Custom Hot Rod – 1971 Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Trike Build

Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Three Wheeler Trike

Montgomery Ward T555 Trail Master Three Wheeler Trike

Everybody has probably seen a Montgomery Ward 3 wheeler, but had no idea it was called a T555 (pronounced Tee Five Fifty Five) and also nicknamed the Trail Master. These things can be found at any antique show, your grandpa’s shed buried under old blankets and sawdust, or on your parent’s home videos from the 70’s. These were produced by Montgomery Ward in Omaha, Nebraska in the early 1970’s and were all built by hand. Only a few are left in operation today and from time to time you can find one that was restored and able to be ridden today.

This is what most of these 3 wheeled death traps look like nowadays.

This is what most of these 3 wheeled death traps look like nowadays.

I got a hold of one of these things, found in an older gentleman’s garage – hadn’t been touched in decades, and I fell in love with it! There was just something about the American nostalgia about it, and the cool shape and design, knowing it was hand-built 40 years ago by Montgomery Ward, I just had to have it – and I had to fix it up! Like most vehicles that I own I can’t just leave them stock, I had to customize it and make it mine.

We started with the frame: Moved the seat back 5 inches, and removed the flange in the middle of the frame in front of the seat. We had the whole thing powdercoated a metallic black, and the front fender and foot-wells were coated in Line-x bed coating for durability. The wheels were also taken apart and powdercoated silver to match some other components on the engine.

Next we had a new seat made out of waterproof vinyl by a local upholstery shop, took the engine apart, powdercoated the cover panels and ordered a bunch of new drivetrain parts. We got all new bearings, new brakes (custom made lines), new twist-throttle handlebar grips, a new brake handle, built a custom battery box for a Vision X battery and built a wildly custom intake an exhaust using a K&N filter, and a custom mini-bike style exhaust muffler. Everything got the presidential treatment! No expense was spared, and the whole project probably cost me about $5K with buying the trike, new parts, powdercoating, custom fabricating, and other labor.

We actually found an updated engine from a 1980’s snowblower to use instead of the original one, but it was still the Tecumseh HM80 used to power this American Made beast! The reason for going with the newer engine was not that the original was worn out, but the new one had less antiquated electronics controlling the ignition and came with a built in electric-start for use with a 110v extension cord! We thought about upgrading to a 10hp engine, but thought we should at least keep the engine original-ish.

On the front of the T555 trike we did all kinds of stuff there too. We found some motorcycle handlebar grips that had a really cool Harley/hot rod look to them, pointed on the ends, and an integrated twist-style throttle. Also, we tossed the original two-handle brake levers and installed a brand new single lever brake handle, with all new brake pads, and all new cables which had to be custom made. Also mounted on the handle bar is a Vision X LED Light bar and a dirt-bike style ignition kill switch.

The original headlight on this thing was a 4.5″ round halogen incandescent lamp that was actually routed through the wiring as part of the ignition circuit. We pulled it off and installed a direct replacement (same brand as the original also) JW Speaker brand 6045 LED headlight. JW Speaker still even had the rubber retaining rings in stock to hold it in place so we were even able to use the stock headlight bucket.

 

The finishing touches on this trike was a set of red LED driving lights mounted to the rear of the truck, activated on the same circuit as the headlight. We used a pair of GTR Lighting 7″ long LED Lightning strips because they are super low profile (don’t really even notice them when off), and they are waterproof, and insanely bright!

GMC Canyon Roof Mounted LED Light Bar

If you have a GMC Canyon or Chevy Colorado, and you want to put a roof-mounted light bar on it you’ve probably found that nobody makes a vehicle specific kit. A friend of mine wanted to add this type of Light Bar setup to his 2007 Canyon and I found a product that actually works really good!

Canyon LED Roof Mount Light Bar

You’ll need these items to make it work (Click the links to see each part):

For this installation we actually installed Nut-Certs into the roof, drilled a hole through the roof for the wiring to go through, and used stainless steel cap bolts from the hardware store. All I wanted to help with was to show pictures that it can be done, show you what size light bar to use, and some pictures to give you an idea of how it all goes together.

