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I Made A Lighted Hood Emblem-Lots Of Pics


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I had a bird strike that took my grille out. I opted for a chrome model and it got me ...


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Old 12-31-2016, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default I Made A Lighted Hood Emblem-Lots Of Pics
I had a bird strike that took my grille out. I opted for a chrome model and it got me thinking about illuminating the emblem as the 4G members have done. It's not nearly as easy nor as showy since our emblems are smaller, but it works quite well. I'll add I'm uncertain as to how effective it would be on a black grille.

The new grille came without an emblem, as most do. I opted to salvage mine and in the process conceived how to do this. There is a recess under the emblem that suggests a location for back-lit illumination, and being chromed would help reflect the light from a small bulb. However, I also had an alternate idea I made a proof-of-concept for to illuminate down. I'm covering both ways in case one wants to try the latter.

PROOF OF CONCEPT



Here is the salvaged emblem.



The emblem separated.



Bulk LEDs from Radio Shack. The package was $5.00 and for hte proof-of concept I chose the 5MM LEDs. It is rather a tight fit, and the 3MMs would work better.

[IMG][/IMG]

I don't remember how much these 1/8W resistors cost, but no more than $5.00/pack. Using the 5MM LEDs (3 each), there needs to be 240 ohms resistance, but the closest RS had were 220 ohms; close enough. If one uses 3MM x 3 LEDs, you'd need to consult a resistance calculator for that application.



You'll need a piece of plexiglass. I got this at Lowe's (see tag for details). It was the closest in thickness to the ABS emblem back. It was ~$8.00 for a 10"X14" piece. You'll use this for either application.



A strip cut close in width to the backer plate and a heat gun. Heat one side only, as the plexiglass has "memory". Apply heat to the other side and it returns to flat. Use the ABS back you removed to make the correct contour. I kept my knee on it while holding down the ends of the strip. It cools fast.



Here, I've marked the pin hole locations of the ram head escutcheon.



This shows how perfectly the plexiglass conformed to the curvature.



Marking the outline. Note there's not much margin, so sanding is much easier. A belt sander is ideal, but a file and sandpaper or Dremel tool will work, depending upon your tools.



New back fitted to escutcheon.

MORE IN NEXT POST ..


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Old 12-31-2016, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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PROOF OF CONCEPT PART TWO



Test-fitting to grille.



Here I made a crude LED assembly with the 5MM LEDs. They would fit within the cavity of the "skull"; one each in the horns and one in the face. In this application, one would have to paint the leads with liquid tape to prevent shorts and feed the two leads through the center hole of the backer plate. This would require removing the center pin of the escutcheon (no big deal; it might've broke in disassembly, anyway) and the grille recess behind the emblem would've been where to solder leads for the harness. These LEDs are arranged in series, if you try this method. EDIT: Had I gone this route, I would've used something like a clear caulk to fill the "skull" cavity to make it more durable an installation.



Here is the aforementioned recess, and you'll see where the emblem mounts atop. I'd already decided to illuminate the emblem, hence the wire.


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Old 12-31-2016, 06:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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PREFERRED (FINAL) METHOD



This is an Oznium LED bolt. You'll want the stainless steel model, which is sealed with epoxy and comes with a better grade of wire lead. I chose this model because of weatherproofing and it's the shortest LED bolt, which is important. The stainless models happen to be 3W, while the longer aluminum ones are 1W. The aluminum ones are available in different diameters, though. But the stainless is only availablei n 11MM; the perfect diameter for the recess.

https://www.oznium.com/led-bolt It's $11.99 each, and shipping was $4.20; a very reasonable price for what seems a high-quality product. Besides, you only need one.



Side view. You get a sense of scale comparing to my thumbnail.



Drilling the hole and test-fitting. It's easier if one removes the grille; it's 12 screws, IIRC.



View from the front of fit. The LED bolt comes with two threaded collars. There is a flange that could back up to the grille, but it's best to thread one on to the flange since it will lessen the depth behind the grille; again an important consideration.



This is why one needs to remove the grille. There is a mold sprue that needs to be removed to fasten the lock ring.



View from above.



At this point, it's up to each person how thet route/terminate the wire. What I did was run the wire through a 3/8" split duct and fed it entirely through the hood between the layers. I brought it out where the under hood light runs and tie-wrapped it across the firewall. I chose to take the wire inside and feed from the Chrysler/ISO radio harness adapter as I dislike going into factory wires. It made it more difficult than picking up power from the headlights, but that's personal preference.


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Old 12-31-2016, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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PREFERRED (FINAL METHOD) PART TWO



All done.



No emblem. Daylight, slightly overcast and in my shop. Picture is from probably 5' away.



Emblem installed. Conditions same as above, but the effect is much better. No, it'll never be overwhelming, but that wasn't my goal.



Close-up. Looks damn good. I'll try to get some pics at night at at a known distance to see how showy it is. BTW, I neglected to mention I left the front of the emblem back in the glossy plexiglass finish but I lightly sanded the backside with 120-grit sandpaper to make an opaque diffusion of light rather than a brighter light. So, left natural, it might be brighter if one wants that effect. Undoubtedly, the chrome "tunnel" the LED bolt is in helps to act as a reflector.

Oh, the blobs around it are the adhesive. It's the same stuff I adhered the back to the escutcheon with. The directions say to let it dry for two hours and remove excess with acetone and/or a hard plastic scraper. I can say after doing the cleaning after affixing the escutcheon to the back, the acetone does not harm the "chrome" or plexiglass.


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Old 12-31-2016, 06:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Great write up!

Can you get a pic of the entire grill showing with the emblem lit up?


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Old 12-31-2016, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
Great write up!

Can you get a pic of the entire grill showing with the emblem lit up?
Will do. Waiting for dark.


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Old 12-31-2016, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I can't quite focus the camera on the phone to capture just the grille. and taking pictures at night from a distance means the vehicle lights (even running lights) flood the screen with yellowish light. so, the camera doesn't capture what the eye sees.

That said, I could make out the blue light at 170' at twilight. Resolving the Ram logo means being substantially closer. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I'd rather have had cyan, but blue was the closest. BTW, those LED bolts are available in warm white, cool white, red, green, amber, blue and ultraviolet.


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Old 01-01-2017, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Killer man. Awesome mod.


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Old 01-01-2017, 12:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Great little bit of fabrication.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great job and awsome detail.
And it looks killer.

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