket.  I cut slices about an inch wide with my 4.5" HF grinder with cutoff wheel.  Two pieces, one for each side of the bar and fairing.

Next the barstock to hold the lights... no zen this time so it's off to Ace.

I also took the lower front fairing bolts out and took them to the hardware store and found some metric allen head bolts that were 1/2" longer than the originals.  I also got metric cap nuts to fit and a few washers.   All stainless.

Here is a first look at the mounting  and a view of the longer bolt placed back in the fairing mount.

If you follow the rusty line, you can see the bracket going up behind the fairing and bolted to the fairing bracket to the longer bolt.
Notice that the bracket never touches the fairing.  I'll explain why later.

I put the new bolts back into the fairing and tightened them down to the existing threaded fairing brackets with the extra 1/2" thread sticking out the back (inside the fairing).

Next I took the two angle brackets to bolt between these new threads and to mate with the horizontal light bar I would be making.   I still have a bunch of that in case you need me to make a couple of slices for you.  I drilled a hole for the bolt to stick through inside the fairing. and tried it out.  I wanted the bracket to hang more veritcal than the angle of the fairing bracket so here is what I did.  (Later I'll add a drawing for this part)  The fairing bracket is U shaped and tapered with a welded nut inside the U for the fairing mount bolt.  The idea is (and was) to taper my bracket so that the top of it fits inside the U and sits against the existing nut, whereas my bracket is too wide  to fit inside the U below the nut so it straddles the fairing bracket bellow the nut.  This does two things, it locks my bracket inside the fairing bracket so there is no twisting and it makes my bracket much more vertical , just like I wanted.  Here is a shot of the bracket mounted inside the fairing with the cap nut on.

This particular mounting really cinches the cap nut in there so there is little concern of it getting loose.  It has a lockwasher under it.

To drill the mounting hole I detemined where the extended bolt threads would hit the bracket when the bracket was at the desired height below the fairing (about 1/2" clearing for the bolts and lamp nuts).
I drilled the holes to fit the brackets on the extended threads. 
When my brackets are mounted in on each side, they don't point forward, they point left and right a little. Kind of duck footed. Also you have to bend the bottoms of the brackets a little to get them level for the light bar.  A vice and hammer takes care of that nicely.  One of the things you might notice I did that really helped a lot was to do the mounts so that the lightbar sat on top of  my brackets rather than under them. 

Next I was ready to drill light bar mounting holes in the corners of the bracket bottoms since they dont sit square or parallel with the axis of the light bar, you are only picking up the corners of the brackets to hold the light bar.

Cut your light bar from the 1" x 1/4" steel bar stock.
Mine is 13" long with a 1/2" bevel ground in the back corner of each side.  Some people suggested aluminum but I wanted steel.

With your brackets mounted, determine where the light bars will sit (hopefully centered) and use that to decide where to put the light bar bolt holes in the brackets and drill them out.  Next, set the undrilled light bar on top of the shelf made by the mounted and drilled brackets.  Use the holes you made to mark the steel light bar and drill holes for that as well.

Assuming you had stainless hardware for mounting the bar to the bracket, go ahead and do that to verify fit and centering.  As I mentioned I opted to space things so that I could have the light bar sitting on top of the bracket rather than on the bottom.  Bolt them together so you can decide exactly where you want the lights to be on the bar.

Make DAMN sure the forks clear freely when you decide.
Mine were on the extreme outer, front edge of the bar.  In fact the sides of the light brackts hang over the edge of the light bar about 1/4".

Drill the light bar for the light brackets and be sure to overdrill about 1/16" deep from the bottom where the carriage bolt that comes with the lights can sit down inside the light bar hole without interference.

Cut the carriage bolts that come with the lamps so they just come out flush when the nuts and lockwashers are on when it is mounted to the bar.  You won't have much room.  Mine was set so that an open end wrench just fit with a little finger clearance under the fairing to tighten things.

Cinch them down and try everything for fit and function.

Once you are done with that, take everything apart.  Clean up any edges, and surfaces, then paint everything.  Put it back together with blue Locktite, except on the cap nuts inside the fairing.  Do the wiring, switch, fuse and relay. 

I chose to dip my first steel bar in black screwdriver handle coating goo instead of painting it, on another 1500 mount.
Your call.

When you tighten the cap nuts inside the fairing, be sure to hold the heads on the outside of the fairing so they don't loosen while you tighten the nuts on the back.

Give me some feedback as you do it and for sure feel free to ask any questions.

It's a little hassle but it's fun, cheap, elegant functional and gives off a lot of pride when done.

When I get this together, I'll add the wiring parts and I also intend to make a do it yourself relay-fusepack guide as well.  Note the bulge in the plastic conduit in the last picture.  I left the quick connects on so I could change the lights easier when the lamps burn out.  At this price, who cares?

More later.

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