Full headlight upgrade (PIC HEAVY) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 56 Old 01-10-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Full headlight upgrade (PIC HEAVY)

It's no secret that the factory lighting in the ZJ's leaves a lot to be desired. There are tons of writeups on the e-code H4 and Kolak harness conversions. There are also endless threads droning on about projector this, h.i.d that and everything in the middle.

So, I needed a good upgrade that wasn't going to break the bank while also not being a hazard to other drivers. I know that there are some killer projector kits availible, but those are EXPENSIVE, and require a lot of work to retrofit. On the other end of the spectrum, I need something more than a $17 lightbar. Older l.e.d lamps certainly lack a focused beam, and blind oncomming drivers.

What's a fella to do?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

I ended up deciding that the harness upgrade was a must. I've read countless threads on here about the 2v drop at the headlights via the factory harness. I ordered new housings with clear lenses, and some new fangled l.e.d chipset magic 9004's. The kind with the fans and heatsinks. All in all I spent about $150 and took about 8 hours start to finish because I'm like an drunken ape with a soldering iron.

Now, I know there will be some who doubt but these are untouched pics of legit straight out my windshield. Both are low beam, same road, same time of night, same weather conditions.
I have a video I'm going to post to YouTube. I'll update with a link later. This is not a pic of my parking lights, this is factory 9004 halogen on low beam.

I took the harness and cut off all the H4 connectors. I rewired and soldered on the 9004 connectors in all the appropriate places. I'm thinking about making up some harnesses specifically for ZJ's that let you keep the 9004's. They're Hi and Lo beam, and the 9007 swap doesn't work because of the direction of light output. If you want one PM me. I removed the grill and upper radiator support to hide all the wiring nice and tidy.

I think I'm the only person in the history of ZJ owners that didn't have a hard time getting my headlights out or my adjusters freed up without breaking anything. Patience and lubrication. Don't. Just Don't. Seriously easy to get the new assemblies in. I used Dawn dishsoap to lube the clips before installing the headlight assembly.

The l.e.d bulbs fit right in. Direct 9004 replacement. They locked in place firmly. Easy as pie. Fired her up and WHOA MOMMA! TIS LIKE YANKEE STADIUM UP IN HERE!

If your ZJ has factory headlights I HIGHLY recommend you do something about it. This is $150 bucks and I know for a lot of us that hurts, but it is by far and a way, without a doubt the single greatest upgrade I've made to muh Jeep thus far.

If I left anything out feel free to ask.

Edit* Like the knuckle dragger I am I forgot to post links for the gear I used. My molestake.

Here's what I used:
https://www.amazon.com/LASFIT-Headli..._ybh_a_28?_enc

https://www.amazon.com/Spec-D-Tuning...J230DFVHW5H4X3

https://www.amazon.com/iJDMTOY-Exten...1ZZ7XSKFS7RHTR

https://www.dapperlighting.com/colle...g-h4-relay-kit

Attached Thumbnails
20180103_180026.jpg   20180110_180836.jpg   20180109_111739.jpg   20180109_102843.jpg   20180110_120819.jpg  

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Last edited by JackmanTater; 01-11-2018 at 08:16 AM. Reason: I forgot to link to the stuff I used
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post #2 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 08:09 AM
BorderWalker
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I've been considering the Kolak upgrade for a while now but holding off cause it's pretty pricey. Something that good for half the price and a little work is a bit more appealing. My housings are already pretty clear [Bought new housings shortly after buying Jeep], but got links to the harnesses you got? And the bulbs?

EDIT: Somehow I missed the links my first read through >.>

EDIT 2: With the Relay harness, did you get the 2 or 4way? And do you have pics of the completed solder job on the wires showing where you cut off on each?
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post #3 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorderWalker View Post
I've been considering the Kolak upgrade for a while now but holding off cause it's pretty pricey. Something that good for half the price and a little work is a bit more appealing. My housings are already pretty clear [Bought new housings shortly after buying Jeep], but got links to the harnesses you got? And the bulbs?
I've heard nothing but good things about the Kolak harness. Having said that, I agree, I saw a few harnesses for upwards of 90 bucks. I gathered all the links last night and just cold forgot to add them! Lol! My bad man. I added them to the original post. Hope this helps.

Also* I couldn't find a harness for 9004's that didn't include connectors for an h.i.d ballast kit. That's why I ordered the H4 and used the 9004 pigtails to make it right. Like I said, I might make a few up from scratch for us ZJ folks that need them specifically, Or in case I ever have issue with the one I bought.
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post #4 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 08:27 AM
BorderWalker
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Made a couple edits before you responded, but got pics at all of the completed soldier job? And was the harness you got the 2 or 4?

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post #5 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorderWalker View Post
Made a couple edits before you responded, but got pics at all of the completed soldier job? And was the harness you got the 2 or 4?
Okay, on the pics of the harness all soldered up, that's a disappointing no, I don't have one. However I don't mind making a quick diagram for you. Just give me an hour or so. Gotta take the old lady to work.

I got the two, not the four. There are two relays. One is low beam, one is high. I only have the two 9004 bulbs, and it works brilliantly.

Edit* Also, I really wanna be able to help folks out with this upgrade. I have literally spent the last two months researching and planning this job. There's just so much disinformation out there.
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post #6 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 09:10 AM
BorderWalker
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A diagram would certainly help. I'm competent on my soldering abilities, not so much on my abilities to know where to cut and splice though.

