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.

How to install a Royalty Core Light Bar Truck Grille

Lots of people see these new grill replacements for their trucks for sale and on cool truck builds but they don’t really have a good understanding of the logistics of how to install them. You either don’t know at all and won’t buy the product due to uncertainty, or you buy it without thinking how it works and regret it because you can’t figure it out.

There’s a new video out explaining a lot of information about these steel mesh aftermarket grilles for trucks and how to do the install. Here’s the video detailing how to install a Royalty Core grille replacement on a Toyota Tundra using Vision X LED offroad light bars:

The first and most important thing most truck enthusiasts probably don’t know is that you have to cut out the center section of your original grille first, in order to install the new one. On some vehicles that middle section will just pop out and there’s no cutting involved, but most of the time you’re not that lucky!

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the grille on the Tundra looked like before being cut up to fit the Royalty Core grille.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

This is what the Tundra grille looked like after being modified. The middle is cut out so the new grille insert can fit in place properly.

Once you have the original grille removed and the center section cut out, if you do it properly the new aftermarket steel mesh grille should fit in place. To hold it in place the new grille should come with some type of mounting mechanism. The Royalty Core grilles come with a bolt and anchor type attachment that works really well:

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

Royalty Core grilles have some of the best mounting hardware on the market. This method makes it very easy to install.

When you get the new grille insert in place then it’s time to install the light bars. Most of the time they will come packaged separately and it’s up to the installer to mount the lights. This is good because the lights add a lot of weight to the product and can make the grille hard to handle.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

The LED light bars mount to the back side of the grille so just the face of the light is showing.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world's brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

Royalty Core uses Vision X brand of LED light bars. This is because Vision X has the world’s brightest light bars: more than double the light output of any other company, light bar per light bar.

When the light bars are mounted and aligned to the grille you can re-attach the truck grille to the truck. Now that the grille is heavier than it was at first it’s a good idea to get some help!

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

Re-attach the grille to the truck.

With the new grille mounted to the truck and secured using all the factory mounting points it’s time to run power wires to the light bars. The best way to do this is to start with a universal relay harness, wire it to the battery and to a switch inside the vehicle, then safely through the firewall and up onto the hood and finally connected to the new light bars.

Drilling a hole in the dash and mounting a switch; passing wires through the firewall; connecting power wires to the battery; and running power wires up onto the hood all require a fair amount of skilled installation ability. If you don’t understand already how to wire in a relay harness either hire a professional to do it or research the safe methods and learn how to do it yourself. Just be warned that this is definitely considered custom electrical wiring installation.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

Run new wiring from a switch inside the cab, into the engine bay and safely up and onto the hood to power the new lights.

The way the install was done on this particular truck grille was to use a set of GTR Lighting LED Halo style in-dash switches. These are some of the nicest looking switches around and fit in most spots on the dash.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

Custom mounted halo switches from GTR Lighting.

At the top of this post there’s a video to show all of this information in more detail. It’s about 20 minutes long but really goes in depth on the ins and outs of this type of install. Before you decide which grille to purchase, and if you can handle the job yourself check it out. Or click here to watch the video now.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

2010 Toyota Tundra featuring a Royalty Core steel-mesh grille with a pair of Vision X LED offroad light bars installed.

How to install an LED light bar on the roof of my truck?

If you are like most off-road and truck enthusiasts, one of the things you’re probably REALLY interested in is installing LED lighting. This whole market of upgraded lighting has exploded in the last 2 years and everyone is very eager to get their truck’s upgraded as soon as possible! One thing that has become a trend though in the last few months is redneck style roof mounting… You’ve probably seen it done where you live and heck, maybe you’ve done it yourself.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

The white truck in this picture mounted the light bar on the roof incorrectly. The black truck is done right.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I hate the look, but I can’t blame some people! They buy a 50″ light bar for their truck and it comes with brackets – so you mount it on your truck, right? I believe the secret to successful lighting upgrades is education, so I’m going to show you the right way and the wrong way to install a roof mount light bar on your truck, the biggest trick is getting a hold of a vehicle specific roof mount kit. If you installed your light bar like this, then you did it wrong:

THE WRONG WAY:

When you use the “universal” brackets that come with the light bar and just mount them to the top of your roof skin it LOOKS STUPID! Don’t do it! These “universal” brackets are a cheap way to mount your light bar, and then guess what happens – your truck looks cheap!

Listen, I don’t mean to belittle your manhood because you didn’t know any better, but now you don’t have any excuse. Let me show you the proper way to mount a light bar to your truck, it’s important to find a good vehicle specific light bar bracket kit, or fabricate something that works the same way, the end result should be something like this:

THE RIGHT WAY:

GMC Canyon Roof Light Bar Canyon LED Roof Mount Light BarOn this Canyon, a set of N-Fab roof mount light bar brackets were used for the install. The first thing you’ll notice is that it looks better than the first set of pictures. Getting the light bar up and off of the roof makes the whole setup look great. Secondly it allows you to position the light bar in a more usable way. Getting the light bar up and away from the roof allows the light bar to not be blocked by the roof skin right in front of it.

Here’s another example on another vehicle of how to properly mount an LED Light bar on the roof of your truck:

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar

XPI light bar has two sets of holes on each side that both bolt on the mounting feet. Since we’re doing a roof mount, we got to choose which hole to use and decided on the top one. That brought the Light Bar closer to the roof.

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar Roof Mount install

Vision X XPI LED Light Bar roof mount install completed.

 

photo 2 (1)Probably the best way to find out which vehicle specific light bar bracket to use is to first contact Headlight Revolution. They know what works and what doesn’t and can definitely get you set up with not only a light bar bracket, but also the right mounting and wiring components to make it all work.

 

Wiring: When you get the light bar properly mounted to your roof, and all the holes are sealed to become waterproof, it’s time to run your wiring. DO NOT just run the wiring loosely through the door jam.  The best way to do this is to drill a new hole in your roof near your roof mount brackets and run the wiring down directly into the cab of the truck. This is the best method because it is the shortest distance for the wire to travel, and it has the least chance of getting smashed in your door jamb.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

Drill a hole in the roof, run your wiring through that hole and seal it up with waterproof silicone.

 

However, if you’re really not sure how to do the install, you should either be prepared to drill holes in your roof as a learning experience, or hire a local professional install shop to do it for you.

If you need any help with what bracket kit you need for you truck, just ask!