1992 F150 questions

w_w_w_31

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
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5
I'm hoping someone with more knowledge than I can assist. I know my headlights in my F150 are dead. I am having troubles figuring out what to replace them with. After reading all of the "expert sounding" people say that all aftermarket units are essentially crap, I am extremely leery of buying anything other than directly from Ford. Than the issue of price comes up, especially with a 22 year old truck that is not worth all that much.

So what I am essentially asking, what are my options for new units and bulbs? I have a set of Hella 210 driving that are going to eventually make it to the top of the bumper, so I also need a set of H3's for those. I have also considered putting a set of 181 fogs under the bumper.

Thoughts?

Thanks much.

dave
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
Welcome onto the board.

It's true that aftermarket headlamps -- yes, all of them -- available for your truck are significantly poorer in quality, performance, and durability compared to Ford OE lamps. Many/most (possibly even "all") of the aftermarket headlamps, despite bearing potentially-real ("DOT") and/or bogus ("CAPA certified", "SAE Approved", etc.) markings, are not even minimally compliant with the safety requirements for headlamps in this country. If you can still get new Ford headlamps, that should be your number-one spend priority. A close number two would be a relay harness along the lines described here to properly feed and properly ground the headlight bulbs; the headlight wiring in a truck like yours was underrated for the job from new, and 22 years of work service will have worsened it. Then "spend number three" should be carefully chosen bulbs, Philips Xtreme Vision 9007XV or GE Night Hawk Platinum 9007NHP. A careful and proper headlamp aim job (shining the lights on a wall doesn't count as careful or proper) is a very necessary step.

Then (and only then) should you consider auxiliary lights such as fog lamps, "driving" (extra high beam) lamps, etc.

Of course, the above assumes you are driving this truck on public roads at night. If the truck never sees public roads (just farm land use) or it is never driven at night, then the smart approach would differ. But despite the age of the truck, if you are driving it at night on the roads, even a top-class headlight revamp will quickly pay for itself in the first crash you don't have.
 

w_w_w_31

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Jun 17, 2014
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I had a feeling that the aftermarket housings were going to be crap. I guess I am just hesitant to spent the money on OE housings, even though I know that is what needs to be done. I guess I am going to have to suck it up and find a set of OE housings, hopefully from a shop willing to let them go fairly cheap. I was also a bit suspect of the factory wiring as well. Guess I forgot to take the age of the vehicle into consideration for the wires as well. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

This truck sees a lot of mixed driving, plenty of on road, but also lots of off road stuff, which is why the axillary lights are going to be in play, along with the legal main lights.

Thank you for your bulb recommendation, I do value your opinion. I switched out my 2014 CRV to the 70/65 Osram based on your recommendation to another poster. Too bad that person wasn't willing to experience the real difference the bulbs have made.

Also, what would you suggest for the Hellas? They all are H3's, and I was considering a 100w in the 210's, and sticking with 55's in the 181's. What do you like for the H3's?

dave
 

-Virgil-

Flashaholic
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
7,802
For 55w H3 I like the Narva Range Power +50. For 100w, any reputable brand (Philips, Osram, Flosser, Tungsram). Of course, you have to have appropriate wiring/relays for the aux lamps, and they have to be hooked up safely/legally.
 

Hilldweller

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 17, 2009
Messages
671
Location
Hog Waller, GA
My F-150 is what got me interested in headlights, safety, and led me to this forum.
I installed PIAA 9007s into the truck right before a long roadtrip. Didn't drive at night until 5 or 6 days into it ----- twisty mountain road, poor weather.
And I couldn't see squat.

Got home and a friend told me about this guy by the name of Daniel Stern. So I called him and chatted. And I got new bulbs.
The rest is Hilldweller history. The beginning of a small obsession...

Good luck finding the buckets.
And don't buy PIAAs.
 

w_w_w_31

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Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
5
Thanks both of you for your responses and assistance. I have a pair of the Phillips Extreme Vision on order.

About 15 years ago I did try a pair of PIAA's, and was completely unimpressed, especially for what they charge for them.

In a couple weeks I will be installing the 210's, which have been sitting in a box in the garage for about 10 years. They have seen very little use, so I am excited to get them back in use. Maybe that will help defer the purchase of new headlight units for the truck for a little while. I'm still not excited about paying around $300 for new units, but I know it needs to be done.

Again, thanks for your input.

dave
 
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