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Registered
98 Subaru Legacy Outback
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Here is how I installed my roof rack lights with out drilling a hole in the roof. This applies to any outback with a manual roof antenna (or I suppose any vehicle for that matter).
It's a simple idea, but basically you would route the wires up the driver side a pillar, gut the manual roof antenna, and replace it with a shark in style antenna. Then route the roof rack light wires through the new shark antenna.

Starting from the radio I was able to trace the AM/FM antenna wire to the carpet at the driver side door going up the A pillar. The wire should be easy to distinguish since it's similar to a coaxial cable and has writing on it stating AM/FM-Radio or something. I then removed the A pillar cover to trace the wire up to the roof. This helped me to understand where the antenna wire originated from because I had to push a little bit of the wire from the floor to the pillar to release some tension on the wire in order to remove the antenna from the roof. The roof antenna should have 2 torx bolts holding it on the roof, unbolt them and you should be able to remove the antenna. You will notice along side the antenna wire is a vinyl sleeve for the antenna pole to collapse into. Cut the antenna wire and remove the manual antenna and the vinyl tube.

Now tricky part is feeding the roof rack wires up the A pillar. What I did was purchase 1/4inch vinyl tubing from Home Depot for about $4, and taped/crammed my black and red wire spools into one end of the tube. I took the other end of the tube and began feeding it through from the bottom of pillar at floor, through the pillar, and out the roof. I don't have many photos of this process, but in the attachments you can see the end result of the wires popping out of the roof with the vinyl tube attached. This technique works nicely because the vinyl tubing is strong enough to retain it's shape, but at the same time still flexible enough to weave through corners and passageways.

Once you have your roof rack wires fed through, its time to install the shark fin antenna. I drilled a hole in the back of the shark fin antenna for the roof rack lights to feed through, then I put a waterproof connector on the end. Since the connector is at the shark fin antenna, all I have to do now is create a wiring section for my roof rack lights from there. This allows me to create different wiring sections, one for a led bar, or in my current case a section with 5 connectors for my 5 led 6.5 inch lights. It also allows me to easily remove my roof rack/lights when I do not want to use them. Moving on.... Splice the coaxial AM/FM antenna wire and attach it to the shark fin, and route the roof rack wires through the shark fin. NOTE: Be sure to put the 3M tape on the shark fin before routing the wires through OR install connections inside the shark fin.

That's it. You should now have roof rack wires running to your roof rack lights with out drilling into your roof.

When talking to other people I noticed there was some interest in how I mounted the LED lights to my basket. Since my basket is a 1 inch bar, I was able to purchase a 1 inch 3 piece motorcycle foot peg clamps. These clamps worked so well they almost seemed designed for this.
 

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Registered
98 Subaru Legacy Outback
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Images of the roof rack lights and brackets.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
Joined
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12,274 Posts
Great idea! I think I'll adapt it to the Baja.

Find a plug I can fit in the back of the shark fin housing so there isn't a wire dangling. Maybe built a false plug to keep it all sealed when not in use.

Clever idea!
 

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Registered
98 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Brucey! You're already ahead of me. My next steps are to recess the plug into the shark fin antenna. Also as you suggested I took an extra male connector and plugged/sealed it for when its not in use.

Share you're Baja results when it's finished!
 

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Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,549 Posts
I really hope you have some plan for mounting the wires a lot better!
 
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