How to install 9004 or 9007 LED Headlight bulbs from GTR Lighting

OK, so I got my hands on a set of the 9007 LED headlight bulbs from GTR Lighting and I wanted to show you how to install them because at first glance it looks kind of tricky.

GTR Lighting GEN 2 9007 LED Headlight Bulb Install

 

The vehicle I’m going to demonstrate on is a headlight from a 2002 Ford F250. This is a very common headlight and I will tell you this: These headlights suck!!! No matter which types of bulbs you use, high power halogen, HID or new LED style headlight bulbs, these housings are awful and it’s impossible to get amazing light output from them. Your best bet for amazing light is a light bar or a projector retrofit… but that’s a whole other story! For now we’re going to try to put these GEN 2 9007 LED Headlight Bulbs from GTR Lighting into these housings.

The original 9007 halogen bulb is held in place by a retainer. In the case of this Ford F250, the retainer is very tall. Sometimes they are snort and sometimes they are tall, but they all work the same way. The retainer goes on top of the bulb and holds it in place.

The original 9007 halogen bulb is held in place by a retainer. In the case of this Ford F250, the retainer is very tall. Sometimes they are snort and sometimes they are tall, but they all work the same way. The retainer goes on top of the bulb and holds it in place.

Here you can see how the original halogen bulb sits when you take the retainer off.

Here you can see how the original halogen bulb sits when you take the retainer off.

The new GTR Lighting GEN 2 LED Headlight Bulb is a little longer than the original halogen bulb, but it doesn't matter for this application because there is nothing inside the housing to interfere with it. The mounting method is identical. The new LED bulb has the same mounting collar as the halogen bulb.

The new GTR Lighting GEN 2 LED Headlight Bulb is a little longer than the original halogen bulb, but it doesn’t matter for this application because there is nothing inside the housing to interfere with it. The mounting method is identical. The new LED bulb has the same mounting collar as the halogen bulb.

Here's an aerial view showing the slots in the mounting collar between the original halogen bulb and the new GTR Lighting LED headlight bulb. They insert into the headlight housing the exact same way as each other.

Here’s an aerial view showing the slots in the mounting collar between the original halogen bulb and the new GTR Lighting LED headlight bulb. They insert into the headlight housing the exact same way as each other.

The housing for either a 9004 or a 9007 will have 3 alignment tabs inside like this. The bulb will only seat one way.

The housing for either a 9004 or a 9007 will have 3 alignment tabs inside like this. The bulb will only seat one way.

This is how the new 9007  LED headlight bulb should seat when you have it resting on the housing. There should be no gaps, it installs perfectly flat.

This is how the new 9007 LED headlight bulb should seat when you have it resting on the housing. There should be no gaps, it installs perfectly flat.

The original retainer that held the halogen bulb in place will likely NOT fit over the top of your new LED headlight bulbs, they are far too large to facilitate the heat sink and cooling fan.

The original retainer that held the halogen bulb in place will likely NOT fit over the top of your new LED headlight bulbs, they are far too large to facilitate the heat sink and cooling fan.

The mounting collar on the LED headlight bulbs comes off easily by twisting it. Separate all the parts and re-install the original headlight bulb retainer between the heat sink of the LED bulb, and the mounting collar.

The mounting collar on the LED headlight bulbs comes off easily by twisting it. Separate all the parts and re-install the original headlight bulb retainer between the heat sink of the LED bulb, and the mounting collar.

 

When you have the original mounting adapter installed between the heat sink and the LED bulb collar, then you can install everything like the factory bulb was installed.

When you have the original mounting adapter installed between the heat sink and the LED bulb collar, then you can install everything like the factory bulb was installed.

Here are a couple notes about the final install:

1. If you have a tall mounting adapter like shown in these pictures, it may be a good idea to either drill holes in it to allow the LED bulb fan to “breathe” and flow more air to keep it cool, or just trim the excess material off to allow the LED heat sink fan/bulb to be fully exposed.

2. In order to get the LED bulb and mounting adapter fitted to the housing there are several things to line up and it can be a tricky puzzle! Just examine it and see how everything fits together. The housing has alignment posts, the LED bulb collar has 2 alignment posts, and the mounting adapter for the original bulb has 2 sets of alignment posts!!! Everything has to be put together just right.

3. This install guide is specific to the early 2000’s Ford trucks that use 9007 or 9004 headlights, but the basic premise should be universal to anyone trying to install 9004 or 9007 LED headlight bulbs.

2002 – 2006 Dodge Ram 9007 LED Headlight Kit Install Writeup – DIY How To

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!

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 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.

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 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. We had to change these wires around to make them work.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

Here’s a final install shot showing the new 9007 LED Headlights from GTR Lighting in high beam mode.

Difference between 9004 and 9007 Bulbs

Single Beam 9004/9007 HID Bulbs

In the HID world 9004 and 9007 bulbs are the same type. This picture shows the single beam style of these bulbs in HID.

It is truly incredible how many different headlight bulbs exist in the automotive 12v lighting world, why are there so many different styles to choose from? Is one style truly better than the other? Does an H4 headlight bulb produce a better light output than a 9007? Is a 5202 a better fog light bulb than a 9145? These questions come up all the time, and the answers to them are debatable but because of the insane selection of light bulbs available today’s selection of aftermarket LED and HID bulb options can be difficult to navigate.

In order to reduce the amount of products retailers need to carry on their shelves, aftermarket manufacturers have created “one size fits all” types of bulb replacement products. For example: The 9145, H10 and 9005 halogen/incandescent light bulbs all use the same style of base but each one is rated at different wattage levels and produce different amounts of light. In the LED and HID world, all of those bulbs are now replaced by a single bulb, most commonly called the 9005.
Similarly, the 9004 and 9007 halogen/incandescent light bulbs are nearly identical, but they have some stark differences. First is the pin configuration: The 9007 has the ground pin in the middle, and high/low positive pins on the outside. The 9004 has the ground pin on one side, and in the middle and other side are the positive pins for high beam and low beam. In this diagram you can see the differences between these two light bulbs:

9004 vs 9007 headlight bulbs

9004 and 9007 incandescent light bulbs are nearly identical but have distinct characteristic differences.

When you try to upgrade your headlights that take either a 9004 ORĀ  a 9007 with HID you will be presented with only one bulb option, that upon installation, must be configured to suit your needs: The HID version of the bulb will have the notches cut out to fit either a 9004 or 9007 bulb and you will be able to swap the pins around to fit either style of bulb:

9004 9007 gtr lighting xenon

The GTR Lighting 9004/9007 bi-xenon HID kit is the nicest product currently available in the aftermarket.

If you are looking for a good HID product to upgrade your 9004 or 9007 dual beam headlights to HID, we recommend the new metal-based bulb kit from GTR Lighting. It comes with a pair of stylish and high-tech “swing” bulbs along with a new waterproof relay harness. Normally when you receive this type of HID kit in the mail the 9004/9007 style blue plug on the relay harness will be configured for the more popular 9007 wiring. In order to make this kit work with a 9004 style headlight all that is required is to swap the pins around to be in the correct orientation.