Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'm reading a book about WWII in Burma right now. There's a chapter about a mountain pass the British Army needs to negotiate so they can be in position to attack; this sign is pictured in the book:



Good trail advice still, 78 years later.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It looks like OO may be picking up a design I did about 18 months ago - it's storage attachment for the center roll bar of a JK/JKU. It straps around the center of the main roll bar. On one side are two roomy pockets, on the other is a MOLLE attachment - it’s reversible so either the pockets or the MOLLE can go in the front or the back.

MOLLE side can go in front or back:



And the pocket side goes on front or back depending on which side the MOLLE is installed on.



With small pouches on the MOLLE side in the front (left) and back (right):



Obviously you wouldn't hang large MOLLE gear there, they'd hang down too far and get in the way. But it's a great out-of-the-way place for smaller MOLLE gear and the pocket side is perfect for sunglasses, small tools and more.

This is something I made just for myself so I never proposed it to OO but at both Overland West and Jeep Beach, people spotted it in my Jeep when the Jeep was part of the OO display and asked if they could buy it so OO decided there might be a market for it.

OO is going to need a volunteer to test this because I don't have a factory hardtop and can't 100% verify that it won't interfere with the factory top or Freedom Panels. As soon as they send me a preproduction sample I'll ask for a volunteer. From what they tell me about their schedule, samples will probably arrive in August.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Lighting company Auxbeam recently introduced very bright LED headlights:



I told them I'd be interested in testing and reviewing them so they're sending me a pair. When they arrive I'll test them and post a review here.
 

Florida Native

Active member
Lighting company Auxbeam recently introduced very bright LED headlights:



I told them I'd be interested in testing and reviewing them so they're sending me a pair. When they arrive I'll test them and post a review here.
Please also test them from the perspective of other drivers. Those look awful for someone approaching from the opposite direction.

-Mike
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
I have the Quadratec LEDs. Work great, even on our dark backroads with a fully tinted windshield. No one has ever flashed us with them.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Please also test them from the perspective of other drivers. Those look awful for someone approaching from the opposite direction.

-Mike
Mike,
I definitely plan to test that. I have two main concerns that I want to check:

1. Are the beams focused enough so they don't bother oncoming drivers? I want to see how often other drivers flash their high beams at me, but I'll also have someone else drive the Jeep and I'll be the other driver so I can judge for myself. I don't know if the advertising image I posted is an actual photo of the bulbs in action or if it's a simulation dramatizing the brightness, but I will definitely be testing this. Since the reflector surface that does the beam aiming/dispersion is part of the Jeep factory housing, not the bulb itself, at least in theory the beam should be very similar to the factory beam just brighter, but we'll find out when I install them.

2. Icing. I obviously won't be able to test this until maybe December, but these are unheated and may have icing problems up here in the land of winter snow and ice. If the bulbs pass concern #1, I plan to keep them installed until I can see how they perform in the snow and ice. Since that will be 6 months from now, I would post an second part of the review in the winter. If the bulbs don't pass concern #1, they'll be coming out right away. BTW I understand the Jeep JL factory LED option also has unheated headlights.

According to the tracking info the company sent me, they should be arriving on Tuesday, so I'll probably be able to begin testing next week.
 
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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Harbor Freight emailed 20% coupons for the July 4th weekend and I took advantage of that to pick up a spare Solar Charge Regulator. They regular price is $19.99 and they work very well but after all it's an HF product so for $15.99 I thought it might be a good idea to have a spare just in case.



I have the regulator "mounted" on the MOLLE grid on top of my kitchen battery; if it ever fails a replacement can be swapped in place in seconds. I'll keep the spare in unused space on the MOLLE grid on the side of the battery cover so it's handy if/when ever needed.

