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2012 F350 Starting from scratch!

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by OC&D, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    This past spring I decided I wanted to ditch the 2006 with the 6.0 liter diesel time bomb under the hood for a new truck before I had to do an EGR cooler, oil cooler, injectors, or all of the above. My apologies to the poor sap that paid way too much for that truck at Tousley Ford after I traded her in--have fun with all that.

    My new truck is a shiny Green Gem 2012 F350 crew cab Lariat shortbox. I finally cried uncle and went with a gasser this time. Sorry, I'm just not up for spending $7k (or more) extra for a diesel, with increased maintenance and repair costs, having to deal with the DE fluid, and still paying more at the pump for a few more miles to the gallon. For my purposes these days, I don't need the torque of a diesel, and the 6.2 liter under the hood has ample power.

    So here I am, it's now almost December, and I need to get my lazy ass in gear and get some blinky lights on the truck. On the '06 I installed a 6 strobe hideaway kit with 2 in the tails, two in the front headlight lenses, and two in the 3rd brake/cargo light (which eliminated my cargo light).

    I'd like to keep things to a minimum budget-wise, but I'm not one to buy junk just to save a few dollars. So my question for all of you is this: What would you install to get the most blink for your buck?

    Before you answer, here's a few considerations:

    -I have no clearance lights, so LED conversions for those are not an option.
    -I have the trailer tow mirrors with the turn signals/running lights, and would consider an LED mod for those.
    -Though I did it in my last truck without issue, I'm not keen on hideaways in my front headlight lenses or the 3rd brake/cargo light. I would be open to installing hideaways in the taillights.
    -My initial thoughts were hideaways in the rear tails and some surface mount LEDs in the grill (something like the E3s or E4s from strobesnmore). This would be a start, and I could do the 3rd brake light and/or mirror mods later or when I get time.
    -My budget is flexible, but I'd like to keep it under $300.
    -I'm not concerned about having multiple switches for front/back or whatever. One switch to control them all will be fine--so I don't require multiple flasher units to separate those things out, which probably lowers my cost in the end anyhow.
    -I will not consider any type of mini-bar or anything other than fairly discrete options. The surface mount LEDs in the grill are about as "obvious" as I'm willing to get.
    -I see no reason at this point to use anything but LEDs. Conventional strobes were fine, but considering the improvement in LED technology, their minimal use of power, and the fact that LEDs are now affordable make me view them as really the only option.

    Sorry for the novel.....fire away.
  2. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    your going to miss that power when you go to tickle the skinny pedal , and you know it
  3. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    A flashlight with a colored cone

    I'm old schooled so I would say to put the hideaways in the headlights if you want the most undercover look. It's really not that hard to do in these trucks

    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    A simple yet effective cheap way to light the truck up is a mini bar. Drilling 2 holes in your headlights is a pain. But if done right you won't have a issues with moisture and the lighting can be real nice. Also the lighting won't be blinding when its snowing 2-3 inches a hour. I personally like the mini bar idea, but in my personal truck I did all interior lighting just because I got a deal on the lights and its a hobby of mine to do installs.
  5. fatheadon1

    fatheadon1 Senior Member
    Messages: 406

  6. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Mini light bar from Strobes N More.
  7. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    You could put hideaways in the headlights but as soon as you turn them on you will not be able to see them. I would do grill lights and hideaways in the back.

    He clearly said that he does NOT want a light bar. I am with him on that I hate the look of light bars
  8. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    $300 is a awful thin budget...is that just for the lights or the install also? Do you plan to install yourself? I know the cheapest quality LED that I know of is a Whelen Tir3 or the E4..of course I am a whelen guy so I cant say for other brands.

    So in theory if you were to install, you could do 6 tir3's two in the grill...two on the side (on side of toolbox or under body) and two in rear...either in back window or mounted on bumper or rear of toolbox if you have one.
  9. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    You might be right, but it hasn't happened yet. I don't see me missing it plowing, because in my experience, you lose traction before you lose power. Where I might miss it is towing.
  10. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Given the quality of most installations I've seen, I wouldn't consider any option other than installing them myself. Like I said, I have put hideaways in the front lenses of my previous truck, and did installs on 2 other trucks without issue. Mainly I'm being lazy and figure it would be easier and cheaper just to install some in the grille. This is actually the only surface or "body" mount I would consider.

    Given I'm only buying the equipment, $300 isn't too far off I don't think. Can I afford to spend more? Yes. Do I want to? Not really if I can avoid it. E4s are $50. A strobesnmore 2 lamp hideaway is $110.00. I can get a decent flasher for less than $50.00. Right there I'm under my $300 mark even with some extra wire and whatnot.

