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Old 01-22-2019, 04:14 PM   #1
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Budget LED Econoline headlight upgrade

After being fed up with my Econoline’s yellowed and almost opaque headlight assemblies a couple years ago, I bought brand new replacement assemblies and bulbs. Not from Ford, but inexpensive Chinese replacements. I think they were $25 each at the time.
Eagle eyes
https://www.amazon.com/Econoline-Hea.../dp/B00SHSVHRM

They put out more lights, but gave off this secondary ‘rainbow beam’ 45 degrees off of straight ahead. The primary beam was better than the old yellowed ones they replaced, but far from good. If fact, when I now read the customer reviews on Amazon, some customers talk about the rainbow. It’s annoying while driving, but oncoming drivers are particularly bothered. I tried aligning, and aiming, but really couldn’t find a sweet spot. My guess is the off-shore manufacturer ‘fornicated the canine’ while copying Ford’s design, (turns out there’s a lot that goes into those molding in lenslets in a headlamp cover glass) made bad molds, and will keep selling them like that until the end of time.


I do not recommend them.


While following another thread, forum member TheLetterJ mentioned a budget retrofit that he really liked.

LED light bars thread:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...w-23025-2.html

The LED swap lights are from amazon, Afeax brand, pn AJHCB, listed for Jeep YJ and other vehicles that came with what they call 5x7, 7x6, pn 6054 high/low sealed beams. The kit even comes with new H4 plugs.

https://www.amazon.com/Headlights-He...8TJC836ND4M3KR


In order to use these, I first had to convert my Econoline van from composite style headlight assemblies (that use a removable bulb) to the utility Econoline ‘sealed beam’ style, that take sealed beam p/n 6054. Most of the plummer’s utility cargo vans came with this type. Ford used the same inner plastic support structure, behind the grill for both headlamp styles. The plastic headlamp trim is different, so if you do this, get those at the same time. The difference is all the hardware; stamped steel buckets, special springs, clips, adjusters, screws, glides, bezel rings, plastic trim rings, and H4 plug.

I just went to a wrecking yard and bought the whole mess from a wrecked van, including the plugs, so I was sure to get everything I needed.

The conversion went smooth as silk. Although I haven’t had it out on the road yet, so far I’m very happy.








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Old 01-22-2019, 05:16 PM   #2
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That seems like a good low cost solution. Let us know if they work as advertised and if you like them.
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:42 PM   #3
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I have been running those for about six months. They are great for the price and overall happy.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
... Ford used the same inner plastic support structure, behind the grill for both headlamp styles.
^^^ this was not the case for my 03. I had to use the headlight bucket piece from the donor van (a 95) as well as the grill and composite lights to fully convert.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenrie View Post
...I had to use the headlight bucket piece from the donor van (a 95) as well as the grill and composite lights to fully convert.

I went away from composite to sealed beams. My '95 headlight mounting panel accepts both types of hardware, which turned out to be the same panel as the one I robbed from a (2000?) in the wrecking yard.



A guy would really need to do his own research for his particular instance.



As a side note, the vans at my local pick-n-pull are picked clean of the composite light parts, only sealed beam parts. My guess is the composite lights are seen as more desirable, get stripped and customer's vans get retrofitted.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:22 AM   #6
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I'm looking to do this upgrade as well. I went to the JY yesterday. There were only 2 vans left that still had headlights. I got the headlight "doors" and trim retainers…but for the life of me, couldn't pull the buckets. The adjustment screws were so rusted they wouldn't turn. I could've forced them…but don't want important hardware like that to end up being non-functional in my van. Is this typical? I'm in Birmingham…so wasn't expecting rust like this. The adjustment screwsets are no longer available from Ford. I'm happy to just keep looking/waiting…just didn't know if those buckets/mounting rings are going to regularly have that problem. Thoughts?
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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Are they the same as the adjustment screws for the older, pre-facelift vans? Those had sealed beams.


Incidentally, I'm using these sealed beam LEDs in my '90:
https://www.allstartruckparts.com/pr...beam-55w-qty-2


They're rated at 2700 lumens each on high beam and 1800 on low, which isn't *that* much brighter than standard headlamps. The low-beam cutoff is also a bit soft (although part of that may be that I'm comparing to my 2011 Volt, which has a cutoff that's so abrupt it's a little distracting.) On the other hand, the high beams project down the road well with a nice tight beam, and the much lower current consumption is easier on the electrical system. The DRL feature is nice, very eye-catching without producing a lot of glare.



So far I've had them through a couple "wet" seasons and there's no condensation in them yet.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:16 PM   #8
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Just came across this thread, was going to post about headlights on a budget. Looks like we had the same idea here. Went from composites to sealed beams.
Total cost: $120

Junkyard for all the conversion parts and amazon for the 5x7 sealed beam leds

Night and day difference from my composites with HIDs, clean crisp super bright light and so many more options.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jredone View Post
Just came across this thread, was going to post about headlights on a budget. Looks like we had the same idea here. Went from composites to sealed beams.
Total cost: $120

Junkyard for all the conversion parts and amazon for the 5x7 sealed beam leds

Night and day difference from my composites with HIDs, clean crisp super bright light and so many more options.
Wow! Thanks for posting. I was already dead set on making the change, but hearing they’re better than composites with HIDs is really encouraging. Just waiting for my local JY to get a couple new vans in...
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:51 AM   #10
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I used the same lights as the OP.
You may be able to do some searches online for the parts and have them shipped. I found a junkyard local to me in Marlboro NJ. They had a dozen vans there all with sealed beams.

If you go that route for each side you’ll need:
2 adjustment screws
1 “bucket” (that’s what they called them)
1 mounting ring with the four screws to hold the sealed beams to the bucket
1 plastic bezel with two bolt and two clips to attach to the van
1 spring

That’s pretty much it. My van is an 03 so I had to cut the original h5 connector I believe? And attach the h4 connector provided with the lights
My van I also had to move the ground wire on the lights h4 connector to the top middle in order to get my high beams to work.

Any questions feel free to reach out, happy to help
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