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  #1  
Old 02-27-2012, 06:31 PM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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Built my own 3M Sun Gun for under $40 :)

10% of the original cost of a 3M sun Gun I have the exact same thing except I had the fun of building it myself lol
OK so for those NOT in the know, What the bloody hell is a 3M Sun Gun?
Well,
I'll show you,

http://3mcollision.com/3m-pps-sun-gu...kit-16400.html

Its a cordless light that is widely known to the detailing community to be the best swirl finder money can buy,
Sadly these little buggers come with quite the price tag,
The retail on them is around $400,
To me that is ludicrous for a light,
So I decided to make my own following various other detailing enthusiasts ideas,

So where to start,
Well Firstly you need a 12v Cordless Drill, and 12v is very important,
18v is too high for the bulb, 14.4 is ok but 12 is ideal,
So First you need the 12v Drill,
Then you need the exact same bulb that's in the 3M gun,
The Solux 4700K Daytime light,
Then you need a holder for this light and then its pretty much plug and play,
I'll walk you through my steps,

First the drill,
a wonderful absolutely nothing wrong with run of the mill 12v Skil Drill,
(even came with its own case)





Next the Solux bulb and connector,


After which you open the drill,



and then take out the motor and chuck,



Test fit the bulb in the chucks grooves,



and wire the 2 very simple wires that come from the trigger to the bulb connector



Of course now would be a good time to test it before you put it back together,



Great!
Now simply put the case back together and your left with something that should look like this



and it fits nice back in its case with room even for a spare bulb!



Ok so now on to some test shots (I know they are not the greatest)

Firstly a badly swirled Ford F Series Pick Up,





Next a Chevy Malibu in a sad state





Finally my other BMW *smug* * smug* with no swirls a deep gloss




Hope you guys like it,
I was even thinking of wrapping the Skil red case in carbon fabric material lol,

Even though the first thing you think is that this bulb will melt the housing your wrong,
It gets slightly warm to the touch, but never hot, You don't really have it on for more than 30 seconds at a time anyway, Its not a flashlight, Its a swirl spotting light, Even though it will light up a room better than any flash light I have ever seen lol,
I was thinking of going the extra mile and adding a small computer fan so blow on the back of the bulb but it really doesn't get that hot,

Not sure how many detailers we have on this site but its pretty cool to me,
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2012, 07:15 PM
Pima Roadster Pima Roadster is offline
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Very cool indeed! Anyone with a dark coloured car should own one of these. I struggled with swirl problems on our black 911 until I discovered Meguairs Swirl Removal. This light would certainly help.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2012, 07:39 PM
2.3z3 2.3z3 is offline
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Nice, what is the Model number of the drill you used?
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2012, 04:03 AM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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TBH most drills will work just fine,
From what I have seen no drill is better than the other, Just find the cheapest 12v model you can find
Obviously stay away from ones with oversized chucks etc,
You just want a standard, regular looking drill and you will be fine
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:07 AM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
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this light proves my theory that some things look better [me included] under very dim light
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2012, 04:28 AM
Droptop85 Droptop85 is offline
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But now you don't have a drill
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:55 AM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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The drill was $21, I'll live and I bought it with the sole intention of doing this swap
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:40 AM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Sweet! Thanks for posting this.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:41 AM
STIHLBOLTS STIHLBOLTS is offline
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That is a really cool move there Star!

Harbor Freight has some cheap 12v drills for just such a switch out.

I used a spot light to try and find my paint problems and that in it self is a problem because it's too bright.


Thanks again for the great idea!
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2012, 11:44 AM
barryb97 barryb97 is offline
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What degree beam light did you use. It looks like there are options from 17 to 60 degrees?
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:29 PM
WestCDA WestCDA is offline
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The sun gun uses the 35W 4700K 36 degree SOLUX bulb.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:37 PM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCDA View Post
The sun gun uses the 35W 4700K 36 degree SOLUX bulb.
Yup the exact same specs as mine here,
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2012, 02:13 PM
dougmcintyre dougmcintyre is offline
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Were you able to buy the bulb locally? Or should I just go ahead and order online?

Last edited by dougmcintyre; 02-29-2012 at 06:10 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2012, 02:45 PM
coopers coopers is offline
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Nice write up.

