How to install a Royalty Core Light Bar Truck Grille

Lots of people see these new grill replacements for their trucks for sale and on cool truck builds but they don’t really have a good understanding of the logistics of how to install them. You either don’t know at all and won’t buy the product due to uncertainty, or you buy it without thinking how it works and regret it because you can’t figure it out.

There’s a new video out explaining a lot of information about these steel mesh aftermarket grilles for trucks and how to do the install. Here’s the video detailing how to install a Royalty Core grille replacement on a Toyota Tundra using Vision X LED offroad light bars:

The first and most important thing most truck enthusiasts probably don’t know is that you have to cut out the center section of your original grille first, in order to install the new one. On some vehicles that middle section will just pop out and there’s no cutting involved, but most of the time you’re not that lucky!

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

Once you have the original grille removed and the center section cut out, if you do it properly the new aftermarket steel mesh grille should fit in place. To hold it in place the new grille should come with some type of mounting mechanism. The Royalty Core grilles come with a bolt and anchor type attachment that works really well:

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

When you get the new grille insert in place then it’s time to install the light bars. Most of the time they will come packaged separately and it’s up to the installer to mount the lights. This is good because the lights add a lot of weight to the product and can make the grille hard to handle.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world's brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world’s brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

When the light bars are mounted and aligned to the grille you can re-attach the truck grille to the truck. Now that the grille is heavier than it was at first it’s a good idea to get some help!

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

With the new grille mounted to the truck and secured using all the factory mounting points it’s time to run power wires to the light bars. The best way to do this is to start with a universal relay harness, wire it to the battery and to a switch inside the vehicle, then safely through the firewall and up onto the hood and finally connected to the new light bars.

Drilling a hole in the dash and mounting a switch; passing wires through the firewall; connecting power wires to the battery; and running power wires up onto the hood all require a fair amount of skilled installation ability. If you don’t understand already how to wire in a relay harness either hire a professional to do it or research the safe methods and learn how to do it yourself. Just be warned that this is definitely considered custom electrical wiring installation.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

The way the install was done on this particular truck grille was to use a set of GTR Lighting LED Halo style in-dash switches. These are some of the nicest looking switches around and fit in most spots on the dash.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

At the top of this post there’s a video to show all of this information in more detail. It’s about 20 minutes long but really goes in depth on the ins and outs of this type of install. Before you decide which grille to purchase, and if you can handle the job yourself check it out. Or click here to watch the video now.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

How to install an LED light bar on the roof of my truck?

If you are like most off-road and truck enthusiasts, one of the things you’re probably REALLY interested in is installing LED lighting. This whole market of upgraded lighting has exploded in the last 2 years and everyone is very eager to get their truck’s upgraded as soon as possible! One thing that has become a trend though in the last few months is redneck style roof mounting… You’ve probably seen it done where you live and heck, maybe you’ve done it yourself.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I hate the look, but I can’t blame some people! They buy a 50″ light bar for their truck and it comes with brackets – so you mount it on your truck, right? I believe the secret to successful lighting upgrades is education, so I’m going to show you the right way and the wrong way to install a roof mount light bar on your truck, the biggest trick is getting a hold of a vehicle specific roof mount kit. If you installed your light bar like this, then you did it wrong:

THE WRONG WAY:

When you use the “universal” brackets that come with the light bar and just mount them to the top of your roof skin it LOOKS STUPID! Don’t do it! These “universal” brackets are a cheap way to mount your light bar, and then guess what happens – your truck looks cheap!

Listen, I don’t mean to belittle your manhood because you didn’t know any better, but now you don’t have any excuse. Let me show you the proper way to mount a light bar to your truck, it’s important to find a good vehicle specific light bar bracket kit, or fabricate something that works the same way, the end result should be something like this:

THE RIGHT WAY:

GMC Canyon Roof Light Bar Canyon LED Roof Mount Light BarOn this Canyon, a set of N-Fab roof mount light bar brackets were used for the install. The first thing you’ll notice is that it looks better than the first set of pictures. Getting the light bar up and off of the roof makes the whole setup look great. Secondly it allows you to position the light bar in a more usable way. Getting the light bar up and away from the roof allows the light bar to not be blocked by the roof skin right in front of it.

Here’s another example on another vehicle of how to properly mount an LED Light bar on the roof of your truck:

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 Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

 

photo 2 (1)Probably the best way to find out which vehicle specific light bar bracket to use is to first contact Headlight Revolution. They know what works and what doesn’t and can definitely get you set up with not only a light bar bracket, but also the right mounting and wiring components to make it all work.

 

Wiring: When you get the light bar properly mounted to your roof, and all the holes are sealed to become waterproof, it’s time to run your wiring. DO NOT just run the wiring loosely through the door jam.  The best way to do this is to drill a new hole in your roof near your roof mount brackets and run the wiring down directly into the cab of the truck. This is the best method because it is the shortest distance for the wire to travel, and it has the least chance of getting smashed in your door jamb.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

 

However, if you’re really not sure how to do the install, you should either be prepared to drill holes in your roof as a learning experience, or hire a local professional install shop to do it for you.

