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  1. #1

    Default Opinions on LED headlight conversions ?

    I kind of forgot how poor the stock sealed beam lighting is on the old four eyes.

    This topic has probably been covered many times before in the past. I would like to look at doing a conversion on my 80 and would appreciate some recent feedback on what everyone else has done and how it turned out before I dive in etc.

    Doing a bit of research my thoughts are to get some of the 4X6 retrofit glass lenses with H4 bulbs but looks like there are many different options and price levels.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    A halogen bulb goes in a housing designed for a halogen bulb. Not LED. Not HID. If you want LED headlights they are already made in the 4x6 size. Buy that, don't "retrofit" into a halogen housing.
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  3. #3

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    Ok yeah I kind of painted them all LED with one brush not understanding.

    I guess what I'm looking at is a good H4 bulb upgrade with the retrofit glass housing then. Preferably one that fits without too much modification.

  4. #4

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    Do you want fluted (like OEM) lenses or 'free-form' (clear) lenses?
    Do you want SAE (North American) or ECE (Eurpoean) compliant? Or both?
    Are you going to make your own harness or do you want to buy a plug-and-play harness?
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  5. #5

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    OK I see this is one of those upgrades that has many different twists and turns

    I would prefer to go with something close to stock looking for the headlight sealed beam appearance but actually be able to see LOL. Not knowing the details I suppose North american compliant would be a good thing. I can do wiring mods if necessary not a problem although prefer not to rewire everything.

    Basically I want something significantly brighter than the stock ones but not necessarily the brightest made or to be blinding other drivers.

    I have done a bit of searching trying to educate myself and have seen they make a H4666 glass casing which accepts H4 bulb and should physically retrofit without too much trouble...so i think this may be a good path to follow perhaps. I also understand they make different LED equivalents of H4 as an upgrade as well or am I mistaken ?

    Thanks

  6. #6

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    Ok sorry the H4666 is just a number for a different headlight apparently.

    What I'm looking at is the 4X6 compliant glass lenses and putting whatever bulbs in them.

    Has anyone else gone this route and curious what they bought etc ?

  7. #7

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    I would recommend you visit or contact rallylights.com and look for Hella 'free-form' housings. Clear glass lense.
    The relay harness you need to buy or build goes between the new headlights and the original headlight pigtails. The new harness powers the lights directly from the battery and uses the original harness to control the relays.
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  8. #8
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    I believe this is what you're looking for. I ordered the housings several months ago but haven't got around to doing the swap. It looks like the company no longer offers the housings, but there are others that look comparable. They're available on Ebay and Amazon.

    https://youtu.be/7HlxezzKzfw
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  9. #9

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    Thanks I will check out the Hella ones

    And yeah I ran across this guy on youtube in my searches. Looks interesting for sure. Let me know what you go with for bulbs.

  10. #10

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    Halogen housing with LED bulbs BooTube fail.
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  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    New sealed beams and a relay upgrade can do wonders. Helps take the load off the headlight switch. Users have experienced upwards of 2 more volts at the headlight once the relays were installed.

    I myself run hella h1 high beams (HLA-003177871) and hella h4 low beams (HLA-008888101) in my 87 Vic with a relay harness.

  12. #12
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxChassis View Post
    Halogen housing with LED bulbs BooTube fail.
    True, but some of the housings are specifically listed for LED (I doubt they are). But I'd have to think that running LED bulbs in the wrong housing has to do a better job than the stock setup, and much quicker/easier than rewiring with relays. A buddy has the sealed LED setup in his car and they are just too fugly for me lol!
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  13. #13
    FEP Super Member bwguardian's Avatar
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    I haven't really thought about doing this in the Stang...but I have done this in both my F350 and the wife's Excursion...installing the LED bulbs that is. I did a bunch of research on it prior and you want the LED bulb to mimic the halogen relative to the thin illuminating wire in the originals. You want something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/BEAMTECH-H1...wAAOSw881Zt6Uc and not something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/H13-LED-Hea...AAAOSw5-lbhhqb and in addition somewhere close to 6K color and no fans. These made a HUGE difference in our trucks...which are notorious for bad headlights...and needed nothing more than the bulbs, no wiring harness convertors etc. You do have to watch that the bulbs are clocked correctly once installed. Another advantage to the LED bulbs is less heat and less energy draw, wo they're easier on the system...wiring harness, alternator, switch, etc. Will I install them in the Stang...probably not as it rarely gets driven at night and when it does, the extra oem driving lights in conjunction with the oem headlights seem to do the trick for me.
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  14. #14
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    These are LED projectors with a driving light and demon eye. You have to modify the buckets a bit to fit the large heat sinks in, and do a little wiring harness change, but they are vastly better than stock lights.


  15. #15

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    Thanks all for the tips.

    Seems lots of options to contemplate but I certainly appreciate the real world feedback on what stuff others have did. I agree that the glass housings will provide the most stock look which I am leaning towards.

