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Thread: Lightbars

  1. #1
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    Default Lightbars

    Here is the deal, we are getting a new suburban and my other half is freaked out about mounting a light bar onto it. He said he was going to come up with something to attach to the luggage rack. Now magnets will scratch anyway so does anyone have any ideas about this?


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    Lightbulb Here's an idea!

    Get out the trusty cordless drill and use it to mount the light bar to the roof. Since you have the drill out, mount some strobes in the grill and the strobe power unit under the hood. Then drill some holes in the rear headliner and mount some rear facing lights that show in the rear window. Then go to the dash and mount a switch for some headlight wigwags.

    Now go to your local auto parts store and buy a heavy duty battery and a high out put alternator. I would then order from Galls a Federal 300 electronic siren and a Federal Q siren. That way one will always work.

    Since the Q draws so many amps, go back to the auto parts store and buy another heavy duty battery so the engine will still run. You might also add some strobes in the parking and tail lamps. There are also things like electronic air horns, intersection lights (in addition to the light bar) and a host of other options available.

    When you get all done, you will beat me to the scene by 45 seconds.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
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  3. #3
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Question Re: Lightbars

    Originally posted by shortytheFF
    Here is the deal, we are getting a new suburban and my other half is freaked out about mounting a light bar onto it. He said he was going to come up with something to attach to the luggage rack. Now magnets will scratch anyway so does anyone have any ideas about this?



    You said that your other half is freaked out. I would guess he would be. I take that you must be kidding in here.

    I would really not want a bar light attached to my private vehicle. I would if I need something in my POV used a dash light but only on rare occasions would I do that.

    If I need to respond to an incident then I'll get into the city own and city furnished vehicle and go that way. I still don't have bar lights on that vehicle and do not wish to have them.

    I go quitely and arrive there about the same time as I would have, had I had all these gaudy lights hanging all over a vehicle.


    Just my prespective and opinion on this subject. It does not reflect any ones elses.




    Stay Safe & Well out there.......





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    POV lights are very important, and very useful when used correctly.I know there is going to be the big hub-bub about not needing them but frankly ya do, in some situations. For example, this is summer, AKA construction season. And this year in my town they are readoing main street. The contractors will respond to the blue lights and change traffic directions so we can get through. This can save you like 5 minutes easy depending on what they are doing. And second of all out here in the country, some of our members live out in the bonnies and by them having blue lights, it can do 2 things that are important on a rural contry road... beat the engine, so we know where we are going for certain. And 2 to provide an essential fire police situation.

    Your the stupid ones not to atleast blue lights, or the color they use in your area, cause you just never know. And maybe a full lightbar is a bit extravagent. But in NYS you must have 360 degree visibilty which means I guess... a mini-bar?

    Be more open minded people...
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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    I would guess that lights, bars and all the other accessories you can hook up to you personal vehicle may help you arrive a little faster than not having them.

    They are and should be to go to a call officially. I have seen guys with these bar lights turn them on the make a U turn so they can park the family truckster in a parking space. Is this right to do? No it wasn't. It was against of the law.

    If you are a member of a department and have permission to install at your expense warning lights and want to do so, then I say be all means have at it.

    When I was a volunteer years ago I had light in the grill of my pick up. I used to run them, but no one paid attention to them. So I stopped turning them on and took the out. Then, the state law didn't allow roof light on volunteers POV's.

    No one said they wasn't important. It just doesn't fit into my realm of living.

    Blue light's are for offical police vehicle in Virginia. It is against the law to have them displayed, only if you are law enforcement and it better be on attached to a City, County, State or Federal vehicle.

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    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lightbars

    Originally posted by shortytheFF
    Here is the deal, we are getting a new suburban and my other half is freaked out about mounting a light bar onto it. He said he was going to come up with something to attach to the luggage rack. Now magnets will scratch anyway so does anyone have any ideas about this?
    Here's a fashion tip... Regardless of how much they help you respond quickly in your area, I've NEVER seen a POV look good with a light bar on it. So, you'll look cool rolling to the call in the middle of the night... but you're going to look very goofy dropping the kids off at school.

    Here's a finance tip... Every POV I've ever seen with a light bar needed some sort of work. There was the 1980s ranger with paint peeling from the hood and a brand new edge bar on top. There's the primer gray Monte Carlo with an edge bar. Also, there was the dually with big halogen light bar that needed extensive body work. In other words, save the money you'll spend on the lights and get an extra option on the Suburban.

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    After more than a quarter of a century of experience driving unmarked police cars with a variety of lights, let me give you my take.

    If you want to put lights on your POV (Privately Owned Vehicle), get a headlight flasher and a strobe (or LED) dash light bar. Put some velcro on the dash to hold the bar when you need it, pull it off when you don't. If 360 warning is required, mount another strobe or LED in the back window, or the strobe package that fits into your corner/turn lights. When we got the headlight flashers, cars pulled over quicker, and further ahead.

    Unless you want everone to know you are a volle. Then, go the way of the US Secret Service lead cars in the big city: 2 full lightbars (front & rear, 2 rotators on the fenders, a dash strobe bar, and two (2) 100 watt sirens.

