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Old 05-07-2010, 04:39 PM   #1
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markeb01's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
Posts: 7,449
60-63 Spotlight Installation

For those with an interest in adding a Unity spotlight to a 60-63 series truck, following is what I recently learned going through the process.

The first task was accurately producing the template from the image that is currently circulating. On my computer, printing in landscape mode at 83% of full size produced a template that perfectly aligned the mounting screw holes in the template to the special 141 LH outside bracket. This resulted in a template measuring exactly 7 3/8” inches long from tip to tip.

In mocking up the location of the outside bracket, it immediately became apparent the template and the 988090 instruction sheet conflict on placement. As shown below, the instruction sheet places the bracket almost dead center between the rear edge of the fender extension and the rear edge of the hinge pillar.

The template moves the bracket forward about ½” from the centered location.

In addition to the visual difference, the bracket didn’t fit well in the template location and rocked back and forth diagonally. Moving it ½” to the rear and down just a tad, it perfectly matched the contours of the body. It just didn’t seem prudent to tighten down a very rare pot metal casting on an uneven surface. Over a period of several days I kept coming back and mocking up the bracket in various locations, and calculating the angle where the shaft would enter the interior of the truck. Each time the centered location fit best and matched the instruction sheet location on the outside, and also where the shaft entered the interior of the cab. After a proper amount of anguish I decided to follow my instincts and the instruction drawings rather than the template.

Per the instructions, using the bracket I marked and center punched the body for the mounting screws. I then drilled the holes starting with a 1/16” bit and finished up with a new 1/8” single flute bit. A gasket was cut to fit from solid rubber stock and the bracket screwed in place. I didn’t have the Unity ½” drill bushing and was not very enthusiastic about trying to cram a ½” drill bit through an angled piece of sheet metal held in position by a precious piece of pot metal. As an alternate plan my son machined up three drill bushings from Oilite bronze. Each bushing has an outside diameter of .690 with inside diameters of ¼”, 3/8”, and ½”.

With the ¼” bushing held in place with the bracket set screw, I used a ¼” transfer punch to mark the body.

I then drilled the body with an 8”long ¼” bit.

This was followed by the 3/8” and ½” bits. When I got to the 3/8” bit, I realized why the template moved the bracket forward. There is an errant piece of sheet metal between the outer body and the inner skin, about 3/4” into the body cavity. It’s a non functional flap of metal with about a 45 degree downhill angle from the upper rear to the lower front. It barely interferes, just enough to catch the edge of the bit making it a pita to drill through to the inner body using the spotlight bracket to hold the alignment. To avoid damaging the bracket, it was removed and the interfering lip was ground away using a rotary file. Once that was out of the way final drilling was completed without further incident. The edges of the holes were cleaned up and painted and the spotlight installed. Here it is in the upright and parked positions.

I'm going to speculate the bracket itself was originally designed to go where I installed it. The instruction drawings show it being mounted there, and it best fits the body profile in this location. In the instruction line drawing, the template appears shorter, even considering the perspective angle. Perhaps an earlier version of the template was shorter, and subsequent installation complaints resulted in a revised template moving the bracket forward to clear the inner obstruction. Moving it forward ½” will indeed clear the obstruction.

If I knew about the internal obstruction ahead of time, I might have gone with the template layout. It would have been less work, but I never could get past the concern of distorting or breaking the bracket because it didn’t fit correctly.

As soon as I can obtain a new old stock or mint original right hand outside bracket the passenger side will get a matching light (any leads appreciated). I’ll go through the grief again with the inner panel and put it in the same spot so both sides match.

I didn’t have the special 8205 LH inner bracket, and don’t really want one. On a restored truck it would be a rare and desirable feature. With all the other changes in my interior it seemed to me the truck bracket would look a bit too industrial, so I opted for the standard rubber angle spacer and locking collar. I wanted to improve on the appearance of the factory clamp, so my son fabricated a new one from polished aluminum. Comparing this photo to the installation instructions shows the location where it enters the cab appears identical.

Here’s a shot of the interior mounting. It's hard to get a decent photo because the handle is so shiny:

The spotlight I obtained still retained the factory wiring and electrical terminal in excellent condition. As seen in the photo above, per the instruction sheet, I drilled a 5/16" hole 3/4" down from the bottom of the handle hole. After several failed attempts to thread the wire under the dash, inspection with a mirror revealed the only path through is a gap at the very top of the dash. I stripped the piano wire out of an old choke cable, bent a very small 90 degree end on it, and crimped on a male electrical terminal that fit the female spotlight terminal. I joined the connectors, and after about 5 minutes managed to feed the piano wire through the gap. After pulling all the slack, the original wire ended up about 6-8 inches from the fuse panel. Terminal 26 on the Ron Francis fuse panel was empty, to be used for an electric clock. A quick jumper connected everything, and I switched out the fuse from 10 amps to 15 amps.

That’s about it. The figuring took a lot longer than the actual installation. For anyone considering this, just take your time and don’t put undue stress on the external bracket during the drilling process. It would also be helpful to tape a paper towel over the door seam under the bracket, along with covering the upper front portion of the door. The drilling generates a lot of filings. I used a shop vacuum held above the surface to remove them, but it would have been nicer to not have filings resting on the paint in the first place.

Edit - and here are the vehicle code links for California and Washington state, pertaining to owning and using vehicle mounted spotlights:



Edit 6/24/2010 - here is a thread for those interested in how to repair a Unity spotlight:

Edit 6/24/2010 – Passenger side bracket and inside bracket information.

Here is a bit of confirming information for anyone looking to install both left and right hand spotlights on their 60-63 Chevy or GMC truck. Although the inner and outer brackets are shown in the early installation diagrams, no part numbers are specified. The left hand outside bracket is confirmed as part # 141. Inside the casting displays the markings 141 and Autolite, long associated with Ford. Unfortunately I failed to photograph the back of the bracket.

The passenger/right side bracket is part #141R, and the back of the casting is marked 141-R and TEACO. I have been unable to find anything about Teaco or their association with Unity. Here are views of the front and back of the passenger side bracket. It does have a few cosmetic nicks and scratches after kicking around the Unity factory for 4 or 5 decades:

And here is the bracket installed:

Oddly, the Unity records list the 141R bracket as being designed for the 1966 Ford Bronco. Assuming the bracket truly was designed by Ford, prior to GM using it in 1960, I assume it must have been for some 1940’s - 50’s Ford product. Research to discover the true origin of the bracket has so far proven unsuccessful. Unity lists no application other than the Bronco. Here is a photo reduction of the 1966 Bronco template they sent.

The inside brackets are 8205 (driver side) and 8206RH (passenger side). After a lengthy delay in shipping I was in such a hurry to get them installed, I again forgot to photograph the backside for markings. I didn’t notice any, but don’t remember specifically looking either. Unity part numbers noted are as listed on the invoice.

Here is what they look like installed, providing a very strong installation along with a clean custom appearance. There is a set screw directly underneath each bracket to lock the outer tube in place.

Unity no longer has stock of the 141R bracket, and will not produce any more. Kanter Auto Products also does not have this bracket, although Accessoryland does have one or two at the time this is written, and perhaps another set of inside brackets.
My Build Thread:

Last edited by markeb01; 01-06-2013 at 09:55 PM.
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