Where did you find the drill for $21?
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2012, 05:42 PM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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I got everything from amazon, The drill was one of those warehouse deals, Seems the price has jumped up a bit!
Next time I'm at a lighting shop ill check and see if they have this bulb, But TBH to be sure you get it right I'd just order online and save the hassle,
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:57 PM
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dwm dwm is offline
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Thanks for the post! I just put mine together tonight using a Skil 2240-01. Trimmed about 5/32" off of the diameter of the inner chuck-holding ring to have the bulb fit perfectly.

All told, $92. That's with a spare bulb and a second battery, all of which fits nicely in the case. I can add a Systainer for all of it and still be well under the price of the Sun Gun.

FWIW, the 50W Solux bulb works too without getting too hot for the few seconds at a time that the trigger is pulled. I think it's too bright though, I'll know when I get a chance to use it on paint instead of just pointing it at my refrigerator. It's also obviously harder on the battery.





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Last edited by dwm; 03-01-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:48 AM
Starscream88 Starscream88 is offline
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Nice job

and the one thing that is crucial for this conversion is the bulb,
Everything else is just parameters that can be changed, But the bulb is what makes the project work,
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:14 AM
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Bucko521 Bucko521 is offline
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Awesome mod!

That being said.... how would this compare to just purchasing something like this?

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...0674_200230674

H4 bulbs would be very bright... lightweight (comparable), and bulbs can be easily purchased. IS there something other than brightness that makes the "sun gun" the go to light source?
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:27 AM
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The CRI of the Solux bulb is above 98. CRI is very important if you're trying to color match. If you're just trying to spot swirls, it's less important.

Brighter isn't necessarily better when hunting for swirls. There comes a point where the brightness is too high to use comfortably. Looking at the reflection of a too-bright light is going to adversely affect your ability to see anything.

I don't think you can have too many different types of light sources when detailing if you're trying to achieve a near-perfect polish. Which ones I use depends largely on the ambient lighting (sunlight, overcast, indoors, etc.). I'm sure I'll continue to use my LED light in addition to the new light.
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:31 AM
dkindig dkindig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko521 View Post
Awesome mod!

That being said.... how would this compare to just purchasing something like this?

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...0674_200230674

H4 bulbs would be very bright... lightweight (comparable), and bulbs can be easily purchased. IS there something other than brightness that makes the "sun gun" the go to light source?
Yes. The purpose of the gun is to check color-match and it just so happens that it's good for lighting at an angle and revealing swirl marks. To see colors/scratches properly you have to have good contrast and the proper "color" light.

The original poster indicated that this is a 35W 4700K Daytime bulb. If the wattage is too high you lose contrast. This is common when driving at night with HID's. They are so bright and white that the contrast gets washed out and you lose depth-of-field cues. The 4700K is the color temperature and is on the yellow end of the daylight scale similar to the sun at midday. All colors look different depending on the light source they are under. The goal of this bulb is to replicate natural ambient sunlight so you can accurately judge and compare colors under natural conditions.

My guess without actually seeing one is that the H4 light is too bright for this application. The color temp of an H4 bulb is 4200K, so it's a little more yellow than the Solux bulb but not much.
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Last edited by dkindig; 03-02-2012 at 08:44 AM. Reason: amended comments on H4 color temp
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:26 PM
tohbi tohbi is offline
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brilliant! thanks
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  #22  
Old 03-03-2012, 06:03 AM
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Bucko521 Bucko521 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkindig View Post
Yes. The purpose of the gun is to check color-match and it just so happens that it's good for lighting at an angle and revealing swirl marks. To see colors/scratches properly you have to have good contrast and the proper "color" light.

The original poster indicated that this is a 35W 4700K Daytime bulb. If the wattage is too high you lose contrast. This is common when driving at night with HID's. They are so bright and white that the contrast gets washed out and you lose depth-of-field cues. The 4700K is the color temperature and is on the yellow end of the daylight scale similar to the sun at midday. All colors look different depending on the light source they are under. The goal of this bulb is to replicate natural ambient sunlight so you can accurately judge and compare colors under natural conditions.

My guess without actually seeing one is that the H4 light is too bright for this application. The color temp of an H4 bulb is 4200K, so it's a little more yellow than the Solux bulb but not much.
Excellent information. This is why I love this place....everyone is helpful, and full of information. Well I guess I'l have find myself a good used drill and start modding.
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