2017 Upgrade to LED Headlights 9007 - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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2017 Upgrade to LED Headlights 9007 (97 T-Bird)

About a year ago I converted my 97 tbird to led headlights and they have been great. Now a few of the tiny emitters have failed and I'm guessing it's heat related. Both heatsink setscrews were loose so it probably wasn't transferring heat very well.

My LED Headlight Conversion (97 T-bird)

It's a new year and there are new models out, so I set off to find replacements.

I bought 3 different fanless sets to try and none were plug and play. I won't bore you with the rejects. Here is the best kit I found and was capable of easily modifying it to work.







It's using the same Philips Luxeon ZES chips as I had before and are about 4 times brighter than the stock incandescent bulbs. They also draw half the amps, 1.7 amps compared to 3.84 amps from Sylvania Silverstars. It's a true 21 watt bulb. (1.7A at 12.7v)

I'm not promoting any company here, just pointing out the bulbs that I found to work best. I'll leave it up to you guys to find them.

The key to getting a good, factory beam pattern is to match up the emitters with the filaments.



Now the one issue with this led kit (and a second kit I bought to try out on the left side) is that the leds are in the wrong position. Look at the right side bulb. See how it's too short?



I figured out a fairly easy way to move it up into the proper postion. I used a "dremel" and sanding drum to reshape the black plastic mounting ring.








Last edited by JasonWW; 06-15-2017 at 02:14 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the stock position.




Here is the new position.



You just cut it at the same 45* angle, a little at a time, until the bottom edge of the plastic mount lines up with the corner of the aluminum bulb housing.




Now when you compare it to a stock bulb you see they line up perfectly.



Since I can no longer use the little locating screw to hold the black mounting ring to the silver bulb I was worried the double o-rings would not be able to hold the bulb in position over a long period of time. It might rotate or slide backwards a little messing up the beam shape. So I used some rtv silicone between the 2 pieces were they meet up at a 45* angle. It's strong enough to hold it in place, but I can still muscle it off later if I need to.


The factory beam shape is no where as good as a projector, but as you can see, I'm getting a factory shape. Even at iso 100 and the exposure turned way down on my camera the led hot spot is a bit over exposed and blown out a little.



Here they are mounted. For cooling they use a copper braid that you stretch out. It's coated with a silver finish to prevent tarnishing.





I might rig up a simple tube to catch air behind the grill to direct on the braided heatsinks. This might improve longevity. Then again, this braided style heatsink might be much better than the ones from my older kit.

Oh yeah, this kit gives me good high beams as well! No more scattered high beams like the old kit had.

Using my lux meter I measured 4 times the output over the stock incandescent bulbs. The stock bulbs meadured 700 lux and the led kit measured 2700 lux. This didn't surprise me at all as it's much brighter than stock.

The color temperature of this kit was a surprise as well. My previous led kit had a light hint of blue to the output that washed out colors a little. This kit doesn't have that blue. It doesn't have any yellow tint either, just a nice white that seems to render colors accurately. Eh, maybe greens are a bit faded, but not too badly.

I'll update this post with some night shots that show the beam shape and color rendering soon.

Last edited by JasonWW; 06-16-2017 at 07:52 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 06:29 PM
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 07:33 PM
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Nice work and great write-up. Thanks for sharing.

I may have to copy this great idea!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 09:28 PM
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Nice job... If they did not have to be modified I would probably but a set. It seems odd that they are in the wrong position, 9007 bulbs should all be the same. Were any other sets you bought or looked at have the same issue?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenz View Post
Nice job... If they did not have to be modified I would probably but a set. It seems odd that they are in the wrong position, 9007 bulbs should all be the same. Were any other sets you bought or looked at have the same issue?
I bought a total of 4 different sets of 9007 bulbs and everyone had the leds in the wrong position.

