Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

gaasc

Desperately looking for a title
DONOR
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
8,285
Location
Honduras
Car(s)
3 of them
People have been trying pop-up roof lights off and on since the 80s. Doesn't seem to really have taken off at any point. Which, IMHO, is kind of puzzling. You'd think some form or another would have caught on even as a cult favorite styling element, but nope.
Well, some ideas take time. For instance, every decade or so people have tried a convertible pickup truck, it seems Jeep has finally pulled it off.
 

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
DONOR
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
17,290
Location
Motor City, Michigan
Car(s)
13 Ford Mustang GT, 17 Ford Fiesta ST
People have been trying pop-up roof lights off and on since the 80s. Doesn't seem to really have taken off at any point. Which, IMHO, is kind of puzzling. You'd think some form or another would have caught on even as a cult favorite styling element, but nope.
Likely due to the aerodynamic implications. At first all the OEMs probably thought that hidden headlights would be a great aero benefit and they could run all their testing with the lights down and get better fuel economy, which was probably true at first but then the EPA caught on and forced them to take a harmonic average of lights down and light up.... and those lights up are TERRIBLE in the up position.

But that's just my guess as an aerodynamics engineer for an OEM.
 

thevictor390

Teen Wankeler
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
11,872
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
'17 Mazda MX-5 RF, '89 Toyota Blizzard SX5
I would think the roof lights would not be for on-road use, like most. Not sure if that nuance escapes the EPA though.
 

Spectre

The Deported
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
36,869
Location
Dallas, Texas
Car(s)
00 4Runner | 02 919 | 87 XJ6 | 86 CB700SC
Likely due to the aerodynamic implications. At first all the OEMs probably thought that hidden headlights would be a great aero benefit and they could run all their testing with the lights down and get better fuel economy, which was probably true at first but then the EPA caught on and forced them to take a harmonic average of lights down and light up.... and those lights up are TERRIBLE in the up position.

But that's just my guess as an aerodynamics engineer for an OEM.
I wasn't thinking about OEM, but aftermarket. Things like these:


Those would not be subject to EPA regs or anything like that. I vaguely recall a Smittybilt or something similar that had popup light installations in the late 80s as the first one someone tried but I only ever saw one a couple times. Of course, there's people that homebrew retractable/popup light installs, but they're all few and far between. Every so often some style bar or roll bar maker tries it again, or tries a different take on it.

By the way, that specific bar does have an optional modern take on popup lights.

I don't expect this to really go viral in the truck community. Which is a shame.
 
Last edited:

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
DONOR
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
17,290
Location
Motor City, Michigan
Car(s)
13 Ford Mustang GT, 17 Ford Fiesta ST
I wasn't thinking about OEM, but aftermarket. Things like these:


Those would not be subject to EPA regs or anything like that. I vaguely recall a Smittybilt or something similar that had popup light installations in the late 80s but I only ever saw one a couple times. And of course, there's people that homebrew retractable/popup light installs, but they're all few and far between.
The Ford Performance chase rack for Raptors has a pop up light bar. https://performanceparts.ford.com/part/M-19007-A



 

Spectre

The Deported
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
36,869
Location
Dallas, Texas
Car(s)
00 4Runner | 02 919 | 87 XJ6 | 86 CB700SC
The Ford Performance chase rack for Raptors has a pop up light bar. https://performanceparts.ford.com/part/M-19007-A



Sadly, while Raptors are very popular around here, I've never seen any of them mounting that rack and this is the first I'd heard of it. Makes me wonder how popular that rack is or isn't nationwide - and I'm leaning more towards 'not'. Again, it'd be a shame if so, because I like the idea.
 

prizrak

Forum Addict
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
20,986
Location
No, sleep, till, BROOKLYN
Car(s)
11 Xterra Pro-4x, 12 'stang GT
Likely due to the aerodynamic implications.
Doubt it, mostly due to the lights on my Xterra, they are factory off road flood lights that stick out of the air damn permanently, so it's not like they improve aero in any way. I suspect it's more due to the fact that it would be more moving parts that could break for no real benefit. Like the lights on the X came with plastic covers on them that you remove by hand, not much to break and lights are still protected when not in use.
 

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
DONOR
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
17,290
Location
Motor City, Michigan
Car(s)
13 Ford Mustang GT, 17 Ford Fiesta ST
Right, and at that point why make an expensive, more complicated, more prone to failure aerodynamic shape if you can't claim the full aero benefit?
 

Blind_Io

"Be The Match" Registered
DONOR
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
21,906
Location
Utah, USA
Car(s)
06 Nissan XTerra Off Road, 00 VFR800, 07 ST1300
Maybe not as bad, but still not great, not to mention the general boxiness of the car itself.
To say the Xterra has the aerodynamic properties of a brick is insult to the guy who designed the brick.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,813
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Maybe not as bad, but still not great, not to mention the general boxiness of the car itself.
Not great, not terrible.

It’s pretty great at anything over 70 taking foot of the gas slows the car down quickly enough that I don’t have to use brakes.
laughs in Jeep Patriot
 

Blind_Io

"Be The Match" Registered
DONOR
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
21,906
Location
Utah, USA
Car(s)
06 Nissan XTerra Off Road, 00 VFR800, 07 ST1300
Anything over 70 requires WOT since I added my roof rack, bumpers, armor, and off road tires.
 
Top