LED Rally Lights Installed

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chat and Discussion' started by Golfguy11800, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Hey guys,

    Just bought my Fiesta ST about 3 weeks ago. Looking to drop by here on the forum from time to time. One thing I hated about my new car was the stock lights on this thing, they are borderline tragic at night to drive with. I sought that as my first mod and fearfully and reluctantly went to AutoZone to see if I could just maybe get some new bulbs to get more light out there on the road.

    Step 1:

    I ended up buying the top tier Sylvania's for my headlamps and highbeams (Ultra and ZXE respectfully). I was nervous that the lights were going to give me the look of those Nissan Altimas with the blue shanty lights. Luckily it worked out. Total was around $120 for both sets.

    Result:

    Driving with the highbeams on was now "acceptable." However I was still unsatisfied. The temperature of the light is not too blue. They are very close to the xenons on my Porsche, those are the gold standard for me with stock driving lights. I've never come across anything better over the years. The Focus ST3 that I have with the xenons have tremendous lights as well.

    Step 2:

    I researched rally lights and came across Rigid Industries (beyond reputable for baja rally lights) and ended up buying their LED 10" E2 Combo lights with the separate bracket to mount on the front of the car. These are obviously illegal, but was told it would be an insane amount of light cast on the road. Total was around ~$510 shipped to my house.

    Result:

    Lights are great. I do a lot of rally style driving at night around midnight -> 3am. Although I was told the amount of light would be "dangerous" I would classify the effect as 'just' "illegal" enough for road use. Anything beyond what I have now would just be overkill. According to the specs this thing throws light around 2/3 of a mile down the road. I'd say usable visibility is good for a half mile. The combination of the new ZXE highbeams + the LED light bar casts ample and a ton of more usable light on the road. The overall take from this is that I feel much more comfortable with my style of driving at night. I am able to plan far ahead in advance for upcoming turns, obstacles and deer.

    I thought about the 20" LED Rigid Industries E2 Combo bar (would have been around $950 shipped to my house, there are some good deals on Amazon though). However my Jeep friends advised that it would be "too much light." I think in retrospect I would have not minded the 20" bar, but I'm not ready to spend nearly $1,000 on lights when the car still needs a better set of tires and sway bars.

    Here are some photos of my install below.

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    (Top is just the headlamps + Fog)

    (Bottom are highbeam ZXE and LED bar) The highbeams add some width within the first 15' of the field of vision for your peripherals.

    I will also upload a photo of where I mounted the switch later. I put it on the back of the steering wheel in the location of where a shifter paddle would go. The idea here was that if a car were to come around a corner the opposite way, I don't want to scare them and burn their retinas, so my left fingers can toggle off the car's highbeams while my right fingers can toggle off the LED bar. It works out perfectly and is extremely ergonomic.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

    Cheers my friends
     
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  3. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    NICE !!
     
  4. moshaholic2

    moshaholic2 Active Member

    I like the trim of the lower grill to open up flow to the IC
     
  5. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    That just pops off if you want to take off the black grill.. On a black car it is not a issue I think mine was blue under it so i just trimed off the offending plastic
     
  6. uglydogrally

    uglydogrally New Member

    I was thinking of doing something similar. Instead I was thinking of mounting the light behind the grill, as I like the look, and I have a bloody front license plate.

    For any aux lights I've had, I've always had them with a main power switch, and wired into my high beams. It's actually a rally regulation to have your light set-up like this.

    I like the rigid set-up you have, it lights up really well.
     
    Bluej08 likes this.
  7. EcoBeast

    EcoBeast Member

    Golfguy,

    How big a job was it to remove the bumper -more that an hour? Did you need any special tools?

    I would like to install a couple of LED lights behind the grill.[/QUOTE]
     
  8. EcoBeast

    EcoBeast Member

    Golfguy,

    A friend visiting Italy just sent me a short video of an FiST with all sorts of LED lights bolted on! Thought you might enjoy:

     
    Golfguy11800 likes this.
  9. Rocko-ST

    Rocko-ST New Member

    I just did a hid kit o. My low beams and LEDs for my fogs, very bright very nice


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Steve@Tasca

    Steve@Tasca Fiesta ST Network Sponsor

    Nice setup! If it were me I'd also wire them into the factory high beam wiring so they would all be controlled on the one switch. It would suck to make a mistake and only hit one switch and blind an oncoming car and then get tagged when said car turns out to be a cop.

