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Old 03-14-2016, 05:47 PM   #1
burger
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HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

I’ve done a lot of vehicle modifications. This one ranks at the top of the bang-for-the-buck category. For less than $150 and 2 hours, you can bring your classic vehicle up to modern lighting. No more driving around in the dark with a dim yellow glow barely lighting the road. Plus, the Jeep lighting system was designed and tested by a major OEM and installed on hundreds of thousands of vehicles. That makes me feel a lot more comfortable than a kit sold on eBay.

The parts list is simple.
- 2x headlight assemblies (right or left does not matter) TYC 20683500 or similar
- 2x pigtail connectors (9008/H13 bulbs) DORMAN 84785 or similar
- 2x 30 amp 4-pin relays
- 2x 30 amp inline fuse with 12 gauge wire
- 12 gauge wire (length and color are dependent on your installation)

The physical installation of the Jeep headlight assemblies couldn’t be easier. As shipped, the headlights come installed in a plastic mounting bracket. The headlight is retained to the bracket by a metal trim ring and four screws. Remove those screws and throw away the bracket and trim ring.

When you look at the back of the headlight assembly, you’ll see the genius of this whole thing. This is a direct bolt-in replacement for the 7” sealed beam headlight that was used in so many GM/Ford/Mopar cars and trucks from the 50’s through the 80’s. The Jeep headlight bucket is the same diameter as the classic sealed beam unit AND has the same 3 alignment tabs in the same location. Some generous Jeep engineer gifted the classic car/truck community with that one.

To put the headlight into your car/truck, start by removing the headlight trim and then the headlight trim ring and headlight. Fit the Jeep headlight assembly into place, making sure to align the three tabs. Retain the headlight assembly with the trim ring. Done.

Should you chose to install relays into the headlight wiring, things get a bit more complicated. The easy way out is to buy a relay harness from a place like Classic Industries for about $30. I had most of the electric components on hand, so I elected to make my own harness. I won’t bore you with the details of that as there are already many good write-ups on the subject.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Good write up. Thank you. More pics?
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

There is a few ways of doing the wiring. Personally I would be splicing into the existing high/low wires and hook them up to the relays.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:41 PM   #4
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

I did this but got used lights off ebay... accidentally ended up with two sets. They can be had pretty cheap, they do oxidize some over time though.

I have a relay kit that I need to get around to installing but even without it these are better than what was there before. I used adapters, and have a basic H4 relay kit, so I probably have more connections than needed but it'll work.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by slotard View Post
[...]They can be had pretty cheap, they do oxidize some over time though[...]
Considering that headlight oxidation is part of what we've come to expect, I've come to expect it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
There is a few ways of doing the wiring. Personally I would be splicing into the existing high/low wires and hook them up to the relays.
That's exactly how I did it. Mounting the relays next to the battery allowed me to keep my 12 gauge power wires as short as possible for the least voltage drop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerb View Post
Good write up. Thank you. More pics?
What would you like to see pictures of?
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

U can also use 7 in Harley lights off 2005 bagger
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:39 AM   #7
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

I could have done it for less then a 100 bucks tho,With 7 inch hella h4 lights for 40 bucks and a putco harness 38 bucks all off amazon.And the hellas are glass they will never turn yellow or get that oxidation stuff on them.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
I could have done it for less then a 100 bucks tho,With 7 inch hella h4 lights for 40 bucks and a putco harness 38 bucks all off amazon.And the hellas are glass they will never turn yellow or get that oxidation stuff on them.
Where possible, I use OEM type stuff rather than aftermarket designs. Not to say that all aftermarket designs are inferior, but with an OEM designed product you know that a ton of R&D and testing went into the product.

Even with replacement OEM type stuff, I'm picky about which brands I will buy. I have replaced several headlights with TYC units and have been pleased with the quality. They are equal to OEM parts.

FWIW, the TYC headlight assemblies were $45 each with bulbs. The $150 installed cost includes wiring harness upgrades.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Photos of high and low beams at dark would be great if you get a chance. I put relays on the original sealed beams and noticed a nice improvement in distance and fluctuation (like dimming at idle etc). I'm wondering if these would have a similar difference in quality.....
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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I could have done it for less then a 100 bucks tho,With 7 inch hella h4 lights for 40 bucks and a putco harness 38 bucks all off amazon.
You have to be careful.

The Jeep reflectors are guaranteed DOT approved and they use the very available 9000 series lamps that can be purchased at any auto parts store.

Some of the Hella reflectors don't have DOT approval, dual beam H4 bulbs are not as easy to find locally, and DOT approved H4 replacement lamps are even more difficult to find locally... online doesn't count.

I run OEM LED lamps on my Polaris Sportsman 500HO and they are very impressive. There are DOT approved 7" LED headlamps and reflectors now that are not extremely expensive... Around $200 each. But these Jeep reflectors with decent 9008 lamps are some pretty good bang for the buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewmp6 View Post
And the hellas are glass they will never turn yellow or get that oxidation stuff on them.
Oxidation can be stopped by applying clear Lamin-X or similar as a UV shield. I use Lamin-X on my 2009 Impala and my 2005 VW... I used the Amber film on the driving lights. Much better in driving snow and actual fog.
http://www.lamin-x.com/Headlight-Fil...FcYlgQod85IGXg
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:44 PM   #11
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

I've never had any trouble finding H4 bulbs, locally or online. Most of the bikes I've had use them. Afaik all H4s are hi/lo, never seen something advertised as H4 that's single filament.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:55 PM   #12
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Alameda Island in East Bay and East Betty Boofoo are very different places. You can go to the NAPA distribution warehouse on 14th st (or International whatever you want to call it) in Oakland and get bloody anything.

