How to Install a Late-Model Light Bar

How to Install a Late-Model Light Bar

Classic design light bar for late-model mustang convertibles adds a touch of shelby style.

With an appearance reminiscent of the rollbar for a vintage Shelby GT convertible, Classic Design Concepts' '83-'93 Mustang Convertible Light Bar indeed owes its inspiration to the legendary 1968 through 1970 convertibles. However, it is more of a cool styling addition to your late-model convertible than a safety device. Certainly the center brake light found in the Cervini rear wing of our Project Extreme Cobra (see both the April and May 1997 issues of Mustang Monthly for more on this project car) is highly visible. However we wanted to add the additional prowess of the Shelby appearing light-bar and the light-emitting diode display found in it.. George Huisman, owner of Classic Design Concepts further states that there is a mild amount of chassis stiffening from the roll bar, which is a welcome by-product to those who have ridden in a FOX bodied Mustang convertible.

  1. The kit comes complete with instructions, pattern, light bar, wiring, self-tapping bolts and spacers. We first cut out the template to fit the panels for the 1990 Project Extreme Cobra convertible. We then laid the template on the rear trim panels and marked them with an awl in the center of the crosshairs.
  2. After the bar position is marked, drill a guide hole for the 1-3/4 inch hole saw. You will be drilling through three layers, one plastic and two metal. The last layer of metal is the seat belt bracket of which you will only remove enough to clear the bar. This in no way compromises the safety of the belts.
  3. You will need to remove the speaker grilles and the seat bottom in order to access the water splash shield bolts and be able to feed the third brake light wire into the trunk. We recommend that you cut away the portion of the plastic watershield that partially obscures the bolts where the bar will be mounted. This will make adjusting the bar easier.
  4. After removing the self threading bolts that hold the plastic watershield to the body, it is a good idea to ream the holes and use the threading bolt supplied. This is done because the machine thread bolts are much stronger and less likely to pull out than the self threading bolts.
  5. We did not meet with great success using the provided bolt because it wanted to cross thread, so we used a shouldered, heat treated bolt to thread the support. We also moved the tubular support bracket out of the way for more room in the trim panel cavity.
  6. Installation will require two people so that you do not run the risk of damaging the paint or vinyl trim panels. We also left the plastic on the bar to protect it from damage. You will need to make sure that the third-brake-light wires are guided into the hole and not pinched or cut by the bar or hole edges. After the bar is in place, install the bolts and start fitting the spacers.
  7. You will need to install the spacers provided to adjust the bar, therefore you will have to raise and lower the top a few times to get the spacing correct. We used electrical tape on the spacers to make installing and finishing the bar easier.
  8. Make one last check for fit after you have tightened the bar, then cut the plastic sheeting off. Remove the rear trunk trim panels for the final step in the process. With the top down the car, looked great and gave the illusion that Project Cobra sat even lower.
  9. Route the light bar brake light wiring up through the chassis and into the trunk. Use the Scotchlocks™ that are provided to tap into the trunk lid mounted brake light. Have a helper apply the brakes and check that the bar light is functioning. Because it is LED it will light a split second quicker than the standard incandescent bulbs in the brake lights on the car. All that remains is to re-install the seat base and speaker grilles and you will be riding in style.


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    1. Open Trunk.
    2. Remove four (4) "Christmas Tree" pushpins that hold plastic trim panel at striker plate and remove plastic trim.
    3. Remove two (2) plastic speed nuts (phillips head) one per side, directly behind each taillight in trunk. Remove trunk panel.
    4. Remove four (4) nuts per taillight housing (11 mm).
    5. Unplug wiring harness (one connection per light).
    6. Push grommets (one per light) with wiring harness through the sheet metal from inside to outside of trunk.
    7. Remove taillight housings from vehicle.
    8. With taillights on bench, remove bulbs and sockets from lights and remove harnesses completely.
    9. Install bulbs in modified harnesses (make sure to wipe bulbs with isopropyl alcohol to avoid bulb burnout from hand grease).
    10. Connect backup light bulbs and sockets to the lamp bodies first, then connect bulbs/sockets marked 1, then 2, and then J.
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    1. Remove the stock fog lamp assembly from fascia, save stock bolts for reuse.
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    • Installation Instructions.

    Installation Steps:

    1. Paint Aero Shield with flexible paint of the same type used for Mustang bumper covers & Classic Side Pipe Covers. [The Aero Shield can be effectively integrated if it is two-toned to match the rear bumper insert. Consider low gloss black, like the GT series, for light colors, or light argent (silver) for dark colors.]
    2. Your fuel gauge should read 1/8 or less. Gas is heavy; a light tank makes for an easier installation.
    3. Raise car. The Aero Shield can be installed on a driveway apron, jack stands are better, a hoist is best.
    4. Remove the two rear wheel/tire assemblies.
    5. Remove the black vacuum formed plastic tub from under the fuel tank: