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Bit of a delay following up, have been driving around since. I've probably noticed a... 5%? increase/improvement in handling? The steering wheel does give a bit of a more firmer feedback feel.

One this I forget to mention was I got a bit freaked out when I went to install the bar. I got ready to break the top shock nuts free and nearly punched the windshield. All 3 nuts on both shocks came undone by hand! :surprise: Part of me's curious if the seemingly handling improvement is from the bar or that I regained what was lost with not-tight shock nuts. Oh well, I definitely was meant to come across this bar to fix that issue before something happened. One of those things I didn't think needed checking when I bought the car and never heard any jiggling noise nor felt anything...
Good fine........ good to hear you got that sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter #102 (Edited)
Long time no update, but the weather's finally been nice enough to tinker again. It was a COLD one around here but I snowboard so that's OK :p

Had a lighting project I've been waiting to try out. Had to do it in stages over several nights cause it was a bit involved. Not too hard, but tedious.

I picked up a pair of these LED lights with the idea of mouthing them in the bumper (kinda Jeep-style I suppose).


Two, 18 watt each, 6000K CREE LED lights.

Night 1:
I prepped the bumper so I can get behind it to mount the lights. I melted away an access panel on each side and removed some of the foam between the bumper and the rebar.



That stuff tougher then it looks! Took a good few hours...

And by melted I mean I found a trick over the years and instead of cutting at urethane I use a soldering gun (not iron) to melt into it. I find it quicker and less of a mess, just don't inhale. Soldering guns are kinda crappy for soldering but great for melting plastic!
 

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Discussion Starter #103
Night 2:

Mounted the lights.

I did this all in one shot cause I didn't wanna drive around with holes in my bumper.

Masked off each area of the bumper I wanted the lights and measured where I wanted them to land.


Don't let my crappy Sharpie sketching fool you, I had my own unique system in place :p

The point of no-return: Melted the hole where the light would land and drilled the mounting holes for it


Cleaned up and rounded the hole so the light would have snug fit.


Very tediously and removing more foam, I was able to get my hand up to the top mounting bolts to tread them together and tighten them up. But eventually got it mounted.


And repeat...


Lots of clearance and mounted up!


You can see where I had to remove more foam compared to my nice, straight cuts from before to make room for my hand. This whole step took just under 2.5 hours and tucked the wiring away for another night.

I did however paint the bolt heads black to blend in more.
 

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Discussion Starter #104 (Edited)
Night 3:

Wired them up.

From where I wanted to mount the switch, I tapped into the power wire of the cigarette lighter. I don't use it for anything, the wiring to it can handle quite a bit of juice (more then these lights draw anyway), and it's already wired to the key having to be on.

The lights draw 3 amps so put in an in-line fuse that can be easy to access if need be. I ended up going with this spot cause the dash is getting kinda full and wanted a convenient spot for it that also had the room behind it for the switch's body, connectors, wiring, etc.



This step took longer then I thought only due to a defective switch. I took my time to troubleshoot that it was the issue which added about an hour. Luckily I had a few switches (to see which one I liked). The nicer-looking-then-the-first, OEM looking switch worked. Also luckily the first switch I tried was smaller, so I just had to make the hole for the new switch bigger. Still took my time at this step which added about an hour as well. Oh well, measure twice, cut once, right? More melting but also trimming with a small razor blade in this case.

The timing worked out cause it was dark by the time I was done so went out to check things out.

Lit up in my underground parking:


Went to a nearby road that has a section of no street lights or anything:


View from the top of the hood:

I'm very impressed with the output of these lights.

The addition of these lights are technically legal in my area. Here you're allowed up to 2 additional pairs of lights (in addition to your headlights), and if they're mounted below the headlights they don't have to be covered while driving on a public road.

I got em cause I tend to snowboard at night (cause it's cheaper) and it's less collar-stretching driving the unlit mountain roads at night. I also found I do most of my highway driving at night, and it's nicer to see on unlit highways. Went for a drive after and people didn't hesitate to get outta my way! So another bonus :p

FYI: This will probably be the last build-related post for a while. I think I have the car how I want it now ! Never actually 'finished' a vehicle before; feels a little surreal... There's really nothing I want to do to it more other then a couple of "maybe" mods that'll be well down the road. One day I wouldn't mind the black, 06-08 JDM/Sport tail lights, and, if/when the shocks need replacing I'd like to raise Kermy up a bit with some other shocks and spacers. But neither are a priority and with the low mileage I bought him at, I don't forsee the shocks needing replacement anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
Dude. Looks Nice!!!!

Its great those are legal over there. US and Ohio specifically have some stupid rules on aftermarket AUX Lighting and you have to watch where you "flip them on."

I wish I was brave enough to cut my bumper :D
Thanks!
If my bumper was painted, I may not have done this :p
 

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Discussion Starter #107
I lost my XT exhaust tip a few weeks ago! :S Either rattled off or someone yanked it off. Oh well, if that's the worst of it. Went to a local auto parts store and found a stainless one. This one mounts on with 3 allen key screws, and can only get at one of em with pliers cause of the tow hitch. Shouldn't be going anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
The back up camera, although compatible with my deck, was useless when there's no light. So added a 3rd backup flat LED strip. It's on a spot on the bumper where it points down, likes up ground really well, so at least I know when to stop now.



Also, my new exhaust tip.
 
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