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Old 12-21-2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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Running wires for worklamps through the penthouse roof?

So I have a few questions for those of you that have mounted lights up top. I just bought myself several Hella worklamps and plan to mount them this coming week.

1. How have you run the wires through the penthouse? did you go through an existing hole where the solar wires go or create a new hole? If you used wire loom around your wires, how do you prevent water from finding its way through the loom and inside the van? Alot of silicone around the bare wires or silicone inside the loom or is there some other way?

2. Any suggestions on type of wire and where to buy it? I was reading that the wire you buy at PepBoys or Autozone is not really good for high temperature in the engine compartment. Any suggestions on where to buy wire and what type?

2. Anyone use those cheap Hella worklamps that are about 4"x3" round and under $10? If so how is the light compared to the porch light? I was going to mount one on each side (or maybe 2). Then I also have the adjustable Hella round lamp with handle and switch for the rear that you often see on Landrovers. Any thoughts?


steve
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #2
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Steve,

When I ran wires through the roof for my solar panel I made sure it wouldn't leak.

First, starting inside, I pulled the inner top panel loose and loosened the flexible sidewall.

Then, I ran the wires above the top panel and above the flexible sidewall to the outside of the penthouse.

Next, I made a hole in the roof and routed the wires through a watertight electrical elbow. Seal the elbow to the roof with a butyl sealant.

Put the top back together carefully and know it will be dry.

This made the hole outside of penthouse wall, so any leaks were outside of the living areas.

On the inside I used an automotive split tubing, similar to what SMB uses on the third brakelight. In fact, I followed the third brakelight wiring through the top. Take a good look at the third brakelight wiring and how it is routed and follow that example.

Mike
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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Steve,

Here are my photos of my rear work lights.

Side view perspective. The wiring loom is a split loom, so water could get into the loom, however I think that's one reason the loom and wires loop downward as much as they do. Any water that ends up in the loom will stay at the bottom of the loop and eventually drain out.


Top view perspective. Appears to be a fair amount of sealant around the penetration. Can't tell what kind.


View of the solar panel wiring penetration. The actual penetration and seal are hidden by the plastic box.



Hope this helps,
Herb
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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BTW, I forgot to address your question of light output. The Hella work lilghts are MUCH brighter than the side porch lights. Realizing that I have two rear lights, and only one porch light on each side on my SMB, but even when I had one burned out bulb on the rear work lights, the light output is quite high. The high mounting position also makes for a better work light, as the side porch lights are near eye level and therefore quite awkward and distracting as you move around the outside of the van.


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Old 12-25-2007, 12:08 AM   #5
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Thanks very much Mike and Herb.

Mike I understand what you are talking about and today I picked up these waterproof fittings for electrical wire. Haven't installed it yet but will shoot a photo after I do. I will probably put some silicone in, around the wires, just to be sure even though there is a rubber diaphragm. Is the butyl just a way to hold the fitting? the fitting I got has a threaded area and a nut that goes on the other side of the fiberglass. I was going to just use silicone on the threads and around the nut. What do you think?

Also, Herb thanks so much for the photos. I appreciate your help on this. I was happy to place the lights up top today and hope to complete the wiring this week.

Thanks again to you both!

steve
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:20 PM   #6
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Steve,

I don't like silicone sealers. Once you use one, nothing else will stick. So, if you ever have to make a change or another repair it is silicone or nothing. And sometime silicones crack and fail.

The butyl sealers are very flexible, stick like glue and work. They can be completely removed with solvents and you are back to an original surface. It is the same stuff used on windshields by many manufacturers. I get from an autobody supply shop in a long round form and pull off the piece I want and just push it in place.

Mike
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