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02-05 Thunderbird headlights LED

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by Bird52, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Bird52

    Bird52 Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    looking to upgrade to LED headlights.
    Can anyone recommend some and tell me how they look and the visibility change?
    Tee for 2 likes this.
  2. Nitpicker

    Nitpicker Active Member Lifetime Donor

    LED bulbs are brighter, use less wattage, last longer. Changed all exterior & interior bulbs to LED, but one caveat -- Tbird headlamp reflectors are designed specifically for halogen bulbs, so LED lamps won't give safe and proper dispersion/aim/coverage. Too, they are so bright some states outlaw them. I got great headlight improvement by switching to PIAA "Xtreme White Plus" halogen bulb HB5 (9007), purchased online websites like Amazon.

    Only buy and use "CANBUS ERROR FREE" LED light bulbs as they have resistors built into the units, and the lights will go out when you turn them off (no faint glow 24/7).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2018
  3. Bird52

    Bird52 Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Thanks much appreciated
    Skizix Savage likes this.
  4. Skizix Savage

    Skizix Savage Mountain Shadow Gray Metallic Over Bright Tan Lifetime Donor

    What specific factor causes my LED lamps to glow after power is cut off? It would seem intoitive to me that no power = no light. Is this a drain on the battery?

    Also, although switched off, my map lights not only have an “afterglow,” but they remain ON for the entire drive, day or night! This is true of the footwell lights, too. Shouldn’t the map and footwell light turn off as they did with the old incandescent lights’ habits?
  5. Skizix Savage

    Skizix Savage Mountain Shadow Gray Metallic Over Bright Tan Lifetime Donor

  6. Headlights were changed to LED - auxiliary lights left in just to illustrate the difference. The brightness of the auxiliary's are obviously less, but the color is what makes most of the difference in usable visibility when upgrading to these. I got mine on Amazon from a seller called "NAO" - I've used 4 sets on 4 different vehicles all with positive results.

    (my old man photo-bombed this shot)

    Attached Files:

    Skizix Savage likes this.
  7. I'd like your opinion now that you have had the LED headlights for awhile. As you drive, Do you really have more light and see better OR do the LEDs just offer a whiter light but not brighter? If the latter is the case than the LEDs do make your car more visible to other drivers which is probably good too.

    What the brand name & their part number for the LEDs you installed. Are they available in walk-in stores or only on line?
    Please respond, trying to learn more.
  8. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076P5H7TW/?tag=thunderbirdforum-20 <= these

    There is a noticeable difference in terms of brightness and clarity compared to standard bulbs. They make street signs "pop" like HID's do, and the usable light pattern is leaps and bounds better. Most of these are online only as your retail places generally carry traditional bulbs from Sylvania, however I've noticed some are carrying the turn-signals in LED versions (without load resistors which are almost always necessary to ensure the blinker relay doesn't go crazy).
    Hemi Bob and Skizix Savage like this.
    Skizix Savage likes this.
  10. Thanks.
    About 5 yrs ago I changed out the headlight's bulbs. Probably should do this again as they do dim with age & use. And use they get....Bird is my daily driver
  11. ChuckH262

    ChuckH262 Active Member Gold Donor

  12. This is a great link to a great source.
    Others may already know about Super bright I had not. Thanks very much. I have learned a lot about LEDs just from looking through the site.
    ChuckH262 likes this.
  13. I have replaced my 2003 Thunderbird's Headlights with GTR Ultra Gen 3 9007 LED bulbs and they are BRIGHT!!! Not cheap, but bright. I couldn't fit the retaining ring around them that holds the traditional Halogen 9007 bulbs in, but they pressed into the headlight housing pretty tight .. so I'm hoping that is secure enough to hold them .. so far, so good. I also replaced the lower lights 3457 bulbs with the VLEDS 3157 Switchback LED bulbs ... and they shine white when the lights are on, and turn amber when the turn signal is on. Finally I got rid of those horrible Fog light bulbs and put in JDM ASTAR Extremely Bright 2000 LED bulbs. Awesome outcome ... and much better lighting at night. 47689427_10217901500268293_8047717502278434816_n.jpg 48046819_10217901499428272_4687664084382908416_n (1).jpg 48358477_10217901499908284_4274861471755665408_n (1).jpg
  14. Just purchased my dream car since they came out. A 2003 Convertible Thunderbird.
    It is like new throughout except the headlights have that yellow haze to it. I have googled and found nothing that I trust for some nice aftermarket headlights that are bright and clean looking maybe with the led lights in it to give a newer look to it.
    Any suggestions as to where to go for something like this?
    Thanks for taking the time to read this and suggest :)
    VolleyballJIM likes this.
  15. Bubblehog

    Bubblehog Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    The old headlights will obscure a lot of the output of any lamp in the crazed plastic instead of passing it through. I have a 2005 that had spent its whole life parked outside when I bought it in 2018, and the headlamp assemblies were in bad shape from all the years of UV exposure. The best thing to do is buy a new set of headlamps rather than try to spruce up old ones. My own are TYC aftermarket units that cost about $70.00 each and fit exactly like the original Ford units. They came with new Sylvania Halogen bulbs. They are easy to change out- you need a 10mm wrench for the one nut on each, and a pair of pliers to get a grip on the two steel clamps on the back of each headlamp, and a small (5 mm, if I remember) wrench and a nice blank wall to aim them after replacing them. If you plan to do any work on the car, I recommend the shop and wiring manual on CD-ROM from eBay. There is a 2003-04 version covering all Fords for $12.99 here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2019
    Elaineinwa, ChuckH262 and BluByeU like this.
  16. Mach5

    Mach5 2004 Merlot Lifetime Donor

  17. biddle

    biddle Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Your headlight housing is designed for halogen lamps, so most of the LED lights that are cheap like that are not going to work safely or properly in your housing you need something like this-
  18. Get off the Amazon vendors and go to a dedicated LED manufacturer site like Superbrightled.com
    Read all their write ups on LEDs, color spectrum, the difference between white light & brightness. Find out stuff like why a red led behind a red lens is very important instead of a white led behind a red lens.
    There is a lot to learn about LEDs. They are not all plug-n-play.
  19. Thank you for the info. I did purchase OEM new headlights. Now to find a great bulb. In this forum and there are many different versions. When I go to Smart bright, type in yr make model it brings up OEM bulbs. I want to make sure what I purchase will fit right in as far as aftermarket bulbs go. any suggestions? Id like to stay under $100 for 2 headlight bulbs :)

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