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Old 02-12-2015, 09:36 AM   #1
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Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Hey all,

I've read through some of the headlight threads on here but it seems like it may have been a while since anyone has posted. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on converting to the "lo" style (have the grille, surrounds and supports) and I'm planning on either the E-codes or HID conversion. Here are my main questions:

With the HID's, would a projector housing like this or similar be a good route?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6000K-White-Bi- ... 1019103348

Or would a reflector type housing work better?

I am planning on an upgraded harness/relays too.

Any input/advice is appreciated as always and I promise to post before/after pics and impressions!!!
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Have you considered LED lights ? There are different full LED headlights on the market for the 5x7" standard size.
I'm currently running Hella H4 E-codes (which is mandatory here in Europe anyway) and will be converting to LED soon. Friend of mine runs the Trucklite LEDs in his Jeep XJ, way better than any Xenon conversion I've seen so far.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Yeah, I'd love LED's but they seem a bit .....well.... Prohibitively expensive ; )
I'll look at the Trucklight led's and see what they cost.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

I have the Truck Lite "Phase 7" LED on my motorcycle and while it is extremely bright, the pattern on the Hella E-codes (like I have in my van) is better. I just ordered an H4 LED conversion "bulb" from here: http://www.cyclopsadventuresports.com/3 ... _p_83.html to test out on another motorcycle, if it goes well, I will order a pair for the van too. 2 LED's and the pair of E-codes comes out to just over $200, a pair of 5x7 truck lites is about $450 (the truck lites are 100% road legal though... if that matters to you.)

edit: the HID conversion I used in another set of E-codes made the pattern horrible... brighter... but horrible. The truck lite is brighter than the HID conversion and has a better pattern than the HID conversion, hopefully the LED conversion cooperates with the Hella housings better and I end up with more light AND a good pattern!
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Do you have the regular headlights now? The best headlight option (in my opinion) is a retrofitted projector in a clear headlight housing with HID bulbs. This is the proper way to run HID's and gives you a clean cutoff line so it doesn't blind oncoming drivers, but also projects the light output correctly. You can get the clear headlights for about $100 and then buy a retrofit kit from theretrofitsource.com.

If you aren't confident in doing it yourself, I believe there is a hobbyist vendor that is selling a retrofitted projector and headlight for $250 shipped. You still need the harness and HID bulbs and ballast, but its pretty much plug and play.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Cool!

I've got an email in to retrofit source and I'm curious to see what they will recommend! Thanks a million Milkracer (almost typed "Milfracer!) for that tip! I may upgrade the existing HID's on my Audi with one of their lens kits.

I'm assuming the clear headlight (housings?) have a plastic back that can be modified to accept the projector units? That idea sounds super cool to me! Would the Pilot E-code housings work for that or does the lens have to be 100% clear (i.e., no spread pattern)?

Thanks again you guys, this is a fun thread! It's like an "adult" version of my flashlight fetish!
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:50 PM   #7
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

You'll need something like these http://www.amazon.com/Euro-Chrome-Econo ... headlights

They are clear "euro" housings that have a clear lens instead of a diffused one.

Then from the retrofit source: http://www.theretrofitsource.com/comple ... it-h1.html

You can find 25% off codes if you dig, which brings the price down pretty nice.

You then bake the headlights to separate the front lens from the housing, insert the projector, screw on the retaining bolt on the back, then reattach the lens...(simplified explanation).

I haven't done this yet, but its high up on my priority list. I'm hoping to do it in the next month or so. I retrofitted projectors in my Tacoma I had years ago and the difference in light output is incredible.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
Do you have the regular headlights now? The best headlight option (in my opinion) is a retrofitted projector in a clear headlight housing with HID bulbs. This is the proper way to run HID's and gives you a clean cutoff line so it doesn't blind oncoming drivers, but also projects the light output correctly. You can get the clear headlights for about $100 and then buy a retrofit kit from theretrofitsource.com.

I did the full retrofit source conversion using the moto minis. Did not like it. There was ZERO light above the cutoff line (which was also too low) which made even reading street signs impossible without brights. I ended up replacing them with the standard full Euro assemblies with HID bulbs, which I had previously. The pattern isn't as "clean" but it puts more light where it's needed.
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:12 PM   #9
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

Thanks caringB! I'll bring this up with Retro when I talk with them. I know some Audi guys that have modified the cutoff plate in the HID projectors, or something to that effect to change the pattern... I wonder of that's an option, or if there is another model other than the moto-minis that would work better? I appreciate the input!

If anyone has any thoughts on the LED's that I linked to I'd like to hear them. They seem reasonably priced enough to try out....and Amazon (Prime) has a great return policy.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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Re: Headlight upgrade (Econoline) questions.....

I pulled up my shipping receipt. The actual part I used was: Bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage III Kit (D2S)

I also had their ballast burn up on me. I didn't bother getting it warranteed since I didn't like the pattern anyways. I stuck in a cheap HID bulb and ballast form an extra kit I had laying around, and that worked just as well.
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