Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Anyone here upgraded their headlights?
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 > Anyone here upgraded their headlights?

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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 11/06/19 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I added a couple of led light bars. They operate on the low beam side. I now have better lighting on low beams. I do have a way to turn them off if there are problems with oncoming traffic. So far I've not had anyone ask me to 'dim' them.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Harvey51

Alberta

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Posted: 04/29/20 10:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our 2004 E350 former rental is probably using the original headlight bulbs.
For $43 I can get 2 much brighter LED ones, much easier on power.
https://www.amazon.ca/Extrêmement-Lumineuses-conversion-9007-HB5/dp/B07Z5353CY/ref=sr_1_8?crid=2F6KEL5A8TMOA&keywords=headlight%2Bbulb%2B9007&qid=1588201497&sprefix=headlight%2Bbulb%2B9007%2Caps%2C210&sr=8-8&th=1

Am I correct in thinking there is only one bulb in each headlight?
I would hate to have a headlight fail on a trip and not have a replacement. I think I should buy these LED ones. It looks like the whole headlight comes out easily for bulb replacement, though 3 of the 4 clips seem to be stuck, so I might as well install them before the 16 year old ones fail.

Update: I looked at LED bulbs, and demonstrations of them. Apparently one has to find a LED bulb that has the LEDs in the same configuration as the filaments in the original bulbs to have a chance of getting improved lights. Some of the LED bulbs have a built in fan for cooling. They claim thousands of lumens so probably not much power saved and probably are too bright.
The original bulbs are still working after 16 years, so I shouldn’t need greater longevity.
I went to the local auto parts store and got two 9007 filament bulbs for $20. This video was helpful in installing them.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4jyMuPsjXOY&time_continue=266&feature=emb_title

I regret not going for a whole new light to get a clear lens. Our previous camping vehicle was. 1992 GM van 3/4 ton. We nearly had to let it go to wreckers when a sealed headlight failed at age 20 years. Luckily the local parts store had two headlights in their attic.

* This post was edited 05/02/20 03:27pm by Harvey51 *


2004 E350 Adventurer (Canadian) 20 footer - Alberta, Canada
No TV + 100W solar = no generator needed

ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 05/03/20 07:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like the OP, I too am getting old and require more light for night driving.

Here is my experience with brightening up headlights. I hesitate on switching to LED bulbs because some vehicles have trouble with LED headlights.

If your headlight lens is not clear as glass any longer, if having trouble seeing the detail inside, then you really want to polish the lens. It's not hard to do, especially using a polisher/buffer tool of some kind.

This is another vehicle I own, but the problem is the same.
You want to turn this.....
[image]

into this.....
[image]

using this.....
[image]

In the given example, I removed the housing and polished it while holding it in my hand, using the buffer in the position shown resting on the floor. It is best to remove the housing and polish it off the vehicle for best results and to avoid damage to surrounding paintwork.

The process is not a cover-up or band-aid solution. It makes the lens like see-thru glass again by removing oxidized material using a very fine abrasive compound. The example pictured also has some stone chip damage. Anything you can feel with your fingernail will remain. Buying a new lens is the only way to make them go away.

Next is the selection of your headlight bulb itself. Brighter halogens are sold at places like Walmart and they do make a difference. Here is one example for a 2007 E350 Super Duty, bulb 9007. The trade-off is that the brighter bulbs don't last quite as long as the standard ones.
[image]

* This post was last edited 05/07/20 11:33am by ron.dittmer *   View edit history


2007 Phoenix Cruiser model 2350, with 2006 Jeep Liberty in-tow


Harvey51

Alberta

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Posted: 05/03/20 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the tip on polishing the headlight lenses, Ron!
I went back to the auto parts store to see if I could buy an entire headlight but it was closed. I expect, if available for a 2004 one it will be very expensive.

When I put the headlights back on, it was easier to do with the signal light lens removed - two screws. One bulb.
[image]
I intend to buy a couple of those bulbs, too. Likely that number on it will make it easy to find. LED should be good for that.

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 05/03/20 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would be looking on Ebay for aftermarket headlights. Many are better quality then originals.


Bud
USAF Retired
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2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker


ron.dittmer

North-East Illinois

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Posted: 05/03/20 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harvey51 wrote:

Thanks for the tip on polishing the headlight lenses, Ron!
I went back to the auto parts store to see if I could buy an entire headlight but it was closed. I expect, if available for a 2004 one it will be very expensive.
Hi Harvey51,

You won't be able to buy a new lens at an auto parts store. Your best place to look is an on-line seller.

You really don't need a buffer to make the lens clear as glass again. You can do it by hand. But it will take roughly a half hour to 45 minutes by hand compared to 5 easy minutes with a buffer.

If the Ford head light lens has stubs sticking out forward, then the buffing process by hand or with a buffer, will be more difficult.

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