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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,



After searching for weeks I could not come across even one company or person who has created an aftermarket or modified light for our ATV's. Unhappy with the poor light output of our factory lights I set out from scratch to create something that would make my night riding experience a little more enjoyable ( and hopefully safer)

I did my best to document each step in case anyone else had any interest in doing the same on their Cat! If you have any questions I may have missed about the process please feel free to ask!



Supplies

4 x 7" Flush Mount LED light Bars ($40 on amazon)
Black or clear silicone ($10 local auto store)
Roll of Foam ($10 local dept. store - found some stuff that was made to line toolboxes)
Heat shrinkable quick connects ($15 for a 12 pack)
Black Plastic specific Spray paint ($5 local auto store)
Can of Box liner ($40 local auto store)
Blank Paper
Painters tape


Tools

Dremel W/ Cutting wheel, grinding wheel, and sanding wheel
Drill W/ Drill Bits
Long needle nose pliers
Angle grinder
Paint Brush
Basic Electronic crimps
Butane Torch
Pen
Scissors
Exacto Knife





Step 1 : Remove all four bulbs from the headlight housing. Remove the housing from the ATV by unscrewing the center plastic nut and carefully popping off the plastic snaps at either end.

Step 2 : Get yourself one sheet of paper. Place two of your light bars face down on the paper and trace around them. Once you have two outlines you need to measure inwards to the cooling fins from around the perimeter of the light to get the area for your center cut out. I didn't record these numbers but I believe the ends with the mounts were 1/2" inwards and the sides were 1/4" to 3/8".

Draw yourself an inner perimeter to cutout, and then proceed to cutout the inside of the paper.

You will need two of these templates so repeat this step, the image below should be what your finished product looks like.



Step 3 : This step is quite important because there is no going back once you have decided where to place your templates to cut. You will need to be very accurate with your measuring if you want your headlights to be mirror images of one another!

Place both templates on your headlights, after looking at all of the different options the layout in the picture below was the only one I could come up with that would allow for enough room between the lens and the housing behind for the light to actually fit. Once you have figured out where the lights will fit with enough room behind them tape down your templates with some scotch tape so they can be removed and used on the second light housing.

Trace the inner portion of the headlight as this is the portion you will be cutting out of the lens in the next step. The image below shows the orientation you will likely have to set your templates in but if you find another way, give it a shot!



Step 4 : Time to take out the dremel and your cutting wheel to begin. Ideally have all of your headlights traced out at this point so you can just do them all in one go. Take your time with this, I found to much pressure or too fast of a cutting speed and it would just melt the plastic. Aim to cut on or just inside of the line, you want the fins to just squeeze inside these holes for the tightest fit possible.

After cutting you will then likely need to take out some variation of a grinding wheel to grind the inside of your cut out, until the light fits in. I took a while with this step grinding and stopping periodically to check the fitment so I would not cut to far. Use the sanding wheel to smooth off the finish around your cut to finish this step off.

This image shows after I was finished one cut out, obviously they should all end up looking like this with just enough room to fit the light in.



Step 5 : Using the grinding wheel again grind down the inner refelective part of the housing where ever the cooling fins of your light bar make contact with it. If you end up all the way through the plastic that is fine as the back side will not be sealed anyway. Below is an example of the area I needed to grind on the lights for the cooling fins to squeeze in.



Step 6 : Although I completely forgot to document this step, Make sure to drill large enough holes in the back side of the housing to line up with where light bar mounting bolts are going to be. This is important so that you are able to feed the nut through the back side of the housing and actually bolt your lights in.

Step 7 : Also forgot to take a picture of this, but very simple drop your lights into their newly made sockets in the lens of the headlights. find a drill bit equal in size to the bolts you need for mounting the bars. Drill through the lens using the mounting hole as a guide so that you can later drop the bolts through said holes. If you cant figure out this one due to lack of picture I am concerned how you've come this far.

Step 8: You are now prepared to actually attach the lights to the light housing. You may need to use the long needle nose pliers to get your nut in the holes you made through the back of the housing.

With some pressure applied (enough to kind of squeeze the lens down) tighten the inside (middle of the quad) bolts all the way snug to begin. Next again with some pressure push down the outer portion of the light bar which will now be sticking way out. Tighten this down until it gets tough, it will still have a gap between the light and the lens which will be addressed in the next step. Your lights should now look as pictured below bolted in and beginning to look a bit more like a headlight.



Step 9 : This steps makes it feel a bit more like you are doing arts and crafts and not so much working on your ATV. Using your role of foam you will want to cut as large of pieces as possible to fill the gaps underneath the outsides of your newly installed lights. a few layers will be needed to fill the space. If you are more visual this picture should help to explain what I did here maybe a little better than my wording, but this is what the finished product should look like.





Step 10: Hoping you are better with silicone than myself... ( Although I was not to worried the final product was intentionally going to have a rough finish). Any way here the goal would be to make a smooth seal/transition around the light as well as to hold in the new section of foam you just pressed into place. I was not thinking and used clear but black would be smart if you plan to paint them black (that way if paint chips you would never know). The finished product should look something like this with a smooth or somewhat smooth seal around both lights. This will also aid the bolts in holding the lights into place when things get a little rough!



After both lights have been siliconed allow for some time for them to cure. They should look something like the below picture upon completion of the silicone step.



Step 11: Now we are getting ready to paint, using painters tape cover just the lens portion of your LED lights. there is a slight ridge you can tuck the tape into all the way around to get a perfect seal on the lights. You can sort of see what I am referring to in the picture below.



