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Transforming A 2009 GMC 2500HD Workhorse With LED lighting From Vision X Photo Gallery
Pierce the Night
Sean Haggai –
May 27, 2015
Photo 1/34 | Testing Out Vision X Lights | When it was all said and done, Alternative Offroad had us buttoned up, out the door, and headed to our nearest trail to see just how much light these LEDs can throw. At our local mountains, we were overwhelmed with the amount of extra light available from such small light packages. Even when switched on individually (without the use of headlights), these units produce an incredible amount of light to illuminate the ground and surrounding terrain.
Photo 2/34 | Stock Fog Light Removal | At Alternative Offroad in Chatsworth, California, co-owners James Misiorowski and Dalton Bush begin the effort by disassembling the factory GMC foglight housing. Once the stock harness is unplugged and hardware removed, the housing and bulb are removed.
Photo 3/34 | Fog Light Bracket Install | Since we’re using Vision X’s factory-replacement GMC Sierra LED Fog Light Kit, the install is quick and painless. Once the OEM housing is removed, the new bracket is aligned and mounted inside the foglight bucket.
Photo 4/34 | Thread Locker | We’re using the supplied 17mm bolts and nuts with a washer and lock nut (two on each bracket), and a dab of Loctite to ensure the assembly remains fastened and trouble-free.
Photo 5/34 | Vision X Fog Light Replacement | Vision X pulled out all the stops for its factory-replacement foglights for ’07 to ’11 GMC Sierras (PN XIL-OE0711GSUMX; $437).
Photo 6/34 | Vision X Fog Light Replacement Light | Not only do they fit perfectly, they’re up to seven times brighter than the stock foglights, making them bright enough for any trail or mall parking lot. What’s more, all light housings are manufactured from extruded 6061 aluminum with an unbreakable polycarbonate lens and stud mount with vibration damping rubber.
Photo 7/34 | Vision X Fog Light Replacement Stock Plug | Of course, cooling fins on the housing wick away light-killing heat, and a weatherproof harness makes the connection sealed and simple to integrate into the factory plug.
Photo 8/34 | Pigtail Adapter | Dalton snips the factory weather connector harness and splices in the new pigtail. Again, since these are direct-replacement units, once the connection is made, the LEDs function with the truck’s original controls on the dash.
Photo 9/34 | Vision X Fog Lamp Install | Dalton lines up the replacement fog lamp inside its new bracket, leaving it loose until we make adjustments for proper beam aim.
Photo 10/34 | 20 Inch Evo Prime Mounting Location | Moving on, James begins mounting the 20-inch Evo Prime LED bar (PN XIL-EP1220; $999), which will provide a narrow, 20-degree light beam from the factory bumper slot, just below the bumper cover. This opening is a little less than 25 inches in length, making it the perfect location to fill with a hidden lightbar. James locates two factory bumper bolts and removes the nuts.
Photo 11/34 | Norcal Trucks Led Light Bar Mounts | Making the install simpler, we’re using a set of NorCalTruck’s LED lightbar brackets and hardware (PN R20BM-07-10; $52), which bolt directly to the bumper. While the Vision X Evo Prime bar includes a set of universal brackets, the NorCalTruck pieces are specifically designed for ’07½ to ’10 GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado bumpers.
Photo 12/34 | 20 Inch Evo Prime Install | With the new lightbar tucked up into its new location, the Dalton and James Gang (we’ve been dying to say that) begins adjusting the hardware, sliding the assembly from left to right until it’s centered.
Photo 13/34 | Duralux High Output Led Worklight | With the front Vision X lights mounted, we turn our focus to the rear of the truck, where we’re adding extra light in the bed with a pair of 6-inch, Duralux high-output LED work lights (PN DURA-660; $149 each). Like the rest of the Vision X lineup, these LEDs also blast out a ton of light. For this installation, we’re positioning the small, adjustable rear lights against the cab and setting them up to emit a 60-degree beam at both corners (10-, 40-, and 60-degree beam patterns are available).
Photo 14/34 | Duralux High Output Led Worklight | These little lights utilize six 5-watt LEDs for intensity and will outshine and outlast a similar 100-watt halogen. Each Duralux is held in a die-cast aluminum housing with cooling fins and loaded with high-tech circuitry and weatherproof professional-grade Deutsch connectors.
Photo 15/34 | Bed Bolt Removal | Since we’re installing the Duralux lights at the corners of the bed, space is somewhat limited. To gain access to the bedrail, the eight 18mm bolts fastening the bed to the frame are removed with an impact gun, allowing the bed to be slid away from the cab.
Photo 16/34 | Duralux Light Bracket Mounting | To install the Duralux brackets (included), James measures 4 inches from the edge of the base bracket to the bedside.
Photo 17/34 | Drilling Hole In Bed | Using a center punch, index holes are marked on both sides, and then James drills 3⁄8-inch holes in the bedrail for the new brackets.
