Barlowrs Expedition Tacoma Build

nwoods

Expedition Leader
Mr. Barlow, did I see you driving into Lake Arrowhead this past Sunday afternoon? If it wasn't you, it had to have been TacoDoc. Either way, sweet looking Taco! I was in the a silver Armada with a Yakima box on the lid:

 

barlowrs

Explorer
Fuse Block Mount Version 3.0

In anticipation for my flippac, since I have some time waiting for her, I figured I would get ahead of the game and setup the wiring under the hood to support a “house” fuse block for inside the pac. This will allow me to wire house accessories without having to run wires all the way to my under-hood faux fuse block.
As with the rest of my wiring, I made the obvious choice and went with a blue sea fuse block (Same as under-hood). This is then protected with a blue sea 100A breaker (again, same as under hood aux block). The only real challenge to this was the fact that my current bracket I had fabbed (I think I am on version 2.1 or something) did not have sufficient space to support another breaker, so, it was back to the drawing board for another bracket.
The bracket had to hold the following:
• 1 Blue Sea Fuse Block (12 live and ground)
• 1 80A Blue Sea Breaker (For air compressor)
• 2 100A Blue Sea Breakers (for under hood and house fuse blocks)
• 2 Relays (For aux lighting)
In addition, it had to mount using the same mounting holes as my previous version so that it would interface with my winch solenoid mount (Click here for details on that).

So let the games begin

As before, I chose some 16 or 18 gage stainless, and using my original mount and some cardboard I mapped out how I could incorporate all the pieces I needed and fit in the existing space. After a bit of drawing, a bit of cutting with a band saw, a bit of fun on the mill, and some sand blasting I ended up with this:



Then time to bend it. I could have used the break, but if given the chance to beat on something with a large hammer, I usually take that option. So after bending the “Relay Mounting Surface” down we end up with this:



This is how everything fits (relays not shown here):



Next up was a bit of rustolium (yes I know its stainless, but I like it being black) and then just plumb it all in. You can see the new 100A breaker for my “house” block on the end awaiting its wire run to the flippac (that will wait until I actually get the flippac).





P.S. Yes I know my engine is dirty, but she runs like a champ…she likes being dirty
 
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barlowrs

Explorer
Light Upgrades

OK I have been doing some light upgrades lately, and here are the results so far. I apologize for the pics, it is a camera phone, so they are horrible, and truly do not do the LED lights justice.

Reverse Lights:
Stock Reverse Lights only:



Alien Aero Pods: (For a single 10W LED in a 2” light, these things are INCREDIBLE! LOVE THEM! VERY high quality from the harness to the light):


http://www.trailduty.com/product_info.php?cPath=563_562&products_id=1562

Fog lights:
Went from PIAA 510 to Blitzpro 3LR Light Pod (These are VERY cheap ~40.00 per pod, however I am testing them out for a friend of mine, and to be honest, so far I am EXTREMELY happy with them. WELL worth the $80.00 for the set. Sure there are brighter LED pods out there, but for fogs, these are just about perfect to me and blow the PIAA 510 out of the water) Just Fogs On:


http://blitzpro.com/led-pod.html

Headlights:
Osram Rallye 70/65w H4 bulbs (From what I read, stock Tacoma wire harness is ok with the higher wattage. These are much brighter than stock) High Beams and Fogs On:


http://store.candlepower.com/64205.html

Spot Beams:
Lightforce 170 Strikers (Don’t need to say much here, I think everyone knows how amazing lightforeces are) 2 Lightforce 120, High Beams, and Fogs On:


http://www.sierraexpeditions.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=49

LED Light Bar:
50” Alien Light Bar Euro Beam (The picture does not do it justice, It does not reach out as far as the pencil beam 170s, but COMPLELTY overpowers my high beams and throws MUCH further…basically fills the void between headlights and spot beams. It is an AMAZING amount of light! Also note that the LED bar is just resting on my hood, not mounted or aimed) High Beams and LED Light Bar Only:


http://www.trailduty.com/product_info.php?cPath=563_561&products_id=1507
Notice it lights up the tree way out there past headlights on left...In person it throws MUCH more light than the pic shows

So in summary, the alien LED equipment is AMAZING quality, I recommend it to ANYONE! The blitzpro is MUCH cheaper, but VERY good bang for the buck. I actually have a few more blitzpro lights to try out once I get my flippac mounted, so I would not shy away from them at all.
 

downhill

Adventurer
Thanks for the report Robert. You kind of alluded to this, but I'll ask anyway. How sensitive are these LED bars to alignment, and how easily are they knocked out of alignment? It seems the beam is pretty full and broad. Even just sitting on the hood the illumination is good. One of my ongoing frustrations with aftermarket lighting is the probelm of keeping the damn things aimed where they need to be. Flood beams help of course, but even they are minimally useful is miss-aimed. On previous vehicles I have mounted headlight buckets in the grill with high wattage headlight replacements. Those are the only ones that have really stayed put.
 

barlowrs

Explorer
Thanks for the report Robert. You kind of alluded to this, but I'll ask anyway. How sensitive are these LED bars to alignment, and how easily are they knocked out of alignment? It seems the beam is pretty full and broad. Even just sitting on the hood the illumination is good. One of my ongoing frustrations with aftermarket lighting is the probelm of keeping the damn things aimed where they need to be. Flood beams help of course, but even they are minimally useful is miss-aimed. On previous vehicles I have mounted headlight buckets in the grill with high wattage headlight replacements. Those are the only ones that have really stayed put.
Honestly, the only alignment I foresee this thing will need is to “point it forward if you want light in front of vehicle and point it back if you want light in back..This thing lights up EVERYTHING, it's basically a broad wall of light. High, low, strait out, and even quite a bit to the sides. I'm glad I got the euro and not the flood beam as this one still lights up the sides well.
 

downhill

Adventurer
Honestly, the only alignment I foresee this thing will need is to “point it forward if you want light in front of vehicle and point it back if you want light in back..This thing lights up EVERYTHING, it's basically a broad wall of light. High, low, strait out, and even quite a bit to the sides. I'm glad I got the euro and not the flood beam as this one still lights up the sides well.
Nice!:ylsmoke:
 
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