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post #7 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Here ya go my friend. This is as clear as I could be. I'm gonna make one more that shows how the back of each pigtail should look.

In this diagram (if you could call it that) the 9004 females will go out to your bulbs. The 9004 male will mate with the passenger side factory 9004 female connector. In other words, where the passenger bulb meets the factory plug. That factory female 9004 is where your relays will get the info to turn on when you use your factory headlight controls.
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post #8 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 09:56 AM
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If you are upgrading to LED, you don't need a new harness or relays. The LEDs run at a voltage range, I'm gonna guess 10V to 18V. They will put out the same amount of luminance at that voltage range. Since they draw less current than the halogen bulbs, the relays aren't needed.

You spent more money than was needed ....

93 red ZJ 196k 4.0. Spent more money than I should have ...
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post #9 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Alright and here's the one detailing how each connector should look when wired. Hope this helps get you going. I am just astonished every time I use those lights now!
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post #10 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordHobbit View Post
If you are upgrading to LED, you don't need a new harness or relays. The LEDs run at a voltage range, I'm gonna guess 10V to 18V. They will put out the same amount of luminance at that voltage range. Since they draw less current than the halogen bulbs, the relays aren't needed.

You spent more money than was needed ....

Man, I'm not an electrician and I literally have no idea what you just said. HOWEVER, I know the factory ZJ wiring to be turd through and through, so needed or not, I splurged and spent the $5 dollars on the relay harness. New wires and I KNOW the job is tidy, because I did it myself. So it's worth the Lincoln for the peace of mind.
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post #11 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 04:03 PM
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Here's the problem: the housing still wasn't engineered for the location/orientation/etc. of the LED. It was engineered for a halogen bulb. So when you depend on the reflector to do its job (by keeping glaring light out of the eyes of oncoming drivers), but then handicap it with a bulb that places the light source in the wrong location, you end up blinding oncoming drivers. That's great that you can see, but you've now effectively f'd the rest of us.

The nice thing about auxiliary lights is that you can simply TURN THEM OFF when there's oncoming traffic. (Wire it with a relay to your brights and you don't even need an extra switch!)

So, now YOU can see, but the driver coming at you CANNOT. Do it right or don't do it at all.
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post #12 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWC View Post
Here's the problem: the housing still wasn't engineered for the location/orientation/etc. of the LED.
It was engineered for a halogen bulb. So when you depend on the reflector to do its job (by keeping glaring light out of the eyes
of oncoming drivers), but then handicap it with a bulb that places the light source in the wrong location, you end up blinding oncoming
drivers. That's great that you can see, but you've now effectively f'd the rest of us.

The nice thing about auxiliary lights is that you can simply TURN THEM OFF when there's oncoming traffic.
(Wire it with a relay to your brights and you don't even need an extra switch!)

So, now YOU can see, but the driver coming at you CANNOT. Do it right or don't do it at all.
That was going to be my concern / question do they blind oncoming traffic?

Can they be adjusted down enough with the stock adjusters to 1. provide decent lighting and 2. not blind oncoming traffic?
you say "Do it right or don't do it at all." what is the correct way for LED headlights?

BILL Florissant, CO (▤ IIIII ▤)
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post #13 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
JackmanTater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWC View Post
Here's the problem: the housing still wasn't engineered for the location/orientation/etc. of the LED. It was engineered for a halogen bulb. So when you depend on the reflector to do its job (by keeping glaring light out of the eyes of oncoming drivers), but then handicap it with a bulb that places the light source in the wrong location, you end up blinding oncoming drivers. That's great that you can see, but you've now effectively f'd the rest of us.

The nice thing about auxiliary lights is that you can simply TURN THEM OFF when there's oncoming traffic. (Wire it with a relay to your brights and you don't even need an extra switch!)

So, now YOU can see, but the driver coming at you CANNOT. Do it right or don't do it at all.
Oh, I didn't realize we were daddying each other O.o I guess I have to respond with, know what you're on about before you open your mouth... I didn't ask for your input on my lighting choice. In case you're unaware the ZJ housing wasn't designed with an h.i.d projector system either. You can have all the light bars and projectors in the world and if they're poorly aimed, you're gonna blind everyone. In fact, 9 out of 10 new cars on the road are absolutely blinding right from the factory. I know because with the DISMAL factory zj lighting, their lights are all I could see.

Now tell me, is it more dangerous for you to see, or me? This L.E.D bashing session is over fellas. Take it to someone else's thread.
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post #14 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by billrigsby View Post
That was going to be my concern / question do they blind oncoming traffic?

Can they be adjusted down enough with the stock adjusters to 1. provide decent lighting and 2. not blind oncoming traffic?
you say "Do it right or don't do it at all." what is the correct way for LED headlights?
My stock adjusters are working fine. I have yet to be flashed a single time with the new l.e.d. lights. However, I was flashed several times recently when I rented a 2018 carolla that HAS projectors... Just saying.
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post #15 of 56 Old 01-11-2018, 06:02 PM
billrigsby
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Well, I for one thank you for the research and information provided.
While I am adding auxiliary LED lights (replacing the stock driving lights),
and a light bar on my new roof rack. I will be going the LED route for
the headlights also, mostly for uniformity, my stock lights are not that bad
YET!

BILL Florissant, CO (▤ IIIII ▤)
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