Some people will know exactly what this silly little Japanese pole thing is, and others will look at it as I did when I saw one quite a few years ago thinking “What the bloody hell is that thing and what does it do?” Moving forward to a couple of months ago, avoiding sleep and browsing eBay found a very well priced example located in Melbourne, with everything included in the price. With this all stacking up on the right side of the net, I decided to grab it and try and make it fit the AE95, regardless of it looking to have a heap of unnecessary wiring it looked like something I could make work.
Now, Just to cover it off, This is a rare item in most markets. It was a factory option from a UZZ30 Toyota Soarer but were made for and offered on heaps of different makes and models, even some European makers got into it. It’s a super eighties/early to mid nineties thing, before we had bumper bar sensors that made an audible alarm when the car or that specific sensor was in close proximity to an object, this was the solution. Mounted on the passenger side of the front bumper bar and controlled via a switch, with the top transparent beacon being exposed once powered up and out of the bumper bar, a small LED inside is triggered via the parker lamp circuit for parking the vehicle at night time. When fully extended, the idea is that this pole acts as a visual aid for the driver of the vehicle to judge exactly where the corner of the front bumper bar is.
Some factory examples:
I decided to open it up first and foremost and make sure it was happy inside, and I also decided to try and pin the wires out via their placement on the board(s) internally as a wiring diagram wasn’t giving me anything. Ben came to the rescue again on this one and gave me some pointers in terms of wires and functions that came up trumps when matched to the real thing.
You can see the video of the whole project below:
I placed the unit on the test power supply on the bench and was pleased to confirm it all worked as it should, the LED was happy and the motor nice and quiet.
Now that everything was functioning it was time to mount the unit in the bumper bar, running measurements first I hit a bit of a brick wall. The Australian bumper I run just didn’t have any space, even If I shaved some of the inside of it out, It was never going to be able to house the pole on the right position, making it redundant.
Luckily, at easter time I had a little bit of a buy up and grabbed an AE92 Trueno bumper bar ( Thanks for picking it up for me Bway ) and a Holden Nova/ AE92 FXGT item (thanks Karl for carting it all the way from Adelaide to Melbourne for me!)
I’ve looked at getting a bar and having it colour matched to the rest of the duco on the car, so this was a good opportunity pending fitment to the car and also, housing the pole motor. As you will see, the Trueno bar was a huge fail, but the FXGT bar is really nice, and happily took the motor with some massaging!
I stripped all of the components from the FX bar and ran some measurements and worked out where I wanted the hole to be, aswell as where I could mount the rest of the show up without it fouling the car, the bumper iron and indicator housing.
With the bumper going on and off a few times, it all came up really well, and, as much as I didn’t want to just punch a hole into this rare bumper bar, I grabbed a beer and doubled down with the perfect holesaw. Having the section of bumper with the pole mounted in it when it arrived in the post was a big help here.
Don’t stress, the pole is on the piss in the last couple of photos due to it all just sitting in place, once secured down it is nice and straight.
Because I couldn’t just run the bar in it’s current guise, I decided to make this a two part post. So what I did here was mount it up, power it all up and ensure it worked.
In the coming months when the FX bar see’s it’s coat of paint, I will post the swap and document the rest of the pole install, including mounting up the switch and running the wiring!