Step 12: Clean the plastic off so that the paint has the best chance of adhering. Using your plastic specific paint do 3-4 layers allowing dry time between each completely covering the headlights. This step will almost act as a primer as box liner does not seem to like to stick to plastic. After a few coats you should not see any silicone or clear headlights lens as shown below.



Step 13 : Take out your box liner and paint brush if you wish to finish them the same way I did, I opted for this as it will be the most durable outer later you could apply. Also any imperfections in the silicone will be masked by the rough texture of the box liner.



Apply 3-4 layers of box liner allowing dry time between each coat. There are paintable box liners if you wish to make them a certain color afterwards you would then just need to add one more spray painting step.

Allow them to dry, take your exacto knife and cut around the tape that is currently over your lenses (in the crack you previously pushed the tape into). Because the paint is rubbery there is the chance that in pulling off your tape you could take some box liner off with it so we want to avoid that of course. Now remove your tape and reveal the the lens of the LEDs. Your lights should now be complete and look as pictured below ready to go into the atv.





Step 14 : Although I did not see this step coming when I started out I have since decided it was necessary if you want this all to be worth it. IF you have standard AC bumpers skip this step. IF you have the deluxe bumpers you may want to consider it.

It is not shown clearly in this image but when looking face on to the lights the cross bars of the bumper were directly infront of the LED bars. Again being specific to keep symmetry measure to the ends of the led light bar and mark this point with tape on the bumper bars.



Step 15 : Once you've triple checked your measurements take out your grinder ( and your safety gear, face shields, gloves, whatever you deem fit for operating your angle grinder). Using a cutting wheel made specifically for cutting metal, cut on your marks that you just finished to open up the front of the bumper exposing the headlights. * Be sure to not have the headlights installed to avoid wrecking your new finished product.

Step 16 : Reinstall your headlights using your old plastic clips and plastic nut, they will secure exactly as they did before.

Remembering that the shorter wire of the two sockets is for your high beams, decide which of the two new lights you would like to hook to your existing headlight wiring. Also to avoid having to replace lights and or fuses have your battery disconnected at this step.

Cut your old connectors off the existing wires and strip the cable preping it to be attached to your new headlights with the quick connects. Using your electrical Crimps cinch the wires from each side with one another, you cant really mess up the wiring if you just remember black is always ground. Anyway once crimped together take your torch or other heat source and carefully heat the heat shrink sealing in and waterproofing your new wiring.

Clean up the wiring as you wish as you see fit to avoid having it get caught on anything when you're out riding.

When you're all done and hooked up you should have a finished product that looks something like this. and I am quite sure unless you're from Alberta Canada you wont see another cat on the trails quite like yours!







Enjoy all your new found light on the trails! Hope I was descriptive enough feel free to leave any feedback on this post I'd love to hear thoughts. Note the front bumper is not totally complete and I will be adding vertical bars to connect the pieces that look unfinished!

Disclaimer : I am not legally responsible for any damage you do to your ATV or other possessions during or after doing this modification, I am also not legally responsible for any personal injury inflicted during or after performing this modification. This was created as a point of reference and is not guaranteed to work for everyone. Any Information used from this Thread Is at your own risk
 

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Wow awesome write up !!! Well done!
 
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So, HID's or LED replacement bulbs didn't make the cut?


Great step by step.
 
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Led replacement bulb are only good as running lights, HID's are nice, I run LED in low beam, HID in High. Works well.

To OP, they should work well and are unique. I would cut the small cross bars off completely or something as is doesn't look finished as is. Thanks for the right up.
 

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Led replacement bulb are only good as running lights, HID's are nice, I run LED in low beam, HID in High. Works well.

agreed... I do the same plus a 7 1/2" led light bar...
 
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Great write up. I would have done a few things diffrently. I would have used a pc of Lexan or something to mount the lights on cut the same shape of the light hole. With the way you have those mounted their is no way for air to move over the hosing to keep it cool. May run the risk of overheating the lights
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Led replacement bulb are only good as running lights, HID's are nice, I run LED in low beam, HID in High. Works well.

To OP, they should work well and are unique. I would cut the small cross bars off completely or something as is doesn't look finished as is. Thanks for the right up.
Ah! I totally forgot to mention. My friend who is a welder is away for work but the plan is to weld in angled vertical bars top to bottom that intersect the pieces of cross bars I left there!
 

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Whats the rating specs on the lights you are using?


And if I may ask... why didn't you use a HID kit? They put out ALOT more light than leds can...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Whats the rating specs on the lights you are using?


And if I may ask... why didn't you use a HID kit? They put out ALOT more light than leds can...


Each light is an 18w 2200 lumen light. To achieve similar light from a HID, it would require a 36W bulb to generate around 3000 lumens. With a 55W you can make 4500-5000 lumens out of an HID.

I opted for the LED lights for a few reasons, first less power draw on the small battery will put less strain if I am trying to run the winch, hand warmers, accessory lights etc. The power output at 4400 a side was more than enough light for my needs. The cost at $40 is significantly cheaper than HID Bulbs and ballasts. Reliability and life of the lights is significantly longer, not to mention not having to deal with ballasts which tend to be problems from my experience. And of course to try something completely new that no one has ever done to their cat made it a bit more fun!!
 

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I pinned this ,as it is a great write up. Lots of good ideas in this thread as well.
 
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cool idea. post a pic when you get the bumper fixed.

I just bought cheapos for $35 and attached them on my bushguard with a hose clamp!
 
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