The GTM Supercar Build Log

Archive for the ‘Lighting’ Category

Fog Lights Upgraded

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Today I installed the new fog lights I had purchased for the GTM over the winter. I’ve been dying to swap out the generic fog lights that FFR supplies with these new Hella Optilux 2500 lights. These lights are way brighter than the stock lights, and have sharp looking halo LED lighting accents. I’ve never felt that comfortable with the GTM’s lighting on prior twilight drives, but these new fogs make all the difference.

Since the lights use separate wiring for the LED halos and the 55w halogen bulbs I decided to hook up the halo rings to the parking lights, and the fog lamp switch remains dedicated to the main bulbs. The bracket that comes with the lights is a ‘hanging design’ bracket, so I had Josh modify them so they could be surface mounted in the fog light recesses. A carriage bolt was inserted into the bracket to bolt it in place using the previous fog light holes. I’m really pleased with the look of these lights.

Driver Dash Installed

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Finally, the interior is nearly complete. With the driver dash pod re-glued and ready for install I cleaned up some wiring that will be under the dash, wired the transmission oil cooler LED indicator, then installed the pod. Before riveting in place I attached the air duct and dash switches for camera and lights. Dash pod was then riveted into place, and then the gauge face was plugged in and screwed down.  I then threw on the steering column cover and screwed that in place.

LED Interior Accent Lighting and Dash Switches

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

I wanted to add some accent lighting to the footboxes so I purchased some LED light strips. These strips are very thin, very bendy, and have an adhesive back so they can be stuck just about anywhere. I opted to stick them on the frame members running across each footbox under the dash. The power and ground wires were soldered together and will be connected to a switch on the dash when that is installed.

I also mounted the switches that will power the LED lights and video activation to the driver dash pod.

Passenger Seat Completed, License Plate LEDs Wired

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Today I finished up bolting the passenger seat in, and then wired up the license plate LED lights. The seat was a chore, as it took forever to get the bolts to line up perfectly with the rivnuts at the front of the seat. Also, since rivnuts and I get along so well, I ended up having to re-tap the rivnuts at one point since they got scuffed up trying to line up the bolts blindly. All good though, as the passenger seat is rock solid.

Afterwards, I soldered up the LED wires and connected them to some quick disconnect plugs and spliced those into the taillight wiring.

Fog Lights Installed, Side Duct Louvers and Rear Mesh

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

I’ve delayed the fog lights installation until now because I simply did not know what to do with the lights provided by Factory Five. They have a funky bracket on the top, and do not have a rear post that mounts through a hole in the fog light recess as shown in the build manual. FFR advised me to ‘just flip the bracket back and attach through that’, however the bracket is positioned so that it is impossible to center the light, plus it would stick out way too far. No thanks.

As a solution I did the following:
1. Remove the brackets, silicone the holes left from the bracket screws.
2. Remove the wire grommet
3. Drill a 3/8″ hole next to the wire grommet hole, recess the edges a bit with a dremel tool, and push the grommet/wires through that new hole.
4. Push a long bolt w/ washer (I used a 1/4-20)  through the former wire grommet hole and secure it on the back of the housing with a jam nut. The hole is centered perfectly so this bolt acts as a post to mount the light through the recess with.
5. Drill a 1/4″ hole centered in the fog light recess. Drill a smaller hole next to it for the wires.
6. Run the wires through, push the fog light into the recess, secure with a lock nut and washer.

Having to prep the lights is a pain, but it works. After the lights were installed I attached and loomed their wiring up.

After all that, I took the clamps off the side louvers since the adhesive has cured – solid as a rock and they look great. Silicone’d the rear mesh pieces into place.

Headlight Cover Panels, Rear Wheel wells, Fender Louver Mesh

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Today was pretty productive. First thing on the agenda was to install the headlight cover panels. The cover panels mount to a diagonal support that rivets into the underside of the hood, and into the bottom lip of the body. It took a while to figure out the proper angle for mounting this so that the headlight cover, when put in place, would not hit the back of the headlights, nor interfere with the tires when turned all the way left/right. After some trial and error I got the support bar clecko’d in place, drilled out and clecko’d the headlight cover, then riveted it all.

After doing the headlight covers I jacked the car up and pulled off the passenger rear tire. The wheel well closeout panels are pretty straight forward. I forgot to snap a pic of the well closed out before putting the tire back on, but I will get one later. I did not rivet the front rear wheel well panel in place yet as I have to assemble my side duct louvers, have them powdercoated, and then finally install them first. Didn’t feel like doing the driver’s side rear well today so I moved on to applying mesh to the fender louvers up front.

I used some aluminum mesh screen material and cut long oval pieces of mesh to fit over each louver vent under the hood. I sprayed the mesh black first before getting ready to install it. Once they dried I siliconed them in place and taped them up to dry/cure over night. These should look real nice when done, as well as prevent any big debris from coming up through the louvers and onto the hood, windshield, etc.

Headlights Wiring and Horn Install

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Next up were the headlights. Also pretty straight forward as long as you have the right tools. A special crimper is needed to crimp the headlight plug pins (thanks Josh). High beam wire to high beams, low beam to low beam, and the driving light gets the turn signal and driving light wires. Each light gets its own ground, 6 in all. Loomed up, it looks nice. I could not install the fog lights as it looks like Factory Five sent me the wrong ones.

Once the lighting was all tested I moved onto the horn install. I installed the horn on the driver’s side. I used the top bolt on the hood-to-body bracket to mount the horn. The bolt fits perfect, and once you bend the tap on the horn mount it fits right on there as if it was meant to be there. Wired it up and tested – loud.

Tail lights Wired and Installed

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

The tail light install was a bit ‘rougher’ than I expected it to be. The each tail light is held into place with a U-shaped bracket that holds the tail light against the inside of the body. Simple concept, but Factory Five machined the pieces so that when put into place you get NO threads on the bolts coming from the tail lights through the U piece to start screwing on the nuts. With some hand-molding of the pieces I was able to get them bent a bit to get them on and installed.

Wiring is straight forward – white triangles on the white/amber lights is for reverse, orange is for turn signals. The red tail lights get the parking/driving lights and brake lights. The parking lights go on the 5v filament peg (pay attention to the notation on the back of the tail light), the brake lights go on the 21v filament. Easy.

After wiring I loomed them up and adhered the loom out of sight to the rear of the tail using some nice heavy-duty adhesive backed loom clips.