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                   Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 10:35PM

Event vehicle reconfiguration, continued (part 4)

By DAN ROBINSON
Editor/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Observing
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Safety lights update: Although I'm not 100% happy with the setup, I have functional safety lights for now. I decided that since I already had the $150 strobe system, I'd rather try to find a way to use it rather than spending another $100 or more on a new setup. I found a set of rectangular amber marker lights at the auto parts store that, with some work, I was able to get the strobe bulbs to fit inside (after removing the stock incandescent bulb). I made brackets for them that fit down behind the rear interior panel below the window, without any screws or bolts needed to hold them in place. I bought a cigarette lighter plug to wire to the flasher unit, and that's all it took to get things functional. All told, about 10 bucks spent. Since I won't be using this but once in a great while, I decided not to waste time on wiring in a switch - just leaving it as a plug-in-when-needed system.

The lights work fine, but I'm not really happy with how they look inside the cab. The brackets and wiring look pretty sloppy, and the cables are too big to conceal (they're outdoor-rated 3-conductor, and therefore bulky) and really clutter up the space. The amber lenses are also visible from the outside when they're not running, which is also something I'm trying to avoid. I think I may just pack this whole setup away in the toolbox and only set it up on expedition days (it takes all of 30 seconds to put the lights up in the window).

So, it's down to the Jotto desk and the cab storage setup. I'll probably tackle those later this month or whenever I have the time and motivation.

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The following comments were posted before this site switched to a new comment system on August 27, 2016:

Looks good Dan,If your looking for somthing more in warning lights whelen is a really good choice, the new truck looks great! i know what a pain it is to have to get an expedition vechicle ready...ive been observing for 3 years and im still working on mine...and getting a new one soon!..Good Luck.
- Posted by Jay from Canada
I second the Whelen's. I have a set mounted facing the rear in my tahoe using 14gauge wire, which is much easier to conceal. I can send you a picture if you would like. It was a clean install and the lights are awesome!
- Posted by Clarence from Nashville, TN
Thanks guys, I think I'd be OK with this setup if the brackets and wires were black and the lights weren't so visible from the outside. I may tweak things a little more sometime when I get a free afternoon.
- Posted by Dan R. from Charleston, WV
Your setup really isn't too bad at all. But if you get to tweaking with it, you may find you can pull off the plastic panel below the window and run everything behind it. I did that with my Tahoe and it was pretty painless :-)
- Posted by Clarence from Nashville, TN
That's an idea - I might try painting those wires black, which would also help keep it low-profile.
- Posted by Dan R. from Charleston, WV

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