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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking for a kc light bar that will go across the roof and clip onto the drip rail so I don’t have to drill screw holes in the roof. I’ve seen plenty of rams and Ramcharger’s with them on it, and I’d like to know where to get ones, whether it’s just the bar, or a bar with the lights on it, preferable kc lights, either the round or rectangle.
 

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After driving Jeeps and other 4x4 trucks for the last 40 years, here's my take on KC Daylighters or other high wattage offroad lights. Two things:

1. If lights are mounted on the rooftop, they tend to illuminate the hood just as much (or more) than road or trail ahead of you. If you have a light colored vehicle, white, yellow, silver, the hood will get very bright and distracting. I would rather place those lights on the front bumper.

2. Those lights were originally intended for night time high speed road rally racing or baja type offroad racing where lighting the road or trail up to a half mile is necessary at high speeds. I like them. But, I don't know a lot off 4x4 guys that race on road or baja at high speeds at night.

I've come to realize that a quality lower wattage flood light or LED lights would be more appropriate for my night time offroad adventures. I know few would probably agree with me. Just, my .02 cents.
 

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Agreed, other than the looks, most off road lights over the hood are next to useless.  Every bit of light reflected back in your eyes cuts the distance and detail you can see beyond the hood.  For this reason, a lot of the racers back in the day would paint their hoods flat black, similar to how many performance cars mimicked racing cars who did the same to avoid sun glare on the hood.  About the only good lights to run on the roof would be pencil beam lamps and those are pretty high dollar for decent ones and again, they are really only necessary for high speed use so you can see things farther away since they become real close real quick at speed.

With all that said, you may want to check your local laws as I thin New Hampshire requires lights over the headlamps to be covered, which sort of makes them a pain to use if you have to uncover them all the time.  That and low hanging trees love to wipe them out.  But it's your money, I'd just be caught up on the legal issues and know what you are getting into before you spend the money.  I know the few vehicles I have had with roof lights, they rarely got used since we usually ride trails in a group and a bunch of lights are a waste unless you are in front or don't mind getting in fights for blinding the guy in front of you.  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, maybe I should have mentioned these are just for looks. However I am look to get some kc lights that could be mounted on the bumper/bumper guards with little to no drilling to be used as fog lights. I only want the roof lights mainly for looks to match the ones I am mounting on the bumper. They’ll all be fully functional, but the only ones that will be used full time will be the ones on the bumper, maybe occasional when I’m out in the woods I’ll use the roof mounted ones.
 

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J C Whitney looks like they sell light bars for RCs. If lights are strictly for looks, just buy some cheap ebay specials and put KC covers on them. That way if they disappear it's no great loss.
(I wouldn't do this myself as I want everything to be functional and reliable).
 

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It was very common in the '80s for "show winning" trucks and Jeeps to have a bunch of fake lights all over them or lights that were never hooked up.
 

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Back in the day when off- roading was easy around here... I ran floods on my roll bar and kicked them outward sightly to illuminate the sides better.
I still have them if the need arises again.
They were dual beam driving/ flood bulbs from KC.
They really worked well at night... especially since I had them mounted back on my roll bar.
The wires and switches are all still there.
 

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89ramcharger150 said:
Okay, maybe I should have mentioned these are just for looks…..

…..I only want the roof lights mainly for looks to match the ones I am mounting on the bumper. They'll all be fully functional, but the only ones that will be used full time will be the ones on the bumper, maybe occasional when I'm out in the woods I'll use the roof mounted ones.
Pleeeeeeze, don't put them on just for looks! That would make them fall into the same category as fake hood scoops and simulated lug nuts on hubcaps.

I've done roof lights a few times, and heres what I remember of them. Back in the day, there were many different types of lights and each was intended for different purposes and each had an optimal mounting location.

For high speed off road work, aka desert racing, pencil beams were the ideal type of lighting for distant illumination. The beams were very tight and narrow with very little light spread to the sides. However they produced a small spot of illumination far ahead. So racers began running several lights to create a wider spread of light and sometimes they angled the lights for a much wider spread. Mounting them on the roof helped give them range and the tight beam didn't spill too much light onto the hood. But at some point, the row of lights came into vogue on everyday 4x4s and taken to the extreme. Many kids didn't use pencil beams, but instead used flood lights which gave them the look they wanted but the roof mounted location was totally wrong for this type of lights. The spread of light from floods is ideal for illuminating near objects to the immediate front and to the sides, but on a roof, they reflected light on the hood and created shadows all around the truck that made seeing at night from the driver's seat very difficult. And they are also very irritating when someone is running them and you're driving ahead, and they don't have the common sense to shut them off.

On a trail truck it's been my experience that pencil beams are a waste of time and money. The best type of lights for narrow trails with tight turns are floods. Floods throw light a shorter distance with a much wider spread and the best location for them is on the front of the truck. The only thing pencil beams would light up on a trail with plenty of turns is the trees ahead of you and only within a small circle. They do not illuminate the turns or anything closer to the truck. The best analogy would be if you tried to use a laser to light up a room.

Unless you off road along long straightaways, theres no need for pencil beams and probably no need to install lights on the roof, since only pencil beams are the only type of light that belongs there. Besides, this is now the 21st century and we now have LEDs.

