What is the trick to adding a LED Light Bar to the front of a 2017 Ram 1500
There are several threads devoted to the LED light bar question on assorted Ram 1500 forums. Many of the questions sound like this one. A Connecticut owner of a 2017 Ram 1500 asks, “I was wondering if anybody has put a curved LED bar recessed in between the front tow hooks? Thanks!” JV adds, “The curved ones are nice but they are longer than 20 inches and you have to remove the tow hooks which I don’t want to do. I found a similar 20 inch one at rough country .com, they sell the bracket kit for $35 and the led bar for $165.
An owner named KSH says he is planning to take one off his older truck to place on his new one. “It was a Rigid LED light bar with brackets under the hooks. It’s not really curved but they were extremely bright. I plan on putting it on my ‘17 in the fall.”
George says he put a light bar on his 2017 Ram 2500 and he is pleased with how it turned out. “I used the kit from Assault LED. Pretty straight forward. The hardest part was removing the tow hooks in order to mount the mounting bracket. Those nuts on the back of the tow hooks are tough to break loose! Other than that, it’s really easy, fits perfectly, and really lights up the road.” George wants to clarify that he kept his tow hooks. “I still have my tow hooks. The kit I got is a 28" curved that fits between the hooks. I just had to remove them to install the mounting bracket. The hooks went back on over the mounting bracket for the light.”
That seems to be what causes the most confusion about the light bars. You have to remove the tow hooks to get the bars to fit correctly. However, then you can put the hooks back on.
You don’t have to keep the tow hooks
However, not everyone likes the looks of the tow hooks. A New Hampshire owner says that he removed them entirely. “Do u really need the hooks? I put in a 42" bar from amazon and RC brackets for about $125 and works great. IMAO don't need hooks cause u can't pull with them because there only bolted to the bumper and not frame.”
It is important to note that you aren’t supposed to pull with the hooks. You tow with the trailer hitch. The hooks are so someone can pull you out if you are stuck. Don’t ever let anyone tow your vehicle by the hooks, either. The trick is having brackets to attach the bar to. That’s why the owners are talking about the tow hooks. You need to attach the bars using the brackets for the hooks or you have to create your own brackets. “I know you don't want to get rid of tow hooks. But this is my setup with the Rough country brackets that install right into the tow hook holes, with a 42" curved chrome series light bar. It was a real easy install.”
Wiring the light bar
Beluga, from California, asked the most important question. “Where does everyone recommend tapping the relay for the light bar into? I was thinking about finding the high beam wire so when it is powered it triggers the light bar to go on, looking for some direction on how to proceed.”
Sheila makes an excellent point. “Put it on a different switch. Depending on local laws it may be illegal to use on the road and you wouldn't want it on while using High beams if that's the case. Also, if it's mounted low like pictured on here it may work well in fog but high beams would just blind you.”
Jam, from Indiana, says he used an extra switch. “I have mine wired to the upfitter switch panel.”
It is important to check when you are ordering the light bar that you are also getting the wiring harness and brackets. It may look like a great deal but cost you more in the long run if you have to buy the items separately. It is a great way to dress up the truck, as long as you don’t fry your wiring.