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Thread: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

  1. #31
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggsalad View Post
    The junkyard is full of automotive-grade relays, many of which use standard form factor terminals and connectors. I can't remember the last time I bought a brand-new relay.
    Itís a good thought and I appreciate the input. However, between work, family time, lots of kids sports and clubs...I just donít have the time. Iím going to order them tomorrow and theyíll be at my house when I get home. If My kids were grown or if I didnít have them yet, Iíd consider that.

  2. #32
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I have my light bar mounted, now I'm waiting to mount the lights for when I have my 2x87 relays.
    Virgil, do you think these would be okay? They are Hella brand....so maybe they are questionable?

    Relay with 2x87
    http://www.jegs.com/i/Hella/288/933791061/10002/-1

    Relay housing for 4 relays
    http://www.jegs.com/i/Hella/288/H84988001/10002/-1

    I'll need a relay for:
    1- low beam
    1- high beam
    2- turn signals (one for left, one for right)

    DRL function will be powered by an Add-A-Circuit that I will integrate to a circuit that is live when the truck is running.
    Last edited by kingofwylietx; 03-14-2018 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    You might find this useful:

    https://www.delcity.net/images/lined...%20Diagram.pdf

    https://www.delcity.net/store/Relays...-Distribution/

    If the OE lighting relays in your truck have an internal resistor or diode to suppress voltage spikes, you should consider buying aftermarket relays with the same feature.
    Last edited by SubLGT; 03-14-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  4. #34
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    ....
    If the OE lighting relays in your truck have an internal resistor or diode to suppress voltage spikes, you should consider buying aftermarket relays with the same feature.
    Thanks for the info. I'll find out which ones they are and research the part numbers to see if they have resistors or diodes.

  5. #35
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I finally got the lights installed. I was lucky to track down 2 factory connectors that had approx 6Ē of wire on each one...that when assembled together allowed me to put this between the factory headlight and factory wiring harness. This way, I didnít have to modify my original truck wiring harness. I can easily put it back as stock by removing this added section.

    The JW Speaker lights are great. They are warmer in color temperature than my factory LED headlights. The beam pattern has a nice sharp upper cutoff. They definitely brighten things up and extend my illuminated area further than stock. I now need to aim them, fortunately Speaker has those instructions on their website.

    I am only disappointed in the Speaker mounting bracket. Properly torqued or over-tightened, the lights are still too easy to move. This movement will change the vertical direction of the beam. Today, I was going with traffic on a 75 mph highway, which means I was driving 80 mph. It was daylight, but I do wonder if the air pressure at those speeds combined with some bumps on the road will have my lights constantly adjusting themselves upward. I donít know why it is so easy to move. Iím guessing it may be the black coating on the lights. I may remove the bolt that holds the light and file away that coating. I suspect that the stainless steel bracket would hold better against bare aluminum. Another idea is that I could use my Dremel with a grinding stone inserted to rough up the contact points of the light and mounting bracket.

    Either way, Iíll get it handled. Once Iíve done that, Iíll aim the lights.
    Last edited by kingofwylietx; 03-26-2018 at 08:03 PM.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Good going! Sounds like you are almost there. The aim instructions JW Speaker gives are a little bit "funny". Not completely wrong, but not completely right either...reminds me of a game my kids used to play in groups when they were little, called "Operator" (or maybe "Telephone"): they'd sit in a circle and the leader would whisper something into his neighbor's ear, who would turn around and whisper it in the next kid's ear, and so on until it arrived back at the kid on the other side of the leader. Then that kid would say what he heard (out loud) and the leader would say the original message. They were never the same, though there was usually a pretty good amount of the original wording still present. You will want to double-check your aiming plans using this guide. And it's correct about the large advantage of machine aim versus "look on the wall" aim, so try to find a shop with the optical machine.

    Most of the JW Speaker headlights can be aimed either VOL (using the wide cutoff at the top of the left side of the beam) or VOR (using the cutoff, which is usually narrow, at the top of the right side of the hot spot). If you can spend the time and/or get on friendly terms with whoever is operating the aim machine, it's worth figuring out which one results in lower/higher aim and choosing wisely in accordance with how often the lamps are going to be tipped up further than you intend (because you're carrying or towing a heavy load in the back).

