I realize that there are already options out there for manual, air and cable controlled SmartBars, but at this point no one has come up with a simple electric system that can be controlled from the drivers seat. What if you don't want to plumb an OBA system into your truck or you don't want to have to crawl under your truck each time you need to disconnect/reconnect? Well, suffice it to say that those days are behind me now and I'm working on a plug and play solution that will make it available for you too.
The first prototype that I was working on is just a simple adapter plate that outlines the shape of the SmartBar module and holds the new electric actuator and is controlled by a rocker switch.
The only problem is, you still need to have the SmartBar module plugged into the truck to maintain locker function, so it would need to be relocated out of the way (mounted to the frame, zip tied to the crossmember or tucked up out of the way in the engine bay). However, one of our members (Oilbrnr) suggested incorporating a mounting bracket into the adapter plate, which has resulted in prototype 2.0.
As I stated earlier, this would be a standalone, plug and play bypass that is not controlled by the factory switch but from a separate rocker switch. There are still some hurdles to overcome like...
- Keeping the exposed end of the factory SmartBar module protected from the elements
- Finding the right switch to use (most modern indicator light switches use an LED which is polarity sensitive, but this system is reverse polarity; ground trigger, positive indicator signal) I need a switch with an incandescent indicator bulb
- Being on a waiting list with the local machine shop to mass produce the adapter plate
- Testing the fit on a 4th gen to make sure everything has clearance
I'm sure the first question going through everyones mind is "How much?". I'm still waiting on a quote from the machine shop, but I'm hoping to keep it right around $249. Considering that the other options for remote control functionality are more expensive and require the purchase of an OBA system, or more labor intensive to install the cable controlled option, I'm hoping that others will see this as being a reasonable price point.
Anyhow, I just wanted to provide an update because it's been about six weeks since the last discussion on this topic. I've been driving with the prototype on my truck and I must say, intersection and driveway transitions are much nicer disconnected, not to mention the off road benefits. Please feel free to respond with positive and negative comments, questions, ideas and input on this subject.
Thanks for taking the time to read all this!