Attaching Slimlighter to Headliner

07GD SFD

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May 21, 2010
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I had my slimlighter attached to my headliner using self tapping screws. But the screws ended up pulling through and my slimlighter came crashing down. What's a good way to attach it? I'm mounting it right about the RVM.
 
SlickTop Solutions said:
Two words...Speed nuts.

+1 or use small bolts with nuts and a washer if you don't have speed nuts handy!
 
I typically use good, automotive trim-type screws in black oxide finish, size #8 x whatever length needed (should allow for 1/4" excess length after piercing headliner). These have a large diameter washer head on them and I get them at Fastenall, although they are an Auveco product. These have a nice finished look and the wide washer head works well in slotted brackets. They look like this:


awww.auveco.com_images_product_tapping_12213.gif


To secure them, I run them through the headliner, and then put a 1" fender-type washer on the backside, and then a #8 spring nut, also from Auveco, like this:


awww.boltdepot.com_images_catalog_fender_washer.gif


awww.auveco.com_images_product_spring_10066.gif


It is not necessary to clip the spring nut to anything, although if you buy the correct ones, they will actually clip onto the washer, which makes the whole thing a bit easier to handle. The washers help distribute the weight of the mounted component and prevent damage to the headliner backside from the spring nuts. Do be very careful when holding the spring nuts while running the screw with an electric drill/driver...you can tear the absolute $h!t out of your fingers if the screw goes in at a slight angle and catches, as it will torque the spring nut and spin it. Those sharp edges will shred flesh. :eek:


I have also used these in lieu of the spring nuts...


awww.auveco.com_images_product_spring_1903WC.gif


...but they are a bit harder to hold and work with than the above method. I also use two per screw, stacked in a x-pattern, to ensure secure mounting. For whatever reason, these tend to "strip" easier than the spring nuts when tightening.


If you don't need a whole box of these items, which is how they are usually sold, simply check out a local auto body shop and they'll have them.
 
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll have to look for a bail bracket. Hopefully I can find the stuff I need at the local hardware store. If not I'll have to check out NAPA. They must be a PITA to handle with the headliner to get them secured.
 
07GD SFD said:
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll have to look for a bail bracket. Hopefully I can find the stuff I need at the local hardware store. If not I'll have to check out NAPA. They must be a PITA to handle with the headliner to get them secured.

Spring nuts/speednuts can be found in the hardware/screw/nut section of your local Home Depot or Lowes, generally two to a package.
 
I think I may sneak down at lunch and see if I can find them. It's annoying as hell having the Slimlighter slide around on my dash as I drive, and I'd like to have it back up in case there's a call today.
 
Got everything attached tonight and it feels very secure. I forgot to get a washer but I'm hoping it won't be too much of an issue. Thanks again for the tip.
 
is the spring/speed nut actually clipping onto the headliner or just sitting behind it like a regular nut would? I been trying to mount some on my headliner in my 02 explorer and the area behind the liner is just way to tight to hold something and screw it in. Plus one end of the slimlighter needs to be mounted about 2 inches back from the windshield in order to keep the light straight. sucks
 
UndercoverVLS said:
is the spring/speed nut actually clipping onto the headliner or just sitting behind it like a regular nut would? I been trying to mount some on my headliner in my 02 explorer and the area behind the liner is just way to tight to hold something and screw it in. Plus one end of the slimlighter needs to be mounted about 2 inches back from the windshield in order to keep the light straight. sucks

Yes, the nuts just "lay" there behind the headliner.


As for the headliner being too tight to hold anything, have you removed the a pillar trim and the sun visor clips?
 
The thread has posted some excellent drawings of the screws and hardware. I have used the speed nuts to mount a Whelen Talon to a headliner with no problem.


Kenwood install kits have black metric machine screws (bolts) that can be mated with washers and nuts and also provide a professional installation.


And, while that's great if it puts the light where you need it (and the Talon has a very good bail bracket), sometimes the light bracket doesn't get the light below the shading on the windshield. That was the problem with the Slimlight. It would be great if a modified universal bail was available for installs where the light needs to be lowered another two or three inches. For now, I suspect that many ELB members are buying a light that meet's the bail dimensions needed for a particular car.


Code 3 made a nice headliner/visor bracket for the Deckblaster strobe and I am modifying it to mount some Generation 3 lights to replace my Generation 1 Slim Light. It is easy to drill through the Code 3 bracket for other attachments and I am waiting on a double bracket from Sirennet to put the SOS LED3 lights and assemble this together. I originally thought I would use the SOS lights as fender mounted intersection lights, but I wanted to at least view them as a replacement for the Talon. (I got them from Peter F in a trade, and while I like Whelen, I admit these offer every bit as much warning as a TIR or LIN3.)
 
tnems7 said:
And, while that's great if it puts the light where you need it (and the Talon has a very good bail bracket), sometimes the light bracket doesn't get the light below the shading on the windshield.

The factory tint at the top of windshields has never been an issue with any lights I have seen. As a matter of fact, most police departments USE the windshield tint to better disguise or hide headliner mounted lights.


Mounting any light low enough to clear the upper tint/shade of the windshield would, in my opinion, place any light in the sight view of the driver passenger as well as becoming more of a cause for a head injury do to being lower.


The deckblaster z-bracket was meant to get the light to point forward regardless of the headliner angle secured to, not to lower it below the windshield shade/tint.
 
Dan,


You make a good argument about the mounting position and any headstrike issues, but I believe the dual airbags will remove some of the risk. I will need to consider this in placing the lights. With the deckblaster strobe, it certainly punched through sunshading. The Gen 1 red lights I had just didn't punch through, and I used a behind the mirror mount. Also, the light output of the Talon certainly offset any shading. IMO, windshield shading actually accentuates blue lights.


I just wished to mention the Code 3 Deckblaster bracket as another good option for solutions to headliner mounting.
 

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