    -Steve
     
    Golfguy11800 likes this.
  11. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    It turns out that the light mounted to the back of the steering wheel was not a good idea. I kind of did a hick job on the wiring since I was not about to do a professional and mission impossible task of wiring it through the clock spring on the wheel...

    As a result, I ditched the toggle switch on the back of the steering wheel and then I spliced the relay power wire directly to the highbeam wire. Now when I flick the highbeams on and voltage is sent to them, voltage is also sent to my Rigid Industries relay switch and then powers on the LED bar.

    If anyone wants to know further in depth on how I wired it up I can make some posts... It took me a LONG time to figure it out since I essentially only have 1 chromosome when it comes to wiring, multimeters, and electronic installs and diagrams, etc so I had to teach myself some things before I did the install....
     
    uglydogrally and RodMoe like this.
  12. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    [/QUOTE]

    Bumper removal was not bad at all. I did one on my Porsche before so I wasn't too afraid of getting dirty and taking the FiST one off...

    here is a useful article that I used... http://www.fiestastforum.com/forum/threads/1851-How-To-Front-Bumper-Removal

    If you want to install some LED's behind the grill make sure you do it in a place that does not obstruct air flow to the radiator and intercooler.

    I would have loved to do a flush mount where the solid black plastic part is on the grill, but the steel crash brace is directly behind it. If you were to choose this location you would need a plasma cutter to cut the appropriate box out of the steel crash brace to then sub-sink your LED lights.

    Was not ready to compromise the safety of the car for a "clean install."

    I also like it where I have it because I can adjust it easily and take it off if ever needed, such as going in the city and parking there for a long time. I would probably remove the bar so it would not get stolen... it is not an uncommon thing to have the LED bar taken away by thieves. Rigid Industries makes theft resistant bolt hardware but it's around $22 for two bolts... I'm not buying into that. I may call my insurance company to see if I can get them insured on my car.
     
    EcoBeast likes this.
  13. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Update:

    I ended up installing two extra 4" hyperspot LED's from Rigid Industries since I wanted more distance down the road.

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    Performance is now where I want the light to be. It's around 1.8-1.9 Kilometers of usable light. I tilted the outside light around 4 degrees from center for extra lateral dispersion. Here are some before and afters.

    Before = Headlights + Fog Lights
    After = All rally lights + Highbeams

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    celerystick009, iLiptiKal and Jonnyz like this.
  14. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

  15. Firesail

    Firesail Active Member

    Quite a difference! I would hate to be the poor bastard that faces you in traffic. It would be blinding.
     
  16. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Oh, it's terrifying to look at head on. I did a test where I walked just 100 yards away from the front of my car and then turned around to look at the lights. It's an assault to your eyes. Almost torture. I needed 3 pairs of sunglasses just to walk back to my car.

    Given that, I make it a strict rule with myself that I only use the lights between the hours of 12:15am and 4:30am Sunday-Thursday. Population on the roads where I live during those days and hours drop to near zero. Last thing I want is to have an oncoming car need re-corrective eye surgery after coming around a corner and seeing me. However I am very good about turning them off since they are linked to my highbeams
     
    Firesail likes this.
  17. Steve@Tasca

    Steve@Tasca Fiesta ST Network Sponsor

    Wow, that's a lot of light. I'd love to have that kind of visibility at night.

    Worst part about a lot of light output though is the reflected light you get back off road signs. Hate that.

    -Steve
     
  18. Pokey

    Pokey New Member

    Are you drilled into the steel bar behind the grill, or mounted through the plastic grille itself/only?
     
  19. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    I drilled through the crash brace. Make sure to pick up several carbide drill bits as it is structural steel and a PITA to drill through. Use oil as well on the drill bits.
     
  20. Pokey

    Pokey New Member

    Looking at the photo, I wonder if the bar behind, in front of the radiator with 2 holes in it, would support driving lights behind the grille work.
    What do you think?
     
  21. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    It would work as long as you have enough room to attach a nut in the back to clamp down the light and bolt. It looks a little tight.

    Other than that point, I would not do this because the grill would block the light from achieving 100% efficacy. But if you didn't mind that and wanted to go for a super discrete install I think it would work.

    The driving lights are 45 degree beams and one of the cool things about these lights is that they light up A LOT more vertical space. If mounted on that radiator bracket, you'd reduce this since the light would catch on the inside of the bumper.

    Adjusting the angle would be a PITA since you'd have to remove the bumper each time, unless you do your test run with the bumper off and then lock the angle down. I like mine because I can adjust on the fly.

    All depends on how serious you are :)
     

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