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Thread: Led headlight conversion

  1. #1

    Default Led headlight conversion

    I've been looking to get a conversion over to led headlights and was wondering if anyone has had success with a certain product. I've seen lots online but they're expensive and seem to be generic for all cars. In addition I am trying to find one with the housing included, as mine are essentially opaque. If anyone has tried or knows a good product or bend to use let me know! Thanks

  2. #2
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    As a general rule, LED lights that are supposed to be a direct swap for bulbs in halogen setups still don't throw the light down the road well. I have yet to find anything that will help on an Aero other than aux driving lights. The LEDs I mounted in my grill help to make signs pop at night because of the cool white wavelength, but are not any brighter to oncoming traffic than my low beams. This actually worked very well for me. Whales seem to have a few options due to the larger housing, but there's still the issue that the LED headlamp bulbs are just not quite there yet for direct halogen bulb replacement due to the way they scatter the light.

    I would love to be proven wrong though.

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    Maybe have a look around and see if there is any way to retro a set of projectors into them? I have a guy on my Grand Prix forum that builds customer projectors using stock housings and they are done right so they don't blind everyone.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

  4. #4
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    Factory aero housings IMHO were best in the '96-'97 Towncar flavor, them need just good halogen bulbs to make things as they should be. But when it comes to LEDs boxes have it made, as JW and Trucklite and Nolan all have some real high-quality LED lamp assemblies that are nearly direct replacements for the sealed beams.
    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    The LEDs I mounted in my grill help to make signs pop at night because of the cool white wavelength, but are not any brighter to oncoming traffic than my low beams.
    Which LEDs would those be? I can't touch JW Speaker LEDs for my POS just yet, and I'm not ditching my custom amber Per-Lux fogs, but I could probably use some nice LED driving lights... oddly enough my current driving lights are actually flood pattern - they do a great job in lighting up the sides of the road (where deer stalk you from) without blinding oncoming traffic, while the E-code headlamps that may or may not be overwattage take care of the road ahead (and again do not piss anyone off).
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    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    Projectors in factory housings only work right if the factory housing has a clear lens up front w/o the flutes to direct the light. Which would be the '96-'97 TC assemblies I mentioned, projectors in those ought to turn out quite nice. If the lens got flutes on it tho, projectors will suck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Royal Ghostliness View Post
    Which LEDs would those be?
    https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...ed-light/1494/

    8 of those... mounted to some angle steel and zip tied behind the grill (obviously mounting would probably be different for you).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  7. #7
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Strange I've never needed more light than factory 4-eye cars could provide. Compared to my whale the lights on the box are the cat's ass. When one dies eventually i'll put the super-bright sylvania's in it and be happy.

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    The relay upgrade really helped out on my '97. I intend on having someone retrofitting the housings with projectors on the low beams some time down the road. I find the light output to the be reasonable, but I have factory style after market replacements and while I have them aimed well, light coverage just seems to be lacking, IMO. It might just be the fact they're not official Ford ones, but I can't find new replacements for my car anyhow. I would have kept using my factory ones, but they were too far gone to keep restoring.

    I feel I've had better lighting from mismatched sealed beams driven by the factory wiring with a 2G alternator, if that's any indicator as to why I wouldn't mind that upgrade to projectors.

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  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I'm also in the stock sealed beam with relay harness camp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    Strange I've never needed more light than factory 4-eye cars could provide. Compared to my whale the lights on the box are the cat's ass. When one dies eventually i'll put the super-bright sylvania's in it and be happy.
    I'm a lighting connoisseur, I want all the light where I typically need it (down on the road and ahead of my vehicle) and not where some backwards douches from USDOT thought we ALL need it all the time (practically all over the place, with a decent percentage of it being shot in the air to illuminate overhead signage, funny how the whole Europe seems to have no problems seeing those even without such designated light scatter), and if I need it elsewhere I will address that with additional lighting sources pointed in that direction only and nowhere else. I got all sorts of lamps for all sorts of driving conditions, the only thing I'm still lacking is pencil beams for those long long straight stretches of highway out in the middle of nowhere where you don't get to meet other vehicles for a long time.

