A given shop's project truck just really isn't a project truck without a ton of aftermarket lighting. While our 2012 5.0L FX4 project truck is already decked out with a decent amount of lighting hardware, we decided to go all the way crazy with it by adding a 50" LED light bar. Naturally, we turned to our friends and cross-town neighbors over at Rigid Industries and their excellent 50" SR-Series light bar. With our light bar choice narrowed down, we just needed a way to mount it, so we grabbed a set of N-Fab Roof Mount Brackets to give the light bar a nice, high perch in a fairly subtle package. The N-Fab brackets also come in at a pretty low price, making them a bit more enticing over an aftermarket front bumper or other front light bar mounting system. The good news is that our light bar and bracket setup looks pretty good. The bad news is that the actual install was a bit of a process. Still, N-Fab's brackets are a low-cost and good-looking way to mount up a light bar and Rigid's SR-Series light bar is a great way to get some serious off-road lighting potential.

Rigid 50-inch SR-Series Off-Road LED Light Bar

The first thing you need to know right off the bat is that the brackets require drilling. Drilling a total of five holes, to be exact, two for each bracket and one fairly large hole for the light bar's wiring and connector. While it's not impossible to go back after the installation of the brackets, it's not exactly easy either. So BE WARNED. We also did a few things differently than N-Fab's instructions, so keep that in mind as well when you go through our guide.

2009-2014 F150 N-Fab Light Bar Roof Mount Brackets

Like any install over here at Stage 3, we headed down to Extreme Performance out in Goodyear, where Chris and Jay were on-hand to get our brackets and light bar up and running. First up was N-Fab's brackets, and while these guys look pretty simple, they're install is a bit of an adventure that requires you to remove your truck's headliners and move your curtain airbags out the way in order to drill holes through the rain gutters and roof down into your cab. Like we said, it's a bit of a process, but nothing that an experience DIYer can't handle. So, we started our headliner removal by popping off the plastic cover on our truck's driver side A-pillar. This exposes some of the curtain air bag which will be moved out of the way for drilling.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

From there, we move to the driver's side sun visor and remove its mounting screws. We let the visor just dangle, but make sure the wiring's not stretching overly much.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Two of the better-hidden screws holding the headliner to the roof are buried in the dome light, which means Chris got to to disassemble most of the thing, starting by removing the lens, which should just pop off.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

After the lens is removed, the bulbs and housing were visible and Chris pressed in its clips to remove it from the headliner. Once out of the liner, the power connectors for the lights can be unhooked.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

The screws for the headliner are up right against the roof, and are a bit hard to see. A flashlight is definitely recommended. Once Chris had them out, he was able to gently pull the headliner down by the dome light's plastic bracket.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Then Chris removed the screws for the passenger side visor.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Chris continued counter-clockwise around the truck freeing the headliner, and our next stop was the passenger's side A-pillar. Chris removed the covers on the grab handle and removed the screws to pop the whole cover off.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

We were hoping that loosening the headliner from the A-pillars and front of the cab would give us enough room to get at all the airbag brackets. Unfortunately, we needed some more room, so we headed aft. Chris pulled the door seals and then tackled the coat hangar mounts which hid their screws under a little piece of plastic.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

After he finished with the coat hangar mounts, Chris popped off the "AIRBAG" buttons on the B-pillar which hide two screws. Then he worked around the B-pillar cover with a screwdriver to pop its clips and remove it from the pillar itself.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

With the headliner free from the B-pillar, Chris was able to pull the headliner away from the roof enough to access all the necessary brackets for the curtain airbags and get enough room to drill the holes for the N-Fab brackets themselves. Chris started by removing the airbag bracket nearest the windshield and worked his way back from there.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

After the passenger's side airbag was out of the way, Chris removed the brackets for the passenger side and moved the airbags out of the way.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Now came the scary part of this whole endeavor: the drilling. First, Chris taped off the roof around the rain gutters and then marked down the holes using the actual N-Fab brackets as a template. N-Fab's instructions said to place them about 1/4" back from the leading edge of the roof, so Chris used that as a guide.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Then the drilling, which took quite a bit of effort. There's a lot of steel under those rain gutters and it takes a heck of a drill and drill bit to get through. Luckily, the guys over at Extreme are well-equipped and Chris got to work.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

About here is where out install of the brackets and N-Fab's included instructions diverge. N-Fab wants you to widen the hole on the cab side using a 1" hole saw. Given that we like to keep our drilling and cutting down to a bare minimum, we instead opted to use longer bolts for each bracket that managed to fit all the way through.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

The only potential issue with this method versus N-Fab's is clearance with the curtain airbags. However, we did a test fit any every fit together without a problem.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Then came drilling into the passenger side of our truck and a test mounting of the bracket.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

With the brackets more or less squared away, it came time to test fit the light bar itself and drill the hole in the roof for its wiring. N-Fab's instructions say that you'll need to drill a 3/8" diameter hole for the connector and wiring, however, the plug-and-play connector was much larger than that, and Chris had to go a bit larger in order to get the connector completely through the roof.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

