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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all, I've been scouring tccoa for posts in relation, but wanted to pop in and ask if anyone has advice for improving the headlight situation in a 1997 Tbird.

I have a basic factory headlight situation, but the housings are in pretty good shape. Some light scratching but no fog or fade or anything. I just want to get transitioned to something whiter in color and brighter if possible.

My former vehicle (1995 F150) I swapped the headlight assemblies for LED projectors. Much better color, higher clarity, and brighter.

What advice would you have for me?

I've looked at LED bulb conversion kits but heard the factory reflector isn't ideal for them. I'm not seeing a whole lot in the way of housing replacements either.

Thanks.
 

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Clean the lenses to get rid of cloudiness and yellowness.

Or replace with new.

Then add a relay harness - I like the Putco 100W harness, but there's several others.

Use a good bulb - Ryan has a nice writeup on replacement halogen bulbs.

If not, do HID projectors.

There are some valid LED replacements; but when looking for "white" do remember that the human eye can't distinguish items as well with blue as with red and green light, and blue can trigger the "OMGIt'sBrightCloseTheIris!!!" quicker than red can. You want optimally, to see, something below 6000 Kelvin; 4300K to 5400K is about perfect for most people.

RwP
 
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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Is what was said apply to a 96 as well with the harness?
It applies to ALL of our MN12s about the harness; what varies is which harness. But yes, a 1996 I'd also grab that Putco.

(One variation - if the car uses 9004s, the harness needs to be repinned.)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Clean the lenses to get rid of cloudiness and yellowness.

Or replace with new.

Then add a relay harness - I like the Putco 100W harness, but there's several others.

Use a good bulb - Ryan has a nice writeup on replacement halogen bulbs.

If not, do HID projectors.

There are some valid LED replacements; but when looking for "white" do remember that the human eye can't distinguish items as well with blue as with red and green light, and blue can trigger the "OMGIt'sBrightCloseTheIris!!!" quicker than red can. You want optimally, to see, something below 6000 Kelvin; 4300K to 5400K is about perfect for most people.

RwP
Appreciate it, I'll take a look. I'm definitely not wanting to go too blue. I'd just like something cleaner white than the factory. What I currently have isn't too bad, no fogging or anything. Just not what I like.
 

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Clean the lenses to get rid of cloudiness and yellowness.

Or replace with new.

Then add a relay harness - I like the Putco 100W harness, but there's several others.
I'm going to switch to custom lights later but I like this idea for my lights ('95 Thunderbird) because I've noticed that my car does that classic car move of the lights getting a little dimmer at idle and then lighting up brighter once I step on the gas. Is that related? I haven't noticed my light switch being hot.

A few of the reviews say the wiring is cheap or that there should be inline fuses and that the relays aren't that great. Others say the kit is perfect. I suppose some of those people are just expecting the Moon for $50. Have you noticed anything marginal in the harnesses you bought?
 

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Bought? 😝 😝:ROFLMAO:

I'm an Electronics Technician, and grew up with a hot soldering iron. I built mine.

But the Putco was designed for 100W bulbs; our 55/65W bulbs should be easy peasy.

Relays can be replaced; I fuse stuff like that anyway.

(I had a further complication on my 1991 Cougar; I was swapping from the 9007 bulbs to a Grand Marquis headlight set, which used 9005/9006 bulbs and now has 9011/9012 HIRs in it, but the Coug isn't running right now ... alas.)

If in doubt, buy some 12GA wire (I'd do three colors at least), a set of weatherproof Bosch-style relays, matching weatherproof sockets, a fuse block if I don't have a spare one already, and a couple of the ceramic extensions; use some solder and heat shrink; and build my own (which is what I did, TBH).

But Putco is an old established brand, which is why I tend to recommend it (beats something from "Honest John's Sushi, Laundry, Pet Store and Auto Parts" IMO.)

RwP
 

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Just get this kit. It's way brighter than stock, factory beam pattern, draws less power than stock. Easy to swap in with no ballast or breakout box and it's regulated meaning it will not get dimmer or brighter depending on the voltage output from your alternator. Mine are going strong 2 years now. If one should malfunction or get weak, I won't hesitate to buy another set identical to this.
Stark Industries 9007/HB5 NS Series [UPGRADED] 80W LED Headlights Conversion Kit 6000K White IP68 Waterproof https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDZCNPK/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_ZXZJVREWBNMJ5JSNHBYT
 

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Bought? 😝 😝:ROFLMAO:

I'm an Electronics Technician, and grew up with a hot soldering iron. I built mine.

But the Putco was designed for 100W bulbs; our 55/65W bulbs should be easy peasy.
Sorry, my bad, hahaaha. I figured you were so specific about them that you'd used them on your car. I'm no electricitist so I'd rather buy something that should work vs. assemble something that fails and I'm not sure why. I was curious about the "they should have inline fuses" reviews, is that really that necessary? I mean compared to the car's stock fusebox and the relays taking the strain off of the stock wiring to the switch.
 

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Well, if something happens, you want the fuse to blow instead of the car catching fire.

It's a safety item.

RwP
 

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Sorry, my bad, hahaaha. I figured you were so specific about them that you'd used them on your car. I'm no electricitist so I'd rather buy something that should work vs. assemble something that fails and I'm not sure why. I was curious about the "they should have inline fuses" reviews, is that really that necessary? I mean compared to the car's stock fusebox and the relays taking the strain off of the stock wiring to the switch.
These harnesses bypass the fuse box and pull 12v straight from the battery, without a fuse if there’s ever a short to ground it’ll be bad news, relays aren’t a substitute for fuses, a short could happen before them and you won’t be able to cut the circuit with the switch if you realize it’s happening. That’s why even the stock subpar system has fuses for the lights
 

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These harnesses bypass the fuse box and pull 12v straight from the battery, without a fuse if there’s ever a short to ground it’ll be bad news, relays aren’t a substitute for fuses, a short could happen before them and you won’t be able to cut the circuit with the switch if you realize it’s happening. That’s why even the stock subpar system has fuses for the lights
Ah, I see, I didn't realize these harnesses would be bypassing the fuse box. That makes more sense. I wonder if there's a similar version with the inline fuses.
 
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