Someday, I’d like to meet whomever at GearWrench develops the brand’s work lights. Over the last several years, we’ve evaluated two of them. Both were “hits” and are still in service at the CAC Corvette service facility.
We just finished a week long test of a third member of the Gear Wrench work like family: the GearWrench “1000 Lumen Rechargeable Wing Light with Underhood Rack” (PN 83350). Initially, when the GearWrench people suggested we test this product, we did not think the underhood rack would work with some Corvette hoods. Turns out, on every car on which we tried it: C3, C5, C6 and C7, it worked just fine. The hook-like loops used to mount the rack are rubber coated, so hanging it on the top edges of the hood or on a spot like we used it on the C7 in our photos, does not scratch or mar the paint.
In our photos, we had our shop lights on, so the rack and mounts can be seen in place on the hood as well as the engine being lit by the Wing Light, however, where this product really shines–pun not intended–is when you’re working on the engine in a car parked in your driveway at night, you need high-mounted lighting under which to work and no other lighting is available.
Up to now, in a situation like that, we were actually using an ancient, incandescent-bulb-equipped “trouble light”. You know, the old fashioned kind with plain old light bulb inside of a wire cage? We’d hang it on a hood latch or hood release cable.
The GearWrench Wing Light on the Underhood Rack is a quantum leap past that old trouble light. It’s brighter. It focuses the light on the work rather throwing light all over the place. The lighting color is more realistic. It doesn’t get hot like a 60- or 100-watt trouble light can get. There’s no metal hook to scratch paint. Finally, there’s no power cord to get in your way.
Deploying the Underhood Rack is simple. It’s telescoping and spring-loaded. It adjusts from 36-86-inches. It has two, rubber-coated, bent loops which hook onto the sides of the hood. You spread the rack apart, position it on the hood, then gently release the spring loading so it tighten the hooks which keep the rack in place.
The rack’s frame is tubular steel and it has an aluminum “slide rail” suspended below the frame onto which the Wing Light slides and then stays in place once you set its position. The rack hooks rotate 360° and the light can pivot up to 90° with the combination of those movement arcs making for a very versatile light source which can be aimed in a multitude of directions. That is a definite plus for this product.
The Wing Light has a pair of dual-brightness, chip-on-board (COB) LEDs. They put out either 400 or 1000 lumens. Fully charged, running on the low setting, it lasts about four hours. It has a rechargeable battery which is charged by connecting a USB “C” cable. The charger and USB cable are included with the Wing Light. This light also has a handy magnetic base, if you want to use it without the rack and sit it on a ferrous surface, it sticks there. It also has a hang hook used to attach it to the rack or to hang it elsewhere.
A number of times we’ve used the Rack and Wing Light to light the engine while we change throttle bodies on the LT5 in a ‘19 ZR1. We were doing this in the process of testing the stock TB against an aftermarket ported TB. For several of these throttle body swaps we were working at night and rather than using the shop lights, we used the Gear Wrench Rack and Wing Light as part of our evaluation.
The product worked very well in that test. We’ve also used it in the driveway at night working on cars other than Corvettes and it’s worked very well in that application, too. The features that we really like are its reasonably light weight, that it doesn’t get hot and it last up to four hours before it needs charging.
Both the Wing Light (PN 83351) and the Rack (PN 83349) are available separately from Gear Wrench, but we think the only way to go is to get the two together.
For more information visit, the lighting page at the Gear Wrench web site.