I gotta tell ya that I'm really digging these new lights. The one exception to the rule is work lights can be roof mounted, and since LEDs won't draw down the battery as fast, if you're dead in the water. I would recommend them before I recommend old style halogens. Just don't buy a stupid light bar and stick it over the windshield.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Trust me I will never stoop to the low level of putting a light bar on my truck anywhere. It was just a thought about the lights for looks. Really I just wanted them to be on the roof to cover the roof rack I am planning on putting on. And yes that is a fully functional roof rack that I plan to use often. And also funny you happened to mention hoodscoops. Within the next year or so I am going to be putting on dual hoodscoops. Also fully functional. I’ve seen it done to Ramchargers before, the dual hoodscoops I am talking about are of course the N96 intakes used on most superbees/coronets. Not the ramcharger/air grabber which would also be neat, but just the duals. I would of course not use an oval shaped air cleaner as the engine is only a small 318 and definitely does not have a 6 pack, but the set up would be the exact same as if it were a factory fully function dual intake hoodscoop set up on a 70 super bee (which is my favorite car). And I know it doesn’t offer much more power if any at all, but I would love the look of it and I would like knowing that they’re fully functional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also thank you Fal308 for actually being helpful on this thread and not giving me opinions and “your experience”. JC Whitney actually has a lot of excellent choices of exactly what I was looking for and your advice was very helpful, at least someone’s on here was. If I had wanted opinions and “prior knowledge” people have I would’ve gone to Facebook.
 

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Sorry but when you ask in an open forum about something, you are going to get all kinds of answers both good and bad, what you want and what you don't.  That's how it works and aside from breaking forum rules, we don't get to dictate who answers a post, how or why.  what makes this site great is the sharing of knowledge and opinions, even if we don't always like them.
 

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Wow! Try to help a brother out  ::)

If you simply said you were putting a roof rack on and you wanted to put lights on the roof to cover the rack, you should have mentioned it. And in that case why not just mount the lights to the roof rack? Look around the internet, you can see how others have done roof rack lights.

Ed
 

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RXT said:
Wow! Try to help a brother out ::)

Ed
Lots of balls for a NEWBIE. ;D

There's lots of guys around here that "have been there... done that."
My parents taught me a LONG time ago to listen to opinions from lots of sources... especially from someone who's been on this earth a long time. Weigh those opinions, then choose wisely.
That's what makes wise guys and girls.
 

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He's young. I've been there too wanting to put all kinds of lights on my various Jeeps and 4x4 trucks back in the day. I'm sure he found it disappointing to hear of the less than desirable opinions of roof lights.
Now, if he comes across a nice rack that already has mounts for lights, why not?
It's his truck...Light em' up, kid.
 

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KurtfromLaQuinta said:
Lots of balls for a NEWBIE. ;D

There's lots of guys around here that "have been there... done that."
My parents taught me a LONG time ago to listen to opinions from lots of sources... especially from someone who's been on this earth a long time. Weigh those opinions, then choose wisely.
That's what makes wise guys and girls.
I came from the school of hard knocks. When I was young, I thought I knew everything. Come to find out (often the hard way) I didn't know everything (and still don't) My biggest wake up call when I was young, came seconds before I stepped off the bus at Parris Island.

J10Mike said:
He's young. I've been there too wanting to put all kinds of lights on my various Jeeps and 4x4 trucks back in the day. I'm sure he found it disappointing to hear of the less than desirable opinions of roof lights.
Now, if he comes across a nice rack that already has mounts for lights, why not?
It's his truck...Light em' up, kid.
I like to think I'm still young, but my reflection says otherwise….Yes, back in the day, I too bolted on a bunch of lights to my junk. One example, I used to have a 78 F150 that had a roll bar in the bed. (Ok give me a break…I'm still a recovering Ford fanatic but the good news is I've been Ford free for over 20 yrs)
Bought a bunch of cheap $15 chrome KC 55 watt look-a-likes and put them on the bar. Four pointing forward, and two pointing to the rear. All floods. The forward lights sucked. Yeah they certainly illuminated everything ahead, but the shadows around the truck made seeing close to the truck all but impossible. Way too much contrast between about 220 watts of light and total darkness. And a lot of the light came into the cab thru the rear window making it hard to see thru the windshield due to massive glare. I found myself not using them. However the rear pointing ones, -now those I liked. They worked pretty good as work lights. You can really light up the bed, and were useful during recovery operations, but they still sucked as back-up lights. Same problem, massive shadows near the truck made it impossible to see nearby objects or obstacles. I didn't learn my lessons tho- I had two early Broncos. On one of them, a 77, I added a pair of cheap floods over the windshield with similar results. Over lit the hood and created terrible contrast. Ended up removing them.

After that, I learned my lessons (by trial and error of course) and from them on, I installed all my floods on the front bumper, or somewhere up front, including my Dakota, -before the SAS and Cummins swap.



Now, if I were to add a roof rack (and I've thought about it) I would consider lights too. And I would bolt them to the rack. I'd do two small LEDs to each side as either courtesy lights or work lights, two to the rear as cargo/work lights (I'd add two more on the rear for back up lights and wire them together) and if I installed any pointing forward, they'd be either pencil beams or forward facing work lights (Not for driving)

But the OP is gotta learn it on his own, I can only offer my experiences. Now if he thought he didn't get much love here, he should have posted on Pirate!

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No matter how smart you are, you can never convince someone stupid, that they are stupid. Or in this case that more commentary and opinions are unwanted on a thread for a specific search for parts, whether they’re going to be used for show or not.
 

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Don't poke the bear.
 
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