If there's a major weakness in N-Fab's bracket kit, it's that it doesn't come with anything to seal up and weather proof any of the holes you have to drill. Not a huge deal, but it is something you'll need to prepare for ahead of time. Even though it only rains a whole four times a year here in the Phoenix area, a leaky roof is still not ideal. To get everything sealed up, Chris found a grommet for the large wiring hole that was then topped off with a urethane sealant. Each of the bolts on both sides of the truck also got a urethane treatment for safe measure.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Chris went to work reinstalling the airbags and headliner and turned us over to Jay for wiring up the light bar and installing our custom-made switch. Jay started in the cab by hooking the light bar's connectors together.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Then Jay routed the wiring down the A-pillar and into the dash. The side panel easily pops off, which provides easier access to the firewall grommet.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

With the positive and negative spades pushed through the firewall, Jay ran them over to the battery and set them aside.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

We decided to mount our switch for the light bar and Starkey Backup Light Kit (more on that later) on the silver panel with the headlight controls. The panel is held in by clips and pretty easily pops off. Jay had to disconnect the headlamp knob in order to pull it out. Jay quickly reconnected it to get the truck to stop dinging at us.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Once the panel was out of the truck, Jay taped off the section that needed cutting and measured out the placement of our switches.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

With everything measured out, Jay started cutting. We're planning on running a third switch for our grille-mounted D2 Duallys, but fitting three switches required cutting off two of the plate's mounting tabs.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Once Jay had the plate ready, he got to work running the switch wiring over to the proper location. The only snag we ran into was that there wasn't quite enough wiring to make it over to the switch location. Jay had to extend the harness a bit by splicing in a few lengths of wire.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

To actually fit the switches into place, a section of the dash needed to be cut out. Jay got to work, and in a few minutes, we had enough space for our switches and modified faceplate.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

Even without the two mounting tabs, the plate fit back in tight and snug and our new switches looked awesome. All Jay had to do now was hook the light bar's spades onto our battery, and we were ready to rock.

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

The end result is pretty awesome, and our truck looks even better and now lights up the night like almost nothing else. A big thanks over to Chris, Jay, and everyone over at Extreme for giving us a hand!

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

N-Fab 50" Light Bar Bracket Install

12 Comments

josh wages

Date 10/11/2014

any issues with the nfab 50" light bracket vibrating? just installed one on my pickup and it vibrates horrible, searching for a good way to fix the issue.

Jason@Stage3

Date 10/13/2014

We never had any vibration from the bracket itself. If you are getting some, my only suggestion would be to double-check that the bolts for the brackets are as tight as possible. Even on the brackets we had, the curvature with with roof wasn't perfect until those mounting bolts were really cranked down. Your other possible issue might be the light bar itself. Make sure its mounting screws are fully tightened down.

Layne

Date 10/26/2014

I just tried to install the Rigid 50" E2 light bar with the roof bracket, i noticed that the size (Width) of the bolt that came on the light bar was much different and the bolts that came with the bracket kit were to large. how did you make this work?

Jason@Stage3

Date 10/27/2014

@Layne: we didn't have any issues with our SR-Series Light Bar, so there's a possibility that Rigid changed the bolts for the E2. The only thing issue we ran into was that we had to bend the brackets inward somewhat to fit the SR. If you can't get it to work with the hardware you're given, you could try to hunt down new bolts and nuts at your local hardware store. Otherwise, you can call us directly at 1-877-578-2433, and we'll see if we can help you out further.

Luis Gonzalez

Date 1/21/2015

With These N Fab Roof Mount Brackets Do You Think You Could Have Put A Curved LED Bar? And If I Order The Roof Brackets For A 2010 Dodge Will i Receive The Same Brackets As These?

Jauhn Schneck

Date 4/10/2015

I have a 2014 Silverado , and a door mounting it whistles a lot even at low speeds, Looking to replace with N-Fab. Q1: how do I remove the "Rain Gutter" plastic without breaking the tabs ( mind you I know they break because I have broken 1 already ). Q2: was RTV used on the seal and or what type of hardware was used on the bracket to mount it to the roof ? the kit I got ( not top of the line ) came with 3 Tap screw items ( not sure the technical name ) but these did not work - mostly because my intelligence. Thanks in Advance Jauhn S.

Jordan

Date 6/11/2015

Where did you guys get those sweet rocker switches?

Derick Serrano

Date 3/10/2016

I recently purchased a 40" E-Series Combo light bar (front) and 2x 6" Rigid Industries flood lights (rear) and I want to maintain that clean look that you have perfected with this install. My questions are: 1.) What are you using to drill into the body 2.) Is there a right or wrong place to drill into the roof of the truck 3.) What specific "grommet" are you using to plug the hole while feeding the connector through. 4.) What silicon to ensure there is no leak from rain/snow etc. Thank you in advance

braxton

Date 3/29/2016

i have a 08 f150 with these Nfab mounts, I'm about to get rid of the bar and brackets. does anyone know where i can get new weather stripping without getting charged more than my actual truck is worth at the dealership lol?

Nancy

Date 5/19/2016

What was your hours on this install? We did one yesterday and was blown away at how long it took....

H. Calvo

Date 12/11/2016

my guy install 50" curve led with n fab brackets on my tundra 2012 look perfect But the roof have a vibrating like crazy

H. Calvo

Date 12/11/2016

my guy install 50" curve led with n fab brackets on my tundra 2012 look perfect But the roof have a vibrating like crazy

Add Comment

Mailing List

Scroll to TOP