Install Guide N-Fab Roof Mounts and Rigid 50 SR-Series LED Light Bar

Install Guide N-Fab Roof Mounts and Rigid 50 SR-Series LED Light Bar

A given shop’s project truck just really isn’t a project truck without a ton of aftermarket lighting. While our 2012 5.0L FX4 project truck is already decked out with a decent amount of lighting hardware, we decided to go all the way crazy with it by adding a 50" LED light bar. Naturally, we turned to our friends and cross-town neighbors over at Rigid Industries and their excellent 50" SR-Series light bar . With our light bar choice narrowed down, we just needed a way to mount it, so we grabbed a set of N-Fab Roof Mount Brackets to give the light bar a nice, high perch in a fairly subtle package. The N-Fab brackets also come in at a pretty low price, making them a bit more enticing over an aftermarket front bumper or other front light bar mounting system. The good news is that our light bar and bracket setup looks pretty good. The bad news is that the actual install was a bit of a process. Still, N-Fab’s brackets are a low-cost and good-looking way to mount up a light bar and Rigid’s SR-Series light bar is a great way to get some serious off-road lighting potential.

The first thing you need to know right off the bat is that the brackets require drilling. Drilling a total of five holes, to be exact, two for each bracket and one fairly large hole for the light bar’s wiring and connector. While it’s not impossible to go back after the installation of the brackets, it’s not exactly easy either. So BE WARNED. We also did a few things differently than N-Fab’s instructions, so keep that in mind as well when you go through our guide.

Like any install over here at Stage 3, we headed down to Extreme Performance out in Goodyear, where Chris and Jay were on-hand to get our brackets and light bar up and running. First up was N-Fab’s brackets, and while these guys look pretty simple, they’re install is a bit of an adventure that requires you to remove your truck’s headliners and move your curtain airbags out the way in order to drill holes through the rain gutters and roof down into your cab. Like we said, it’s a bit of a process, but nothing that an experience DIYer can’t handle. So, we started our headliner removal by popping off the plastic cover on our truck’s driver side A-pillar. This exposes some of the curtain air bag which will be moved out of the way for drilling.

From there, we move to the driver’s side sun visor and remove its mounting screws. We let the visor just dangle, but make sure the wiring’s not stretching overly much.

Two of the better-hidden screws holding the headliner to the roof are buried in the dome light, which means Chris got to to disassemble most of the thing, starting by removing the lens, which should just pop off.

After the lens is removed, the bulbs and housing were visible and Chris pressed in its clips to remove it from the headliner. Once out of the liner, the power connectors for the lights can be unhooked.

The screws for the headliner are up right against the roof, and are a bit hard to see. A flashlight is definitely recommended. Once Chris had them out, he was able to gently pull the headliner down by the dome light’s plastic bracket.

With the headliner free from the B-pillar, Chris was able to pull the headliner away from the roof enough to access all the necessary brackets for the curtain airbags and get enough room to drill the holes for the N-Fab brackets themselves. Chris started by removing the airbag bracket nearest the windshield and worked his way back from there.

After the passenger’s side airbag was out of the way, Chris removed the brackets for the passenger side and moved the airbags out of the way.

Now came the scary part of this whole endeavor: the drilling. First, Chris taped off the roof around the rain gutters and then marked down the holes using the actual N-Fab brackets as a template. N-Fab’s instructions said to place them about 1/4" back from the leading edge of the roof, so Chris used that as a guide.

Then the drilling, which took quite a bit of effort. There’s a lot of steel under those rain gutters and it takes a heck of a drill and drill bit to get through. Luckily, the guys over at Extreme are well-equipped and Chris got to work.

About here is where out install of the brackets and N-Fab’s included instructions diverge. N-Fab wants you to widen the hole on the cab side using a 1" hole saw. Given that we like to keep our drilling and cutting down to a bare minimum, we instead opted to use longer bolts for each bracket that managed to fit all the way through.

The only potential issue with this method versus N-Fab’s is clearance with the curtain airbags. However, we did a test fit any every fit together without a problem.

If there’s a major weakness in N-Fab’s bracket kit, it’s that it doesn’t come with anything to seal up and weather proof any of the holes you have to drill. Not a huge deal, but it is something you’ll need to prepare for ahead of time. Even though it only rains a whole four times a year here in the Phoenix area, a leaky roof is still not ideal. To get everything sealed up, Chris found a grommet for the large wiring hole that was then topped off with a urethane sealant. Each of the bolts on both sides of the truck also got a urethane treatment for safe measure.

Install Guide N-Fab Roof Mounts and Rigid 50 SR-Series LED Light Bar

Chris went to work reinstalling the airbags and headliner and turned us over to Jay for wiring up the light bar and installing our custom-made switch. Jay started in the cab by hooking the light bar’s connectors together.

Then Jay routed the wiring down the A-pillar and into the dash. The side panel easily pops off, which provides easier access to the firewall grommet.

With the positive and negative spades pushed through the firewall, Jay ran them over to the battery and set them aside.

We decided to mount our switch for the light bar and Starkey Backup Light Kit (more on that later) on the silver panel with the headlight controls. The panel is held in by clips and pretty easily pops off. Jay had to disconnect the headlamp knob in order to pull it out. Jay quickly reconnected it to get the truck to stop dinging at us.

Once the panel was out of the truck, Jay taped off the section that needed cutting and measured out the placement of our switches.

With everything measured out, Jay started cutting. We’re planning on running a third switch for our grille-mounted D2 Duallys, but fitting three switches required cutting off two of the plate’s mounting tabs.

Once Jay had the plate ready, he got to work running the switch wiring over to the proper location. The only snag we ran into was that there wasn’t quite enough wiring to make it over to the switch location. Jay had to extend the harness a bit by splicing in a few lengths of wire.

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