 

DCH109

Adventurer
2. Icing. I obviously won't be able to test this until maybe December, but these are unheated and may have icing problems up here in the land of winter snow and ice. If the bulbs pass concern #1, I plan to keep them installed until I can see how they perform in the snow and ice. Since that will be 6 months from now, I would post an second part of the review in the winter. If the bulbs don't pass concern #1, they'll be coming out right away. BTW I understand the Jeep JL factory LED option also has unheated headlights.
FCA at the very least, should have a service recall out for any jeep sold in a cold and snowy/ icy climate. I am surprised their has not been a class action lawsuit over this yet. I put the Mopar LED's into my JK and after 1 winter I quickly removed them as they were a hazard in the snow. They packed right up and the light output was reduced at least 2/3rds. Light fluffy snow, not to bad. Heavy snowfall and also wet snowfall they were useless.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
FCA at the very least, should have a service recall out for any jeep sold in a cold and snowy/ icy climate. I am surprised their has not been a class action lawsuit over this yet. I put the Mopar LED's into my JK and after 1 winter I quickly removed them as they were a hazard in the snow. They packed right up and the light output was reduced at least 2/3rds. Light fluffy snow, not to bad. Heavy snowfall and also wet snowfall they were useless.
It is strange that a major automobile manufacturer would sell something known to be unsafe. Question for those who have LED headlights installed from the factory: does the owners manual make any mention of this problem and offer and advice or solutions?

Searching the internet will turn up some purported solutions to the problem. I'm looking forward to experimenting this winter to see if any of them actually work - I've read that coating the lenses with various things helps - Rain-X, Prestone Deicer Fluid, WD-40 and others. Even if these do work on some vehicles I doubt these will provide much improvement on a Wrangler because the Wrangler's headlights are recessed and the recesses will naturally collect snow.

Some other ideas:

Would headlight washers spraying deicer help?

What about flexible 12v heating plates adhered to the back of the headlight housing?:



Or 12v heating tape around the perimeter of the lens?:



Seems like a problem ripe for experimentation.

Fair weather testing will begin soon - the new LED headlight bulbs from Auxbeam have arrived. They're very nicely packed and included are two bulbs, an instruction booklet, a few bits of mounting material (for the driver modules I assume) and a large Auxbeam decal. And this morning they emailed me a 12% discount code and asked me to include it in the review. Not sure if it works for all Auxbeam products or just their headlight bulbs, I'll have to try that.



I hope to have time later this week to install them and begin testing. Will post results.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
The problem with the Jeep is that the headlights are slightly recessed, so snow gets in there and starts to pack in. reducing the light output.
Simple heated wire on the headlight would resolve this and quickly.
Many companies like Truck-Lite and Quadratec's heated LED's have this in their lights, so yes I would question why FCA could not have done this.

FYI the Mopar units are made in Canada for anyone who cares.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The problem with the Jeep is that the headlights are slightly recessed, so snow gets in there and starts to pack in. reducing the light output.
Simple heated wire on the headlight would resolve this and quickly.
Many companies like Truck-Lite and Quadratec's heated LED's have this in their lights, so yes I would question why FCA could not have done this.

FYI the Mopar units are made in Canada for anyone who cares.
One other thought... since these Auxbeam bulbs are supposed to be 650% brighter than standard bulbs, I wonder how much snow it would take to reduce the light output the be the same as stock headlights without snow? Something else to test. :).
 

ihatemybike

Explorer
The Headlight Revolution YouTube channel does lots of testing on incandescent replacing LED headlight bulbs, more than any other LED testing channel I've seen. They have found that the best replacements are two sided and have the LEDs placed exactly where the filament is located in he incandescent version, as this most closely retains the beam patterns.

How close are the Auxbeam bulbs to the incandescents they are replacing?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The Headlight Revolution YouTube channel does lots of testing on incandescent replacing LED headlight bulbs, more than any other LED testing channel I've seen. They have found that the best replacements are two sided and have the LEDs placed exactly where the filament is located in he incandescent version, as this most closely retains the beam patterns.

How close are the Auxbeam bulbs to the incandescents they are replacing?
The Auxbeam LEDs are two sided and the LEDs are in the same place as the halogen filaments, so I expect these will retain the stock beam patterns very well.:



I plan to install them this morning.
 

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