Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Parade Detail Coming Up

Ready or not, the date is coming up fast.

The rotating roof light on 17 usually does not rotate, and it would be rather embarrassing for that to happen in a parade. Therefore, I decided to not wait to put the "new" strobe light up before the rig is painted, because who knows how long we'll wait for that.

I removed a bunch of screws from the aluminum strips that hold the interior roof panels in place, and removed the center panel, exposing the nuts that held the roof light in place. Removing it was not much of a chore at all.

It was not until I brought the original equipment Whelen strobe out that I realized that this was not going to be so simple. In the picture below, with the dome removed, you can see the Fresnel lens strobe unit resting on the base. The lens and strobe components underneath are held down by the clamp ring, along with the dome, when installed, but as shown below they just lift right off of the base. So for installation, all you have to do is secure the base, and then you tie everything down to that. Simple.

It was not until I had exposed the underside of the old light's installation that I realized it was mounted in a different location than the strobe had been. Reviewing old photos of sister rigs, along with considering the evidence of old holes visible from under the roof, I confirmed that the original strobe was mounted roughly in the front/back center of the cab roof. The newer light had been placed closer to the front.

OK, no problem. A little sealer, some new holes, we're good.

Then I looked at the Whelen base. It has three tabs spot-welded to the inside, about halfway up (not along the bottom edge). And there were only two holes in the original installation.

Fabricating something to make this work, or simply using long bolts, will not be a problem. But the two holes on the roof and three inside the base are not plug and play compatible, so I couldn't finish the job with equipment on hand. Probably will just go with three long bolts.

Here's a picture before the old "new" light was removed, and a picture of where the new "old" light will go that I snapped after realizing I couldn't get the job done that day. Until I cobble something together, poor Engine 17 is feeling a little naked without a roof warning light at the moment.

It isn't much, but some work is getting done at last.