Exterior Light Mount Brackets with Bill Johnston
When you have an idea about an upgrade component, and you own a shop that makes custom designs in steel, turning an idea into reality is just another walk in the park for Troy and Amy Frank. Their company - Designs of Steel - continues to produce new components that make working on our Zooks 'that much' easier. A little while back we took a look at their laser cut ABS interior panels, this month we try out their Exterior Light Mount Brackets.
We took a look at two kinds of lighting brackets. The first was a set that mounts that position the lights at the base of the windshield. The mount is secured to the windshield using the stock forward windshield plate. You just sandwich the new bracket in between the plate and the windshield using the three stock screws.
One thing that sets this bracket apart from others that are out on the market is the placement of the light. Some of the other windshield brackets put the light right above the plate screws. This puts the light in front of the windshield, blocking a bit of the view. These offset the lights enough to give a clearer view through the windshield The lighting brackets aren't powder coated just to look great (although they really do), the powder coating also resists rust and corrosion too. The upper light brackets are even easier to install, as they only have two screws each. They use the stock screws found at the top of the windshield. This mounting position was designed to hold the rubber stops used in the windshield fold-down option. One thing we need to warn you about though, these mounts are strong, but the Zook sheet metal that they attach to isn't. Unlike the lower mounts which use a very sturdy three point mounting system, the upper mounts tend to flex the windshield frame, bouncing the light beam a bit. The close clearance between the offroad light mounting bolt and the windshield made us a little uneasy. But maybe a lighter type of lamp (one without a massive mounting bolt) would work better in this situation.
We took the Zook out on a washboard rutted dirt road to see just how strong the light brackets were. The night pix didn't turn out very well (Gimme a break - it was dark!), but here are a few shots of the day tests. The lower brackets held the light as steady as the headlight beams, but the upper mounts allowed the lights to bounce up and down as the frame flexed. As we said earlier though, maybe a lighter set of lamps may be the ticket here. The bottom line here is that the Designs of Steel Light Brackets are quality pieces of work that will probably last as long as your Zook. You can get them direct from Designs of Steel by contacting them through their web page, by phone or email - or you can find their components on eBay. When you order, tell them iZook sent you.