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  • 1 Post By joyridin'
  • 4 Post By Unique427
  • 1 Post By cycleguy55
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2018, 08:08 PM
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Default LED front head lamp replacements

What is going on in the LED field for the head lamps for a Cobra replica? Lower currant draw, lower heat, much brighter. My neighbors have converted their cars and they light up the length of the alley.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:56 AM
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I tried it, but you need a headlight closer to the design of the newer vehicles. If your glass is cut or molded, the LED lights do not work correctly. You need clear glass.

You can buy a few brands that have clear plastic/glass and they will probably work fine. On another note, there are some pretty hefty halogen lights out now like these:

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Racin.../dp/B01LYNVQBC

They are amazing although life is a bit short, but on a Cobra, that might be 10 years worth of driving.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:24 AM
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Take a few mins. and check the voltage being supplied to each headlight compared to your cars general wiring. 12 volts + makes a big difference.
If your lenses are not sealed beams and have replaceable bulbs, are the lens’s milkly looking on the inside. Clean them with dish detergent and a small piece if towel and a chop stick. Rinse well and then swish rubbing alcohol inside to displace water. Dry well before reassembly. You might need to do it twice to get them like-new looking.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:43 AM
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I had looked at LEDs but I'm not a fan of the either "Insectoid" multi bulb or "Battlestar Galactica" segmented / projector / Halo styles. After much reading on gov't studies, car magazine articles, forum posts, in most cases the beam patterns are widely dispersed. Yes you can see the road better, along with the treetops, other lanes, etc...
So a big drawback for me is the lack of aiming capability. The glare for oncoming drivers is a serious safety issue.
I am leaning towards a Bi-level HID kit like something from this company though.
https://www.diodedynamics.com/hid-li...sion-kits.html
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:27 AM
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Here's the complete LED conversion route I took.
Sorry for the wall of text but this covers it all.

Headlights:
The following is a direct replacement if you have 3 prong H4 connectors
most halogen or 7” sealed beam equipped Cobras have. It’s minimal
fuss and will require less than 20 minutes even if it’s the first time.
Hella lamps are all glass and DOT compliant. There’s a bulb reflector inside
to eliminate head-on hot spots that annoys oncoming traffic. The JDM
LED headlight puts out 2200 lumens at 6500K each, and requires no fan or
power converter. They easily fit inside the light bucket without modification.
Hella lamps come with 2 rubber dust boots to seal out moisture at the
electrical connection. Draw a 1-1/4” diameter circle on the back of each
rubber dust boot. Carefully cut out with a scissors. It will now stretch fit
over the back of each installed JDM LED and create a moisture resistant
seal where the Hella and JDM join.
1) Hella Vision Plus7” Sealed Beam Conversion Headlamp (DOT) # 002395301
2) JDM 4S H4 9003 LED Headlight Conversion Kit # 4S-H4-2200

Running/Turn/Brake Lights:
The LED bulbs listed here are about 4X as bright as comparable halogen
bulbs they replace. Please note that for amber and red, use a color
matching LED for the respective lens. A red LED through a red lens is
brighter and far more vibrant then white. 100% of the light emitted is
transmitted through a similar colored lens . For this scenario I had
(2) Lucas L539 Amber up front and (4) Lucas L692 Red in back. All were
1157 style bulbs. If some of your light sockets are 1156 do not interchange.
1157 have two staggered contact prongs and 1156 has two non-staggered
contact prongs. The LED supplier listed makes both base styles.
1) iBrightstar 1157 BAY15D LED – Amber #X001JCP9KP
2) IBrightstar 1157 BAY15D LED – Red #X001IPJ4EF

License Plate Lights:
This is for Lucas L467 License Plate Assembly and requires (2) LED bulbs.
1) Superbrightleds BA9S LED 5 SMD Tower 6100K # BA9S-CWHP5

Instrument/Cockpit Lights:
This is for Stewart Warner based gauges that have removable bulb sockets.
These are located at the top of the gauge, are friction fit and come in
one or two wire versions. It’s plug and play for either version. It will
require patience if doing while gauges are wired in place. Not much room
to work but doable. These LED’s are available in cool or warm white,
amber, red, green and blue. I went with cool white for speedo and tach
and red for system gauges. At 96 vs 36 lumens, they are bright and make a
gauge face really pop!
1) Superbrightleds BA9S LED 5 SMD Tower Cool White # BA9S-CWHP5
2) Superbrightleds BA9S LED SMD Tower Red #BA9S-RHP5

