The car hasn't run as much as it should have. But I've thoroughly enjoyed the ride so far. I've been toying around with the idea of installing auxiliary lights to enhance the headlights for quite some time now. Though the existing headlights are adequate for city use, on highways, I desperately needed additional light. The high beam affected oncoming traffic and the low beam didn’t light up the road at higher speeds. The car seemed to cover more distance than the throw of the low beam at some speeds
I was clear that I wanted something that I could focus to have a good spread and also a good throw whenever required. None of the Hellas that I had looked at, had this arrangement. It was finally between Light Force and Roolites, both Aussie made lights.
Here are some closeups of the packaging and wiring diagrams that are found on the kit.
A friend was coming in from Australia and I requested him to get them for me. I ordered it on ebay and shipped it to his address. A pair of lights along with the wiring harness and Bari high security nuts was available as a deal for about 300$. When the friend arrived at BIA, being Australian, he was forced to cough up customs for about 3000 rupees. But believe it or not, even after the customs, it is still cheaper than if you tried to buy these in India, by at least 6K.
Now comes the bad news. The Bari security nuts were M12 whereas the bolts were M10! I contacted the dealer and he wanted me to send the oversized nuts back. Not happening. Did the next best thing. Made a drawing of the nuts, went to an industrial area nearby and got a few turned on the lathe. I then got them chromium plated in Peenya. End result, bad review for the ebay dealer for goofing up and not willing to send me a new pair unless I returned the oversized pair. Of course sending them back would mean spending more than the cost of the nuts in shipping charges. Getting a new pair in India costs 2400 a pair.
Pics of the Bari nuts and the Bangalore nuts
So once the nuts were ready, it was time for installation. I was not keen on a nudge guard, I wanted it installed directly through the grill. So called Satya (EVO) who put me on to someone else in Bamboo Bazaar saying I needed a customized clamp. This guy quoted 2500 rupees for an install, which I thought was outrageous and nothing short of fleecing. Imagine if I had gone to him with Neolites, the install would have cost me more than the lights themselves, and then some!
I checked with my brother and he knew a mechanic who offered to help. Keshav (the mechanic) was impressive. He made it a point to tell us that we had to come only on a weekday as his weekends were hectic.
His workshop is in Kasturinagar, just off the outer ring road. I went there with a book, prepared to read something in case I was left alone with the car till the work started. It happens all the time at the ASC. But he quickly removed the bumper and the grill, took measurements and showed me exactly where the lights would be fit. I agreed on the position and we took off to the welders nearby. They first created a clamp based on Keshav's measurements. it was a basic 'L' clamp with reinforcement at the joint and a whole to mount the light. The grill was mounted and the position of the clamp was marked and a temporary weld was made. We then checked if the grill could be mounted and taken off without any obstructions because of the clamp. We also ensured that there was sufficient place to mount the lamps and adjust once the grill and bumper was in place. Once satisfied that everything was perfect, Keshav removed all the wires around the area as sparks from the weld may damage and burn these. After checking again, the clamps were finally permanently welded.
I must say, Keshav comes highly recommended. Not once did he switch over to another vehicle, though there were several that came and went. He gave my brute his undivided attention. Right from making the clamps at the nearby engineering shop, to mounting, wiring and testing. It took him almost 3 and half hours to complete the job. And at the end of it all, when I asked him the charges, he quoted a reasonable Rs. 450. I paid him Rs 600, thanked him and drove off delighted that after almost 2 months, I finally got the lights installed.
The output is brilliant. I now need to find a dark spot and do some focusing on my own. I plan to keep one light with a good throw and the other one with a wide spread. Something in between the high and low beam.
Waiting to test this setup on the next long trip.
I may just need to take a long trip to test these out!
So you can expect night snaps soon.