    Oh and you probably won't be happy with the Ultra Silverstars, their brightly shining life tends to be a bit on the short side when fed full alternator power with the relayed setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I'm also in the stock sealed beam with relay harness camp.
    Have you noticed John's E-code Hellas? They're not the same as the "freeform" Hellas don't work well with your vision, way different setup and lighting pattern.
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    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    Strange I've never needed more light than factory 4-eye cars could provide. Compared to my whale the lights on the box are the cat's ass. When one dies eventually i'll put the super-bright sylvania's in it and be happy.
    This. I don't even have the relay mod kicking and love the headlights on my Town Car. When one of the factory ones died I upgraded them all to Sylvania's Extra Vision and gave them a proper aim job. If I kick on the brights there's waaay more light than necessary.
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    I'm sure my lights are not aimed properly, when I eventually get some time I'll have swing by if you're willing to give me a hand, Derek.
    I think a proper aim alignment would help in my case more than any other upgrade. For the OP it could be worth making sure the headlights are aimed properly, then do a relay mod (will probably need it if upgrading anyway) before upgrading to LEDs.
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    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    I'm doing 3g pretty soon but what is this relay mod everyone speaks of? And do I need it? I scarcely ever drive the car, much less at night, and generally not very far. I'm also electric-retarded, I hate wires. The 3g swap is going to kick my ass and I've read over the thread about 1000 times. It really isn't difficult but my brain does a cache dump on things it doesn't like so i'll literally have to have the thread open whilst i'm doing this.

  14. #14
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    The relay mod is pretty straight forward and takes the load of the headlights off of the headlamp switch to reduce the fire hazard of melting down the wiring harness on the headlamp switch. When done fully, it also replaces the wires to the headlamps with fatter wires to get better light output. I need to do the fatter wire part yet, but the load has been removed from my switch on mine.

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    If you switch to LED the load off the switch part of the equation becomes way less important. I have no real idea if larger wires would make any noticeable difference to LED output.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    If you switch to LED the load off the switch part of the equation becomes way less important. I have no real idea if larger wires would make any noticeable difference to LED output.
    LEDs would draw about 25% IIRC. Would definitely lighten the load for sure. It is definitely something to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  17. #17
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    The nice thing about the relays is it would allow you to fuse the low and high beam circuits independent from one another. Fire hazard removal is also nice, obviously. Running the fatter wires, idk if that's actually worth all the work. My junk is at quad 100W highs via 12awg crossover at the rad support with factory Panther pigtails (14awg I think they are) and it seems to work good enough to not make me motivated enough to 12awg the pigtails as well, even tho I do have the proper high-wattage terminals and ceramic connectors in a box somewhere...
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicCrownVic View Post
    I'm sure my lights are not aimed properly, when I eventually get some time I'll have swing by if you're willing to give me a hand, Derek.
    I think a proper aim alignment would help in my case more than any other upgrade. For the OP it could be worth making sure the headlights are aimed properly, then do a relay mod (will probably need it if upgrading anyway) before upgrading to LEDs.
    Any time dude. Just let me know when you get a chance and we'll fix you up. I don't have the Hoppy thing I just eye-ball it. Took me some time to get my car right but now that it is we can use that as a template. Factory aim is terrible, must be factory anyway as both my car and Ashley's had the same thing going on; drivers side canted to the middle of the road, passenger aimed almost dead ahead & only slightly higher than driver's side. Factory lights are also terrible. You think I'd have replaced Ashley's already but I haven't. Every time I drive her car I'm reminded just how bad they are.. So I recommend grabbing four (at least grab the lo-beams) of the Sylvania Extra visions before you come out so we can do it properly. I had to hit two stores to get 'em all but was worth it. Plus they're glass and wont yellow out like the chincy plastic factory stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    I'm doing 3g pretty soon but what is this relay mod everyone speaks of? And do I need it? I scarcely ever drive the car, much less at night, and generally not very far. I'm also electric-retarded, I hate wires. The 3g swap is going to kick my ass and I've read over the thread about 1000 times. It really isn't difficult but my brain does a cache dump on things it doesn't like so i'll literally have to have the thread open whilst i'm doing this.
    Hahaha, my mind does this same dump. But, I did the swap and so I know you can do it. Must've bothered Vic with at least 50 questions but seeing his install helped me with mine, as well as the thread and help from the fine folks here. Can send you pics of mine too. Once you do it you will never want to drive a box with a 2G again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipes1 View Post
    I've been looking to get a conversion over to led headlights and was wondering if anyone has had success with a certain product. I've seen lots online but they're expensive and seem to be generic for all cars. In addition I am trying to find one with the housing included, as mine are essentially opaque. If anyone has tried or knows a good product or bend to use let me know! Thanks
    Since you don't list what vehicle this is for and judging by your post history I am assuming this is for 2001 GMQ. HID projector retrofit would be your best bet. There are kits on the market which make the install pretty straight forward. ie. Morimoto H1s.

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