    At this point, I think I'm leaning towards doing hideaways in the tails, E4s in the grille, and doing the 3rd brake light and side mirror flasher mods. The only issue I face is that the strobesnmore hideaway kit (with two lights) already has a flasher, and it seems silly to have to buy another flasher for the rest of it. I'd prefer to just use one flasher unit for everything. Maybe I should give them a call and see what they say. Maybe they can delete the flasher. Also, the cable lengths for that setup are a little silly too. I think each LED has a 3' cable with then plugs into the flasher. This means I'd have to mount the flasher somewhere under the bed of the truck, which is dumb. I suppose they designed it more for a squad car where it would be mounted somewhere in the trunk.

    I also have to do a little more research on the flasher mods for the 3rd brake light and mirror lights. There was a thread I stumbled across on here the other day which I should find again and get a concrete idea of what I need to do to get those mods to work.

    Has anyone taken the light lens off the mirror of a 2012 Ford? I'd prefer not to break it. Another thing, anyone have a good source for LED replacement lamps for the various bulbs?
  11. BrittAWL

    BrittAWL Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I think a mini light bar, a couple hide aways, and a couple surface mount lights would be a great start! Mini bars are always a good choice because they'll offer you 360 degree protection for a pretty low price.

    I always tell the plow guys, if you are looking to keep costs down, don't underestimate the power of a dual halogen rotator. They are extremely affordable, and the heat generated by the rotators will melt the snow right off of the light (can't say that about LED)!

    Hope this helps, good luck!
  12. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I still suggest a light bar. Do what I did, I bought a magnet mount light bar, converted it to a permanent mount that goes on the mini light bar bracket that you can get for The Back Rack. It bolts onto the Back Rack quick, and since it is a magnet mount you just plug it into the cigar plug. At the end of the season take it off.

    Best part is it keeps the truck clean, no holes anywhere.
  13. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    If memory serves me correctly, all you need to do is tilt the mirror glass all the way in towards the window. Look inside and there will be a small grey release tab. You release this tab with a pick while prying on the amber lens and it will then pop out. Pretty neat system actually.

    And I'll add one more vote for a mini bar. You'll get 360 degree warning and a really quick and simple installation. Not to mention the fact that you won't have to drill holes in anything that you'll have to explain later when you sell it. But that's just my opinion and everybody has the right to their own.

    Good luck, enjoy your new truck and be careful out there!
  14. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    I'll have to see if the mirror lenses work like that. That'd be pretty awesome if it was that simple.

    I get why mini-bars are popular and acknowledge that they're inexpensive compared to several other options, and actually, I already own 2 as well as a single bulb magnetic mount strobe. If I wanted a mini bar, I'd just have to pluck one off the shelf of my garage and put it on, however, I will not use one for the following reasons:

    1: I don't like how they look.
    2: I will have clearance issues not only in my garage, but one of my accounts that has a covered portico-drive through area. In each of these places I literally have only a couple of inches of clearance.
    3: I've had 3 of the damn things stolen off the top of the truck in previous years, which is why on my last truck I installed hideaways.

    Thanks for all of your input, but I decided in the end to order two of the strobesnmore LED hideaway kits and put them in the four corners for now. I'll get those installed and then my next trick will be to mod the 3rd brake light and mirror lights and wire them into a flasher module. All of this combined should give me ample visibility. Now I need to dig up that thread about the mods.
  15. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Mount these on your hood. They go right where the hood meets the plastic by the windshield. I have them 2 on mine and are very bright and can't really tell theyre there. Plus, they are higher than the plow so the plow will never be in the way of the strobe. They are also curved so better light on the angle.


    Then do hideaways in the taillights.

    And if you want something from the side, than these work great under the mirrors.
  16. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Those little under-mirror lights are sweet! I'm not sure how easy it would be to string the wire through the trailer towing mirrors, through the door, and into the cab. I'm sure it could be done, but it might be a PITA.
  17. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    It just takes time and penitence. Depends how good of a job you want to do.
  18. Mems

    Mems Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 202

    We just had these put on a new cruiser, and although ours are blue they are extremely bright! Great product. Just a little on the pricey side.
  19. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    Its not as hard as you might think I had to run wires into the door for the heated mirrors that I put on.
  20. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    I'm sure it can be done. At this point I think I'd rather just install LED bulbs in the stock lights and wire them into a relay and a flasher. The mirrors on my truck are heated as well, but they also have power extension and folding. Though I'm sure it's possible, I'd be a little worried about possible wear on the wires or being able to route them so they don't get pinched. I suppose I could take one apart and see what it looks like in there.