SL-C Manual: Lighting
The kit ships with DOT-approved Hella 90 mm lights for low beams and 90mm or 60mm Hella high beams, as well as fiberglass pieces designed to facilitate mounting the lights in the body.
The molded-in openings for the low beams are easily cut to fit the 90 mm lights.
The openings for the high beams are smaller than for the low beams. The 90 mm lights will require that the openings be enlarged to fit these lights. Recent kits have been shipping with the 60 mm Hella projector lights as from Rallylights as these fit perfectly in the openings.
Use a hole saw of a slightly smaller size and then a drum sander or similar tool to enlarge the holes to the appropriate size.
You can make a handheld template for checking the hole size during the sanding process. Attached below is a photo of a template.
Each headlight will need to have one of the ‘ears’ cut off to fit in the openings. This will be obvious when you place them in for a trial fit.
Be sure you mount the headlights right-side up. The light pattern depends of the lights being mounted right-side up and level. It should be obvious when you examine the lights, but one way to be sure is that writing on the inside of the lamp that relates to DOT approval should be at the bottom of the light when mounted in the car.
When you are ready to mount the lights, be sure there is sufficient play to be able to adjust the lights when they are on the car.
Install the light modules with the adjuster balls into carefully drilled holes in the provided fiberglass pieces. The fiberglass light shells will need to be trimmed, so carefully dry-fit these until you are sure you have the fit perfect, allowing for later adjustment.
Before you epoxy the fiberglass shells and modules to the underside of the body, confirm that you have mounted the modules correctly as to orientation, and that you have enough room to adjust the headlights as needed.
Then, using a 2-part epoxy mixed with milled fibers or microspheres create a paste the consistency of peanut butter to epoxy the lights and fiberglass pieces to the body.
The pictures below show how they should look when done.
Be sure the white plastic drains are pointed down, so any condensation can drain properly.
Once the headlights are aligned, seal the gap between headlight and body to prevent debris and water from entering. You can use silicone to seal the gap between headlight and body. The silicone can be cut if the headlight needs to be moved or removed.
Here is a picture of the 60 and 90 mm lights installed. Note that the 60 mm high beams have the black surround and projector-style lens.
Note in the following pictures the use of 90 mm lights for both low and high beam. In this example, the high beam “eyebrows” had to be removed to make the openings large enough for the stock 90 mm high beam light.
All variants of the SL-C use the same tail lights, which are from a 2006 Dodge Dakota. The mounting details are different, however: the race tail version mounts the lights without the external covers that are present on the Le Mans and street tail versions.
The tail lights are positioned in the vehicle in the orientation shown in the photos below. Note that the backup light is always to the inside of the car.
Initially cut the recessed areas in the body to test fit the lights. You will need to trim the body further to get the lights to fit snugly into the openings.
Trim the body to be able to fit the tail light assembly into the body. The light assembly needs to protrude through the body slightly while being inserted and removed from the back side of the bodywork. Remove the excess fiberglass with a Dremel or similar tool.
If you are keeping your car in gelcoat, work up to a perfect fit slowly- it’s easy to remove material, but much harder to put it back neatly. You’ll find it useful to angle your cuts to allow the light to fight tightly to the body.
If you are painting the car, a quick tip: open up the holes in the body so the tail light assembly fits loosely where you want it. Then completely tape up the taillight with clear packing tape, apply some body filler around the outside of the opening, and press the tail light in from the rear. Hold it there until the filler begins to harden, then remove the light and work the body filled to be smoothed- the impression by the tail light yields a smooth edge around the light, and excess filler is easily removed.
Here’s a picture of what it should look like after the rough cut-out:
Here’s a picture of the taillight mounted. Note the tight fit around the light, especially in the lower middle, where a sort of ”tower” separates the two lenses.
To actually mount the taillight, bond a mounting tab into the body to which you can affix the tail light mounting tabs. The bottom edge of the light assembly can be simply wedged into the inner fender panel with either foam or silicone that can be cut away if the light housing needs to be replaced. The bottom edge needs to be secured only enough to prevent vibration.
In this picture, note the use of the black fiberglass taillight covers that are provided as part of the optional fender liner kit. These should only be final-fitted after the body panels are fully aligned because epoxying the covers to the rear clip makes it more difficult to adjust alignment later.
The latest tail lights are shipped with bulbs and a pigtail that connects directly to the chassis wiring harness. In that case, just plug the pigtails on the harness directly to the lights. The taillights are from a 2006 Dodge Dakota. The bulb holders are sprung steel design. To fit aftermarket light sockets to the light housing you may need to remove a little red plastic as shown in the photo below. Just remove enough to give the light sockets a firm click-in fit.
Front Indicators/Turn Signals
One way to mount the turn signal lights is to just cut a hole large enough to fit the wiring connector etc. through the body and then attach the front indicator to the body with silicone adhesive. The silicone can be cut away if the light needs to be replaced.
Carefully enlarging the hole until the indicator lens fits through the hole can give a nice recessed look that can look more professional. Mounting is similar; use silicone to bond the light assembly in to the body at the rear, where it can’t be seen from the outside.
High-Mount Stop Light
Some jurisdictions require the use of a third, high-mounted center brake light. You’ll need to use a trailer adapter or similar circuit to add a center brake light. See wiki for more details.
The picture below shows an example mounting location of a high-mount stop light or a similar part from a 2008-series Ford Focus sedan, a Mitsubishi, or from any hot rod parts supplier. The body is cut and trimmed with an opening that matches the clear lens shape and size. The light housing is then inserted into the body and glued into place with silicone adhesive. The lens then clips on the housing.
The standard harness does not provide for a third brake light, but it is easy to extend a wire from the brake light terminal of either tail light for this purpose. Don’t forget to connect the ground wire as well.
The picture shows the race tail, but the implementation is similar for the street tail.
Alternatively, a center-mounted brake light may be placed at the top of the rear window.
Depending on your licensing jurisdiction, you may be required to mount side indicators. While the standard harness does not provide a dedicated wire for these, just extend the parking light wire from the front indicators and run it to one side of the side indicator lamp.
Connect the other terminal to ground.
Use silicone adhesive as shown in the picture to hold the light in place.
You may also be able to use mirror-mounted LEDs to meet external side market requirements.
License Plate Lights
The license plate lights can be placed just behind the rear edge of the clip, or on the diffuser if you are using the race tail. In the photo below, LED license plate lights are glued with silicone adhesive onto the tail’s inner panel. These are available anywhere automotive LED lights are sold.
Other solutions, including license plate frame-mounted lights, bolts with LEDs in them, and standalone lights are widely available.
Wire the license plate lights by taking the power from one of the tail lamps (not the brake light!).