Photo 18/34 | Duralux Work Light Installed | With the supplied hardware, James bolts the base bracket to the rail and secures the Duralux 6-inch LED light using the included Allen wrench.
Photo 19/34 | Solstice Solo Led Lights | We’re also taking advantage of these unique 2.05-inch Solstice Solo LED lights (PN XIL-SFLUSHS1101; $148 each), which rely on just one 10-watt LED and draw a paltry 0.83 amps. For our application, we’re installing this pair into the rear bumper to help brighten any trailer hookup or maybe even a tailgate party or two. The Solstice Solos are paired with the Vision X Solo Flush Mount set for a finished look.
Photo 20/34 | Marking Bumper For Drilling | The distance from the edge of the center bumper trim to the outside of the bumper is 5.25 inches. From the top to center, the measurement is 3.5 inches. With the two measurements complete, we calculate where the center is and drill a pilot hole…
Photo 21/34 | Drilling Hole In Bumper | …then, two identical holes are bored into the rear bumper for our Solstice Solo LED lights.
Photo 22/34 | Solstice Solo Led Light Installed | Once the holes are drilled, using a metal file (to soften the sharp edges before installing the lights) is recommended.
Photo 23/34 | Wiring Up Vision X Duralux Light | Thankfully, Vision X also offers a slew of accessories and bits to help your install. Since most kits include harnesses and wiring, the rest of this effort involves connecting the miles of weatherproof Deutsch connectors. Here at the cab, we connect the Duralux lights to wires running under the frame and to power at the battery, and we also connect them to a toggle switch mounted in the cab.
Photo 24/34 | Mocking Up Switches | If it’s not done right, it’s not worth doing at all, right? The key to any well planned switch panel is mocking it all up before it hits the truck. Here, Dalton displays an overwhelming sense of patience by systematically prewiring all the switches for the cab with grounds and power wires for the lights and an additional hot lead for the small lights inside the switches.
Photo 25/34 | Heat Shrink On Relay Connection | Alternative Offroad leaves nothing to chance when it comes to correctly wiring an entire LED light ensemble. Extra care is taken to ensure all the connections are protected with heat shrink.
Photo 26/34 | Mounting Switches On Dash | Deciding where to install our switches proved to be more of a challenge than we planned. While Ford installs blank accessory switches on a majority of its Super Duty trucks, GM does not. We chose to drill the dash panel below the steering wheel for easy access to the switches for the LED lights.
Photo 27/34 | Light Switches Wired Up | Alternative Offroad finishes up our wiring by connecting the new light system to the battery and locating areas for maintaining a solid ground. While the process takes a fair amount of time to accomplish, all the wiring is fished through the firewall and under the dash where the final connections are made to the new switch panel.
Photo 28/34 | Alternative Off Road Hood Mounts | If you’ve been keeping track, you may have noticed four switches for only three accessory LED lights since the foglights are connected to the factory switch—good eye! We have just one more trick up our sleeve. For a project like this, we can’t help taking advantage of Alternative Offroad’s ’07 to ’13 Chevrolet/GMC hood mounts (PN AOCHVHDMOUNT; $120). These hood mounts are super-thick, made in the USA, and will fit ½-, ¾-, or 1-ton Silverados or Sierras. With the hood mounts, no extra holes are needed for mounting lights outside the body. Rather, each mount utilizes the factory bolt holes for the hood hinges, making them some of the simplest mounts to install!
Photo 29/34 | Vision X Optimus Round Pods | These powerful gems took less than an hour to install, and they’re wired to our custom dash panel of switches, just like the rest of our components. We paired each mount with these slick, stealthy Vision X 3.7-inch Optimus Round Pods (PN XIL-OPR110KIT; $119 each). The small LEDs throw light over the hood, supplement as spot beams, and don’t interfere with forward visibility while driving. Optimus Rounds feature long-range IRIS Reflector Technology and have the ability to shine up to 883 feet while pushing out 1,052 lumens.
Photo 30/34 | Testing Out Vision X Lights | When it was all said and done, Alternative Offroad had us buttoned up, out the door, and headed to our nearest trail to see just how much light these LEDs can throw.
Photo 31/34 | Testing Out Vision X Lights | At our local mountains, we were overwhelmed with the amount of extra light available from such small light packages.
Photo 32/34 | Testing Out Vision X Lights | Even when switched on individually (without the use of headlights), these units produce an incredible amount of light to illuminate the ground and surrounding terrain.
Photo 33/34 | Duralux 660 Bed Light | Out back, the Duralux 660s fill the entire bed with usable light. When the base mounts are turned to each bed side, our choice to go with the 60-degree pattern proves to be a smart one.
Photo 34/34 | Duralux 660 Bed Lights | The ground around the truck becomes easy to negotiate thanks to light flooding the area. At the bumper, putting the truck in reverse is no longer a game of chance. Instead of backing blindly, we can now steer exactly where we need to be and can avoid off-camber ruts or boulders behind the truck. Out on the trail, this means having the ability to reverse through tighter-than-normal areas, thanks to the extra light that’s available.