    I found some of the glass housings on amazon for reasonable so I think I'm going this route to start. I am thinking I could also just try some standard or improved readily available H4 bulbs with these to try and then maybe look at the fancier LED's. Agree its probably not going to be worse than the sealed beams. Being in Canada I find sometimes certain brands are not as easily available or you pay dearly to get the exact ones etc.

    Cheers

  16. #16

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    I'm not a fan of the way every led conversion I have seen looks. I wired in relays which really did wonders to brighten my stock halogens. With the lights on and engine running before I did the relays, I had 9v at the lights, after the relays I get 14v. The low beams are now almost as bright as low beams on my 2015 f150.
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  17. #17
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Been wondering for a long time
    Do headlight relay or conversions make the console graphic warning red headlight LED stay on or off?

  18. #18

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    My interpretation, which could be off, is that the headlamp warning LED is triggered by sensing the amount of current through the low beam headlamps 12V power feed (13 -R/BK) from the switch. A small voltage difference across a .095 ohm resistor when one lamp or both are out looks like it triggers the warning in the bulb outage display. I am unsure of exactly where this resistor is located and it appears to only react to the low beam circuit.

    If rewiring with a relay you would have to recreate this voltage drop with the actual load that you have rewired directly from the battery somehow. I'm guessing the small current that energizes a relay (compared to the headlamp current) will probably not be enough to trigger this and the warning light will stay on. The same would apply for a low current LED bulb replacement with factory wiring too I'm guessing.

    Anyone go to the trouble of figuring this out and rewiring to make it all work as intended ? Seems like a lot of work just to save the indicator light.

  19. #19
    FEP Member Sask84gt's Avatar
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    House of Dula does a led conversion that looked pretty good. No need to alter stock wires etc. Its for a 86 but should be the same.
    https://youtu.be/7HlxezzKzfw

    Edit
    Oops did not realize someone already posted that. Lol
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  20. #20

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    I also have ordered the H4 halogen semi-sealed housings to upgrade my lights with. and I agree if you dont go with the SMD chip that matches your original halogen filament you will have a bad beam pattern.

  21. #21

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    I'm curious if anyone has measured the actual currents with the various setups...sealed beam vs H4 vs LED to compare etc ?

    The original wires do seem rather small and inadequate. From what I understand the H4 bulbs will draw significantly more current than the stock sealed beams so a relay and wire upgrade is probably a must if going this route to avoid melted wires and switch. It appears the headlights are fed from a fusible link not a fuse so overloading will burn it up and then what !!

    So I am debating whether to try a relay upgrade and go with a normal H4 bulb or just try an LED in the H4 glass housings with the stock wiring as per the you tube guys etc.

    The feedback seems to be quite positive on the glass housings if you choose the right LED bulbs. I suppose a relay upgrade is not really wasted if you end up going with an LED after etc.

  22. #22

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    thats a good question about the current draw from each set-up. when I set mine up ill do a amp draw with the stock lamps and with the LED bulbs in the glass housings.

  23. #23
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    I have done all three conversions on different Foxes and vehicles over the years. My first was an HID setup from Harbor Freight of all places. I won't get into the argument in regards to aiming. I will just say that mine worked GREAT and are still on the PC. I ran them through a relay setup as I do all of my headlights on all of my Foxes and even my 86 Bronco. The second was a set of H4 conversions with glass lights. They also work GREAT and again they are run through a relay system with no issues. My 86 Road Racer is getting a set of glass lights with the LED bulbs. I don't have that one installed just yet, but I expect it to work well based on others experience. I run 130 amp or larger on all my Foxes, so the current draw has never been an issue. If you are running a stock 60-80 amp alternator that could be an issue. If I remember I will try and test the amp draw with the LED's but I don't expect it to be much. I don't have any original sealed beams laying around to test for comparison though. Good Luck!

    OH! As with everything you get what you pay for. There are plenty of options in regards to replacement headlights, H4 bulbs, and LED bulbs. I wont say you have to spend a ton of money to get a good product, but definitely do your research and understand the differences and what makes a good setup for the Foxes.
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  24. #24

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    IMO.....

    Relays rock

    LED lights look like a turd....

  25. #25
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    IMO.....

    Relays rock

    LED lights look like a turd....
    Agreed that LED lights such as this:

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    And this:

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    Are ugly and don't look right on our Foxes or most any of the older vehicles IMHO.

    These:

    Name:  Led Bulb Headlight2.jpeg
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    Or these:

    Name:  Led Bulb Headlight.jpg
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    using an LED replacement H4 style bulb are the BOMB! They look correct and normal for the Foxes and older vehicles, yet you get the brighter and more power light with less current draw of the LEDs!

    I have these installed on my 86 Bronco. Yes a bit more modern looking, but with the open lens and black they look pretty sweet IMHO and they are 100 times better than the old sealed beam set up both in brightness and distance.

    Name:  IMG-6617.jpg
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    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

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    Current Mustangs:
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    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
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