    Let us know how it goes with figuring out how to keep the aim where it's supposed to be. There used to be stabilizer arms meant to be installed going from the back of the aux lamp housing "bowl" to a rigid point somewhere behind, to prevent exactly this kind of aim shift. I bought a pair of nice ones from Dan Stern six or seven years ago. That would require drilling, though. Maybe before you go that way, see if you can add some lockwashers and a Nylock nut to the lamps' pivot assemblies.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 03-26-2018 at 08:32 PM.

  7. #37
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Itís unlikely Iíll ever have enough in the truck bed at nighttime to worry about that. Im carrying mulch from the yard center at noon or moving some furniture around during the day. If Iím on a trip, I might have some luggage in the back, but nothing heavy.

    The lights came with a nylock nut on the pivot point. I really think itís the slick coating on the housing that is messing with me.

    I looked on Dan Sterns website and didnít see any of the stabilizer bars, you might have gotten his last set. So....Iíve come up with what I think is an ingenious idea to make my stabilizer arms. Iím pretty excited about crafting it. I found turnbuckles made for 1/5 scale R/C cars. They are available in stainless steel, titanium, or nickel plated steel rods (in many different lengths). The ends are available in all sorts of styles and come in heavy nylon or aluminum. This way, once attached, I can get them aimed and lock in the position. I bought the nickel plated rods and nylon ends to try out...they are the cheapest combination of parts. Iíll take a picture once I get the first arms attached, so you can actually see what it looks like.

    Maybe your stabilizer bars are taking up some space in the garage youíd like to reclaim?

  8. #38

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    My stabilizer bars went with those lights (and that truck) a couple years ago. They weren't on his website back then, either -- I asked and he said yes. I don't recall them being very expensive.

    Your solution with the turnbuckles sounds intriguing. Take pictures and post them here?

  9. #39
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    I hope to have time this weekend to start drilling. Before I do that, I took some pictures of the idea using parts I've ordered and scavenged.

    This is what it would look like, does anyone have any better ideas or thoughts before I pop holes in my bumper & lights to do it?

    Here are the pictures: http://s241.photobucket.com/user/kin...ght%20brackets

  10. #40
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    That looks pretty stable right there. I may do something similar when I mount a single Bosch auxiliary high beam on my friend's RX300. I finally found just the right spot to mount it on the bumper where it won't mechanically interfere with opening the hood, but I still need a way to keep it stable. It may require a different lamp location to do a brace like that, though

  11. #41
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Those turnbuckles are available in a variety of metals and so are the end pieces. Also, all those parts (turnbuckles and end rod ends) are available in different lengths and configurations. It's pretty cool.
    To look, go to www.hobbytown.com and type 'turnbuckle' in the search bar. I was amazed at all the options. Some of the rods are bent, most are straight. The rod ends can be had in different offsets. Hobby Town is just a local store for me, so I was able to go in and dig through their inventory to find what I wanted. If you wanted to do something similar to my setup, you may be able to use a shorter rod and attach it from underneath.



    I bought several lengths....I updated link to include additional pictures that would use the base of the light to add a bracket which would allow you to mount stabilizer bars. You could also bend a metal bar, then screw it to the top of your light and tie it back to the car, but it wouldn't be as easily adjustable. http://s241.photobucket.com/user/kin...ght%20brackets


    I plan to do Virgil's aiming process before permanently attaching my struts. This will get me in the neighborhood of proper aim. As long as I get it close, I can ensure that I don't overshoot the adjustable range of the rod ends when I take the truck to have them electronically aimed.
    Last edited by kingofwylietx; 04-06-2018 at 10:35 AM.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    It is always nice to come here with a question and find the answer is already presented and well discussed. My '94-'01 style Ram pickup was going to get the sport light upgrade until I found that the housings are either not available or ~$250 each side. That's LED headlight territory.

    kingofwylietx - Do you keep the factory lights on with the new lights? (This reminds me of my old truck with the plow lights, it ran either/or not both.)

