Whelen Centurion Custom Restoration

Discussion in 'Your Installs, Projects, Builds and Modifications' started by CrownVic97, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    Hey, all! Hope your day is going fantastic B-)

    Figured I share a project that I put together for a wrecker that's being put together by the Fire Academy. It's going to replace a lightbar that I'll share here once the change-over is done ;-)

    In late September, I bought this Whelen Centurion from a seller in the area that I had seen on a local buy/sell website for a decent price of $100. My plan was to add more features to the bar for wrecker use and it had the space in order to do it and it'd be just right for the truck it was going on. The seller stated it came off an old Forestry Service maintenance truck and the two center rotators were blocked from the rear by the equipment on the back, so hence the black-out filters.

    Pics from the sales ad online:

    I got it back home and tested it. It worked great, but one rotator had a bulb that seemed to be burned out. So, I went into tear-down mode. The only issue, and it was the biggest PITA I've ever encountered for something that should have been easy, was getting these damn lenses off. When I went to slide them out, they would not budge worth a crap! The tracks they set in had become so entrenched in dust and dirt over the years, that the friction between the plastic, grim, and aluminum was too much. So, I had to soak both sides with Liquid Wrench to soften up all the crap overnight.

    Next day, with the help of my father no less (I don't like dragging my dad into my projects, but this had no choice), we managed to pull one outboard lens off. We cleaned out the tracks ahead of the other lenses before moving them out. With a 2"x2"x10" piece of wood and a rubber mallet, we worked each section, knocking the seal dividers loose first and then alternated tapping on each side of the lens to weasel them out. These next pics show how much crap I had to clean out of the tracks and removal of all components (BTW, the one bulb just needed to be re-adjusted so it'd make better contact again, so that saved an extra headache). I don't think anything was ever serviced inside, and the build date on this was 2002.

    Inside of the bar. Plenty dusty!

    Track that faced the rear...

    Track that was to the front (the WORST side of the whole bar)

    Barren except for the wiring. Clean up went quick!

    A first for me!

    After getting the rotators and mirrors rearranged, next was to install the additions to the bar. This video will help explain more (ignore the fact I said "customer." It's for the Fire Academy of ND. Wasn't thinking on all 8 cylinders at 9 AM in the morning...derp :-/ )

    Got to work on the lenses. They had slight sun crazing, but not too terrible. Turned out pretty good! (the left lens is done, right one wet sanded and ready for polishing)

    Getting the lenses back on was a little more smooth, but still a bit of a job. I can see why this bar was not uber popular with the public safety community. Here's the end result with the entire bar fired up.

    I'll keep this updated and share the final install on the wrecker. Thanks for checking this build out, everybody! Have a good one B-)
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    jph2, Newberry13, OliverD and 2 others like this.
  2. tsquale

    tsquale Site Minion Platinum Level Member

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the domes to be the biggest pain in the ass out of any project light I've had.

    Nice work! I look forward to seeing the final install
    CrownVic97 and rad123 like this.
  3. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    Isn't that the truth, man? Whatever engineer at Whelen thought lenses and gasket seals like the Centurion was a good idea needs to be punched in the face....really, REALLY, hard.

    Thanks BTW, Tsquale! This lightbar is hard to look at for a long period of time since it's ridiculously bright, but that's why it's replacing the older bar on the Fire Academy of North Dakota's International wrecker. It's good, but not for the Fire Academy needs. (Hint: It will become part of my collection for sure though ;-) )
    tsquale and Tony P like this.
  4. StEaLtH2

    StEaLtH2 Enthusiast Silver Level Member

    That video is mesmerizing.......;)
    CrownVic97 likes this.
  5. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    I will have another add-on to this lightbar coming soon. Just got to get some extras and there'll be an update after it's complete :)
    Tony P likes this.
  6. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    Added 4 more TIR6 modules on the outboard sides under the diamond mirrors (front and rear) and all powered by a Fed Sig FA-3 flasher. Works awesome! Also altered the flash pattern in the rear center TIR6s so they're burst alternating.
    OliverD likes this.
  7. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    OliverD likes this.
  8. kitn1mcc

    kitn1mcc Veteran Member

    wish i knew you were looking for one i have a NOS wrecker bar here
  9. CrownVic97

    CrownVic97 Veteran Member

    If something else comes up in the future, I'll keep you in mind, Kit ;).
    kitn1mcc likes this.
  10. Scoot163

    Scoot163 Site Veteran

    Just awesome! What a great bar!
    CrownVic97 likes this.
  11. kitn1mcc

    kitn1mcc Veteran Member

    its a long one too

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