Now that it’s fall and Daylight Savings time has ended it is getting dark here very early. Normally this doesn’t affect my driving much because my drive home at night is in enough traffic that I almost never get to use my bright lights. However, I do have to drive a 180 mile round trip every other Friday night to pick up my son. Half of the trip is on the Interstate, and half is on two lane country roads. This trip is much safer with some additional lighting so I can have more time to avoid all the critters wandering the roads at night. I’ve had a set of driving lights laying around that I never got around to putting on the Saturn last winter, but this winter I’m going to put them to use.
The Saturn is actually the third car I’ve installed this set of lights on, so I am very familiar with the process. There isn’t a good place on the Saturn to mount them. There is a horizontal divider through the radiator opening in the bumper, so I would have to cut out part of that to put them there. And the openings on either side for the factory fog lights aren’t quite big enough for my 3” round set of driving lights. I had decided to mount them in the factory position slightly behind the opening since it doesn’t matter if the edges of the lights are blocked by the bumper. This location is an open area behind the bumper shell so I had to fabricate a bracket to have something to hold the lights. I would have installed them last year but I didn’t have time fabricate brackets.
I used an angled piece of extruded aluminum for the brackets because aluminum is much easier to cut than steel, weighs less, and is around the same price as a similar piece of steel but won’t rust. A two foot long piece cost me about $3.50 at Lowe’s, and I had over a foot left after making the brackets. I found a bolt on either end of the metal bumper frame to be the mounting point on the car. After cutting a piece of the aluminum and holding it and a light in the approximate position I hacked away at the aluminum with my Dremel. After far too many test fittings and trimmings I had it formed into a nice little bracket you see here. But I wasn’t done yet, I had to make another one just like it but a mirror image to mount on the other side. Considering this is probably the largest metal fabrication I have ever attempted I think it turned out pretty well. In the photo above you can see the lights glaring from behind the bumper openings, exactly where I wanted them.