    Virgil - In an early post you listed JWSpeaker, Truck-Lite, and Peterson. The JWSpeaker is significantly more expensive. How much difference is there in performance? I am not afraid of the extra if it will show in use.

    Thanks!

  13. #43

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by fangle View Post
    It is always nice to come here with a question and find the answer is already presented and well discussed. My '94-'01 style Ram pickup was going to get the sport light upgrade until I found that the housings are either not available or ~$250 each side. That's LED headlight territory.
    You really should still do the Sport light upgrade; the non-Sport lamps are severely deficient. The Chrysler-official parts are N/A any more, but there are actually some affordable and acceptably decent aftermarket units for that application. You have to be picky and choosy about brand, but if you will do that you will wind up with much better headlighting. You might or might not still want auxiliary lights.

    Virgil - In an early post you listed JWSpeaker, Truck-Lite, and Peterson. The JWSpeaker is significantly more expensive. How much difference is there in performance? I am not afraid of the extra if it will show in use.
    All of them are good. I like the JWS beam pattern best, but which one is best for you, really depends on your particular driving and weather conditions.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    The Chrysler-official parts are N/A any more, but there are actually some affordable and acceptably decent aftermarket units for that application. You have to be picky and choosy about brand, but if you will do that you will wind up with much better headlighting.
    Suggestions on how to choose? Non-OEM housings have always been frowned upon here. I see many brands that all have the same some good/some horrible reviews. None of the brands are recognizable, and it looks like there are a few suppliers selling to everyone. From memory, I think it was TYC that made a replacement housing I used in my Mustang. It was better than the yellowed stock lens, but not nearly as good as the new OEM housings I later installed. To replace a standard light on the truck I used Dorman as at least that's a recognized name. I am not impressed with the molding and gluing, I will get it in the truck this week and see how well it lights. I know that in the next few months I will need better, but the original housing was letting in water from a crack somewhere and needed immediate repair.

    As always, thanks for the help!

  15. #45
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by fangle View Post
    From memory, I think it was TYC that made a replacement housing I used in my Mustang. It was better than the yellowed stock lens, but not nearly as good as the new OEM housings I later installed. To replace a standard light on the truck I used Dorman as at least that's a recognized name.
    TYC and DEPO, like Dorman, are recognized names. Recognized for being NOT what you want unless you've got a GM product and it's a DEPO lamp made by them *for* GM, because at least there's some GM oversight there (the lamps will be marked GM, as well). But when branded DEPO, avoid with very spare exceptions. The same avoiding goes for TYC and Dorman, and Spyder, and Anzo, and Spec-D, and....
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 04-17-2018 at 11:01 AM.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by fangle View Post
    Suggestions on how to choose?
    Your best bet is going to be this set: left, right.

    Non-OEM housings have always been frowned upon here.
    That is true, but (1) when something's not available any more, it's not available any more, and (2) in this case, the OEM housings toward the end of their production declined in quality, while meanwhile DEPO has been making a good effort to up their game, and they're actually turning out some respectable lamps now.

  17. #47
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by fangle View Post
    ........
    kingofwylietx - Do you keep the factory lights on with the new lights? (This reminds me of my old truck with the plow lights, it ran either/or not both.)

    Virgil - In an early post you listed JWSpeaker, Truck-Lite, and Peterson. The JWSpeaker is significantly more expensive. How much difference is there in performance? I am not afraid of the extra if it will show in use.

    Thanks!
    The way mine is wired, it allows me to do either. I can use the factory lights or I can use the factory lights with the JW Speaker lights. I have a switch controlled relay on the main power circuit to interrupt/provide 12V to terminal 30 on the other relays. Once the switch it turned on, the relays do their magic and mimic all the factory functions.

    I will say, I am a huge fan of the color temperature of the JW Speaker units. I keep getting side-tracked, but I really hope to button this up on Saturday. I still need to permanently attach the struts I bought. I also need to redo some wiring, because I bought a relay box that will house my relays and not have them dangling. I'll post up pics once that is all cleaned up.

  18. #48
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Okay, so I've worked it out in a way that I won't need to drill into the truck.

    No more test fitting, here is one of the struts attached to the light. 1 down, 3 more to go.





