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Old 07-05-2011, 09:02 PM
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LED exterior light options and advice? HID headlights

Hey guys,
I haven't posted in a while. Been on The Hamb lately or working my butt off.

I picked up a 38 Ford Truck to use as a daily driver. It's one of my favorite trucks so I am super happy about the way things worked out.

The car has the original lights on them, front turn signals, rear brake lights/signals.
They are clean and look good, but they are NOT bright at all.
The truck is now running a different engine and transmission, so it is on a 12volt electrical system.

I was wondering what people think about those LED bulbs that plug right into the incadescent light fixtures?
It's either the above options OR pay Hundreds of $$$ for complete new lens with LED lights built for those lens.

Next, I want to upgrade the lights to HID headlights. Again, so increasing visibility of the road. So I need to change the headlight itself? Or can I just buy an HID conversion kit which adds the ballast, bulbs and mounting gear?

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:18 PM
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LEDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot Racing
Hey guys,
I haven't posted in a while. Been on The Hamb lately or working my butt off.

I picked up a 38 Ford Truck to use as a daily driver. It's one of my favorite trucks so I am super happy about the way things worked out.

The car has the original lights on them, front turn signals, rear brake lights/signals.
They are clean and look good, but they are NOT bright at all.
The truck is now running a different engine and transmission, so it is on a 12volt electrical system.

I was wondering what people think about those LED bulbs that plug right into the incadescent light fixtures?
It's either the above options OR pay Hundreds of $$$ for complete new lens with LED lights built for those lens.

Next, I want to upgrade the lights to HID headlights. Again, so increasing visibility of the road. So I need to change the headlight itself? Or can I just buy an HID conversion kit which adds the ballast, bulbs and mounting gear?
1st off do you have the stock wiring in the truck, you said it had the stock lights which would be 6 volt, so I was wondering if the wiring was stock. I would be thinking about updating your wiring first.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:19 PM
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I got a complete replacement harness for about 200 and there is an outfit called flip flop led here locally that seems reasonable for the LED lites and I got the lighting for my trailer there so i think you can do this project and have good wiring and lights at a reasonable cost..

Sam
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:15 AM
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If that '38 Ford has the original wiring, it after 73 years is a fire hazard. The cotton covered insulation is shot. Do yourself a favor and replace it with a good system using a cross linked insulation. There are several threads here extolling the virtues of the different name brand kits.

As far HID lighting - you might be disappointed in the results after spending hundreds of dollars - but of course it's your $$$ and decision (and the old wiring WILL NOT support that wattages required)

Dave W
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:40 AM
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The entire car has been re-wired. I guess I should have stated that.

So back to the topic on hand. Does anyone have any experience with the LED light options out there?
Here is an option for the LED light conversion, retinaing the factory plug in method:
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1938-3...Lens,7909.html

Here is another LED tailight. I don't know how it is wired in because the picture doesn't show the plug
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1938-3...hts,36843.html

And here are Zephyr taillights that cost 4 times as much. I dont understand the additional cost:
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/1938-3...ghts,9876.html
I'd like to know if these are much brighter/better than the others? Or do they just cost more because they are for a Zephyer

IRELANDS CHILD: Why would I be disappointed in the HID headlights? If you are speaking from experience, what approach did you take to install these headlights? I think the headlight lens are crucial to the enhanced lighting.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot Racing
IRELANDS CHILD: Why would I be disappointed in the HID headlights? If you are speaking from experience, what approach did you take to install these headlights? I think the headlight lens are crucial to the enhanced lighting.
I chose not to install HID lighting tho do have LED tail and front parking/directionals.

Reasons for not installing:
- Cost. Why spend hundreds for a "quality" kit when some $30 a pair 9003 Sylvania Ultra Vision will give me more light then I need. Ebay or similar HID - cheap, yep. Any good? Maybe
- Reliability. Most HID conversions have a crappy ballast and maybe a harness that has a low survivability. I don't care how little their cost is or that the Ebay seller has a 100% rating. I can buy a 9003/H-4 replacement bulb at WalMart. How long will it take to get a replacement HID? Is the seller still viable? And in the USA?
- Status symbols/bragging points aren't needed. My car can speak for itself with plenty of other features (lights?? HID's? Who really cares!!)

Please don't take this wrong. This was my thought process when I made my decision when I went with, IMO, the best kind of halogens.

Now, LED's - you can either purchase just a bulb or you can go the after market complete assembly. My rears are '50 Pontiac clone assemblies, the front parking/directionals are '30/'31 Ford cowl lamps converted to LED by just changing the bulb. You will need an additional load for directionals to work or cruise control to shut off. That can be either a pair of resistors (mine came from Watson's Street Works) or use electronic flashers - which would not work for me.