If you need any help with what bracket kit you need for you truck, just ask!

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.

The World’s Only DOT Approved Street Legal LED Light Bar

JW Speaker DOT Approved LED Light Bar

JW Speaker DOT Approved LED Light Bar

If you’ve been looking for light bars for your vehicle, you’ll see that most all of them are for off-road use only.  The JW Speaker Model 9049-M light bar is the is the first of its kind: it was designed with on road driving as an option. When first released, the 9049 was even labeled as DOT approved. This statement was later retracted as the light bar was said to be three individual lights. In most states, a driver can have at most four driving lights on at a time. The JW Speaker 9049 light bar creates a wide, low, fog light beam pattern unlike off-road light bars. Watch the video below to get a full review of the 9049 light bar.

JW Speaker TS3000 – The Brightest of its Kind!

The JW Speaker TS3000 has the brightest Candela light you will find in this size range. An individual TS3000 has 117,500 Candela output. Most people think the only important thing is the Lumen number but Candela is equally as important if not more important. Lumen is the amount of light the product produces but Candela is a measurement of how well that light is used. Candela is kind of like an efficiency rating of the lumen. The JW Speaker products have a very high Candela rating. The more intelligence that is put into the design of the light the more efficient it can be made and therefore the higher Candela rating. JW Speaker excels in some of the best lighting engineering in the world, it’s no wonder their lights are so impressive.

JW Speaker TS3000 & TS3000R

JW Speaker TS3000 & TS3000R

The TS3000 comes in many different options. You can get a flood pattern or a pencil beam pattern, you can get a black or silver housing and you can get the TS3000v or the TS3000R. The TS3000V is a 5×7″ oval and the TS3000R is a 6″ round housing. The driving beam (DOT Flood) projects out an impressive 1,600 feet with a generous foreground illumination, while the extremely long pencil beam shoots its focused beam a full 2,600 feet.  The die-cast aluminum housing incorporates an integrated mounting bracket. This means that the lamp is incredibly stable and won’t suffer from vibration. As you can see below it can be mounted in many different locations.

8 TS3000s mounted on 1 Jeep

8 TS3000s mounted on 1 Jeep!

Over at Headlight Revolution we found an in depth video about the JW Speaker TS3000. If you want to learn more about these powerful lights watch this unboxing, review and demonstration below.

Affordable, bright and compact LED Driving Light: JW Speaker 4410

The JW Speaker model 4410 is an awesome offroad or driving light because it’s LED (low power consumption) and has a great flood beam pattern (super bright!). I’ve seen people put these on trucks, motorcycles, outside of campers, work trailers and even on warehouse rigs for moving pallets – they work great anywhere that you don’t have a ton of space but DO NEED a ton of light:

JW Speaker 4410 offroad driving light

Headlight Revolution just did a video review on this product, and I think it’s worth checking out if you need something like this. It’s not the brightest LED light out there, but it’s pretty awesome for the money! This is one of the most affordable LED light pods on the market:

Is LED superior to HID?

When trying to decide which auxiliary off-road lighting or headlights for your vehicle, nowadays it’s a tough choice whether or not to go with HID or LED. For HID there are some reasonable options that are cost-effective when comparing to LED. However, HID cannot hold a candle to LED’s power consumption and lifespan. For headlights, it all depends on the application and your desired effect.

If you have a Jeep Wrangler, semi truck or an older vehicle that uses sealed beam headlights, then you can use LED headlights, or several different HID options. Starr HID makes vehicle specific projector HID headlights that are very high quality or you can just use a GTR Lighting HID conversion kit. If you have a 7″ round, 6″ Round, 4×6″ Rectangular or 5×7″ Rectangular sealed beam setup then you can use a full LED headlight from a company like Truck-Lite, JW Speaker or GTR Lighting. The differences will be this:

  • HID Headlights will Be Brighter, by about double
  • HID Headlights will not last as long. LED Headlights last 10x longer than HID
  • LED Headlights are the new technology, they look cooler and draw 1/10 the energy to operate
  • Some LED Headlights are brighter than stock
  • HID Headlights are available in a range of different colors
  • HID Headlights can be used in any application
  • LED Headlights have a narrow application range
  • Most LED Headlight Bulb replacements are not bright enough yet to be safe (hard to know which ones can be used safely)
JW Speaker makes some of the world's best LED headlight and LED off-road products.

JW Speaker makes some of the world’s best LED headlight and LED off-road products.

When looking at off-road lighting and comparing HID to LED it’s not quite as difficult of a choice but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • HID Headlights will be much cheaper. A 6″ 35w HID off-road light will run anywhere from $150 – $500
  • 35w HID will produce 3,000 – 3,600 Lumens of output. 55w HID will produce 4,500 – 5,500 Lumens of output.
  • LED is available in many configurations running from 900 Lumens (a single 10w LED product) all the way up to 35,000 Lumens (Vixion X XIL-PX7240)
  • LEDs will traditionally draw less energy than HID
  • HID and LED can both be found in long-range configurations

Overall, in terms of which is better for headlights, it’s a toss-up because the LED technology has not been developed far enough to be a universal application. But I predict in the future LED headlights will take over the world – they are the future.

