For a long time it was known that the only way to do a plug and play lighting upgrade on the 2002 – 2006 Dodge Ram was to either use higher power halogen bulbs, or an HID conversion kit with a bunch of extra parts like resistors, a relay harness and capacitors. Because of this every time I heard about someone working on one I would get scared and not even want to help with it – it is an AWFUL install! Now with the invention of LED conversion kit bulbs and CANBUS modules for them, we decided to give this difficult vehicle a shot to see if we could install LED conversion kit bulbs easier in a 2003 Dodge Ram with 9007 headlight bulbs. Doing this install (once wired properly) proved to be a truly plug and play experience with no flickering and no “LAMP OUT” warning on the dash!
Using a GTR Lighting LED Conversion Kit and the matching CANBUS module we were able to get LED headlights installed pretty easily!
This particular truck was dated September of 2003 and used 9007 bulbs.
The first step was to get the new LED bulbs to actually fit inside the housing! Because the base of the bulb that holds the fan and heat sink is so much larger than the original bulb we had to use a bench grinder and shave about .25 inches off of the gray plastic retaining ring to allow everything to seat correctly. This took a few minutes and just took a little off at a time, tested it and kept doing that until it all fit together nicely.
The LED bulb comes apart. There’s the bulb adapter that comes off and is secured to the housing by the gray plastic retaining ring, and the entire bulb assembly. We had to modify the plastic retainer before the new LED bulb would fit in place like the original.
The 9007 LED Headlight Conversion kit bulbs are much larger on the back side than the original 9007 halogen bulbs.
After getting the bulbs to seat properly in the housing we took the GTR Lighting CANBUS module for 9007 out of the packaging and hooked it up straight away and the capacitor inside the module popped! The module actually exploded!! I’m not kidding – a little pop, some wet stuff came out and the little thing stunk to high heaven and smoked for a second. This wasn’t all too surprising though since when you hook a capacitor up backwards it will explode. That’s exactly what happened – the capacitor inside was wired wrong for this truck and exploded. So, after that excitement we took a new set of 9007 CANBUS modules and re-wired them so that everything looked like this:
This is how the bulb was installed: The CANBUS module is between the bulb and the vehicle harness.
This is the connector going from the 9007 LED Headlight into the 9007 CANBUS module. These wires were correct from GTR Lighting.
This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module input. We had to change these wires around to make them work.
This is the connector back side of the 9007 LED CANBUS module output that plugs into the factory wiring. We had to change these wires around to make them work.
Just for reference sake, here’s what the back side of the original factory connector looked like.
So, all in all we got it to work after thinking about it and how to re-wire the CANBUS modules, and they’re definitely brighter than the stock headlights. Because they are LED they should be more reliable also.
Here you can see the new GTR Lighting LED bulb in the headlight housing.
Here’s a final install shot showing the new 9007 LED Headlights from GTR Lighting in high beam mode.