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Let There Be Light | BAP Off-Road 52″ Lightbar Install & Review

Are you a 4WD enthusiast who enjoys a night time drive?

Check out our install & product review for the BAP Off-road 52” curved light bar.

BAP Light Bar

The joys of summer have inevitably, come to an end once again. In Victoria, this means two things, the end of daylight savings and the likelihood of spending more time driving in the dark.

With this in mind, I finally decided to pull the trigger on a new LED light bar for the Great White. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t already have good aftermarket lighting. I’ve got a decent pair of 9” LED spotties bolted to the bulbar that do a great job for highway work, but I needed something with a greater spread for the bush tracks. Plus, a few more lumens never hurt anyone right?

LightBar

I decided on the new BAP Off Road 52” curved light bar. The bar only cost me $259 delivered, which also included a wiring loom.

On paper, the specs looked good, plus my mate already runs their 42” bar (which impressed the hell out of me on the last night run).  Another reason I chose BAP Off Road was their 3-year replacement warranty. When a company backs their products like that, I’m happy to give them a crack.

Mounting System

To mount the bar above the windscreen, I turned to the Bullseye Products, GU 50” Patrol screen mounts. The mounts include all mounting hardware and sticky-back foam to save your paintwork. These set me back $144 including delivery.  Not cheap, but as always, you get what you pay for and the finish of these mounts is top notch.

Now, those of you paying attention might have noticed that this doesn’t quite add up. It’s not a typo, Bullseye only make mounts to fit 50” bars. While I could have made life easier on myself (where’s the fun in that), and just bought a 50” light bar, I wanted the upgraded performance of the second generation BAP Offroad bars, which annoyingly don’t come in a 50” curved size! Plus I reckon a 52” bar looks heaps better on the GU windscreen.

Installation

To make these mounts fit with the larger light bar; I had to employ a very subtle tool, one reserved for only the most surgical of jobs, the big rubber mallet! Lacking a bench vice (which would have made this job a breeze). I resorted to some scrap timber and a very brave (or very stupid) mate, to hold the brackets in place while I let rip with the mallet.

After a fair bit of “persuasion”, various test fits and more “persuasion” (possibly some choice words thrown around too); we managed to get the light bar mounted up! Looking bloody good too, even if I do say so myself!

Wiring

Now, with the hard part of the job complete, it’s time for the small matter of wiring up the 12v and installing the switch. As many of you know, driving light laws in Australia (especially in relation to LED light bars) are bloody confusing!!

There is however one rule that all States can agree on, any additional driving lights MUST be switched via the vehicle’s high beam circuit. I.e. your additional lights cannot be wired in any way, that allow them to operate independently of the vehicle’s high beams.

The wiring loom included all the necessary components to wire up the LED bar legally; fuse, relay and a cable to tap to the high beam circuit.

If you have some 12v wiring experience, it’s relatively easy to wire the bar up using this loom. You just need to do a bit of soldering but you will need a test light or multimeter to identify your high beam circuit. You’ll also require wire strippers and a crimping tool to wire up your switch correctly. (I used a rocker switch, not the basic button switch supplied with the loom.)

You may be tempted to use scotch locks if you aren’t handy with the soldering iron, but I really do NOT recommend it. They are prone to failure and can cause faulty connections (especially with the abuse we put our vehicles through). I prefer to solder EVERY connection, this way I can be sure that any failures will not be due to my wiring.

The Verdict

Overall, I’m really happy with the quality of both products. BAP Offroad could improve their product by providing a higher quality-wiring loom. Perhaps a loom with the option of headlight piggyback adaptors, to simplify installation for those without electrical experience.

The setup faced a good shake down test in the High Country last weekend. I had a dark, windy 15k drive back to camp to negotiate. The dirt track was very corrugated and riddled with potholes; this provided a very good test.

The Bullseye mounts were rock solid, no movement at all; the light bar stayed exactly where I had positioned it. So far so good.

The 52” light bar performed amazingly, it illuminated the whole track very evenly. The spread was excellent, providing ample light exactly where it was needed. While the range of the light bar was very impressive, when combined with my spotlights, the pair offered an outstanding light output, effectively turning night to day.

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