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LED Replacement Headlights for Reattas?


Bob Stein
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Has anyone tried the new replacement LED headlights for the 6054 bulbs?  I expect they would be considerably brighter than our halogen replacements.  One of the concerns mentioned is that they are a little deeper than standard 6054 units - that could cause an issue with the headlight mechanisms.

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I've not used the LED headlights but be aware that you might have problems with the headlight doors working properly. Not because of clearance problems but because of the electronics that control the headlight motors. Dave may be able to explain the problems better than I can.

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Truck lite is the best LED light I found. Pricey but worth it. I did have to extend the leads that are part of the light, don't know what Daniel did..

 In regards to Ronnie's statemnet about additional items needed, that is correct. I found that in my LED upgrade I used a relay harness. In my application it was needed as the car did not recognize that the lights were off so wouldn't close the pod. It is a good idea to put a relay harness in anyhow as it takes some load off the headlight switch.

 All the items can be found in Ronnie's store.

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Bob, Do the relay  harness upgrade before trying the LED lights. The relay will take the load off the headlight switch and provide full battery power to the headlights. The new wiring helps also since the headlight plugs are usually weak and corroded. I made this change on my 88 to take the load off the switch. But the silver stars are so much brighter now I see no reason to get LED's.  The lights are brighter than the lights in my 97 truck . Bright and Clear.

 

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2 hours ago, Dashmaster said:

Bob, Do the relay  harness upgrade before trying the LED lights. The relay will take the load off the headlight switch and provide full battery power to the headlights. The new wiring helps also since the headlight plugs are usually weak and corroded. I made this change on my 88 to take the load off the switch. But the silver stars are so much brighter now I see no reason to get LED's.  The lights are brighter than the lights in my 97 truck . Bright and Clear.

 

I concur on trying the wiring upgrade first. The full battery voltage available will make a difference even with stock bulbs. It is a worthwhile addition to all Reatta's, even the late '90's and '91's with the added relay, as the stock wiring is quite small and long length.

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13 minutes ago, retiredmechanic74 said:

I don't want to change my head lights I just want a hand help spot light for those inconsiderate %$&^%$ people who won't dim their brites. 

 

I understand what you mean but watch what you wish for. Years ago I was approached by a car who would NOT dim his lights so I turned my new cars really bright lights. When I did the other car came across the center-line of the road and almost hit me. That made me mad so I turned around and chased down that fool who had almost hit me. When I caught up with the car I recognized the car and the license plate number. It was my elderly father...

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Hey Guys/Gals is there a tutorial or a before and after pictures of the relay harness and headlight brightness. I remember when Daves89 posted his conversion but I can't seem to find pictures and stuff.

The one Reatta I bought has LED headlights but the previous owner did a hack job and I don't think it has a relay (I am not sure how he got everything to work) so I would like to fix all that and put in a relay. Also upgrade the other Reatta but not with LED's just the Silverstars.

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Ronnie, you could've taken him <chuckle>. If my old man had pulled a stunt like that on me, I'd have whupped his a$$ for being stupid. He sure would have whupped mine if the roles were reversed. They say blood is thicker than water, but nothing is thicker than a skull.

 

In any case, I absolutely recommend putting a relay between the headlamp load and the switch especially on 88/89 cars as the switch is not adequate for the load and will get hot enough to melt. Been there and done that. Rememebr, the stock headlamps were 35W lowbeams. Current production 6054 lowbeams are 50-55W, so an increase of 40-50 watts  (from two lamps) is placed on the switch contacts. That isn't good. Add in higher resistance due to 30 year old contacts in the headlamp bulb sockets - which are raw brass and will be corroded - and probably some more resistance from wiring that was just adequatey sized, and you are looking at trouble.
 

 

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4 hours ago, Ronnie said:

 

I understand what you mean but watch what you wish for. Years ago I was approached by a car who would NOT dim his lights so I turned my new cars really bright lights. When I did the other car came across the center-line of the road and almost hit me. That made me mad so I turned around and chased down that fool who had almost hit me. When I caught up with the car I recognized the car and the license plate number. It was my elderly father...

OOP'S... A friend of my brothers had the same happen to him, but he had duel spot lights and turned them both on, after the car passed he saw it was turning around and it put on its blue lights........The cop gave him a ticket.

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8 hours ago, retiredmechanic74 said:

OOP'S... A friend of my brothers had the same happen to him, but he had duel spot lights and turned them both on, after the car passed he saw it was turning around and it put on its blue lights........The cop gave him a ticket.