Misc:
Switching from halogen to LED turn signals can introduce either a hyper-flash
or no flash/steady on condition with turn signals. The electro-mechanical
relays use load resistance from the halogens to switch on and off. LEDs
require only a fraction of power and hence produce very little load resistance.
You have (2) options here. Splice in a load resistor into each turn signal circuit
that mimics the halogen and fools the relay, or replace it with LED
compatible solid state relays. Option 2 is better and cheaper. Plus those
load resistors can get hot enough to melt plastic. You will need to replace
(2) relays. One for turn signals, the other for hazard lights. My relays
were (2) prong Tridon 552. Some of you may have (3) prong relays.
Superbrightleds.com offers a (3) prong LED compatible relay.
1) CEC Industries LED Compatible (2) Prong Relay # EF32SS-R

Misc 2:
After switching to LED compatible relays, if you still experience a
no flash/steady on condition, the relay socket was reverse wired. Old
electro-mechanical relays are not polarity sensitive and hence the
technician who wired it did not care to check. No worries. Easily
corrected with a relay polarity adapter. The CEC Industries EF32SS-R
plugs into the adapter and together they plug into the relay socket.
1) United Pacific Relay Polarity Adapter # 90650A

Hope this helps others here. Good luck!!!
Blue66, EM-0785, ACHiPo and 1 others like this.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:15 AM
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Unique,

Thank you for the detailed and clear writeup on LEDs! It has renewed my intent to convert the entire Cobra.

The reverse polarity wiring on the blinker relay will be the first thing I'll check.

Tom
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:42 AM
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Unique,

X2 what Tom Wells said! A future project I plan and have done some initial research on. Your post will certainly be useful reference info. Thanks, Brent
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:41 AM
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Thanks guys.
So many have help me stay on the path, it's nice to be able to help someone as well.

Some extra notes on the headlamps.
The Hella glass lamp reflectors provide nice side spill.
JDM's 2200 lumen at 6500K is very white with lots of throw down a dark road.
There's a 3500 lumen model (8th Gen H4 $119) but that has a fan and power converter.
That extra bulk will likely not fit inside the light bucket and require external mounting.
The very brightest halogens I found were 1650 lumen and produce lots of heat.
2200 lumens for each headlight with minimal heat generation from LED was just fine.

Your total headlight replacement investment will be around $180.
That includes both the Hella lamps and JDM LED lights.

If you go full LED conversion as I did, the cost is about $300

Cost quoted does not include bandages for scraped knuckles or bourbon on the rocks when successfully completed.

Last edited by Unique427; 09-09-2018 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:56 PM
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"or bourbon on the rocks when successfully completed."

Maker's Cask Strength?
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:37 PM
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I am running these and love them! On the car now for 16,000 miles.

https://watsons-streetworks.com/wats...t-even-better/
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:38 PM
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Unique,

Thanks for the info. Your research and info much appreciated!

Bill
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:43 PM
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BTW, no LED headlight replacement bulb is DOT approved for highway use. None. Nada. Zilch. LEDs can't place the light in the exact same registration as a halogen filament, meaning lamp assemblies designed for halogens will project a different pattern with LEDs - usually with significantly more glare to oncoming traffic. The same applies to retro-fitting HID bulbs to lamps designed for halogens.

The only legal, DOT-approved, approach is to replace the entire headlight assembly (lens, reflector, LED light source) that's designed around the LED.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleguy55 View Post
BTW, no LED headlight replacement bulb is DOT approved for highway use. None. Nada. Zilch. LEDs can't place the light in the exact same registration as a halogen filament, meaning lamp assemblies designed for halogens will project a different pattern with LEDs - usually with significantly more glare to oncoming traffic. The same applies to retro-fitting HID bulbs to lamps designed for halogens.

The only legal, DOT-approved, approach is to replace the entire headlight assembly (lens, reflector, LED light source) that's designed around the LED.
That is what I was trying to say minus the DOT approval part. I personally though the pattern with the LED in my Hella housings was awful. It threw light all over the place and the only way to make the road bright was to put in an LED that was super bright. I tried 3 different LED bulbs with the same result. When I installed the clear lens housing, it looked quite good, but the car didn't look right with that housing.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:50 AM
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Interesting. Original lights are horrible. Especially up here in the woods at night . What comes out ?? Deer, Bears, an anything else that lives in the woods
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:42 PM
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The Watson's Street Works round 7 inch LED head light, looks like a combination of a HELLA CLEAR VISION body and their LED bulb and wiring. Did it fit into the Cobra head light bucket with out cutting? (may want to go back) How did you like the light dispersion? Did the beam go down an to the center in low beam use as a DOT light would have? (out of oncoming drivers vision) Where would I buy them? My neighbor is converting his 65 Ford Galaxy to LED and they are bright, but when off, they are black.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael C Henry View Post
The Watson's Street Works round 7 inch LED head light, looks like a combination of a HELLA CLEAR VISION body and their LED bulb and wiring. Did it fit into the Cobra head light bucket with out cutting? (may want to go back) How did you like the light dispersion? Did the beam go down an to the center in low beam use as a DOT light would have? (out of oncoming drivers vision) Where would I buy them? My neighbor is converting his 65 Ford Galaxy to LED and they are bright, but when off, they are black.
I'll reiterate my previous comments: NO combination of lens, reflector and LED light source is legal for street use unless the COMBINATION was DOT compliant. Taking a HELLA CLEAR VISION body designed for a halogen bulb and using a LED 'bulb' is not DOT compliant and not legal for street use.