We used the Vision X brand XIL-801 Flood Beam LED Light bar, it’s 42″ long and fit perfectly on the roof of this Canyon. We got all of the parts to do this install from Headlight Revolution, so if you want to replicate this install contact Headlight Revolution at this link: HERE.

Flexible White Tube with White and Amber LEDs for Custom Headlights

I spent the week in Las Vegas for the 2014 SEMA show recently and a new product caught my eye… probably because it was used in a TON of vehicles, and I’ve never seen it before.

At first glance it looked like just an accent piece or something, like a white trim piece… then at night they turned them on!!

White silicone or rubber strips used for custom headlight accents.

White silicone or rubber strips used for custom headlight accents.

Here are the accent strips lit up. They shine bright white, and blink amber.

Here are the accent strips lit up. They shine bright white, and blink amber.

 

The cool thing about these strips is that they stay on with the parking light signal and illuminate white, then because they also connect to the blinker trigger, they blink amber when using your turn signals.

White for "parking" lights, and amber for blinkers.

White for “parking” lights, and amber for blinkers.

The harness has 3 wires: ground, + parking and + blinker. Also, the strip is trimmable to fit any application.

The harness has 3 wires: ground, + parking and + blinker. Also, the strip is trimmable to fit any application.

When turned off, they are just subtle white strips, much better looking than the common yellow LED strips that most people are using.

Here are some of the vehicles at the car show sporting the GTR Lighting flexible rubber LED tubes :

 

Jeep LED Fog Light Upgrades: Review of the Four Best Options.

If you are looking to upgrade your Jeep Wrangler JK fog lights, you’ve probably thought about making the switch to LED. Here is a video that talks about four of the most popular LED fog light options for the Jeep JK. This video will walk you through all the specs of the different LED fog lights, show you the pros and cons, and walk you through the installation of each light in a Jeep Wrangler JK front bumper. The video does go in-depth on each LED light, so we’ve broken the video down for you. After watching this video you’ll be ready to make the choice of what LED fog light is best for your Jeep JK.

This video reviews the Truck-Lite 80275, the JW Speaker 6045, the JW Speaker 6145, and the Vision X 2″ 10w Solstice Solo.

 

The first two LED Fog Lights reviewed for the Jeep JK are the Truck-Lite 80275, and the JW Speaker 6045. Both of these LED Lights are PAR36, 4.5″ lights, and as you can see from the video, both of these lights use extra brackets to mount them from behind the JK bumper. At 8:34 you can watch the steps to install both of these lights.

PAR36 LED fog light mounting bracket

 

Here’s a quick look at the specifications of the Truck-Lite 80275 and the beam pattern it gives off. The 80275 is a great cost saving option for new LED fog lights especially if you already have the Truck-lite LED headlights.

truck lite fog lighttruck lite fog light beam pattern

 

Here’s a quick look at the specifications of the JW Speaker 6045 and the huge beam pattern it gives off.

JW Speaker 6045 LED Fog lightjw speaker 6045 beam pattern

 

 

These next two options are great because they have built in brackets for an easy behind the bumper installation. These are the JW Speaker 6145, and the Vision X 2″ 10w Solstice Solo. At 18:54 you can watch the mounting of these two lights in a Jeep bumper.

Jeep LED Fog Lights with built in mounting

 

Here’s a look at the specifications of the JW Speaker 6145. The design is a little smaller than the 6045 predecessor, but that allows the light to fit just as well as the original stock fog light housing. Here you’ll also see the impressive beam pattern that has a great color.

JW Speaker 6145 LED Fog Lightjw speaker 6145 beam pattern

 

 

And the last LED fog light reviewed is the Vision X 2″ 10w Solstice Solo. Here you’ll see the specs and the beam pattern. This fog light was designed for off-road use and gives off a long beam of direct light.

10W Vision X Solstice Solo LED Fog Light10W Vision X Solstice Solo LED Fog Light beam pattern

 

If you want to look at more pictures and pricing of any of these fog light options, check out the Jeep Wrangler section at Headlight Revolution here.