That is what I have always been afraid of since our cops here all have those newer Dodge Charger that have stock extra eye-burning bright headlights. It is hard to tell if their high beams are on.

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On 1/11/2018 at 1:47 PM, Ronnie said:

I've not used the LED headlights but be aware that you might have problems with the headlight doors working properly. Not because of clearance problems but because of the electronics that control the headlight motors. Dave may be able to explain the problems better than I can.

The headlight motors in the down direction are grounded through the headlamp filaments. Here's what you need to do.

 

See page 8A-102-0 in the '89 FSM

 

On the Headlight Control Module connector C1 terminal C I cut the wire and capped the wire leading away from the HCM connector. I connected a 16ga wire to the severed wire C coming out of the plug and I ran that wire to a good ground.

   Up and Down then functioned correctly and the raise/lower switch also works correctly. You can do this fix regardless of what type of headlamp you are using and everything should work OK.

 

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4 hours ago, DS_Porter 89 Burgandy said:

The headlight motors in the down direction are grounded through the headlamp filaments. Here's what you need to do.

 

See page 8A-102-0 in the '89 FSM

 

On the Headlight Control Module connector C1 terminal C I cut the wire and capped the wire leading away from the HCM connector. I connected a 16ga wire to the severed wire C coming out of the plug and I ran that wire to a good ground.

   Up and Down then functioned correctly and the raise/lower switch also works correctly. You can do this fix regardless of what type of headlamp you are using and everything should work OK.

 

Be aware- that doing this modification negates the "Blown Bulb Notification" (my term) of that when the low of a bulb blows- that door stays up. I've always thought that was more of a nuisance than a "feature" any way. I can tell if a bulb (headlight) is blown- I'm not that blind- yet! 

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Not to throw water on this discussion, I would just buy the relay harness. It takes the strain off the headlight switch  [I know LEDs draw very little power]and works well without cutting any wires. In all my "upgrades" [cassette deck bypass, radiator fan speed upgrade, relay harness for headlights] I never cut a wire, everything can be restored to original by unplugging my modification and plugging the original harness back together again. I do have one exception and that is the sequential tail light upgrade, but I have two original condition harness's in back stock inventory so I can restore the car back to original.

 I'm just sayin that when a problem rears it's ugly head where do you look and what do you do? 

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Pardon me if I missed it somewhere in the discussion.......1988 into 1990 power to the headlights were handled thru the headlight switch.

There was a running change in 1990 that added a relay before the HI-LOW relay.  This takes the load off the headlight switch.

This new relay was added to the headlight wiring harness and is located in the front of the console and taped to the cable bundle (drivers side)

It might be nice to know around what VIN this relay was added....the problem being they hid the relay, making it a little difficult to know if your 1990 is before or after the upgrade.

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To 89RedDarkGrey

Yes the diagram you have modified is exactly correct. You do not need to do this modification with incandescent headlamps but with LED's the resistance is too high for the door motors to retract. It does defeat the clever way of notifying the driver that an incandescent headlight is out. Hopefully we are all aware enough to notice a lack of headlights.

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  • 4 years later...

Does anyone have a part number or specific harness they recommend for the LED upgrade?  I bought a random harness and it didn't solve the headlight actuator issue of not going down.  What trucklite headlight are you guys using?

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Truck lite is a brand. They have a rectangular bulb that fits our cars. They are a bit pricey at about $350.00 a pair. I believe they made a needed improvement because now they have a "heater" inside the bulb to help melt the snow which is important in areas they get snow and freezing rain.

Don't remember the harness number I used, maybe someone who knows will chime in.

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43 minutes ago, DAVES89 said:

Don't remember the harness number I used, maybe someone who knows will chime in.

Don't know if it is the best harness to use, but this is the one I bought from Amazon and sold to you Dave. It has almost doubled in price since 2014

 

H4 100w Ceramic Fused PnP Heavy Duty Automotive Wiring Harness Headlight Foglight Booster Relay 12v

 

 

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I have not measured the resistance of an led headlight but since it is described as a diode, my ASSumption it is biased to current flowing in only one direction. To me that means there is too much resistance in the direction needed to drain the system which the door module needs to close. A broken filament is infinitely resistant to flow. The addition of the harness relays uses the resistance across the trigger side to provide a drain to ground. Sometimes it delays closing or headlight extinguishing because of the small indirect path to ground but it does work 

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