  19. #49
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Very nice!

  20. #50
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Thanks Alaric! This has only taken me 9 months.....right about how long it takes to have a kid. Ironically, this project has been my baby.

    I'm on the downhill side of this mountain. I am having a tough time getting these tiny stainless fastener pieces to come together, there isn't much space between the cooling fins. I'm using tweezers to hold these things as I assemble the washers. I probably dropped the washers and nuts 30 times each before getting that first one together. Fortunately, I have spares. Several fell, bounced, and have vaporized. I assume they vaporized because I can't find them anywhere.

  21. #51
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    Thanks Alaric! This has only taken me 9 months.....right about how long it takes to have a kid. Ironically, this project has been my baby.
    After months (years?) planning an auxiliary high beam install on an RX300, I finally have the bumper marked for drilling! I at least by now could have pulled the wires and installed the relay and whatnot...

    I'm on the downhill side of this mountain. I am having a tough time getting these tiny stainless fastener pieces to come together, there isn't much space between the cooling fins. I'm using tweezers to hold these things as I assemble the washers. I probably dropped the washers and nuts 30 times each before getting that first one together. Fortunately, I have spares. Several fell, bounced, and have vaporized. I assume they vaporized because I can't find them anywhere.
    Just use what you'd use to find a needle in a haystack: Magnets (unless they're nonmagnetic, duh).

    As far as keeping things together, perhaps a small dab of Elmer's glue on parts to kindof 'tack' them together might help. A magnet might even come in handy to keep the washers 'stuck' to the strut itself (if I'm picturing how it goes together correctly).

  22. #52
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post


    Just use what you'd use to find a needle in a haystack: Magnets (unless they're nonmagnetic, duh).

    As far as keeping things together, perhaps a small dab of Elmer's glue on parts to kindof 'tack' them together might help. A magnet might even come in handy to keep the washers 'stuck' to the strut itself (if I'm picturing how it goes together correctly).
    Unfortunately, they were a non-magnetic stainless. I never found them. They must have bounced into some opening of the truck, dissolved into the concrete, or floated away.

    In either case, I have all 4 struts attached and they are very stable. The light will not change aim without adjusting the struts now. Iím incredibly pleased with how it all came together. The lights shouldnít wiggle or bounce at all when going over bumps or going through a car wash. I expect that only a wreck will throw them off.

    Iím doing a little rewiring on them today, Iíll be done with that tonight.

    So, I kind of cheated on the initial aiming of them. I pointed the truck at a wall with the headlights and the aux low beams turned on. I measured the distance from ground of each light, then the drop in angle of the factory lights to the wall from their physical height. I adjusted the aux low beams to have the same angle as the headlights. I know it is a faulty way to do a final aim, but it should have put me in the neighborhood for an initial aim. Now that I have it [hopefully] close, I will take it somewhere for a proper aim/alignment. I figure Iíll have them do the factory truck headlights while Iím there.....Iíd bet anyone a dozen donuts that they were not properly aimed at the factory.

    I plan to call a few places to see where I can go to get them aimed. Should I specifically ask if they have an optical beamsetter? Iíve spent a great deal of time & money on doing this to the best of my ability, so I want to make sure my final step (aiming) is done right.
    Last edited by kingofwylietx; 04-21-2018 at 02:30 PM.

  23. #53
    Flashaholic kingofwylietx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Your solution with the turnbuckles sounds intriguing. Take pictures and post them here?
    Here is a pic of the final installation with 2 struts (turnbuckles) per light. Iím happy to post pics from other angles if anyone is interested.


  24. #54

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofwylietx View Post
    I plan to call a few places to see where I can go to get them aimed. Should I specifically ask if they have an optical beamsetter?
    "Beamsetter" is Hella's name for their machine. Ask if they have an optical headlamp aiming machine, one of those that looks like a TV camera and gets wheeled in front of one headlamp at a time to aim it. The answer you're looking for is "yes". If they say "We point them at the wall/at a screen/at the garage door", hang up and keep trying.

    Nice install, BTW!

  25. #55

    Default Re: Aux headlamps for Ford truck with weak LEDs?

    Nice fab work using the mini turnbulckles!

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