In terms of LED off-road lighting, hands-down LED takes the cake, compared to LED off-road lighting, HID is old news. You will never find a viable HID option that will make over 40,000 Lumens (even that is stretching the imagination) and with LED it’s already easy to put 100,000 Lumens on the front of your truck.

Dodge Ram HID Lights

This 2010 Dodge Ram has a total of 9 HID lights on the front end! Talk about creating a wall of light! A total of 31,500 Lumens of light output!

Nicksquared Rally Race Team Sponsored by GTR Lighting

Nick Squared GTR Lighting

Team Nicksquared, Rally Race Car Drivers, have been sponsored by GTR Lighting!

Team Nicksquared, comprised of driver Nicholas Robertson and Nick Judkins, drives Rally America car #202; a 2012 Subaru Legacy STI race car. The vehicle was ordered by the team specifically to be turned into a race car, so now with less than 5,000 miles on the clock it is set to debut at the LSPR (Lake Superior Pro Rally) event in late October. With intentions of nothing but becoming the best in the industry, this team has really set themselves up to achieve those goals. They are starting with arguably the best car for the sport, the best safety equipment, driving skills that Pastrana would be jealous of and now, the best lighting in the world! GTR Lighting has chosen to sponsor the team by upgrading every original light bulb on the car with either an HID conversion kit or an LED replacement bulb, including:

GTR Lighting OEM Style Low Beam HID D2C 5,000K Bulbs
GTR Lighting 35w High Beam HID Conversion Kit 5,000K
GTR Lighting 55w Fog Lights HID Conversion Kit 3,000K
GTR Lighting Front TW6 Style Amber LED Turn Signal Bulbs
GTR Lighting Rear TW6 Style Amber LED Turn Signal Bulbs
GTR Lighting Ceramic-Based 1 watt 194 Style LED License Plate Bulbs
GTR Lighting TW6 Style White Reverse Light LED Bulbs
GTR Lighting Subaru Logo LED Door Projectors

Team Nicksquared sponsored by GTR Lighting

The GTR Lighting sponsored race car from Team Nicksquared, Rally America car #202.

GTR Lighting Sponsors the Team nicksquared

Team Nicksquared posing next to their new race car, ready to win!

Team Nicksquared rally car

Car #202 ripping through the dirt, on the way to victory in the Rally America circuit.

For more information on the team, visit Team Nicksquared on Facebook here. For more information on the sponsor, GTR Lighting, visit the GTR website here.

Review of the JW Speaker TS3000 LED Offroad Light

JW Speaker TS3000

The newest and perhaps wildest LED off road lighting product on the market: The J.W. Speaker model TS3000.

Have you seen or heard anything about the new TS3000 LED Driving lamp from the American lighting manufacturer J.W. Speaker? It is pretty insane, and I want to tell you about it. If you’re trying to decide what type off auxiliary lighting to put on your rig, consider this. You’ve got all types of options, the most common is the old style of round halogen or HID offroad lights. Now today we’re seeing more and more LED products from Companies like JW Speaker and Vision X lighting. They are becoming the mainstay on the high end sport trucks, and the weekend mud warrior. JW Speaker Corp. out of Germantown, Wisconsin has released what may be the coolest LED off road light that’s ever existed. Here’s the thing: It shoots out light up to nearly 2,000 feet (600 meters)! That’s getting pretty close to a half mile of light output, which is pretty unheard of from any type of lighting product. Also, the light is available with different lenses (clear polycarbonate, blue polycarbonate or amber polycarbonate) and 2 different beam patterns: Pencil Beam or Driving Beam:

Speaker TS3000 Beam Pattern

The TS3000 is available in a Pencil Beam or a Driving Beam pattern, both are wildly bright!

This light is new, powerful and rugged, but some people have accused JW Speaker of creating an “Alien-Like” fixture, that some people don’t really like the idea of using. It breaks the traditional mold of what is normal or expected when it comes to off road lights and I think that’s why I like it. Really, it’s looks are the only thing that could possibly be held against it – and that’s just subjective! Here are some technical specs of the light:

  • Voltage input: 12v – 24v
  • Available in Driving or Pencil Beam
  • Clear Polycarbonate Lens
  • Driving beam is available in DOT-compliant and ECE-compliant configurations
  • Optional colored lenses available
  • 4-Year Manufacturer’s warranty
  • Integrated 2-Pin Deutsch Weather-Proof Socket
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Current Draw: 3.700 Amps @ 12V DC
  • Bracket and Housing Material: Silver Painted Die Cast Aluminum
LED Headlights and Driving Lights

Jeeps love JW Speaker Lighting Products!

Currently the bracket/housing is only available in stock in silver, but if you can wait about a month and a half JW Speaker’s factory in Wisconsin will custom-build you a light with black brackets instead, or you could just paint the silver one yourself… So the next time you’re shopping for a new reliable, rugged, cool and eye-catching offroad lighting product, take a moment to look into the JW Speaker TS3000 LED Off Road Light.