The set I bought a year ago used a H4 pattern of LEDs attached to a 9007 mounting base. Crazy, huh? I had to do several things to make it fit. The low beam performance was so good I didn't care if the high beams sucked. Lol

Just recently I bought 3 sets. One was the correct length, but the leds were offset to the side. It threw the beam down on the ground. They were the same brightness as the stock bulbs anyway, so I didn't bother messing with them.

The other 2 sets you can see in my pictures above. They were both too short by about 4mm. The focus was terrible. Not even close to usable. Only this set with the braided heatsinks looked like they were easy to mod and make work.

I don't understand how they are getting this led location so wrong. It's simple to fix and they would sell so many more.

Unfortunately there are not many choices on the market that meet my requirements. I wanted fanless, good bright led chips (like Philips luxeon, Philips flip chips or Seoul Y19's) and to have those chips in the right location to mimic the 9007 filaments. Unfortunately the sellers don't give you the led placement specs so you just have to buy them and try them.

Maybe they will get the 2018 models right. Lol
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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I have a theory on this. I think the led bulb manufacturer designs the inner, silver part to fit a certain bulb size, then slaps different mounts (the black plastic pieces) on it. It's possible these lights were designed to 9008/h13 specs then they slapped a 9007 mount on it. It saves them a lot of money compared to making a dedicated 9007 light.

9008 is a newer style and is probably in higher demand.

You can even see the high beam is moved back a little like the 2 led kits I got.

Here is the 9008:



Here is the 9007 in the middle.


I know someone who has 9008 so I might buy a 9008 kit and hopefully it will fit without mods.

Last edited by JasonWW; 06-16-2017 at 07:53 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a 9007 next to 9008. These are hid, but you can see that the 9008 bulbs light source is about 4mm lower.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 11:41 AM
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That was my theory as to why the LED's didn't line up with the design parameter of the 9007 spec lights. They use a single variant of the LED assembly, and use whatever base/connector they need to re-sell it.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
That was my theory as to why the LED's didn't line up with the design parameter of the 9007 spec lights. They use a single variant of the LED assembly, and use whatever base/connector they need to re-sell it.
They definetly don't use a single variant for all bulbs because there are way too many different bulbs out there (at least not the models using multiple tiny emmiters). Remember that there are single as well as dual beam bulbs out there. Still, a few models that are pretty close, like 9008 and 9007, seem to be combined to save manufacturing costs.

This practice of making a single light and just swapping bases was pretty common with aftermerket HID bulbs. A lot of those kits would even leave off the high beam in a 9007 design. That was pretty pathetic.

I have heard that there is going to be a US based task force that is going to give DOT approval to certain LED bulbs to help avoid all the junk coming on the market. They didn't do this with HID and the aftermarket ran wild. I'm all for it. Then there will truly be plug and play designs that always deliver stock beam patterns.

Kind of like the DOT approved Philips Ultinon H4 sized LED bulb.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 05:49 PM
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That braid will separate if you kinda push it in on itself, so that air can flow thru the braid too.

It's like a 'chinese finger trick' puzzle.

I may buy a set of those; that looks pretty good; thanks for the post!

I've used this kind of braid as a heatsink for years; you can solder it around a component, and spread it out and mount a fan in the other end, blowing down the braid.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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The braid is pretty tightly woven. I was able to stretch it to about double it's width, even though the pics don't show it very well. I'll try and stretch it out some more.

I thought about adding a simple fan, but you'd just be blowing hot air on it. Plus thats really complicated. It does get super hot and I'd really like them to last, so I might rig up some small air duct to scoop up fresh air and blow on it. Like a brake cooling duct, but smaller.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm really liking the color temp of these bulbs.

Here are some pictures. My camera added extra color, so I had to reduce the color saturation to get them more realistic. It's definetly cool white, but there's not much blue, if any. A nice improvement over my last set of lights that also used the Luxeon chips.





Green colors are a bit faded, but not too bad.




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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 07:57 AM
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These pics look so good, I am abandoning my hid projector project for the bird. I just ordered a set of these. The projector kit I bought was going to have to be trimmed to fit my housing. Thanks for going out on a limb and also showing how to handle the led placement problem.
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