From https://watsons-streetworks.com/product/led-headlights/ :

"These new 7” round Hella Vision Plus lenses use an advanced reflector design and conform to SAE/DOT standards for street and highway use." That may be entirely true - but only as long as they're used with the original bulbs for which they were designed and manufactured. As you can see at My Hella Lights :: Vision Plus 7" Round Conversion Headlamp those assemblies are designed for halogen bulbs. Substituting a H4 LED for an H4 halogen renders that DOT compliance null and void.

From https://blog.motoringassist.com/news...g-car-legally/ :
  1. "As halogen lamp optics are not designed to work with an LED bulb, some parts of the output pattern will be brighter and other parts will be dimmer. The other issue involves light scatter, which will dazzle oncoming motorists, which the driver may confuse as offering superior vision. Regardless of these technical issues, however, it still remains an offence to use LED conversion bulbs within an exterior lamp on the road."
  2. "I wish to incorporate LED lighting to my car’s exterior. How can I do this legally? The only way is to use a complete lamp unit that has been tested and wears a Type Approval Mark from an approved maker"


Check out this thread:
LED headlight bulbs illegal?

Another relevant thread:
DOT approved headlights?
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Last edited by cycleguy55; 09-10-2018 at 04:22 PM.. Reason: Replaced 'DOT approval' with 'DOT compliant', added additional content.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael C Henry View Post
The Watson's Street Works round 7 inch LED head light, looks like a combination of a HELLA CLEAR VISION body and their LED bulb and wiring. Did it fit into the Cobra head light bucket with out cutting? (may want to go back) How did you like the light dispersion? Did the beam go down an to the center in low beam use as a DOT light would have? (out of oncoming drivers vision) Where would I buy them? My neighbor is converting his 65 Ford Galaxy to LED and they are bright, but when off, they are black.
I like the dispersion as it really helps to illuminate the shoulders and right of way - we have too many auto/deer encounters down here. The bulbs fit the bucket fine. I have had no issues with oncoming drivers or leading cars that I have followed. Buy them direct from Watson's Street Works - the owner is a cobra owner. As far as cycleguy's concern re DOT compliance - ask the seller for clarification. I do recall that these lights won a SEMA award in 2016 as best innovation (?) of the year - or some such.

Blair
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rnbft View Post
I like the dispersion as it really helps to illuminate the shoulders and right of way - we have too many auto/deer encounters down here. The bulbs fit the bucket fine. I have had no issues with oncoming drivers or leading cars that I have followed. Buy them direct from Watson's Street Works - the owner is a cobra owner. As far as cycleguy's concern re DOT compliance - ask the seller for clarification. I do recall that these lights won a SEMA award in 2016 as best innovation (?) of the year - or some such.

Blair
Here's what I wrote on Watson's Street Works Facebook page:

"It's my understanding [DOT] compliance can only be maintained when the bulb is the same type used for purposes of compliance.

"Please explain how a lens / reflector assembly designed for an H4 halogen bulb can be DOT compliant when used with an H4 LED - a light source which cannot possibly duplicate the light positioning of a halogen filament."


Watson's StreetWorks response:

"Brian, You are probably correct that once you take out the halogen bulb and replace it with an LED the combination my not be officially DOT approved. If you are worried about a DOT inspector calling you on this upgrade then these are not the lights for you. On the other hand if you want to see better while driving at night and not blind on coming drivers this package will do just that for you."


Net of this: Vendor affirms their belief they have a better headlamp system, while at the same time confirming it's not DOT compliant.

Bottom line: You may never run into a situation where law enforcement or vehicle inspection flags such headlamps as non-compliant - but you should be aware it is possible. Caveat emptor.
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Last edited by cycleguy55; 09-12-2018 at 08:21 AM.. Reason: Stripped out extra blank lines
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 AM
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I have the Watson's Street Works LED lights and agree that there is no way these are DOT approved. With that said, they are significantly better than the halogens without blasting on coming traffic. When I tried the H4 LEDs in my Honda, it was a total failure. It looked like they were always in high beams and was dangerous for on coming traffic. For the Cobra, it is not bad. I live rural and had to have good lighting. If I was still living in the city, I would have stayed with the warm white halogens. In the country, I have to see. Especially deer and the black bull that keeps getting out. I only went with the Watson's to keep the Cobra look. The guys who get the sealed LED lights like the ones that go on Jeeps give a much much better light output, but they are expensive and do not look period correct.
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