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PP_McPooperson

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Hey everybody,

I wanted to throw together a quick post of my roof mounted LED bar install. Upon researching the internet for help on this subject I was coming up empty so I figured since I just did it, i'll spread the wealth of knowledge!

I have previously installed a Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform (52" x 56") and would be more than happy to answer any questions about that install if anyone's interested, but for this thread, I'll just chat about my install of:

40 Inch Double Row: Black Oak LED Pro Series 2.0 Dual Row LED Light Bar - Combo Optics 240w

and

(2) 2 Inch Diffused LED Pod Light: Black Oak LED Pro Series 2.0: 40w CREE XM-L2

I used the wiring kits that came with them along with the included relays and switches. If you're like me and kinda don't understand why/how relays work, here's a great refresher. This helped me design the following system/diagram:

Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 6 (1).jpg

The rear pod lights put out around 2.5 amps each and the front bar around 16 amps = 21 amps. The stock wiring harnesses came in 14 awg and 12 awg respectively. I wanted to eliminate as many runs through the firewall as possible so I soldered the wires from the feed side of the relays together and sent a 10 awg run through the firewall. As long as you're using less than 13 feet of TOTAL wire (neg & pos) you'll be well within amperage range for 10 awg wire with the 21 amp pull from the lights.

Ram was nice enough to provide a VERY convenient little firewall hole just below the large wire grouping from the dashboard. I hate to say it, but it looks like a little penis and once you snip the tip you have a nice opening for a few wires. Be sure to LUBE THE WIRES before sending them through, I learned that the hard way.

Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 4.jpg

PXL_20210213_040010495.jpg

To keep it clean and classy, I added ring connectors to the end of the 10 awg feed wires and found a nice spot for both of them. The Positive was mounted on the bus bar of the fuse panel, and the negative to where the negative battery wire meets up with the chassis near the driver's side front fender:

Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 5.jpg
PXL_20210213_035958647.jpg

Then came the fun part:

Removing headliner and drilling some holes through my roof. To remove the headliner it was pretty easy all things considered. A majority or the ceiling is VELCROED with a few screw driven clips to hold it all up. I only took down the driver's side of the roof panel since I knew I was only running wires from that side, but it would've been fairly simple to remove the whole headliner if needed.

Step 1: Remove sunglasses cubby and unscrew 2 hex heads located at ceiling. The whole assembly will pull down, be cautious of the 2 clips towards the rear by the lights, might need a flat head to help you ply. Unplug the 2 wire harnesses clipped in.

PXL_20210212_172718076.jpg

Step 2: Drop sun visor mount torx head screws and unclip the power wire.

PXL_20210212_173128815.jpg

Step 3: Remove grab handle hex heads at front and rear

PXL_20210212_174721366.jpg

Step 4: Take off that coat hanger above rear driver's side door.

Step 5: Pop off the little plastic "airbag" covers on the rear cab pillar, and the rear headliner btw the speakers. There are torx head screws behind each.

Step 6: This is the tricky part, you have to sort of bend the hard plastic covering the pillars where the seat belts pivot and get it pulled away from the headliner in order to drop it. Just be careful and TAKE YOUR TIME.

Here's a shot of the headliner dropped. You'll notice that RAM ram a lot of harnesses through the headliner. The Red and Black wires are from the rear Pod lights i was mocking up for install.

PXL_20210212_210357409.jpg

I will continue this post with more photos in the reply so I can keep adding photos of the install...
 

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PP_McPooperson

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After the liner got dropped I mocked up the wiring harnesses to where I wanted them to run. Since I was installing 3 harnesses, 2 to the rear pods and 1 to the front bar, I had to find somewhere to stash the relays. Luckily there is a nice cubby under the front A-pillar bottom clipping point near the speaker that allowed for all 3 relays to tuck under the dash and provided JUST enough wire to reach the roof areas where i was gunna drill. I was left with plenty of length for my switches to get mounted.

PXL_20210212_222714389.jpg

PXL_20210212_222707250.jpg

once i had the relays in place and wires run, i wanted to combine the 2 rear pod switches into 1 so i could turn them both on together. Initially i was going to just hook both lights up to the same relay and feed wires as well, but the 14 awg wires and 5 amp fuse made me double guess myself. After researching the awg & amperage, i was right in keeping them both separate...and since we learned about relays earlier (RIGHT?!) I knew 1 switch can handle both relays bc the amperage from the relay is drastically lower than what's powering the lights.