Tractors use single filament H4 type bulbs. The dual filament IH tractor bulbs are not DOT approved for road use but they will fit in the Hella H4 reflectors. I'd have to go to a larger town or the city to get more.
The 9008 bulbs are literally everywhere. I can get em at NAPA, Sanel, Bond, O'Riley, WalMart, Sears, Rands' Hardware, Tractor Supply, ...
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:26 AM   #13
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Burger you know hella has been making oem headlights for vw/audi and some bmws for years right?
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:44 AM   #14
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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Burger you know hella has been making oem headlights for vw/audi and some bmws for years right?
Mercedes Benz and Chevy and Ford and ... too. Heck those Jeep Wrangler reflectors may actually be made by Hella.
All of the OEM US market cars and trucks lamps meet DOT too. I was commenting on local availability of fully street legal replacements. H13 is just easier to source locally for rural folks. Hella makes H13 bulbs if you want to buy that brand.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:20 PM   #15
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

if you guys want to go crazy with it get the JW speaker led headlights. They are expensive but they are the manufacture of the daymaker headlights for Harley. They are really really bright.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:50 PM   #16
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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Originally Posted by gasmn1620 View Post
if you guys want to go crazy with it get the JW speaker led headlights. They are expensive but they are the manufacture of the daymaker headlights for Harley. They are really really bright.
Bright != Light Output

LEDs have a horrible drop off point compared to traditional lights.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:40 PM   #17
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Re: HOWTO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatzie View Post
Alameda Island in East Bay and East Betty Boofoo are very different places. You can go to the NAPA distribution warehouse on 14th st (or International whatever you want to call it) in Oakland and get bloody anything.

Tractors use single filament H4 type bulbs. The dual filament IH tractor bulbs are not DOT approved for road use but they will fit in the Hella H4 reflectors. I'd have to go to a larger town or the city to get more.
The 9008 bulbs are literally everywhere. I can get em at NAPA, Sanel, Bond, O'Riley, WalMart, Sears, Rands' Hardware, Tractor Supply, ...
I've never looked for H4s and not found them, and I've lived in far less populated areas. I think the 1990 integra I had used them too. I've never had to order them either, there's always been some type on the rack.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:40 AM   #18
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Interesting write up. You had me till the plastic lenses. Was thinking I could get used JK or TJ headlights cheap.

I've got the Hella housings on my Amazon list. I KNOW Hella makes a good quality product. Chrysler stuff is hit or miss...mostly miss.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:58 PM   #19
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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Bright != Light Output

LEDs have a horrible drop off point compared to traditional lights.
I guess that's your opinion. What LEDs have is a definable light pattern. You can focus the light where you want it/need it to go instead of just having light in all directions. I prefer LEDs over traditional lights.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:19 PM   #20
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Yeah, LEDs can do whatever you design them to do. I have some pencil beam LEDs that reach out a LONG way. I also have some floods that don't (not sure I can see any farther with them on at speed than with them off, because they put too much light up close).

I've considered picking up a set of China eBay LED headlights - knockoffs of the Truck Lites etc - but haven't done so yet.
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:32 PM   #21
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Smile Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Nice job! But where's the Nite Lite Pic?
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:59 AM   #22
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

Hey Burger, read your write-up and thought I'd give it a go. I got no problems with relays, wiring, etc., but am curious how you wired the h13 bulb to the existing truck wiring. I know you can get an h4/h13 bulb adapter harness and just plug-n-play. But, to me, that's too many mechanical connections. Looking at the Dorman 84785 pigtail, it has green/black/brown wires, but are they in the correct location for point-to-point mating with a truck lighting harness? What I mean is, does the h13 bulb have the same pin footprint as the stock 7" sealed beam, and I can just mate the Dorman pigtail to the truck harness by the wire color?
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:19 AM   #23
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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Originally Posted by LeesTruk View Post
Hey Burger, read your write-up and thought I'd give it a go. I got no problems with relays, wiring, etc., but am curious how you wired the h13 bulb to the existing truck wiring. I know you can get an h4/h13 bulb adapter harness and just plug-n-play. But, to me, that's too many mechanical connections. Looking at the Dorman 84785 pigtail, it has green/black/brown wires, but are they in the correct location for point-to-point mating with a truck lighting harness? What I mean is, does the h13 bulb have the same pin footprint as the stock 7" sealed beam, and I can just mate the Dorman pigtail to the truck harness by the wire color?
Just splice into the 3 wires for the harness. Stock lights don't follow the same wiring as newer H4 setups so you have to make changes. So just ensure your using the correct wires for their use.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:38 AM   #24
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

I understand that. That's why I asked the question about bulb pin-outs. How are they different?
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:58 AM   #25
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Re: HOW TO: Upgrade 7” Sealed Beam Headlights to 2007-15 Jeep Wrangler Headlights

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I understand that. That's why I asked the question about bulb pin-outs. How are they different?
Since you'd like to have all the answers provided and do no actual research

This is NOT for our trucks but the same principle applies..

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