You can purchase LEDs here . My 3rd brake light as well as some LEDS in my 5th wheel camper came from here as they are often more reasonably priced then, say, Speedway for a standard bulb replacement.

Dave W
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:44 PM
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HID's are a fad. Put in a good bright 4000k Halogen and be done with it. The dimness may be due to it possibly having incandescent bulbs, but a good 4000k Halogen will be pure white on low and slightly blue on high.. HID's legally require a projector housing. Speedway Motors does sell a 7" projector retrofit kit for HID's, but they also state that it does not fit in any 7" light that they sell due to being too long for the housings, so if your going to do a retrofit, the $500 kit might not even fit.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
HID's are a fad.
A "fad"...that's just comical.
The light output from a good HID is far and above ANY halogen light. Just no comparison at all.
I've raced offroad for years, had the best of the best in halogen lights and the HID's just smoke them. Absolutely no comparison. I was truly shocked at the difference when we could A/B them.
I've also done HID upgrades in most of my street vehicles for the same reason, more light is ALWAYS better at night. Just make sure you don't go with the high Kelvin rating that the tuner crews do to get that blue/purple light. You want a light in the 4000-6000k area.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:03 PM
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Yep there a fad...90% of the time you do not need a light that bright, if you do, it is likely that you have a severely tinted windshield ( yep, that's a fad too ) or you should just stick to daytime driving.. 90% of the people I know that run HID's, did it because they think the blue color of the 6000K HID's add style..

I run low beams 95% of the time, with the exception of my '74 Super Beetle which has incandescent bulbs, I run high beams on that more often. I see just fine
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
Yep there a fad...90% of the time you do not need a light that bright, if you do, it is likely that you have a severely tinted windshield ( yep, that's a fad too ) or you should just stick to daytime driving.. 90% of the people I know that run HID's, did it because they think the blue color of the 6000K HID's add style..

I run low beams 95% of the time, with the exception of my '74 Super Beetle which has incandescent bulbs, I run high beams on that more often. I see just fine
Safety is not a fad. More light is safer..plain and simple. Not to mention..they give out MORE light with LESS current draw than a halogen, which is better as well.
Do you not wear seat belts because you are afraid of being trapped in them... or you want to be thrown free in an accident? Those are the excuses made by people that thought seat belts were a fad too.
(ps..who tints their windshield? )
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:34 PM
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Nope, my seatbelt is always on. BTW, if you blind someone with HID's ( goten blinded by them MANY times ) and it causes an accident ( thankfully, hasn't happened to me ). now who is being the unsafe driver?. Most of these HID conversions are done without projectors and are blinding to other drivers. Projectors are required for legallity, now why would that be? BTW, low beams are perfectly safe. if they were not, auto manufactures would equip only with high beams.
As far as tinted windshields, certinly not me but.. there out there

This is gotten way off topic

Last edited by matt167; 07-06-2011 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:41 PM
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No point in getting into "what if's". I can blind people with halogens too. Improperly setup lights are a safety issue no matter what type.
Just like how halogens are better than incandecents (as you already know), HID's are better than halogens. Eventually...it'll move on to LED headlights for the same light output as HID's and a bulb that lasts longer still.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:01 PM
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Right, but HID's need the projectors, legally/ to keep from blinding people. they focus the light down the road as it should be, rather than all over. The correct achievement is not a brighter light, but a light to see farther. there is no proper way to allign a HID without a projector. if you allign them so you can see farther, you blind others, if you aim them down so people don't get blinded as bad, you are just lighting the road in front of you like a landing strip, hindering the light projection they were designed for
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:14 PM
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If you only change the bulb.....that could be the case, but there are lots of full light kits with replacement reflectors and lenses. That's what's on both my "new" cars... full kits, not just a bulb in an old housing.
I even found a kit for my 59 chevy.... I'm considering it, just don't care for the look of the lens on the older cars.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:05 PM
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Irelands Child: I have seen that LED site before, but I never thought of checking them out.
Does the LED taillights and marker lights that SpeedWay sells have a special/different lens that helps project the LED light? Or are there complete LED light sets simply an LED bulb that plugs into the incadescent bulb holder?



You guys are whining like like girls and Hijacked my thread to do so.
I wanted to get opinions FROM PEOPLE THAT HAVE USED THE KITS to let me know how they have used them and if they were happy with them and what brands are better than others.I have no interest in hearing you cry about HID's bliding you or any of the other B.S. this thread had gathered.

Thank you to those of you who have provided some constructive feedback.

Last edited by Riot Racing; 07-08-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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