After getting the switches soldered up, i decided to install them in this little panel left of the center console. I saw another member put theirs here and it would be a cheap piece to replace if I ever needed to switch things up or if i install an SPOD down the road; HOWEVER, what the gentleman did NOT explain was the very limited space that was behind this panel and how you have to shave down a bunch of stuff behind the panel to make them fit correctly. Therefore, i would NOT reccommend this place for these switches. It was a nightmare and took longer to do this than the rest of the project.

PXL_20210213_014540109.jpg
PXL_20210213_014532579.jpg
PXL_20210213_170059449.jpg

Ok, switches wired in and run - now I made the home run to the battery and ground. As i explained/showed in my wiring diagram in my first post, I soldered all the positive feed wires and the negative feed wires from the lights 10 awg wires so i could send a minimal number of wires through the firewall.

NEXT was to drill the roof. As with most normal humans, this part scared the **** outta me, but i figured if I did it with my roof rack and nothing has leaked/rusted in the 6 months it's been on, then why not add a few more holes??

The light bar and the pods both come with disconnects close to the lights. This makes it nice for maintenance or adjustments, but for me, this was super rad bc of the Rhino Rack system I'm using. My rack can be removed without any tools other than an extra set of hands. I wanted to be able to totally remove my rack with my lights if, say, i'm going on a long roadtrip and i didn't wanna listen to the wind the whole way. So having each light disconnects close to the penerations was important. I cut and extended the passenger rear pod wire so the male end was close to where the female would come out of the roof.

To get the female connectors close to the penetrations and to minimize the size of whole i was putting through my roof I had to cut all the wires, feed them through the holes, and then solder them together inside the roof liner. Sounds worse than it was if you've got a good soldering iron set up.

WHERE TO DRILL THE HOLES??


This is a very good question that i did NOT have the answer to before i started this project. However, once the headliner was removed there proved to be VERY convenient spots to drill and run wires through the roof. Under the roof gutter covers, you will find clips and several tiny weld spots where the roof panels are spot welded together, I tried to highlight this in the following photo after i finished one of the wire runs:

Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 3.jpg

Under these spot welds there are these awesome holes that can be seen between the side curtain airbags and the windows. These can be found at the front and rear windows:

Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 1.jpg
Ram Rebel LED Light Install - Page 2.jpg

These holes basically line up with those weld spots so i just drilled close as i could to the welds and was able to drop my wires straight through to the cab.

PXL_20210212_203344992.jpg

PXL_20210212_213558339.jpg

My only advice is to make sure you're not crossing over the airbags with any wires to the passenger facing side. I would only imagine that would not be good if there was a wire in the way of an airbag exploding towards your face.

As you can see above, i blue taped off the area i was drilling and after cleaning up the holes, I made sure to spray it with a METAL PRIMER spray paint. The primer is CLUTCH bc it creates a molecular bond to the steal that will keep your truck from rusting. Regular topcoat spray paint does NOT do that, so please make sure to hit it with a primer first. It drys pretty fast as well. Once the wires were run through the roof, i applied some black 30 yr silicone.

to be continued...
 

PP_McPooperson

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Once the silicone set i took her out for a little spin. I was actually SHOCKED by how bright this front LED bar was. It's almost TOO bright for where I was offroading, i was afraid i was hitting the freeway with it that was a mile away!

Any ways, here's some final photos of the install, hope this helps and please reachout with any questions!!


PXL_20210213_170217947.jpg

PXL_20210213_170214004.jpg

PXL_20210213_170203159.jpg PXL_20210213_170148216.jpg PXL_20210213_170131817.jpg PXL_20210213_170052166.jpg
 

PP_McPooperson

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It's just called the Rhino Rack Platform. They make a bunch of different sizes that would probably work with the 5th Gen Rams but I went with the 52" x 56" bc i didn't want it to hang over too far up front. Here's all the additional components to make the rack fit the 5th Gen Ram Rebel:

(4x) Rhino Rack RLT600 Quick Mount Roof Rack Legs

(4x) Rhino-Rack USA QMFK15 Quick Mount Ditch Bracket

(4x) Rhino Rack PLHSPAIR Quick Mount Heavy Duty Spacer 5mm

This system has to be riveted into the top of your roof, but the ditch bracket kit comes with everything you'll need to keep the water out.
 

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