Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
negativecamber

Under Bonnet Light - great idea

Recommended Posts

This is a very handy mod the i saw in HOT4s (yes i know, but), and i did it today and i am very heppy with it.

 

The purpose of this mod is for a light under the bonnet that can be used when looking under the bonnet at night, whether you are broken down in the hills or showing off in a maccas car park. It sure beats using a mobile phone light or crappy torch.

 

Items needed:

 

Cold Cathode Flurescent Light approx 300mm long. (many colours available but white is best for this mod). I purchased mine from Jaycar electronics for $19.95, other places that will sell them are computer modding places (CCFL's are normally used in computer cases to make them cool). just make sure you get an inverter with it so you can use it on a 12V power source.

 

Drill + small drill bits.

 

Electrical Switch ($2-$8 depending on how fancy)

 

Crimping tools (pliers can work also)

 

Electrical wire (red and black help keep it all standard.)

 

Cloth tape (also called race tape), but anything heavy duty and water proof is best.

 

Male and Female connectors that are insulated.

 

Small zip ties (approx 4-8)

 

1 metre of soft foam strip with adhesive backing approx $1.90 at bunnings

 

[/b]optional: marking pen, long screw, hammer

 

Lets Get Started:

 

Start By locating where the light will be fitted, make sure that it will have clearance to close the bonnet! otherwise you are a dill. All cars are different so try many different combo's to find what suits you best.

after you have located the right spot, hold the light against the bonnet and mark 4 points (2 at each end for the zip ties) with a parking pen. what i did here was get a long screw and use a hammer to centre punch the 4 points needed to be drilled. this makes it more accurate for the drilling.

 

once you have drilled your 4 holes, poke the zip ties through like this:

BL1.jpg

 

then cut a section of the foam strip the same length as the light, remove the backing and stick it across where the tube will be placed like this. i did this to help absorb the vibrations and bumps which could damage the light:

 

BL2.jpg

 

Now find a spot to mount the inverter (little box attatched to the fluro tube), i found a good spot that just sits behine the headlight area where there is plenty of room to breathe. ventalation is not important but i dont like squashing electrics in tight places where there could be heat. i found the bast method of mounting this little box was to measure the length of the 2 mounting holes either end and then centre punch them into place before drilling the holes. i used a smaller drill than the zip ties here because the kit had screws supplied. stick a little of the foam strip on the back of the inverter to help absorb vibrations once again here.

 

BL3.jpg

 

now zip tie the light in also to see that everything is fitting nicely so far.

 

BL4.jpg

 

now gently (listen johnny), gently close the bonnet to make sure it wont be fowling on anything.

what i did was use the remaining foam strip and stick it to where it might rub, just incase.

 

BL5.jpg

 

now that it is in place its time to wire it to some power and make it all neat.

 

i used the cloth tape to secure the wires to the bonnet so that they wouldnt have a chance to melt, fray or get damaged in anyway. if you have the chance to route the wires through any holes in the bonnet then do so. here's the wiring looking a bit neater now.

 

BL8.jpg

 

now here is where you will need to use the extra electrical wires. the wires from the inverter box will not be any longer than 500mm probably so here is where you extend the red and black wires to whatever length you may need. i used spade connectors here so in future is the bonnet needs to come off i can just unplug the wires as opposed to cutting them. remember that we will be wiring it to a constant power source from the battery so insulate it where you can, dont leave a hazzard waiting to happen. if you are worried about your dodgy work, then install a 5 amp inline fuse to be safe. i just took the black (ground) wire to the nearest bolt on the wheel arch to sort the earthing out. iused some silicon hose that i had lying around to cover the wires around the honnet hinge since these will get a lot of movement in their time to be safe. this was purely because i could.

 

BL6.jpg

 

now its time to locate a power source for the 12V line. you can use the fuse box here and just mount the swith either on the side of the fuse box or make it an inline switch. just make sure that it is easy to find in the dark and it wont be in any danger to getting melted. i actually wired the power to a switch in my console since i already have some there above the SAFC2. The mounting of the switch and the power source are purely up to you, whether its in the engine bay or interior. for a constant power wire, you could use the constant power wire from the stereo headunit (ususlly yellow of the unit loom). however if you cant fint a power source, either run a wire straight from the battery or use a test light and poke around untill you find a wire with power when the car in turned off. for those who are very novice, the switch goes between the power source and the light to form a break in the line when switched 'off'

 

here is my switch:

BL9.jpg

 

now check over your work once more to make sure that the wires are all neat and covered in tape to protect them. close the bonnet a few times to make sure the light and the inverter box wont touch anything. here is a final look of how it should be:

 

BL7.jpg

 

the cold cathode lights will get brighter the longer they are on, so it is best to turn it on then wait up to 5 minutes for them to be the brightest they can be. i will have to wait till dark to see how well it lights up properly, but i tested in in the dark garage and i was very impressed for the simple mod that only cost me $20! next time i am broken down at night or fixing that damn blown cooler pipe i know i will be thankfull for this mod.

 

please dont hesitate to ask me any further questions.

 

scotty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow awesome idea . ill look into it :)

 

love the switch setup you got . looks tight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just to add a comment:

 

i tested this at night and it has very good visibility. as i said earlier, it will start off dim and then warm up and get brighter. i would take pics but at night time its too hard to get a picture that actually shows how effective it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ah very nice, im gunna do this in my car aswell i rekon, soo many times at night iv had to use my phone as a light to look around <_ but this looks heaps better src="%7B___base_url___%7D/uploads/emoticons/default_yes.gif" alt=":yes:">

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea how quickly this would use your battery? Even a rough guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very very minimal draw on the battery, it works like those fancy earth friendly light bulbs i believe. it takes a few minutes to reach full brightness also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i put a c cell torch in my flare holder, comes in handy too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cool idea! i was going to do this but use a 12v led strip, no need for a transformer and drains a lot less power than a cold cathode

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cool idea! i was going to do this but use a 12v led strip, no need for a transformer and drains a lot less power than a cold cathode

 

i have been looking for a small led strip for a long time now, where did you get yours? i'm sure its brighter too!

 

i just installed a white neon as my interior light also since i have no roof lining or lights. how much was the led strip also mate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cool idea! i was going to do this but use a 12v led strip, no need for a transformer and drains a lot less power than a cold cathode

 

i have been looking for a small led strip for a long time now, where did you get yours? i'm sure its brighter too!

 

i just installed a white neon as my interior light also since i have no roof lining or lights. how much was the led strip also mate?

 

got the led strip through my work - www.ledlighting.net.au

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a good idea mate. Atleast u can stuf around using both hands n not have to worry bout holding a light. Ive got one with a 5m cord that plugs into cig lighter. Only benefit that has on this idea is that i can be used under/over front or rear of the car. End up wid 1 less working hand though having to hold the farkin thing. GOOD STUFF dude :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awsome idea! Couldn't even start to tell ya how many times i've worked on the car to the early hours with one hand because the other is holding the light :Drugs: great stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×