Here is the full video:

 

How to Roof Mount Install the new Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar

Have you seen this new LED light bar technology from Vision X? They’ve invented a light bar that uses individual reflector style LED optics instead of the traditional style, and THEY ARE NOT ALL STRAIGHT! This is a totally innovative way to design a light bar, just check out the effect when turned on:

The other thing that is different about the new XPI series of LED light bar is the mounting method. There was no option for side / end-cap mounting, only with the supplied brackets, and these supplied brackets are not designed to mount on the roof using an N-Fab bracket kit, so we got creative and made it work! Here’s how we did it:

 

Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar install parts

These are the install parts that came with the Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar.

The Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar mounting

The Vision X 51″ XPI LED Light Bar comes with two options for mounting. Bottom style “foot” mounting like this.

The Vision X 51" XPI LED Light Bar

This second option is installing mounting feet to both ends.

 

We wanted to do something a little different. With roof brackets already installed on the Tundra, we wanted to do a roof mount install. If you’re like us and want to install the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar on your roof, keep reading and we’ll show you what we did.

Bolt size for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

By bringing the Vision X bolt that was included with the XPI light bar to the hardware store, we were able to find its size. M6x1.0

Bolt size for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

The bolt we decided on was a Hex Flange Bolt, M6 x 1.0P x 16mm

Bolt and washers for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

We also picked up some locking washers and a pair of heavy duty Grade 8 washers (not pictured here).

Bolt and washers for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

On the right you’ll see the bolt that was included with the XPI light bar. The one on the left is the one we put together. We wanted something stronger and longer to support a roof mount install.

lock tight for the Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Bolt

We added some lock light to the bolts.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

XPI light bar has two sets of holes on each side that both bolt on the mounting feet. Since we’re doing a roof mount, we got to choose which hole to use and decided on the top one. That brought the Light Bar closer to the roof.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

With one side bolted on, we went to the next side.

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar

Vision X  XPI LED Light Bar Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

This style of mounting method worked, but I don’t think it would be recommended by Vision X! If you want to copy what we did, beware that you do so at your own risk!

After doing the install and driving around with it mounted on the truck for a while, here are some new tips and tricks:

1. Install a rubber washer between the light bar and the roof mount brackets. This will help with any vibration you might have and keep some positive pressure on all of the hardware.

2. If you have vibration issues try removing the long metal bracket that supports the underside foot-mounting system. To do this you have to break the seal on the end caps, which voids the warranty, but then you won’t have that loose metal bar clanging around. Be careful, we can do it for you if you don’t want to try it!

3. It’s really easy to point the light bar up too high or down too low. Play around with it, keep the tools in your truck and mess around with it at night until you get it just right!

If you want to order a Vision X XPI (Xmitter Prime Iris) light bar please contact Headlight Revolution for all of your LED needs!

Custom JW Speaker 8700 LED Headlights with Halo Angel Eyes

If you are into Jeeps, Harley Davidson motorcycles or Hummer H1 and H2 trucks, then you’re probably pretty familiar with the JW Speaker 8700 7″ round LED headlight, well it’s about time, but these things are finally being modified!

Check out this video above to see a set of JW Speaker 8700 LED headlights modified to fit a set of COB technology LED Halos (also commonly known as angel eyes). We saw a set on eBay not too long ago too! I’m sure you could find a bargain somewhere.

Anyways, Headlight Revolution is to blame for this new modification idea so contact them HERE for more info on how to get your own modified LED headlights!

The Revolution is Here!

So, this will be a short post, I just wanted to tell you about a new website called the Headlight Revolution:

The revolution is here!

The revolution is here!

This new website is designed to help people break the chains of conventional and boring halogen lighting and introduce the newest, most powerful, cutting edge lighting options for different applications in the world! If you ever need to find the hottest and wildest new lighting products, they WILL be hosted at the Revolution!

Check it out here:

www.HeadlightRevolution.com

The Headlight Revolution is here!

The Headlight Revolution is here!