    Personally, we found that on multi lane roads (like the freeway), it was faster to leave all the lights off. Otherwise, all you saw were brake lights & exhaust pipes.

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    To answer the question of the original post:

    The best thing you could do if you wanted to was to fabricate a piece of metal that lides into the channel of the luggage rack. Drill two holes and tap them for the bolts. Then you just bolt the lightbar on. But you still have to drill at least one hole for the wire. If you try to run it through the door, you will have a major air leak.

    I used to work for a company installing emergency lighting and that is how we used to do it, so the lightbar would be higher than the luggage rack for visibility purposes.

    When you drill the hole for the wire, use a rubber grommet, seal it with silicone. It will dry and you will never have a leak if done right. If you are concerned about doing it, I would look for someone who does these all the time, so you will get a professional installation.

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    Why don't you ask your insurance company what hey think?

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    Originally posted by oldandwise071
    Why don't you ask your insurance company what hey think?
    My insurance company has never said anything...... Not for myself, who's been with them for 12 years, or my brother who was with them for 12 years, or my dad who has been with them for probably 20 years....

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    Blue light's are for offical police vehicle in Virginia. It is against the law to have them displayed, only if you are law enforcement and it better be on attached to a City, County, State or Federal vehicle.
    Goes the same for Louisiana.

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    Default I was one of the people who wanted all lights in my car. Then after I went out and..

    spent $600 on Whelen Slimlighters, I relized how much easier it is to drive to calls without the lights on then it is to have the lights going. When you have all your lights on people might pull over but only after slowing down to about 5mph to think about what is going on which slows down response.

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    Talking Leave it to the cops..........

    Sleuth has a point. I have also used unmarked cars a lot, with great success. My pickup has a LED Bar on the dash, which I might use 3 or 4 times a year, mainly to get past the cops directing traffic at the scene. And, here's a biggie, TRADE IN VALUE. If it is your vehicle, remember that all of the holes, wires, etc subtract from your trade in value.
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    I have ONE light on top of my truck. Sometimes I run it, sometimes I don't. 2AM, no traffic, no light! 4 PM, lots of traffic, light.

    OH! Always drive with due regard.
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    Thanks for all the helpful hints. I would like a light b/c I am about 5 1/2 miles from the station at home and about 7 from work. Has anyone been to Ludington MI during the summer?? Plus I live in a very rural area. If you are coming from the lake you might as well not even go b/c the time you get through all the traffic the fire is out! We are volly's still so the light is a good thing. Plus as a first responder it is nice to have b/c we can go right to the scene. I am an EMT and have worked for about 3 years driving an ambulance and was on another fire dept before moving up here. Plus driving fire trucks. We can not use blue lights! Insurance co I dont think will have a problem. Oh by the way as far as picking kids up from school, that dont bother me if I was worried about my hand getting dirty or how uncool I might look I would not be a ff! What about strobes or LED in the back and in the grill? But I do believe in MI we do have to be visible 360 degrees. How visible are they? Are they better then a bar? I am not worried about driving I have had plenty of training and know my limits. Keep thought coming

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    You write you have lots of training. Does it include an EVOC class? People will do the stupidest things when the POV behind them suddenly lights them up. It helps to know how to avoid them when they slam on the binders, or put their car sideways across the 2 lane road, or just stop in the traffic lane, when it's impossible to pass, as toward the crest of a hill. Or one of my favorites, when they see your lights, and pull over into the left (oncoming) lane and stop. (Who is liable if they get hit?)

    Does your state allow (or require) a siren to be in operation to be an emergency vehicle? Some states do.

    As you can see, there are lots of liability issues to consider. Personally, I live 10 miles (all 2 lane) from the station, and many times I have crested the hill into town, just to see the lights of the truck disappearing over the hill at the other end. I have a single rotator dash light, but I only use it after stopping at the scene, if it is needed. Your choices may vary.
    Last edited by Sleuth; 03-16-2004 at 06:16 PM.

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    Here's a fashion tip... Regardless of how much they help you respond quickly in your area, I've NEVER seen a POV look good with a light bar on it. So, you'll look cool rolling to the call in the middle of the night... but you're going to look very goofy dropping the kids off at school.
    That is the Truth! Slick top is the only way to go. Here is a front view and rear view of my 2003 Impala. Sound-Off LED's and Strobes.
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    Sleuth.....I never said I had police driving and know how to skid out of a 360. You dont think I know what stupid people do when they see flashing lights coming at them?? They dont know to go left or right. My thing here to to get to a scene or station is a safe and timely manner, not to have lights to whip a u-turn or to drive like a bat out of hell! Yes we have to have lights and siren!

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    Hehe Sleuth,Good snicker!But it's been my experience you better get skilled at dodging dummies with your lights on and it doesn't seem to matter if you're in a lit up POV or the BRT.Ignorance abounds and it's not getting any better out there.Lights work well in my part of the world but I can certainly see both sides.I think in more populated areas they could even slow you down.T.C.

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